Alistair Overeem. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Dutch striker Alistair Overeem will reportedly return to action in a heavyweight bout at DREAM’s upcoming fourth event on June 15th in Japan.
The news comes from The Fight Network, which has confirmed Overeem’s participation with Golden Glory head trainer Martin De Jong.
Overeem last forced Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Paul Buentello to tap out due to injuries received from knees to the body at Strikeforce’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” event in November of last year. The win earned Overeem the vacant Strkeforce heavyweight belt.
Overeem was also slated to take on former teammate Gilbert Yvel in a mixed martial arts bout at the K-1 European Grand Prix last month but Yvel was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering a left calf injury during trainer. A replacement opponent was not found in time for Overeem.
DREAM.4 will feature the second round of the promotion’s inaugural middleweight grand prix tournament. Also expected to take place is a second-round lightweight grand prix bout between tournament favorite Shinya Aoki and Katsuhiko Nagata.
Photo courtesy of FedorMMA.com.
M-1 Global has announced the launching of a mixed martial arts-based reality show that will center around former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
“Fighting Fedor” will involve sixteen heavyweights from all over the world traveling to Russia to live and train with the Red Devil Sport Club. The fighters will apparently compete against each other in a tournament-style format and the winner will have the chance to fight Emelianenko and pretty much face near-death in the process.
Additional details as well as the list of cast members is expected to be announced shortly.
DREAM Dropped by TBS; Picked up by HDNet?
DREAM live events have reportedly been dropped from the Tokyo Broadcasting System’s lineup due to lackluster ratings. The organization’s inaugural event only drew an 8.9 percent rating average in primetime, which is considered dismal by Japanese standards.
The network will air DREAM’s April 29th event on tape delay one week after the event takes place. It will be the last event the network airs. SkyPerfecTV pay-per-view will then assume duties of airing DREAM events for the future.
However what is Japan’s loss might be the United States’ gain according to our friends at MMARated.com, who report that tomorrow night’s episode of “Inside MMA” on HDNet will feature some interesting news regarding the FEG-owned promotion and the digital cable network.
A bout between Dutch strikers Alistair Overeem and Gilbert Yvel scheduled to take place this Saturday at the K-1 European Grand Prix has been scrapped due to Yvel suffering a left calf injury during a recent training session. The fight was the only MMA bout slated to happen on the card, which will pan out at the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands.
“Last Thursday during a training session with Mirko Cro Cop, I suffered an injury which was diagnosed as torn muscle fiber in the hospital,” Yvel explained Thursday at a news conference according to Sherdog.com. “Even after two days of absolute rest and with lots of ice on the leg, I was barely able to stand on my left foot.”
It is unknown if a replacement opponent will be found in time for Overeem.
Cole Replaces Goodridge at “Anger Management”
IFL veteran Wayne Cole will replace an injured Gary Goodridge against heavyweight Eric Pele at the Maximum Fighting Championship’s upcoming “Anger Management” show on May 9th according to The Fight Network.
Goodridge was forced to pull out of the main event bout due to a recently suffered back injury. Goodridge suffered the injury during a recent training session and will be required to undergo surgery to repair the the sciatic nerve in his lower back.
Alistair Overeem. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Dutch strikers Alistair Overeem and Gilbert Yvel will face off for the first time in their respective careers in a mixed martial arts bout scheduled to take place this Saturday at the K-1 European Grand Prix.
The bout between Overeem and Yvel is the only MMA bout slated to happen on the card, which will pan out at the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands.
Neither fighter has competed since last year. Overeem last forced Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Paul Buentello to tap out due to injuries received from knees to the body at Strikeforce’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” event in November. The win earned Overeem the vacant Strkeforce heavyweight belt.
Yvel, a former training partner of Overeem’s while with Golden Glory, is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. The controversial PRIDE veteran most recently defeated Hakim Goram by TKO at last year’s K-1 European Grand Prix in June.
K-1 Hero’s veteran Melvin Manhoef will also be in action at the event, taking on Remy Bonjasky in a K-1 rules fight.
The California State Athletic Commission released the official list of medical suspensions stemming from last weekend’s Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives event that took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Bryson Kamaka, and Chris Drumm have all been medically suspended for 45 days and with no contact for 30 days.
Paul Buentello has been medically suspended for 60 days and can also have no contact in training for the same amount of time because of lacerations around his eye. A similar situation may also occur for Bobby Southworth who was medically suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days but may have his suspension extended to 60 days and without contact if a doctor does not clear a laceration above Southworth’s left eye.
Both Alistair Overeem and Brian Schwartz have been medically suspended for 180 days and with no contact for the same amount of time. Overeem has a possible fracture in his finger and his suspension can be reduced after clearance by a physician. Schwartz has a possible fracture in his left hand. If Schwartz is found to not have a fractured hand, he will not be required to serve any of the suspension.
The biggest suspensions were received by Sean Salmon and Sam Morgan who were both medically suspended for an indefinite amount of time. However if and when the fighters are cleared by a doctor, they will be required to serve a 45 day suspension without contact for 30 days.
Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage
Jorge Santiago needed less than three minutes in order to capture the state of California and Strikeforce’s first-ever four-man mixed martial arts tournament last night.
Santiago scored victories over Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley in front of 8,233 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Both Santiago and Prangley headed into the tournament in relatively good shape considering they had each fought earlier in the evening. They decided to keep the bout on the feet during the opening moments of their fight. Santiago battered Prangley with a flurry of leg kicks early on, connecting with one that knocked Prangley to the ground.
Santiago continued to stalk Prangley connecting with a number of unanswered punches and kicks. Santiago connected with a knee to the body and followed it up with a right hand that sent Prangley to the canvas. Santiago pounced on him and following up with another right hand but referee Jon Schorle decided that Prangley had enough and stopped the fight.
After the fight, Santiago admitted that sticking to his game plan ultimately won him the fight:
“I’ve been studying his game for a long time and I knew that he was a tough guy,” said Santiago. “I knew that he was probably going to try and take me down and drop some bombs. I just stuck to my game. I saw the best time to go and I took over.”
Strikeforce has announced that they will be streaming their upcoming show, Strikeforce: Tournament Series, live on Yahoo! Sports Friday, November 16 beginning at 11 PM EST.
Available to all internet users located beyond a 150 mile radius of San Jose, the live stream, free of charge to viewers, will begin at 8 PM PST (11 PM EST) and include the entire Strikeforce four-man, single-elimination tournament, featuring middleweight (185 lb. limit) stars Trevor Prangley (16-4), Falaniko Vitale (24-7), Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1), and Jorge Santiago (14-7). Each tournament bout will consist of two, five-minute rounds.
Also included in the stream will be the Strikeforce heavyweight title fight between Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello and Alistair Overeem, Cung Lee vs. Sam Morgan, Bobby Southworth vs. Anthony Ruiz and Brian “The Mad Stork” Schwartz vs. Lemont Davis.
A lottery ball drawing, which will take place immediately following the fighter weigh-ins at the HP Pavilion’s The Grill restaurant on Thursday, the eve of Strikeforce’s mixed martial arts mega-card, will determine the tournament brackets for Friday’s historic, four-man middleweight (185 lb. limit) tournament.
Tournament competitors Trevor Prangley (16-4), Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (24-7), Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1), and Jorge Santiago (14-7) will each draw one of four balls, numbered “1” through “4,” and, then, one by one, choose which location in the single-elimination tournament draw they wish to occupy. The first choice will be given to the fighter who draws the ball numbered 1, the second choice to the fighter who draws ball number 2, and so forth.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, five-minute rounds. The victor of the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament in the state of California will potentially be awarded the opportunity to challenge Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock.
News and Notes
- Strikeforce announced the four participants for their first ever one-night tournament set to take place at their next event on November 16th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The four middleweights that will participate are Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, two-minute rounds. If a draw is declared following the second round of a fight, an overtime round will be added to the bout to determine a victor. The winner of the tournament may earn the opportunity to face Frank Shamrock in the near future.
- Rich Franklin’s publicity manager has stated that reports about a possible early retirement for Franklin are not true:
“Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s publicity manager. “It’s too early for him to even consider retirement at this point.”
- Paul Buentello will face Alistair Overeem or the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title on November 16th as well.
- Dave Meltzer has another description of Don Frye’s apparent street fight with the bodyguard of Leland Chapman:
The fight with Don Frye and “Sonny,” who was Leland Chapman’s bodyguard, started when promoter Chris Salsbury told Scott Steiner that MMA promoter Phil Flathres would be in charge of paying the wrestlers. The wrestlers came to Flathers for their money. Somehow the MMA people and wrestling people were played against each other and tension developed. “Sonny” started making remarks about pro wrestling, which saw an MMA fighter/pro wrestler, Frye, telling him to shut up. Frye had been drinking and was loaded. It wound up with them going outside.
“Sonny” allegedly sucker punched Frye, bloodying him up. Frye then allegedly single legged Sonny and was punching him hard from the mount when it was pulled apart. The second confrontation in the parking lot saw Sonny knock down Frye and Sonny and Leland Chapman ran off as Scott Norton came and Frye got up. It should be noted that we’ve gotten many different versions and all are slightly different but this seems to be the best detailed version.
- Meltzer is also reporting that a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has not yet been signed, thus why there was no announcement of it on Saturday night.
A news filled Coffee and Kick Ass today folks…
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Mark Cuban will be holding a press conference and conference call concerning his new HDNet Fights venture. We will have a full report later today.
- If you haven’t already, please check out Randy Couture’s signed gloves from UFC 74 that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. Bidding ends on Thursday night.
- K-1 Hero’s parent company FEG announced a rematch between PRIDE veterans Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem at the K-1 Hero’s show taking place on September 17th.
- Duane Ludwig will now face Mario Stapel at this Saturday’s Ring of Fire event after his original opponent, Dragan Baklua, broke his hand during a recent training session. Despite all of this, Ludwig has trained hard and is ready to face whomever is standing in front of him:
“I was getting ready to face a stand up guy, but Mario is much more well rounded,” stated Ludwig. “He is more of a true MMA fighter. I changed my game plan accordingly. For this fight, I tightened up my game by training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. The training was great and I feel prepared for whatever happens. I love fighting at home and can’t wait for Saturday.”
- Jeff Monson, Matt Horwich, and Tara LaRosa all won medals in last weekend’s World Grappling Championships in Turkey.
- Spike TV announced yesterday that UFC 75 was the most watched MMA event in the history of North America:
UFC 75 was the most watched mixed martial arts event ever in North America, drawing 4.7 million viewers, Spike TV officials said in a news release Tuesday.
The Sept. 8 event from the O2 Arena in London, England, featured UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson’s win over PRIDE champ Dan Henderson in a title unification bout. Airing delayed on Spike, the telecast peaked at 5.6 million viewers during Jackson’s battle against Henderson. The show’s ratings were particularly strong among men age 18-34 and men 18-49. For those audiences, UFC 75 beat everything on television, Spike officials said, including ABC’s NASCAR race and Michigan vs. Oregon college football game, as well as ESPN’s Virginia Tech vs. LSU and Notre Dame vs. Penn St. games.
Spike TV said its telecast of UFC 75 had an overall rating of 3.1 (3.0 million homes), including a 5.7 rating for men 18-34 (1.6 million), 4.5 for men 18-49 (2.5 million) and 6.2 for men 25-34 (1.0 million).
- The Honolulu Star Bulletin is reporting that Justin McCully has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Christian Wellisch for undisclosed reasons. Wellisch will now face Scott Junk”
Kailua’s Scott Junk will make his UFC debut Sept. 22 against Christian Wellisch in a heavyweight fight at UFC 76: Knockout in Anaheim, Calif.
“It’s 100 percent going to happen,” Junk said. Wellisch (8-2) was originally scheduled to face Justin McCully.
Junk was notified about the fight yesterday, just 11 days before the event. He has put together six consecutive wins, including a TKO victory over Jimmy Ambriz back in June.
“It caught me off guard, but it’s good because I have been training this whole time,” Junk said.
Touch of gloves to UFC Mania for finding that interesting piece.
- The Governor of Illinois has signed legislation that will legalize MMA starting in 2008
- Michael Bisping’s father was apparently attacked in the parking lot of the O2 arena after the event.
Hat tip to Fight Opinion for that one.
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting via Tagg Radio that Gilbert Melendez will be taking on Shooto’s Tetsuji Kato at Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event on September 29th.
The Fight Network is reporting that PRIDE veteran Alistair Overeem has signed a three-fight contract with K-1 HERO’s and he will compete in the organization’s heavyweight division.
“We signed the contract over the weekend, just after the fight with Michael Knapp [in K-1 Amsterdam],” confirmed Golden Glory representative Martijn De Jong. “We’re excited and expecting big things.”
Overeem expects his next K-1 appearance to come at the K-1 HERO’s show on July 16th at the Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan.