Shinya Aoki. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group today announced two additional bouts that will take place at K-1’s “Dynamite!! 2008” event on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan: DREAM lightweight grand prix standouts Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez will clash in a long-awaited battle while former K-1 kickboxers Mark Hunt and Jerome LeBanner will fight for the first time under MMA rules.
Aoki and Alvarez were originally slated to meet in the finals of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix in July, but Alvarez was forced out of the bout by Japanese officials due to an eye injury suffered in his semi-final fight against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Joachim Hansen replaced Alvarez and went onto upset Aoki with a first-round TKO win.
Since then, Alvarez has been on a temporary hiatus so he could get married in his hometown of Philadelphia while Aoki bounced back with a dominating performance against World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Todd Moore at DREAM.6 on September 23.
WEC 38 made official
WEC has announced that their next event following tomorrow night’s show will take place in San Diego on January 25, 2009.
World Extreme Cagefighting® today announced that for the first event of 2009, the cage will head west to the hotbed of mixed martial arts - California - to hold the first ever WEC® event in San Diego. Two blockbuster matchups will lead the main card, with the World Lightweight Championship fight between Jamie Varner and undefeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as the main event, and the mega-rematch pitting Urijah Faber against Jens Pulver in the co-main event. World Extreme Cagefighting, featuring Varner vs. Cerrone and Faber vs. Pulver 2, takes place live from the San Diego Sports Arena on Sunday, January 25, 2009.
Aoki vs Alvarez on NYE?
Eddie Alvarez. Photo courtesy of AlvarezFight.com.
Former EliteXC standouts Eddie Alvarez and Paul Daley, who are expected to become free agents following the demise of the ProElite-owned promotion, have both revealed their intentions to return to action as soon as January in separate interviews with Sherdog.com.
According to Alvarez’s manager, midwest promoter Monte Cox, the Philadelphia native’s contract had him fighting in a variety of organizations, including EliteXC, Adrenaline MMA, and DREAM. However his next fight could take place in a yet-to-be-announced Extreme Challenge show in New Jersey:
“Eddie’s contract with Pro Elite was also a contract with Adrenaline and Extreme Challenge, and also a contract with Dream,” Cox told Sherdog.com. “That contract allowed him to fight in any of those places. (Pro Elite) only owned a piece of Eddie. I put in his contract that he would fight in EliteXC and then Extreme Challenge, Adrenaline, or Dream. We were alternating. The deal also says if one of the organizations doesn’t schedule a fight or is unable to put on a fight, they lose a turn.”
Under the two-year agreement, Alvarez (15-1) has two more fights owed to Dream, though Cox said Alvarez’s next fight could be for Extreme Challenge, possibly this January in Atlantic City. Cox also did not rule out a stint with the UFC if an attractive offer presents itself.
EliteXC today officially announced details regarding their scheduled November 8 event, titled “A Night of Champions”. The show will take place at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada and will air live on Showtime.
The card will be headlined by two separate championship fights: EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will defend his title in a rematch against a streaking Joey Villasenor while Nick Diaz and DREAM standout Eddie Alvarez will battle it out for the vacant EliteXC lightweight belt.
Tickets are on sale now, start at $38, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Additional fights expected to take place at the event include Kaitlin Young vs. Sarah Kaufmann, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Cyrille Diabate (possibly for the vacant EliteXC light heavyweight title), and Brett Rogers against an opponent yet to be determined.
Eddie Alvarez. Photo courtesy of AlvarezFight.com.
Following K.J. Noons being stripped of the EliteXC lightweight title last month, Nick Diaz and rising contender Eddie Alvarez will now compete for the vacant championship at the organization’s scheduled November 8 show in Reno, Nevada.
EliteXC officially announced the bout during Saturday night’s telecast of “Heat” on CBS. The November event will be televised live on Showtime and will be headlined by EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler defending his belt in a rematch against Joey Villasenor.
Since suffering a second-round TKO loss due to a cut to Noons last year, Diaz has reeled off three straight victories - two of them in EliteXC. After defeating Muhsin Corbbrey at EliteXC’s “Return of the King” event in June, Diaz followed up with a wild TKO win over journeyman Thomas Denny on July 26.
Alvarez meanwhile has been boosting his stock with a couple of impressive victorious over highly ranked lightweights while fighting for DREAM over in Japan. Alvarez earned an unanimous decision over Joachim Hansen in the opening round of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix and then defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri in a fight-of-the-year candidate to earn a spot in the tournament finals before an eye injury forced him to withdraw from the title opportunity.
Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
Less than two months after their first bout ended in disappointing fashion, Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith will duke it out once again for the EliteXC middleweight title during the organization’s second network television event on CBS this Saturday night.
The two spoke about their upcoming battle on a pre-fight conference call with the media yesterday that also included female fighters Shayna Baszler and Cris Cyborg as well as ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca. As usual, Lawler kept his answers short and sweet, just letting everybody know that his focus was on this weekend’s fight with Smith and nothing else.
“Really, I don’t care,” Lawler said when asked about his previous fight with Smith. “I look at it as a new fight and I kind of look at it as we’ve never fought before. I’ll be ready to go. I’m not focusing on that anymore. I’m focusing on this next fight and I don’t care how that last one went. I just need to go out there and get the job done on Saturday.”
Meanwhile Smith revealed that he was especially happy that a rematch between the two happened so soon. With his eye and foot injuries suffered in the first bout completely healed, Smith discussed his training for the fight and how he feels that a different regimen this time around may result in seeing an even better fighter this weekend.
Joachim Hansen. Photo courtesy of DREAM.
Joachim Hansen was the surprise winner of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix this morning, avenging a past loss to Shinya Aoki by knocking out the skilled grappler in the tournament finals despite starting the night as a reserve.
In a dramatic turn of events, Hansen was pushed into the lightweight title main event after Eddie Alvarez was unable to compete due to injury. During the first few minutes of his battle against Aoki, it looked as if Hansen was about to fall victim to another submission loss once again, just as he did against Aoki at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 a few years back.
However the tide turned once Hansen landed a strong left hand while falling back to Aoki’s guard. The punch hurt Aoki, allowing Hansen to bomb away with unanswered right hands until Aoki stopped responding and referee Yuji Shimada was forced to stop the bout. An elated Hansen jumped into the arms of his corner. After composing himself, Hansen was quick to push for a rematch of his war against Alvarez earlier this year as his first official title defense.
“This still has to sink in a little,” Hansen said after the fight. “I am the sort of person who takes one thing at a time, so I concentrated on Kultar Gill (whom Hansen defeated via TKO earlier in the night) and felt a little strange going into the final match, so I took my time and looked for the right chance to strike. I had a great night, thanks to my team and everybody who helped me, and next time I hope to defend my title against Eddie Alvarez.”
We will be going live at 2:00 AM ET with live results of tomorrow morning’s DREAM.5 event, which will take place at the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet tomorrow morning at 2 AM ET. It will air again via tape delay at 10 PM ET as well.
The show features the final round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix - Eddie Alvarez, Caol Uno, Shinya Aoki, and Tatsuya Kawajiri will battle it out in a four-man tournament with the winners facing off for the GP title in the night’s main event. Additional featured bouts include a slugfest between Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem as well as a lightweight tourney reserve bout between Joachim Hansen and “Black Mamba” Kultar Gill.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Two additional bouts have been added to Monday’s DREAM.5 event in Japan, finalizing a card which will feature the finals of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet tomorrow morning at 2 AM ET. It will air again via tape delay at 10 PM ET as well.
Urijah-Faber trained Joe Benavidez, who was originally slated to take on pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, will go up against Shooto veteran Junya “Kodo” Kudo. Bendavidez is undefeated in seven professional fights, last submitting Maurice Eazel at a Palace Fighting Championship event in May. Kudo suffered his first career loss in June, dropping an unanimous decision to So Tazawa.
Yamamoto was forced to withdraw from the show after suffering a knee injury during a recent training session. A failed flying knee attempt caused an awkward landing and the sound of a pop inside of Kid’s right leg. An MRI shows that Yamamoto suffered a partial tear of his right anterior cruciate ligament, however it won’t be determined whether surgery is necessary or not until sometime next week.
“It’s unfortunate that Kid got injured and I want to thank my opponent for taking the fight on short notice,” Benavidez at the pre-fight press conference yesterday in Japan. “I am focused on the opponent I have now, and I just want to go in and get the win.”
Eddie Alvarez throws one of his many successful right hands in the first round of his fight last night in Japan against Joachim Hansen. Alvarez won an unanimous decision to move on in DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Eddie Alvarez and Caol Uno each pulled off surprising upsets in the second-round of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament late last night in Japan to solidify their respective spots in the finals later this summer.
The 21,789 that witnessed DREAM’s third effort this year inside the Saitama Super Arena also saw Uno, who fought as a late-entrant into the tourney, overcome a ring-rust filled first round to eventually submit top-ranked Mitsuhiro Ishida with a rear naked choke in the second round.
The first minute of the fight had both fighters content to paw away with short jabs while measuring the distance between one another. Uno picked up the action in the form of leg kicks while Ishida attempted to counter Uno’s kicks with lefts. An errant kick to the groin by Ishida forced Uno to take some time to recover, but the veteran quickly got his bearings back and knocked Ishida down with a crisp right, opening a cut on the bridge of his nose that forced the ringside doctor to stop the clock for a quick check.
Ishida scored a single-leg takedown with about a minute left in the first stanza but Uno was able to reverse position and control his opponent from top position during the closing moments, potentially earning back the round in his favor. After another feeling-out period started the second round, a scramble on the ground saw Uno quickly take Ishida’s back and sink-in the fight-ending choke from behind.
“I know Ishida was eager to fight me,” Uno said after the fight, “He was aggressive and was obviously confident, but I’m the one going home with the win. I’m very happy to be advancing in the tournament.”