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.
Jeff Monson weighs-in for UFC 65: Bad Intentions. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Florida-based Combat Fighting Championships will be making it’s overseas debut on May 17th as the organization will hold a show at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England filled with veterans that have competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and PRIDE.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez will tangle with American Top Team’s Jeff Monson in the main event.
Rodriguez is coming off of a tough split decision loss to Antonio Silva at EliteXC Street Certified last month. Monson last won a decision over Hakim Goram in December and is tenatively scheduled to take on Kevin Randleman at a Global Fighting Championships show in June.
The co-main event will feature a clash between former UFC middleweights David Loiseau and Terry Martin. While Loiseau has struggled ever since he was released by the promotion, Martin’s apparent departure from the company comes after he suffered his second straight loss at the hands of Marvin Eastman last month.
Melvin Guillard, who is currently on a hiatus from the UFC, being permitted to fight in smaller shows before returning to the promotion, is advertised as going up against Cage Rage veteran Jean Silva.
Travis Wiuff is also slated to take on Cyrille Diabate in a bout that was originally scheduled to take place in at IFO: Fireworks in the Cage IV on December 28th. Diabate was forced to pull out of his bout against Wiuff after suffering a broken ankle during training.
Brad Imes, Dan Hardy, Xavier Foupa-Pokam, Melvin Manhoef, and Mark Weir are all also expected to be in action.
You can also view the current fight card at the organization’s official website.
Touch of gloves to reader “Goose” for the assist.
Late yesterday, EliteXC announced that Antonio Silva has a new opponent for the co-main event at the Feb 16th card featuring Kimbo Slice vs Tank Abbott. The new opponent will be none other than former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ricco Rodriquez. This is the third opponent slated to face Antonio Silva. The first announced foe, Shane Carwin, turned down a deal in order to sign with the UFC. Then late last week, EliteXC’s president Gary Shaw announced that Cage Rage’s Gary Turner would fill the slot. Now, a few days after Shaw challenged the UFC and stated that Silva could beat any of the UFC heavyweights, EliteXC puts the former UFC champ in the cage with Junior. Coincidence?
The story gets more interesting in that it turns out that EliteXC apparently did not treat Turner fairly in his mind. EliteXC stated in an article on MMAWeekly that they ended up with contract problems and thus had to drop Turner from the card. Turner, in an open letter to Gary Shaw/EliteXC on the Mat-Magazine website, disputes those facts and rips into the business practices of EliteXC.
Antonio Silva has his hand raised after his win over Jonathan Wiezorek at EliteXC: Renegade. Photo courtesy of EliteXC.
Highly touted heavyweight prospect Antonio Silva will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez when Elite Xtreme Combat travels to the United Bank Arena in Miami, Florida for “Street Certified”.
The promotion made the announcement through the official website of their parent company, ProElite.
The card features a main event between internet street fighting legend Kimbo Slice and former UFC brawler Tank Abbott.
Silva has not lost yet under the EliteXC banner, defeating both Wesley “Cabbage” Correira and Jonathan Wiezorek in consecutive bouts.
Rodriguez is currently featured on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” every Thursday. The former champion has won six out of his last seven bouts. He dropped a unanimous decision to Ben Rothwell at the 2007 IFL Championship in September. Silva will be a definite step-up in competition for Rodriguez compared to the opponents he has been facing recently.
Beginning tonight and continuing into next week, we are going to experience something for the first time in history. It’s not really a big deal to anyone else, but it’s pretty big to those who follow mixed martial arts on a regular basis. The sport of MMA will be represented on mainstream reality television.
Photo courtesy of NBC.
Now I’m not talking The Ultimate Fighter, TapouT, or another MMA-related reality show that has aired to date. More people will be watching Tito Ortiz and Ricco Rodriguez over the next few months than probably each of The Ultimate Fighter seasons combined.
Ortiz will be trying his hand on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC while Rodriguez will be checking into “Celebrity Rehab” on VH1. The connection between the two is quite obvious. They are best friends and former training partners under the Team Punishment banner.
Now the million dollar question - Will the sport of MMA be affected in a positive or negative way because of all this?
Interested in owning a UFC championship belt like the one above? How about the exact one above? Got $30,000 to spare? Well former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez is selling the title he won from Randy Couture at UFC 39 on eBay in hopes of raising money for a school Rodriguez will be opening down south.
Tim Sylvia calls Fedor a bad word
Former UFC heavyweight champion had some choice words for Fedor Emelianenko during a post-UFC 79 interview with Gary Herman of CBS Sports. When asked about Emelianenko, Sylvia stated that he feels the former PRIDE champ is ducking top competition:
“I think he’s being a (expletive),” said Sylvia. “I think Fedor is very good, but you have to fight the top level competitors all the time to keep that status, and he is just not doing that.”
According to Five Ounces of Pain, the bad word had something to do with a pussy, whatever that is…
WCO Releases Complete Card for “The Return”
The World Cagefighting Organization has released the complete card for WCO: The Return, which is set to take place January 12th at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The event is headlined by a main event between former UFC light heavyweights Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Vernon White and includes many other notable fighters competing as well. The full card is below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Wesley Correira
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Davis Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Tiki Ghosn vs. J.J. Ambrose
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakahyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Tony Sylvestor vs. Cain Velasquez
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for that find.
Sakara Joins American Top Team
Alessio Sakara has joined the ranks of ATT according to a statement made on the team’s official website:
To start off the new year, American Top Team is pleased to announce UFC fighter Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara has joined our team!
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alessio, who is known for his explosive stand up style of fighting. We look forward to working with Alessio and help him improve his overall mma game and take him to the top!
Sakara returns at UFC 80: Rapid Fire later this month when he takes on newcomer James Lee. The fight is expected to be Sakara’s last at 205 lbs as he has expressed plans to move down to the middleweight division following the fight.
We will have a brand new MMA on Tap Top 10 posted later today. Our rumors page has been updated. Randy Couture will be hosting a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 12th. Couture, Jamie Gold, and Dean Cain are all expected to participate. Leland Rolling takes a look at what’s next for Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. A matchup between Jake Bostwick and John Phillips has been added to Cage Rage 25 according to The Fight Network.
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
MMAWeekly is reporting that a new MMA promotion has surfaced in Las Vegas which plans on utilizing the team format with MMA legends as the coaches.
Platinum Fighting Productions has named the event Ring of Fire and announced that the coaches will be Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Josh Barnett and Gokor Chivichyan.
Cleber Luciano (1-2)
Jorge Patino (20-10-1)
Daniel Sarafian (1-0)
John Marsh (7-6)
Katrine Alendal (0-1)
Evan Dunham (4-0)
Kyacey Uscola (13-10)
Mike Whitehead (19-5)
Ricco Rodriguez (26-7)
Tonya Evinger (4-3)
Koji Oishi (15-7-4)
Yuki Kondo (47-20-6)
Renato Sobral (28-7)
Jeff Monson (23-7)
Ginele Marquez (5-7-1)
Karen Darabedyan (2-0)
August Wallen (2-1)
Rodney Faverus (24-13-3)
Hakim Goram (3-1)
Amanda Buckner (10-4-1)
The debut event titled Ring of Fire: Manila is scheduled to take place Dec. 9 at Araneta Stadium in the Philippines. Each team will battle in four events set to take place in the Philippines, Macau, Japan and China. The two best teams will then battle in the Ring of Fire finals in December 2008.
Ring of Fire: Manila
Dec. 9, 2007
Team Barnett vs. Team Chivichyan
Koji Oshi vs. Karen Darabdeyan
Yuki Kondo vs. August Wallen
Renato Sobral vs. Rodney Faverus
Jeff Monson vs. Hakim Gouram
Ginele Marquez vs. Amanda Buckner
Zach Light vs. TBA
News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez will replace an injured Tim Sauer for the New York Pitbulls and will take on Ben Rothwell in the IFL World Team Championships this Thursday night.
Rothwell is undefeated in 8 fights so far in the IFL. During that span he has racked up wins over Krzysztof Soszynski, Bryan Vetell, Devin Cole, Wojtek Kaszowski, Matt Thompson, Roy Nelson, and Travis Fulton.
Rodriguez has won 12 out of his last 14 fights since his departure from the UFC, his two losses coming at the hands of Ron Waterman and Robert Beraun. Rodriguez avenged the loss to Waterman at WFA: King of the Streets last summer. Rodriguez owns victories over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, Paul Buentello, Jeff Monson, and current UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture.
Rodriguez will certainly be Rothwell’s biggest test yet in the IFL.