From DREAM.9, courtesy of HDNet Fights
Also, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs Jan Nortje after the jump.
Terry Martin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Terry Martin was victorious in his professional boxing debut this past weekend, knocking out opponent Ricardo Upchurch in the first round. Martin revealed last week that he would be trying his hand at boxing before his participation at Combat Fighting Championships’ May 17th event at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.
TUF 8 Hopefuls Move On
This time around it’s the mainstream media that is breaking news when it comes to possible participants for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
According to the Winnipeg Sun, current TKO heavyweight champion Krzysztof Soszynski was informed over the weekend that he was one of 50 finalists picked to fly out to Las Vegas for a four-day training camp at the UFC’s training facility. The Boston Herald reports that Woody Weatherby will also be attending the camp.
Couture Won’t Rule Out Return to UFC
MMARated.com‘s Ariel Helwani conducted a must-read interview with UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture recently. Couture touches on a bunch of different questions that MMA media and fans alike have been curious about since the whole ordeal between him and Dana White and company began.
Most interesting is the fact that despite all of the lawsuits and harsh words, Couture still won’t rule out the possibility of returning to the UFC one day:
I think if this whole thing has pointed out one thing to me it’s that I have an opportunity to control my own destiny a little bit and, potentially, through this process, change the way the fighters are paid and the way things are done in MMA and those are important things for me as a fighter. There are a lot of guys that are still scratching out a living and all the cards are held by the promotions. And, certainly, the most powerful promotion in the landscape is the UFC. So, would I say “never will I fight for the UFC,” well, I am not going to say “never” because there are circumstances where things could change but that’s the way I feel right now.
Hong-Man Choi Headed to the Army
According to Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion, Hong-Man Choi will head to the South Korean army training center later this month due to a mandatory requirement to serve his country. Because of his size, Choi won’t serve in battle, but is expected to be out of MMA action for at least three years. More here.
We will be going live at 6:00 AM EST with live results of Yarennoka!, which is taking place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama. Shinya Aoki, Hayato Sakurai, and Murlio Bustamante will also be competing.
For those that are interested, the event is being shown live on HDNet starting at 6 AM EST.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results and commentary are shown after the jump.
John Chandler here again, breaking down Yarennoka! and K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama.
K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! features an astounding total of 13 fights - 7 MMA bouts and 6 kickboxing matches. (I’ll only be previewing the MMA fights) The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Tamura, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action.
I could be completely wrong here but scroll to the 1:35 mark of the video. Is that Hong Man Choi or someone who looks just like him? I’m pretty sure it’s him. It’s gotta be…
Officials running the Yarennoka! show on New Year’s Eve held a press conference earlier today to announce the addition of three more bouts to the event’s card.
Fedor Emelianenko will make his long awaited return to action when he faces Hong Man Choi, who is coming off of a first-round defeat to Jerome LeBanner at K-1’s World Kickboxing Grand Prix last weekend.
Emelianenko was victorious in his only fight of 2007 when he submitted Matt Lindland with an armbar in the first round. Choi has not fought since stopping Bobby Ologun with strikes in just 16 seconds at last year’s K-1 Premium Dynamite!! A previously scheduled bout with Brock Lesnar earlier in the year fell apart when Choi was not cleared to participate by doctors.
Middleweights Kazuo Misaki and Yoshihiro Akiyama will clash on the card and Bob Sapp will fight for the first time in over two years when he takes on Bobby Ologun.
A press conference was held earlier today in Japan to officially announce a New Year’s Eve MMA event that will take place at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.
Now I can’t speak a lick of Japanese so I can’t tell you who exactly the promoter is behind this whole thing but I’ll be able to find out later today.
The press conference was attended by a load of former PRIDE and DSE officials, including Nobuhiko Takada. Many of them will be involved in the running and production of the event. The event will be broadcast on SkyPerfecTV PPV and as of right now, there are no plans to have anything other than a Japanese-only broadcast.
Fighters that have been announced as officially competing at the event are Fedor Emelianenko, Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Other fighters that were mentioned as possibly competing at the event were Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Luiz Azevedo, and Hidehiko Hasegawa.
There was no mention of Hong Man Choi in any forum, leading more credibility to The Fight Network’s Brian Knapp and his report via Monte Cox that Hong Man Choi is not signed to fight Fedor and is nothing more than an option as of right now.
Cox mentioned a few details in terms of the lending out of Fedor by M-1. Fedor is set to be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion and they are also responsible for choosing Fedor’s opponent:
“Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent,” Cox said. “They’re choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market.”
I’ll update this post whenever I receive more information on the press conference.
Sherdog’s Greg Savage is reporting that Fedor Emelianenko will return to action on New Year’s Eve against K-1 veteran Hong Man Choi.
Savage made the statement on his radio show along with Jeff Sherwood.
According to the report, Emelianenko and Choi will fight on a card being promoted by Hustle, a Japanese professional wrestling organization. The event is currently slated to take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Choi is also scheduled to compete at the K-1 World Kickboxing Grand Prix on December 8th, so Choi will have to come out of the tournament relatively unscathed in order to stand at least a chance against the former PRIDE heavyweight champion.
We will have more information on this when we receive it…
SEOUL - The Europeans fared well as always, big Hong-Man Choi squeaked out a controversial win, and Japan’s new wunderkind scored an upset tonight at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final Elimination in Seoul.
Fightsport’s most coveted crown, the K-1 WGP Championship is bestowed each year on a single warrior after a worldwide series of qualifying tournaments. On this early autumn evening, the top 16 stepped in for eight fights at the Seoul Olympic Complex, with the eight winners earning a spot at the WGP Final in December.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- MMA Weekly has released their latest World MMA Rankings and has also added the featherweight division to the list.
- Juanito Ibarra has told the Orange County Register that Michael Bisping is considering a move down to 185 lbs:
Juanito said Bisping is destined to be a UFC champion. He hinted that Bisping might be moving out of the 205-pound weight class in the future. Bisping confirmed he believes he can make the 185-pound limit. Bisping’s dynamic striking and the added strength he would have at a lower weight class would make him a serious force, as if he weren’t a force already. Bisping said he has a nine-fight contract with the UFC and he wants to take his time moving up the ladder and improving with each fight.
- It seems that British officials have discovered that UFC veteran Lee Murray was behind the largest cash robbery in the country’s history:
A professional cage fighter currently in jail in Morocco has been identified as one of the main conspirators in Britain’s largest cash robbery. An Old Bailey jury has heard it suggested the fighter probably started planning the raid, at the Securitas depot in Tonbridge in February last year, as early as July 2005.
The fighter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have bought custom-made surveillance equipment from a security expert and inquired about tracking devices and scanners. He is in custody in Rabat, Morocco, awaiting extradition proceedings. Police hope to bring him back to this country to stand trial next year.
The News Shopper states that the fighter can’t be named because of possible legal ramifications but I think many MMA fans that have been following the sport since 2004 are aware that it’s “Lightning” Lee.
- K-1 has named 12 of the 16 fighters that will compete in the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix: Hong Man Choi, Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Glaube Feitosa, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome LeBanner, Stefan Leko, Ruslan Karaev, Chalid Arrab, Mighty Mo Siliga, Badr Hari, and Paul Slowinski.
- UFC Junkie has announced a partnership with Yahoo! Sports…