A lot of news to report so I’ve decided to throw up a Sunday edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Pancrase has been forced to cancel it’s championship main event for this morning’s 2007 Rising Tour show after former heavyweight King of Pancrase Kestutis “Tiger” Arbocius pulled a no-show. His scheduled opponent, current Heavyweight King of Pancrase Assuerio Silva, has been removed from the card and will defend his title at a later date.
Officials from Sherdog have stated that varying reports reveal that no one really knows where Arbocius is right now:
Initial reports from Japanese media, which attributed information to Arbocius’ management, suggested that the 32-year-old Lithuanian* may have had difficulty with local police.
A Pancrase official disputed that report, telling Sherdog.com via e-mail, “Nobody knows where he is, even his manager. Pancrase is trying to keep in touch with him.”
Yuki Kondo’s bout against Yuji Sakuragi will now serve as the main event for the show.
- Shooto has announced five more bouts for it’s Back to our Roots 6 card, set for November 8th at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo:
Shinichi Kojima vs Eduardo Dantas
Megumi Fujii vs Kyoko Takabayashi
Rambaa Somdet vs Masaaki Sugawara
Masashi Yozen vs Leandro Silva
Hayate Usui vs Shintaro Ishiwatari
- In a recent interview with ADCC News, Jake Shields stated that he is closer to signing with the UFC than EliteXC right now:
“I want to go out there and fight the best. I’m really looking at UFC over Elite because that is where a lot of top guys are. In the next few weeks I’ll probably make my decision on where I’m going to be signing. I’m sure we’re going to talk to them in the next week before we sign anything with Elite. I’m ready to get in there with the top guys. With the Rumble on the Rock tournament and EliteXC and my last four or five fights have been top come and have been fast, easy fights. I think it definitely shows I belong there.”
- The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Hardcore Championship Fighting is currently in contract talks with Vitor Belfort, Ricardo Arona, and John Alessio:
The Canadian fight club has been on a big-name signing binge of late.
Pride’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, former UFC veterans Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Joe Riggs have signed on. Negotiations are ongoing with former UFC heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort, Pride vet Ricardo Arona and Canadian John Alessio.
“We are the only Canadian promotion that is bringing in huge international names,” says Crawford. “We remain committed to promoting local talent, but I believe Canadians are educated in the sport and want to see the world’s best.”
- American Top Team has announced that Seth Petruzelli has joined the ranks of the Florida-based training team:
Seth has been involved in the MMA scene for awhile and decided to join ATT to help further his career while preparing and train for his fights. When not preparing for his fights at the Main academy in Coconut Creek, FL. Seth will continue teaching at ATT Orlando along with Paul Rodriguez.
Look for Seth to be back in action Oct. 27th at Knight Fights in Orlando, Florida.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that Strikeforce will hold a four-man middleweight tournament at their next event on November 16th:
Strikeforce announced the first one-night tournament ever in California, which will be a four-man middleweight tournament featuring Joe Riggs and Falaniko Vitale on 11/16 in San Jose at the HP Pavilion. Promoter Scott Coker said it was be streamed live on Yahoo! like the Playboy Mansion show was. Cung Le will be in the non-tourament main event.
American Top Team has announced that UFC and PRIDE veteran Yves Edwards has officially joined the squad:
Yves Edwards has offically joined American Top Team!
We are extremely proud that Yves has chosen American Top Team to help resurrect his career. Working together with Yves, we hope to energize his training and propel him back to the top of the lightweight division.
Yves will come to the main ATT academy in Coconut Creek, FL. to help prepare for his fights while still maintaining his place in Texas.
ATT also announced that Edwards is preparing for a return to action in October. No word on what promotion the fight will take place in.
Greg Savage of Sherdog is reporting that Wilson Gouveia has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Jason Lambert at UFC 76 after suffering a broken nose.
Gouveia apparently suffered the injury during a recent training session last week. Officials at American Top Team, where Gouveia had been training for the fight, stated that the break is very severe and that they expect Gouveia to be out of action for at least 3-4 months.
A replacement opponent for Lambert has not yet been announced. Savage also reported that the UFC is said to be considering scrapping the bout completely and using Lambert at a later event this year.
Update 7:00 PM: We originally reported Lambert as being the injured fighter when it is actually Gouveia that was forced to be removed from the card. We apologize for the error.
The UFC has announced that it has decided to put on only 8 fights at next weekend’s UFC 76 and will look to match up Lambert and Gouveia at a later date:
Due to a broken nose suffered in training, Wilson Gouveia has been scrapped from his UFC 76 bout with Jason Lambert at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on September 22nd. The intriguing 205-pound matchup is expected to be rescheduled in the future, and due to time constraints in finding a suitable opponent for Lambert, the UFC 76 card will now feature eight bouts.
MMA on Tap has learned that Doug “Rhino” Marshall (6-2) will defend his WEC light heavyweight title in October at WEC 31 when he faces American Top Team’s Ariel Gandulla (4-0).
Doug Marshall is a heavy handed slugger who holds victories over the likes of Anthony Fuller, Lodune Sincaid, Justin McElfresh, and Lavar Johnson. Marshall won the WEC light heavyweight title at WEC 23: Hot August Fights when he knocked out UFC veteran Lodune Sincaid.
Ariel Gandulla is a native of Havana, Cuba who sports an unblemished MMA record of 4-0. Gandulla made his WEC debut on May 12, 2007 at WEC 27 squeaking out a split decision victory over Gary Padilla (7-2).
Catching up on things in the world of MMA…
- The Fight Network is reporting that officials at American Top Team have stated that Denis Kang is still in negotiations with K-1 and has not yet signed with the promotion:
American Top Team representatives have confirmed that popular Vancouver, British Columbia fighter Denis Kang is in negotiations to sign a five-fight deal with the K-1 HERO’S promotion. Rumors have been circulating about a possible match-up pitting Kang against Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba Sept. 17 at the Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan, but the ATT would not confirm the pairing.
- Tonight’s episode of IFL Battleground will preview the 10 matchups that will take place in the opening round of the upcoming IFL Grand Prix. It will air 8 PM EST on MyNetworkTV.
- Highly regarded trainer Greg Jackson has announced that Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team”>Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team. St. Pierre is excited to be able to train with the likes of Nate Marquardt, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine on a regular basis:
“It’s absolutely great, and I think I am blessed because I am lucky to be able to train with such a great group of guys and under Greg Jackson, who is the best MMA coach in my book,” St. Pierre says. “People say you’re only as good as your training partners, and I believe that is the truth.”
- Continuing with some more St. Pierre news - His former manager, Stephane Patry, who also serves as president of TKO, is stating that St. Pierre is still contractually obligated to him. St. Pierre says that is just not the case:
“My manager now is Shari Spencer. She takes care of my sponsorships and my fights, as well,” St. Pierre says. “It’s nothing personal. Me and Stephane are still good friends. We were not in agreement about some stuff in training, and we were not agreeing to some stuff regarding my management.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Masakazu Imanari will return to Cage Rage to take on Jean Silva at Cage Rage 23 for the promotion’s World Featherweight Title. Silva will be dropping down from lightweight to featherweight for the first time in his career.
- Jorge Gurgel announced at an open house for his gym over the weekend that he will be facing Alvin Robinson at UFC 77.
Some media links as well…
Sherdog: Georges St. Pierre Training Pictures
MMA Weekly: Pellegrino Hunting Down a Title Shot
The Fight Network: Murphy’s Law
UFC Junkie: What’s Next for Wanderlei Silva?
Yahoo! Sports: Gonzaga sniffs out his biggest opportunity
Rogers Sportsnet: Koscheck eager to get it on
Fight Opinion: Monday maintenance: Lots of activity in the UK
Fightlinker: Brandon Vera is back and I don’t care
Bloody Elbow: More Doubts About GSP
MMA Analyst: An Interview with Cub Swanson, WEC featherweight contender
Portuguese MMA website Portal do Vale Tudo released a report yesterday stating that Denis Kang is expected to sign a contract with K-1 Hero’s and will fight Kazushi Sakuraba at the promotion’s September 17th event.
The website apparently was in contact with American Top Team’s Alex Davis who was able to break the news.
MMANews.com posted a rough translation of the main portion of the article:
After counting a little of its work as to manager in interview to the Vestibule of the Vale Tudo Magazine, Alex J. Davis entered in contact with us. With the end of Pride, many athletes are migrating for other events, and the fans wanted to know where walked the vice-champion of the Pride Bushido GP at 83kg, Denis Kang.
The fighter finishes to sign a contract with the HERO’s and goes to enter in the organization against the former champion of the Pride, always the dangerous Kazushi Sakuraba. The fight will be in day 17 of September, in Kanagawa, in the same show that will count on the ends of the HERO’s.
We reported yesterday in our CKA via MMA Weekly that Kang was expected to sign with an organization over the next few weeks and was targeting the month of September as a possible date of return. I don’t think anyone imagined that an announcement would come this soon…
We have a lot of stuff to report this morning…
News and Notes
- EliteXC has announced a total net loss of $11.9 million between January and June 2007 according to UFC Mania.
- IFL heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski has announced that he has joined Dan Henderson’s Team Quest in order to continue with his training…
- FEG formally announced three bouts for the upcoming K-1 Hero’s event on September 17th. The semifinals of the 2007 154 lb tournament will roll on when Caol Uno takes on Kultar Gill and Gesias Calvancanti goes up against Vitor Ribeiro. Ikuhisa Minowa and Ralek Gracie will compete in a non-tournament bout.
- Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s October 12th event will feature the return of Ricardo Almeida. Almeida’s opponent will be Dennis Hallman.
- American Top Team has stated that Denis Kang is expected to sign with an organization in the next few weeks and is targeting September as a possible date of return.
- Palace Fighting Championships has announced that Justin Levens will fight Kenny Ento for the vacant PFC World Middleweight Championship on October 18th:
“These are two of the most popular and intense fighters to ever compete in the Valley,” Printup said. “Levens has faced tougher competition, but Ento is an extremely tough match up. He’s tall, rangy, has excellent submissions and underrated stand up. Levens is an absolute animal, who has only lost to top-level fighters.”
- The IFL Finals on September 20th in Hollywood, Florida will now feature two superfights as well as the IFL Championship. Seth Petruzelli and Rolles Gracie Jr. will meet in a light heavyweight bout. Aaron Riley and Ryan Schultz will clash in the night’s other superfight.
- The weigh-ins for UFC 74 will begin at 6 PM EST and will start to be broadcast on ESPNEWS at 7:15 EST. As always, they will also be available to watch online for free on a slew of sites, including UFC.com, Yahoo! Sports, and MSN.
- Tickets for UFC 77: Hostile Territory are slated to go on sale starting on August 22nd…
UFC middleweight Kalib Starnes (8-1-1) has officially joined the ranks at American Top Team.
In between preparing for his fights, Kalib will travel back and forth to Canada where he can be with his family and care for his 5 year old daughter Sienna. He will continue to train with Revolution Fight Team in British Columbia, Canada.
Kalib Starnes (8-1-1) is a veteran of the UFC who appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 3. Starnes holds UFC victories over Chris Leben and Danny Abbadi and his sole UFC loss came to the hands of Yushin Okami at UFC 64: Unstoppable.
WEC light heavyweight Ariel Gandulla (4-0) has officially joined forces with American Top Team to further his evolution as a mixed martial artist.
“I have been training with American Top Team (ATT), and decided to join them after I learn their style and philosophy about fighting because it is just like I used to train back in Cuba. I am proud to be here in the United States, in the best city and fans of the world. I am looking forward to continue fighting in the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), I hope I can reach the top level there so I can go into the Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) with the best opponents in the world in my division, and hope to give a really good show to the fans.”
Gandulla made his WEC debut in May when he squeaked out a split decision victory over Gary Padilla. Gandulla will now have the opportunity to train with the likes of Charles McCarthy, Jeff Monson, Din Thomas, Marcus Aurelio, Denis Kang and many other world class fighters.
The UFC has signed American Top Team lightweight Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio (14-4) to a four fight contract.
Great news for Marcus who gets to showcase his skills to a whole new audience. Marcus has a incredible Jiu-Jitsu, and is best known for his ZST Grand Prix tournament victories, and his stunning win over then PRIDE Champion Takanori Gomi.
Aurelio has spent the majority of his career over in Japan fighting for PRIDE and ZST. Aurelio holds victories over the likes of PRIDE lightweight ace Takanori Gomi, Rich Clementi, Daisuke Nakamura, and Naoyuki Kotani.