Weekly Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing News – 03/02/2013
By PDG Staff
GLORY 8 Tokyo: Superstars Align For Featherweight Slam Kickboxing Tournament On May 3, 2013
GLORY, the world’s new premier kickboxing league, will return to Tokyo, Japan with a one-night, eight-man, single-elimination ‘Slam’ tournament featuring a collection of the brightest stars in the featherweight (65 kilograms/143 pounds) division, at Ariake Coliseum on Friday, May 3.
American superstar Kevin “El Presidente” Ross (37-9, 12 KOs) of Dublin, Calif. will make his highly-anticipated GLORY debut in the tournament field where he will be faced with an assembly of cutthroat competition in three-time French kickboxing champion Abdellah Ezbiri (32-6, 11 KOs) of Morocco via France, world Muay Thai champion Mosab “The Jaguar” Amrani (48-7-4, 14 KOs) of Holland and The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil reality series contestant and KO artist Marcos Vinicius (MMA Record: 20-4-1, 7 KOs) of Curitiba, Brazil.
Joining the first four elite fighters thus far confirmed for the tournament that will award its competitors with a total of $180,000 in prize money, including $100,000 to the winner, will be the victor of the inaugural, eight-man, development series ROAD TO GLORY Japan tournament at Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Sunday, March 10, as well as three additional competitors to be announce! d soon.
“With the fighter selection process for the GLORY 8 Tokyo featherweight Slam tournament underway, we are assembling what could very well be the most competitive tournament field in the history of kickboxing’s featherweight division,” said GLORY Sports International Managing Director Marcus Luer. “We are bringing together the best possible group of talent from all parts of the wo! rld in order to determine who the reigning king of this division is.”
Ross, the 2010 Muay Thai North American Fighter of the Year, is widely recognized as the face of kickboxing in the U.S. During his stellar career, the 32-year-old technician has faced and defeated a host of top-ranked rivals, including decorated Thai champions Malaipet “The Diamond” Sasiprapa and “Coke” Chunhawat.
The 25-year-old Ezbiri has made waves both in his native Europe as well as in Japan where he was the winner of another eight-man tournament in 2011 and finished as runner-up after a controversial decision loss in the championship stage of a 67 kilogram/148 pound tournament at the hands of Japanese phenom Yuta Kubo on Jan. 14.
Amrani, a 25-year-old, former intercontinental Muay Thai champion, rose to power after stopping Thai champ! ions Anuwat Kaewsamrit and Bovy Sor Udomson in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Amrani also boasts a victory over Moroccan southpaw phenom Ibrahim Chiahou. His tournament start marks a drop in weight after a stint at 70 kilograms/154 pounds.
Vinicius has gained widespread acclaim for his power since earning ‘KO of the Night’ honors at UFC 147 where he decimated Wagner Campos with a barrage of punches and knee strikes in the third round of their matchup on June 23, 2012. During his stint on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, Vinicius trained under legend Wanderlei Silva.
Urijah Faber Meets Scott Jorgensen at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 17
Fresh off a brilliant submission victory over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber returns to the Octagon Saturday, April 13 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas to meet Scott Jorgensen in a can’t-miss bantamweight showdown.
Faber, the former WEC featherweight champion ranked second in the bantamweight division, is known for his explosive athleticism and finishing ability, and the 33-year-old Sacramento native owns wins over the likes of Jens Pulver (twice), Raphael Assuncao, Takeya Mizugaki, Eddie Wineland and Brian Bowles.
A three-time Pac-10 wrestling champion at Boise State University, the 30-year-old Jorgensen defeated John Albert in a performance that earned him Fight and Submission of the Night honors in his most recent bout this past December. “Young Guns” also holds notable victories over Jeff Curran and Brad Pickett and has developed a reputation as one of the division’s most exciting fighters.
“Urijah Faber is one of the best bantamweights in the world and he proved it at UFC 157 by submitting Ivan Menjivar in the first round,” UFC President Dana White said. “He’s ready to jump right back in the Octagon on April 13 with Scott Jorgensen, who’s ranked seventh in the world at 135 pounds. Both of these guys like to finish fights. This is a really exciting main event for the TUF Finale!”
In addition to the Faber-Jorgensen main event, this season’s The Ultimate Fighter winner will be crowned when the Octagon makes its way back to the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
The Ultimate Fighter Finale card also includes:
– Former Strikeforce bantamweight women’s champion Miesha Tate vs. highly touted, undefeated contender Cat Zingano in the second women’s bout in UFC history.
– A heavyweight showdown between Travis Browne and Gabriel Gonzaga.
– A featherweight collision between Bart Palaszewski and Cole Miller.
– A featherweight bout between TUF veteran Justin Lawrence and Houston’s Daniel Pineda.
Bellator Champion Pat Curran Defends World Title Against “The Assassin” Shahbulat Shamhalaev
After a dominating run through The Toughest Tournament In Sports with three knockouts in his three tournament fights, explosive Russian striker Shahbulat Shamhalaev has earned his title shot and will battle reigning Bellator Featherweight World Champion Pat Curran Thursday, April 4th inside Atlantic City’s Revel Casino live on Spike.
“When Daniel went down with his injury, I reached out to Shahbulat and his manager to see if he was ready for this fight, and without hesitation his answer was yes,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “After watching Shahbulat’s run through our last tournament, I couldn’t think of a better fight to end our season than Curran-Shahbulat on April 4th.”
After a hand injury forced Daniel Straus off the card, Shamhalaev steps in after collecting three knockout victories en route to a $100,000 Tournament prize and a title shot against the top ranked Curran. Armed with a devastating right hand and some of the quickest hands in the sport, “The Assassin” is ready for a quick turnaround April 4th.
“All the work I’ve put in has been for this moment, and I couldn’t be happier to give all the Atlantic City fans a show on April 4th,” Shahbulat said. “Pat Curran is a really tough competitor, but I know what I have to do to get the belt and become Bellator’s new Featherweight Champion.”
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 Patricio Pitbull, Marlon Sandro, Roger Huerta, and Mike Ricci. While the reigning Bellator Champ had his original sights set on Straus, Curran is well aware of the challenges at hand April 4th with Shamhalaev.
“He’s a great counter striker, as am I, and I see a lot of openings with Shabulat,” Curran said. “Shabulat brings one punch knockout power, and with my style, it’s going to be a swing for fences fight. This is my second fight this season, and I couldn’t ask for more. I love staying active, and Bellator has provided that for me.”
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.”
**Update: According to MMAJunkie.com, Daniel Straus has also been arrested on four traffic and drug charges on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. According to arrest records, Straus was charged with driving on a suspended license, possession of cannabis of more than 20 grams, possession of MDMA/ecstasy, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. An official was unable to provide additional information and said a spokesperson would be available on Monday during regular office hours.
UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen – Fight Card Update
UFC light heavyweight champion and New Yorker Jon “Bones” Jones returns to Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, April 27 to defend his title against controversial and unpredictable star, Chael Sonnen. Jones and Sonnen are serving as coaches on this season’s The Ultimate Fighter, the longest running sports reality show on television.
“Jon Jones has destroyed all the top guys in the light heavyweight division,” UFC President Dana White said. “He has defended the title four times and is one of the pound-for-pound best in the world. This fight with Chael is personal! Chael called Jones out and said a lot of things about him. Chael always comes to fight and I’m very interested in this matchup.”
“There’s a rumor going around that says Jon Jones is the best,” Sonnen said. “We’re going to find out who wins – the best or the baddest?”
“The rumors are true, I am the best,” Jones, who won the title at Prudential Center in March 2011 by defeating then-champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, said. “On April 27th, Chael will be put through the test. When it’s all said and done, he’ll be just like the rest.”
UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen
April 27, 2013
Newark, New Jersey
Jon Jones (17-1) vs. Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) – UFC light heavyweight title bout
Michael Bisping (23-5) vs. Alan Belcher (18-7)
Roy Nelson (18-7) vs. Cheick Kongo (18-7-2)
Phil Davis (10-1) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (10-5)
Pat Healy( 29-16) vs. Jim Miller (22-4)
Nick Catone (9-4) vs. James Head (9-3)
Joe Proctor (8-2) vs. Al Iaquinta (5-2-1)
Rustam Khabilov (15-1) vs. Yancy Medeiros (9-0)
Ovince St. Preux (12-5) vs. Gian Villante (10-3)
Steven Siler (21-10) vs. Jim Hettes (10-1)
Gökhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita – GLORY 6 Teaser Trailer
Boxing Queen Holly Holm remains undefeated in MMA
The “Queen of Boxing,” Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (3-0-0, 3 KO/TKOs), kept her undefeated MMA record intact, outclassing Katie Merrill (1-1-0, 1 SUB) en route to a win by technical knockout (punches) at 3:12 of round two, last night on the Bellator 91 event at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Holm, considered to be the No. 1 female boxer in the world, is a 14-time, three-division world champion in boxing. Her goal is to challenge UFC star Ronda Rousey to determine who “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” is today.
“Holly looked great,” her promoter Lenny Fresquez (Fresquez Productions) said. “We believe that, after a few more MMA fights, within a year she’ll be ready to take on Rousey. Holly’s problem in MMA, as in boxing, is that her list of competitive opponents is very short.”
Holm trains and fights for Team Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA. She is managed and trained in both combat sports by John Winkeljohn.
GLORY 5 London – Spong vs. Bonjasky Fight Card Update
Four-time world champion Stephen Wakeling (36-4, 14 KO’s) of Kent, England will square off with fast-rising KO artist Eddie ‘Showtime’ Walker (11-2-1, 9 KOs) of Atlanta, Ga. in a middleweight (85 kilograms/187 pounds) contest at the star-studded GLORY 5London kickboxing event at ExCel Arena in London, England on Saturday, March 23, Glory Sports International announced this week.
The 29-year-old Wakeling, renowned for his excellent conditioning and tendency to inflict heavy punishment on opponents, has faced and defeated a host of top-ranked riva! l superstars, including Thailand’s famed world champion Jaowchalam Chatjanokgym and Australian powerhouse ‘John’ Wayne Parr. On July 7, 2012, Wakeling fought pound-for-pound sensation Artem Levin to a draw in a spectacular, five-round bout in England.
Wakeling comes from a high pedigree of fighting stock. His father Mark was a successful fighter in his own right and had a career which culminated with a fight in Thailand’s prestigious annual King’s Cup tournament in 1998. Wakeling’s brother, Mike, is a European champion.
Walker, experienced a career breakthrough last year when he scored a shocking, upset KO of WBC interim Muay Thai champion Joe ‘Stitch ‘Em Up’ Schilling after Schilling had put Walker down twice early in the fight in Las Vegas, Nev.
The come-from-behind victory earned Walker a spot in the ROAD TO GLORY USA inaugural, middleweight development series tournament in Los Angeles, Calif. on Feb. 9. There, Walker finished as runner-up after scoring a second round (1:26) KO on Edgar Del Fierro and a second round (2:13) TKO on Van Wyk Povey in the quarterfinal and semifinal stages of the tournament, respectively.
Walker is known for possessing frightening power in both hands and, with 9 of his 11 professional wins by way of stoppage inside the distance, he has an incredible 81 percent finish rate. Walker trains under Manu N’toh, a renowned instructor who also counts UFC middleweight Brian Stann among his students, and posted a 7-0 amateur record before turning professional in 2010.
In the highly-anticipated heavyweight main event, decorated,! all-time great Remy Bonjasky (77-15, 40 KO’s) of The Netherlands will take on ferocious, surging superstar Tyrone Spong (68-6-1 42 KO’s) of Boca Raton, Fla. via The Netherlands.
All GLORY 5 London bouts are comprised of three, three-minute rounds. The complete fight card is as follows:
Heavyweight Main Event: Tyrone Spong (Netherlands) vs. Remy Bonjasky (Netherlands)
Lightweight: Andy Ristie (Suriname) vs. Albert Kraus (Netherlands)
Light-Heavyweight: Stephane Susperregui (France) vs. Danyo Ilunga (Congo)
Featherweight: Liam Harrison (UK) vs. Mosab Armani (Morocco)
Lightweight: Jordan Watson (UK) vs. Steve Moxon (Australia)
Light-Heavyweight: Raymond Daniels (USA) vs. TBA
Heavyweight:Jaideep Singh (UK/India) vs. Daniel Sam (UK)
Middleweight: Stephen Wakeling (UK) vs. Eddie Walker (USA)
Welterweight: Maxim Vorovski (Russia) vs. Duoli Chen (China)
Lightweight: Johann Fauveau (France) vs. Warren Stevelmans (South Africa)
Catchweight: Reece McAllister (UK) vs. Tim Thomas (UK)
Manhoef versus Larson Added to ONE FC: Kings & Champions
Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship has announced that knockout specialist Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (27-9-1) will square off against USA’s very own Brock Larson (36-7-0) at ONE FC: Kings & Champions which takes place live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 5 April 2013.
CEO of ONE Fighting Championship Victor Cui stated, ” ONE FC: Kings & Champions will be the biggest in ONE FC history and features the biggest names in MMA. I’m beyond excited to see two of the most thrilling middleweights in the world square off at the state-of-the art Singapore Indoor Stadium. Melvin Manhoef vs Brock Larson has all the ingredients for a possible Fight of the Night with one of the world’s most-feared strikers squaring off against a grappler who has submitted 24 opponents in his career. I know fans cannot wait to watch these warriors collide on 5 April.”
Manhoef is an MMA legend and KO artist who finished 25 opponents with his thunderous punches. He is a hard-hitting fighter who always looks for the knockout. His reputation inside the cage has been built over the years by defeating some of the world’s best fighters. Be prepared for some exciting action when this experienced fighter lets loose his stunning knockout power and seeks to bring the fight to an early end when he meets Brock Larson at ONE FC: Kings & Champions.
Larson is the latest top North American fighter to sign with ONE FC and is one of the most experienced MMA fighters to enter the ONE FC Middleweight division. Larson holds notable wins over John Alessio, Carlo Prater and Mike Pyle. He has worked his way to the top of the North American Welterweight division and is now stepping up a weight-class as he seeks to make a name for himself on the largest stage in Asian MMA. Currently, he is on a three fight win streak and will look to make it four when he locks up with Manhoef on 5 April.
ONE FC: Kings & Champions is headlined by a ONE FC Lightweight World Championship bout between reigning champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku against number one contender Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.
Zuffa, LLC, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Released a Statement Regarding UFC welterweight Matt Riddle
Matthew Riddle tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his bout at UFC on FUEL TV 7 in London, England on February 16, 2013. This is Riddle’s second failed drug test for marijuana within the past seven months. Riddle previously failed a post-fight drug test due to marijuana following his UFC 149 victory over Chris Clements.
As such, the UFC organization is exercising its right to terminate Riddle for breach of his obligations under his Promotional Agreement as well as the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. The UFC organization has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents. The outcome of the bout against Che Mills was changed to a no contest and the results of the positive test will be reported to the official Association of Boxing Commissions MMA record-keeper.
SUPERKOMBAT World Fighting Championship – 2013 New Heroes Announced
For the first time in the history of martial arts on stand-up rules, Superkombat started a project named “New Heroes” aimed to discover new talents around the world. With a 10 years experience in kickboxing and with a background of 7 years as a boxing promoter, Superkombat president Eduard Irimia has revealed his plans for this year, but also for long term.
“As you know, in January we started the World Tryouts series because I’m sure that may be heroes undiscovered. Until now we had tryouts events in Greece, Germany and Great Britain and the future sounds good. Superkombat will became a complete fighting championship with tryouts events and after that with qualification events for the World Grand Prix series. The global format will be the same as in football. You must promote from a division to another. To be in the World Grand Prix series, you must get your ticket from the World Tryouts series and New Heroes series.”, said Eduard Irimia.
Except the World Tryouts series, Superkombat will held 6 qualification events for the World Grand Prix series in cooperation with various promotions around the world. The winners of these events will qualify in one of the four World Grand Prix events scheduled for this year.
First qualification event for the World Grand Prix series was held at the end of last week in Opatija (Croatia) and the next one is scheduled for March 23 in Sao Paulo (Brazil). “Beside those two qualification events, during this year we will have another 4 events in various locations around the world.”, explains the president. In Opatija, Dino Belosevic (Croatia), Uros Velicevic (Slovenija), Muamer Tufekcic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Ante Verunica (Croatia) are the winners of the first New Heroes event made in cooperation with Opatija Fight Night.
Full schedule of the World Grand Prix series:
SUPERKOMBAT WGP 1 (April 6, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT WGP 2 (May 18, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT WGP 3 (September 28, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT WGP 4 (October 12, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT WGP 5 Final Elimination (November 9, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT WGP 6 Final (December 21, 2013)
MMA in the Middle East: Fightland.com
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