Weekly Mixed Martial Arts & Kickboxing News – 01/20/2012
By PDG Staff
Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic versus Ray Sefo in Zagreb
Mirko Filipovic will be fighting on March 10th at the Zagreb Arena on the “Cro Cop Final Fight” fight show against legendary New Zealander Ray Sefo. The news was revealed by BBC News.
“So, Sefo has agreed. This is was not my first vote but we are very pleased. I know he was on the short list and we wanted a big name. I believe that our audience and my fans will appreciate a real opponent like Sefo instead of some trash can opponent. It is better to ‘die’ in a great battle, than to bring in someone that I could beat easily.”
According to reports, Mirko Cro Cop has started rehab for a hand injury with training and he will be ready for the battle against Sefo in a little over a month and a half. The main event of the evening will only be a part of the fight card which will see some of the world’s best fighters compete including Daniel Ghita, Mourad Bouzidija and Freddy Kemayo.
ProElite and Dream Form MMA Partnership
ProElite MMA and Dream, the largest Japanese MMA organization, have initiated a promotional partnership and fighter exchange program, they jointly announced on Tuesday. The alliance will foster co-promoted events, both in the United States and in Japan with fighter exchanges featured on the cards of both fight promotions, respectively.
“Our partnership with Dream forms a promotional bond with the most prominent Japanese MMA organization,” said Billy Kelly, President of ProElite and COO of Stratus Media Group Inc., parent company of ProElite. “Dream has developed a stable of great fighters on their roster and a strong team behind the scenes. With this exchange, the two organizations are building a cultural and fight-event bridge that our fans are sure to welcome.”
The initial fighter exchange debuts this Saturday, Jan. 21, in Hawaii when Dream star and Japanese fan favorite Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa takes on Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove in the ProElite main event at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
“I’m really honored to join the partnership with ProElite,” said Dream Event Producer Keiichi Sasahara. “It is important for us to exploit Asian or Pan-pacific markets by improving relationships with foreign organizations like ProElite. We would like to make this fighter exchange program a first step to generate synergistic success for both organizations.”
Dream light heavyweight tournament runner-up Tatsuya Mizuno will take on Ilima Maiava, also on the Honolulu fight card, while the always exciting voice of Japanese MMA, Lenne Hardt, will be joining the shows as the fighter walk out announcer. The ProElite main fight card will be televised live on HDNet at 10 p.m. EST.
UFC 145 fight card moved, now slated for April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia
Due to a schedule change, the UFC will not hold an event in Montreal this March as initially announced. “We’re looking at other dates for Montreal and want to be back there as soon as we possibly can,” said Tom Wright, the Director of Operations for Zuffa in Canada. Seven bouts that had been set to take place on the UFC 145 Montreal fight card have been moved to the Atlanta event.
UFC 145 Updated Card:
Michael McDonald vs. Miguel Torres
Maximo Blanco vs. Marcus Brimage
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
Mark Bocek vs. Matt Wiman
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
$1 Million Dollar Prize for Glory World Series fight events in 2012
Golden Glory has partnered with Total Sports Asia to form a powerful team to revive Kickboxing and resuscitate the K-1 rules scene.
The new partnership backed by a group of investors is planning for new tournaments with total prize money of US $1 million. This would include a 70Kg and 85kg category (USD $300K each) and a Heavyweight Category which would fight for USD $400K.
Putting up one million dollars for these three tournaments as Prize money will spring new life into the sport of Kickboxing. The partnership believes that 2012 will be the rebirth for stand up striking combat and the sport will take its deserved position alongside the ever growing sport of MMA.
The partnership recently signed and paid the outstanding money to key fighters including Gokhan Saki, Semmy Schilt, Erroll Zimmermann, Sergei Kharitonov and several others. As expected many other fighters have shown interest to sign exclusive deals in hopes to get reimbursed for their FEG outstanding payments as well as having future fights with this new powerhouse Promotion.
Bas Boon, MD of Golden Glory said: “I’m sure Aerts, Petrosyan, Buakaw Por Muak, Jaideep, Texiera and others will soon follow and sign agreements so that Kickboxing can become an international force again and resurrect the history and glory of K-1.
The upcoming March 23rd Glory World Series event in Moscow will be televised in over 80 countries and is already shaping up to be a classic, with the return of 4 time K-1 Champion Schilt in action for the first time in over a year. Also Zimmerman taking on legend Jerome Le Banner and a battle of Iron fists is on the card when USA’s Mark Miller takes on Russia’s Sergei Kharitonov. Also in action are Robin van Roosmalen, Igor Jurkovic and MMA bouts involving feature fighters from many different countries including Dennis Stojnic (Bosnia), Dion Staring (Holland), Tommy Depret (Belgium).
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey – Card Updated
A highly-anticipated and exciting title fight featuring two of the world’s elite mixed martial artists will take place when Strikeforce returns to Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, March 3, when newly-crowned women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate makes her first title defense against undefeated sensation Ronda Rousey.
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey will air live on SHOWTIME, while the preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME EXTREME.
The March 3 fight card, which takes place on the same weekend as the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, will also feature a battle of top lightweights when former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson takes on the surging KJ Noons. Also on the card, British striker Paul Daley welcomes Japanese star Kazuo Misaki back to Strikeforce in a welterweight bout, and another former Strikeforce champ, Sarah Kaufman, meets top contender Alexis Davis in a women’s bantamweight contest. Additional fights scheduled for the event are expected to be released shortly.
Bellator FC: Warren vs. Curran Announced
Bellator Season 5 Featherweight Tournament winner Pat Curran stands one win away from realizing his dream. After a brilliant 3-0 tournament run, it was a lightning-fast kick to the head of Marlon Sandro in the final that propelled the 24-year-old rising super star from top prospect to top contender. Now the contender will get his well-deserved World title shot.
The Chicago-based Bellator Fighting Championships heads back to the Chicago area as Crystal Lake, Illinois’ own Pat Curran will take on current Bellator Featherweight Champion “The Baddest Man on the Planet” Joe Warren Live from The Venue at The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana on Friday, March 9th.
“Everything is falling into place right now,” Curran said. “My hometown is really close to where I’m fighting and I know I’ll have the support of my family and friends. This is something that is meant to be.”
Even though Curran admits he will have the “home-cage advantage” on March 9, the 24-year-old Crystal Lake native knows the challenge that is right in front of him.
“Even though he’s coming off a loss, he’s a very dangerous opponent,” Curran said of Warren. “He is a very strong wrestler who’s going to try to close the distance and work the clinch against me. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”
After a one-fight stint at Bantamweight, Joe Warren is back defending his Bellator Featherweight championship. Winner of his last five Featherweight fights, the 35-year-old Denver product has the experience and the cage savvy to bust up Curran’s homecoming party.
“The Midwest is known for great fighters and great fight fans,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “To be hosting an event of this magnitude in our backyard is like Christmas morning; plus you get to see Chicagoland’s own, rising superstar Pat Curran vie for the World Title against one of the toughest fighters in all of MMA – Joe Warren. As a diehard MMA fan, I can’t wait for March 9th to get here at Horseshoe.”
Current Fight Card:
Bellator Featherweight Championship:
Joe Warren vs. Pat Curran
Season 6 Featherweight Tournament:
Marlon Sandro vs. Roberto Vargas
Ronnie Mann vs. Wagnney Fabiano
Alexandre “PoPo” Bezerra vs. Genair da Silva
Daniel Straus vs. Jeremy Spoon
TSA and GG get world’s best K-1 fighters back into the Ring in Moscow; First event in 12 months will air Live worldwide on March 23rd
Golden Glory (G.G) and Total Sports Asia (TSA) have partnered to sign K1 superstars Semmy Schilt, Gokhan Saki, Errol Zimmerman and Sergey Kharitonov to exclusive long term contracts. All fighters received signing bonuses to ease the pressure created by the outstanding payments by former K-1 promoters FEG in Japan. TSA and G.G decided to focus on the athletes who have dedicated their lives and careers to reach unmatched levels of martial arts skill in K1 and MMA and the world’s fastest growing sport.
Golden Glory and TSA are delighted to announce their cooperation with the event in Moscow on March 23rd 2012 under the Glory World Series brand using K-1 rules. K-1 has been off the air now for over 12 months and while discussions about acquiring and reviving the K-1 brand continue, TSA and Golden Glory believe that the time has come to put the fighters back into the ring.
GLORY is known as one of the top MMA and stand-up fight promotions in the world in viewership, production quality, and fighter level. The shows are broadcast in the US by HD Net and in over 80 other countries and have been held in Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Moscow. Total Sports Asia will be distributing the TV rights of the GLORY Moscow event worldwide.
The main event will be a tribute to 4 x K-1 Champion Semmy Schilt who will make his return to the ring in Moscow. Besides Semmy fighting in the main event, the following fights are already confirmed: Sergey Kharitonov from Moscow (who KO’d Mighty Mo in the Glory World Series finals in 2011) versus Mark “Fight Shark” Miller (who holds the Glory record of fastest KO in less then 10 sec) in a classical Russia vs USA match up. Another thriller will be Errol Zimmerman vs Jerome Le Banner.
GLORY Moscow will feature fighters from many different countries including MMA fighters Dennis Stojnic (Bosnia), Dion Staring (Holland), Tommy Depret (Belgium) and Kickboxers Robin van Roosmalen (Holland) Igor Jurkovic (Croatia), Maxim Vorovski (Estonia), Mark “Fightshark” Miller (USA), Errol Zimmerman (Surinam), Sergei Kharitonov (Russia), Jerome Le Banner (France), Semmy Schilt (Holland), and more.
Last year’s Glory World Series finals event from Moscow was described as one of the top 3 fighting events of the year by the international MMA press. Golden Glory fighters Gokhan Saki and Siyar Bahadurzada both won the big cash prize of $150.000.- in the K1 and the MMA tournament.
‘King Mo’ Lawal Tests Positive for Steroids; Blames Tainted Supplement
According to Keith Kizer, Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
“All athletes tested negative for prohibited substances, except Mr. Lawal who tested positive for Drostanolone, the matter has been referred to the Attorney General’s office for issuance of a complaint for disciplinary action.” – Keith Kizer
Here is what Lawal had to say regarding the situation:
“My track record speaks for itself, I’ve been through college and NCAA drug testing, you see what I mean, I’m a clean athlete. I’ve been tested through USADA and WADA for international competition and I’ve always been clean … This is my first positive test for anything, I don’t even know what to say. All I know is that the truth will come to light and I know that I’m a clean athlete, I know that I can guarantee that I am a clean athlete.”
“Right now we’re just looking over everything and trying to come to a conclusion on how this happened because it’s ridiculous, man, I’m in shock. All I can do is keep on looking at my supplements. I don’t even know what to do. I just keep looking over my supplements to see what we can find.”
I can’t think of any fighter who has had their name cleared after testing positive but I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Lion Fight Promotions: Battle In The Desert 5
In the main event, 27-year-old WBC Interim World Light Heavyweight (175 pounds) Champion Joe Schilling (12-1 (10 KO’s) of Los Angeles, Calif. will take on undefeated top contender Simon Marcus (22-0 (17 KO’s) of Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Streaking Las Vegas star and WBC International Middleweight Champion Chaz Mulkey (7-4, 3 KO’s), fresh off his fifth consecutive win at Lion Fight Promotions’ last event on Nov. 19, will face his toughest test to date in two-time world champion and WBC No. 5 ranked super middleweight (168 pounds) contender Gregory Choplin (50-9, 22 KO’s) of Miami, Fla. by way of Paris, France in the middleweight (160 pounds) co-main event.
Mulkey was victorious over British champion Simon Chu via unanimous decision in the main event of Battle In The Desert 4, Lion from The Joint, while Choplin, dropping down a weight class, is looking to return to the win column after two consecutive losses in Nov. and Dec 2011 in his native France.
Following his hard-fought, majority decision victory over Rami Ibrahim on Nov. 19, WBC national champion Phanuwat “Coke” Chunhawat (146-24-1, 24 KO’s) of Oakland, Calif. via Thailand will return to the squared circle an attempt to avenge a June 2011 defeat when he battles 21-year-old young gun Matt Embree (19-3, 9 KO’s) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the vacant WBC international lightweight (135 pounds) championship at stake.
The matchup between Chunhawat and Embree will serve as a rubber match. In Sept. 2010, Chunhawat edged out a split decision over Embree, who returned the favor by winning in the same fashion in the second meeting.
In other professional Muay Thai action, Vivian Leung (2-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas via Saskatoon, Canada will face Tiffany Van Soest (1-0) of San Diego, Calif. in a super bantamweight (122 pounds) bout. Power striker Scotty Leffler (4-2, 3 KO’s) of Las Vegas will meet Sheldon Gaines (2-4, 1 KO) of Los Angeles, Calif. in a 142 pound catch weight fight and 21-year-old top prospect Anthony Castrejon (2-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas will make the third start of his promising young career in a super bantamweight (122 pounds) fight with 28-year-old Francisco Barragan of Dallas, TX.
It’s Showtime – Hari vs. Saki
In his last kick boxing bout, Badr Hari meets Gokhan Saki. Plus, Hesdy Gerges defends the It’s Showtime World Heavyweight title against Daniel Ghita. Live on HDNet Fights, Saturday, January 28th at 3:00 PM EST!
Henri van Opstal vs. Hafid El Boustati
Andy Ristie vs. Hinata Watanabe
Sahak Parparyan vs. Mourad Bouzidi
Ricardo van den Bos vs. Ben Edwards
Lhoucine Ouzgni vs. Yohan Lidon (It’s Showtime world title 73 Kg max)
Michael Duut vs. Anderson Silva
Harut Grigorian vs. Chris Ngimbi
Errol Zimmerman vs. Rico Verhoeven
Melvin Manhoef vs. Tyrone Spong
Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges (It’s Showtime Heavyweight World Title)
Gokhan Saki vs. Badr Hari (Retirement Fight Last kickboxing fight of Badr Hari)
Mark Munoz Injured; Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping – Jan. 28th on UFC on FOX 2
The UFC’s second show on Fox has seen a major change, as UFC President Dana White announced that Mark Munoz is out of his January 28th bout against Chael Sonnen due to injury. Stepping in for Munoz will be “The Count,” Michael Bisping, with the winner squaring off against middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
“This isn’t the new co-main, because I sold all the tickets. This is the new main event, I am going to knock the teeth out of this snot-nosed Brit who calls a Count. I am MMA royalty and America will tune into the Chael Sonnen show next Saturday on FOX.” – Chael Sonnen
“He’s been kicked out of politics, he has been kicked out of the real estate business, and I am going to kick him out of the middleweight division.” – Michael Bisping
The change briefly left Damian Maia without an opponent but that soon changed as unbeaten Chris Weidman has stepped up to face the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace.
The UFC Announces Pre-Contract PED Screening
Continuing a commitment to the health and safety of its athletes, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced today that all potential UFC and Strikeforce signees will be subject to a mandatory pre-contract screening for performance-enhancing drugs. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, all incoming athletes will be tested prior to finalizing a contract with the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization.
UFC and Strikeforce already work closely with the most prestigious regulators and athletic commissions to ensure the healthy and safety of athletes prior to competition. This includes contestants on The Ultimate Fighter, all of whom are pre-screened for performance-enhancing drugs prior to participating on the longest-running sports reality show on television.
All current UFC and Strikeforce athletes will continue to be screened for performance-enhancing drugs, both prior to competition and at random, in accordance with athletic commission rules and regulations.
“We’re committed to the health and safety of our athletes and we take it very seriously,” UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We already work closely with athletic commissions to protect our athletes and now we’re taking it one step further. We’re going to test any potential UFC or Strikeforce fighter before finalizing their contract. This shows that we don’t want performance-enhancing drugs in our sport.”
This pre-contract screening policy further cements the organization’s dedication to the well-being of its athletes. In May, the organization announced that nearly 350 UFC and Strikeforce independent contractor athletes would be eligible for customized accident insurance coverage, an unprecedented policy that covers accidental injuries suffered by athletes while training, as well as non-training incidents such as automobile accidents.
“The health and safety of our athletes is our top priority,” UFC President Dana White said. “We’ve seen the issues performance-enhancing drugs have caused in other sports and we’re going to do everything we can to keep them out of the UFC and Strikeforce. Our athletes are already held to the highest testing standards in all sports by athletic commissions. Our new testing policy for performance-enhancing drugs only further shows how important it is to us to have our athletes competing on a level playing field.”
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