Professional MMA fighter Ross Clifton has died

Photo: Sherdog - Big man Ross Clifton swings on Ken Shamrock.
Photo: Sherdog - Big man Ross Clifton swings on Ken Shamrock at War Gods in Feb. 2009.. Clifton fought one more time after this.

The sport of professional mixed martial arts lost another one of its own this past Friday when 32-year-old Ross “The Grizzly” Clifton passed away from an apparent heart attack. His wife had gone to bed and left him watching TV in the recliner Thursday evening at their home in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and when she woke up on the morning of Sept. 4, 2009, Clifton was deceased.

Clifton’s former trainer, UFC veteran Cal Worsham told MMAWeekly, “He was a jovial teddy bear inside of a grizzly’s body. He was just so funny and such a character in the way you’d never expect from a giant of a man like that. He’s absolutely going to be missed.”

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UFC is going back to Cali for UFC 104

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – It’s been more than two years, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is finally bringing world-class mixed martial arts back to California, and when the lights go down for the main event of UFC 104 on Saturday, October 24th, fans will witness a battle between two of the most dynamic fighters ever to set foot in the world-famous Octagon, as Brazil’s Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida defends his UFC light heavyweight title for the first time against his countryman and fellow superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Also waging war at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on the UFC 104: Machida vs Shogun card, which is presented by TapouT, will be a clash between two of the heavyweight division’s top rising stars, unbeaten Cain Velasquez and UFC newcomer “Big” Ben Rothwell.

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“Joker” Guymon held for observation

Photo: Sherdog

Current King of the Cage Welterweight Champion Mike “Joker” Guymon was taken for psychiatric evaluation on Tuesday after what is being called a “suicide attempt” according to the OC Register. Guymon (10-2-1), an original member of The Tapout Crew, runs Joker’s Wild Fighting Academy in Lake Forest, Calif. and has worked with many of MMA’s elite athletes.

Deputies were called to Guymon’s house by his wife Nicole. She said her husband was extremely distraught after they had an argument. The report states that originally Joker had a gun but his wife was able to get it from him.

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Steve Eldridge vs. Jeff Morris headline “Gladiator Challenge: Total Recall” on July 31 in Colusa

Colusa, Calif. — Gladiator Challenge (GC), one of the longest-running MMA promotions in existence, proudly presents “Total Recall” on Friday, July 31st, live from the Colusa Casino Resort in Colusa, California.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with fights beginning at 8:00 p.m. GC has scheduled more than 10 action-packed bouts, including two Gladiator Challenge World title fights.

The main event pits Jeff Morris (6-5) against Steve Eldridge (1-1), in a bout that has Eldridge’s GC Middleweight World Title belt on the line. The co-main event features an equally exciting clash between current GC Super Heavyweight World Champion, Ross Clifton (6-9), and undefeated newcomer, Rick Vardell (1-0).

Read moreSteve Eldridge vs. Jeff Morris headline “Gladiator Challenge: Total Recall” on July 31 in Colusa

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CCFC-11 ‘Rush’ Photo Gallery

PRO MMA’s ( Matt De La Rosa snapped photos up against the cage at CCFC-11 ‘Rush’ this past Saturday in San Francisco, Calif., at the famous Kezar Pavilion. There are close to 200 photos from an evening that featured ten bouts, including two title fights. To view all the photos from the night of fights be sure to check out the official PRO MMA photo gallery. A hand full of the evenings shots can be viewed after the jump….

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Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez confirmed for UFC 104

Two of the UFC heavyweight division’s fastest and brightest rising stars will meet at the UFC 104 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. on Oct., 24, 2009. Big Shane Carwin (11-0), under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, will face American Kickboxing Academy’s Cain Velasquez (6-0).

PRO MMA ( received word today that Carwin’s bout agreement has been signed and the fight is a go.

Both fighters are undefeated heading into this bout. Carwin is coming off a tremendous come-from-behind victory against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96 back in March.

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West Coast Amateur Spotlight: Millennia MMA’s Jamar Ocampo

This edition of PRO MMA’s Amateur Spotlight shines upon a young 22-year-old up-and-coming fighter out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. named Jamar Ocampo. He is a morning BJJ instructor at Millennia MMA and an accomplished grappler under Javier Vazquez.

Since there is no amateur MMA in the Golden State, Jamar gained the majority of his combat experience in grappling competitions and Pankration tournaments all over Southern California. His current Pankration record is 10-1. Jamar had one full-fledged amateur MMA bout in Idaho and choked out his opponent in 52 seconds. His professional debut is set for September in King of the Cage.

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Nick Diaz vs. Joe Riggs II possible for August 15 Strikeforce card (updated)

Carson’s Corner host Bob Carson reported on his June 28 podcast that Nick Diaz will be fighting Joe Riggs on August 15 as part of the “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Santos” card taking place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

If true (and Carson seems damn sure of his source), this will be the second time Diaz and Riggs have met in the cage. They first fought back in Feb. 2006 at UFC 57, with Diaz losing a unanimous decision to “Diesel.”

Both fighters are coming off impressive victories at the June 6 Strikeforce card in St. Louis. Riggs won a unanimous decision over the ever tough Phil Baroni, and Diaz took out Scott Smith with a 3rd round rear naked choke.

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PFC-13 “Validation” photo gallery

PRO MMA’s ( Matt De La Rosa was ringside in Lemoore, Calif., for PFC-13 “Validation”. De La Rosa took close to 300 photos of the event capturing every fight and photos of stars such as “King Mo” Lawal and Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Below are forty shots of PRO MMA’s exclusive gallery and you can find the complete album by going to PRO MMA’s photo gallery. Pictures after the jump….

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PRO MMA exclusive interview: Jamie Varner

In part one of this exclusive two-part interview with Jamie “C-4” Varner, the WEC Lightweight champ talked to PRO MMA’s ( Matt De La Rosa about the financial future of fighters once they step away from the cage for good. Varner, who holds a degree in accounting, talked about life after fighting, Ryan Bader and … Read more