Paul Buentello. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello will return to action for the first time in over eight months when he takes on Aleksander Emelianenko, the younger brother of top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, at Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The popular California-based clothing company officially announced the previously rumored bout earlier today at a press conference earlier today in Los Angeles.
Buentello has not fought since losing to Dutch kickboxer Alistair Overeem in a failed November bid for Strikeforce’s vacant heavyweight title. It was the Texas native’s first loss in two years and only his second in his last dozen fights.
Emelianenko most recently stopped Brazilian grappler Silvao Santos with strikes to earn his first win of 2008 at the latest edition of the M-1 Challenge last month. The PRIDE and BodogFight veteran is currently riding a five-fight winning streak.
Also announced at today’s press conference was Affliction’s signing of PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira according to Sherdog.com. Nogueira has split his last four bouts, most recently earning a second-round TKO of Todd Gouwenberg at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Destiny” event in February. He is expected to make his promotional debut at the company’s next planned event in October.
Savant Young. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
On the same day that Affliction Clothing makes it’s official entrance into the world of promoting mixed martial arts events, details regarding four signed preliminary bouts for it’s upcoming planned “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California have come to light.
The news comes from Sergio Non of USA Today, who confirmed the fights with Affliction VP Tom Atencio.
IFL veteran Savant Young, who recently earned a huge upset win over former Shooto featherweight title contender Takeshi Inoue last weekend, will take on WEC and TKO veteran Mark Hominick in the most high-profile preliminary bout.
Additional dark matches include UFC veteran Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama, Mike Pyle vs. Brett Cooper, and J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight.
Atencio also informed Non that Ben Rothwell will indeed fight at the event but an opponent for the Miletich Fighting Systems product has yet to have been determined. Various sources have been reporting that former UFC heavweight champion Andrei Arlovski may very well be Rothwell’s counterpart in the cage but it’s still unknown whether or not he will continue to free agency after finishing out the remainder of his deal with the UFC two months ago.
Contracts for a heavyweight clash between Aleksander Emelianenko and Paul Buentello have also reportedly been sent out to both fighters but have not yet been returned signed.
The potential fight card for the event now looks like this:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
Mike Whitehead vs. Renato Sobral
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Paul Buentello
Ben Rothwell vs. TBA
Mark Hominick vs. Savant Young
Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama
Mike Pyle vs. Brett Cooper
J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight
As I’m sure regular visitors to this site have noticed, we haven’t had many updates since Saturday afternoon. A combination of David moving, others not being around, and myself coming down with the flu attributed to that. However fear not as we’re back in business. So here’s us playing catch-up once again, hopefully for the last time in a long time.
UFC 81 Generates Approximately 650,000 Buys
UFC 81: Breaking Point, which featured Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeating former two-time champion Tim Sylvia to win the interim UFC heavyweight belt and fellow former heavyweight title holder Frank Mir submitting one-time professional wrestler and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, generated close to 650,000 PPV buys according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer.
In my interview at Jarry Park leading up to UFC 81, I mentioned that the UFC would likely be pleased with the amount of buys the event would generate, mostly because of the mainstream popularity of Lesnar from his various ventures in professional sports. It turns out UFC 81 will now rank as the third-highest-grossing event in UFC history.
Future Fights Galore!
A good amount of upcoming fights have been revealed over the past few days. Lightweights Jeremy Stephens and Terry Etim will meet at UFC 84 in May according to MMA Junkie, who confirmed that both fighters have agreed to sign bout agreements. Five Ounces of Pain has learned that Doug Evans has been released from the UFC and has signed on with EliteXC, who will pit him against Wilson Reis in his debut in April.
Gracie Fighter has announced that Nate Diaz has been added to UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2nd, making that an unheard of eleven total fights on that card. MMA Junkie says that he’s expected to face Kurt Pellegrino. Major props are in order to our friends at Fightlinker, who have reportedly successfully petitioned to have Spike TV increase the broadcast time of the event from two hours to three.
Nick Diaz will return to action against Muhsin Corbbrey according to Five Ounces of Pain. Don’t believe what “Babalu” says, Tito Ortiz-Ryoto Machida is still on according to Ed Soares, who serves as Machida’s manager. Chris Fries of TAGG Radio’s Lights Out Show confirmed that the fight was still a go with Soares earlier today.
Wanderlei Silva says that he would consider a drop down to middleweight in order to rematch Dan Henderson. Denis Kang tells The Fight Network that he will participate in DREAM’s middleweight grand prix in April. Gracie Mag has details about the first toxicology report released concerning Ryan Gracie’s death. Paul Buentello tells MMA Weekly that he wants Kimbo Slice.
Kimbo Slice discusses his original date to fight against Tank Abbott that was cancelled and how he feels about EliteXC’s upcoming “Street Certified” event being in his hometown of Miami in the above video courtesy of Pro Elite.
Some news for you this morning…
Sean Sherk Still Not Fighting in California
Right after his suspension for a positive steroids test was reduced instead of being overturned by the California State Athletic Commission, Sean Sherk said that he would never fight in the state of California ever again. Over three months later, he still feels the same:
“There’s no reason for me to ever fight in California again. The way they treated my case and the way they handled everything was so unprofessional that there’s absolutely no way I’ll ever fight in the state of California again, unless they get rid of the entire commission and hire a whole new commission,” Sherk told MMA Weekly.
Speaking of the CSAC, they have suspended Luke Hartwig after he tested positive for marijuana following his bout at Strikeforce “Young Guns” event on February 1st. Hartwig has been sidelined for three months (can return on May 1st) and was fined $500.
Fedor Dominates at Russian Combat Sambo Championships
Fedor Emelianenko will be competing at the 2008 Russian Combat Sambo Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia over the weekend.
So how did he do on his first day? MMA Ninja says pretty damn good.
As predicted, Fedor Emelianenko easily won all of his three fights. In his first fight, Fedor quickly attacked, after a combination of strikes he took his opponent down and submitted him. The fight was 35 seconds long. His second fight was even shorter - Fedor broke his opponent’s nose in 10 seconds.
The final fight against Stanislav Shushko took a little bit longer. Stanislav tried to keep Fedor at a distance using his height advantage, but Fedor closed the distance with a combination, went for a throw and a hold-down. The sequence of events happened once more and Fedor finished off Shushko in just over a minute.
Fan favorite Paul Buentello revealed his desire to take on former boxing heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison in one of Morrison’s “MMA rules” bouts in The Underground. Touch of gloves to our friends at Bloody Elbow for the find. Luiz Alves, Muay Thai trainer for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, claims that he believes Tim Sylvia greased up for their title bout last weekend in a recent interview with Tatame.
Jarry Park: Carlo Prater Is Ready For The Fight Of His Life
Paul Buentello walks into the HP Pavilion for his fight against Alistair Overeem. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Former heavyweight contender Paul Buentello will return to action at the much-anticipated upcoming Strikeforce event, “Shamrock vs Le”, on Saturday, March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Buentello confirmed his participation on the card with The Fight Network late Monday night.
“They’re supposed to let me know [who I’m fighting] pretty soon, so I can get my butt in shape,” Buentello said in the report.
After departing from the UFC in 2006, Buentello went on a three-fight winning streak, defeating Tank Abbott and Ruben Villareal along the way. That streak came to an end when Buentello was stopped by Alistair Overeem in a bid for the Strikeforce heavyweight title in November.
An opponent for Buentello has not yet been announced.
The California State Athletic Commission released the official list of medical suspensions stemming from last weekend’s Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives event that took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Bryson Kamaka, and Chris Drumm have all been medically suspended for 45 days and with no contact for 30 days.
Paul Buentello has been medically suspended for 60 days and can also have no contact in training for the same amount of time because of lacerations around his eye. A similar situation may also occur for Bobby Southworth who was medically suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days but may have his suspension extended to 60 days and without contact if a doctor does not clear a laceration above Southworth’s left eye.
Both Alistair Overeem and Brian Schwartz have been medically suspended for 180 days and with no contact for the same amount of time. Overeem has a possible fracture in his finger and his suspension can be reduced after clearance by a physician. Schwartz has a possible fracture in his left hand. If Schwartz is found to not have a fractured hand, he will not be required to serve any of the suspension.
The biggest suspensions were received by Sean Salmon and Sam Morgan who were both medically suspended for an indefinite amount of time. However if and when the fighters are cleared by a doctor, they will be required to serve a 45 day suspension without contact for 30 days.
Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage
Jorge Santiago needed less than three minutes in order to capture the state of California and Strikeforce’s first-ever four-man mixed martial arts tournament last night.
Santiago scored victories over Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley in front of 8,233 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Both Santiago and Prangley headed into the tournament in relatively good shape considering they had each fought earlier in the evening. They decided to keep the bout on the feet during the opening moments of their fight. Santiago battered Prangley with a flurry of leg kicks early on, connecting with one that knocked Prangley to the ground.
Santiago continued to stalk Prangley connecting with a number of unanswered punches and kicks. Santiago connected with a knee to the body and followed it up with a right hand that sent Prangley to the canvas. Santiago pounced on him and following up with another right hand but referee Jon Schorle decided that Prangley had enough and stopped the fight.
After the fight, Santiago admitted that sticking to his game plan ultimately won him the fight:
“I’ve been studying his game for a long time and I knew that he was a tough guy,” said Santiago. “I knew that he was probably going to try and take me down and drop some bombs. I just stuck to my game. I saw the best time to go and I took over.”
Strikeforce has announced that they will be streaming their upcoming show, Strikeforce: Tournament Series, live on Yahoo! Sports Friday, November 16 beginning at 11 PM EST.
Available to all internet users located beyond a 150 mile radius of San Jose, the live stream, free of charge to viewers, will begin at 8 PM PST (11 PM EST) and include the entire Strikeforce four-man, single-elimination tournament, featuring middleweight (185 lb. limit) stars Trevor Prangley (16-4), Falaniko Vitale (24-7), Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1), and Jorge Santiago (14-7). Each tournament bout will consist of two, five-minute rounds.
Also included in the stream will be the Strikeforce heavyweight title fight between Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello and Alistair Overeem, Cung Lee vs. Sam Morgan, Bobby Southworth vs. Anthony Ruiz and Brian “The Mad Stork” Schwartz vs. Lemont Davis.
A lottery ball drawing, which will take place immediately following the fighter weigh-ins at the HP Pavilion’s The Grill restaurant on Thursday, the eve of Strikeforce’s mixed martial arts mega-card, will determine the tournament brackets for Friday’s historic, four-man middleweight (185 lb. limit) tournament.
Tournament competitors Trevor Prangley (16-4), Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (24-7), Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1), and Jorge Santiago (14-7) will each draw one of four balls, numbered “1” through “4,” and, then, one by one, choose which location in the single-elimination tournament draw they wish to occupy. The first choice will be given to the fighter who draws the ball numbered 1, the second choice to the fighter who draws ball number 2, and so forth.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, five-minute rounds. The victor of the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament in the state of California will potentially be awarded the opportunity to challenge Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock.
News and Notes
- Strikeforce announced the four participants for their first ever one-night tournament set to take place at their next event on November 16th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The four middleweights that will participate are Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, two-minute rounds. If a draw is declared following the second round of a fight, an overtime round will be added to the bout to determine a victor. The winner of the tournament may earn the opportunity to face Frank Shamrock in the near future.
- Rich Franklin’s publicity manager has stated that reports about a possible early retirement for Franklin are not true:
“Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s publicity manager. “It’s too early for him to even consider retirement at this point.”
- Paul Buentello will face Alistair Overeem or the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title on November 16th as well.
- Dave Meltzer has another description of Don Frye’s apparent street fight with the bodyguard of Leland Chapman:
The fight with Don Frye and “Sonny,” who was Leland Chapman’s bodyguard, started when promoter Chris Salsbury told Scott Steiner that MMA promoter Phil Flathres would be in charge of paying the wrestlers. The wrestlers came to Flathers for their money. Somehow the MMA people and wrestling people were played against each other and tension developed. “Sonny” started making remarks about pro wrestling, which saw an MMA fighter/pro wrestler, Frye, telling him to shut up. Frye had been drinking and was loaded. It wound up with them going outside.
“Sonny” allegedly sucker punched Frye, bloodying him up. Frye then allegedly single legged Sonny and was punching him hard from the mount when it was pulled apart. The second confrontation in the parking lot saw Sonny knock down Frye and Sonny and Leland Chapman ran off as Scott Norton came and Frye got up. It should be noted that we’ve gotten many different versions and all are slightly different but this seems to be the best detailed version.
- Meltzer is also reporting that a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has not yet been signed, thus why there was no announcement of it on Saturday night.