by Bowie Ibarra
ZombieBloodFights.com salutes two great contributors to the combat sport world.
Jeff Blatnick (July 26, 1957 – October 24, 2012) is known to the hardcore MMA fans as one of the early announcers for UFC during the SEG/Semaphore Art Davie era. But it's important to remember he was more than that. Jeff also won gold for the US as a Heavyweight Olympic wrestler during the '84 Olympics.
People try to discount that victory because the Russians were conspicuously absent for political Cold War reasons. Those people can STFU because Jeff showed up to play after having had medical procedures on his spleen and appendix after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. And he went in there and took the gold.
RIP Jeff Blatnick
Appropriately enough, Emanuel was one of the trainers of an early UFC fighter. Canadian grappler Dave Benetau reached out to him for boxing training, which Steward gladly provided, giving Benatau two good runs in the UFC using pretty solid and crisp hand techniques for UFC at the time. Ask Oleg Taktarov.
Thank you for your contributions to boxing, Emanuel. Your legacy lives on through those you trained.
Bowie V. Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror
series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester. His combat sports
themed book,Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire , features a Scottish boxer who transitions to mixed martial arts competition.
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You can network with Bowie and explore his other titles at his personal website, ZombieBloodFights.com.