A lot of news to report so I’ve decided to throw up a Sunday edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Pancrase has been forced to cancel it’s championship main event for this morning’s 2007 Rising Tour show after former heavyweight King of Pancrase Kestutis “Tiger” Arbocius pulled a no-show. His scheduled opponent, current Heavyweight King of Pancrase Assuerio Silva, has been removed from the card and will defend his title at a later date.
Officials from Sherdog have stated that varying reports reveal that no one really knows where Arbocius is right now:
Initial reports from Japanese media, which attributed information to Arbocius’ management, suggested that the 32-year-old Lithuanian* may have had difficulty with local police.
A Pancrase official disputed that report, telling Sherdog.com via e-mail, “Nobody knows where he is, even his manager. Pancrase is trying to keep in touch with him.”
Yuki Kondo’s bout against Yuji Sakuragi will now serve as the main event for the show.
- Shooto has announced five more bouts for it’s Back to our Roots 6 card, set for November 8th at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo:
Shinichi Kojima vs Eduardo Dantas
Megumi Fujii vs Kyoko Takabayashi
Rambaa Somdet vs Masaaki Sugawara
Masashi Yozen vs Leandro Silva
Hayate Usui vs Shintaro Ishiwatari
- In a recent interview with ADCC News, Jake Shields stated that he is closer to signing with the UFC than EliteXC right now:
“I want to go out there and fight the best. I’m really looking at UFC over Elite because that is where a lot of top guys are. In the next few weeks I’ll probably make my decision on where I’m going to be signing. I’m sure we’re going to talk to them in the next week before we sign anything with Elite. I’m ready to get in there with the top guys. With the Rumble on the Rock tournament and EliteXC and my last four or five fights have been top come and have been fast, easy fights. I think it definitely shows I belong there.”
- The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Hardcore Championship Fighting is currently in contract talks with Vitor Belfort, Ricardo Arona, and John Alessio:
The Canadian fight club has been on a big-name signing binge of late.
Pride’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, former UFC veterans Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Joe Riggs have signed on. Negotiations are ongoing with former UFC heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort, Pride vet Ricardo Arona and Canadian John Alessio.
“We are the only Canadian promotion that is bringing in huge international names,” says Crawford. “We remain committed to promoting local talent, but I believe Canadians are educated in the sport and want to see the world’s best.”
- American Top Team has announced that Seth Petruzelli has joined the ranks of the Florida-based training team:
Seth has been involved in the MMA scene for awhile and decided to join ATT to help further his career while preparing and train for his fights. When not preparing for his fights at the Main academy in Coconut Creek, FL. Seth will continue teaching at ATT Orlando along with Paul Rodriguez.
Look for Seth to be back in action Oct. 27th at Knight Fights in Orlando, Florida.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that Strikeforce will hold a four-man middleweight tournament at their next event on November 16th:
Strikeforce announced the first one-night tournament ever in California, which will be a four-man middleweight tournament featuring Joe Riggs and Falaniko Vitale on 11/16 in San Jose at the HP Pavilion. Promoter Scott Coker said it was be streamed live on Yahoo! like the Playboy Mansion show was. Cung Le will be in the non-tourament main event.
Mike Russell of The Fight Network has learned through Jack Shields, Jake Shields’ father and manager, that his son will be fighting fellow welterweight Mike Pyle on November 10th at EliteXC’s next event.
“Mike is a great fighter, and Jake has wanted to fight him for a while,” the elder Shields said. “He’s training hard for this fight and is really looking forward to this opportunity.”
Ken Pavia, Pyle’s manager also told Russell on Friday afternoon that the fight was just about “a done deal”.
Sam Caplan originally broke the news that Shields would be fighting as part of EliteXC’s next card earlier this week.
My guess of Pyle as Shields’ opponent was right too apparently.
Sam Caplan is reporting that Jake Shields will be part of EliteXC’s next event on November 10th. His opponent has not yet been named but apparently may come out of Xtreme Couture:
After proposed bouts against Frank Trigg and Antonio McKee fell through for an Oct. 20 card promoted by “Brawl for it All” at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that Jake Shields’ next fight will be for EliteXC on November 10.
According to his trainer, Cesar Gracie, Shields has signed a bout agreement to fight on EliteXC’s next card against an opponent that has yet to be confirmed. However, Gracie did indicate that Shields’ opponent could end up being someone that is already on the EliteXC roster and currently trains out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
My guess would be Mike Pyle, who is currently under contract with EliteXC and is one of the few welterweights currently training at Xtreme Couture’s Las Vegas location.
Showtime Sports previews the upcoming welterweight bout between Jake Shields and Renato “Charuto” Verissimo at EliteXC: Uprising on September 15th.
Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
NEW YORK – In less than seven months, ProElite’s respected live fight division, EliteXC, has gained the reputation for delivering consistently competitive, thrilling and memorable live Mixed Martial Arts events that showcase the world’s top fighters.
Under the watchful eye of Live Events President, Gary Shaw, EliteXC and SHOWTIME already have produced many significant accomplishments and has made MMA history on a couple of occasions; the most noteworthy of which: EliteXC is the first and only MMA organization on premium television.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, at Oahu, Hawaii, EliteXC will establish another first when it presents the most significant MMA event in Hawaiian history and the initial collaboration between EliteXC and Hawaii-based promoters and former rivals, ICON Sport and ROTR (Rumble On The Rock). The remarkable event will feature an explosive five-fight telecast airing live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) followed by four fights streaming live at the premier mixed martial arts social networking and entertainment site, ProElite.com.
While Zuffa has signed a wealth of talent over the past few months, they haven’t locked up every top fighter just yet, including the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter. Here’s your guide to the top ten fighters that currently aren’t under contract with Zuffa (UFC/WEC) courtesy of Scott and myself…
1. Fedor Emelianenko (26-1-0-1) – The best fighter in the world, period. He has beaten a who’s who of heavyweights from around the world and is looking pretty much unstoppable at this point. The only thing we have against him is that he doesn’t fight often enough but it’s technically not his fault anyway. Both K-1 and the UFC are vigorously attempting to sign the hottest free agent on the market right now. Old rumors had him going to the UFC while the latest set has him staying in Japan. Only time will tell where Fedor is going to end up.
2. Josh Barnett (20-5) – Probably the second biggest FA on the market, Barnett hasn’t ruled out signing with any organization. He’s an extremely talented heavyweight and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion at that. Has split a pair of fights with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. His ‘Achilles’ heel’ seems to be Mirko Cro Cop - Barnett has lost to him in three straight tries. Has the skill set to beat anyone in the world. Has said that he would love to return to the US but the guy is a legend in Japan.
3. Matt Lindland (20-5) – The one fighter that the UFC should have never let go. Lindland was set to challenge Rich Franklin for the UFC Middleweight Title until the UFC terminated his contract because of an unapproved sponsor being on his shorts. Lindland has won 5 out of 7 fights since then - his only losses have been against Quinton Jackson and Fedor who both compete in higher weight classes than “The Law”. Has said that he currently does not want to be locked up by a single organization.
4. Takanori Gomi (27-3-0-1) – Gomi was the top ranked lightweight in the world for what seemed like forever until he was submitted by both Marcus Aurelio and Nick Diaz in less than a year. His losses have come against the cream of the crop and he’s beaten just about everyone else out there. Gomi is the current PRIDE Lightweight Champion as well the winner of the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix in 2005. He has stated that he has no interest in leaving Japan to compete at this time and has publicly said he is interested in signing with K-1.
5. Denis Kang (27-8-1-1) – Reports have Kang signing with K-1 any day now. If he does indeed ink a deal with K-1, he is expected to take on Kazushi Sakuraba in September in what could possibly be Saku’s final fight. Kang put himself on the map by fighting his way to the finals of the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix, defeating Akihiro Gono, Murilo Rua, and Amar Suloev before ultimately losing a split decision to Kazuo Misaki. He is widely considered one of the most well-rounded middleweights in the world today.
Elite XC, ICON Sport, and Rumble on the Rock announced their official partnership earlier today at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Elite XC President Gary Shaw commented on the importance of the three promotions working together:
“It really is a major step,” said Director of Live Events for EliteXC Gary Shaw with ICON promoter T. Jay Thompson seated to his right and ROTR’s J.D. Penn on his left.
The new alliance’s first event will take place on September 15th at the Blaisdell Arena. Dubbed Elite XC - Uprising, the event will feature Elite XC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua defending his title against ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler. The event will be broadcast on Showtime.
“September 15 will be the biggest MMA event Hawaii has ever seen,” said Thompson, however the longtime Hawaii promoter predicted “it won’t be the biggest MMA event Hawaii will see in the future.”
Shaw also talked about future Elite XC-promoted events that will take place in Hawaii:
“Coming to Hawaii was important to EliteXC,” said Shaw. “As I said before, I believe this is really the home of mixed martial arts. Next year we’ll be back. We won’t be back in ‘07, but I guarantee to you … we’ll be back here in ‘08.”
The complete card for the Uprising event was also announced during the press conference:
Murilo Rua vs Robbie Lawler - EliteXC Middleweight Championship
Nick Diaz vs Mike Aina
Joey Villasenor vs Riki Fukuda
Renato Verissimo vs Jake Shields
Gina Carano vs Tonya Evinger
Jaw Suk Kim vs Brandon Wolff
Kala Halohe Hose vs Jeff Cox
Mark Oshiro vs Nui Wheeler
Mark Kurano vs Jose Diaz
Justin Bucholz vs Kolo Koka
Tyson Nam vs Albert Manner
The preliminary bouts will be streamed for free at Pro Elite’s official website. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime.
Update 1:33 PM: The Fight Network is reporting that Pro Elite, the parent company of Elite XC, is currently in serious discussions regarding the possible purchase of ICON Sport.
Icon Sport promoter and matchmaker Patrick Freitas confirmed Thursday that Pro Elite, parent company of EliteXC, were still in serious discussions regarding the purchase of the Hawaii-based mixed martial arts promotion. Freitas stopped short of calling any deal imminent, but the conceded the two promotions have been in negotiations for months.
“I think it’s no secret that Pro Elite and Icon are talking about the acquisition of Icon, but anything could happen,” Freitas said.
According to Freitas, should the deal be consummated, Pro Elite would purchase the rights to the company and would hire Icon Sport president T.J. Thompson and Freitas to run events as consultants. The Icon Sport brand would remain intact. The relationship between Pro Elite and Icon Sport began in March when Proelite.com streamed the Icon Sport middleweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Frank Trigg.
A few weeks ago Jake Shields went on the record calling out UFC veteran Frank Trigg saying “I’m wishing Frank Trigg would step up and fight me but I think he is scared. The guy has always talked shit to me and stuff but then he won’t fight me. He runs his mouth but when the contract gets thrown in front of him he always has an excuse not to fight me.”
It’s not the first time Trigg and Shields have exchanged words but last night both fighters joined MMAWeekly’s Sound Off Radio to exchange pleasantries. Shields graced the airwaves first announcing his upcoming fight with Charuto and discussing a possible fight with Trigg.
“I’m waiting because to me it sounded like everything was finalized you know? From the promoter to Trigg’s manager and everything but now Trigg is saying different so I don’t know. Maybe he is playing games. Maybe he signed the contract and he is ready to fight, I don’t know. Maybe he is trying to mess with my head, who knows what’s going on. Or Maybe he doesn’t want to fight and he is trying to get out of it. Maybe there was some poor communication between him and his manger because I think traditionally he said he would fight anyone on the their show so maybe he didn’t think they were going to get me when he said anyone and then when he found out he changed his mind, I don’t know. They just set it up because Trigg told them anyone.”
Shields stated that he would be willing to take the fight at 185 lbs. but he’d need more time to bulk up. According to reports the scheduled showdown between Frank Trigg and Jake Shields was proposed for 175 lbs. but Trigg turned the fight down because “he is a 185 lbs. fighter.”
Later during the broadcast Frank Trigg joined the air and provided his thoughts on the situation.
“What promoter is going to put it on? Who is going to pay my f**king rate? and where is it going to be seen and who is going to do it? So now he has put a challenge out there that he wants to fight me and that he is going to come in at 185 lbs. Well who the f**k cares? Is the UFC going to pick it up?, WEC?, Bodog?, IFL? Who the hell is going to pick it up… Who gives a shit.”
I guess it came out last night that Jake has signed the contract and I wasn’t signing my contract. I don’t have a contract in front of me. There is no contract in front of me so I don’t know what he is talking about. Why would I fight Jake Shields? What does this do for me? What does it bring? Well it doesn’t bring anything. Who knows who Jake is besides the diehard mainstream MMA fans, who knows who Jake is? I guess he is 7th ranked at 170 lbs, I am 10th ranked at 185 lbs. So it’s two different weight classes. I have a weekly show on Fox Sports Net and two weeks ago I was on three different shows on Fox. So what does Jake bring to the table when he fights me? Nothing. He doesn’t bring fans from outside the realm of MMA, he doesn’t bring any notoriety, he doesn’t bring anything other then his mouth. All he is really bring to the table is his big mouth. There is nothing else he brings to the fight.
Fans are not coming to watch him, fans are coming to watch me. Fans aren’t coming to watch him fight, they are coming to watch me fight. Fans aren’t buying pay-per-views, t-shirts or hats for him other then his little crew of guys he trains with and the little crew of guys he has up in San Francisco, they are all coming for me. So to fight Jake for me is kind of stupid. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Last night Jake Sheilds joined MMAWeekly’s Sound Off Radio to discuss his ongoing feud with Frank Trigg. While on the air Shields announced that he would be fighting Renato “Charuto” Verissimo at EliteXC on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“Charuto is a talented guy and a likable guy, I like him quite a bit but it’ll be fun to fight him. He is a very technical jui-jitsu guy. We were supposed to fight last year but it fell through.”
“It’ll be interesting to see how Charuto shows up. He is one of those fighters that looks really good to me at times and at times not looked so good so I will be preparing for the good Charuto.”