MM-Eh: Jimmo Talks TUF Experience, Loiseau Eyes UFC Return

By Andy Cotterill Sep 18, 2008
Ryan Jimmo didn’t think much when an old karate friend emailed him and told him about open tryouts being held in Boston for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV. The 26-year old native of St. John, New Brunswick was eking out a living as a doorman in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the time, and the prospect of traveling to a different country for a less than sure thing didn’t seem financially prudent.

But with the help of a sponsor, Jimmo (6-1) decided to give it a shot and made the trek south, where he vied for a coveted spot with hundreds of other hopefuls. During a day showing off his grappling and striking skills, Jimmo eased his way through the cuts and ended up with a cursory interview with UFC President Dana White.

“Hey Dana, can I give karate chops to the throat?” Jimmo asked playfully with a laugh, hoping to stand out.

“No Jimmo, no Dim Mak, no death touch,” answered a game White.

“That’s it, I’m out of here!” Jimmo faked with a tantrum. His comical attitude and impressive showing in the training room did the trick, and Jimmo was invited to Las Vegas for further tests and interviews with about fifty others.

Afterward, Jimmo received a call at home that he’d been selected. To keep his selection secret, Jimmo told people in Halifax that he was going back to New Brunswick for a few months due to family issues.

At the UFC Training Center, Jimmo chatted with seven fellow light heavyweights and eight lightweights, all of them waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sure enough, the door opened and in walked another sixteen fighters. Jimmo would have to fight his way into the house.

Each fighter was paired with an opponent, and Jimmo was told he’d be squaring off against Antwain Britt (4-1), who Jimmo described as well rounded and a good matchup for him.

“I watched him moving around and could tell he was talented –- I wasn’t getting a milk can here and it was going to be a hard fight,” said Jimmo.

Twenty-four hours later the fighters weighed in, and another day later they fought. Jimmo and Britt went the distance for two rounds with Britt emerging with a decision win. A heavily abbreviated version of the bout played Wednesday during the first episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 8” on Spike TV.

“I was really very much disappointed in myself,” said Jimmo. “I’m so prideful and I hate the world seeing me lose more than anything else in the world. I don’t like people seeing me not at my best and now that’s how they’re going to recognize me.”

Although disappointed, Jimmo took much good out of his TUF experience.

“Dana White said it was probably one of the better fights of the day so that’s good. The UFC already has their eye on me, and they’re looking to build the sport in Canada and are looking for up-and-coming Canadian fighters. I think they’re going to be very impressed with my improvements when they next see me fight.”

Jimmo returns to action on Oct. 4, a headliner for the first time ever in the debuting X-Fights promotion in Moncton, New Brunswick.

“Just from me being a cast member I’ve experienced a growth in my popularity and my fame and that’s been a lot to deal with -- obviously I don’t have a whole lot of fame, but Halifax is pretty small,” he says. “It’s okay if I’m not top of the sport right now –- in five or six years I will be.”

Loiseau: Third time a UFC charm?

Jeff Woo/Sherdog.com

Was Saturday's win enough to get
David Loiseau back in the Octagon?
Thousands of fans across Canada watched David Loiseau earn a gritty fifth-round TKO over TUF veteran Solomon Hutcherson live on The Fight Network last Saturday at XMMA 5 in Montreal. The third victory in a row for “The Crow,” the inevitable talk has turned to Loiseau’s chances for an Octagon return.

Since March, Loiseau (18-8) has beaten Todd Gouwenberg (8-4), Andrew Buckland (6-2), and now Hutcherson (10-5).

Loiseau’s manager Steve Claveau told Sherdog.com that his client does appear to be UFC bound once again, but Loiseau is going to wait for the phone call before he lets himself believe it.

“Yeah, we’ll see if it does,” says Loiseau, who fought for the UFC middleweight title in 2006. “If it doesn’t, I’m a patient guy. If it does I’ll be back in the mix. Three good wins in a row against very good opponents so I’m ready to get back in there.”

Kaufman signs with EliteXC, Young could be first opponent

Just weeks after lamenting to Sherdog.com that nobody seemed interested in having her take on top-tier female mixed martial artists, undefeated prospect Sarah Kaufman (7-0) has signed a three-fight deal with Pro Elite, the parent company to EliteXC and ShoXC, among others.

The 22-year-old from Victoria, British Columbia has been searching for a new home since the Calgary-based Hardcore Championship Fighting went out of business earlier this year.

“I’m really excited about signing with Pro Elite,” said Kaufman. “They have the Showtime and CBS [broadcast deals] so it’ll be great exposure, but most importantly I get to fight.”

With the addition of Kaufman, Pro Elite has amassed what is arguably the deepest female talent pool in North America, including Gina Carano, Kaitlin Young, and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos.

Kaufman said that she has accepted, in principle, a fight with Young, and is just waiting to see if Young will reciprocate. A date has not been set for the proposed bout, though Kaufman gauges she could be ready to tangle as early as Oct. 10 when the promotion touches down with its next ShoXC event in Hammond, Indiana.

“I really want to get fighting,” she said. “It’s pretty short timing and I’m fine with that, but we haven’t heard back yet whether she’s accepted or not so we’re waiting on that.”

Hague and Ford join RAW Combat

Like the mythical phoenix, RAW Combat has risen out of the ashes of the defunct Hardcore Championship Fighting to start its own quest of bringing quality mixed martial arts matches to the Canadian public and the world.

With one show already under its belt, RAW has revealed the signing of several big matches for their next event at the Calgary Corral in Calgary, Alberta, on Oct. 25, which features a middleweight main event between Denis Kang and Marvin Eastman.

With recent signings of Jose Landi-Jons and Bibiano Fernandes, RAW has also acquired the services of King of the Cage Canada heavyweight champion Tim Hague (7-1) and Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight powerhouse Ryan Ford (6-1), on loan from their home organizations for this event.

Hague will be getting his much desired rematch with Miodrag Petkovic (20-7-1), who handed Hague his only career loss last February.

Ford is coming off his only career blemish to Pat Healy for the MFC welterweight crown in July, and he’ll be taking on the versatile and exciting Nabil Khatib.

RAW Combat President Dave Houshiar told Sherdog.com that he learned a lot from his time with HCF, and has decided to take a different tactic this time to ensure that his new promotion will succeed.

“I can’t come out like I did with Hardcore and invest the same kind of money, but I’m willing to still get it out there,” said Houshiar. “As long as I break even and we have a good show and the fans are happy then I’m happy at the end of the day.”

Bruno signs with MFC

In light of their recent institution of a featherweight division, Edmonton’s MFC has wasted no time in signing American Top Team’s Mike Bruno (6-3) to a four-fight deal. The 22-year-old is the younger brother of recent UFC addition Steve Bruno, and he hopes to make his own name north of the border.

“I signed with the MFC for one reason: to become the first-ever MFC featherweight champ,” Bruno told Sherdog. “I’ve been fighting since ‘04 and have paid my dues. Now it’s time for the world to see who Mike Bruno is, and there’s no better way to do it then on HDNet in the MFC.”

Strikeforce on The Score

The booming California-based Strikeforce has inked a deal that will see their shows aired on The Score television network in Canada. “Strikeforce at The Mansion II” event will air live this Saturday at 10:30 p.m. EST on The Score, in addition to a live webcast of the entire event on Sherdog.com. The Score will also air a weekly series that will consist of past Strikeforce bouts, as well as fighter profiles and highlights.

The Score had previously delved into the sport when it reached a deal with HCF to air MMA content, but since HCF’s downfall, the network has been searching for other opportunities.
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