SEOUL - The Europeans fared well as always, big Hong-Man Choi squeaked out a controversial win, and Japan’s new wunderkind scored an upset tonight at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final Elimination in Seoul.
Fightsport’s most coveted crown, the K-1 WGP Championship is bestowed each year on a single warrior after a worldwide series of qualifying tournaments. On this early autumn evening, the top 16 stepped in for eight fights at the Seoul Olympic Complex, with the eight winners earning a spot at the WGP Final in December.
News and Notes
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Ricardo Arona is not close to signing a deal with the UFC, or any organization for that matter:
While Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has already said as much, FiveOuncesOfPain.com can confirm that there is very little validity to the rumors that Ricardo Arona is close to finalizing a deal with the UFC.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted a source close to Arona via e-mail and that source has indicated that he will be in Europe for the next 40 days, making a deal almost impossible to complete. Furthermore, Arona has made no mention to the source about the possibility of signing with the UFC.
- Speaking of Caplan, it seems that he has added Adam Morgan to his team at Five Ounces. I that brings Adam’s total of websites written for to four. Adam is a monster.
- The Fight Network’s Great Fight North column has some good news inside:
Jonathan Goulet is hoping to fight next in November despite dislocating his elbow against Dustin Hazelett at UFC 76.
Bill Mahood’s fight against Bobby Southworth at this weekend’s Strikeforce event will not be for Southworth’s Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight Title.
Denis Kang is apparently training for a return at an October or November K-1 Hero’s event.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Dean Lister may be taking on Jordan Radev at UFC 79 in December:
UFC rookie Jordan Radev (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will likely face Dean Lister (9-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 79 in December.
MMAjunkie.com learned of the fight from a source close to the fighter, but Ken Pavia, Radev’s agent, said he couldn’t comment on the report or confirm that a deal was close to being signed.
- In a recent interview with FOX Sports, UFC President Dana White stated that he’s still confident he can sign Fedor and Brock Lesnar still isn’t officially with the UFC:
He also was very confident of signing Fedor Emelianenko, but felt it wouldn’t happen until after Emelianenko competes in a Russian sambo tournament in the fall. White said it was incorrect the story, claimed by Kurt Angle, that Brock Lesnar had signed with UFC. But he did hope to make the deal.
Two time HERO`S 154-pound tournament champion, Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti, took time to call out PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi following his tournament victory at the K-1 HERO’s Tournament Finals in Yokohama, Japan.
“I want to fight tougher opposition,” Calvancanti said. “I have to fight the best to become the best. I’d like other fighters from PRIDE to follow the footsteps of Kazushi Sakuraba and Ikuhisa Minowa and join HERO`S. I’d like to face current PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi if he joins HERO’S.”
“I know a lot about Gomi,” said the 23-year-old American Top Team product. “He has good hands and is one of the best in the world and has an exciting style. I studied his game since he fought my teammate Marcus Aurelio two times.”
Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti sports a mixed martial arts record of 14-1-1 with decisive victories over the likes of Vitor Ribeiro, Nam Phan, Rani Yahya, Hiroyuki Takaya, and Michihiro Omigawa.
Takanori Gomi sports a mixed martial arts record of 27-3 with victories over the likes of Hayato Sakurai, Luiz Azeredo, Marcus Aurelio, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Gomi hasn’t fought since February when he was submitted with a gogoplata by Nick Diaz at PRIDE 33: The Second Coming. The fight was later ruled a no contest when Nick Diaz failed his post-fight drug test. According to the article, Gomi could join K-1 Hero’s when his contract with PRIDE expires at the end of September.
News and Notes
- MMA Junkie is reporting a lot of news lately…
The UFC has apparently signed former PRIDE, Shooto, and Pancrase veteran Akihiro Gono and has sent UFC welterweight Tamdan McCrory a contract proposing the fight according to McCrory’s manager:
“He’ll (be at) UFC 78 if he accepts the fight, which I assume he will considering he has fought top guys his whole career,” Ciotoli.
”(The UFC’s been) trying to get me on that card, being that I’m from the area and have a strong fan base in New Jersey,” McCrory told us last month.
Marvin Eastman has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Demian Maia at UFC 77 after undergoing eye surgery:
“I had a weak spot on my retina for a long time, and about two weeks ago, it tore a little bit,” Eastman said. “It felt like sleepy eye. I went in to check it out last Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., and I was in surgery by 7. It’s fixed now, and I’ve got to chill a month and can’t fight until November.“
No word as of yet on a replacement opponent for Eastman.
Chris Lytle may be heading over to the WEC for a possible title shot against WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit:
MMA fan favorite and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” welterweight runner-up Chris Lytle may be leaving the UFC for Zuffa LLC’s other fight promotion — the WEC — and may be in line for an immediate title shot.
In fact, a source close to current WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (21-4) first contacted MMAjunkie.com about the possibility, saying UFC and WEC officials were discussing the potential title fight. However, the WEC recently folded a proposed November event into its Dec. 12 fight card, and as of now, the organization has far more fighters than it has fight slots.
A reliable source tell us that a Condit-Lytle fight would happen no sooner than February 2008 — if then — because of the backlog.
- Brazilian MMA website Tatame is reporting that former PRIDE star Ricardo Arona may currently be in contract talks with the UFC.
Hat tip to UFC Mania for the Arona link.
- So Matt Hamill has a torn ACL? He also fought Michael Bisping with that torn ACL? Read what Adam Morgan and 411Mania have to say about that.
- It seems that the UFC has took down UFC Takedown:
Late last week, Matt Cava of UFCtakedown.com was issued a Cease and Desist by Zuffa, LLC. He has been told to remove his website. They specifically nailed him for using UFC in his URL as well as broadcasting illegal fight videos. September 8th’s UFC 75: Champion v. Champion videos as well as a fight between Ricardo Arona and Quinton Jackson were specifically mentioned. As of today, UFCtakedown.com no longer exists. In the meantime, Matt has been able to secure MMAtakedown.net for the time being.
- Brigham Young University has banned Versus from the school’s channel selection, citing costs and the broadcasting of MMA as the reasons:
BYU has banned access to Versus on its campus cable, citing cost and content issues such as ultimate fighting.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for that one.
Luke Thomas, Sam Caplan, and Matt Cava recap EliteXC: Uprising and preview UFC 76.
Sherdog: Tale of Two Coaches
MMA Weekly: Catching up with Matt Lindland
Fight Opinion: Pro Elite pays big for KOTC & Cage Rage
Fightlinker: Kang forsakes America, may secretly be a communist
Bloody Elbow: How to Build a MMA Cage?
Houston Chronicle: Fitch gets his shot at UFC’s main stage
Daily Star: Dancing Iceman’s Hot Move
Chicago Sports: Keeping up with Montini’s Chase Beebe
YOKOHAMA - Gesias Calvancanti prevailed in two fights tonight to defend his Belt in the Hero’s Middleweight World Championship 2007 Tournament Final at the Yokohama Arena.
The twenty-four year-old mixed martial arts fighter was one of three Brazilians in the final four of the 70kg/154lb tournament. The bouts were fought under Hero’s Rules, two five-minute rounds.
The first of the semis featured chute boxer Andre Dida of Brazil and fan favorite, accomplished grappler Caol Uno of Japan.
With a edge in striking, Dida was content to stay on his feet, while Uno wanted to take this one to the mat. Dida did better in the early going, powering a couple of uppercuts and a hard knee to Uno’s face to bloody an eye and send the Japanese fighter to the mat. But Uno was capable on his back, employing bicycle kicks to keep the aggressive Brazilian at bay. Uno dove in looking for a leg takedown but Dida intercepted and the two were re-stood. Now it was Uno who tested with the jab while Dida circled, and the first ended without further damage.
Takenori Sato def. Kenji Nagai - Submission (Armbar)
Tashiro Nishiuchi def. Wataru Takahashi - Decision (Unanimous)
Kazuyuki Miyata def. Harvey Harra - Submission (Armbar)
Andre Dida def. Caol Uno - Decision (Unanimous)
Gesias Calvancanti def. Vitor Ribeiro - TKO (Strikes)
Ikuhisa Minowa def. Kevin Casey - TKO (Strikes)
Dong Sik Yoon def. Zelg Galesic - Submission (Armbar)
Melvin Manhoef def. Fabio Silva - TKO (Strikes)
Sergei Kharitonov def. Alistair Overeem - TKO (Strikes)
Kazushi Sakuraba def. Katsuyori Shibata - Submission (Armbar)
Norifumi Yamamoto def. Bibiano Fernandes - Decision (Unanimous)
Gesias Calvancanti def. Andre Dida - Submission (Armbar)
The bout between Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem is considered an open-weight contest. Neither fighter was required to weigh-in.
Vitor Riberio originally failed to make weight the first time around but eventually made it within the lightweight limit.
Gesias Calvancanti (155 lbs) vs. Vitor Riberio (156 lbs)
Caol Uno (155 lbs) vs. Andre Dida (154 lbs)
Kazushi Sakuraba (184 lbs) vs. Katsuyori Shibata (184 lbs)
Kid Yamamoto (137 lbs) vs. Bibano Fernandes (137 lbs)
Ikuhisa Minowa (196 lbs) vs. Kevin Casey (195 lbs)
Melvin Manhoef (192 lbs) vs. Fabio Silva (193 lbs)
Zelg Galesic (185 lbs) vs. Yoon Dong Sik (185 lbs)
Kazuyki Miyata (155 lbs) vs. Harvey Harra (154 lbs)
Wataru Takahashi (154 lbs) vs. Tashiro Nishiuchi (154 lbs)
Takenori Sato (185 lbs) vs. Kenji Nogai (184 lbs)
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain and CBS Sports fame has learned that Denis Kang has officially signed with K-1 Hero’s:
Denis Kang has revealed to FiveOuncesofPain.com that he has formally signed a contract with K-1 HERO’s. The deal between Kang and K-1 had been rumored for quite some time but was not finalized until recently.
The date of Kang’s first fight and his first opponent have yet to be determined.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that the UFC has signed Ryo Chonan, for real this time:
UFC has officially signed Ryo Chonan, a former Pride fighter
- A man was apparently shot and then ran away before medics could get to him at Minnesota’s first MMA event last night:
A man was shot during a martial arts competition at the Target Center late Saturday, according to witnesses.
Those in attendance told the Pioneer Press they saw a man at the top of a stairwell in Section 130 fire a shot from a handgun. As patrons scattered in panic, another man was seen falling or sliding down a stairwell.
A Minneapolis police operator said the victim ran off before officers could help, according to the Associated Press. No one was immediately taken into custody in the shooting, which was reported at 10:51 p.m.
Touch of gloves to Zach Arnold and Fight Opinion for that find.
- It looks like Tito Ortiz will be signing a contract extension with the UFC:
I’ll be re-signing with the UFC and they gave me what I want. I know a lot of other companies that are asking about me and I can’t count how many phone calls I’ve said “I can’t talk to you guys anymore,” because it’s against my contract. I’ve got guys literally who have called me and they’ve said, “Is this Tito?” And I’ve said, “Yes.” And they’ll say, “This is so and so.” And I’ll have to stop them right there and tell them, “Oh, let me stop you there. I can’t talk to you no more.”
- Caleb Newby OF 411 Mania is reporting that Roger Huerta has stated he will most likely be fighting at UFC 79 against an opponent yet to be named:
At Saturday evening’s WFC MMA event in Minneapolis, Roger Huerta announced to the crowd that he is looking to have his next fight on the UFC’s December 29 event. I was able to speak to Roger for a few minutes after. He said he’d recently returned from London and is finalizing the details of the Dec. 29 date with the UFC. Huerta also stated there is no opponent lined up as of yet.
A news filled Coffee and Kick Ass today folks…
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Mark Cuban will be holding a press conference and conference call concerning his new HDNet Fights venture. We will have a full report later today.
- If you haven’t already, please check out Randy Couture’s signed gloves from UFC 74 that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. Bidding ends on Thursday night.
- K-1 Hero’s parent company FEG announced a rematch between PRIDE veterans Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem at the K-1 Hero’s show taking place on September 17th.
- Duane Ludwig will now face Mario Stapel at this Saturday’s Ring of Fire event after his original opponent, Dragan Baklua, broke his hand during a recent training session. Despite all of this, Ludwig has trained hard and is ready to face whomever is standing in front of him:
“I was getting ready to face a stand up guy, but Mario is much more well rounded,” stated Ludwig. “He is more of a true MMA fighter. I changed my game plan accordingly. For this fight, I tightened up my game by training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. The training was great and I feel prepared for whatever happens. I love fighting at home and can’t wait for Saturday.”
- Jeff Monson, Matt Horwich, and Tara LaRosa all won medals in last weekend’s World Grappling Championships in Turkey.
- Spike TV announced yesterday that UFC 75 was the most watched MMA event in the history of North America:
UFC 75 was the most watched mixed martial arts event ever in North America, drawing 4.7 million viewers, Spike TV officials said in a news release Tuesday.
The Sept. 8 event from the O2 Arena in London, England, featured UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson’s win over PRIDE champ Dan Henderson in a title unification bout. Airing delayed on Spike, the telecast peaked at 5.6 million viewers during Jackson’s battle against Henderson. The show’s ratings were particularly strong among men age 18-34 and men 18-49. For those audiences, UFC 75 beat everything on television, Spike officials said, including ABC’s NASCAR race and Michigan vs. Oregon college football game, as well as ESPN’s Virginia Tech vs. LSU and Notre Dame vs. Penn St. games.
Spike TV said its telecast of UFC 75 had an overall rating of 3.1 (3.0 million homes), including a 5.7 rating for men 18-34 (1.6 million), 4.5 for men 18-49 (2.5 million) and 6.2 for men 25-34 (1.0 million).
- The Honolulu Star Bulletin is reporting that Justin McCully has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Christian Wellisch for undisclosed reasons. Wellisch will now face Scott Junk”
Kailua’s Scott Junk will make his UFC debut Sept. 22 against Christian Wellisch in a heavyweight fight at UFC 76: Knockout in Anaheim, Calif.
“It’s 100 percent going to happen,” Junk said. Wellisch (8-2) was originally scheduled to face Justin McCully.
Junk was notified about the fight yesterday, just 11 days before the event. He has put together six consecutive wins, including a TKO victory over Jimmy Ambriz back in June.
“It caught me off guard, but it’s good because I have been training this whole time,” Junk said.
Touch of gloves to UFC Mania for finding that interesting piece.
- The Governor of Illinois has signed legislation that will legalize MMA starting in 2008
- Michael Bisping’s father was apparently attacked in the parking lot of the O2 arena after the event.
Hat tip to Fight Opinion for that one.
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting via Tagg Radio that Gilbert Melendez will be taking on Shooto’s Tetsuji Kato at Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event on September 29th.
News and Notes
- Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports has a direct quote from UFC President Dana White where White states he is working on an immediate rematch between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill:
And, while they’re at it, the UFC honchos should mandate a rematch between Bisping and Hamill.
White said the rematch is “a no-brainer and I’m going to be on it right away.”
Having them fight again in a place where an official athletic commission will oversee the affairs is the only way to remove the stench surrounding UFC 75.
However FOX Sports is reporting that Bisping will most likely drop down to the middleweight division. I’m not so sure that Hamill could make 185 lbs.
- Staying with the quotes, it seems that Patrick Cote wants both Chris Leben and Terry Martin and would like to face the winner of their bout in December:
“I just want to prove to everybody that I was robbed last time [against Leben],” says Cote. “I will not leave the fight in the judge’s hands next time.”
“I just don’t like Martin,” says Cote. “He has a big mouth. Terry Martin has said he’s the next big thing at 185 and that he will be champion. He thinks he has heavy hands because he knocked out Jorge Rivera. But if you watch that fight, you see Rivera was already off balance and he caught him. He’s a one-dimensional fighter. He doesn’t shoot for the leg; he tries to trap you against the cage. I can use my reach against him, and I have good footwork and hands. It will be a long night for him if he wants to try and trap me against the cage.”
- The Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund is auctioning off Randy Couture’s autographed gloves from UFC 74. Bidding ends on Thursday.
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Fabio Silva will take on Melvin Manhoef at the September 17th K-1 Hero’s event.
- The British Medical Association is attempting to ban MMA in the country of England. Apparently it’s nothing to worry about as the BMA has also been trying to ban boxing since 1982. That obviously hasn’t worked.
- Mirko Cro Cop has told Croatian reporters that he suffered a broken rib in the first round of his recent loss to Cheick Kongo over the weekend.
- Zach Arnold has found that Hidehiko Yoshida may be appearing at K-1’s annual Dynamite show on New Year’s Eve. Now the big question: Will he fight or just be a guest?
Sankei Sports is reporting that Hidehiko Yoshida is considering an offer to appear at the K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve event. Yoshida was quoted as saying that he wanted to fight before the end of the year and that he is leaving any future career decisions to the J-ROCK office to determine. J-ROCK’s stance is that if PRIDE is dead, then Yoshida should be a free agent.