Dan Henderson: 'Holding Firm,' but Confident UFC Deal Can Get Done

Posted by fightstalker on Saturday Sep 12, 2009 Under Dan Henderson, Featured


CHICAGO — Dan Henderson has leverage, and he intends to use it.

Henderson, the 39-year-old mixed martial arts star who spent most of his career fighting in Japan, has never been more marketable in the United States than he is right now. Early this year he established himself with the casual fans who never saw him fight in Pride by coaching on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter, and in July he delivered the single biggest highlight at the UFC’s most successful pay-per-view show ever when he knocked out Michael Bisping.

Now Henderson is a free agent, and the UFC badly wants him to agree to a new contract to fight Nate Marquardt at UFC 105 in nine weeks. On Friday Henderson told me that if the UFC is going to get him in the Octagon with Marquardt, the promotion will need to meet his salary demands.

“I’m holding firm for what I think I deserve,” Henderson said. “I think I’ve earned that.”

What he thinks he deserves is more money than the $350,000 he made for beating Bisping, a salary that consisted of $100,000 to show, a $150,000 win bonus and a $100,000 Knockout of the Night Bonus.

Henderson’s strong desire is to get a rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who defeated him — and ended his reign as the Pride champ — in March of 2008. But he wouldn’t rule out fighting Marquardt on November 14, if that’s what it takes to get another crack at Silva.

“If they sign me I’ll fight who they want me to fight,” Henderson said. “Even if I get Silva now, after I beat him Marquardt would be the top contender, so I’d have to fight him next. Beat him now or beat him later, it doesn’t matter. I’ll have to fight Marquardt eventually.”

Still, Henderson doesn’t particularly like the idea of having to fight Marquardt. He thought he earned a shot at Silva when he beat Bisping, and he doesn’t consider a fight between himself and Marquardt to be smart matchmaking.

“If I was the UFC I wouldn’t waste a fight between us,” Henderson said. “If they want challengers for the middleweight belt they shouldn’t want one of us to beat the other.”

Henderson was clearly annoyed at what he perceives as Silva ducking a rematch. There have been conflicting reports about whether Silva will be ready to fight again this year or whether he needs time off to recover from injuries, and Silva has even suggested that he could leave the middleweight division entirely. Henderson says that if Silva permanently moves up to light heavyweight, he’ll gladly move up to 205 pounds and fight Silva at that weight. But one way or another, Henderson wants Silva.

“It all depends on Anderson Silva,” Henderson said. “If he’s not going to fight until April, I don’t want to wait that long. But I’ll do what I have to do to fight him.”

I pointed out to Henderson that the first round of his fight with Silva was the best round any opponent has had against Silva in the UFC. But Henderson wasn’t having any of that. He thinks he would have beaten Silva if he had fought his best fight, and he won’t rest until he gets a chance to prove he’s better than Silva, who’s widely regarded as the UFC’s best fighter.

“I didn’t feel like I fought well when we fought before,” Henderson said. “I didn’t do everything I could have done in the first round. My body was feeling drained and worn out.”

Henderson said he hasn’t talked to rival promotion Strikeforce, and he wants to use his leverage to get a good deal with the UFC — not to get a good deal outside the UFC. He’s confident enough that the UFC will give him that good deal that he said he’s going to begin training hard on Monday, with the idea that he’ll probably be in the Octagon some time later this year.

“I’m getting in shape like I’m going to fight,” Henderson said. “I want to stay in the UFC.”

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Posted by fightstalker on Saturday Sep 12, 2009 Under Featured


Fabricio Werdum planned to make his August Strikeforce debut by challenging champion Alistair Overeem for his Strikeforce heavyweight belt. He did end up fighting at the Aug. 15 event, but against journeyman Mike Kyle, not Overeem.

The Dutch fighter cited a re-aggravated injury to his hand, originating in a bar brawl, as the reason for withdrawing from the fight.

Overeem has since been confirmed to fight Peter Aerts in a K-1 kickboxing bout on Sept. 26 in Seoul, Korea.

Werdum isn’t buying the injury.

“Overeem is running from the fight; I am pretty sure about that,” Werdum proclaimed to MMAWeekly.com.

“I cannot be 100-percent right about the reason he is taking so long to solve his issues and come to fight, but it seems either that the gummy berry juice he is taking to give him super powers is (causing) him to avoid fighting here in America or he is afraid of having no arms to fight after facing me one more time.”

The two met in Japan more than three years ago in the Pride 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix. Werdum submitted Overeem with a Kimura shoulder lock in just under four minutes of the second round.

“There is no sense he takes so long to come and fight in America,” said Werdum.

Overeem became the first ever Strikeforce heavyweight champion in November 2007 by causing Paul Buentello to submit to repeated knee strikes to the body. He has not fought in the U.S. since, instead taking fights in Japan and the Netherlands.

“I want to say to him that if comes, face me and lose,” Werdum stated. “I will let him take some pictures with my belt and he will be able to keep good memories from his time as a Strikeforce champion.”


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Posted by fightstalker on Saturday Sep 12, 2009 Under Don Frye, Featured


Don Frye was disappointed not to fight Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal at M-1 last month, but just in the nick of time, Shark Fights recruited him to punch someone in the face.

“This boy’s gonna look like a Picasso painting when I’m done with him,” Frye told MMAWeekly.com. “When I get done with him, he’s gonna look like a turd on fire.”

That “boy” is Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman, a six-foot-five-inch, 240-pound heavyweight with an 18-1 record. He’s done stints for Bellator and EliteXC. He outweighs Frye by 15 pounds.

“That’s small from what I’m used to fighting,” blurted Frye. “He’s a runt. It makes me look fast.”

“The Predator” finds out if smaller is better when the two meet Saturday in Amarillo, Texas, at Shark Fights 6, streamed live on SharkFights.com.

Other than the size, Herman is just another opponent for Frye, who’s been down a long road of rodeos in his 13-year career. There’s not a lot of pomp and circumstance with him: just a stream of insults and a go-for-broke style.

“My advantage is my intelligence, my athletic ability, and my good looks,” he said.

It’s Friday, day of weigh-ins, so the insults take center stage.

“I don’t know if he’s talking about his genitals or his brain matter,” said Frye of Herman’s nickname. “I think it’s about his penis size. That’s what all the girls in Texas have been saying.”

Frye fought once this year in May, dispatching Rich Moss at Shark Fights 4. Afterwards, he said, he got a little too plump for his liking, up to 241 pounds. The fight with Herman is part of the plan in staying more active into 2010, and paying bills while he’s at it.

“I’ve got a pay for this new stimulus package that nobody’s seen yet,” he said.

Frye has branched out into film work as well, playing a sizable role in the recently released “Public Enemies,” his second film for A-list director Michael Mann. He’s doing stunt work on a new movie starring Will Ferrell in a few weeks.

“I’ve been lucky, and real privileged and fortunate,” he said.

There won’t be any acting when he gets into the cage with Herman, though.

“You’ve got to have small brain matter to climb in the cage with Don Frye,” he said. “This ain’t fun and games. I’m coming in there to whoop this boy’s ass.”

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Posted by fightstalker on Saturday Sep 12, 2009 Under Featured


The fighters from the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s recent stop in Portland, Ore., that were drug tested all returned negative results.

The UFC 102 competitors that were required to submit testing samples were Randy Couture, Todd Duffee, Evan Dunham, Chris Leben, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Aaron Simpson.

All six athletes were tested both for “drugs of abuse and performance enhancing drugs,” according to the Oregon State Athletic Commission.

UFC 102 was the promotion’s first stop in the Pacific Northwest in the United States.

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Paul Buentello released from Strikeforce

Posted by fightstalker on Friday Sep 11, 2009 Under Featured


Paul “The Head Hunter” Buentello, a twelve year veteran of Mixed Martial Arts, has been released by Strikeforce and is currently in negotiations to return to the UFC.

Strikeforce President Scott Coker confirmed the release with Sherdog.com through a company representative, explaining,”We offered Paul a six-figure contract to fight Fedor, but he turned it down. His decision is understandable considering Fedor’s level of skill but, at the same time, Paul didn’t really fit into our plans. He’s been a solid journeyman fighter and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

The American Kickboxing Academy standout was scheduled to fight against Gilbert Yvel at “Affliction: Trilogy”, but was ultimately cancelled due to Afflictions sudden demise.

Buentello informed Sherdog that the UFC would honor his previous contract with Affliction and negotiating a possible extension.

“The Head Hunter” has an overall record of 27-10, with wins in his last two bouts against Gary Goodridge and Kirill Sidelnikov. A veteran of multiple organizations, Buentello last competed in the UFC back in 2006, scoring a TKO win over the late Gilbert Aldana at UFC 57.

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Posted by fightstalker on Friday Sep 11, 2009 Under Cheick Kongo, Featured, Frank Mir, UFC 107


Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is set to return to the Octagon to face French striker Cheick Kongo. Sources close to the situation confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Thursday that the fight is verbally agreed to, but bout agreements have not been signed.

Though recent reports suggested the bout could headline UFC 105 in Manchester, England, MMAWeekly.com sources indicated that it would take place on Dec. 12 at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tenn.

Mir (12-4) recently got knocked off the rails of a three-fight winning streak, losing his interim heavyweight champion designation in a title unification bout against champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 100. It was a rematch of their fight at UFC 81, where Mir welcomed the former WWE superstar to the Octagon by submitting him with a kneebar. He then won the interim designation when he became the first man to stop Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Kongo (14-5-1) was widely considered to be a step away from a UFC heavyweight title shot before he was unable to get out from under a smothering Cain Velasquez at UFC 99, losing a unanimous decision. Kongo has amassed a 7-3 record during his tenure with the UFC, winning three straight fights prior to the loss to Velasquez.

A bout pitting Ultimate Fighter 10 coaches Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans against each other was the original headline bout for UFC 107. That fight was recently supplanted by a UFC lightweight title defense, pitting champion B.J. Penn against Diego Sanchez.

Originally counting on Jackson’s hometown popularity, the TUF coaches were removed from the card when Jackson’s acting commitments to a Hollywood remake of popular 1980s television show “The A-Team” conflicted with the bout.

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Injured Sherk Haunted By Steroid Suspension

Posted by fightstalker on Thursday Sep 10, 2009 Under Featured, Sean Sherk


Sean Sherk’s 2007 steroid suspension is always just a few steps behind him.

The former UFC lightweight champion was reminded of that last week when he withdrew with a shoulder injury from his bout against Gleison Tibau at UFC 104 on Oct. 24 in Los Angeles.

Sherk’s injury was scrutinized, however, when it was reported that he had been scheduled to take a drug test with the California State Athletic Commission required for his re-licensure that same week.

The injury is painfully real, according to medical documents received by Sherdog.com.

Sherk suffered a “Grade II AC separation” in his right shoulder, according to an MRI report prepared by the Center for Diagnostic Imaging in St. Louis Park, Minn.

Click here to read Sherk’s MRI report.

University of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford sustained a similar injury last week and will sit out at least two weeks to a month’s worth of play. Sherk, who still can’t lift his arm 10 days after the accident, hopes to resume training in a couple of weeks as well.

Sean Sherk MRI video.

Neither athlete will need surgery, though Sherk said he is disturbed by assumptions made about his situation that aim to damage his reputation.

“I’m not dodging a drug test,” Sherk told Sherdog.com Monday. “I just took a drug test three months ago. I know I’m going to get drug tested. I’ve been drug tested probably more than any other fighter in the world.”

Reports also claimed that Sherk had “skipped out” on a flight to Los Angeles to meet with an CSAC inspector on Sept. 2, the day his withdrawal was first reported.

According to Sherk and his manager Monte Cox, neither ever received a flight itinerary for the fighter to travel to Los Angeles, though they had been alerted and Sherk had agreed to fly from Minnesota to Los Angeles to make the required testing prior to his injury.

However, Sherk separated his shoulder on Aug. 28 training with 195-pound Iowa State wrestler Paul Bradley, after the fighter landed directly on his right side in a scramble. It was the same shoulder Sherk had gotten surgery for two years ago.

Cox notified the UFC on Aug. 29 that the 36-year-old wrestler would not be rehabilitated in enough time to train properly for the bout. The manager and his fighter also debated if Sherk should still travel to Los Angeles and submit his sample, but Cox advised him not to. Sherk said he suspected he’d be targeted for not taking the test.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Sherk, who has vehemently denied taking any illegal drugs since 2007. “I feel like I’ve done so much to prove that I haven’t done anything wrong. Even with my case –- I went above and beyond to try to prove that I didn’t take anything.”

In December 2007, Sherk appealed the CSAC’s findings that he’d taken the steroid Nanadrolone. Sherk’s suspension was halved to six months after inconsistencies in the state agency’s protocol were highlighted during the hearing.

Sherk said he also submitted to and passed three polygraph tests to prove his innocence and is still unsure what caused the positive test.

“We did find testosterone boosters in one of my supplements, and I don’t know for sure if that is what did it,” said Sherk. “I didn’t pursue it. I really don’t know.”

The suspension cost Sherk $2,500 and his UFC title, but the father of two said his fanbase took the biggest hit.

“There’s still people yelling obscenities when I walk out for my fights,” said Sherk, who made an unsuccessful bid to reclaim the title from B.J. Penn at UFC 84 in May 2008. “That’s why I wear headphones.”

Sherk said he’d never fight in California again directly following his hearing, but said he relented with the Oct. 24 card because he wanted to stay more active.

“I knew they got the new commissioners and things have changed from the way they used to run stuff and that I wasn’t going to get pin-pointed with anything extra, which I don’t think I was,” said Sherk.

The CSAC has requested other previously disciplined fighters, like Josh Barnett and Nick Diaz, report to a specific California facility for testing.

Sherk said he’s been randomly tested seven times by multiple state commissions in the last 15 months and that’s he’s prepared to be consistently flagged.

The ordeal also encouraged the muscular lightweight to better monitor what he puts in his body.

Sherk previously took about 23 supplements daily, from vitamins to creatines and glutamines to fish oils, but narrowed it down to about 12 following the suspension.

“I was under the impression that more is better, which isn’t the case,” said Sherk. “I knew nothing about contamination. I didn’t know they sold banned substances at nutrition stores. It was a huge learning process for me. It was a terrible process to have to go through, but I did learn something from it.”

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Posted by fightstalker on Thursday Sep 10, 2009 Under DREAM, Featured


Bob “The Beast” Sapp (16-5-1) will stand in for an injured Gegard Mousasi to face Rameau Thierry Sokodjou in the semifinals of Dream’s Super Hulk Tournament Oct. 6 at Dream 11.

Sapp (16-5-1), who lost to Ikuhisa Minowa in the opening round of the tournament at Dream 9, confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.

Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Hong Man Choi fills the opposite bracket of the heavily weighted tournament.

The fill-in is just one of four professional engagements Sapp said is either done or close to done on his immediate schedule. The day after his Dream booking, he is set for a kickboxing match against Alain “The Panther” Ngalani in Hong Kong. The weekend after that, he’s working on an MMA fight in Texas that is “80 percent done.” Then, in late October, he plans to go back to Korea for a pro wrestling engagement, with more globetrotting in the pipeline for November and December.

“I’m getting on being ready to be 35,” said Sapp. “I have no UFC dreams nor desires. I just keep on working… get paid and get on working. I definitely know it’s crazy fighting MMA and then kickboxing in another country right afterwards. I’m very well aware of that, but we’ve got to make hay while the horse is hungry, right?”

On Thursday, “The Beast” will head south from his home state of Washington to Lakewood, Calif., for training with Antonio McKee at The Body Shop.

“I’ve been in the (training) mode already,” continued Sapp. “(McKee) really pushes me forward on conditioning. That’s who I really need to get me to do something like this.

“Sokoudjou’s a great fighter. Without question, he’s ready to go. He’s kind of on his winning (ways), while I’m on the opposite end, on a losing streak. So I definitely would like to push forward and rebound back.”

If victorious, Sapp will face the winner of Minowa vs. Choi at Dynamite! on New Year’s Eve. If not, he hints at another option.

“If Sokoudjou wins… I’ll probably be fighting a celebrity (at Dynamite),” he said.

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Florian-Guida Scheduled for UFC 107

Posted by fightstalker on Thursday Sep 10, 2009 Under Featured, clay guida, kenny florian


A featured lightweight bout between Kenny Florian and Clay Guida has been moved to UFC 107 on Dec. 12 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.

ESPN’s “MMA Live” reported the re-scheduling on its Twitter account Wednesday. Florian also confirmed the new date to Sherdog.com via text.

The bout, originally slated to take place at UFC 106 on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas, has big shoes to fill: A light heavyweight matchup between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans was called off Saturday after Jackson withdrew due to other commitments.

Jackson, who will star with Evans as rival coaches on Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” for the next 12 weeks, is currently filming a lead role in the remake of “The A-Team.” Evans told Sherdog.com Tuesday that the bout will be rescheduled in early 2010.

Florian was submitted by lightweight champion B.J. Penn in the fourth round of their championship bout at UFC 101 on Aug. 8. The 33-year-old host of ESPN “MMA Live” had won his last six bouts prior to that.

Guida, 27, lost a controversial split decision to Diego Sanchez at “The Ultimate Fighter 9” Finale in June. The Chicago-based wrestler is 5-4 in the Octagon.

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If you ever get the chance to sit down and talk with Wes Sims, don’t pass it up.  The guy has as unique a personality as anyone you’re ever likely to meet, and he has some good stories to tell, too.  In this exclusive interview, Sims talks with us about going from homeless ex-UFC fighter to reality TV contestant, what it was like living with the very hungry Roy Nelson, and how he used a text message to land his spot on season ten of “The Ultimate Fighter.”  Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Wes.  So tell me, how did you like living in the “Ultimate Fighter” house?

Oh, it was great.  I didn’t want to leave that house.


Yeah.  If you would have seen where I was before, I literally had to pack up all my belongings to move in to the house.  It’s been okay since then, but when I was out there I didn’t want to leave the house.

I think you’re the only person from that show to ever say that.

Well before, natural weather was a horrible thing for me.  When it rained, I got wet.  When it snowed, I was cold.  Pretty much the bottom of the barrel.  That house, in Vegas?  That was great.

It seems like there were a range of backgrounds and experience levels with this cast.  As a guy who’s been in this sport for a long time, what did you make of that?

Let me put it like this: it’s going to be a very entertaining season, with a lot of different personalities.  The NFL players, those guys were pretty cool.  You had guys who have fought in the bigger shows.  You had Kimbo Slice.  Yeah, a lot of personality in there.

I saw a video where you and Kimbo seemed pretty friendly.  Did you guys become buddies over the course of the season?

I don’t know.  What have you heard?

I just saw a video with you two kind of talking and looking like you liked, or at least tolerated one another.  You seemed like friends.

Well, I don’t know about that.  To be honest with you, we went out there on May 31.  We filmed all through June and July.  It’s September now.  I’m going to be as shocked as the fans are, because I don’t remember nothing.  I have a horrible memory.  I don’t really remember how I did, myself.

You must remember the fights.

Like I said, I’m going to be pretty surprised.  I don’t remember much.  I’m excited to see it.  Are you excited to see it?

I am now.

So am I, man.

Did you think that the NFL guys deserved to be there, or do you think it was kind of a PR gimmick by the UFC?

A little bit of both.  They didn’t come in with 0-0 records.  They had been fighting.  It wasn’t just, let’s go out and get some guys from the NFL.  It was guys who had been fighting and got their shot, and what better way than to do it on the TV show?

I feel fortunate because everybody I meet who knows I was in the UFC always asks me, ‘Have you been on the Ultimate Fighter?’  I knew how it worked and I realized that they weren’t bringing in guys who had already been in the UFC.  So when season ten came out with heavyweights, as a joke, I sent a text to Joe Silva saying that I knew what was going on and I wanted in.  He laughed, and he told me he’d send word to the producers because he thought my personality would be good for the show.

And I thought, is that it?  Is that all I had to do?  That’s a lot easier than trying to locate this house and jump the wall and take on all comers.  Don’t get me wrong, I would have done it.  I would have tried, anyway.

Did you learn a lot from the coaches on the show?

Oh, yeah.  There was a lot of learning.  There was a lot of shit-talking, too.  A lot of shit-talking.

That’s what I’ve heard.  Did you get the impression that Rashad and Rampage really hate each other?

Well, there’s definitely not going to be any Christmas cards getting sent back and forth.  Let’s just say that.

Were you ever worried about the stigma of getting back into the UFC via the reality show?  Or did you just think that whatever got you in the UFC was worth it?

No, people understand.  Good or bad, there’s nothing that’s going to hurt Wes Sims.  I’m a certified black man when I want to be.  I’ve been on BET.  I was on the “Iron Ring” for God’s sakes.

You were?  I didn’t know that.  I guess I didn’t watch much of that show.

Yeah, if you did know that you wouldn’t have asked me that question.  What’s going to hurt my career after that?  Negative press?  Bring it on!  I was on “Iron Ring”!  And David Isaac, if you read this, you still owe me money, fool.

Who owes you money?

The producer, what’s his name, David Isaac.

They didn’t pay you?

They didn’t do anything.  They’re bad for the sport.  For real.  They put on all these little tryouts all over the country to put together a good little reality, no, they put on a reality show.  I won’t say it was good.

Where were you training before joining this season of TUF?  I know you started out with Hammer House…

I’ve always been with Hammer House.  Mark [Coleman] got me in this sport, and I’m loyal.  I know my roots.  I’ve cross-trained other places, trying to learn and get better.  I went to Houston and trained with Saul Solis.  I trained out in Vegas with Randy Couture.  I trained in the streets under I-55 in Cicero for a while, where I was living.

You were living under I-55, as in, on the street?

Yeah, that’s why when you asked me how I liked the house I said it was great compared to where I was living.  I was living pretty much in a garbage bag and not even a tent, just a sleeping bag.

So you went from living on the street to moving directly into the Ultimate Fighter house?


How did it come to that?  How did you end up homeless?

Well, I had ups and downs in my career.  You make a little money and spend a little money.  There are highs and lows in this sport.  This is obviously a high and I’m riding it out.  It’s only going to get better from here.

A lot of people may remember you only as the guy who got disqualified for stomping Frank Mir at UFC 43.  What would you say to those people?

Any time you make a mistake, people are judgmental and you’re not going to change that.  Like me or hate me, everybody’s a fan.  The person who likes me and takes the time to post something positive or come up and shake my hand, the person who hates me goes to the same effort to say something negative.

Do you ever think maybe your career might have gone differently if not for that incident?

In the grand scheme of things, everything happens for a reason.  Obviously, I would have rather had a win than a loss that night.  But at the time, I mean, no one ever talks about how he gouged my eyes.  I was just getting back at him by stomping his head.

What surprised you the most during your experience on TUF?

I’m surprised how much food was eaten in that house.  I’m surprised that, of that food, so much of it was eaten by Roy Nelson.  And there’s a lot of surprises, but you’ll have to wait probably until week three or four for the big ones.

Was this one of the seasons where people got drunk and destroyed the house, or were you guys more well-behaved than that?

I don’t know.  They’re telling you, Spike’s telling you, everyone who’s seen it is telling you that this is one of the best seasons ever.  I can guarantee that if everybody was well-behaved you wouldn’t be hearing that.  I think there were a bunch of obnoxious pigs in there if you’re asking me, personally.

Fair enough.  Anything else you’d like to add?

Like I said, I’m as excited as the fans are to see this on September 16.  The next day, September 17, I’m giving back to the city of Chicago.  I’m having a Wes Sims fan expo over there.  It’s under the highway, I-55 in Cicero, where I lived, and it’s from 2-4 pm.  I’m going to be giving a bunch of stuff away to give back to the community, so come down and see me.

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