Pete Spratt. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Strikeforce today announced an additional three bouts for the organization’s upcoming “Payback” card, which takes place on October 3 at the Broomfield Event Center in Denver, Colorado. The show is headlined by a main event rematch between Duane Ludwig and Sam Morgan.
The newest signed fights include former UFC welterweight title contender Pete Spratt taking on International Fight League veteran Donnie Liles, undefeated prospect Billy Evangelista going up against UFC veteran Luke Caudillo, and popular female fighter Michelle Waterson facing Brandy Nerny.
Already previously announced for the show were a welterweight showdown between former UFC title challenger Frank Trigg and Falaniko Vitale and a heavyweight clash between Patrick Berry and Andre Walker. Phil Baroni will also be on the card against an opponent yet to be determined.
Digital cable network HDNet will be televising the event. HDNet announced a deal to televise four Strikeforce shows this year back in February. “Payback” will be the second of that agreement.
Frank Trigg. Photo by Mary Ann Owen.
Despite Strikeforce officials releasing a press release this evening advertising former UFC welterweight title challenger Frank Trigg as facing fellow veteran Falaniko Vitale on October 3rd in Denver, Trigg himself has stated that he will not commit himself to the fight until after his scheduled matchup against Makoto Takimoto at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” show on August 24th in Japan.
Trigg revealed his plans to MMA Junkie. According to the part-time radio show co-host, he has not yet signed a contract to fight Vitale out of hesitation that an unforseen circumstance could prevent him from participating in the organization’s fall event.
“I plan to fight for Strikeforce on Oct. 3, but I don’t want to commit and then not be able to fight,” Trigg said. “I definitely want to fight, but I just don’t want to make that promise and then not be able to compete because of an injury or something from [next week’s] fight in Japan. I don’t even want to talk about the October fight. I have not signed a contract (with Strikeforce). I won’t even look at the contract until I get back from Japan because I want all of my focus to be on Takimoto.”
Duane Ludwig. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Strikeforce will venture outside of the state of California for the second time this year when they hold a show at the Broomfield Event Center in Denver, Colorado on October 3rd. “Payback” will feature a main event between local product Duane “Bang” Ludwig and “Ultimate Fighter” veteran Sam Morgan.
The organization officially announced the show in a press release today. Also advertised as competing at the event are UFC veterans Phil Baroni and Frank Trigg. However it’s interesting to note that Trigg has told Five Ounces of Pain that he won’t commit to any future fights until after his August 24th meeting with Makoto Takimoto at World Victory’ Road’s “Sengoku IV” show.
Both Ludwig and Morgan have been struggling as of late. Ludwig has lost two out of his last three bouts, most recently a TKO loss to Takanori Gomi in March, while Morgan has not fought since suffering a brutal first-round TKO loss to British welterweight sensation Paul Daley at a ShoXC event in January. The two originally fought at a Ring of Fire show in April 2005. Morgan knocked out Ludwig just 50 seconds into the fight.
MMA Weekly reports that longtime veteran Pete Spratt will also be competing on the card as well and that a deal regarding a live broadcast is “in the works, but nothing definite” according Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz, who also stated that at the least, the show would be televised in parts in the future on Strikeforce’s weekly television show late Saturday nights on NBC.
John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Longtime veterans John Alessio and Pete Spratt will meet for the first time in their respective careers in a main event showdown that will headline an ESPN-promoted boxing and mixed martial arts card, which will take place on June 20th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Alessio had a three-fight winning streak snapped in March when he lost to Brock Larson via disqualification after an illegal knee left Larson unable to continue. Following the loss, World Extreme Cagefighting opted not to re-sign Alessio, who is currently training with Xtreme Couture.
Spratt most recently bounced back from a controversial loss to Canadian welterweight prospect Ryan Ford at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in February to score a first-round knockout of former fellow “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Jason Von Flue in April.
Two fights from the boxing portion of the card will be televised live on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”. The MMA portion of the event will begin following the conclusion of the broadcast and will air live on HDNet. The event is free to the public.
Additional MMA bouts scheduled to take place include a co-main event featuring Kim Couture, the wife of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who will be making her professional debut against Kim Rose. Dennis Davis also takes on Team Quest product Dave Jansen in a catch-weight bout at 150 lbs.
Carlos Condit. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Here’s a little recap of what went on this past weekend, starting with Carlos Condit reportedly signing a contract extension with World Extreme Cagefighting according to USA Today‘s Sergio Non. The new deal comes after Condit’s most recent victory over Carlo Prater in February. The fight against Prater was Condit’s second to last fight on his previous deal. Condit expects the new deal to kick in with a potential fight in August against an opponent yet to be named.
The promotion also confirmed two additional bouts for their next scheduled event on June 1st in Sacramento, California over the weekend via their official website. A rumored bantamweight title bout between champion Miguel Torres and injury replacement Yoshiro Maeda has been made official as well as Mark Munoz’s WEC debut against fellow newcomer Chuck Grigsby.
UFC Releases Travis Lutter
Fresh off of his disappointing loss to former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC 83 last weekend, Travis Lutter, the middleweight winner of the fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, has been released from his contract by the UFC. The news was first reported by Pramit Mohapatra of Fight Ticker and has since been confirmed by Lutter himself, who stated that his agent received a call Sunday morning informing him of his release due to consecutive losses in his last two fights.
Report: Southworth-Ruiz Rematch Possible for June
Bobby Southworth, one of the cast members on the original season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will attempt to avenge a recent loss to Anthony Ruiz at Strikeforce’s upcoming planned event in June according to MMA Mania. The two fought in November - Ruiz scored a TKO win over Southworth after the UFC veteran suffered a fight-ending cut over his left eye early in the second round.
However Southworth remains Strikeforce’s world light heavyweight champion due to the fight being a non-title bout. It’s unknown whether or not the belt will be on the line in June. Southworth has not fought since losing to Ruiz. Meanwhile Ruiz has recorded back-to-back wins over Jimmy Ambriz and Brad Imes since then.
Pete Spratt. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Pete Spratt and Jason Von Flue, both veterans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will collide in a welterweight bout that will headline the Ultimate Warrior Challenge’s latest show tomorrow night at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Washington D.C.
Longtime mixed martial arts veteran John Lewis, who was recently named President of the promotion, will be promoting the show.
Spratt is coming off of a controversial loss to Ryan Ford at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in February. Spratt was caught with two illegal right hands after time expired to end the first round. However Ford and referee Herb Dean were unaware that the round had ended
A stunned Spratt remained on the canvas for almost a minute and a half before finally making his way back to his corner. He was allotted a full five minutes in order to regain his composure but Spratt was unable to get his bearings back for the second round. Ford eventually submitted Spratt with a rear naked choke to end the fight minutes later.
Von Flue has lost his last three fights, most recently being stopped by IFL veteran Brett Cooper at a Pure Combat event in December. Special guests expected to be at the event include Andrei Arlovski, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Frank Trigg, Carlos Condit, and Hermes Franca.
The complete fight card for the event is as follows:
Pete Spratt vs. Jason Von Flue
Aaron Riley vs. Thiago Minu
Thomas Schulte vs. Zach Light
Carlo Prater vs. Marcelo Brito
Rex Richards vs. Antwain Britt
Marcus Foran vs. Tenyah Dixon
Mike Corey vs. Dwayne Shelton
Johnny Curtis vs. Josh Feldman
Gerald Lovato vs. Mike Easton
Reshad Woods vs. Ron Stallings
Above Showtime Sports asks away with Frank Shamrock. A total of 42 questions in all, rapid fire.
For those who don’t have Showtime and are still interested in seeing Shamrock vs Cung Le this Saturday night, Sho.com will be streaming the fight live at approximately 10:15 PM ET using the Showtime Cage Cam.
Diaz, Cesar Gracie Plan Legal Action Against CSAC
One day after the California State Athletic Commission surprisingly ruled that Nick Diaz will not be permitted to fight at this weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, because he owns a medical marijuana card, Diaz and manager Cesar Gracie are now reportedly planning to take legal action.
Gracie told MMA Weekly that he plans to take the matter to court after CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia stated that Diaz’s participation was denied because of late filing of medical papers.
“That’s absolutely not true,” Gracie said in the report. “Because if he didn’t turn his medicals in, how did Garcia know Nick has a mariijuana card? He found out when the medicals were turned in. For some reason, Armando’s finding every excuse in the book to not let this guy fight. That’s exactly why we’re going to move forward with legal action after this. We’re going to go ahead and get our lawyers and we’re going to sit down and go forward with the proceedings. This is just discrimination, you can’t do that.”
Spratt-Von Flue Signed for April 26
Pete Spratt and Jason Von Flue, both veterans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will collide in a welterweight bout that will headline the Ultimate Warrior Challenge’s upcoming show on April 26th at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Washington D.C.
Spratt is coming off of a controversial loss to Ryan Ford in February while Von Flue has dropped his last three fights. Notable fighters also on the card include Thomas Schulte, Carlo Prater, Aaron Riley, Marcelo Brito, and Zach Light.
Two Lightweights Fights Added to Sengoku II
A pair of lightweights bout have been added to World Victory Road’s next Sengoku show on May 18th: Satoru Kitaoka vs Ian James Schaffa and Eiji Mitsuoka vs Kwang Hee Lee.
Roger Gracie, Yuki Sasaki, and Yoshihiro Nakao, who was originally reported as facing Mirko Cro Cop at the recent DREAM event, are all expected to be in action. Even though his name was not mentioned, former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman has stated that he will be fighting at the show as well.
Evangelista, Sims, and Lennox In; Black Out
MMA Mania is reporting that Marlon Sims and Billy Evangelista will clash in a lightweight preliminary bout at tomorrow’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show. However neither Strikeforce, EliteXC, or ProElite have made any sort of announcement of the fight at this hour.
It seems that Jason Black will not be fighting in the IFL after all just yet. Five Ounces of Pain reports through Nick Lembo, legal counsel for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, that Black will not be on the card for undisclosed reasons. He will reportedly be replaced by Jesse Lennox.
Pete Spratt and Ryan Ford square off at a press conference for MFC 15: Rags to Riches. Photo courtesy of the Maximum Fighting Championship.
Following a controversial loss to undefeated welterweight prospect Ryan Ford in which Ford struck UFC veteran Pete Spratt with two direct blows after time had already expired in the first round, Maximum Fighting Championship President Mark Pavelich has reportedly offered Spratt an immediate rematch.
The news comes from The Fight Network’s Great Fight North column, which states that Pavelich offered the fight to Spratt’s camp over the weekend.
After dominating Ford early on Friday night, Spratt fell victim to a takedown in the closing moments of the first round in their fight. When the horn sounded to end the round, it was visible that Spratt was aware that time had expired while Ford and referee Herb Dean did not. Ford then connected with two right hands flush to the face of an uncommitted Spratt before a ringside official caught Dean’s attention and informed him that time expired.
A stunned Spratt remained on the canvas for almost a minute and a half before finally making his way back to his corner. He was allotted a full five minutes in order to regain his composure but Spratt was unable to get his bearings back for the second round, evident by his slow start. Ford eventually submitted Spratt with a rear naked choke to end the fight.
Normally rematches of this nature are usually automatic, however Ford doesn’t see anything that he can gain from a second fight with Spratt.
“He was given the choice to continue and I choked him out,” Ford said in the report. “I’d have no problem doing the rematch, but why would I? I dominated him for most of the fight. Is that what Pete’s going to keep doing? He fought Waldburger and got choked out, so five weeks later he gets to fight him again. What is a rematch with Pete going to do for me? Nothing.”
An attempt by MMA on Tap to contact Spratt concerning whether or not he would be accepting the fight was unsuccessful.
Pete Spratt weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The weeks leading up to the fight were filled with verbal barbs back and forth but in the end it was young Canadian phenom Ryan Ford that remained undefeated in submitting HDNet Fights and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Pete Spratt at the Maximum Fighting Championship’s “Rags to Riches” event last night.
Both fighters scored early and often in the first round with a mix of effective striking and powerful takedowns. It was obvious later on in the round that Ford was the much stronger fighter as his pure strength made up for his inferior wrestling against the former college football standout.
Spratt turned the tide during the final minute of the round when he landed a high kick that rocked Ford, who ended up falling underneath of the ropes. Spratt pounced on his opponent but instead opted to take the fight back up to the feet, in hopes of scoring another devastating blow that might finish his opponent off. Instead Ford scored a takedown and controlled his foe until the end of the round.
When the horn sounded, it was visible that Spratt was aware that it was the end of the round while Ford and referee Herb Dean did not. Ford then connected with two right hands flush to the face of an uncommitted Spratt before a ringside official caught Dean’s attention and informed him that time expired.
A stunned Spratt remainded on the canvas for almost a minute and a half before finally making his way back to his corner. He was allotted a full five minutes in order to regain his composure but Spratt was unable to get his bearings back for the second round, evident by his slow start.
The pace picked up with an eventful exchange on the feet. Spratt tried to take Ford down but the Edmonton, Alberta native grabbed his opponent’s short, causing Dean to deduct a point. Spratt landed a stiff left jab and yet another high kick but Ford managed to shake off the shots and score a takedown. After softening Spratt up with some punches, Ford took his back and sunk in a fight-ending rear naked choke.
Ford ran up his record to a perfect 5-0 with the win. The loss snapped a brief two-fight winning streak for Spratt, who has now lost four out of his last six.
Photo courtesy of Pete Spratt.
When Pete Spratt returns to Canada tomorrow night to take on undefeated welterweight prospect Ryan Ford in the main event of Maximum Fighting Championship’s “Rags to Riches” event, it will be the first time the former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member has done so since being submitted by current UFC champion Georges St. Pierre nearly five years ago.
While his first experience up north wasn’t so pleasant, Spratt is determined to make this time around different.
“It really doesn’t matter that my last trip to Canada didn’t go so well, Ryan Ford isn’t Georges St. Pierre,” Spratt said during a recent interview session. “Georges is an amazing fighter and one of the best in the world while Ryan isn’t. I stand by my original comments that made him angry. I’m going to tear through him big time.”
The comments Spratt speaks of stem from Ford’s recent interview with Sherdog’s Andy Cotterill where the 25-year-old stated that he took exception to Spratt’s words and will now use them for motivation.
According to Spratt, Ford is going to need a lot more than that if he wants to come away with a win.
“All the confidence in the world isn’t going to help you if you are going up against a better fighter,” said Spratt. “That’s what this is. I’m a better fighter than Ford and I intend to show that this weekend. As my career goes on, every fight becomes more important. I don’t care if Ryan Ford only has four fights to his credit. I’m not going to look past him. I’m coming into this fight to win and to make a statement.”
Spratt has indeed made a statement in his last couple of fights. Since being released from a second stint with the UFC and suffering a string of defeats that included three straight losses by way of submission, Spratt has made it a priority to improve his ground game in hopes of extending his once promising career.
Recently earning his blue belt from Rodrigo Pinheiro this past November, it’s now visibly apparent that Spratt is serious about adding new elements to his game.
“I want to do things that will lengthen my career,” said Spratt. “For the longest time I was always getting submitted buy I’ve started working my jiu-jitsu and wrestling and it’s really paid off. I still want to keep my striking sharp but the ground game is my main priority now. If he wants to take me down he should be prepared that I’m not the same fighter anymore.”
Will Spratt continue the road back with another victory or will Ford continue to improve his stock as one of Canada’s best young mixed martial arts prospects? We’ll find out tomorrow night.