Ricco Rodriguez (right) poses with Tito Ortiz. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
YAMMA Pit Fighting has announced that UFC and PRIDE veteran Mark Kerr and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez have both been added to their upcoming inaugural event on April 11th in Atlantic City.
The show will now feature a main event between Kerr and longtime veteran Oleg Taktarov, a fight that will take place in YAMMA’s “Masters Division”.
Kerr replaces fellow UFC veteran Patrick Smith, who was originally slated to replace an injured Don Frye against Taktarov but will now be unable to compete after recently being arrested following a high-speed chase involving police in Bryant County, Oklahoma.
Smith reportedly reached speeds of upwards of 130 MPH on his motorcycle. The 44-year-old was charged with felony attempting to elude to police, possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription, and reckless driving.
Frye was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Taktarov after suffering a shoulder injury during a recent training session. He will now be required to undergo surgery but will be at the show do to do commentary on the pay-per-view broadcast.
Rodriguez has been added to the scheduled eight-man heavyweight tournament that will also feature Travis Wiuff and Sherman Pendergrast. Rodriguez will be replacing Kevin Jordan, who has been removed from the tournament for unknown reasons.
The former champion is coming off of a close, split decision loss to Antonio Silva at EliteXC: Street Certified last month.
Update: Sam Caplan of 5 Ounces of Pain has learned from the NJACB that Kerr is not cleared to fight in the Yamma event. There is a question as to whether Kerr is still under suspension of the Mohegan Sun Reservation Athletic Board, a suspension that the NJACB would likely honor.
A scheduled welterweight bout between Tiki Ghosn and J.J. Ambrose has been cancelled according to Sherdog’s Josh Gross after Ambrose failed to show up for the event’s weigh-ins, which were reportedly very unorganized and took nearly five hours to complete according to those in attendance.
A replacement opponent for Ghosn will not be found in time so he will not be on the card.
Carmelo Marrero, who wasn’t advertised as participating at the event, will not be fighting after declining a fight against Team Quest’s Vinicius Magalhaes on short notice.
All of the other fighters on the card successfully made weight, including native Hawaiian Kauai Kupihea, who passed all of the required tests administered by the California State Athletic Commission. Kupihea will take on Mark Kerr. Kerr’s original opponent, veteran kickboxer Rick Roufus, was not cleared by the CSAC in time for the event due to late paperwork.
There aren’t any blockbuster events going down this weekend but there are some smaller shows that everyone should definitely follow…
Obviously the big one has to be WCO: The Return, which will take place at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA this Saturday night. The card is stacked with veterans of the sport, including a main event between Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Lion’s Den veteran Vernon White as you can see below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Kauai Kupihea
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
David Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Wesley Correira vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. JJ Ambrose
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Cain Velasquez vs. Tony Sylvester
As we reported yesterday, Rick Roufus was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Mark Kerr after he was not cleared by the California State Athletic Commission in time for the fight. Armando Garcia says that it has nothing to do with Roufus’ health but rather his paperwork was not done on time in order for him to be scheduled to undergo all of the necessary pre-fight tests.
WCO officials are trying to replace Roufus with Kauai Kupihea, who has racked up a 15-11 professional record that includes knockouts of Wade Shipp and Travis Wiuff. Kupihea has been tentatively approved but that not passed all of his requirements as of this morning. We will have an update on his status as soon as we receive the information.
Semmy Schilt will fight in MMA for the first time in over a year when he takes on Nandor Guelmino at the first-ever Lord of the Ring event this weekend at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.
Schilt has not fought since submitting Min Soo Kim with a triangle choke at K-1 Hero’s 6 in August of 2006. Not much is known about Guelmino except that he only has three professional MMA bouts under his belt.
Sherdog has an article on Schilt’s return here.
Bonecrunch Fighting will also hold it’s first-ever event this weekend in Lakeland, Florida. The promotion uses a schedule similar to the IFL except matchups between teams will work like an elimination tournament if that makes any sense.
UFC lightweight Din Thomas will guide the Port St. Lucie Devils into action against the Tampa Terrors. The Cincinnati Norsemen and the Lakeland Blaze will clash in the other matchup. Seth Petruzelli and Josh Odom will be at the event to announce their fight between each other at the promotion’s next event in February.
KOTC and DEEP also have events scheduled for this weekend. MMA on Tap will have full results for those shows and the rest of the events that are taking place this weekend.
MMA on Tap has learned that the father of former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin passed away yesterday due to a heart attack. All of us here would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Rich’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Diabate to Train with Team Quest
Cyrille “Snake” Diabate has announced that he will be spending some time in the United States to train with Dan Henderson and the rest of Team Quest’s Temecula, California franchise in preparation for his first fight on American soil.
Diabate is looking to improve his wrestling skills and takedown defense during his stay:
“This is exactly the kind of opportunity I need,” says Diabate. “America is where everything is happening right now, both fighting and training-wise. In the past I haven’t had to worry
about top level wrestlers trying to take me down. But now [with upcoming fights in American promotions], things will change.”
If Diabate is looking to improve his wrestling ten-fold, he certainly picked the right place…
Grove Fought High for First Six Fights
In a recent interview with Cage Potato, Kendall Grove admitted that he fought in his first six professional bouts high off of marijuana:
See, marijuana is a touchy subject. I’m a rock star — I’ve been smoking weed since I was in the 6th grade, I can openly say that. But I’m also clean when I fight. I cut that shit out — I’m a professional. Don’t get me wrong, my first six fights, I fought high, I fought stoned. But when you get to this level, you have to take responsibility. It’s your job. I stop doing that stuff three months out.
Thompson-Rogers, “Krazy Horse” Added to EliteXC Feb Card
ProElite’s Sam Caplan is reporting that a heavyweight bout between James Thompson and Brett Rogers has been added to the undercard of EliteXC’s next event on February 16th at the United Bank Arena in Miami, Florida.
Thompson will be making his EliteXC debut at the event. He was knocked out by Neil Grove in just 10 seconds at Cage Rage 22 in July. Rogers is coming off of a submission win over Ralph Kelly at EliteXC: Renegade.
Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett will also apparently compete on the undercard as well. Bennett has not fought since submitting Donnie Martinez with a rear naked choke at a KOTC event in October.
Eric Bradley of Team Takedown fame is expected to sign with EliteXC according to Sam Caplan. Rick Roufus has not been cleared by the California State Athletic Commission and will not fight Mark Kerr at WCO: The Return. Roufus has been replaced by Kauai Kupihea.
The World Cagefighting Organization headed by Bruce Bellocchi has teamed with Valor Fighting, Xcess Fighting and Primal MMA to produce one of the greatest MMA cards seen in years! Heading the lineup is Renato “Babalu” Sobral as he makes his long awaited stateside return since his UFC departure. Babalu will take on veteran Lion’s Den fighter, Vernon “Tiger” White.
The star studded undercard features two former UFC Heavyweight Champions. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Mark “The Smashing Machine” Kerr’s return to the cage as he continues his comeback against K1 legend, Rick Roufus who is making his MMA debut. Then the bad blood boils over as former UFC Heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguiz finally meets Mike Kyle.
Also in action is Joe “Diesel” Riggs as he takes on Gracie Barra fighter Gustavo “Ximu” Machado. Wesley “Cabbage” Correia returns taking on veteran Jimmy “The Titan” Ambriz. Tiki Ghosn battles it out against Team Quest’s Dave Gardner. UFC Veteran’s, David “The Crow” Loiseau and Drew Fickett will also see action as will Antonio McKee.
“My goal is to compete with the big boys. I think you can see by the card we have put together that we are making a statement. The fans want great fights. We’re giving it to them” - Bruce Bellocchi, of The WCO.
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Wesley Correia vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. Dave Gardner
David Loiseau vs. TBA
Drew Fickett vs. TBA
Antonio McKee vs. TBA
Jeff Willingham def. Bobby Sanchez - Submission (Armbar)
Adam Lehman def. Daniel McWilliams - TKO (Strikes)
David Mejia def. Greg White - TKO (Strikes)
Georgi Karakhanyan def. Hildred Oliney - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jason Georgianna def. Todd Guimond - Unanimous Decision
Fabio Costa def. Paul Karsky - TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Scott Epstein def. Sergio Quinoles - Submission (Triangle Choke)
Marcus Gaines def. Mavrick Harvey - Submission (Choke)
Carmelo Marrero def. Rafael Real - TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Jimmy Ambriz def. Ruben Villareal - TKO (Strikes)
Mark Kerr def. Steve Gavin - Submission (Armlock)
Jimmy Ambriz (280 lbs) vs. Ruben Villareal (264 lbs)
Mark Kerr (279 lbs) vs. Stephen Gavin (254 lbs)
Maverick Harvey (183 lbs) vs. Marcus Gaines (184 lbs)
Scott Epstein (145 lbs) vs. Sergio Quinoles (145 lbs)
Carmelo Marrero (224 lbs) vs. Rafael Del Real (230 lbs)
Fabio Costa (205 lbs) vs. Paul Karsky (205 lbs)
Jason Georgianna (135.5 lbs) vs. Todd Guimond (135 lbs)
Josh Gaskins (155 lbs) vs. Tony Garcia (149.5 lbs)
Georgi Karakhanyan (146 lbs) vs. Hildred Oliney (146 lbs)
David Mejia (276.25 lbs) vs. Greg White (256 lbs)
Daniel McWilliams (180 lbs) vs. Adam Lehman (179.5lbs)
Jeff Willingham (143.25 lbs) vs. Bobby Sanchez (145 lbs)
UFC and PRIDE veteran Mark Kerr will attempt to end a five-fight losing streak when he takes on Stephen Gavin in the co-main event of World Cage Fighting Organization’s Havoc in Hollywood which will take place at the Circus Nightclub in Hollywood, CA tomorrow night.
Kerr has not won a fight since submitting Igor Borisov with a neck crank at PRIDE 10 all the way back in 2000.
The event will feature a main event of Ruben “Warpath” Villareal taking on Jimmy Ambriz. MMA veterans Tiki Ghosn and Carmelo Marrero will also be in action.
With the aftermath of the recently cancelled Global Fighting Championship event still unfolding, the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation has announced four different suspensions stemming from problems with pre-fight medical examinations according to The Fight Network.
For those of you who aren’t aware of everything that happened, the event was cancelled exactly one hour before the event was about to start after the promoters found that they would not be able to put on enough fights for those in attendance.
UFC and PRIDE veteran Mark Kerr was suspended indefinitely for failing a pre-fight medidcal exam and will not be able to return to competition until he is cleared by a doctor.
Another UFC veteran, Edwin Dewees was medically suspended for 14 days after regulators decided that he had cut too much weight in such a short amount of time. Dewees officially weighed in at 193 lbs for the middleweight contest and was only able to get down to 187 after another two hours of weight cutting.
Nuri Shakir and Charles Ackles were also suspended indefinitely by the department after failing their pre-fight medical examinations. Both fighters must pass separate cardiologist and opthmalogical exams before they will be permitted to return to action.
The Fight Network is reporting that The Global Fighting Championships event that was scheduled for tonight at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST at the Mohegan Sun Arena was cancelled one hour before showtime. According to the article the event was cancelled due to insufficient fights.
Joseph Smith, public relations manager for the Mohegan Sun, said the night was canceled due to “insufficient bouts.” Pressed for details, Smith said that there simply weren’t enough bouts for the commission to allow the event to take place. He could not comment on how many fights were canceled or how many fighters were disqualified from participating.
It was noted that Eric “Butterbean” Esch and Ruben Villareal were the only two fighters to have completed their medicals. Mark Kerr failed his on-site medicals and Edwin Dewees could not secure medical clearance after he failed to make weight and couldn’t pass the medical the followed.