John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Longtime veterans John Alessio and Pete Spratt will meet for the first time in their respective careers in a main event showdown that will headline an ESPN-promoted boxing and mixed martial arts card, which will take place on June 20th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Alessio had a three-fight winning streak snapped in March when he lost to Brock Larson via disqualification after an illegal knee left Larson unable to continue. Following the loss, World Extreme Cagefighting opted not to re-sign Alessio, who is currently training with Xtreme Couture.
Spratt most recently bounced back from a controversial loss to Canadian welterweight prospect Ryan Ford at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in February to score a first-round knockout of former fellow “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Jason Von Flue in April.
Two fights from the boxing portion of the card will be televised live on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”. The MMA portion of the event will begin following the conclusion of the broadcast and will air live on HDNet. The event is free to the public.
Additional MMA bouts scheduled to take place include a co-main event featuring Kim Couture, the wife of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who will be making her professional debut against Kim Rose. Dennis Davis also takes on Team Quest product Dave Jansen in a catch-weight bout at 150 lbs.
Jonathan Goulet. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Jonathan Goulet, who recently knocked out Kuniyoshi Hironaka in Canada last month, has reportedly pulled out of his upcoming scheduled bout against Paul Kelly next month at UFC 85: Bedlam in London, England.
The circumstances concerning Goulet’s withdrawal differ however. In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Goulet apparently stated that he was pulling out of the Kelly bout due to health reasons that he wished not to discuss. However our friends at TKO Xtreme have learned that Goulet may have backed out of the fight at the request of his training partners at the Tristar Gym, of which the Victoriaville native recently aligned himself with.
WVR Announces Thompson-Costa for ‘Sengoku III’
With the fight card for it’s upcoming May 18th event completed, World Victory Road officials today announced the first fight for the promotion’s third event on June 8th via their official website: Nick Thompson vs Michael Costa. Thompson, the current BodogFight welterweight champion, won a unanimous decision over Fabricio Monteiro at Sengoku I in March. Costa, a Chute Boxe product, is currently riding a two-fight winning streak.
Additional fighters being advertised as competing at the event include Hidehiko Yoshida, Rodrigo Damm, Kazuyuki Fujita, Fabio Silva, and Marcio Cruz. Former PRIDE lightweight title holder Takanori Gomi has also stated that he intends to return to action at the show.
Talks Between WEC, Alessio Stall
Contract negotiations between veteran welterweight John Alessio and World Extreme Cagefighting have reportedly come to a halt according to a report by The Fight Network.
“I’m actually wondering myself what’s going on,” Alessio said in the report. “I figured I would have heard something by now. They offered me the rematch with Larson, but it’s now up to my manager to negotiate. It’s going to come down to money and if they want to sign me long-term or not.”
Alessio also went on to say that he had been offered a bout against the above-mentioned Nick Thompson by Hardcore Championship Fighting officials. However it’s key to note that Thompson has stated in the past that he is not locked into any sort of contract with HCF to date.
MTV’s “True Life” to Feature Kit Cope
UFC and WEC veteran Kit Cope will reportedly be featured on MTV’s “True Life” series for the second time according to a report by our friends at MMA Junkie.
Cope, who was originally featured in “True Life: I’m a Muay Thai Fighter” back in 2004, will now serve as one of the featured fighters in “True Life: I’m an MMA Fighter”. Filming for the show is currently being done and cameras will also accompany Cope to his next scheduled fight for World Fighting Championships against Dave Cochran later this month.
Brock Larson weighs-in for WEC 28: Faber vs. Farrar. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Six months after his shot at the World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight title was spoiled by champion Carlos Condit, Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product Brock Larson will now attempt to take advantage of an opportunity to get himself right back in the title picture with a showdown against fellow veteran John Alessio Wednesday night.
While the winner may not necessarily receive a shot at Condit’s belt just yet, it’s certain to say that the victor will at least be considered in the running to be Condit’s next opponent, or victim the way things have been going recently.
Regardless, the importance of this fight has reached Larson, who will be going into things with a different mindset than in the past.
“The biggest thing that I learned after losing to Carlos Condit in my last fight is that I have to be a little more patient,” Larson said during a recent interview session. “I don’t have to finish the fight right away like I’ve been trying to do in the past. If I stay patient, wait for an opening, and execute my gameplan, I should come out the winner anyway.”
When Larson says that he starts his fights like a bat out of hell, he couldn’t be more correct. His three fights inside of the WEC have lasted a combined total of just over six minutes. However Larson’s impatience proved to be fatal in his last bout against Condit, who was able to submit an over-aggressive Larson.
Paulo Filho submits Chael Sonnen with an armbar at WEC 31: Faber vs Curran. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
WEC champions Paulo Filho and Doug Marshall will each defend their respective titles at World Extreme Cagefighting’s next event on March 26th.
The news comes from MMA Weekly, who reports that the promotion will now hold the event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas instead of a previously mentioned location of Sacramento, California. Indications suggest that the idea of holding an event in the home state of WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber was scrapped after an attempt to schedule a bout between him and former UFC lightweight title holder Jens Pulver was unsuccessful.
Apparently Filho will once again defend his middleweight strap in a rematch against Chael Sonnen, whom Filho defeated in controversial fashion in December. Sonnen has kept his stance that he did not tell referee Josh Rosenthal to stop the bout while being trapped in a Filho armbar.
The fight will also likely be Filho’s last at 185 lbs according to boxing coach Josuel Distak, who stated last month that Filho has opted to move up in weight due to cutting problems.
While it might seem crazy that Filho is moving up in weight, he might be a good career move for the near future if he really is indeed having problems making 185 lbs. The WEC’s light heavyweight division is very stacked talent-wise and even though Filho would be still be undersized for the weight class, he would most likely tear through guys like Doug Marshall, Ariel Gandulla, and Brian Stann.
Speaking of Marshall and Stann, the two heavy-hitting light heavyweights are also expected to clash at the event in a battle that will see Marshall attempt to retain his belt against the popular U.S. Marine.
Additional bouts mentioned in the report include a meeting between welterweight title contenders John Alessio and Brock Larson in a fight where the winner may also be fighting the victor of the Carlos Condit-Carlo Prater welterweight title bout at some point later this year. Others were the following: Kenji Osawa vs. Chris Manuel, Marcus Hicks vs. Ed Ratcliff, and Bryan Baker vs. Nissen Osterneck.
Photo courtesy of JohnAlessio.tv
WEC welterweight title contenders John Alessio and Brock Larson will likely clash at a planned WEC show in March. The event is tentatively set to take place in Sacramento, California. The second time that the promotion will travel outside of Las Vegas since being purchased by Zuffa in 2006.
The news comes from Mike Russell of The Fight Network, who also reports that the winner of the fight may also be fighting the winner of the Carlos Condit-Carlo Prater welterweight title bout at some point later this year.
Alessio was originally scheduled to take on Derrick Noble at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Destiny” event this weekend but was forced to pull out of the fight due to complications stemming from his recovery from a knee injury.
Larson has not fought in the WEC since being submitted by champion Carlos Condit in August. The Minnesota native bounced back with a win over Troy Allison at a Cage Fighting Xtreme event in November.
Brendan Seguin weighs-in at WEC 25 in January 2007. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Veteran welterweight Brendan Seguin will replace an injured John Alessio against Derrick Noble at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Destiny” event on February 1st at the Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
MMA on Tap has confirmed the news with officials involved with the promotion.
Alessio was forced to pull out of the fight earlier this month due to complications stemming from his recovery from a knee injury.
Seguin is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. His last fight was a unanimous decision over Fernando Gonzalez at WEC 25, which was the organzation’s first show under the Zuffa banner. Seguin owns wins over Kyacey Uscola, Jonathan Goulet, and Jared Rollins among others.
TKO 32: Ultimatum Card Update
The card for TKO 32: Ultimatum is shaping up quite nicely. The event is headlined by Jesse Bongfeldt defending his TKO welterweight title against T.J. Grant. Former TKO heavyweight champion Icho Larenas will also be on the card even though a potential rematch against current champ Krzysztof Soszynski is unlikely.
Here’s what the card looks like as of right now:
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. T.J. Grant - TKO Welterweight Title
Icho Larenas vs. TBA
Stephane Vigneault vs. TBA
Damacio Page vs. Justin Tavernini
Adrian Wooley vs. Syd Barnier
Yannick Galipeau vs. Derek Gauthier
Jordan Mein vs. Samuel Guillet
Mark Fraser vs. Johan Croes
Syd Barnier was originally scheduled to take on Mark Fraser but has instead decided to drop down to bantamweight. Barnier will now take on Adrian Wooley while Fraser will go up against Johan Croes.
Former TKO welterweight John Alessio has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Derrick Noble at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Destiny” event due to complications stemming from his recovery from a knee injury.
HCF CEO Keith Crawford made the announcement on The Fight Network’s radio show earlier this week:
“John injured his knee at the end of December and was hoping it’d heal properly, but it hasn’t healed enough to be ready to train,” Crawford said. “We’re obviously quickly looking for an opponent for Derrick because we really want to have him on this card.”
Steve Bosse and Tank Abbott?
TKO Xtreme first reported on Wednesday that TKO President Stephane Patry was discussing the possibility of having Quebec hockey enforcer Steve Bosse take on Tank Abbott and The Fight Network picked up on it yesterday.
Apparently the two may have been able to clash at TKO 32 but the idea was pushed aside once Abbott signed on to fight Kimbo Slice in EliteXC’s February event. Pending on whether or not Abbott is victorious, the two could be matched up at a TKO event later this year, possibly in Aruba.
Aruba? Yes, you heard me right. According to Patry, TKO 33 will be titled “Battle in Paradise” and will take place in Aruba, possibly outdoors.
Hardcore Championship Fighting officially announced the complete card for the promotion’s upcoming event on February 1st at the Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta.
One of the two co-main events will feature the HCF debut of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as he battles BodogFight and TKO veteran Todd Gouwenberg.
Nogueira has not fought since being knocked out by Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at PRIDE 33 in February. Gouwenberg is currently on a two-fight winning streak. He defeated Konstantin Gluhov and Michael Patt at separate Bodog events in 2007.
The other will have fast-rising Gegard Mousasi clashing with Chute Boxe’s Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.
Mousasi was victorious in his last fight under the HCF banner, stopping Damir Mirenic with strikes in the first round of their bout. Santos was originally scheduled to compete at Cage Rage 24 earlier this month but was forced to pull out of the event due to weight cutting issues.
Other notable names on the card include John Alessio, Mike Pyle, Derrick Noble, Solomon Hutcherson, and more.
The full card for the event is below:
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Todd Gouwenberg
Gegard Mousasi vs. Evangelista Santos
Thomas Schulte vs. Garett Davis
John Alessio vs. Derrick Noble
Damir Mirenic vs. Mike Pyle
Andrew Buckland vs. Dan Chambers
Solomon Hutcherson vs. Amir Rahnavardi
Myles Merola vs. Ariel Sexton
Tim Hague vs. Miodrag Petkovic
Nabil Khatib vs. Lucas Rota
Babian Cortez vs. Juan Barrantes
MMA veteran John Alessio will take on an undefeated Tood Moore in a welterweight matchup at WEC 31: Faber vs Curran which will take place on December 12th at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas according to an announcement from Xtreme Couture.
Luis Sapo was originally rumored to be fighting Moore at the event. No word on whether or not he was forced to pull out of the event because of injury but I’m assuming that is the reason since Alessio was on hold as an injury replacement for both the UFC and WEC’s December events.
Alessio is currently on a two-fight winning streak since being submitted by Carlos Condit in a WEC welterweight title fight at WEC 26 in March. Moore is undefeated so far in nine fights. He owns wins over HDNet Fights welterweight Anthony Waldberger and journeyman Thomas Schulte.
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.