Weekly Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing News – 02/09/2013
By PDG Staff
UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez – Fight Card Update
Verbal agreements are in for four new lightweight bouts to grace the undercard of the April UFC on FOX event, which is headlined by a 155-pound title fight. TUF Smashes lightweight winner “Stormin’” Norman Parke has agreed to face undefeated Jon “Super Saiyan” Tuck in perhaps the Octagon’s first matchup between an Irishman and a Guamanian. Another undefeated fighter, Myles “The Fury” Jury, will put his 11-0 record on the line against TUF 13 runner-up Ramsey Nijem.
Strikeforce imports “Relentless” Roger Bowling and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal will also debut at the San Jose event — Bowling will face one of the UFC’s successful WEC adoptees, Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani; Masvidal will be welcomed to the promotion by Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means.
UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez
April 20, 2013
San Jose, California
Benson Henderson (18-2) vs. Gilbert Melendez (21-2) – UFC lightweight title bout
Daniel Cormier (11-0) vs. Frank Mir (16-6)
Nate Diaz (16-8) vs. Josh Thomson (19-5)
Matt Brown (25-10) vs. Dan Hardy (16-11)
Yoel Romero (4-1) vs. Clifford Starks (8-1)
Norman Parke (17-2) vs. John Tuck (7-0)
Myles Jury (11-0) vs. Ramsey Nijem (7-2)
Jorge Masvidal (23-7) vs. Tim Means (18-3-1)
Roger Bowling (11-3) vs. Anthony Njokuani (15-7)
Francis Carmont (20-7) vs. Lorenz Larkin (13-0)
GLORY 6 Istanbul: Saki vs. Ghita – Fight Card Update
For the second time in their careers, heavyweight superstar rivals Gokhan Saki (79-16, 55 KOs) of the Netherlands and Daniel Ghita (46-8, 35 KOs) of Romania will collide in the ring, in the main event of GLORY 6 Istanbul on Saturday April 6, it has been confirmed by Glory Sports International (GSI).
Just over two years after their December 2010 fight, Saki and Ghita will reprise their roles as adversaries in a meeting that will have the attention of fight fans all over the world. Their first clash was an instant classic and this rematch has an added edge because a shot at the GLORY World Heavyweight Title is on the line for the winner.
“Daniel Ghita is ranked No. 2 in the world and Gokhan Saki is ranked No. 3, so this fight will determine which of them is to go on and become the top contender for the GLORY World Heavyweight Title currently held by world No. 1 Semmy Schilt,” says Marcus Luer, Managing Director of GSI.
“Both of these fighters are absolutely at the peak of their games right now. You only have to look at their performances in the GLORY Heavyweight Grand Slam in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve. Saki scored two lightning-quick KOs before exiting in the semi-final stage and Ghita stopped two of his three opponents to earn a spot in the championship round of the event.
“The GLORY Heavyweight Championship is the most prestigious belt in kickboxing today and they want it badly – they just have to go through each other to get it.”
“I can’t wait to fight at the Ulker Sports Arena in April,” says Saki. “The atmosphere is going to be incredible and I am going to put on a big show for all the Turkish fans. I give credit to Ghita for agreeing to face me in Istanbul but it was a mistake. I’m looking for a big KO; Istanbul is my town.”
Ghita remarked, “I don’t expect to hear too many people cheering for me when I walk into the arena on April 6 and I think it will be even quieter when I win the fight. I respect Saki very much but I’m going to win this fight and I’m going to get the title shot.”
GLORY 6 Istanbul: Saki vs. Ghita
April 6, 2013
Ulker Sports Arena
Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita
Muzaffer Gemici. vs. Samet Keser
Orhan Karalioğlu. vs. Nattan Van Thon
Hünkar Kılıç. vs. Max Baumert
Oğuz Ovguer. vs. Jhafar Wilnis
Ertan Balaban. vs. Vitaly Bigdaş
Burak Ugur. vs. Masovd Mineal
Kenan Günaydın. vs. Guvenç Akiyev
Hünkar Kılıç. vs. Max Baumert
Lhoucine Ouzgni vs. Marc de Bonte
Jonatan Oliveira vs. Beunung Top Kickboxing
Ismail Uzuner vs. Roman Mailov
Mourad Bouzidi vs. Fabiano Cyclone
Una Unzai vs. Fillip Verlinden
Nieky Holzken vs. Karim Ghajji
Murat Direkci vs. Joseph Valtellini
UFC on FUEL TV 9: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi – Fight Card Update
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday, April 6 for UFC Stockholm 2013: Gustafsson vs Mousasi. Rising Swedish light heavyweight Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson will headline the five-round main event, taking on former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi, of the Netherlands, on FUEL TV.
This will mark the UFC’s second trip to Sweden. History was made last April during UFC Sweden, also headlined by Gustafsson, selling out in less than three hours and breaking Ericsson Globe Arena’s attendance record for sporting events.
Gustafsson (15-1) has only been defeated once in his 16-fight career. Currently on a six-fight win streak, Gustafsson recently triumphed over the accomplished Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Thiago Silva. Mousasi (33-3-2) also unbeaten in his last six fights, holds notable wins over Hector Lombard and has been one of the most dominant light heavyweights outside the UFC. On April 6, two of the sport’s best strikers will square off in a match-up with title implications on the division.
The highly anticipated event will also feature Sweden native Akira Corassani taking on 145-pound prospect Robbie Peralta. Corassani (10-3, 1 NC) a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter, made his long-awaited UFC debut with a split decision victory over Andy Ogle last September and has finished four of 10 victories. Peralta (16-3, 1 NC) is on a 10-fight unbeaten streak and coming off a 24-second knockout of Jason Young.
A welterweight must-win battle will also take place between Swedish up-and-comers Papy Abedi (8-2) and Besam Yousef (6-1), both of whom are looking for their first Octagon victory this April.
UFC on Fuel TV 9: UFC Sweden 2 – Gustafsson vs. Mousasi
April 6, 2013
Ericsson Globe Arena
Alexander Gustafsson (15-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2)
Akira Corassani (10-3-1) vs. Robbie Peralta (16-3-1)
Philip De Fries (9-2) vs. Matt Mitrione (5-2)
Papy Abedi (8-2) vs. Besam Yousef (6-1)
Brad Pickett (22-7) vs. Mike Easton (13-2)
Marcus Brimage (6-1) vs. Conor McGregor (12-2)
Ryan Couture (6-1) vs. Ross Pearson (14-6)
Ben Alloway (13-3) vs. Ryan LaFlare (7-0)
$100,000 Bellator Welterweight Tournament Semifinals Set as Bryan “The Beast” Baker Replaces Injured Brent Weedman February 21st from Utah’s Maverik Center
After nearly capturing his first Bellator MMA Welterweight Tournament crown, “The Beast” Bryan Baker will get another shot at glory when he replaces an injured Brent Weedman in the Season 8 Bellator MMA Welterweight Tournament on February 21st from Utah’s Maverik Center live on Spike TV. Baker will face “The Phenom” Douglas Lima, while Ben “Killa B’ Saunders takes on fellow Florida native Raul Amaya for a spot in the Welterweight Tournament Finals.
Only 27, Baker brings a wealth of experience to the cage, compiling an 18-4 record in his impressive career including victories over Ben Saunders, Jeremy Horn, Joe Riggs and Matt Horwich. Already a veteran of The Toughest Tournament in Sports, “The Beast” is fully aware of what’s at stake.
“When I got the call, I was ready to rock & roll,” Baker said. “I look at this opportunity as an absolute blessing. With our new child in the picture, this is an opportunity to make my family proud, show everyone what I’ve been working on, and let The Beast go at it like he always does. Douglas is a strong, powerful guy but I’m going to use my reach advantage and show my strength. This is my destiny.”
“You never like to see anyone suffer an injury, especially a quarterfinal winner, but when we learned of Brent’s injury, Bryan was the first guy we had in mind, and like a true professional he jumped at the opportunity,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.
The night will also feature a $100,000 Featherweight Tournament Finals fight between Utah’s Own Rad Martinez battles the dynamic Russian striker Shahbulat Shamhalaev, while King Mo battles “The Hardcore Kid” Emanuel Newton for a spot in the Light Heavyweight Finals.
Lee Eun Soo Faces Minowaman for Title at Road FC 11
The ROAD Fighting Championship Middleweight Champion Lee Eun-Soo returns to the cage at ROAD FC 11 on April 13, 2013 at Seoul’s Olympic Hall in his first title defense against none other than Ikuhisa “Minowaman”.
The Middleweight division at ROAD FC has been stacked with some of the most exciting fighters in all of MMA: Champion Lee Eun-soo, former Champion Shungo Oyama, Melvin Manhoef, Denis Kang, Whi Seung-Bae, Ikuhisa Minowa, and Kim Jae-Young. The Middleweight Championship belt is a highly coveted prize among them. After he beat Kim Jae-Young in a three-round war, Melvin Manhoef said he wanted a shot at the title. Inaugural Champion Shungo Oyama also wants to claim back the beautiful bronze strap. It is very clear that every fight for the Middleweight title is going to be a hotly contested battle. Lee Eun-Soo versus Ikuhisa Minowa is going to be an incredible match!
Lee Eun-Soo (16-4) was undefeated in Spirit MC at the the beginning of his MMA career. He is a veteran of PRIDE, K-1 HERO’s, DEEP and M-1 before joining ROAD FC. He battled Denis Kang to a three-round decision, then took on Kim Jae-Young and Son Hae-Suk. His underdog shot at Shungo Oyama’s first title defense saw him take the belt away in stunning fashion with one of the most brutal knock outs in ROAD FC history. Lee’s unorthodox style will give the challenger to his title a difficult battle to overcome.
Minowaman (55-34-8), world-famous from his time in PRIDE, made his debut with ROAD FC against Yuk Jin-Soo at ROAD FC 9 in Wonju. In an exciting climax, he submitted Yuk in the very last second of the first round, and celebrated to tumultuous applause. He is known as “The Giant Killer” for taking on all opponents regardless of size and beating them, like Giant Silva and Choi Hong-Man. Minowaman is one of the best middleweights in the world, and as a ROAD FC fighter, he deserves the next shot at the Middleweight title. His experience and skill are going to be a huge challenge for the Champion.
ROAD FC 011, April 13, 2013, Olympic Hall, Seoul, South Korea – Previously announced on the card, one of South Korea’s strongest lightweights ever, Nam Yiu-Chul, will face one of Japan’s best submission masters, Kume Takasuke, in a highly-anticipated match that will see the winner crowned ROAD FC’s first ever Lightweight Champion. ROAD FC’s newest venue, Olympic Hall, will be the perfect place to exhibit unrivaled light and sound production, the backdrop for a night of incredibly exciting Mixed Martial Arts fights.
Spike TV Signs Randy Couture To Multi-Year TV Deal
Randy Couture, a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts and rising film star, has agreed to a multi-year creative partnership with Spike TV. The deal includes multiple non-scripted projects, two of which have been greenlit to air.
“We are thrilled to partner with such an emerging star in entertainment and an absolute icon in the sport of mixed martial arts,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV.
The upcoming greenlit projects include:
Fight Master: Bellator MMA – Couture joins some of the biggest names in the sport of mixed martial arts as coaches and trainers for the new reality series, premiering this summer. Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, and Joe Warren will helm four separate fight camps for 32 up-and-coming fighters looking to fight their way into the Bellator tournament and a $100,000 cash prize. Spike will telecast 10 one-hour episodes of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA.” Two of television’s most acclaimed producers, eight-time Emmy® Award winner Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri of Profiles Television Productions, the visionaries behind “The Amazing Race,” serve as Executive Producers.
MMA Rescue – Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Consequently, MMA gyms are opening up all over looking to tap into the surge in popularity. MMA legend Couture uses his years of expertise in the business of mixed martial arts to help turn struggling gyms into thriving enterprises. Couture currently owns a successful chain of gyms, Xtreme Couture MMA, and has the know-how and track record to help take a failing gym on the ropes and turn it into a champion. Spike will pilot the series with three one-hour episodes, with the opportunity to do more. Production details and airdates will be announced at a later time. The show is produced by Kinetic Content with Chris Coelen, Couture and Samuel Spira as Executive Producers.
Other projects will also be announced at a later date.
The Best of PRIDE Fighting Championships: Wanderlei Silva vs. Bob Schrijber
Road to GLORY Launches in Japan
On the heels of a smash success, double-header mega-event in Saitama on New Year’s Eve, GLORY, the world’s new premiere kickboxing league, announced during a press conference last week that it will bring to Japan its Road to GLORY development fight series for identifying future stars of the sport, beginning with an eight-man, single-elimination featherweight (143 pounds/65 kilograms) tournament at Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Sunday, March 10.
A draw held during the press conference yielded the tournament’s quarterfinal matchups as follows: Zen Fujita (10-6-1 (1 NC), 3 KOs) vs. 19-year-old prospect Riki Matsuoka (2-0, 1 KO), three-time Shido-Kan Karate champion Mohan Dragon (12-5-2, 6 KOs) vs. hard-hitting KO artist Yuki (32-15-1, 24 KOs), battle-tested tournament champion Yukihiro Komiya (30-10, 8 KOs) vs. seasoned warrior Ryuji Kajiwara (23-11-1, 6 KOs) and Masaaki Noiri (15-3, 6 KOs) vs. Hiroya (21-8, 9 KOs).
The winner of the quarterfinal round bout between Fujita and Matsuoka will face the winner of the bout between Dragon and Yuki in the semifinal stage of the tournament and the winner of the bout between Komiya and Kajiwara will meet the winner of the fight between Noiri and Hiroya in the semifinal stage of the tournament.
“Last year, GLORY made a commitment to restore the Japanese martial arts fight scene to greatness and, bringing our all-new Road to GLORY tournament series here in order to develop future kickboxing champions and superstars, is the most logical, next move for us in order to accomplish that goal,” said GLORY Managing Director Marcus Luer.
“Road to GLORY will nurture the most promising young Japanese fighters and prepare them for the most intense competition that takes place in GLORY championship series tournaments that are fought on a global stage,” continued Luer.
Three Superfights as well as a tournament reserve fight will be added to the fight card soon. In the event that any of the tournament’s quarterfinal round fight winners are unable to return to the ring for semifinal round action due to injury sustained en route to victory, the winner of the tournament reserve fight will take the injured fighter’s place in the tournament.
The winner of the Road to GLORY Japan featherweight tournament will be awarded a grand prize of $20,000 and a one-year contract with GLORY where he will have the opportunity to compete in the world’s most prestigious one-night GLORY kickboxing tournaments.
The winner will also be entered into the GLORY 8 Tokyo “Slam,” or eight-man tournament, which will take place on Friday, May 3 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, and award a total of $180,000 in prize money to its competitors. The roster of fighters for the tournament will be announced soon.
Curran vs. Strauss Featherweight World Title Fight Headlines Bellator MMA Debut at Revel Thursday, April 4th
After nearly five years in the making, Bellator MMA made its long awaited debut on Spike TV in January as Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran opened the night with a dominant win over star Brazilian striker Patricio Pitbull, reaching over 1.2 million viewers in the process. On April 4th, Bellator will close out its eighth season from Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, NJ as Curran once again puts his Bellator Featherweight Title on the line against relentless Daniel Straus live on Spike TV. The night will also feature the return of Tiger Schulmann products Lyman Good and Munah Holland, as well as the Bellator debut of New Jersey fan favorite Tom DeBlass.
Widely regarded as one of the top two featherweights in the world, Curran brings a dominating 18-4 record into his latest title defense, including victories over Marlon Sandro, Roger Huerta, Mike Ricci, and Straus himself, as Curran collected a knock out win over Straus early in both of their careers. Even with the victory over Straus in his back pocket, Curran is well aware both fighters have grown tremendously over the last four years.
“This may end up being the most challenging fight I’ve faced up this point,” Curran said. “Daniel is going to make for a very tough challenge, but I know what I’m capable of. I feel like I’m always growing as a fighter, and the sky is really the limit for me. I’ve got the belt, and I’m not letting anyone take it away from me.”
Currently riding a five fight win streak into his April 4th showdown, Straus brings a suffocating fight style into the cage that always presents a unique challenge to his opponents. While that fact won’t change at Revel Resort & Casino, Straus is cognizant of the magnitude this title fight brings.
“Fighting for the Bellator Featherweight Title against Pat just signifies how my career has come full circle,” Straus said. “It was my loss to Pat that motivated me to become a better fighter. Now I get to see how much better I’ve actually gotten. Getting a chance to show my skills on Spike TV is a huge opportunity for me. The stage keeps getting bigger and the viewers and eyes are growing. I welcome the challenge to perform well in front of millions against one of the world’s best featherweights. I feel I have a lot to provide in this fight and I intend on doing so.”
“We’re incredibly excited to be able to bring Bellator MMA to a world class venue like Revel,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This fight card is going to be a great way to close out our first season on Spike TV and I couldn’t think of a better place to host it than a classic fight town like Atlantic City.”
The night will also feature the return of New York native and former Bellator Welterweight World Champion as Lyman Good battles Renzo Gracie product and fellow New Yorker Dante Rivera. Both have strong followings in the Tri-State area and should have a strong show of support inside Revel.
Currently ranked as the world’s top ranked 125 pound female fighter, Jessica “Evil” Eye returns to the Bellator cage when she takes on Tiger Schulmann’s own Munah Holland on April 4th live on Spike TV. Eye is coming off the biggest win of her young career with a dominating performance over Zoila Gurgel and is looking to keep the momentum with another victory.
“As a woman in this sport you’re given very little, so that’s why when I fight we always need to deliver,” Eye said. “I think Munah is a great fighter and have always admired her striking ability, but I won’t let my admiration stand in front of my determination. This is my golden year, and this fight is just the beginning.”
The preliminary card will be highlighted with a middleweight showdown between New Jersey star Tom DeBlass and New York native Carlos Brooks as the two look to collect their first Bellator victory. After announcing his retirement in 2012, DeBlass has returned to the cage and will make his highly anticipated return April 4th inside Revel.
“I’m very excited to be fighting for Bellator right in my backyard,” DeBlass said. “All of my friends, family, students, and many fans will get to see me live. I’m coming back and making a statement, you can count on that.”
GLORY 7 Milan – Fight Card Update
While GLORY 5 will be held March 23 and the GLORY 6 on April 6th, GLORY has also announced GLORY 7! The event will be held in Milan, Italy on April 20, 2013. Giorgio Petrosyan (74-1-2-1) will participate and he will fight the Moroccan Hafid El Boustati (64-7-3) in a super-fight at 70kg.
GLORY 7 Milan
April 20, 2013
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Hafid El Boustati
Rico Verhoeven vs. Jhonata Diniz
Sittichai Sitgonpeenong vs. David Kiria
Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Murthel Groenhart
Chingiz Allazov vs. Marat Grigorian
Yury Bessmertney vs. TBA
Enriko Gogokhiya vs. TBA
Kaoponlek vs. Sergio Wielzen
Sahak Parparyan vs. Artem Levin
Zuffa Releases Statement on Tavares Failed Test, Belfort TRT
Zuffa, LLC, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, released the following statement regarding drug test results from UFC on FX 7 that took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on January 19, 2013.
All 22 fighters on the UFC on FX 7 card were drug tested at the event and all fighters passed their drug tests with the exception of Thiago Tavares. The results for Tavares showed the presence of Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid and banned substance. Tavares has been informed that he will receive a 9-month suspension retroactive to the date of the event and that he must pass a drug test upon completion of the suspension before receiving clearance to compete again.
To dispel rumors that have been circulated, Zuffa wishes to clarify that Vitor Belfort’s drug test results were negative and did not indicate the presence of any performance enhancing drugs.
Belfort has been on a medically approved testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) regimen under the supervision of a medical doctor from the State of Nevada, after being diagnosed with hypogonadism, or low testosterone. The purpose of a medically administered TRT regimen is to allow patients with hypogonadism to maintain testosterone levels within a range that is normal for an adult male.
Former WBC champion Adrian Diaconu Retires, Joins Superkombat
Former WBC world boxing champion of the world Adrian Diaconu is now a new Superkombat official and he will lead the office from Canada, announced president Eduard Irimia.
After compiling a 27-3 career record in an eleven year career, former Olympian and world champion Adrian “The Shark” Diaconu (34 years old) has announced his retirement at the middle of 2012. In 2008, Diaconu won the WBC light-heavyweight belt in his native Romania against undefeated Chris Henry in front of the country’s president.
“I am very happy that I joined Superkombat, one of the most professional and respectful martial arts promotions in the world. I’m new in this world, but I promise that I will adapt quickly”, said Diaconu.
“We are glad that Adrian Diaconu is our new partner and I am sure he will do a great job. I hope to be like Oscar de la Hoya, who quit boxing and after he became a successful promoter. We intend in the near future to organize a Superkombat event in Canada”, said the president Eduard Irimia.
Starting this month, Superkombat has opened worlwide offices and the global expansion will continue with worldwide tryouts series before to start the new season. The next two months, Superkombat will have tryouts in Germany, Great Britain, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil and Egypt to can find a new generation of heroes.
Boku versus Aoki Set for ONE FC Lightweight Title on April 15
Singapore: ONE FC Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku makes his first ever title defense against current number one contender and one of the greatest submission grapplers the sport of MMA has ever seen, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, on Friday, 5 April 2013, when ONE Fighting Championship returns to the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Kotetsu Boku defeated Brazilian contender Zorobabel Moreira at ONE FC: Rise of Kings in October 2012 to earn the inaugural ONE FC Lightweight World Championship title belt while Aoki earned his shot at the title following a devastating submission victory over Arnaud Lepont.
CEO of ONE Fighting Championship Victor Cui stated, “ONE FC will make history again on 5 April when we go live on STAR SPORTS for the first time across 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers. This is a huge step in the progress of ONE FC and is a testament to our ever-increasing following all across Asia. This event will be the biggest in ONE FC history and features the top names in MMA, headlined by a Lightweight World Championship showdown between submission ace Shinya Aoki and our reigning world champion Kotetsu Boku. Close to 12,000 fans will pack out the Singapore Indoor Stadium to witness the greatest sporting spectacle in Asia. Don’t miss it!”
ONE FC Lightweight King Kotetsu Boku is no stranger to adversity. He is a tenacious competitor who has never backed down from a tough fight. Boku ignited the crowd at the sold-out Singapore Indoor Stadium at on 6 October 2012 with a massive come-from-behind victory over Zorobabel Moreira at 0:31 seconds of round 3, earning him the first ever ONE FC Lightweight World Championship title. With six wins in his last seven fights, Boku is enjoying one of the most successful spells of his career. There is no doubt that the fight on 5 April will be his toughest test to date when he squares off against Shinya Aoki.
Shinya Aoki is the DREAM Lightweight Champion and has beaten MMA legends like Tatsuya Kawajiri, Marcus Aurelio and Rich Clementi. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo which has earned him a reputation as one of the most dangerous submission artists the sport of MMA has ever seen. His last outing with ONE FC saw him put Arnaud Lepont “to sleep” by triangle choke in front of his adopted home of Singapore, earning him the opportunity to fight for the ONE FC Lightweight Title. The famed “Grandmaster of Flying Submissions” is looking forward to showcasing his legendary skills once again to his fans when he enters the ONE FC cage at ONE FC: Kings & Champions.
Spike TV Announces “Fight Master: Bellator MMA”
Spike TV and Bellator MMA have gathered together some of the biggest names in the sport of mixed martial arts to serve as coaches and trainers for the new reality series, “Fight Master: Bellator MMA,” premiering this summer. Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, and Joe Warren will helm four separate fight camps for 32 up-and-coming fighters looking to fight their way into the Bellator tournament and a $100,000 cash prize.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Los Angeles by Spike President Kevin Kay and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
The 32 fighters, competing for a spot in the welterweight (170lb) tournament in the Fall of 2013, will live and train together in four camps led by the aforementioned legendary coaches. This series is much more than just a tournament, as it will capture the reality of the competitors and the grueling training regimen it takes to become a world-class MMA fighter.
The concept of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” is unprecedented in that the fighters control their own destiny. They will choose which camp to train with and which opponent they want to fight next. The premiere will feature 8 qualifying fights with each subsequent episode showcasing at least one fight. The finale will be telecast live on Spike with the winner moving on to an upcoming tournament. Bellator announcer Jimmy Smith will serve as host.
“As the fighters’ control their own destiny, they will need to utilize strategy in and out of the cage if they want to succeed and advance each week,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV. “The stakes are high and the wrong decision, whether it is picking an opponent you don’t match up well against or a coach and fight camp that you don’t work well with, can mean all the difference.”
The series will delve into the fighters’ personal stories for a glimpse into the often arduous journey that led them to “Fight Master.” Viewers will get to know the man behind the fighter, and follow them on their quest for victory. These determined contestants come from all parts of the country with a wide variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds. However, they all share the same goal – to learn from the sport’s finest trainers and earn a spot in the Bellator tournament.
Spike TV will telecast 10 one-hour episodes of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA.” Production begins in early February in Louisiana. Two of television’s most acclaimed producers, eight-time Emmy Award winner Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri of Profiles Television Productions, the visionaries behind “The Amazing Race,” serve as Executive Producers. Andrea Richter serves as Executive Producer as well and Levy and Tim Duffy, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Spike TV, will oversee the project for the network.
M-1 Challenge 37 Promo Video
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