Andy Wang. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Tonight’s Strikeforce Challengers event on Showtime isn’t the only notable event taking place this weekend. China-based Art of War will hold its latest offering on Saturday at the Cotai Arena in Macao with “Ultimate Fighter 5” cast member Andy Wang headlining the event against Tsuboi Atsuhiro.
Other featured bouts include one of the newest member of Greg Jackson’s camp, Rolles Gracie, challenging K-1 kickboxer Peter Graham and Sengoku veteran Michael Costa facing highly-touted welterweight prospect Simeon Thoresen.
Photo courtesy of Art of War.
Art of War parent company SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc. has announced a deal with FOX Sports Net that will have the network air the promotion’s new television series, “GI Vs. Pro.”
The series, which will air nine new episodes over a three-month period on Saturday nights, will pit current and former MMA-trained armed services members against professional mixed martial arts fighters from around the country.
“MMA is on fire,” said FSN VP of Production Gary Garcia. “This show, featuring intense battles between elite, fine-tuned athletes, is the perfect brand extension for the U.S. military to hit their target demo right between the eyes.”
Jay Glazer and Frank Trigg, who have teamed up in the past as hosts of PRIDE Fighting Championships shows on FSN, will serve as the broadcast team for the series.
Art of War will hold one of the events that will be featured on the show on April 19th. Headlining the card will be Ron Faircloth challenging fellow heavyweight Damien Steely. Nick Agallar will take on Nuri Shakur in the co-main event.
Eddie Alvarez has his hand raised after winning a unanimous decision over Matt Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.
A lot of news coming to our attention late today…
Alvarez-Aina Possible at EliteXC April Show
Former BodogFight welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez is currently in negotiations to take on EliteXC lightweight Mike Aina at an unannounced show in April according to a report by The Fight Network, who confirmed the contract talks yesterday with Alvarez.
Alvarez is coming off of an impressive knockout of Ross Ebanez at the fourth edition of ShoXC’s Elite Challenger Series. The Philadelphia native signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC earlier this month. Aina has not fought since losing a razor close decision to Nick Diaz in September.
Liddell-Rua Signed for June
A rumored bout between former champions Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now official according to Sherdog, who confirmed the bout with Rua himself earlier today:
“The fight against Liddell is confirmed,” Rua said. “I signed the contract yesterday. Now I am going to train hard, focused on him, to represent my new team, Universidade da Luta, and my country. The fight is going to be in June.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell.
In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Edgar-Maynard Set for UFC Fight Night 13
Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 13 in April according to Five Ounces of Pain.
We reported earlier this week through Five Ounces that Edgar was offered a bout against former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi by the UFC, only to have the plans fall through after the promotion was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.
Maynard was victorious last week, winning a decision over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12.
Bisping-McCarthy Moved to UFC 83 in Canada
A planned bout between former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Charles McCarthy has been moved from a tentative U.K. show in March to the UFC’s debut show in Canada on April 19th.
Our partner site Rogers Sportsnet interviewed Bisping earlier this week, who confirmed the move with the network.
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days (he’s moving down to 185 lbs), McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
PFC Announces Five Fights for March
The Palace Fighting Championship has officially announced it’s next event for March 20th at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
PFC 7 will feature a pair of flyweight bouts: Luis Gonzalez will be back in action taking on David Mitchell while newcomers Ulysses Gomez and Greg McDowell will compete for the first time professionally.
Additional bouts include former UFC middleweight Justin Levens taking on Phil Collins, Darren Crisp challenging Danny Castillo, and PFC light heavyweight champion Jeremy Freitag defending his title against top contender Anthony Rubalcalva.
Art of War Acquires IFO-Steele Cage Assets
SUN Sports, the parent company of Texas-based Art of War has announced that it has acquired the assets of the recently defunct International Fighting Organization, which was run in conjunction with Steele Cage Promotions.
“We are delighted to be able to acquire the assets of the International Fighting Organization,” said SUN Sports CEO C.J. Comu stated earlier today in a press release sent out to the media. “We are also delighted to be able to acquire all the raw footage and finished broadcast production of the IFO events promoted by Steele Cage Promotions, which we plan on distributing globally. We feel that the film inventory will be a great compliment to the Art of War film inventory which will provide more available product to networks and distributors world-wide.”
MMA on Tap has learned that Pedro Rizzo has signed a new three-fight deal with SUN Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of Art of War.
Rizzo has fought twice under the Art of War banner. He defeated Justin Eilers in the promotion’s inaugural event in March by unanimous decision and scored a stoppage victory over Jeff Monson in September.
The former UFC title contender has fought and beaten a remarkable list of heavyweights throughout the course of his career, including former UFC heavyweight champions Ricco Rodriguez, Josh Barnett, and Andrei Arlovski.
Mike Wessel def. Matt Thomas - TKO (Strikes)
Shane Carwin def. Rex Richards - Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Ron Faircloth def. Chris Hawk - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Andrew Chappelle def. Adriano Nasal - TKO (Strikes)
Chris Gates def. Andy Uhrich - Submission (Triangle Choke)
David Brown def. David Hulett - TKO (Strikes)
Keith Bach def. Mark Wiggins - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Kyle Gibbons def. Mike Queen - Submission (Armbar)
I know we haven’t posted it but a lot of other sites have. Here’s a promo for UFC WiRED, a new show hosted by UFC color commentator Joe Rogan that debuts this weekend.
News and Notes
- Adam Smith, who competed on last weekend’s Strikeforce at the Mansion card against K-1 veteran Dewey Cooper, has tested positive for cocaine and marijuana according to the California State Athletic Commission. Smith will be suspended until June 25th of next year and fined $1,500.
- Anyone watch Dog The Bounty Hunter? Dog’s son Leland will be making his MMA debut on October 20th at No Limits Fighting’s Brawl for it All event.
- UFC vice president Marc Ratner told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports yesterday that Anthony Torres tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone through the post-fight tests done after UFC 75. Torres is the first fighter to test positive under the UFC’s testing done when events are held outside of the United States. Torres was released from his contract by the UFC, not because of the positive test, but because of a poor performance against his opponent at UFC 75, Jess Liaudin.
All of the other fighters tested at UFC 75 - Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson, Dennis Siver, Michael Bisping, Terry Etim, Houston Alexander and Gleison Tibau all passed. All of the fighters who competed at UFC 76 passed their tests for performance enhancing drugs as well.
- Keith Jardine has told MMA Weekly that he plans on returning to the Octagon in January:
“I’m thinking January, the early part of the year would be a good time,” said Jardine about the ideal time for his next fight.
- SUN Sports & Entertainment has announced the complete fight card for Art of War 4: Mississippi Mayhem, scheduled to take place on October 27th:
Ron Faircloth vs Chris Hawk
Rex Richards vs Shane Carwin
Mike Wessel vs Matt Thomas
Andrew Chappelle vs Adriano Nasal
DJ Watkins vs Kyle Gibbons
David Hulett vs David Brown
Keith Bach vs Mark Wiggins
Andy Uhrich vs Chris Gates
- Sam Caplan is reporting through Dave Meltzer that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo may not be fighting at UFC 79 after all:
According to Dave Meltzer in his latest FoxSports.com column, a rumored match between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo may not take place at UFC 79 on Dec. 29 as had been previously reported. It now appears that Nogueira vs. Kongo could take place in either January or February.
- Zach Arnold is reporting that the PRIDE FC Worldwide office in Tokyo has been shut down and all of the workers have been fired.
DALLAS, TX—SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc. (Pink: SSPE) announces the line-up for the next professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card for ART OF WAR 4 “MISSISSIPPI MAYHEM” to be held on Saturday October 27th 2007 in Tunica, Mississippi at Harrah’s Grand Casino Tunica.
SUN’s new Vice President of Fighter Relations and Media, Clyde Gentry III, who oversees all fight cards stated, “I’ve been in the MMA Industry for quite a while, and this is the perfect time to jump back in. It is an intriguing challenge to match fights for different size cards, from the big pay-per-view events to the smaller venues. It’s an exciting time to be in the sport right now and I know I can make a difference because SUN will be around for a long time and we’re growing.”
Coming off the recent pay-per-view success of ART OF WAR 3 Team USA vs. Team BRAZIL, which garnered the esteemed Platinum 4-Star Award from Tain’d Entertainment, ART OF WAR 4 makes its way to the Deep South in a special event to showcase the hottest new MMA talent.
Anthony Njokuani def. Keyon Mike Jackson - KO (Knee)
Cristiano Marcello def. Hector Munoz - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Luis Arthur Cane def. James Damien Stelly - KO (Knee)
Jason Maxwell def. Thomas Schulte - Decision (Unanimous)
Lana Stefanac def. Franita Gathings - TKO (Strikes)
Carlo Prater def. Keith Wisniewski - Decision (Split)
Alex Andrade def. Fabiano Capoani - TKO (Strikes)
Ron Waterman def. Mario Rinaldi - TKO (Punches)
Jorge Santiago def. Jeremy Horn - Submission (Triangle Choke)
Pedro Rizzo def. Jeff Monson - TKO (Punches)
News and Notes
- Kultar Gill has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Caol Uno in the K-1 Hero’s Middleweight Tournament after suffering a shoulder and neck injury according to The Fight Network. Gill stated that he is unable to live his arm over his shoulder at the moment:
“I finally took off two months from work to train for the first time in my life. I was on a roll and was training super-hard for Caol Uno,” says Gill. “My jiu-jitsu had improved tenfold. Training with Pele has been awesome. I finally have a guy that can strike with me who I don’t knock out. We’ve had some wars. I was looking and feeling so good but now I can’t lift my arm over my shoulder. I can’t even do one push-up. But you know, shit happens.”
- Sam Caplan has heard from a source that contract talks between Fedor and the UFC did not go well on Thursday:
I didn’t hear the show but I’ve read in several places that Tagg Radio reported today that the show heard from a reliable source in Fedor Emelianenko’s camp that he’s been offered a four fight deal worth $2 million per bout that would also allow him to fight in Russia. The reports I am reading suggests that Fedor is close to accepting.
If that story is in fact being reported I can tell you that a reliable source I spoke to from the UFC left me with a completely different impression of Thursday’s meeting. I did not ask the source specifically about Tagg Radio’s report and simply asked about how the meeting on Thursday went. The answer was not good and no indication was given that a deal was even close to being agreed to.
- The CSAC has laid down the law on two more fighters that have tested positive for marijuana.
Ty Montgomery has had his license revoked in the state and has also been fined $2,500. His license revocation is the result of three separate incidents that the CSAC has had to discipline him for - a prior positive test for marijuana in September 2006 and for an altercation with a promotion’s matchmaker in March 2007. Montgomery will be eligible to apply for reinstatement in one year in front of the CSAC.
Mongtomery’s opponent at a recent Galaxy Productions event, Virgil Zwicker has been suspended for three months and fined $500 after testing positive for marijuana as well.
Bloody Elbow: Misreading Your Opponent
Sherdog: Gearing up for “Art of War”
MMA Weekly: Refocused Clementi Enters Steele Cage
UFC Junkie: UFC 75 Weigh-Ins Airing Via Tape Delay
Fight Opinion: Saturday surprise: K-1 interested in Asashoryu?
Fightlinker: The Nandrolone Myth
Pedro Rizzo (241) vs. Jeff Monson (247.5)
Jorge Santiago (184.5) vs. Jeremy Horn (185)
Mario Rinaldi (274.5) vs. Ron Waterman (275.5)
Fabiano Capoani (201.5) vs. Alex Andrade (199.5)
Carlo Prater (171.5) vs. Keith Wisniewski (170.25)
Luis Arthur Cane (204.5) vs. Damien Stelly (204.5)
Christiano Marcello (155) vs. Hector Munoz (157.75)
Anthony Njokuani (168) vs. Keyon Mike Jackson (169.5)
Franita Gathings (205) vs. Lana Stefanac (244.5)
Jason Maxwell (155) vs. Thomas Schulte (155)