Weekly Mixed Martial Arts & Kickboxing News – 06/29/2012
By PDG Staff
Tito Ortiz to be Inducted into UFC Hall of Fame July 7th
The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization is proud to confirm that Tito Ortiz – the longest-reigning light heavyweight champion of all time and one of the biggest personalities in the sport of mixed martial arts – will be the ninth individual to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Ortiz will be officially inducted at midday on July 7 at the UFC Fan Expo, meaning he will fight the final bout of his 15-year career against old nemesis Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 on July 7 as a confirmed UFC Hall of Famer. Ortiz is the first inductee since 2010, and joins Matt Hughes, MMA pioneer Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn as well as contemporaries Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture in the pantheon of Octagon immortals.
“It is a huge honor to be recognized as one of the greatest fighters of all time by the UFC,” Ortiz said. “To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is final proof that all the hard work and dedication, all the pain and sacrifices, were all worth it. To be able to walk to the Octagon one last time as an official UFC Hall of Fame level fighter is going to be humbling and awesome. I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to end my career on such a high like this.
“I want to thank my family for all their love and support and my fans for sticking with me through the bad times when being a Tito Ortiz fan wasn’t the coolest thing to be. Finally, I want to thank Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White for giving me so many opportunities over the years and for securing the future of the sport I love and have dedicated my life to.”
A brash, polarizing presence with bleached blonde hair and devastating takedowns, Ortiz made his UFC debut on May 30, 1997 at UFC 13. He smashed an entrant named Wes Albritton in 31 seconds and, within three years, had annexed the UFC light heavyweight title by beating the also soon-to-be legendary Wanderlei Silva. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy would go on to reign for a record three and a half years and had some of the biggest fights of his or any other era.
UFC President Dana White said: “Everyone knows the story of me and Tito and all the things that went on between us. A lot of it wasn’t fun at the time, but all that controversy and craziness is now part of the story of the UFC, and there’s no question that in his prime he was a huge star and one of the greats of his era.
“You can’t write the story of this era of mixed martial arts without Tito Ortiz, and that’s why he belongs in the Hall of Fame. He’s been in the UFC for 15years – and sticking around that long is an achievement in itself – and now he’s down to just 15minutes at UFC 148. Believe me, I know how proud and stubborn this guy is and I expect him to use everything he has left as a fighter to go out as a winner at UFC 148.”
UFC Chairman & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said: “Tito is part of the fabric of our sport and of the history of our company. He’s given his life to mixed martial arts and gave all of us some hugely memorable moments as both a fighter and a personality outside the Octagon. He was a lock to go into the UFC Hall of Fame at some point, and I’m happy we could make this happen now so he gets to enter the Octagon for the final time as a reigning Hall of Famer. I think this will be an emotional goodbye for Tito and one final special moment for his fans.”
Ortiz aims to leave UFC 148 – and his career – as a winner.
“My name will probably always be linked with guys like Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell and especially Ken Shamrock,” Ortiz said. “But the fights with Forrest were as good and competitive as any of them. When I first fought him, he was inexperienced and made a name for himself in doing so well against me. The next time we fought I was supposed to be over the hill, and I showed that I wasn’t finished by long shot.
“Now, I just want to prove I was the better fighter all along by winning the rubber match. I don’t want to go out on a sour note – I want everyone’s last image of me to be me in the center of the Octagon with my hand raised.”
Final Card Announced for It’s Showtime 57 & 58
IT’S SHOWTIME 57 & 58
June 30, 2012
77kg: Vahap Ozdemir vs. Duoli Chen
70kg: Mandela Antoine vs. Robbie Hageman
73kg: Aziz Kallah vs. Marat Grigorian
HW: Rico Verhoeven vs. Hesdy Gerges
HW: Rustemi Kreshnik vs. Mourad Bouzidi
70kg: Andy Souwer vs. Chris Ngimbi (It’s Showtime 70kg MAX World Title)
70kg: Samir Djabba vs. Andy Ristie
73kg: Fatih Ozkan vs. Sonny Dagraed
95kg: Filip Verlinden vs. Danyo Ilunga (It’s Showtime 95kg MAX World Title)
70kg: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Hafid el Boustati
HW: Dzevad Poturak vs. Daniel Ghita
HW: Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong
Three Title Fights Headline Bellator 73 on August 24
Bellator’s memorable Summer Series will leave an indelible mark in its finale as the world’s top tournament-based MMA promotion will feature THREE championship fights in one night at Bellator 73: Curran vs. Pitbull on Friday, August 24 from Harrah’s Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. One of the biggest fights of the year will take place as Bellator Featherweight World Champion Pat Curran makes his first title defense against the dangerous Patricio Pitbull, plus the Season 6 Bantamweight Tournament Championship will be on the line as submission aces Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira square off. The night will also feature the Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Championship, which saw four finishes in the quarterfinal round.
“Harrah’s Tunica was a fantastic venue partner for us when we made our first visit last year, and I expect another energized, sold-out crowd on August 24th,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Pat Curran vs. Patricio Pitbull is a world title fight between two of the most explosive and versatile featherweights on earth. Both can finish any fight with relentless strikes or vicious submissions. This will be an epic title fight to remember for years to come.
”Widely regarded as one of the top two featherweights in the world, Curran’s road to the title was an impressive one. After an incredible Peruvian necktie submission victory over Luis Palomino in the Bellator Season 5 Quarterfinals, Curran collected a unanimous decision win over Ronnie Mann. With the victory, Curran secured a spot in the Featherweight Finals against Marlon Sandro. Curran pushed the pace early, and in the second round delivered a devastating, highlight-reel roundhouse kick to the head of Sandro that earned the Crystal Lake, Ill. product his eventual title shot against Warren at Bellator 60. After two back and fourth rounds, Curran delivered a barrage of strikes that ended the fight in the third round and earned Curran the Bellator Featherweight Title.
“This fight with Patricio is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Curran said. “This will be my first title defense, and I just want to get back in the cage and keep developing as a fighter. Pitbull is an outstanding fighter, so this should be a great fight.
”For Pitbull, the explosive Brazilian has been away from the cage for over a year after suffering a broken hand that kept the 17-1 striker out of action. After collecting his title shot with a dominating run through the Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament, to say Pitbull is eager to get back in the cage would be an understatement.
“I’m very happy and relieved this fight is finally happening,” said Pitbull. “I’ve been through a lot with my hand injury and can’t wait to get back in the cage. I’m 100 percent now and all I want is to fulfill my dream of getting the belt and pay tribute to my late teacher Bruno Gouvea. He’s the reason I’m here today and he’ll be with me in spirit cageside watching his work pay off. All is can say is Pat better be ready. I’ve never been so motivated for a fight, and I’ve never wanted the belt so much.
UFC on FOX 4 – Card Updated
Former WEC champion Jamie Varner is replacing the injured Terry Etim against Joe Lauzon at UFC on FOX August 4. Varner is coming off a huge win over highly-touted Edson Barboza at UFC 146, another fight he took on short notice after Evan Dunham, Barboza’s original opponent, was injured.
UFC on Fox 4
August 4, 2012
Los Angeles, California
Main Card (Fox):
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)
Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6-1-2)
Mike Swick (14-4) vs. DaMarques Johnson (15-10)
Josh Grispi (14-3) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7)
Phil Davis (9-1) vs. Chad Griggs (11-2)
Nam Phan (17-10) vs. Cole Miller (18-6)
Manny Gamburyan (11-7) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-11-1)
Fight Sports Asia Muay Thai Clip of the Week
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman – Announced
Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will make her highly-anticipated initial title defense against former champ Sarah Kaufman when Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman comes to Valley View Casino Center on Sports Arena Blvd. in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday, August 18. The five-round bout will air live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT while preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME Extreme at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming days.
“We’re excited to head back to the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego with the first title defense of bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, arguably the best female fighter in the sport today,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “She’s submitted all of her opponents thus far, but number one contender Sarah Kaufman has the experience and tenacity to push her like no one else. This is a great title fight for Strikeforce fans and we look forward to another tremendous night of fights in San Diego!”
Riding high off her recent championship performance over Miesha Tate this past March, Ronda Rousey looks to continue her dominance in women’s MMA and make her first successful title defense this August in San Diego. A bronze medalist for the U.S. women’s 2008 Olympic Judo team, Rousey’s title win less than a year into her professional career solidified her illustrious transition into the sport of mixed martial arts. At 5-0, with all wins, including three additional victories at the amateur level, coming by way of armbar submission, “Rowdy” threatens victory every time the fights goes to the ground. In addition to Tate, past opponents Julia Budd and Sarah D’Alelio have found that out the hard way and no challenger to date has given Rousey any reason to think she can’t finish every one of her fights the exact same way.
A former champion herself, Sarah Kaufman knows exactly what it takes to win and defend the title in the toughest division in women’s MMA. A brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kaufman is undoubtedly one of the toughest, most experienced and most well-rounded fighters in all of women’s mixed martial arts. At 15-1 with pro victories over Tate, Alexis Davis, Liz Carmouche and Shayna Bazler and currently riding a three-fight win streak, Kaufman made it known that she was unhappy when Rousey was awarded her title match with Tate, a match she felt she had earned. Now with her chance to prove she’s the true top competitor in the division, Kaufman will look to defeat Rousey and claim her second Strikeforce bantamweight championship.
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
August 18, 2012
Valley View Casino Center
San Diego, California
Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman (Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship)
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Derek Brunson
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling
Ovince St. Preux vs. T.J. Cook
K-1 Hopefuls Have the Chance to Compete for $2 Million in Prize Purses
Revered by fans around the world as one of the biggest events ever in the history of martial arts, the legendary, prestigious and premier kickboxing organization, K-1, announced it will hold its first ever open tryouts at the famed Muscle Beach in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 19, 2012 starting at 1:00 p.m. PT.
K-1 is offering this unprecedented opportunity for K-1 hopefuls to fight in a 2012 event and the chance to compete for $2 Million in prize money. $1 million will be awarded to the 2012 K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix winner along with $300,000 for second place, as well as $300,000 for the winner of the 2012 K-1 MAX tournament.
“K-1 would like to invite all talented stand-up fighters to come to Muscle Beach in LA on July 19 and show us what you have, and why you belong in the K-1 family,” said Doug Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer, K-1. “K-1 is the gold standard in stand-up fighting, and we are searching for the best new athletes out there to represent K-1 and possibly become one of kickboxing’s newest icons.”
Signing up for the K-1 Open Tryouts is easy – simply visit the K-1 FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/K1GlobalTV.ENG. After registering, you will receive your confirmation via email.
K-1 is the largest kickboxing promotion in history. Since 1993, K-1 has presented professional live martial arts events in 38 countries featuring the best and most accomplished athletes in the sport.
World Grand Prix Champions of K-1 include Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt, Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Semmy Schilt. K-1 has held broadcast deals with ESPN and HDNet in the United States, Fuji TV in Japan, and numerous other networks across the globe. K-1 returned to the world stage on May 26, 2012 in Madrid, Spain drawing a packed stadium and hundreds of thousands of views on the K-1 Live Stream.
UFC 149: Faber vs. Barão – Card Updated
An injury in training camp for George Roop is another opportunity for Daniel Pineda, who steps up to face Canadian prospect Antonio Carvalho on July 21st in Calgary at UFC 149. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the featherweight match-up.
Also announced for that date, hard-hitting bantamweight Francisco Rivera has verbally agreed to take on quickly-rising Canadian prospect Roland Delorme.
UFC 149: Faber vs. Barão
July 21, 2012
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Main Card (Pay-Per-View):
Interim UFC bantamweight championship:
Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barão (28-1)
Hector Lombard (31-2-1) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)
Court McGee (13-2) vs. Nick Ring (12-1)
Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-3)
Siyar Bahadurzada (21-4-1) vs. Chris Clements (11-4)
Ryan Jimmo (16-1) vs. Anthony Perosh (13-6)
Bryan Caraway (16-5) vs. Mitch Gagnon (8-1)
Antonio Carvalho (13-5) vs. Daniel Pineda (17-8)
Mitch Clarke (9-1) vs. Anton Kuivanen (16-5)
Claude Patrick (14-2) vs. James Head (8-2)
Roland Delorme (8-1) vs. Francisco Rivera (8-2)
International Fight Week Comes To Las Vegas July 3-7
Celebrate the UFC over the Fourth of July in Las Vegas! Fans from across the globe will enjoy free concerts, exclusive pool parties hosted by Octagon Girls, open workouts, pub crawls, UFC Fan Expo, weigh-ins and amazing access to UFC fighters around the city. This all leads up to the ultimate rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 148 live at the MGM Grand Garden Arena! If you love the UFC, there is no better way to experience it than in Las Vegas.
Tito Ortiz “American Legend” – Highlight by Machinemen
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