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Hong Man Choi Fails Physical; Lesnar Currently Without Opponent

The June 2nd K-1 USA show seems more and more likely to be cancelled in the coming days. What happened now? Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Hong Man Choi was denied a fighting license by the CSAC because of medical reasons, meaning he most likely failed his pre-fight physical examination.

Mike Kogan of FEG, K-1’s parent company confimed that Choi was indeed denied his license yesterday. Kogan has also stated that plans to have Choi undergo another physical at some point today and will ask the commission to reconsider their ruling if the doctor passes him.

As expected, Kogan was rather irked about the whole thing…

“I think they’ll understand this is not just another fight on the card,” Kogan said. “At this point, they have his medicals and they denied his license, but there are procedures in place for repudiating that.

“I don’t have time to be fucking around and wasting time if I know the guy can’t fight. I won’t put a guy in there who isn’t right to fight. I think he can fight, because he fought (in a kickboxing show) in Hawaii on April 28 and he’s all right. But if the second doctor comes to the same conclusion as the first, I have to deal with it.”

Choi’s inability to compete currently leaves Brock Lesnar without an opponent for the show’s main event. When asked about the situation, co-promoter Gary Shaw said that he wasn’t concerned about the fight being completely cancelled but also stressed that he hoped an opponent for Lesnar could be found:

“I’m not concerned about the thing actually coming off,” Shaw said. “Showtime will go with its card and I’m sure the pay-per-view card will go, but so many people were looking forward to that fight. If the giant can’t pass the medicals, and it sounds like he hasn’t, I hope they can find the right replacement because Brock Lesnar is a big part of the card and people want to see him fight.”

So what’s the status with the show? Choi not being able to compete is another huge blow to a show that already seems like it’s not going to happen. Dozens of sites reported and linked to The Fight Network’s original report of FEG failing to adhere to the requests of the CSAC. Kogan saw the report and decided to give his take on things:

“I know they have to get people to hit their website, but to me, that is insulting because I’m a professional promoter,” Kogan said. “Does the commission have certain things it wants from us? Yes. Have we been filing things with the commission? Yes. Will we be licensed? Yes.

“Why would I sell tickets to the largest venue in the country to hold a pay-per-view, sell the worldwide rights and then sit on my ass and not do what I need to do to be licensed? It’s crazy. This is a process and we’re going through that process and we will be licensed.”

K-1 Dynamite!! USA in Doubt?

The title says it all. The Fight Network has posted an article which states K-1 Dynamite!! USA is in danger of not happening.

According to the article, Fight Entertainment Group (FEG) have yet to be granted their license by the California State Athletic Commission.

A CSAC representative says the hold-up has been FEG’s inability and hesitation to submit financial paperwork, requirements the state agency stipulates of all its applicants.

After numerous requests FEG still has not submitted the bond necessary to cover fighters’ purses for the June 2nd show. No bond = no event.

It was also noted that lightweight Javier Vasquez had dropped off of the card and K-1 had attempted to replace him with UFC veteran Gabe Ruediger but the request was denied as he is currently under suspension in Nevada.

The CSAC says it has not received even preliminary paperwork for 19 of the 22 fighters slated to participate. This includes the 14 foreign fighters K-1 had agreed to deliver stateside beginning May 17. Kazushi Sakuraba, who faces Royce Gracie in a rematch, is scheduled to arrive in the US tomorrow. At this time, the CSAC can not confirm that any of the foreign fighters are now stateside.

Things aren’t looking very positive for K-1 Dynamite!! USA… 90,000 seat arena, no promoters license, and no replacement for Carano or Vasquez. What’s next?

Update: 12:07 AM: The Fight Network is reporting that FEG submitted papers to the CSAC today but after a careful review the CSAC decided it was not enough to grant FEG a promoters’ license.

Two hours following the story, the CSAC says they received documents from FEG, though after careful review, the state agency announced this afternoon the paperwork is far insufficient to accommodate a request for a promoters’ license and is “not what we asked for.”

“We have drawn a line in the sand,” says Bill Douglas, CSAC Staff Analyst who has handled the majority of the last two month’s interaction with the Japanese company trying to bring its first MMA event to the US. “If they do not deliver us the financial information by the end of this week, this is going to be a big problem.”

On top of that, the CSAC still has not received a bond from the promotion to front fighters’ purses and other accrued costs.

Update: 12:14 AM: ‘The Ultimate Fighter 5’ contestant Gabe Ruediger has been released from his UFC contract and had his “administrative suspension” lifted by the NSAC meaning he can compete on the card.

Gina Carano Ailing, Forced to Withdraw From K-1 Dynamite!! USA

LOS ANGELES - Gina Carano has pulled out of the “Dynamite!! USA” June 2 mega-MMA fight card at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum due to illness, EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw announced today.

Carano, of Las Vegas, Nev., was scheduled to clash with Jan Finney of Springfield, Ohio, in one of the featured EliteXC fights on Showtime on June 2.

“I just feel terrible about this,” said the popular, crowd-pleasing Carano, who spent part of April in Thailand filming a television reality series. “I don’t know how or where I got sick, but I have not felt right since returning to the United States.

“I almost never get sick, but this has really done a number on me. I thought I could work through it but I am not feeling better and it has prevented me from training.”

Said Shaw: “Obviously, we are very disappointed that Gina can’t perform, but anybody that knows me knows that I am not going to put an athlete into the ring if he or she is not 100 percent fit.

“Our EliteXC fighters need to be in peak health because we put them in the best fights on Showtime.”

A new fight will be announced shortly, Shaw said. It will be one of three matches that will appear on Showtime during a live one-hour telecast that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The six-bout pay-per-view portion of the June 2 event will immediately follow the Showtime presentation live on pay-per-view (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

CKA: Apr 26, 2007

News and Notes

- The rumors section has been updated once again…

- Cage Rage has announced the card for it’s July 14th event, Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell at the Wembley Arena in London, England:

Eric Esch vs Tengiz Tedoradze
Mario Sperry vs Lee Hasdell
Rob Broughton vs Gary Turner
Herb Dean vs Dave Legeno
Mark Buchanan vs James McSweeney
Paul Cahoon vs Mark Epstein
Ronnie Mann vs Robbie Olivier
Marius Zaromskis vs Ross Mason
Ross Pointon vs Dean Bray
Joe Mac vs Jeremy Bailey
Michael Johnson vs Damien Riccio

- Kazushi Sakuraba landed in Brazil earlier this week to train with the Chute Boxe team in preparation for his pending bout at K-1 and EliteXC’s event on June 2nd. An opponent for Sakuraba has not yet been named but rumors have been floating around for a couple of weeks now that he will be matched up against Royce Gracie for a rematch of their famous 90 min brawl in PRIDE…

- Spencer Fisher will take on Sam Stout at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 9th…

- KOAT, an ABC tlevision affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico is reporting that the city will host UFC 74 on August 25th at the University of New Mexico’s basketball arena which seats 18,000. They stated they received the information from Diego Sanchez who also said that he would be fighting on the card…

- The UFC apparently chose not to administer drug tests to the fighters that competed at UFC 69 and UFC 70 according to the Houston Chronicle.

Shamrock Collides With Baroni on Judgment Day

NEW YORK - After months of deliberations, one of the most anticipated showdowns in mixed martial arts history will finally come to fruition when former UFC middleweight champion, Frank Shamrock, battles fellow knockout artist and consummate showman, “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) championship during the main event of “Judgment Day,” a live, Pay Per View televised Strikeforce-EliteXC cage fight card that will take place at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on Friday, June 22nd.

Also returning to action during “Judgment Day,” undefeated world San Shou kickboxing champion and middleweight mixed martial arts contender, Cung Le, will battle UFC veteran, Tony “The Freak” Fryklund. Strikeforce’s latest recruit, 2003 K-1 North America tournament champion, Carter Williams, will face the hard-hitting Paul Buentello in a heavyweight matchup. Off the heels of his stunning knockout victory over KJ Noons, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, will take on Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela.

Joey Villasenor and former Pride star, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, will lock horns with the vacant EliteXC middleweight title at stake. On February 10th, Villasenor pulled off a stunning upset by outmaneuvering and, eventually earning a unanimous judges’ decision over David “The Crow” Loiseau. Villasenor’s career is highlighted by a 15 fight winning streak that he put together between December 2002 and April 2006. A member of the famed Chute Boxe fight squad in Brazil, Rua was last seen in action on September 30th when he submitted British kickboxer, Mark Weir, with an arm triangle choke in the second round of their meeting.

Continue reading "Shamrock Collides With Baroni on Judgment Day"

Vera Staying With UFC?

Various rumors and reports have been floating around for the past few months concerning Brandon Vera’s status with the UFC. Vera was originally supposed to be given a title shot against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68. However Vera’s contract with the UFC only had one fight left on it and Dana White wasn’t about to set up a championship bout between his current title holder and a fighter that wasn’t locked up for multiple fights. To put it simply, he’s learned from the past…

The UFC and Vera tried to negotiate a new deal multiple times but talks never went anywhere since Vera apparently thought that he deserved more money. Reports surfaced stating that the the UFC and Elite XC both offered Vera upwards of $200,000 to $1 million per fight but were never confirmed by either side. Now the news coming to light is letting us know what is really going on.

Here is what we know:

Both Brandon Vera and Dean Lister are no longer associated with the City Boxing gym in San Diego, California. City Boxing founder Rob Kaman was also Vera’s manager and handled Vera’s contract including fielding offers from any organizations that wanted to sign him. A few other fighters/trainers/officials who helped out at the gym have also left in disgust over what has happened

Well what happened? Apparently Kaman turned down multiple counter offers from the UFC concerning a new multi-fight contract for Vera without even informing him that he was doing so. Vera eventually found out and left City Boxing, leaving his partnership as part-owner of the gym behind as well.

What makes this even more interesting is that Vera himself posted earlier this afternoon on Sherdog that he is currently in negotiations with the UFC on a contract extension. He is also finding a new manager for himself through the California State Athletic Commission. Vera stated that he has left City Boxing and will be fighting in the UFC very soon.

CKA: Mar 23, 2007

News and Notes

- If you didn’t see it already, Bill informed us yesterday via Bill Meltzer that Nobuyuki Sakakibara told several staff members of PRIDE USA that the company was in the process of being sold to Lorenzo & Frank Fertitta.

- K-1 and Elite XC parent company Pro Elite will work together to present K-1’s first MMA event in the US - DYNAMITE!! USA - on July 7th at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the home of the USC college football team. The fighters currently heavily rumored to be participating at the event are Royce Gracie, former pro wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar, and Hong Man Choi. A press conference will be held next week to discuss the event.

- Claude Patrick, the primary welterweight for the IFL’s Toronto Dragons will miss the remainder of the league’s season with a torn ACL and meniscus. Patrick will undergo surgery to repair the injuries on April 13th.

CKA: Mar 09, 2007

News and Notes

- According to Dave Meltzer, UFC 70: Nations Collide will likely appear on Spike TV and not HBO.

Dana White said that regarding the broadcast of UFC 70 on 4/21 from Manchester, England into the U.S., that nothing is finalized right now, but it will most likely be on Spike and not HBO.

- Fight Opinion Radio has released their newest episode dubbed “Power Brokers”. The show features former WFA boss and current EliteXC employee Jeremy Lappen and Jimmy Greninger of Soldier Fight Gear.

- MMA manager Monte Cox told MMAWeekly that he doesn’t feel Tim Sylvia’s back injury had any effect on the outcome of the fight with Randy Couture.

“He had trouble with his back. It was something that we dealt with with chiropractic help to make it so he could compete hard. And I think he did,” commented Cox. “I’m not one to say that has any kind of effect. I wish he hadn’t have said it. It happens before a lot of fights, it’s just one of those things.”

Injuries going into a fight, especially a fight with as much meaning as a title fight, are quite common among professional fighters. In fact, it’s a common saying amongst fighters that “if you’re not injured at all going into a fight, you’re not training hard enough.”

- Our rumors section has been updated.

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Loiseau to Train With Greg Jackson

David Loiseau will be heading to New Mexico in the next few weeks to begin training with renowned trainer Greg Jackson apparently.

Loiseau stated that he and Jackson both approached each other after his loss to Joey Villasenor and agreed to start working together. Both Loiseau and Jackson are very excited to be working with each other:

“I think Greg Jackson is a genius when it comes to MMA,” said the 27-year-old Loiseau. “It’s all about the chemistry, the fighter-trainer thing. With the changes I want to make, I think Jackson is man to bring me to the top.”

“It’s gonna be a ‘give and take’ relationship for sure,” said Jackson. “I think Dave’s got a lot of potential and I look forward to working with him.”

Working with Jackson also means that Loiseau and possibly his good friend UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will be training along side his opponent from last weekend, Villasenor, as well as current UFC title contenders Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, and Nate Marquardt…

“He [Jackson] has an army of great fighters and I am excited about joining the camp,” said Loiseau. “Every time Georges came back he would have so many great things to say about them.”

“I have so much to share with them technique-wise,” Loiseau agreed. “I’m not one to keep it to myself and I am definitely open to new lessons. The more you share the better you become.”

Looking at the stable of fighters currently training under Jackson and the success that they are having, he must definitely be doing something right…

CKA: Feb 15, 2007

News and Notes

- WEC veteran Cole Escovedo is now suffering from paralysis from the waist down due to a staph infection…

According to a post by Laura Escovedo on MMA.tv and confirmed by Reed Harris of the WEC, Cole contracted a staph infection back in December that went unchecked because he just thought it was a spider bite or something of that sort. By the time he was diagnosed in January with staph, the infection made its way into his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down.

Cole was hospitalized and underwent an operation to alleviate some of the fluid that had built up on his spine due to the infection. He has since been released from the hospital and is now at home with a walker and is set to begin therapy.

At the time of publication, it was unknown whether Cole’s paralysis is a permanent or, hopefully, a temporary condition.

- More news on the whole Kurt Angle situation and who he might be signing with:

With a lighter schedule working with rival promotion Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) and a recovery from numerous health issues, 38-year-old Angle says he’s poised to enter the MMA world in 2007 with a number of suitors courting the former Olympian. At the top of the list, says Angle, is the newly formed Elite XC, which enjoyed a strong debut this past Saturday on the premium channel SHOWTIME.

“It looks like I’m going to sign with them (Elite XC) but then all of a sudden Dana White comes along last week and calls Dixie Carter (President of TNA) and says ‘Why is Kurt going to Showtime? I want to talk to him; he should be fighting for Spike, for UFC.”

Pro Elite’s Gary Shaw issued a “no comment” this morning regarding any contact they’ve had with Angle. Dixie Carter, President of TNA, who would not comment on Angle’s negotiations with any company but did confirm that the wrestler’s TNA contract allows him to do MMA, but only if TNA agrees it is best for him. Inquiries to the UFC were unanswered; while Angle says he’d need at least six to eight months of solid training before entering the cage or ring for a mixed martial arts debut.

“I can’t go in there with just my amateur wrestling skills,” said Angle. “I need to learn every facet of fighting, I need to learn how to protect myself with striking, submission holds, some jiu-jitsu and how to strike a bit better.”

- KOTC Canada’s next event, Capital Chaos, will take place on March 28th at the Robert Guertin Arena in Hull, Quebec…

- Elite XC Head Gary Shaw stated that a rematch between Renzo Gracie and Frank Shamrock will most likely take place this fall.

- Our rumors section has also been updated…

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