Bryan Baker. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
UFC and EliteXC veteran Mike Kyle and World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight Bryan Baker were both victorious last night at JG and TKT Promotions’ “Fighting 4 Kidz” charity event in Santa Monica, California Saturday night, while former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Gabe Ruediger fell in his first fight in almost a year.
Kyle overcame a dangerous third round to earn a decision over Mychal Clark while Baker used superior striking skills to pick apart Gary Padilla over three rounds en route to the nod on the judge’s scorecards.
Ruediger, who came into the event not fighting since November 2007, was never able to get going against American Kickboxing Academy Justin Wilcox, who dominated Ruediger and won a unanimous decision.
World jiu-jitsu champion Andre Galvao was successful in his professional MMA debut in the show’s main event, submitting Strikeforce veteran Jeremiah Constant with an armbar in the second round.
In a fantastic third round to an exceptionally exciting, give-and-take slugfest Saturday on Showtime, Cung Le delivers the kick that may have broken Frank Shamrock’s arm. Le captured the Strikeforce middleweight title when defending champion Shamrock could not continue after the third round.
SAN JOSE – In a bruising battle of Bay Area rivals, undefeated Cung Le broke the right arm of defending champion Frank Shamrock en route to capturing the Strikeforce middleweight title with a thrilling, give-and-take, crowd-pleasing third-round TKO Saturday on Showtime.
The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated mixed martial arts event, presented by EliteXC and Strikeforce, attracted an enthusiastic, well-behaved crowd of 16,326 at the HP Pavilion that produced a gate of more than $1 million. Those in attendance included EliteXC standouts Kimbo Slice, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz and Phil Baroni.
The fight card aired on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Gilbert Melendez (14-1) of San Francisco successfully defended his Strikeforce lightweight belt with a second-round knockout over hard-trying but outclassed Gabe Lemley (11-7) of New London, Iowa, in a second world title match on a five-bout telecast.
In other televised scraps, Drew Fickett (32-5) of Tucson, Ariz., earned a shot at the vacant EliteXC welterweight crown against Jake Shields by submitting Korea’s Jae Suk Lim (9-4) in the first round; super heavyweight Wayne Cole (11-6) of Oklahoma City, Okla., submitted (armbar) Mike Kyle (9-6-1) of San Jose in the first round and EliteXC standout Joey Villasenor (25-6) of Albuquerque, N.M., knocked out Ryan Jensen (11-4) of Omaha, Neb., in the first round.
In the top non-televised fight, Tiki Ghosn (10-7) of Huntington Beach, Calif., registered an upset three-round decision over previously undefeated welter Luke Stewart (5-1) of San Francisco by the scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Mike Kyle weighs-in for UFC 51: Super Saturday. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 11:13 AM: ProElite.com incorrectly reported that welterweight Mike Pyle would be fighting Wayne Cole this Saturday. Sam Caplan has confirmed that will in fact be heavyweight Mike Kyle competing.
Controversial heavyweight Mike Kyle will return to action against International Fight League veteran Wayne Cole at Saturday’s EliteXC and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, which will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The fight, along with two other preliminary bouts, was announced on ProElite.com this morning.
Kyle has not fought since being disqualified and subsequently suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for a year and a half after illegally stomping on Brian Olsen and having to be pulled off of Olson by ringside officials. He has not fought since.
Kyle was slated to fight for Central Valley Cagefighting in October of last year and then again at the infamous World Cagefighting Organization show in December but both events were cancelled.
Cole was released from the IFL following two consecutive losses at separate events last year. The Oklahoma has won three out of his last four fights since. He last submitted David Tichit with a rear naked choke at a Caged Combat Championship Fights event just eleven days ago.
Two preliminary fights will now join a welterweight showdown between Tiki Ghosn and Luke Stewart: Jesse Jones vs. Jesse Gillespie and Darren Uyenoyama vs. Anthony Figueroa.
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
So it seems that Mike Kyle has been unbanned from the sport of MMA and will be fighting on October 2nd…
Kyle will be participating in Central Valley Cagefighting’s inaugural event in Fresno, CA. Kyle is said to be fighting local product Mike Cook. Cook is a Strikeforce veteran sporting a professional record of 4-1. His lone loss was suffered at the hands of Daniel Puder last December at Strikeforce: Triple Threat.
As everyone knows, Kyle was suspended indefinitely by the CSAC in May 2006 for kicking Brian Olson in the head at WEC 20. Apparently Kyle was reinstated by the commission earlier this month. I can’t believe the news got by me.