Sensational news for Mixed Martial Arts fans in the United Kingdom. Cage Rage, Britain’s original MMA brand and leader since 2002, is about to get bigger – and better.
ProElite, Inc., an entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class MMA events, today announced the acquisition of Cage Rage Championships (CRC), Britain’s premier MMA organization.
The formal announcement of the new partnership was made by Gary Shaw, President of EliteXC, the respected live fight division of Los Angeles, Calif.-based ProElite.
“This is an exciting day for all of our organizations, but the biggest winners will be fans in the U.K.,’’ Shaw said. “In a short span of eight months, EliteXC has already got the well-deserved reputation for staging sensational fights with the world’s top fighters.
News and Notes
- Sherdog is reporting that Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and HDNet, is currently in discussions with officials connected to Fedor Emelianenko about signing the heavyweight free agent:
“I am in ongoing discussions with some of his people,” Cuban revealed in an e-mail interview that will be published on Sherdog.com later this week.
Cuban plans on possibly using Fedor in many of the MMA promotions he currently broadcasts events for on HDNet:
“We would work with his promoters to place him in fights from affiliated promoters or in fights we promote ourselves,” said Cuban, who plans on partnering with established MMA organizations to fill the weekly quota of bouts HDNet would need for its successful Friday Fight Night series.
- Sergei Kharitonov’s contract with K-1 states that he will be able to compete in both K-1 kickboxing matches and Hero’s MMA bouts.
- Masakazu Imanari and Zelg Galesic have both been removed from the Cage Rage 23 card set to take place on September 22nd.
Imanari was forced to pull out after suffering a shoulder injury during a recent training session. He will be replaced by Chris Brennan. Galesic pulled out of his bout after signing a new contract with K-1. Matt Ewin will be taking his place against Alex Reid. The bout will still be a title fight while Brennan-Silva will now take place at 155 lbs.
- The scheduled preliminary bout between Nate Quarry and Pete Sell at UFC Fight Night 11 has now been moved to the televised portion of the event after Mike Swick was forced to bow out of the event due to injury. Swick’s scheduled opponent, Jonathan Goulet and his fight against new opponent Dustin Hazelett, has now been changed to a prelim fight.
The Fight Network is reporting that Mark Weir is actually healthy and still training in preparation for his bout against Paul Daley at Cage Rage 23.
We reported via MMA Weekly last week that Weir was injured during his bout with Nick Thompson at the BodogFight: Vancouver tapings this past weekend but apparently that isn’t the case according to Cage Rage promoters:
Despite numerous mumblings that UFC veteran Mark Weir (18-13) had been replaced for Sept. 22’s Cage Rage 23 “Unbelievable” event at Wembley Arena, promoters have confirmed that the bout is still on. Rumours began to circulate last week that Weir had been injured during his bout against Nick Thompson (33-9-1) during Bodog Fight’s season six tapings and that Ryo Chonan (14-7) had been drafted in to replace him. Weir lost to Bodog Fight Welterweight Champion Thompson via first round TKO stoppage in a non-title bout. Cage Rage has since gone on record to say that Weir is fit, healthy and in training for the bout against Paul Daley (15-6-2).
It’s odd that MMA Weekly would have Daley stating that he was now fighting Chonan because Weir was unable to fight. However the current rumors of Chonan signing with the UFC would make sense if it turns out that Weir actually isn’t injured.
We will continue to follow this story…
Mark Weir has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Paul Daley at Cage Rage 23 after sustaining an injury in his fight against Nick Thompson at the BodogFight: Vancouver tapings. Replacing Weir on September 23 will be Ryo Chonan according to MMA Weekly.
Daley stated that although he wanted to fight Weir, he can’t turn down Chonan as a replacement:
“Dave O’Donnell called me earlier today and said that Weir was unable to make the fight and asked if I fancied the fight against Ryo Chonan,” said Daley. “Of course I was disappointed to not be fighting Weir, but as it stands, Ryo is an excellent name for me and I am definitely up for that one.”
Daley also confirmed that the bout will still be for the Cage Rage World Welterweight Title.
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
The Fight Network is reporting that Pro Elite has stepped in and purchased John Faraday’s stake in Cage Rage. According to The Fight Network, John Faraday was the majority stakeholder in the company. The show will still be run by Andy Geer and Dave O’Donnell but they did state that a priority of theirs would be to improve the quality of their broadcasts in association with Pro Elite.
“Yes, John Faraday has left,” says Geer. “Pro Elite’s now with us, and they’re investing heavily in different areas.”
“We [Andy Geer and Dave O’Donnell] are still running the show,” says Geer. “At present there is no finished deal, but one of our priorities will be working with their [Pro Elite’s] TV contacts to improve the quality of our broadcasts.”
In addition to the broadcast upgrades, the two organizations will now participate in fighter exchanges.
In addition to broadcast upgrades, the two organizations will participate in fighter exchanges as early as next year, says Geer.
“All in all this partnership with Pro Elite will help our brand grow,” says O’Donnell. “It’ll help us become one of the world leaders in MMA - it’s a great time for Cage Rage and our sport in general.”
News and Notes:
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Cage Rage has announced three scheduled bouts for it’s upcoming Cage Rage 23: Unbelievable show on September 22. James Zikic will defend his Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship against Vitor Belfort. Mark Weir will take on Paul Daley and Joe Mac and Jeremy Bailey will finally go at it.
- The IFL’s Los Angeles Anacondas have announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman has been named the team’s official wrestling coach. Anaconda’s head coach Shawn Tompkins has said that Randleman is also currently training with the team in hopes of making a comeback to active competition:
“Kevin Randleman might be making a return to the cage or ring,” says Tompkins. “I like training Kevin. He’s open-minded and we’re exchanging a lot of knowledge.”
- The following fighters have tested negative for drugs of abuse and banned substances following the post-fight tests done after UFC 73 by the CSAC: Mark Bocek, Chris Lytle, Frankie Edgar, Jason Gilliam, Diego Saraiva, Jorge Gurgel, Stephan Bonnar, and Mike Nickels. More test results will be released later this week.
Tom Watson def. Ed Smith - Decision (Unanimous)
Michael Johnson def. Damien Riccio - TKO (Broken Nose)
Ross Pointon def. Dean Bray - Submission (Guillotine)
Marius Zaromskis def. Ross Mason - KO (Flying Knee)
Robbie Olivier def. Ronnie Mann - Decision (Unanimous)
James McSweeney def. Mark Buchanan - TKO (Punches)
Paul Cahoon def. Mark Epstein - Decision (Unanimous)
Gary Turner def. Edson Draggo - TKO (Corner Stoppage)
Mario Sperry def. Lee Hasdell - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Neil Grove def. James Thompson - KO (Punch)
Dave Legeno def. Herb Dean - TKO (Eye Injury)
Tengiz Tedoradze def. Eric Esch - TKO (Punches)
Today we will be going live at 1 PM EST, covering Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day…
Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell
Tom Watson vs. Ed Smith
Damien Riccio vs. Michael Johnson
Jeremy Bailey Joe Mac
Ross Pointon vs. Dean Bray
Marius Zaromskis vs. Ross Mason
Ronnie Mann vs. Robbie Olivier
Mark Buchanan vs. James McSweeney
Mark Epstein vs. Paul Cahoon
Herb Dean vs. Dave Legeno
Edson Drago vs. Gary Turner
Mario Sperry vs. Lee Hasdell
Neil Grove vs. James Thompson
Eric Esch vs. Tengiz Tedoradze
Here are the weigh-in results for Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell.
Tom Watson (189) vs. Ed Smith (187)
Damien Riccio (167.5) vs. Michael Johnson (169)
Jeremy Bailey (182) Joe Mac (184)
Ross Pointon (169) vs. Dean Bray (169)
Marius Zaromskis (169) vs. Ross Mason (170)
Ronnie Mann (144) vs. Robbie Olivier (145)
Mark Buchanan (225) vs. James McSweeney (225)
Mark Epstein (201) vs. Paul Cahoon (did not weigh-in)
Herb Dean (229) vs. Dave Legeno (236)
Edson Drago (231) vs. Gary Turner (227)
Mario Sperry (203) vs. Lee Hasdell (205)
Neil Grove (287) vs. James Thompson (?)
Eric Esch (399) vs. Tengiz Tedoradze (did not weigh-in)
* Neil Grove will be replacing Kimo who didn’t even make it to England.