Weekly Mixed Martial Arts & Kickboxing News – 02/03/2012
By PDG Staff
The Assassin faces Psycho as Bellator Returns to Mohegan Sun
Bellator Fighting Championships returns to Mohegan Sun Arena on March 30 for Bellator 63: The Assassin vs. Psycho. The Friday night affair will feature the quarterfinals of the Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament, along with a host of preliminary fights featuring some of the best East Coast talent the sport has to offer.
The event will broadcast LIVE starting at 8 p.m. EST on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. EST, with the first fight scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The preliminary card, featuring the area’s top local talent will be streamed LIVE and FREE around the world on Spike.com starting at 7 p.m. EST.
The night will be highlighted by Karl “Psycho” Amoussou (@KarlAmoussou) and Chris “The Cleveland Assassin” Lozano as the two vie for a spot in the welterweight semifinals. The Frenchman, Amoussou is known for his tenacious style and desire to finish every fight, leading to 11 finishes in his 13 career wins. For Lozano, the Cleveland Assassin looks for another shot at the Bellator title after coming up short last year against eventual tournament winner Douglas Lima. While Lozano should be a familiar name to Bellator fans after competing in the previous two welterweight tournaments, the evolution Lozano has made over the last half year should make “The Cleveland Assassin” one of the most dangerous fighters inside the Bellator cage.
“After the last tournament, I knew I needed to grow, so I decided to make the move to Greg Jackson’s,” said Lozano. “Over the last months, I have just elevated my game by leaps and bounds. Every day I’m surrounded by some of the best fighters in the world, and it has made me a better fighter. It’s controlled chaos. I’ve really gotten back to some of the things that made me so dangerous, and I can’t wait to show off all the training and hard work this March.”
“I don’t care who I fight in the upcoming Bellator Welterweight Tournament,” said Amoussou. “I’m going to rock the Bellator welterweight division and destroy every fighter that stands in front of me. I don’t care where you train or who you are, if you are in my way to the belt, I feel sorry for you.”
Former Bellator Welterweight finalist Ben Saunders (@BenSaundersMMA) returns and will take on Bellator newcomer Raul Amaya in quarterfinal action. Saunders tore through the Bellator Season 5 Welterweight tournament with a TKO victory over Chris Cisneros and a submission victory of Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Luis “Sapo” Santos, but fell short against tournament winner Douglas Lima in the finals and now Saunders is poised to make another run at the title. Amaya enters the tournament with a spotless 9-0 record and will be looking to stay perfect on his way to the finals.
Brian Foster (@BrianFoster170) enters the tournament riding a four-fight win streak, including two victories with the UFC. A true finisher in every sense of the word, Foster is already making big plans for his Bellator career.
“I’m getting that belt,” Foster said. “I want to fight the best. I want to fight Ben Askren and take home that belt.” Standing in his way will be David Rickels (@TheCaveman316), who holds an impressive 3-0 record inside the Bellator cage.
Long time Bellator veteran Bryan “The Beast” Baker (@bryanbeastbaker) is making the drop to welterweight and will try his hand at 170 lbs. when he battles Carlos “Indio” Pereira. Fighting almost exclusively out of Brazil, Pereira brings a wealth of experience to the Bellator cage, and should be a force within a loaded welterweight tournament.
Originally slated for a tournament spot, “War Machine” Jon Koppenhaver was replaced by Lozano after the troubled welterweight encountered legal issues that prevented him from entering the tournament.
“Mohegan Sun has been a second home to us throughout this company’s history, so I’m thrilled to be returning on March 30,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Top to bottom, this is one of the deepest welterweight fields we’ve ever assembled. This tournament is stacked with experienced fighters that are still in their primes, so we should be in for a great night of fights.”
It’s Showtime and K-1 may join forces for It’s Showtime Japan
According several media outlets including Liverkick.com, a co-promotion between It’s Showtime and EMCOM’s K-1 (ENCOM recently purchased K-1) may be coming later this year in Japan. Here is what Liverkick.com uncovered:
“It’s Showtime has already announced that in September they will be heading to Japan for their first “It’s Showtime Japan” show.”
“It’s Showtime has decided to head to Yokohama, the second-most populated city in Japan and home to quite a few big sporting events. Many K-1 events have been held in Yokohama, but in the 17,000+ seat Yokohama Arena. Instead, It’s Showtime is setting its sights on a more modest venue, the Pacifico National Convention Hall of Yokohama, which seats around 5,000 people.”
The rumor is that the event will be under the official K-1 umbrella hosted by It’s Showtime and it will include Golden Glory and It’s Showtime fighters. So stay tuned as details roll in about this historic event.
UFC on FOX 3: Miller vs. Diaz
East Rutherford, New Jersey could well be home to Fight of the Year this May 5 on FOX, as two of the best lightweights in the world collide to move closer to a title shot. New Jersey’s own Jim Miller, coming off of a Submission of the Night win over Melvin Guillard, will take on Nate Diaz, who is coming off a Fight of the Night-winning victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
UFC on FOX 3: Miller vs. Diaz
Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
Tom Lawlor vs. Jason MacDonald
Dennis Hallman vs. Tony Ferguson
John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
McKee and Cobb officially released from MFC, Haddad also cut for Missing Weight
The Maximum Fighting Championship has released Antonio McKee, Brian Cobb, and James Haddad from their contracts with the organization.
McKee and Cobb were both slated to compete for the MFC lightweight title at MFC 32: Bitter Rivals on Jan. 27, but both fighters came in over the contract weight at the official weigh-in – defending champ McKee by seven pounds and challenger Cobb by one-half pound.
“I was thoroughly disgusted by the lack of professionalism that Antonio McKee showed towards the belt he was scheduled to defend as well as the Maximum Fighting Championship as an organization,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.
“It was unacceptable behavior for a champion to demonstrate. On top of that, Antonio never really apologized for missing weight that badly. That was the end of things for him with the MFC. That’s why he was stripped of his belt immediately and told that he would never fight in the MFC again. I hope it’s a message to all the other fighters in the MFC.”
Cobb, who was coming off a win over Drew Fickett at MFC 30, lost a narrow decision to McKee at MFC 32.
“It’s disappointing to have to release Brian as he is a tremendous character person,” added Pavelich. “Everyone in the MFC has a great deal of respect and admiration for Brian, but unfortunately he admitted to making an error in preparing for the weigh-in and was over the limit. For a title fight that is a big mistake.”
Haddad, who lost via decision to Dan Ring at MFC 32, was over by two pounds for his lightweight bout.
UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans – Updated Card
UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans
April 21, 2012
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship:
Jon Jones (c) vs. Rashad Evans
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
The UFC Fan Expo Returns to Las Vegas in July
UFC Fan Expo
Friday, July 6-Saturday, July 7
Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Tickets on Sale Now at UFCFanExpo.com!
The Ultimate Fighting Championship presents its seventh UFC Fan Expo event on Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. UFC President Dana White made the announcement today during a press conference to promote UFC 143, which takes place this Saturday from the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
“We love giving UFC fans ultimate access to our sport and athletes,” UFC President Dana White said. “This July, we’re putting together our best UFC Fan Expo yet. We’re going to have dozens of our fighters in attendance to sign autographs and meet fans, and we’re going to have some of the world’s top vendors and exhibitors. This is an absolute can’t-miss event for UFC fans around the world!”
Tickets for the UFC Fan Expo are on sale NOW at www.ufcfanexpo.com. Tickets for Friday, July 6 are priced at $40, while tickets for Saturday, July 7 are priced at $45. A two-day pass is also available and is priced at $60. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets now and save, as ticket pricing will increase at the door. VIP packages for the UFC Fan Expo are also available at www.ufcfanexpo.com.
The UFC Fan Expo in July will feature more than 300,000 gross square feet of activities for UFC fans, including meet and greets and autograph sessions with top UFC and Strikeforce fighters, Q&A sessions with top UFC personalities, as well as grappling tournaments and other special events. More than 150 exhibitors will also be on hand, giving fans the opportunity to purchase and experience some of the best sports and lifestyle products on the market today. This marks the third UFC Fan Expo held in Las Vegas since its inception in 2009, with additional UFC Fan Expos being held in Boston, London, Toronto and Houston.
On top of all the great fan activities, the UFC Fan Expo will be held in conjunction with a major UFC Pay-Per-View event scheduled for July 7 in Las Vegas. Information on the venue and fight card will be announced in the weeks to come.
For more information on UFC Fan Expo and to purchase tickets, visit www.ufcfanexpo.com.
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey – Card Finalized
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey
March 3, 2012
Main Card Bouts (Showtime):
Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship:
Miesha Tate (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Mikey Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi
Josh Thomson vs. K.J. Noons
Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki
Derek Brunson vs. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza
Preliminary Bouts (Showtime Extreme):
Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis
Caros Fodor vs. Pat Healy
Scott Smith vs. Lumumba Sayers
Ryan Couture vs. Conor Heun
Bellator & MTV2 come to Laredo as Lightweights battle for a World Title Shot
Bellator Fighting Championships returns to The Lone Star State on Friday, March 23rd for Bellator 62 live from Laredo, Texas at the Laredo Energy Arena. The night features the quarterfinals of Bellator’s $100,000 Season 6 Lightweight Tournament, as well a host of Texas’ top MMA talent.
The event will also be broadcast LIVE starting at 7 p.m. CST on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. CST, with the first fight scheduled for 6 p.m. CST. The preliminary card, featuring the area’s top talent will be streamed LIVE and FREE around the world on Spike.com starting at 6 p.m. CST.
“Laredo has been on our radar for three years now and I’ve always believed that it could be a spectacular location for a large-scale, nationally and internationally televised Bellator event,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “When Oscar Enriquez and his team at Ultimate MMA approached me about bringing Bellator live on MTV2 to Laredo, he had all of the right pieces in place and he made the decision an easy one. This lightweight field is so loaded with talent and world class competitors that this event should be explosive from start to finish.”
Coming off an explosive knockout victory over UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino at Bellator 59, Patricky Pitbull (@PatrickyPitbull) is back and looking to start his ascent toward a title shot with a quarterfinal matchup against fan-favorite Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard (@mmacupcake). Patricky has produced a number of incredible Bellator “YouTube Moments” and has his sights set on adding another highlight to his collection.
Former U.S. Olympian Judoka Rick Hawn (@RickHawnmma) is making the drop to lightweight and meets the dangerous Ricardo Tirloni (@Tirlonimma). Hawn compiled an impressive 11-1 record as a welterweight, but is confident the drop in weight will make him even more dangerous.
“I felt like I was sort of undersized in the last tournament,” Hawn said. “Everyone had a height advantage on me, and while I thought I made a good run in my last welterweight tournament, I think lightweight is going to be a better fit for me and just give me an advantage over everyone else.”
Also making the drop to lightweight is longtime Bellator veteran Brent Weedman (@brent_weedman). Always looking for a finish, “Weedman Nation” will be on full display as he battles Bellator newcomer J.J. Ambrose (@SuperJJAmbrose).
“I’ve already tested myself with a lightweight weight cut and I felt great,” Weedman said. “Over the last year, I’ve felt a little undersized as a welterweight, so I think lightweight is going to be a great spot for me. I’m excited to show off my new skills, and this tournament is stacked, so we’re going to put on a show this season.”
Rounding out an absolutely loaded tournament class, Rene “The Brazilian Bomber” Nazare (@Nazaremma) will square off with top prospect Thiago Michel. A product of Team Bombsquad, Nazare always has his eye on delivering the knockout, and nothing will change on March 23rd.
UFC 144 Japan: Edgar vs. Henderson – Card Updated
UFC 144 Japan
February 26, 2012
Saitama Super Arena
Main Card Bouts:
UFC Lightweight Championship:
Frankie Edgar (c) vs. Benson Henderson
Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon
Preliminary Card Bouts:
Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee
Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
Tiequan Zhang vs. TBA*
*Leonard Garcia was forced to withdraw due to injury.
ONE Fighting Championship announces 10-year deal with ESPN STAR Sports
Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship, Asia’s largest MMA organization, announces a 10-year media partnership with ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s biggest sports content provider. This partnership marks the largest MMA media deal in Asian history and includes showcasing the best Asian mixed martial artists against one another through a series of events across all the major cities in Asia.
Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Fighting Championship, said, “Asia has been the birthplace and home to martial arts for the last 5,000 years and ONE Fighting Championship has a vision of bringing mixed martial arts to the 3.9 billion people living in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s biggest provider of sports content, is a wonderful partner to help with that mission.”
Adam Zecha, Executive Vice President, Head of Sales (SEA), ESPN STAR Sports, said, “ESPN STAR Sports has always been at the forefront in offering innovative and engaging programming to sports fans across the region. We have successfully showcased a diverse range of combat sports events to fans, and with this long-term partnership with ONE Fighting Championship, mixed-martial arts sports fans can now look forward to more exciting action on our networks.”
ONE Fighting Championship will be hosting events in Jakarta on February 11 and in Singapore again on March 31 featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions. The full calendar of events for the rest of 2012 will be announced in the near future.
Titan Fighting 21: Santiago vs. Pecanha
Titan Fighting Championship officially announced that Titan Fighting 21 will take place Friday, March 2 and will feature former UFC middleweight and Sengoku Champion “The Sandman” Jorge Santiago in a heated main event against former Bellator competitor and fellow Brazilian Leonardo Pecanha. Titan Fighting 21 will be held inside Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS and HDNet will deliver the entire main card live starting at 9:00 p.m. ET.
“There is no doubt this is going to be one of Titan’s best events ever, with knockout artist Jorge Santiago and submission specialist Leonardo Pecanha headlining, and a star studded undercard, including Joe Ellenberger, Wilk, Carrillo and Sharkbait, Titan Fighting 21 is going to deliver for fight fans on March 2nd,” said Titan CEO Joe Kelly.
Before entering the UFC for the second time in his professional fighting career, Santiago (23-10) went 7-1 in Japan’s Sengoku organization and 2-0 in Strikeforce, winning nine of his past 10 fights. The 31-year old holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is known for his aggressive style and deadly striking. He owns nine wins by knockout and 12 wins by submission. Santiago’s battle against Kazuo Misaki in Sengoku was awarded as Sherdog’s 2010 Fight of the Year, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest fights of all time.
“I can’t wait to fight for Titan on March 2nd and to show everybody that ‘The Sandman’ is back and more dangerous than ever before,” said Santiago. “I train with the best coaches and some of the best fighters in the world, I’ve never felt better or more ready, and at Titan Fighting 21 I’m going to make a fight nobody will forget – especially Leonardo Pecanha.”
Pecanha (14-7-0) is a second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and holds multiple championships in BJJ. He began training in BJJ at age six and is now a world class grappler, with victories over accomplished fighters like Tarsis Humphreys, Mike Fowler, Sergio Moraes, Andre Galvao and Rani Yahya. Of his 14 wins, 12 of those have come by submission, and the other two by first round KO.
“I am honored to be headlining Titan Fighting 21 and I look forward to finishing Jorge Santiago live on HDNet for all the fans watching at home,” said Pecanha. “There’s isn’t anything that Santiago has over me, I’m better on the ground, and more vicious standing up, so there’s no way I’m letting this fight go to the judges’ scorecards – I’m going to finish him, and fast.”
In addition to the main event between Santiago and Pecanha, Titan Fighting 21 will feature a co-main event between Joe “Nose” Wilk and Andrew Carrillo. The rest of the televised live card includes: Joe Ellenberger vs. Jesse Zeugin; Brandon Pfannensteil vs. Sharkbait; Junior Hernandez vs. Kevin Croom, and Mirsad Bektic vs. Cody Carrillo.
On the undercard, Titan Fighting Championship will present the amateur bouts Darrick Minner vs. Cody Peterson and Emery McReynolds vs. Issac Enriquez.
One FC 3: Babalu vs. Manhoef
One Fighting Championship returns to the shores of Singapore on 31 March 2012. The Singapore Indoor Stadium will come alive with non-stop adrenaline and excitement as 20 champions from around the world compete for honor and glory. After a sold-out debut in September 2011, MMA fans will be blown away with what One Fighting Championship 3 has in store for Singapore this coming March including the main event which will feature former UFC and Strikeforce contender Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral in his One FC debut as he faces K-1 and Strikeforce veteran Melvin Manhoef.
FTC Closes Investigation of UFC Parent Company Zuffa
The Federal Trade Commission has officially closed its ongoing investigation into the business dealings of Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company Zuffa, LLC. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition began its nonpublic investigation of the company last year following Zuffa’s acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, the parent company of Strikeforce.
“Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed, this action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred. The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require.”
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