Joey Villasenor

EliteXC Saturday Night Fights Live Results


Robbie Lawler connects with a vicious kick to the body against Scott Smith. Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC

Results from the CBS show tonight:

Joe Sampieri def. Mike Groves - TKO
Zach Makovsky def. Andre Soares - Unanimous Decision
James Jones def. Calvin Kattar - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Wilson Reis def. Justin Robbins - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Matt Makowski def. Nick Serra - TKO
Carlton Haselrig def. Carlos Moreno - TKO
Chris Liguori def. Jim Bova - TKO
Brett Rogers def. Jon Murphy - KO
Joey Villasenor def. Phil Baroni - TKO
Gina Carano def. Kaitlin Young - TKO
Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith - No Contest
Kimbo Slice def. James Thompson - TKO

Live commentary:
Yahoo!
MMA Weekly

Shaw Interested in Bringing Ortiz to EliteXC


Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.

With his days as a featured fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to an end, Tito Ortiz, the one-time face of the organization, has mentioned that he’d like to take his services elsewhere following his upcoming fight against Lyoto Machida on May 24th.

One of the organizations in which Ortiz has expressed interest in Elite Xtreme Combat, headed by former boxing promoter Gary Shaw. Brash and out-spoken, Shaw is no stranger to giving his opinion when asked by the media and didn’t shy away earlier today when the potential of Ortiz shifting his career to EliteXC was brought up.

“In all my years in the fight game, I can see, touch, feel a superstar,” Shaw said this afternoon on a conference call promoting EliteXC’s network television debut on CBS later this month. “Everytime I see Tito Ortiz, he reeks of stardom. I think when his days in the UFC are over, that I can reincarnate him. Could you imagine Tito and Kimbo Slice in the cage together? I hope when his contract with the UFC is up that he will not be sitting across the table with me, but sitting with me at that table.”

“Please tell Tito that our door is wide open for him,” Shaw continued. “When his deal with the UFC is up, I’d love to talk with him and figure things out.”

Ortiz’s falling out with the UFC stems from his rocky relationship with the promotion’s figurehead, Dana White. The two have been at each other’s throats for years but things took a major turn for the worst after a proposed exhibition boxing match between the two fell apart and White opted to begin his verbal bashing of Ortiz in the media.

Ortiz has since stated multiple times that his fight against Machida will be his last with the UFC. (His current contract with the promotion ends this summer) Reasons for his departure circulate solely around White and his negative treatment of Ortiz as well as other contracted fighters on the organization’s roster.

Shaw mentioned that Ortiz wouldn’t have to worry about any kind of lack of respect from himself or others in the organization if he decided to sign with EliteXC.

“All of our fighters can attest to this, but we here at EliteXC put the fighters first,” Shaw said. “Our fighters are of the utmost importance to us. They come before the organization. The spotlight should be put on them. We treat everyone with respect and like they are a champion, regardless of who they are. Tito wouldn’t have to worry about that sort of thing if he decided to take his services to our camp.”

Additional conference call notes from today are after the jump.

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Villasenor Replaces Rua on “Saturday Night Fights”


Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda exchange punches at EliteXC: Uprising. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Joey Villasenor, fresh off of a knockout of UFC veteran Ryan Jensen at last month’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, will replace former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo Rua against Phil Baroni at EliteXC’s first prime-time show on CBS on May 31st.

EliteXC parent company ProElite announced the news on their official website late last night. No reason as to why Rua was replaced in the bout was given.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on to win two out of his last three fights besides his victory over Jensen a few weeks back. A TKO loss to Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

Rua has not fought since submitting Xavier Foupa-Pokam at a Cage Rage event this past December. The Chute Boxe product lost his EliteXC middleweight belt after being stopped with strikes at the hands of current champion Robbie Lawler at EliteXC: Uprising in September 2007.

Heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is slated to headline the event against PRIDE veteran James Thompson. EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will also put his belt on the line against Scott Smith in a bout that will likely be a sure-fire war on the feet.

Le Breaks Shamrock in Instant Classic


In a fantastic third round to an exceptionally exciting, give-and-take slugfest Saturday on Showtime, Cung Le delivers the kick that may have broken Frank Shamrock’s arm. Le captured the Strikeforce middleweight title when defending champion Shamrock could not continue after the third round.

SAN JOSE – In a bruising battle of Bay Area rivals, undefeated Cung Le broke the right arm of defending champion Frank Shamrock en route to capturing the Strikeforce middleweight title with a thrilling, give-and-take, crowd-pleasing third-round TKO Saturday on Showtime.

The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated mixed martial arts event, presented by EliteXC and Strikeforce, attracted an enthusiastic, well-behaved crowd of 16,326 at the HP Pavilion that produced a gate of more than $1 million. Those in attendance included EliteXC standouts Kimbo Slice, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz and Phil Baroni.

The fight card aired on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

Gilbert Melendez (14-1) of San Francisco successfully defended his Strikeforce lightweight belt with a second-round knockout over hard-trying but outclassed Gabe Lemley (11-7) of New London, Iowa, in a second world title match on a five-bout telecast.

In other televised scraps, Drew Fickett (32-5) of Tucson, Ariz., earned a shot at the vacant EliteXC welterweight crown against Jake Shields by submitting Korea’s Jae Suk Lim (9-4) in the first round; super heavyweight Wayne Cole (11-6) of Oklahoma City, Okla., submitted (armbar) Mike Kyle (9-6-1) of San Jose in the first round and EliteXC standout Joey Villasenor (25-6) of Albuquerque, N.M., knocked out Ryan Jensen (11-4) of Omaha, Neb., in the first round.

In the top non-televised fight, Tiki Ghosn (10-7) of Huntington Beach, Calif., registered an upset three-round decision over previously undefeated welter Luke Stewart (5-1) of San Francisco by the scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.

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Report: Jensen Tapped to Replace Santos


Ryan Jensen weighs-in for UFC 77: Hostile Territory. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ryan Jensen has been tapped to replace Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos against Joey Villasenor at this weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, which will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who confirmed the matchup with Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz.

Santos was forced to pull out of the matchup after learning that visa problems would prevent him from entering the country in time for the fight.

Jensen had a six-fight winning streak snapped after signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he lost consecutive bouts to Thales Leites and Demian Maia inside the confines of the promotion.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight clash that will headline this weekend’s show.

Report: “Cyborg” Out of Villasenor Bout


Photo courtesy of Hardcore Championship Fighting.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos has reportedly been forced to pull out of his upcoming bout against Joey Villasenor at next weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” event due to visa problems that will prevent him from entering the country.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, who confirmed the news with Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz.

“He has been having visa problems in Brazil,” Afromowitz told Ken Pishna. “The delay in his arrival would jeopardize him getting licensed in time for the fight. There are a few guys that we are considering, but we’re still looking to finalize a replacement.”

Santos was victorious at World Victory Road’s inaugural show earlier this month, submitting Makoto Takimoto with a heel hook. Santos was set to replace an an injured Joe Riggs, who was originally forced to bow out of the fight after sustaining a severe back injury in a February bout against Cory Devela.

The Chute Boxe product was also recently released by Edmonton-based Hardcore Championship Fighting, who were forced to terminate Santos’ contract after he signed to fight Takimoto just weeks before he was slated to former UFC middleweight title contender David Loiseau.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight clash that will headline next weekend’s event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

Santos Replaces Riggs Against Villasenor


Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda exchange punches at EliteXC: Uprising. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will replace an injured Joe Riggs against middleweight Joey Villasenor at the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which will take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight bout that will headline the card.

Strikeforce officially announced the bout earlier this afternoon.

Santos is also scheduled to go up against Makoto Takimoto at World Victory Road’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” tomorrow in Japan. Santos’s availability to challenge Villasenor will obviously depend on whether or not he comes out of his fight against Takimoto relatively unscathed.

“I always look for the knockout,” Santos said in a press release sent out to the media today. “I think this will be a duel between his boxing and my Muay Thai techniques. Villasenor is an ideal opponent for me.”

Villasenor was slated to return to action at King of the Cage’s Warlords event last month but pulled out after being added to this card by EliteXC officials.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

“Like wine, I think I get better with age,” said Villasenor. “People should look for a more technically sound Joey Villasenor in 2008. This should be a great fight to kick off the year with.”

Riggs Has Surgery; Villasenor Fight in Doubt


Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Joe Riggs has successfully undergone surgery to repair nerve damage after re-injuring his surgically-repaired back in a middleweight contest against prospect Cory Devela at last weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Dome” event in Tacoma, Washington.

The news comes from a report by Josh Gross of Sherdog, who learned that Riggs underwent a procedure in which four scopes were used to freeze three separate nerves in his lower back that were pinched by a bulging disc, caused by a Devela judo throw during the bout.

Immediately tapping out after he hit the mat, it was obvious that Riggs was in extreme pain. Devela landed two right hands flush to a downed and submitting Riggs before the fight was halted by the referee.  A stretcher was called into the cage and Riggs was taken to nearby St. Joseph Medical Center where he remained overnight.

Riggs was also expected Riggs to go up against against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. However his participation at the show no looks to be very doubtful according to Riggs’ manager, Kev Pavia. Pavia noted that he will attempt to have Riggs rematch Devela when he returns.

“Make sure Devala doesn’t fight anyone else,” Riggs told Pavia in the report. “I don’t want him exposed before I smash him.”

Riggs, Ellis Added to “Strikeforce at the Dome”


Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz has announced that Joe “Diesel” Riggs and Eddy Ellis will now compete at the upcoming “Strikeforce at the Dome” event later this month as replacement opponents.

The show, which features a main event between former NFL lineman and popular Japanese fighter Bob “The Beast” Sapp going up against K-1 kickboxing star and undefeated professional boxer Jan “The Giant” Nortje, will take place on February 23rd at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.

Riggs will replace Cedric Marks, who was forced to pull out of his bout against Cory Devela after suffering a should injury during a recent training session. Riggs was expected to return to action in a potential bout against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

However our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting that Riggs will compete at both shows.

“Joe stepped in to fight Cory, but he will still be fighting Joey next month,” Riggs’ manager Ken Pavia told them.

Ellis will be taking the place of Duane “Bang” Ludwig who has opted to sign on to face former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku” event instead of facing welterweight Steve Berger, whom Ellis will now take on.

The event will feature a total of ten bouts. The BodogFight-sponsored event will also be televised on HDNet.

Report: Riggs-Villasenor Likely in March


Joe Riggs grapples with Kendall Grove at Rumble on the Rock 5. Photo courtesy of JoeRiggs.tv

Joe “Diesel” Riggs is expected to return to action in a potential bout against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, which is headlined by an anticipated middleweight contest between former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and decorated Sanshou kickboxer Cung Le.

The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who were recently informed of the fight by Villasenor’s camp.

Like many other notable fighters, Riggs was recently scheduled to compete at World Cagefighting Organization’s “The Return” last Saturday but the event, which was scheduled to take place last Saturday at the San Diego Sports Arena, was shut down by the California State Athletic Commission due to insufficent funds gathered by the promoters of the show.

The Phoenix native last fought at Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event in September where he knocked out fellow middleweight Eugene Jackson.

MMA on Tap recently reported that Villasenor would return to action at King of the Cage’s Warlords on February 9th at the Ute Mountain Hotel and Resort in Towaoc, Colorado. No word as of yet in terms of whether or not Villasenor’s fight against Riggs will affect his participation on that card.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

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