Photos courtesy of the IFL.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s IFL Grand Prix Finals are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Chris Horodecki (153 lbs) vs. Ryan Schultz (153 lbs)
Benji Radach (184 lbs) vs Matt Horwich (183 lbs)
Jay Hieron (168 lbs) vs. Delson Heleno (168 lbs)
Roy Nelson (258 lbs) vs. Antoine Jaoude (253 lbs)
L.C. Davis (143 lbs) vs. Wagnney Fabiano (144 lbs)
Marcello Salazar (180 lbs) vs. Alex Cook (180 lbs)
Brett Cooper (169 lbs) vs. Rory Markham (170 lbs)
Elias Rivera (181 lbs) vs. Tim Kennedy (186 lbs)
It’s one thing to be a wrestler going into the sport of mixed martial arts. Throughout history it’s been shown that those with superior wrestling skills have been relatively successful. However it’s a different situation when you are a standout college wrestler and have been deemed by Pat Miletich himself to be the next great fighter in the featherweight division.
That’s the situation L.C. Davis finds himself in. It’s been a little more than a year since Davis quit his job as assistant wrestling coach at Pratt Community College in order to move to Bettendorf, Iowa and train at Miletich Fighting Systems full time. The move has paid off as three days from now, Davis will find himself fighting for a world title just 20 months into his professional career.
Davis is slated to take on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout Wagnney Fabiano for the IFL Featherweight Title at the promotion’s Grand Prix Finals this weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The bout will be the first featherweight matchup in IFL history.
Sounds like a lot of pressure, right? Davis doesn’t think so.
“There’s no added pressure going into this bout,” Davis said during a recent interview session. “I’ve been trying not to think about the fact that it’s for a belt too much and it’s worked pretty good so far. I’m just taking this fight like it’s just like any other.”
While Davis may be the superior wrestler in this bout, more talented on the ground than his opponent he is not. Fabiano is widely considered to be one of the top ground specialists in MMA today - all four of his wins in the IFL have come by way of submission.
“My game plan is going to be sprawl and brawl,” said Davis. “I’d like to keep it on the feet. I believe that I’m a more well-rounded fighter than he is and that’s where I can expose him. I’m not worried if the fight goes to the ground though since I feel that I’ll be prepared to hang with him there.”
Regardless of the outcome of the fight, the two will automatically be established as anchors of the new featherweight division. If victorious, Davis can expect to have a chance to defend the championship gold a couple of times in ‘08 due to the IFL’s revamped schedule for next season. None of that matters right now of course, the fight against Fabiano comes first.
“The key to this fight is my ability to adapt to any position,” stated Davis. “I’m confident that I’ll be able to do that. As long as I stick to my strategy and make smart decisions, I don’t see any reason why I won’t come away from this fight victorious.”
Davis is being sponsored for this fight by Premier Fighter. You can check out their selection of shirts, shorts, and hoodies at their official website.
Featherweights Hiroyuki Takaya and Leonard Garcia will both make their WEC debut and against each other at the promotion’s next event on February 13th according to a report by Sherdog’s Jordan Breen.
The WEC reportedly inked a deal with Takaya earlier this month. Takaya returned to 145 lbs after a stint at lightweight where he fell to Gesias Calvancante and Gilbert Melendez. Since dropping back down to featherweight, Takaya has been victorious in his last two fights which include an impressive stoppage victory over Antonio Carvalho.
Garcia will be coming to the WEC from the UFC where he fought to a record of 1-2. Garcia’s trainer, Greg Jackson, announced his client’s move to 145 lbs last month.
Known for putting on an exciting fight here and there, Garcia came out on the wrong end of a unanimous decison against Roger Huerta in a fight of the year canidate in his UFC debut in April. Garcia then split a pair of fights against TUF alumni Alan Berube and Cole Miller.
Montreal’s most popular hockey enforcer suffered the first defeat of his young but promising career as Steve Bosse put together two decisive rounds only to ultimately end up losing in the final stanza to former TKO Heavyweight Champion Icho Larenas in front of over 6,000 at the Bell Centre in Montreal that came to see TKO 31: Young Guns.
Bosse was the aggressor from the start of the bout. While Larenas (4-3) refused to back down compared to opponents that have encountered Bosse (2-1) in the past, it was clear that the ability to control the pace of the fight was clearly in Bosse’s favor. He peppered Larenas with combinations throughout the first two rounds to gain the advantage on the judge’s scorecards.
The third round began in a similar fashion compared to the first two but that all changed when Larenas opted to take Bosse down to the mat. A visibly fatigued Bosse looked out of place on his back and the former champion took advantage, delivering an assault of unanswered strikes that eventually forced referee Yves Lavigne to stop the bout.
After the fight, Larenas let everyone know he’s back for good after taking time away from the sport to deal with some personal issues.
“I want to fight anyone and everyone,” said Larenas. I don’t care who it might be. I’m back full-time and I’m training hard. It’s time to get my belt back.”
The win over Bosse sets up a potential championship rematch between Larenas and Krzysztof Soszynski at some point next year.
Former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver sits down with RawVegas to discuss his upcoming fight with Cub Swanson, the leg injury that forced him to pull out of their original date in September, and the rough childhood he had growing up.
The modern age of mixed martial arts has suffered it’s first recorded death as a result of a regulated MMA bout. Texas featherweight Sam Vazquez passed away Friday night at the age of 35 according to a report by The Fight Network.
Vazquez had been hospitalized since being knocked out by Vince Libardi on October 20th at a Renegades Extreme Fighting event at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
During his time in the hospital, Vazquez had multiple surgeries to remove blood clots in his brain, experienced severe swelling in his brain, and eventually had a stroke that induced him into a coma that he would never come out of. He was transported to a Texas-area hospice last week and ultimately died around 9:15 PM EST this past Friday evening.
Vazquez now joins Douglas Dedge as the only athletes to ever pass away as a result from injuries suffered during a sanctioned MMA bout. Dedge passed out and died after his bout against Yevgeni Zolotarev at an event in Ukraine in 1998. It was later found that Dedge had a pre-existing medical conditions that caused his death.
Vazquez is survived by his wife Sandra and a 7 year-old son.
Everyone here at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences and best wishes to the friends and family of Sam.
MMA on Tap has learned that the scheduled fight between Chance Farrar and Micah Miller at WEC 31 has been postponed.
Farrar suffered an injury during a recent training session and was forced to pull out of the fight. Miller will not compete at the event against a replacement opponent and the two will most likely be matched up again in the future.
The postponement was discussed during MMA Weekly’s Sound Off radio show earlier tonight.
Farrar was submitted by Urijah Faber during Faber’s last title defense in June. The fight was Farrar’s WEC debut. Miller submitted Jesse Moreng in his WEC debut at WEC 26 in March before falling to Cub Swanson in his very next by unanimous decision.
News and Notes
- Reaction from last night’s Ultimate Fighter 6 episode:
UFC: Matt Hughes’ Blog – Week Eleven; The Ultimate Fighter Serra vs Hughes – Episode Eleven Recap
Sherdog: Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6
The Fight Network: Speer Into TUF 6 Semis
MMA Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” — Episode No. 11 Recap
MMA Mania: Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 recap and discussion
Five Ounces of Pain: TUF 6: Episode 11 Recap/Thoughts
UFC Daily: The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 Recap
Steve Cofield: Ben Saunders has his say
Chicago Sun-Times: John Kolosci’s TUF diary, Episode 10
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Leonard Garcia will be moving to the WEC to compete in the featherweight division according to Garcia’s trainer Greg Jackson:
“Leonard (Garcia) is such a great fighter and a strong guy, but he walks around at like three pounds over weight,” said Jackson about his fighter’s move to featherweight. “He had to eat the morning of the weigh-ins the last time. We’ve got to bring him down a weight class where he’s going to be more effective. We talked after his last fight and 145 is where he’s going to be. I’m really looking forward to proving ourselves in that division in the WEC.”
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will take on former WEC bantamweight contender Rani Yahya at K-1 “Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve according to a report from Sports Navi.
Touch of gloves to The Fight Network for that one.
- Sam Caplan has some pretty big news to report…
First off, apparently Andre Gusmao will not be fighting David Heath at UFC 81 because he’s not even signed with the UFC:
Several reports have surfaced in the last 48 hours claiming that Andre Gusmao will be debuting for the UFC at UFC 81 on February 2 against David Heath. Pro Elite has learned that those reports are incorrect, as the IFL has a contract option to retain Gusmao for the 2008 season and will be exercising that option.
The UFC had been in discussions with someone falsely claiming to be representing Gusmao and misrepresenting information during the faux negotiations. According to the source, the UFC was contacted by the IFL soon after hearing the reports of Gusmao’s departure.
Secondly, Caplan has learned that M-1 Global is leaning towards holding their first-ever event at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ in March, which is good for this site because of a short traveling distance.
- Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dan Barrera and Ben Saunders will rematch at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale next Saturday.
London Free Press: He’s called the Crosby of fighting
Sherdog: Politics of Promoting on New Year’s Eve in Japan
MMA Opinion: We Found Rampage!
Bloody Elbow: How Dana White Blew It in 2007
MMA Analyst: Sengoku won’t prove who is the Fight Master
There’s no looking back for the Palace Fighting Championship.
After giving the mixed martial arts community one of the very best events in Central California history in October, Christian Printup and the PFC are looking to raise the bar even further for Thursday, January 17th.
Printup, the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino Entertainment Director, confirmed three blockbuster PFC World Title fights for the Jan. card and also confirmed deals with a pair of elite fighters.
Maybe the biggest announcement is that of the PFC Lightweight Championship will be on the line. Interim champ Poppies Martinez (13-3) of Lemoore will tangle with Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Diego Saraiva (9-6-1) of Atlanta.
“Diego Saraiva is a very exciting fighter. He’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and he likes to bang. Poppies management and his head trainer, Urijah Faber, are excited about this opportunity for Poppies. Poppies has always just fought who was put in front of him and to this day the only fight he has ever asked for was the Cole Escovedo fight,” Printup said. “Saraiva is coming off three losses, but to really good fighters. I believe this fight is a career defining fight for both guys. Both guys are excited to fight each other. This is a great fight for PFC fans. These are the types of competitive match ups that the sport needs.”
World Victory Road held a press conference yesterday to announce it’s first-ever event, “Sengoku”, which will take place at the Yoyogi First National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan on March 5th of next year.
Zach Arnold of Fight Opinon says that the arena can hold 10,000-12,000 people.
The name “Sengoku” was selected from over 10,000 submissions sent in by fans to name the promotion’s inaugural event.
Four fighters were announced to be part of the card and were all in attendance at the press conference. They included Hidehiko Yoshida, Sanae Kikuta, Makoto Takimoto, and Ryo Kawamura. Fight matchups and additional participants will be announced in the near future according to officials.
The weight classes will be as follows: Heavyweight (205 lbs +), Light Heavyweight (205 lbs), Middleweight (183 lbs), Welterweight (167 lbs), Lightweight (149 lbs), and Featherweight (132 lbs). Additional weight classes may be instituted in the future.
In terms of rules, they will be a mix of the Unified Rules of MMA that all organizations in North American currently use and the rule set that was once used by PRIDE. Knees on the ground and stomps will be permitted while soccer kicks and elbows will not. Each non-title fight will consist of three, five-minute rounds. Championship fights will be five rounds of the same time limit.
Officials stated that they are planning on holding championship bouts for all weight classes next year. There are currently five events scheduled for 2008 and dates and venues for those will be announced in the future. WVR officials are currently in discussions for a TV deal but wouldn’t name any specifics. Contracts will be non-exclusive.
More reaction on the press conference: