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MMA Notebook:

Gina Carano, Randy Couture, Manny Pacquiao bare body, or parts, for ESPN

Kimbo Slice ready for rematch; Walker challenges UFC’s White; Lashley to Strikeforce?


Courtesy ProElite

Gina Carano putting up her dukes.

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Randy Couture answers questions at his gym Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas Thursday in preparations for his upcoming fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Portland, Ore on August 29.

Three staples in the Las Vegas fight scene, Gina Carano, Randy Couture, and Manny Pacquiao, will appear in ESPN The Magazine’s first “Body Issue,” which hits newsstands next week.

Carano, known as the face of female mixed martial arts, the legendary UFC Hall of Famer Couture, and pound-for-pound boxing king Pacquiao will be among 30 male and female pro athletes posing nude or semi-nude for ESPN’s version of Sports Illustrator’s famous swimsuit edition.

But the difference in ESPN’s glossy spread compared to SI’s is that not all of the athletes were shot for their amazingly buff bodies. While a handful, like Las Vegas’ own Carano, will be posing in "The Bodies We Want" section, other stars, like Couture, will be showcasing various body parts — like “The Natural’s” extreme cauliflower ear.

"Randy has a very interesting looking ear, known as a cauliflower ear, and I think that when you'll see it, you'll realize that this guy goes through a lot to do what he loves,” Sue Hovey, the executive editor of ESPN The Magazine, told AOL Fanhouse.

“You really get an idea of everything these guys and gals go through and the toll it takes sometimes.”

In addition to Pacquiao, who is preparing for his November showdown with Miguel Cotto, other famous athletes in the ESPN pictorial include the NFL's Adrian Peterson, Dwight Howard of the NBA's Orlando Magic, tennis star Serena Williams, Major League Baseball players Nelson Cruz, Joba Chamberlain and Ivan Rodriguez, NASCAR’s Carl Edwards, and even a group of poker players.

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Kimbo Slice makes his UFC and Ultimate Fighter debut against Roy Nelson on the third episode of the 10th season.

Slice ready for rematch: While the YouTube legend’s “The Ultimate Fighter” debut didn’t go very well, Slice said he’s not only ready for a rematch with Roy Nelson but also the man who put the first blemish on his MMA record — Seth Petruzelli.

“If Seth signed with the UFC, and if Dana (White) and them want to match it up, damn right I'll run it again with him," Slice said on a conference call, before Wednesday’s showing of his second-round loss to Nelson on the third episode of TUF No. 10.

"We don't even need to do it in a ring. We can do it bare-knuckle style, because I don't like liars. I've never turned down a rematch with anybody. Anyone I fought, I'll fight them again.”

Slice was questioned if he ever turned down a rematch with Petruzelli, after Petruzelli posted on the popular Internet message board forums called The Underground: “There were three times that we could have fought after the (EliteXC’s October 4, 2008) show for you to get a rematch, but you declined all three times."

After learning of Petruzelli's comments, Slice said, “Seth needs to be careful now because we both live in the same backyard...No one ever approached me with no rematch with Seth, and I never turned that (expletive) down. That right there is b.s. It didn't happen."

TUF tryouts: Anyone hoping to get the next shot with the UFC like Slice can try out for the 11th season of the Spike TV’s popular reality show later this month.

Middleweight and light-heavyweight fighters are welcome to the open tryouts set for Monday, Oct. 26, at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel, two days after UFC 104 takes place at the Staples Center in L.A.

TUF hopefuls must be 21 years old and have a professional fight record. Registration begins at 8 a.m. PST at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel. Application forms can be downloaded at

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Former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time NFL Pro-Bowler Herschel Walker is giving mixed martial arts a try as he signed to fight with Strikeforce.

Walker challenges White: So former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker didn’t take to kindly to UFC President Dana White’s comments last week that Walker would only be qualified to fight someone in a wheelchair, after the 47-year-old former NFL running back and longtime martial artist announced he was signing with the San Jose, Calif.-based Strikeforce.

Walker took to ESPN’s “First Take" morning show on Tuesday to refute White’s claim and issue is own challenge.

“Dana always tells people to put their money where your mouth is," Walker said. "And I'll tell Dana that since he says I'm so old, why doesn't he step in the ring with me because he's been practicing (MMA), as well?"

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Donald Trump raises the arm of wrestler Bobby Lashley after he defeated Umaga at Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, April 1, 2007.

Lashley talking to Strikeforce: AOL Fanhouse is reportering that former pro wrestler turned MMA fighter Bobby Lashley is currently talking to Strikeforce.

The 33-year-old Lashley is 4-0 in his young MMA career with his last victory coming against Bob Sapp on the Prize Fight Promotions "Ultimate Chaos" in late June.

While he still has two fights left on his contract with the organization, recent rumors say he could come to a deal soon enough with Strikeforce to fight on the Nov. 7 CBS-televised card anchored by Fedor Emelianenko’s debut bout with the organization against Brett Rogers.

"Bobby's will to fight has never gone away. He's been ready to fight since June 28. It's just getting the promoters to get their ducks in a row,” Lashley's manager and agent Greg Bloom told AOL Fanhouse.

“Bobby Lashley is as committed to MMA as he's been since he stepped in the cage."

Around the Octagon and beyond: Former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier discusses is victory over Gary Frazier in his MMA debut last week. ... Cormier isn't the only elite-level grappler looking to continue the transition to MMA, as Joe Warren, the 2006 Greco-Roman world champion at 132 pounds, takes part in Dream 11 in Saitama, Japan, next Tuesday. ... Dan Henderson, the the former two-division PRIDE champion says contract negotiations with the UFC are going slower than he would like. "It didn’t go quite as I hoped. It could have been a lot better," Henderson told ... Here's the first look at Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's take as B.A. Baracus on the set of "The A-Team" in Vancouver.

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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