Showy Shonie stealing series

JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

Shonie Carter may have lost a fight or two or 15 as a professional mixed-martial artist.

But there's one thing the Chicago scrapper has never lost -- his swagger.

Pimped out in a pink fedora, white trenchcoat and cane, Carter looks more like he should be on the backsleeve of Prince's Purple Rain album than fighting in the Octagon.

The flamboyant big mouth wastes little time in making himself the star of The Ultimate Fighter Season 4 premiere by boasting of his storied career and his conquests in and out of the Octagon. He even admits he's been shot in barfights.

In the fight world, Carter is best known for a 2001 spinning back-fist knockout, which is custom-made for highlight reels.

Surprisingly enough, his teammate and training partner is the man who was on the other end of that spinning back-fist.

Matt Serra, whose identity as a fighter is inextricably linked to Carter and that one spectacular knockout, serves as Carter's secret weapon in the show's first episode.

With the husky bark of a New York cabbie, Serra teaches Carter ground work and takes him through the paces. He pushes Carter to the point where the 34-year-old tosses his cookies in a bucket.

As in the past three seasons, TUF 4 fighters are split into teams of eight with four welterweights and four middleweights on each squad.

But unlike other seasons, there is no big-name UFC star to coach the teams. Instead, hall-of-famer Randy Couture and Canada's top fighter Georges St. Pierre work as advisers.

And instead of fighting for a "six-figure contract," TUF 4 contestants battle for a $100,000 contract and a guaranteed shot at the belt in their weight class.

The premiere goes Thursday at 8 p.m. on SPIKE-TV. It will follow the two-hour Ultimate Fight Night that will see Diego Sanchez and Karo Parisyan square off in the main event.

FIGHT NOTES: Canadian Press MMA guru Neil Davidson is reporting the much-anticipated bout between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva set for November might be off. UFC prez Dana White cites contract problems with PRIDE. He said UFC 65 will instead probably feature Liddell against Tito Ortiz. Too bad.

- PRIDE will be making its first foray into the North American market with The Real Deal! in Las Vegas Oct. 21.

- Ken Shamrock told the Lassen County News his Oct. 10 rematch with Ortiz will be his last. He plans to retire after the match.

- White also told Canadian Press UFC 64 will feature middleweight champion Rich Franklin against Anderson Silva, who made an impressive and thundering UFC debut pummelling Chris Leben in 49 seconds.


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