Josh Barnett weighs-in for PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
DREAM has announced that PRIDE veteran Josh Barnett will be returning to the ring March 22 at DREAM 13 at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. According to the report, Barnett’s promotional debut will come against K-1 slugger Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga.
Barnett was scheduled to face Fedor Emelianenko on August 1, 2009 at Affliction: Trilogy but both the bout and event were cancelled after Barnett tested positive for anabolic steroids.
Mirko Filipovic. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Less than a week after fleeing from a verbal three-fight agreement with Dana White and the UFC in order to sign with Japan-based DREAM, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has reportedly agreed to face fellow former K-1 kickboxer Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga on July 20 at DREAM.10.
The news comes from Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated, citing sources close to the event. After reports of his new deal with DREAM surfaced, Cro Cop quickly denied them through Croatian news outlets, yet all signs still point to him making a return to the Japanese MMA scene this summer.
The former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout competed just one week ago at UFC 99, defeating Cage Rage product Mustapha al Turk via first-round TKO. The win didn’t come without controversy however, as Cro Cop caught al Turk with an inadvertent finger in the eye that the referee missed before finishing him off with strikes.
Mirko Filipovic. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Fight Entertainment Group has announced three more bouts for DREAM.6, which will take place on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The most high profile fight made official today was a previously rumored bout between former PRIDE standout Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
Overeem has long believed that Filipovic had been ducking a potential showdown with him for years. However will now get his wish against a fellow dangerous kickboxer.
Filipovic left the Ultimate Fighting Championship following a disappointing 1-2 stint in the organization, where he was defeated by Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo in consecutive fights. He bounced back to earn a first-round TKO of Tatsuya Mizuno at DREAM.1 in March.
Min Soo Kim vs. Siala Siliga. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
Update 3:03 PM ET: Rothwell has told CagePotato.com that he will indeed be fighting Pedro Rizzo at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event on October 11th event and not Siliga, stating that previous reports published earlier today were completely false and that the K-1 kickboxer was never considered as a possible opponent.
Miletich Fighting Systems product Ben Rothwell is reportedly in talks that would have him take on K-1 veteran Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event on October 11th in Las Vegas.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who have learned of the potential bout through sources close to the fight itself. The guaranteed heavyweight slugfest would likely take place as part of the show’s televised pay-per-view main card.
Rothwell was previously rumored to be taking on three-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Pedro Rizzo at the event. At Affliction’s debut show last month, Rothwell suffered a third-round knockout loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, snapping a thirteen-fight winning streak that stretched back to 2005.
Sergei Kharitonov will return to action against “Mighty Mo” Siala Siliga at K-1 Premium Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve.
Kharitonov confirmed the bout on his official website this week. The Russian heavyweight is undefeated so far in 2007, submitting Michael Russow at PRIDE 33 in February and stopping Alistair Overeem with strikes at K-1 Hero’s 11 in September.
Like his counterpart, Siliga is also 2-0 this year. “Mighty Mo” picked up impressive victories over Min Soo Kim and Ruben Villareal at separate K-1 events.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- MMA Weekly has released their latest World MMA Rankings and has also added the featherweight division to the list.
- Juanito Ibarra has told the Orange County Register that Michael Bisping is considering a move down to 185 lbs:
Juanito said Bisping is destined to be a UFC champion. He hinted that Bisping might be moving out of the 205-pound weight class in the future. Bisping confirmed he believes he can make the 185-pound limit. Bisping’s dynamic striking and the added strength he would have at a lower weight class would make him a serious force, as if he weren’t a force already. Bisping said he has a nine-fight contract with the UFC and he wants to take his time moving up the ladder and improving with each fight.
- It seems that British officials have discovered that UFC veteran Lee Murray was behind the largest cash robbery in the country’s history:
A professional cage fighter currently in jail in Morocco has been identified as one of the main conspirators in Britain’s largest cash robbery. An Old Bailey jury has heard it suggested the fighter probably started planning the raid, at the Securitas depot in Tonbridge in February last year, as early as July 2005.
The fighter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have bought custom-made surveillance equipment from a security expert and inquired about tracking devices and scanners. He is in custody in Rabat, Morocco, awaiting extradition proceedings. Police hope to bring him back to this country to stand trial next year.
The News Shopper states that the fighter can’t be named because of possible legal ramifications but I think many MMA fans that have been following the sport since 2004 are aware that it’s “Lightning” Lee.
- K-1 has named 12 of the 16 fighters that will compete in the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix: Hong Man Choi, Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Glaube Feitosa, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome LeBanner, Stefan Leko, Ruslan Karaev, Chalid Arrab, Mighty Mo Siliga, Badr Hari, and Paul Slowinski.
- UFC Junkie has announced a partnership with Yahoo! Sports…
Hard-hitting demolition man and two-time K-1 tournament champion, “Mighty Mo” Siligia, will face off with 2006 K-1 North America tournament victor, Chalid “Die Faust” Arrab, in a Superfight battle during K-1’s return to Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bellagio on Saturday, August 11th.
In addition to the pair of Superfights, the event will feature K-1’s customary eight-man, single-elimination tournament in which fighters from all over the globe will vie for a place in competition in Japan later this year.
The 33-year-old Siligia is coming off his second career K-1 tournament conquest, April 28th’s eight-man, single-elimination playoff in Hawaii, where he stopped all three of his opponents. The 6 foot 1 inch, 280 plus pound Samoan-born brawler, who resides in California, reeled off six consecutive victories in 2007 before suffering his only defeat of the year, a three-round judges’ decision defeat at the hands of 7 foot giant, Semmy Schilt, in Amsterdam last weekend.
Midway through his debut season with K-1 in 2004, Siligia established his presence in Las Vegas by defeating three straight opponents, including championship round adversary, Brecht Walis, whom he stopped in two rounds to emerge North America champion on August 7th of that year. The win in Sin City earned Siligia a place on a K-1 card in Tokyo, Japan where he overpowered and scored a first round knockout on another notorious puncher, “Big Daddy” Gary Goodridge.
Siligia’s power will be challenged by the sound kickboxing skills of the 31-year-old Arrab, a native of Germany and member of famed, Holland-based martial arts fight team, Golden Glory.
Arrab earned his first K-1 tournament title on April 29th of last year after scoring a first round knockout on quarterfinal round opponent, Sean O’ Haire, and a thrilling, third round knockout on championship round adversary, Goodridge. Arrab, whose nickname “Die Faust” is German for “The Fist,” had been originally eliminated from contention in the event’s semifinal round after he gave up a close-cut decision to former K-1 champion, Carter Williams. Williams, however, declared that a leg injury he had sustained in the fight with Arrab would prevent him from being able to take advantage of his championship round berth. The rules of K-1 mandated that Arrab take his place in the final round of action, thus giving Arrab a second wind.
Bellagio Ballroom doors will open for “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas” at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time on Saturday, August 11th and the card’s first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM. The eight-man tournament will commence at 7 PM.
Johnnie Morton and Mighty Mo will be featured performers on “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite” on Saturday, June 2, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Morton, who will make his MMA debut against Bernard Ackah, and Mo, who meets Mu Bae Choi, will fight in two of the fights that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME® Pay-Per-View (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
The SHOWTIME® PPV fights will be preceded by a one-hour telecast on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) that will feature some of ProElite’s EliteXC top performers such as Antonio “Big Foot” Silva and Jake Shields.