Ricardo Arona. Photo by Scott Petersen/MMAWeekly.com.
Former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Ricardo Arona looked rusty in his first fight in over two years, but managed to put together enough offense to stifle challenger Marvin Eastman en route to a unanimous decision victory in the main event of Saturday night’s Bitetti Combat 4 event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Arona (14-5) started the fight on a high note, connecting with a pair of leg kicks to Eastman’s thigh, one of them sending the UFC veteran falling to the canvas. A couple of successful takedowns saw Arona control the majority of the first round on the mat. However, Arona’s infamous lack of cardio began to show at the start of the second round, which featured very little, if any offense from either fighter.
Ricardo Arona. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Ricardo Arona will return to active competition for the first time in over two years when he takes on fellow veteran Marvin Eastman at Bitetti Combat 4 this Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It will be the first fight for Arona since losing three out of four bouts under the PRIDE banner, including a brutal knockout at the hands of a streaking Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at PRIDE 34 in April 2007. Eastman is coming off of a second-round TKO of Aron Lofton at a Maximum Fighting Championship show in May.
Stefan Struve. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
— Towering heavyweight prospect Stefan Struve has reportedly been tapped to face undefeated All-American collegiate wrestler Chase Gormley at UFC 104, which takes place on October 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.. Bout agreements have apparently been signed. Gormley was originally slated to face Ben Rothwell at the event but Rothwell was recently moved into a main card matchup against Cain Velasquez. [Fighters Only Magazine]
— A number of notable MMA veterans are in action this weekend. Art of Fighting’s latest offering in Tampa, Florida includes Seth Petruzelli, competing for the first time since his 14-second win over Kimbo Slice, going up against Chris Baten. Marcio Cruz and Delson Heleno will be on the AOF card as well. Neil Grove and Brad Pickett will also be defending their respective Ultimate Challenge UK titles in London, England while Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Masakazu Imanari, and Ryo Chonan are in action at DEEP 43 in Japan. [Bloody Elbow]
Gilbert Yvel. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.
BILOXI, Miss. – Dutch knockout artist Gilbert “The Hurricane” Yvel has relocated to the United States and plans to put his June 27th opponent, 3-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo, to sleep in the “Ultimate Chaos” co-feature live on pay-per-view from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley (3-0-0) headlines against K1 and PRIDE combat fighting legend Bob “The Beast” Sapp (10-4-1) on “Ultimate Chaos, presented by Prize Fight Promotions and Fight Force International, in association with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, Treasure Bay Casino and Budweiser.
Yvel (35-13-1) has stopped 30 of his 35 victims but he has fought only once in the United States, losing this past January to highly-rated heavyweight star Josh Barnett on “Affliction’s – Day of Reckoning.”
Bobby Lashley. Photo courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Upstart boxing promotion Prize Fight Promotions has teamed up with local Mississippi mixed martial arts promoters Fight Force International to put on quite the MMA event in Biloxi, Mississippi on June 27. The show will be headlined by an intriguing (to say the least) heavyweight bout between former professional wrestler Bobby Lashley and PRIDE and K-1 veteran Bob Sapp.
There are plenty of other notable bouts on the card as well. Dangerous strikers Gilbert Yvel and Pedro Rizzo will clash following their respective losses to Josh Barnett in recent Affliction show in the co-main event. Din Thomas will take on fellow longtime veteran Javier Vasquez, who is coming out of a temporary retirement, in a featherweight bout, and former IFL lightweight standout Chris Horodecki will face William Sriyapai.
Even Affliction VP Tom Atencio is on the card. (For those who are unaware, Atencio already has a pro fight under his belt. He earned a decision over David Martinez at Total Combat 7 in January 2005)
The current lineup for the event is below. Not all of the fights have been officially signed as of yet and more details regarding the event are expected to come at a press conference in Biloxi in two weeks. The event will be televised on IN DEMAND and Direct TV PPV.
Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Sapp
Pedro Rizzo vs. Gilbery Yvel
Chris Horodecki vs. William Sriyapai
Din Thomas vs. Javier Vasquez
Brett Cooper vs. Waachim Spiritwolf
Tom Atencio vs. TBA
James Orso vs. Colby McMahan
Frank Mir. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
- A planned middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites might not be the only championship bout at UFC 97. Fighters Only Magazine is quoting UFC President Dana White as saying that the heavyweight title unification rematch between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir could take place in April, which is when the UFC plans to return to Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the second time in the last two years. “Mir took little damage in his fight with Nog, and Lesnar wants to fight him soon, so April may be the time and place for that,” White said.
- Canadian welterweight Jonathan Goulet has told Sherdog.com that he has been offered a fight against Tamdan McCrory for April’s UFC 97 event also, but will be unable to accept the bout until Thursday at the earliest due to medical clearance needed to begin training again after injuring his right knee in his recent loss to Mike Swick at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” event in December. McCrory is coming off a loss as well - He fell to Dustin Hazelett via submission at UFC 91. Keep in mind thought that the UFC has yet to secure a date at the Bell Centre because of the Montreal Canadiens’ pending playoff schedule.
Brett Cooper. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
A welterweight bout between IFL veteran Brett Cooper and undefeated prospect Patrick Speight will reportedly finalize Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” card, which will take place on October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV according to a report by MMA News.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio was said to have confirmed Cooper vs. Speight as the final bout to be signed for the event yesterday. Both fighters were originally scheduled to be part of Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19 but were removed from the card due to unknown reasons.
Ben Rothwell. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
Report: Rothwell-Rizzo to Happen at Affliction II
Former IFL heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell will attempt to bounce back from his first loss in three years when he reportedly takes on three-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Pedro Rizzo at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event on October 11th in Las Vegas according to MMANews.com, which cites Affliction VP Tom Atencio as confirming the fight.
At Affliction’s debut show last month, Rothwell suffered a third-round knockout loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski while Rizzo was defeated in a rematch against Josh Barnett, another former UFC title holder. Barnett knocked Rizzo out with a left in the second round of their fight.
WVR Announces Middleweight GP Participants
World Victory Road has announced four of the fighters that will compete in their inaugural middleweight grand prix, which will begin at “Sengoku V” on September 28th at the Yoyogi National First Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Jorge Santiago, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Siyar Bahadurzada will all compete in first-round bouts.
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
The long-running dispute is now over. After over a year of continual debate regarding Fedor Emelianenko’s perennial status as the world’s top heavyweight, the former PRIDE title holder answered the call in fighting his first top-ranked opponent in nearly three years, and won, in decisive fashion.
Emelianenko quickly knocked down and submitted former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds, capping off a night of exciting action at Affliction Clothing’s inaugural event, which took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California in front of a host of notable athletes and celebrities.
Sylvia literally never even got started in the fight. After circling each other for a brief moment, Emelianenko stunned and dropped Sylvia with a flurry of left and rights. Fedor quickly pounced on the 6’8 Miletich Fighting Systems product, pounding away with hammer fists until Sylvia gave up his back, allowing Emelianenko to sink in the rear naked choke for the impressive finish.
After the bout, post-fight interviewer and former referee “Big” John McCarthy asked the Russian who he’d like to fight next. His answer then stepped into the ring in the form of current embattled UFC heavyweight champ Randy Couture, who is currently seeking legal help in the courts in his quest to fight Emelianenko before his impending retirement.
“I always thought that the day where I would have to fight Randy would come,” Emelianenko said after the fight with the help of a translator. “It would be a true honor to fight him and I hope that we will be able to work things out in order to make it happen.”
We will be going live at 7:00 PM ET with live results of tonight’s Affliction: Banned, the inaugural mixed martial arts show for the popular California-based clothing company, which will take place this evening at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The show features a main event years in the making between former PRIDE title holder and perennial top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko and five-time UFC champion Tim Sylvia. Other notable fights on the card include a rematch between Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo, a sure-fire war on the feet between Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell, and the return to active competition of former Olympic wrestler Matt Lindland as he faces Brazilian submission wizard Fabio Negao.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night. Details live results are after the jump.