Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
With his days as a featured fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to an end, Tito Ortiz, the one-time face of the organization, has mentioned that he’d like to take his services elsewhere following his upcoming fight against Lyoto Machida on May 24th.
One of the organizations in which Ortiz has expressed interest in Elite Xtreme Combat, headed by former boxing promoter Gary Shaw. Brash and out-spoken, Shaw is no stranger to giving his opinion when asked by the media and didn’t shy away earlier today when the potential of Ortiz shifting his career to EliteXC was brought up.
“In all my years in the fight game, I can see, touch, feel a superstar,” Shaw said this afternoon on a conference call promoting EliteXC’s network television debut on CBS later this month. “Everytime I see Tito Ortiz, he reeks of stardom. I think when his days in the UFC are over, that I can reincarnate him. Could you imagine Tito and Kimbo Slice in the cage together? I hope when his contract with the UFC is up that he will not be sitting across the table with me, but sitting with me at that table.”
“Please tell Tito that our door is wide open for him,” Shaw continued. “When his deal with the UFC is up, I’d love to talk with him and figure things out.”
Ortiz’s falling out with the UFC stems from his rocky relationship with the promotion’s figurehead, Dana White. The two have been at each other’s throats for years but things took a major turn for the worst after a proposed exhibition boxing match between the two fell apart and White opted to begin his verbal bashing of Ortiz in the media.
Ortiz has since stated multiple times that his fight against Machida will be his last with the UFC. (His current contract with the promotion ends this summer) Reasons for his departure circulate solely around White and his negative treatment of Ortiz as well as other contracted fighters on the organization’s roster.
Shaw mentioned that Ortiz wouldn’t have to worry about any kind of lack of respect from himself or others in the organization if he decided to sign with EliteXC.
“All of our fighters can attest to this, but we here at EliteXC put the fighters first,” Shaw said. “Our fighters are of the utmost importance to us. They come before the organization. The spotlight should be put on them. We treat everyone with respect and like they are a champion, regardless of who they are. Tito wouldn’t have to worry about that sort of thing if he decided to take his services to our camp.”
Additional conference call notes from today are after the jump.
Eric Esch. Photo courtesy of YAMMA Pit Fighting.
Fresh off of a surprising knockout of Ken Shamrock, Robert Berry will likely try his hand against infamous former professional boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch at Cage Rage 27 in July.
The news comes from Stash Capar of The Fight Network, who cites an anonymous source within the United Kingdom’s most high-profile mixed martial arts promotion.
As was previously mentioned, Berry knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock at Cage Rage 25: Bring It On last month. The win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Berry and quickly became his biggest career win to date. The English veteran has gone up against the likes of Dan Severn, Colin Robinson, and Tengiz Tedoradze but fell to all of them.
Esch was stopped at the hands of Patrick Smith at this past weekend’s inaugural YAMMA Pit Fighting show. The former boxer has now lost his last three fights. Esch weighed-in at 416 pounds for the fight against Smith, his highest weight to date. This will be his fourth bout against the confines of Cage Rage.
Travis Wiuff weighs-in for UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Revolutionary? The jury’s still out. However YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show went off without much of a hitch at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where veteran Travis Wiuff (52-11) won three consecutive fights to win the promotion’s first-ever heavyweight tournament last night.
Wiuff’s road to victory contradicted what Bob Meyrowitz and company predicted that YAMMA’s cage, which sported an incline close to the fence all the way around, would prevent. Wiuff used the leverage of the incline to continuously take his opponent down to the mat. YAMMA’s attempt to keep fights on the feet backfired in a big way.
The quarterfinals of the tournament saw former UFC heavyweight champion and tournament-favorite Ricco Rodriguez (28-9) use well-timed takedowns to score a unanimous decision over George Bush (5-1). Chris Tuscherer (13-1) and Wiuff both used the same strategy to earn first-round wins over Tony Sylvester (10-2) and Marcelo Pereira (0-1) respectively.
The first fight of the night saw Alexey Oleinik (7-4) have a point deducted after he continued to punch Sherman Pendergarst (10-9) while referee Kevin Mulhall was bringing the fight back up to the feet. However Olenik quickly scored a takedown and secured a fight-ending front choke with less than a minute left in the first round.
In the semifinals, Minnesota natives Wiuff and Tuscherer dodged submission attempts and scored takedowns against Rodriguez and Olenik to move to the three-round final that saw Wiuff use superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision and the tournament crown.
Photo courtesy of Sherdog.com.
It’s been another drama-filled week for Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Bob Meyrowitz and his new YAMMA Pit Fighting venture.
Just days after the organization attempted to finalize it’s inaugural card with the addition of longtime veterans Ricco Rodriguez and Mark Kerr, another late change has taken place.
The promotion announced today that Gary Goodridge, who was slated to take on former boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch, will not be permitted to fight per the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, which requires a medical suspension of at least 30 days following a fighter’s knockout loss. Goodridge was put to sleep by Mu Bae Choi this past weekend.
Coming back into the fold to replace Goodridge will be Patrick Smith, who was recently pulled from the card after recently being arrested following a high-speed chase involving police in Bryant County, Oklahoma. Smith was to replace Don Frye against Oleg Taktarov.
Smith reportedly reached speeds of upwards of 130 MPH on his motorcycle. The 44-year-old was charged with felony attempting to elude to police, possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription, and reckless driving.
Frye was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Taktarov after suffering a shoulder injury during training. He will now be required to undergo surgery but will be at the show to do commentary on the pay-per-view broadcast.
The trouble may not be over yet though. Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that the NJSACB has yet to approve a co-main event between Kerr and Taktarov. Kerr is currently still under indefinite suspension by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation after failing pre-fight tests before a scheduled bout against Sean O’Haire last year according to Sherdog.
Don Frye connects with a right hand against Min Soo Kim in October 2006. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
YAMMA Pit Fighting, a new mixed martial arts organization created by Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Bob Meyrowitz, has announced the complete card for it’s upcoming inaugural event in April.
The event is scheduled to take place on April 11th at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. It will be highlighted by two “masters division” fights and an eight-man heavyweight tournament.
Longtime veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will fight for the first time in the night’s main event. A bout between kickboxing veteran Gary Goodridge and infamous professional boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch will also take place. An eight-man heavyweight tournament featuring Travis Wiuff and Sherman Pendergarst will proceed the fights.
The complete lineup for the event is below:
Masters Division Fights
Don Frye vs. Oleg Taktarov
Gary Goodridge vs. Eric Esch
Eight-Man Heavyweight Tournament
Gary Goodridge stops Jan Norte with strikes at K-1 Hero’s 8 in March 2007. Photo courtesy of FEG.
A super heavyweight bout between mixed martial arts and kickboxing veteran Gary Goodridge and infamous professional boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch has reportedly been signed for YAMMA Pit Fighting’s debut show in April.
The news comes from a report by Dave Meltzer through his Wrestling Observer newsletter.
The event is currently slated to take place at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ on April 11th. A “masters division” bout between Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will headline the card. Goodridge-Esch will likely take place in the same division.
After finding surprising success early on in his MMA career, Esch has now hit a bump in the road, losing his last two fights. He most recently was submitted by Nick Penner at The Fight Club’s inaugural event in December.
Meanwhile Goodridge has become a busy man lately after fighting sparingly over the past few years. “Big Daddy” signed a multi-fight deal with the Maximum Fighting Championship earlier this month and is being advertised as headlining their next event in May.
Touch of gloves to Sam Caplan for the find.
411 Mania reported earlier this week that EliteXC is planning on holding a four-man heavyweight tournament during their next show in February. The tournament would apparently feature Eric “Butterbean” Esch, Kimbo Slice, Tank Abbott, and Bob Sapp.
Can you imagine that?
Well apparently there is no truth to the rumor according to Sam Caplan, who says that the idea has never been discussed according to an official close to EliteXC.
Sam also points out the obvious: Sapp is fighting for Strikeforce in February so it would pretty much be impossible.
The Fight Network is reporting that The Global Fighting Championships event that was scheduled for tonight at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST at the Mohegan Sun Arena was cancelled one hour before showtime. According to the article the event was cancelled due to insufficient fights.
Joseph Smith, public relations manager for the Mohegan Sun, said the night was canceled due to “insufficient bouts.” Pressed for details, Smith said that there simply weren’t enough bouts for the commission to allow the event to take place. He could not comment on how many fights were canceled or how many fighters were disqualified from participating.
It was noted that Eric “Butterbean” Esch and Ruben Villareal were the only two fighters to have completed their medicals. Mark Kerr failed his on-site medicals and Edwin Dewees could not secure medical clearance after he failed to make weight and couldn’t pass the medical the followed.
Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell is scheduled to take place July 14th, 2007 at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell
Eric “Butterbean” Esch vs. Tengiz Tedoradze
Mario Sperry vs. Lee Hasdell
Wesley “Cabbage” Correira vs. James Thompson
Edson Drago vs. Gary Turner
Herb Dean vs. Dave Legeno
Mark Buchannan vs. James McSweeny
Paul Chahoon vs. Mark Epstein
Ronnie Mann vs. Robbie Oliver
Marios Zaromskis vs. Ross Mason
Ross Pointon vs. Dean Bray
Joe Mac vs. Jeremy “Bad Boy” Bailey
Michael Johnson vs. Damian Riccio
Tom Watson vs. Ed Smith
Be sure to check in Saturday as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’.
The Global Fighting Championships has officially announced the matchups set to take place on their inaugural event scheduled for August 17th at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Wes “The Whole Show” Sims vs. Jeff Monson
Edwin Dewees vs. Mavrick Harvey
Mark Kerr vs. Sean O’Haire
Butterbean vs. Stefan Gamlin
Chaz Ackles vs. Elias Rivera
Andrey Nevsky vs. Greg Mucci
Darryl MarcAurele vs. Frank El Soldato Latina
Nuri Shakir vs. Travis Lerchen
Depending on the outcomes of their respective fights, one would assume that Wes Sims and Mark Kerr will likely collide on a future Global FC card. Kerr was originally scheduled to make his MMA comeback against Wes Sims in the American Championship Fighting (ACF) on May 6th, 2006 however hours before the bout Kerr pulled out with an apparent hand injury.