Weekly Mixed Martial Arts & Kickboxing News – 06/09/2012
By PDG Staff
BJ Penn Returns to face Rory MacDonald
After hinting at retirement following his October 2011 loss to Nick Diaz, former two division UFC champion BJ Penn has found the motivation to continue his storied career in the form of Canadian phenom Rory MacDonald, who he has verbally agreed to face in a September 22nd bout in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. MacDonald, winner of three in a row, has also agreed to this intriguing matchup on the UFC 152 card.
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy – Card Updated
The Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore will host Strikeforce when it returns to the Pacific Northwest with Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy announced for Saturday, July 14. Current Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold will meet U.S. Army Green Beret and number one contender Tim Kennedy for a five-round bout live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy
July 14, 2012
Main Card (Showtime):
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship:
Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy
Strikeforce Welterweight Championship:
Nate Marquardt vs. Tyron Woodley
Robbie Lawler vs. Lorenz Larkin
Roger Gracie vs. Keith Jardine
Preliminary Card (Showtime Extreme):
Jorge Masvidal vs. Justin Wilcox
Pat Healy vs. Mizuto Hirota
Jordan Mein vs. Tyler Stinson
Jason High vs. Nate Moore
Ryan Couture vs. Joe Duarte
Brian Stann out of UFC on FOX 4, Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera will Main Event
The UFC on FOX summer card lost its main event with the news that headliner Brian Stann, who was set to face Hector Lombard, had been injured and forced to withdraw from the event.
The new main event on August 4 will be a five-round light heavyweight battle between two of the best Muay Thai strikers in the game, Brandon Vera and former champion Shogun Rua. Rua is riding the momentum of the fight of the century against Dan Henderson, while Vera is back in the win column and looking to make a statement after being sidelined earlier this year due to injury himself.
Rua is being plucked from the UFC 149 card in Calgary, where he was set to face Thiago Silva until Silva suffered an injury. Vera, meanwhile, was training for a bout with James Te Huna at the July FUEL TV event. A new opponent for Te Huna is expected to be named shortly.
“No one is more disappointed than I,” said Stann via Twitter. “Meant the world to headline a UFC.”
In other UFC on FOX 4 injury news, featherweight Pablo Garza has had to withdraw from a bout with Josh Grispi. Rani Yahya will step in as the the replacement, which may change Grispi’s game plan. Yahya is an ultra-dangerous grappling specialist with a near 90% finishing rate via submission. Verbal agreements are in for both bouts.
UFC on Fox 4
August 4, 2012
Los Angeles, California
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-6) vs. Brandon Vera (12-5)
Lyoto Machida (17-3) vs. Ryan Bader (14-2)
Travis Browne (13-0-1) vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8)
Phil Davis (9-1) vs. Chad Griggs (11-2)
Mike Swick (14-4) vs. DaMarques Johnson (15-10)
Josh Grispi (14-3) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7)
Nam Phan (17-10) vs. Cole Miller (18-6)
Manny Gamburyan (11-7) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-11-1)
EA SPORTS Announces UFC Fighting Game
Electronic Arts announced a licensing agreement with Zuffa, LLC, to produce and distribute videogames bearing its Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brand. The new multi-year, multi-product partnership will provide EA the exclusive rights to develop UFC videogames, which will be developed and marketed under the EA SPORTS brand.
“We’re thrilled to begin a long-term partnership that will bring fans incredibly authentic, and deeply connected, UFC videogames,” said Andrew Wilson, EVP and Head of EA SPORTS. “UFC has become a global powerhouse because they have the world’s best fighters, competing in the world’s best mixed martial arts events. We share UFC’s passion for the sport, and we look forward to capturing all of the intensity and excitement of the action with unique new game experiences across a range of platforms.”
Zuffa has licensed to EA the UFC rights previously held by THQ, Inc. (THQI).
“We’d like to thank THQ for creating some of the most critically-acclaimed sports videogames of this console generation, and we’re excited to enter a new relationship with EA that will help us deepen our connection with fighting fans around the world,” said UFC President Dana White. “There’s no one better at creating authentic sports videogames than EA SPORTS, and we’re excited to have a partner who shares our vision of deep, connected and multi-platform global game experiences.”
“We’ve relished our relationship with UFC over the last several years and believe that the UFC gaming brand is in great shape. THQ’s more focused strategy moving forward meant that transferring the license to EA made sense to all parties,” said THQ CEO Brian Farrell. “We’d like to thank the UFC for their great support and partnership and wish EA all the best moving forward.”
One FC 4: Destiny of Warriors – Card Updated
One FC 4: Destiny of Warriors
June 23, 2012
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs. Tatsuya Mizuno
Leandro Issa vs. Masakazu Imanari
Gregor Gracie vs. Adam Kayoom
Bae Young Kwon vs. Eric Kelly
Brian Choi vs. Arnaud Lepont
Roger Huerta vs. Zorobabel Moreira*
Mitch Chilson vs. AJ Lias Mansor
Marcos Escubar vs. Rodrigo Praxedes
Kim Hock Quek vs. Pete Davis
Roldan Sangcha-an vs. Allamurad Karayev
*Phil Baroni was supposed to face Huerta but he was knocked out last weekend and probably won’t be medically cleared in time for One FC.
UFC 149: Aldo vs. Koch – Card Updated
Thiago Alves is out of his bout against Siyar Bahadurzada and stepping in to the welterweight bout in Alves’ place is Chris Clements, a striker from London, Ontario, Canada, who won his UFC debut at UFC 145 in April.
In more UFC 149 news, highly-touted Bibiano Fernandes is joining the growing line for a crack at the UFC bantamweight title, and his first test inside the Octagon will be against Canadian prospect Roland Delorme.
Agreements are also in for a welterweight match between 8-2 James Head and Canada’s 14-2 Claude “The Prince” Patrick. All three of the new bouts have been verbally agreed upon by the fighters.
UFC 149: Aldo vs. Koch
July 21, 2012
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Jose Aldo (21-1) vs. Erik Koch (13-1)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1) vs. Cheick Kongo (17-7-2)
Hector Lombard (31-2-1) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)
Court McGee (13-2) vs. Nick Ring (12-1)
Siyar Bahadurzada (21-4-1) vs. Chris Clements (11-4)
George Roop (12-9-1) vs. Antonio Carvalho (13-5)
Bryan Caraway (16-5) vs. Mitch Gagnon (8-1)
Mitch Clarke (9-1) vs. Anton Kuivanen (16-5)
Ryan Jimmo (16-1) vs. Anthony Perosh (13-6)
Claude Patrick (14-2) vs. James Head (8-2)
Bibiano Fernandes (11-3) vs. Roland Delorme (8-1)
Invicta FC and Japan’s JEWELS Form Partnership to Cross-Promote World’s Top Women MMA Fighters
Invicta Fighting Championships and Japan-based JEWELS announced today that the two women’s Mixed Martial Arts promotions have formed a strategic partnership to cross-promote the world’s top female fighters on their respective fight cards in The United States and Japan.
As part of the new alliance, JEWELS champion Akaya Hamasaki (7-0) of Yamaguchi, Japan will head to Kansas City, Kan. to square off with fellow undefeated star Jasminka “Impressive” Cive (5-0) of Graz, Styria Austria in a flyweight (115 pounds) matchup at Invicta FC 2: McMann vs. Baszler at Memorial Hall on Sat., July 28.
Hamasaki is one of two fighters from the JEWELS roster who will do battle on the Invicta card. The other, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano (18-9) of Tokyo, will square off with Japanese Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Cesar Gracie-protégé Alexis Davis (11-5) of Colborne, Ontario Canada at bantamweight (135 pounds) in the co-main event.
“We are excited to enter this partnership with JEWELS, which was essentially founded with the same goal of placing professional women’s MMA competition, at its highest level, on a major stage,” said Invicta President Shannon Knapp. “This relationship with an overseas promotion will effectively make it more turnkey for us to bring in some of the best women fighters in the world to compete in the Invicta cage and to send our top athletes to Japan to compete at JEWELS events.
“We are very honored and extremely excited about this partnership with Invicta Fighting Championships,” said JEWELS President Yuichi Ozono. “We appreciate the opportunity that Invicta Fighting Championships is extending to our fighters, including the current JEWELS champion Ayaka Hamasaki and Pro Elite and Strikeforce veteran Hitomi Akano. We are excited to be able to collaborate and cooperate with Invicta Fighting Championships to achieve our common goal, which is to promote the appeal of women’s Mixed Martial Arts.”
The 30-year-old Hamasaki, a second-degree Judo black belt, has been tearing through the ranks of competitors in Japan since she made her professional debut on Oct. 25, 2009, submitting Kinuka Sasaki with an armber in the second round of their matchup.
On Dec. 17, 2010, Hamasaki emerged the winner of a four-woman, single-elimination tournament, and earning unanimous decisions over Sakura Nomura and Seo Hee Ham, respectively. Hamasaki is coming off a first-round submission (kimura) win over Yuka Tsuji at a JEWELS event.
Also 30 years of age, Cive has yet to be taken the distance of a professional fight, winning four of her five career starts by way of KO or TKO and one of her bouts by submission. She has made a name for herself outside of MMA, winning championships in Muay Thai and K-1 rules kickboxing competition.
In her last effort on March 17, Cive scored a third round TKO with a barrage of punches on Eva Henesova in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
Former Heavyweight Contender Brett Rogers Signs with Bellator
To describe the career of Brett Rogers as a roller coaster ride could be considered a massive understatement. The former heavyweight title contender was at the top of the MMA food chain not long ago, but for a career that has seen the highest of highs, the lowest of lows soon followed. Only 31, heavy-handed heavyweight Brett “Da Grim” Rogers is looking for a fresh start and a new challenge with Bellator Fighting Championships.
“I am incredibly thankful to Bjorn Rebney and Bellator for giving me and my family this opportunity,” said Rogers. “I feel that I am still one of the top heavyweights in the sport and now I have the opportunity to prove it with Bellator. I love the tournament format as it will give me the chance to regain my top position, of course with a lot hard work.”
After beginning his career with a spotless 9-0 record that included eight knockout victories, Rogers, who will make his Bellator debut on Friday, June 22nd from The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in Chester, West Virginia at Bellator 71, made his mark in the MMA world by dismantling former world champion Andrei Arlovski in convincing fashion. The win earned Rogers a fight with “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko, and all eyes were on Rogers. After a first round that saw Rogers batter and bloody Emelianenko, the Russian legend stunned Rogers with a massive right hand that put an abrupt halt to the contest.
Rogers then began a downward spiral with losses to Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett that quickly humbled the once undefeated heavyweight. Rogers also faced issues outside of the cage, including an arrest stemming from a domestic dispute. With his legal troubles behind him and the chance to compete in a future Bellator Heavyweight Tournament, Rogers is ready to see what the future holds.
“Over the past year I have been challenged in my personal life, but all is now good in the Rogers family,” Rogers said. “Everyone makes mistakes in life but it’s how you recover that really counts. I spend every day with my wife and kids and enjoy every minute of it. Fighting is my job and I love it, but I also love my family and that’s why I made things right before returning to the cage. All I can say is get ready for a new and improved Brett Rogers.”
“I was in Chicago the night Brett Rogers came within just a few punches of dethroning The Last Emperor on a worldwide stage and I watched early in his career when he was a KO machine,” Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney said. “Brett’s management’s been talking to us for months about Brett. And, after talking to Brett at length, I think this could be the type of fresh start he needs to put his fighting career and other parts of his life back to where he hoped they would be.”
Muay Thai Journal Documentary Trailer
Here is the trailer for the upcoming documentary series Muaythai Journal. Filmed in Thailand in February of 2012, the documentary series will focus on fighters and key figures in Muaythai discussing what it takes to be a Muaythai fighter, lifestyle both inside and outside of the ring, the history of Muaythai, and how gambling and corruption affect the sport.
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