Frank Trigg grapples with Renato Verissimo. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 3:30 PM ET: Frank Trigg revealed through his TAGG Radio show today and The Underground Forum that he has not signed with DREAM and not will be fighting Ronaldo Souza, who happens to be a training partner of his at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
DREAM parent company Fight Entertainment Group has announced four more bouts for the first round of the organization’s upcoming middleweight grand prix, which will currently take place on April 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Former UFC welterweight title contender Frank Trigg will take on renowned grappler Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a first round bout. Addtional matchups include Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov, Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin, and Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama.
Also, current EliteXC lightweight Nick Diaz has apparently verbally accepted a bout against Marcelo Garcia according to manager Cesar Gracie.
Nick Diaz has verbally accepted to fight Marcelo Garcia at the next Dream show. (April 29th) Although Garcia inititially accepted the fight, there has been talk that the match will now be scrubbed. According to Dream promoters, Marcelo has now decided that he does not want the fight and it is unclear if Dream will be able to find an opponent in time for Nick to participate. Stay tuned.
The card for the event now looks like this:
DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix
Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Andrews Nakahara
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Frank Trigg vs. Ronaldo Souza
Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin
Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix
Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante
Above is the latest from The Garv who discusses the newly signed Kimbo Slice-Tank Abbott fight and how dangerous Miami is. I’m guessing that Will Smith is full of crap.
UFC Announces Nakamura-Emerson
The UFC has announced that a lightweight bout between Keita Nakamura and former Ultimate Fighter cast member Rob Emerson for UFC 81: Breaking Point next month.
Nakamura has not fought since losing a unanimous decision to Drew Fickett at UFC Fight Night 9 in April of last year. Nakamura also dropped a decision in his UFC debut against Brock Larson at UFC Fight Night 7.
Fresh off of his second stint in jail, Emerson will be making his first appearance inside the Octagon since his infamous fight against Gray Maynard at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale where he tapped out due to a rib injury and Maynard knocked himself out slamming Emerson to the ground.
While bout agreements have not yet been signed, both Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring are expected to face off in a heavyweight bout at UFC 82 in March according to a report from MMA Mania.
Juanito Ibarra, one of Kongo’s trainers, has stated that his client is already training in preparation for the bout:
“Kongo’s here at my house already getting ready for the fight,” said Ibarra. “This is going to be his year. Kongo’s got all the talent to be a heavyweight champion real soon, I truly believe that. Heath’s a tough opponent and this is going to be a big test.”
UFC Releases Radev and Hightower
No, there hasn’t been an official announcement by Dana White and company. Instead the news comes inadvertently from Ken Pavia’s journal about his dieting adventure with Luke Cummo via MMA Junkie:
The day needed a pick-me-up so I called UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to check the progress of my guys’ fights. He said he was still working on it but then informed me they would be releasing two of them, Jordan Radev and Richie Hightower.
Apparently Radev has already been booked to fight Hector Lombard at Cage Fighting Championship’s third event on February 15th in Sydney, Australia.
Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund Reminder
While there aren’t any items currently up for auction for the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund, remember that you can always donate directly to the fund by visiting it’s official website.
Any fighters that are interested in donating items that can be auctioned off such as autographed pictures, shorts, gloves, or anything else should contact Randy Harris at email@example.com
Remember that all proceeds from the auctioned items go directly to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund.
Marcelo Garcia has joined American Top Team. MMA Junkie is reporting that UFC Fight Night 13 will most likely take place on April 2nd at a site yet to be determined in Colorado. The Nevada State Athletic Commission corrected the attendance and revenues stemming from UFC 79 yesterday. Scott White has a good piece on David Loiseau’s return. John Philapavage tries to revive Mirko Cro Cop’s career.
12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Jordan Breen Show
2-3 PM EST - The Lights Out Show
3-5 PM EST - The Stephen Quadros Show
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio
As you can see above, Chris Fries and The JDH of MMA News fame will premiere their “Lights Out Show” this afternoon on TAGG Radio at 2 PM EST.
Fightlinker also has the newest edition of The Low Blow out.
Yoshihiro Akiyama spoiled Denis Kang)‘s HERO’S debut with a KO victory tonight at the HERO’S Korea 2007. Held before a boisterous sellout crowd at the Jang Chung Gymnasium, the HERO’S Korea 2007 was a staggeringly ambitious production—featuring no less than 24 fighters in 12 bouts contested under HERO’S mixed martial arts rules.
The main event, keenly anticipated by fight sport fans in Korea, Japan and around the world, saw Yoshihiro Akiyama of Japan take on Canadian Denis Kang.
Akiyama, the HERO’S 2006 Light Middleweight Champion, was returning to action after serving a suspension for over-oiling his body at the HERO’S Dynamite event last New Year’s Eve. The slippery 32 year-old Japanese judoka faced a formidable opponent in Kang, a 30 year-old Canadian mixed martial arts fighter who packs a heck of a punch, and was making his HERO’S debut. The bout was contested with an 85kg/187lbs weight contract.
Kang threw the first strike, a low kick, then tested with jabs and straight punches. Both men kept their guards high, in no rush to close there were more jabs, straight punches and low kicks. Akiyama, fighting in shorts instead of his judogi, stayed at the perimeter, circling to his left, while Kang, head down, followed with the occasional punching attack—textbook combinations which Akiyama capably evaded or blocked. Meanwhile, in an effective if unspectacular manner, Akiyama was getting through with counters, picking his spots, putting the more surgical strikes forward. By midway through the first, Kang’s nose was bloodied.
Somewhat surprisingly, it was Kang who made the first and only takedown attempt in the fight. Equally surprising, Akiyama would have none of it, electing to fight this one on his feet. Time was running down in the first when Kang backed himself into the corner, intent perhaps on making his circling opponent approach him squarely. The tactic backfired miserably however, when Akiyama stepped in with a dandy little move, feigning a left, then another, before bringing the right in hard. Kang collapsed to the mat, Akiyama quickly planting another right for good measure before stepping back to let the referee through to call it. An impressive win for Akiyama.
“My mother supported me through the problems I had over the last year,” said Akiyama post-bout. “She was ringside tonight and I just want to say thanks to her and all my fans. I think I won because I was relaxed, when I saw that my jab had made Denis’ nose start bleeding, it made a big difference, gave me more confidence and helped me relax and focus even more. I hope to fight again soon, but it would not be right for me to expect I will be invited to Dynamite this year, we’ll see.”
Fight Entertainment Group president Sadaharu Tanigawa has announced that PRIDE veteran Denis Kang (27-8-1) will face Yoshihiro Akiyama (9-1) at the October 28th HERO’s show in Seoul, South Korea.
Tanigawa also announced that BJJ phenom Marcelo Garcia will make his MMA debut against Dae Won Kim (3-3) with the fight taking place at 181 lbs. Former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton (13-12) will make his return to the ring for the first time in nearly 8 months when he faces Shungo Oyama (6-10) at a catch-weight of 198 lbs.
K-1 Hero’s Oct. 28 Card
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Denis Kang
Marcelo Garcia vs. Dae Won Kim
Dong Sik Yoon vs. Fabio Silva
Zelg Galesic vs. Taiei Kin
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Min Soo Kim
Carlos Newton vs. Shungo Oyama
Lee Tae Hyun vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto
Bernard Ackah vs. Poai Suganuma
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- The always popular MMA on Tap Top Ten has been updated and was posted yesterday for everyone to break down and take in. Be sure to leave comments with any corrections, props, thoughts, and suggestions that you might have.
- Our latest edition of Rock the Vote has been posted - Who will be victorious in UFC 72’s main event: Rich Franklin or Yushin Okami? Be sure to add your pick…
Here are the results for our last poll:
Chuck Liddell: 25%
Mirko Cro Cop: 23%
Andrei Arlovski: 17%
Tim Sylvia: 17%
Gabriel Gonzaga: 8%
Randy Couture: 8%
Heath Herring: 2%
- Scott put together a nice mini-interview with Jonathan Goulet discussing Goulet’s recent win over Travis Axworthy this past weekend as well as his thoughts on John Alessio’s peformance on Sunday night. MMA Weekly caught wind of the piece and was going to ask Alessio about Goulet’s comments on last night’s radio show but Alessio failed to appear.
- The Fight Network is reporting that renowned grappler Marcelo Garcia is in California training with Team Quest this week. K-1 stated in a pre-fight press conference for Dynamite!! USA that Garcia would make his debut in September.
- Leonard Garcia has announced that he will be fighting on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Garcia did not say who his opponent will be.
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