Fight Teams

Morning News and Notes: Lashley Debut Set, Burkman Injured & More

Bobby Lashley. Photo courtesy of American Top Team.

— Former WWE star Bobby Lashley will soon join Brock Lesnar in the professional ranks of mixed martial arts. Lashley has reportedly signed on to make his pro debut against fellow newcomer Joshua Franklin at the Mixed Fighting Alliance’s scheduled December 13 event in Miami. The card will be headlined by a rematch between UFC veterans Ricco Rodriguez and Jeff Monson. Rodriguez stopped Monson via third-round TKO in the first meeting at UFC 35 in January 2002.

— UFC welterweight Josh Burkman will be sidelined indefinitely while attempting to heal two bulging discs in his back and another bulging disc in his neck. Burkman, who has attributed his current three-fight losing streak partially to the injury, says that he will first try to heal the injury via physical therapy before potentially undergoing surgery, which is similar to what Nate Quarry and Tito Ortiz have recently had, to repair the injury.

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Report: Denis Kang Signs with the UFC

Newly signed UFC fighter Denis Kang

According to a report on the official American Top Team website, Canadian MMA superstar Denis Kang has signed a 4 fight contract with the UFC.

American Top Team fighter Denis Kang just signed a 4 fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Denis made a big name for himself in Japan and Korea fighting in the PRIDE and SpiritMC organizations, where he developed a huge following.

Denis will now be able to showcase his skills to a whole new audience who hasn’t had the chance to see this exciting fighter in action.  Denis has always expressed a desire to fight in the UFC and we are pleased we were able to help him get this deal done.  Denis will bring a lot of excitement to the 185lb division!  Congrats Denis!

This is a solid signing for the UFC.  Just two years ago, Kang was ranked in the top 5 of world middleweights before he suffered 3 losses in 4 fights.  He has since bounced back with two straight wins against inferior competition.  He is extremely well rounded and can finish a fight from anywhere.

Kang had negotiated before with the UFC, but could never come to terms as he always wanted the option to fight once a year for the SpiritMC promotion in Korea, honoring his family heritage.  With expansion into South Korea being one of Zuffa’s assigned goals in the next year or two, this signing along with that of Dong Hyun Kim is very helpful. It might be the promised chance to still fight in South Korea eventually that convinced Kang to go ahead and sign with Zuffa this time.


Evening News and Notes - Oct 9, 2008

Quinton Jackson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

— Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s pre-trial hearing, which was scheduled to take place today in California, has been postponed until Oct. 24 due to the Orange County chief prosecutor being unable to make it to today’s proceedings. In addition, a preliminary examination (when the prosecution presents the evidence to the jury) scheduled for Nov. 30 has been postponed to a later date. Jackson is facing two felonies and four misdemeanors following his high-speed chase with Costa Mesa on July 15. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Jackson could face up to three years in prison.

— After undergoing successful surgery to repair a partially torn ACL, Renato “Babalu” Sobral will once again to attempt to challenge Bobby Southworth for his Strikeforce light heavyweight title at a planned November 21 event in San Jose, California according to what Sobral’s manager, Richard Wilner, told our friends at MMA Junkie. Sobral and Southworth were originally slated to meet at “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” in September before both fighters were forced to withdraw from the bout due to separate knee injuries. The November show is also expected to feature Josh Thomson making the first defense of his Strikeforce lightweight title as well.

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WEC Shifts Team Takedown Fights

Jake Rosholt. Photo courtesy of Team Takedown.

Three Team Takedown members currently under contract to Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting have either had changes or additions to their upcoming fights according to a pair of reports from Five Ounces of Pain. Team Takedown founder Ted Ehrhardt reportedly confirmed all of the changes earlier today.

Budding prospect Jake Rosholt will now take on undefeated HDNet Fights veteran Nissen Osterneck instead of skilled grappler Danillo Villefort at a middleweight bout scheduled for WEC 36 on November 5. A reason for the change currently remains unknown and Rosholt will be moved over to the UFC following the conclusion of the fight, win or lose.

In addition, Johny Hendricks WEC debut has been moved from WEC 36 to WEC 37 on December 5. He will still face fellow welterweight Alex Serdyukov. Team Takedown lightweight product Shane Roller will also be in action at WEC 37 as he has signed to take on Mike Budnik.

Team Takedown Headed to WEC

Jake Rosholt. Photo courtesy of Team Takedown.

Three prominent members of Texas-based Team Takedown are reportedly headed to the ranks of World Extreme Cagefighting - former NCAA wrestling champions Jake Rosholt, Johny Hendricks, and Shane Roller.

The news comes from Sam Caplan at Five Ounces of Pain, who has confirmed that the fighters have each signed multi-fight deals with the organization and could very well be making their promotional debuts this fall. Two fights currently in talks to take place at the WEC’s planned September 10th event include Rosholt vs. Danillo Villefort and Hendricks vs. Alex Serdyukov according to Caplan.

Earlier today, Loretta Hunt of reported that the September show would likely take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, which has hosted multiple UFC and IFL events in the past. The show’s main event will likely be reigning WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber making yet another title defense against American Top Team product Mike Thomas Brown.

Additional fights expected to take place at the event include a middleweight title rematch between Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen, standout wrestler Mark Munoz challenging BodogFight veteran Steve Steinbeiss, Rob McCullough vs. Donald Cerrone, and former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver vs. an opponent yet to be determined.

Stout Talks Preparation for UFC 83

Sam Stout sits down with RawVegas’ Dave Farra to discuss his preparation for his upcoming fight against Rich Clementi at UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II next weekend in Canada. Among the things Stout elaborates on include his training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, his relationship with coach Shawn Tompkins, the current state of the UFC’s lightweight division, and the potential chance to avenge a previous loss to current contender Kenny Florian.

Inside Xtreme Couture

In the latest episode of RawVegas’ “Inside Xtreme Couture”, a bunch of fighters who have upcoming fights are featured: Jay Hieron, Kim Couture, Sam Stout, and Mac Danzig. Boxing coach Ron Frazier breaks down the hectic schedule that the gym has had to deal with recently as so many are involved with upcoming fights.

Even though the show was filmed prior to this past weekend, it still gives a very interesting look as to what goes on inside the gym. Hieron and Couture, who fought on separate shows last weekend were both victorious. Hieron successfully defended his IFL welterweight title over Mark Miller while Couture picked up her first professional win against Jessica Cruz.

Team Takedown Sweeps at XFL

Jake Rosholt grapples with Dusty Miller at Masters of the Cage 15. Photo courtesy of Team Takedown.

Team Takedown members Jake Rosholt, Johny Hendricks and Shane Roller, each former All-American standout wrestlers at Oklahoma State University, were victorious in their respective bouts at last night’s Xtreme Fighting League event at the Tulsa, Oklahoma Expo Square Pavilion.

The event was televised live on HDNet.

Rosholt dominated opponent Chad Jay from the start in the main event, taking Jay down at will and scoring early and often with a mix of punches and elbows from the top position. Jay tagged Rosholt with a combination at the start of the second round and did so once again in the third, momentarily stunning the wrestler.

However Rosholt regained his composure and scored yet another takedown, eventually landing a number of unanswered blows that forced the referee to halt the bout.

Hendricks scored an early takedown and easily transitioned into a D’Arce choke that caused last-minute replacement opponent Richard Bamgle to tape out only a minute and a half into the first round. Roller needed just under two minutes to stop Yoshihiro Kitaoka with strikes.

Levi Avera sucessfully defended his XFL welterweight title, submitting Brandon Newsome with a triangle in the first round.

Complete event results are as follows:

Jake Rosholt def. Chad Jay - TKO (Strikes)
Johny Hendricks def. Richard Bamgle - Submission (D’Arce Choke)
Shane Roller def. Yoshihiro Kitaoka - TKO (Strikes)
Levi Avera def. Brandon Newsome - Submission (Triangle)
Adrian Sanchez def. Chris Bowles - TKO (Cut)
Daniel Roberts def. Akira Kinjo - Unanimous Decision
Shane Waits def. Kazuya Nishiyama - Unanimous Decision
Mike Budnick def. Dustin Phillips - Submission (Guillotine)

Reminder: Team Takedown on HDNet Saturday

Jake Rosholt grapples with Dusty Miller at Masters of the Cage 15. Photo courtesy of Team Takedown.

DALLAS – HDNet Fights has announced that it is teaming with the Xtreme Fighting League for the upcoming “HDNet Fights Presents: Xtreme Fighting League” on March 15 at the Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event will air live, exclusively on HDNet.

For the event, Team Takedown will send three of its fighters – and Oklahoma wrestling legends: Jake Rosholt, Johny Hendricks and Shane Roller. All are alumni of Oklahoma State University, so it won’t be too much of a stretch to hope for a partisan crowd. In addition, the remainder of the card will feature additional Oklahoma-based talent and young athletes from Osaka, Japan.

Team Takedown is a fighter management company based out of Texas. It is known for the unconventional method of putting fighters on salary, allowing them to focus on training full-time. In addition, its fighters are making the transition from all-star wrestlers to mixed martial arts athletes.

“I am excited about this partnership with HDNet Fights.” said XFL founder and promoter Dale Cook. “This card and the exposure on HDNet is tremendous for our League, our fighters and our city.”

HDNet Fights President Guy Mezger said Cook has been a long-time promoter of combat martial arts.

“Dale always has a strong regional show and we’re excited about partnering with him,” Mezger said. “He can continue to grow his shows and we’ll have high quality mixed martial arts programming for HDNet.”

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Musical Chairs: Marcello Out, Lim In

Gilbert Melendez throws a right hand at Tatsuya Kawajiri. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez, who will both be competing at the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, both apparently have new information concerning their opponents.

MMA Weekly originally reported that Melendez, who has been advertised as competing in DREAM’s upcoming lightweight grand prix, would not be fighting overseas and would in fact defend his Strikeforce lightweight title against Chute Boxe coach Cristiano Marcello instead. The news came from the mouth of Marcello himself.

Now our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting through Strikeforce vice-president Mike Afromowitz that the fight was never signed and an official opponent for Melendez could be named as soon as this afternoon.

Melendez was originally scheduled to defend his title against Josh Thompson and then Bodog star Jorge Masvidal but both were forced to pull out because of injury.

Diaz will reportedly take on a recently victorious Jae Suk Lim, who won the SpiritMC middleweight title for a second time with a decisive win over top prospect Yoon Young Kim last Sunday.

The news comes from GracieFighter, a site maintained by Diaz’s coach, Cesar Gracie, even though Lim stated after his win over Kim that he would fighting inside the confines of ICON Sport in his next bout.

Diaz has not fought since being upset by KJ Noons in a bid for the vacant EliteXC lightweight title.

During his time off, Diaz underwent plastic surgery to repair a large amount of scar tissue that developed around his eyes. The scar tissue certainly factored into his loss to Noons as the fight was stopped because of several cuts Diaz had suffered on his face.

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