Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage
Jorge Santiago needed less than three minutes in order to capture the state of California and Strikeforce’s first-ever four-man mixed martial arts tournament last night.
Santiago scored victories over Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley in front of 8,233 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Both Santiago and Prangley headed into the tournament in relatively good shape considering they had each fought earlier in the evening. They decided to keep the bout on the feet during the opening moments of their fight. Santiago battered Prangley with a flurry of leg kicks early on, connecting with one that knocked Prangley to the ground.
Santiago continued to stalk Prangley connecting with a number of unanswered punches and kicks. Santiago connected with a knee to the body and followed it up with a right hand that sent Prangley to the canvas. Santiago pounced on him and following up with another right hand but referee Jon Schorle decided that Prangley had enough and stopped the fight.
After the fight, Santiago admitted that sticking to his game plan ultimately won him the fight:
“I’ve been studying his game for a long time and I knew that he was a tough guy,” said Santiago. “I knew that he was probably going to try and take me down and drop some bombs. I just stuck to my game. I saw the best time to go and I took over.”
A lottery ball drawing, which will take place immediately following the fighter weigh-ins at the HP Pavilion’s The Grill restaurant on Thursday, the eve of Strikeforce’s mixed martial arts mega-card, will determine the tournament brackets for Friday’s historic, four-man middleweight (185 lb. limit) tournament.
Tournament competitors Trevor Prangley (16-4), Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (24-7), Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1), and Jorge Santiago (14-7) will each draw one of four balls, numbered “1” through “4,” and, then, one by one, choose which location in the single-elimination tournament draw they wish to occupy. The first choice will be given to the fighter who draws the ball numbered 1, the second choice to the fighter who draws ball number 2, and so forth.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, five-minute rounds. The victor of the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament in the state of California will potentially be awarded the opportunity to challenge Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock.
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- Jordan Breen’s latest Koubousen Companion on Sherdog reveals that DEEP boss Shigeru Saeki is stating that Ryo Chonan’s contract with the UFC is non-exclusive and Chonan will be expected to defend his title next year:
On the topic of championship reform, Saeki also revealed that as 181-pound champion Ryo Chonan’s new UFC contract is non-exclusive, the 181-pound title will likely be on the market early next year. Saeki stated last month that he planned on having a 181-pound challenger tournament next year. But in light of recent events, that same tournament, which will likely begin in February or April, will probably be for DEEP’s divisional championship.
Update 6:09 PM: Sherdog corrected the article, stating that Chonan’s contract is exclusive, not non-exclusive.
- EliteXC President Gary Shaw confirmed that he has had preliminary talks with members of the company about a potential showdown between the two according to The Fight Network:
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw confirmed this week he has held preliminary discussions about promoting a potential megafight between brothers Frank and Ken Shamrock within EliteXC. The two adopted brothers have expressed a willingness to fight one another in the past.
“I talked to my team about it,” Shaw said. “I would love to do brother versus brother. It would be a great promotion.”
- The IFL has announced Bart Palaszewski has agreed to terms with the on a contract that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed a non-exclusive deal with Xcess Fighting. He will make his debut for the promotion on December 12th:
“I am undeniably the biggest ‘Babalu’ fan that lives,” Xcess Fighting spokesperson Bruce Bellocchi stated. “Xcess Fighting believes he has tremendous talent, and (we) are extremely proud to be able to get him back into he cage and in front of his fans so quickly.“
An opponent for Sobral and location for the event will be named in the near future.
- Asgard MMA reports that Per Eklund has signed with the UFC. Rumors have been floating around for months about Eklund’s possible signing and this can only help to certify that as being true. The deal is a four-fight, 18 month deal. Eklund is slated to fight at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England against an opponent yet to be named.
- So apparently Brad Imes has trained with Brock Lesnar in the past. Imes says that Lesnar’s game was lacking:
I think he’s got a lot of potential. His stand up is really kinda nonexistent, but he’s obviously a big powerful guy. And his ground game…I know, he’s a D-1 national champ but I think he’s pretty rusty as far as his ground game. I was able to pass guard on him, mount him, do whatever I wanted with him on the ground really. And he really didn’t feel that strong to me, granted I don’t grapple with anyone that feels strong to me.
But, I think that one of his strengths when he was in college was that he was much stronger than everyone he went up against; and heavyweights, no matter what the sport . . . it is hard to find good ones. So, I think if he sticks with it he’ll be great. I just think it was a mistake going to the UFC so quick. And I say that from someone who knows.
News and Notes
- Strikeforce announced the four participants for their first ever one-night tournament set to take place at their next event on November 16th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The four middleweights that will participate are Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, two-minute rounds. If a draw is declared following the second round of a fight, an overtime round will be added to the bout to determine a victor. The winner of the tournament may earn the opportunity to face Frank Shamrock in the near future.
- Rich Franklin’s publicity manager has stated that reports about a possible early retirement for Franklin are not true:
“Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s publicity manager. “It’s too early for him to even consider retirement at this point.”
- Paul Buentello will face Alistair Overeem or the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title on November 16th as well.
- Dave Meltzer has another description of Don Frye’s apparent street fight with the bodyguard of Leland Chapman:
The fight with Don Frye and “Sonny,” who was Leland Chapman’s bodyguard, started when promoter Chris Salsbury told Scott Steiner that MMA promoter Phil Flathres would be in charge of paying the wrestlers. The wrestlers came to Flathers for their money. Somehow the MMA people and wrestling people were played against each other and tension developed. “Sonny” started making remarks about pro wrestling, which saw an MMA fighter/pro wrestler, Frye, telling him to shut up. Frye had been drinking and was loaded. It wound up with them going outside.
“Sonny” allegedly sucker punched Frye, bloodying him up. Frye then allegedly single legged Sonny and was punching him hard from the mount when it was pulled apart. The second confrontation in the parking lot saw Sonny knock down Frye and Sonny and Leland Chapman ran off as Scott Norton came and Frye got up. It should be noted that we’ve gotten many different versions and all are slightly different but this seems to be the best detailed version.
- Meltzer is also reporting that a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has not yet been signed, thus why there was no announcement of it on Saturday night.
MMAWeekly is reporting that Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and the San Jose Razorclaws will not be apart of the IFL heading into the 2008 season.
“They said they were going a different direction with their business,” stated the current Strikeforce and former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder. “They’re good people and they’re a good company. They’ve got a hard road ahead of them. I’m still willing to help in any way because they treated me real good.”
The San Jose Razorclaws consisted of Frank Shamrock (Coach), Dave MacMillan (Assistant Coach), Tony Demara (Assistant Coach), Josh Odom (LW), Donnie Liles (WW), Brian Foster (MW), Brian Ebersole (LHW), Dan Christison (HW), and Clint Coronel (Alternate LW).
Shamrock stated that he felt everyone on the team had been cut except for Brian Foster who will be competing in the upcoming IFL Grand Prix and then he will likely be reassigned to a new team.
“I think they cut everybody but Brian Foster and he’s in the Grand Prix, so he’s got his chance coming up. I think they’re going to reassign him to a new team. He’s got a couple of teams that he has the option to go to.”
News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”
It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these. I guess potential fight matchups haven’t been coming out in huge bunches lately.
Apparently a lot of news has come out of Strikeforce’s latest show at the Playboy Mansion this past weekend. The promotion announced that signing of Renato “Babalu” Sobral but that wasn’t all that was revealed courtesy of Gary Herman at 15 Rounds.
Sobral has told Herman that Strikeforce has also inked former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to contracts. Sobral stated that he would like to fight either of the two:
Sobral signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.
“Strikeforce is a very strong organization. They are bringing in a lot of good fighters in my weight class,” said Sobral.
According to Sobral, two other fighters headed to Strikeforce are Kevin “Monster” Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Sobral has his sights set on both of the former Pride Fighting Championship competitors.
“I’d like to fight both Randleman and Cyborg,” Sobral said.
Sobral also stated that he expects to fight in December.
Frank Shamrock says that he expects to be back in action at some point next spring.
After Daniel Puder’s victory Saturday night, he went over and challenged K-1 veteran Bob Sapp:
“After the match, I went and told Bob Sapp I want to fight him,” Puder said.
Puder said that Sapp was more than willing to accept the challenge.
“Sapp is going to talk to Scott Coker about it. We want to make it happen,” said Puder. “I want to fight him next year.”
BodogFight Middleweight Champion Trevor Prangley noted that discussions are currently taking place in order to have him making his first title defense against Matt Lindland:
“It has been talked about,” said Prangley. “I would love to fight him.”
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
Forrest Griffin wishes you a good morning.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Luke Thomas of Bloody Elbow is reporting that the The Ultimate Fighter 7 will focus solely on the middleweight division:
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva made an appearance at the Combat Sports Challenge in Richmond, VA this past weekend where he announced to the crowd that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will focus exclusively on the middleweight class. No further details are available at this time. However, if ultimately true, this would be a boon to a comparatively weak division. Stay tuned.
- Fight Opinion via MMA Movement is reporting that renowned grappler Rondalo “Jacare” Souza has announced that he has signed with the UFC.
Souza’s manager, Andre Cabral, apparently made the announcement at a recent Amazon Challenge event and was then later interviewed by a Brazilian news station.
Souza currently sports a professional MMA record of 5-1. He is a veteran of Jungle Fight, fighting in that promotion on four separate occasions. His lone loss came at the hands of Jorge Patino in 2003.
- Rafael Cordeiro of Chute Boxe has stated that Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will fight at the next K-1 Hero’s event in October and then at Cage Rage 24 in December.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed Ken Pavia as his new agent:
Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who recently signed with Strikeforce after the UFC terminated his contract, has become the latest client of Ken Pavia’s MMA Agents sports agency.
Pavia told MMA Junkie of the signing late last night.
Other fighters that Pavia has recently added to his stable also include Cyrille Diabate, James Thompson, Carmelo Marerro, Todd Moore, and Carlo Prater according to the post.
- Fightlinker is passing along it’s own insider information concerning Tito Ortiz and his potential opponent at UFC 78:
I guess we’re at that size now where we start getting tips on stuff. On Saturday night, Tito Ortiz was at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, WA. and got on the mic to say “Blah blah blah blah, my next fight will be against Wanderlei Silva or Rashad Evans”
Sherdog: PRIDE and Prejudice
MMA Weekly: Marines and Sailors use MMA as part of Training
Bloody Elbow: Rankings Roundup: Heavyweight
Five Ounces of Pain: Frank Shamrock to be sued?
FOX Sports: UFC’s light heavyweights carry the sport
Fight Opinion: A Look Behind the Curtain: Zuffa’s Finances Come Into Focus
Yahoo! Sports: Strikeforce proves it isn’t an all-UFC world
411 Mania: Punch Drunk Hangover
Forrest Griffin discusses his recent win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at the UFC 76 post-fight press conference.
News and Notes
- Forrest Griffin knows that Wanderlei Silva apparently wants to fight him. However Griffin isn’t sure if he would be medically cleared for UFC 79 in December:
“It kind of would, yeah,” said Griffin about a December date with Silva being too soon. “I’d love to fight him if I didn’t have a giant hole in my face right now. We were in the hotel lobby and I was doing an interview with someone and they’re like ‘Wanderlei just said he wants to fight you’ and I was like ‘Right now, really, right now? He wants to fight me? I know he’s a Chute Boxe guy, but right now?’ And they were like no, no, no … in December.”
“We’ll see medically,” Griffin stated about the December card. “[It’ll] take a couple of weeks to figure it out.”
The cut that Griffin sustained was pretty severe and I’m going to assume that the CSAC will medically suspend him for at least a month without contact. However UFC 79 isn’t until December 29th, which would still give Griffin a good two months to be able to train for the fight. I guess we’ll see what happens…
- Looking for an update on Dan Henderson? The Fight Network has one.
Apparently Henderson only has one fight left on his current contract with the UFC. He has also stated that he would be ready to fight by November but that he would like to stay at light heavyweight, despite the UFC’s efforts to attempt to get Henderson to move down to his natural weight of 185.
- Cage Rage has released part of the upcoming card for Cage Rage 24: Feel The Pain:
Evangelista Santos vs Paul Cahoon
Mark Epstein vs Tom Watson
Ross Pointon vs Marios Zaromskis
Brad Pickett vs Ronnie Mann
Abdul Mohammed vs Robbie Oliver
James McSweeney vs Robert Paczkow
Neil Grove vs Robert Berry
- Matt Hamill has set the story straight concerning his recent knee surgery and stated that he would like to rematch Michael Bisping in December on his official sitehttp://www.matthamill.com/.
- Entertaining PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono announced at his own press conference yesterday that he has signed with the UFC and will be fighting welterweight Tamden McCrory at UFC 78 in November:
“I know his fight record,” Gono said of the 20-year-old McCrory. “I know that he’s tall, young and has a long reach.”
- The California State Athletic Commission has released the official attendance and gate for UFC 76:
The UFC 76 “Knockout” event on September 22nd in Anaheim, California had an official attendance of 13,770 - with 1,953 of those seats as comps (tickets given away for free to media, friends, celebrities, etc.) for a gate of $1,984,880.
- MMA Weekly has released their latest set of rankings.
Fightlinker: I loves me some Mac Danzig
Sherdog: Old-School Event Sparks Backlash in Brazil
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: Where’s my PRIDE?
Five Ounces of Pain: ShoXC to return on Oct. 26 featuring Javi Vazquez, Aaron Rosa, and Muhsin Corbbrey
MMA Analyst: Is the PRIDE vs. UFC debate over?
MMA HQ: “Minotauro” Nogueria vs Cheick Kongo at UFC 79?
News and Notes:
- Renzo Gracie recently accepted Frank Shamrock’s request for a rematch on MMA Weekly’s Sound Off:
Gracie was recently on MMAWeekly Radio to responds to Shamrock’s challenge. “I never get invited to a party that I didn’t show up. I’d love to do it again,” Gracie said excitedly. Anyone who knows Gracie knows that he never shies away from a challenge and that he has the heart of a lion. “I want to finish a fight that I never had a chance to finish. I think it will be a continuation of what we had in February.”
- Maurico Rua has stated that his leg injury is not as severe as many media outlets are reporting that he will still continue to train while undergoing physical therapy.
- Jason Gilliam will be replacing an injured Drew Fickett as Chris Lytle’s opponent at UFC 73.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 74 against David Heath.
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will be training with Team Quest for his upcoming bout at UFC 75 in September:
“I wanted to go to [Las] Vegas to train with Randy [Couture],” Liaudin said. “I saw his new gym, and it looked great. Not only that, but everyone trains down there. Martin Kampmann offered to rent me his apartment because right now he’s back home having surgery on his knee. The only thing is that his apartment is about a 15-minute drive from the gym, and I don’t drive.”
“We looked around a number of different gyms,” Liaudin said. “I always wanted to go to Team Quest, but I didn’t really want to go to Oregon. Now Dan Henderson has a gym in California. My manager got in touch with them; you can stay in a house with other fighters, they come pick you up and take you to the gym and, for extra money, they even deliver food for us.”
- Justin Levens has signed a three-fight deal with Palace Fighting Championships.
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