General

2007 ADCC to be Streamed on Pro Elite Website

LOS ANGELES – ProElite.com, the comprehensive and inclusive online community for MMA fighters, fans and organizations, announced today it will bring the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club “Submission Wrestling World Championship” to a global Internet audience for the first time May 5 – 6, 2007. The live broadcast stream from the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey will begin noon EST/ 9:00 a.m. PST on both days

This ProElite.com and OntheMat.com Pay-Per-View presentation over two days will feature selected fights from over 75 male and 30 female fighters that include grappling’s cream of the crop from Brazil, Australia, France, Japan, Canada, Portugal and the United States. Visitors to ProElite.com before May 5 will be able to purchase the two-day event, unlimited viewing, for only $19.99, a $5 discount to purchasing May 5 or after.

Besides the two days of live fights, fans will be treated to bonus coverage that ranges from behind-the-scenes interviews to the pre-fight weigh-ins on May 4. Through ProElite.com’s powerful blogging tools, fans can connect to discuss the fighters and event in real time.

The featured “Super Fight,” scheduled for May 6, will have current Absolute Division winner Roger Gracie battling against Ricardo Arona, who replaced an injured Dean Lister on the card. Due to contractual obligations during ADCC 2005, Arona was unable to defend his Super Fight title against Lister and now he’s back in this epic match-up with Gracie.

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WEC Announces Complete May 12th Card

The WEC has announced the complete card for their May 12th event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Doug Marshall vs Justin McElfresh - WEC Light Heavyweight Title
Jason Miller vs Hiromitsu Miura
Richard Crunkilton vs Jamie Varner
Eric Schambari vs Art Santore
Ed Ratcliff vs Johnny Sampaio
Brandon Foxworth vs Manny Tapia
Tom Speer vs Sidney Silva
Marcus Hicks vs Sergio Gomez
Gary Padilla vs Ariel Gandolla

IFL Moves June 16 Show to Vegas

The International Fight League announced yesterday that it will move its June 16 regular season event from Reno, Nev., to Las Vegas, Nev.

“We were presented an opportunity for this breakthrough event in Las Vegas, and we felt it is an opportunity we could not pass up,” said IFL CEO and co-founder Gareb Shamus.

“Our steady progress throughout our first year of existence (the first IFL event was only held April 29, 2006) has resulted in some great opportunities that we could not have predicted, and this move to work with the Las Vegas Hilton for this event is the latest one. It is a very exciting day for us, our athletes and for all the MMA fans in Nevada.”

The event at the Las Vegas Hilton will be the final of nine regular season IFL events, with at least one of the four playoff berths on the line. The 10-bout card will feature Ken Shamrock’s Nevada Lions, featuring rising stars John Gunderson (Medford, Ore.), Las Vegas native Roy Nelson and Vernon White (East Palo Alto, Calif.), against the Tucson-based Scorpions, who have heavyweight Chad Griggs (Tucson, Ariz.) and light heavyweight Mike Whitehead (Central Point, Ore.) on their roster.

The first place New York Pitbulls, led by rising stars Jamal Patterson (Hoboken, N.J.) and Delson Heleno (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), take on Carlos Newton’s Toronto Dragons with lightweight standout Waggney Fabiano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), in the second set of fights.

A War of Words Continues: Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Dana White

It’s looks like this war of words is going to continue between WBC Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and UFC President Dana White…

Earlier this month they exchanged some verbal blows where Mayweather bashed on Chuck Liddell, stated he would give Liddell a million dollars if he beat a heavyweight boxer from his promotion, and said that the UFC “ain’t shit”. White came back with a challenge of having one of Mayweather Promotions’ heavyweights fight Liddell under MMA rules. White also said that he would give Mayweather a million bucks out of his own pockets if he would be able to sell more than 10 tickets without Oscar De La Hoya.

Ouch…

Mayweather was asked about the UFC once again during an open workout this past Tuesday and once again he didn’t shy away from giving his thoughts on the subject:

“UFC’s champions can’t handle boxing. That’s why they are in UFC.” Mayweather said. “Put one of our guys in UFC and he’d be the champion. Any good fighter, he’d straight knock them out. Take Chuck Liddell. Put him in the ring with a (boxer) who is just 10-0 and Chuck Liddell would get punished. They wouldn’t have a chance to grapple (us) because we’d knock them out.”

White was given the opportunity to fire back at a press conference on Wednesday and he certainly delivered:

“Boxers couldn’t become mixed martial artists. That’s why they’re boxers,” White. “They are one trick ponies. Our guys can do everything. They can box, they can kick box, they can wrestle and do jiu-jitsu. They are much better athletes than boxers.

I used to talk like Floyd Mayweather when I was involved in boxing,” White said. “I talked just like him, until I educated myself about this sport. These guys are amazing athletes, Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers ever, (and) Sean Sherk will whoop his ass in under two minutes.

Any day that Mayweather wants to put his money and his ass where his mouth is, I’m ready,” White continued. “If he wants to step up, let’s do it.”

Mayweather caught wind of White’s comments about Sherk and responded…

“I’ll beat him and come home and watch basketball. Why would I go into a sport paying hundreds of thousands when I’m in a sport paying $20 million?” Mayweather said.

Does Mayweather have a point? Comparing the money that boxers are making and what the top fighters in the UFC are bringing in, why should Mayweather settle for something that is much less at the moment?

White says however that he can offer Mayweather the type of money he would be interested in…

“I’m willing to put together a fight for Sean Sherk and Floyd Mayweather with numbers that would make sense for Floyd,” White said. “And I guarantee you he would not accept it. Floyd Mayweather would never fight in the UFC because he would get his head ripped off.”

Cross-posted on our sister site - KO Corner

UFC 70 Conference Call Reveals LWGP as PRIDE Exclusive, ESPN and HBO Updates, and More

UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.

Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…

Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:

Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.

Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:

“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.

Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.

Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:

Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.

Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…

“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.

Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:

White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.

White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.

According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.

Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.

White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:

White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?

PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.

White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:

“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.

White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:

The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…

The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.

ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…

White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:

White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.

White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.

White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…

White on Tito Ortiz:

White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:

“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”

Complete Card Announced for Gracie Fighting Championships May 19th Event

The complete fight card has been announced for the next Gracie Fighting Championships event scheduled to be held on May 19th at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The biggest change made on the card has been the removal of Marcelo Garcia. Garcia pulled out of the event earlier this month, stating that he was not yet ready to make the transition from submission wrestling to mixed martial arts…

Jeff Monson vs Wes Sims
Thomas Denny vs Steve Heath
Alexandre Ferreira vs Branden Lee Hinkle
Chris Brennan vs Adam Disabato
Ronaldo Souza vs Jeremy Jackson
Daniel Moraes vs Matt Brown
Vinicius Magalhaes vs George Bush
Fabio Leopoldo vs Rob Wince
Rafael Dias vs Phil Cardella
Nissen Osterneck vs Chris Meyers
Damian Maia vs Ryan Stout

PRIDE LWGP Venue Named

In a recent interview conducted by Japanese newspaper Nikkan Sports, PRIDE executive Nobuhiko Takada made a number of announcement’s about the immediate future of PRIDE, one of them being the the venue for the upcoming PRIDE Lightweight Grand-Prix.

The tournament will now take place at Nagoya Rainbow Hall instead of the bigger Saitama Super Arena that the event was originally scheduled to take place in. Rainbow Hall has been the site of a number of past PRIDE shows have taken place, including the majority of the Bushido series of events…

MMA Programming Coming to The Fan 590

MMAWeekly is reporting that The Fan 590 will be debuting a MMA radio show Thursday, April 19th at 11 PM.

From MMAWeekly.com:

The FAN 590 is a Toronto sports radio station, which commands a mighty 2.5% of the entire Toronto radio market. They also dominate ratings in their key demographic, high-spending males between 18 and 45 years old.

Beginning on Thursday, April 19th Stormin’ Norm Rumack will be joined by local MMA personality, Showdown Joe Ferraro. The show is currently slotted for a one hour 11pm to 12am time slot. Be sure to set your dials!

For those of you interested you can listen live at Fan590.com.

Introducing Bodog Fight: Costa Rica

Following the overwhelming success of its sophomore series, Bodog Fight changes backdrops for the third installment in its mixed martial arts series. Swapping the frozen tundra of St. Petersburg for the sunny shores of Costa Rica, Bodog Fight: Costa Rica Combat promises bigger brawls and smaller bikinis.

The first episode debuts this Tuesday, April 17th at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION Television, and features six of the most exciting pound-for-pound fighters in MMA.

In the opening bout, 28-year-old Jake Shields (16-4-1) from San Luis Obispo, California takes on 27-year-old Ray Steinbeiss (8-3-0) from Tempe, Arizona. A student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Vale Tudo fighting legend Cesar Gracie, Shields is one of the best MMA fighters in the world. Will Steinbeiss be able to stop his powerful takedown and submission attempts? The Bodog Fight veteran is up to the challenge as an SWKA Kickboxing champion, Arizona State Wrestling Champion, and IFC Tournament winner.

In other action, 28-year-old Piotr Jakacynski (2-0-1) from Stockholm, Sweden faces 33-year old Steve “The Red-Nosed Pit Bull” Berger (18-15-3) from St. Louis, Missouri. With 37 pro-fights under his belt, Berger is a seasoned veteran with the courage to match his nickname. He admits to getting nervous before his fights, but those nerves quickly become fuel for the coming battle.

Report: PRIDE LWGP to Begin on July 16; PRIDE 35 Scheduled for June in California

MMA Weekly is reporting that Dreamstage Entertainment executive Nobuhiko Takada has revealed that the first round of the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament will take place on July 16th with the second and third rounds of the series of fights being expected to take place in September and November.

The first show under the newly formed PRIDE FC Worldwide is said to be taking place in June at an unnamed venue in California.

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