News and Notes:
- UFC, PRIDE, and Pancrase veteran Ricardo Almeida will be making a return to MMA competition after a three-year hiatus from the sport. Earlier this week, Cage Fury Fighting Championships announced that they had signed Almeida to fight in their next event in September. MMA Weekly is reporting that Dennis Hallman will most likely be Almeida’s opponent.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that they are unable to do anything that would prevent Hong Man Choi from taking on Gary Goodridge in the K-1 World Grand Prix on August 5th because they do not have jurisdiction in Asia:
“I got instructions from legal that we don’t have jurisdiction over them in Asia,” said CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia today during a Fight Network Radio interview. “In other words, if they went over there and had a show there and included Mr. Choi, and then decided to come back, they would not be facing disciplinary action just for that.”
- Phil Baroni has filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission that will go against the CSAC’s claim that Baroni tested positive for two different types of steroids after his fight with Frank Shamrock last month.
- Kelly Kobold Gavin will replace an injured Laura D’Auguste as Tara LaRosa’s opponent for the first ever BodogFight Women’s Championship bout at next Saturday’s event in Trenton, NJ, BodogFight: Eddie Alvarez vs Matt Lee.
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The Fight Network is reporting that Min Soo Kim will replace K-1 veteran Hong Man Choi and face Brock Lesnar at the upcoming K-1 Dynamite!! USA card.
Lesnar was originally scheduled to face Hong Man Choi but the fight was scrapped after Choi failed to pass his medical tests put forth the California State Athletic Commission. Lesnar’s new opponent, Min Soo Kim, sports a MMA record of 2-5 with victories over the likes of Sean O’Haire and Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Kim’s five losses came to K-1’s best Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga, Semmy Schilt, Don Frye, Ray Sefo, and Bob Sapp.
It was also noted that Marvin Eastman vs. Ray Sefo was been removed from the card. K-1 Dynamite!! USA is scheduled to take place June 2nd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The June 2nd K-1 USA show seems more and more likely to be cancelled in the coming days. What happened now? Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Hong Man Choi was denied a fighting license by the CSAC because of medical reasons, meaning he most likely failed his pre-fight physical examination.
Mike Kogan of FEG, K-1’s parent company confimed that Choi was indeed denied his license yesterday. Kogan has also stated that plans to have Choi undergo another physical at some point today and will ask the commission to reconsider their ruling if the doctor passes him.
As expected, Kogan was rather irked about the whole thing…
“I think they’ll understand this is not just another fight on the card,” Kogan said. “At this point, they have his medicals and they denied his license, but there are procedures in place for repudiating that.
“I don’t have time to be fucking around and wasting time if I know the guy can’t fight. I won’t put a guy in there who isn’t right to fight. I think he can fight, because he fought (in a kickboxing show) in Hawaii on April 28 and he’s all right. But if the second doctor comes to the same conclusion as the first, I have to deal with it.”
Choi’s inability to compete currently leaves Brock Lesnar without an opponent for the show’s main event. When asked about the situation, co-promoter Gary Shaw said that he wasn’t concerned about the fight being completely cancelled but also stressed that he hoped an opponent for Lesnar could be found:
“I’m not concerned about the thing actually coming off,” Shaw said. “Showtime will go with its card and I’m sure the pay-per-view card will go, but so many people were looking forward to that fight. If the giant can’t pass the medicals, and it sounds like he hasn’t, I hope they can find the right replacement because Brock Lesnar is a big part of the card and people want to see him fight.”
So what’s the status with the show? Choi not being able to compete is another huge blow to a show that already seems like it’s not going to happen. Dozens of sites reported and linked to The Fight Network’s original report of FEG failing to adhere to the requests of the CSAC. Kogan saw the report and decided to give his take on things:
“I know they have to get people to hit their website, but to me, that is insulting because I’m a professional promoter,” Kogan said. “Does the commission have certain things it wants from us? Yes. Have we been filing things with the commission? Yes. Will we be licensed? Yes.
“Why would I sell tickets to the largest venue in the country to hold a pay-per-view, sell the worldwide rights and then sit on my ass and not do what I need to do to be licensed? It’s crazy. This is a process and we’re going through that process and we will be licensed.”
Hugely popular former pro and NCAA wrestling champion Brock Lesnar will face 7-foot-2 South Korean giant Hong Man Choi in the eagerly awaited co-main event of the highly anticipated “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA ‘’ mega MMA extravaganza on Saturday, June 2, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It is presented by FEG (Fighting Entertainment Group), ProElite and Showtime Networks Inc.
In a grudge rematch, Royce Gracie faces Japan’s Kazushi Sakuraba in the other co-main event.
The Lesnar-Choi, Gracie-Sakuraba fights are two of six that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME® Pay-Per-View (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). Other pay-per-view bouts are scheduled to include: Mighty Mo vs. Mu Bae Choi, Ray Sefo vs. Marvin Eastman, Melvin Manhoef vs. Dong Sik Yoon, and f ormer University of Southern California and NFL star Johnnie Morton, who will make his MMA debut, against Bernard Ackah.
The pay-per-view fights will be preceded by a one-hour telecast on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) that will feature some of ProElite’s top performers, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (against Jonathan Wiezorek) and Jake Shields (against Ido Pariente).
Here’s a short clip of former pro wrestler turned mixed martial artist Brock Lesnar training for his upcoming fight against Hong-Man Choi on June 2. The bout will be a part of K-1’s inaugural foray in the United States coined K-1/ProElite Dynamite!! USA to be held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.