Nate Loughran. Photo courtesy of the Palace Fighting Championship.
Nate Loughran, a protege of former UFC middleweight title challenger David Terrell, has successfully requested his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship after posting a 1-1 record in the promotion last year. According to his manager, Loughran plans to drop to the welterweight division from middleweight and fight in some smaller shows before likely returning to the UFC in the near future. [MMA Weekly]
Former EliteXC heavyweight standout Brett Rogers has reportedly been informed by Strikeforce officials that he may be part of the promotion’s April 11 event in San Jose, California. Rogers last competed at EliteXC’s “Primetime” event last May, where he scored a first-round knockout of Jon Murphy. [Five Ounces of Pain]
Longtime kickboxing standout Rick Roufus will reportedly take on former boxing heavyweight title challenger and undefeated mixed martial artist Jeremy Williams in the main of the World Cagefighting Alliance’s second-ever event on May 8 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. [Five Ounces of Pain]
Jay Hieron. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
Following a reported positive test for marijuana, Bryson Kamaka has been taken off from tonight’s “Night of Combat II” card, which is being promoted by Kim Couture’s KC Concepts and Scott Kelp’s Superfights MMA and will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The news comes from a report by Five Ounces of Pain.
MMA on Tap has since been able to confirm through the management team of former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron, who was Kamaka’s original opponent, that he will now face local product Chris Kennedy at the event.
Kennedy, who currently fights out of Las Vegas, has won his last three fights, most recently earning a third-round submission of Mike Arranz at Jeremy Horn’s Elite Fight Night on July 12. Kennedy has also gone the distance with fellow welterweight prospect Josh Williams and “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Joe Duarte during his brief career.
Hieron has not competed since successfully defending his IFL belt against former U.S. Marine Mark Miller in April. He became the IFL’s first-ever welterweight champion after defeating Donnie Liles and Delson Heleno in consecutive fights. The Long Island native is currently keeping in shape by training at Xtreme Couture. He was originally slated to take on Drew Fickett on October 11 at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show before it was postponed until early next year.
From tkduffy22 on Flickr.
Bob Sapp’s return to his home state of Washington didn’t go so well. The former NFL lineman and K-1 star was stopped by fellow kickboxer Jan Nortje in brutal fashion, stunning the 7,089 in attendance at the Tacoma Dome for last night’s Strikeforce and Bodog Fight co-promoted event.
After cutting Sapp with a series of stiff left jabs in the opening moments of the fight, Nortje followed up with a barrage of punches while his opponent was up against the cage. Seconds later, Sapp was on the receiving end of one final left hook that sent him crumpling to the canvas and forced the referee to wave off the proceedings.
The win was Nortje’s first in mixed martial arts since Tadao Yasuda was forced to bow out of their December 2002 bout because of injury. After the fight, Nortje (2-5) expressed his desire to compete under the Strikeforce banner in the future.
“It wasn’t luck,” Nortje said. “I trained my ass off for this fight. I knew Sapp was one hell of a job to take on, but I did it. Thanks to Scott Coker and Strikeforce, I’m going to keep doing this. This feels nice. This feels good.“
A disappointed Sapp (9-3-1) revealed a potential hamstring injury that may have hampered his performance during a post-fight interview.
“My hamstring buckled and I wasn’t able to get back up,” Sapp said. “I tried to move around a lot but it wasn’t working. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get it done today.”
After a brief exchange on the feet, Cory Devela put veteran Joe Riggs on his back for good just two minutes into their middleweight bout with a swift judo throw. Immediately tapping out after he hit the mat, it was obvious that Riggs was in extreme pain from what appeared to be an unconfirmed lower back injury.
Although Devela landed two right hands flush to a downed and submitting Riggs, it was evident that the injury was the main cause behind the former UFC welterweight title contender being unable to stand up. A stretcher was called into the cage and Riggs was taken to nearby St. Joseph Medical Center where he remained overnight before being released earlier this morning.
Devela, now 8-1, noted that he hoped Riggs (27-10) would fully recover from the injury after the fight.
After a few minutes, I knew that I probably shouldn’t be standing with him,” Devela said. “He’s a hard-hitting guy and I had a better chance of tying up with him and beating him up that way. I hate to see when a fighter gets hurt like that so I hope he’s alright and comes back hard.”
Photo courtesy of FEG.
The official weigh-in results for tonight’s Strikeforce at the Dome show are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
The event feature a super heavyweight showdown between former NFL lineman and K-1 star Bob “The Beast” Sapp and Jan Nortje. Former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith will take on kickboxer Rick Roufus, who will be making his mixed martial arts debut.
The only minor hitch during the festivities involved Steve Berger, who needed an extra two hours to make the welterweight limit.
Bob Sapp (356 lbs) vs Jan Nortje (333 lbs)
Joe Riggs (184) lbs vs Cory Devela (184 lbs)
Maurice Smith (235 lbs) vs Rick Roufus (207 lbs)
Steve Berger (172 lbs) vs Eddy Ellis (168 lbs)
Jorge Masvidal (159 lbs) vs Ryan Healy (158 lbs)
Eric Clark (224 lbs) vs Josh Bennett (259 lbs)
Ray Perales (170 lbs) vs Lyle Beerbohm (168 lbs)
Matt Kovacs (244 lbs) vs Mike Hayes (230 lbs)
Scott Shaffer (144 lbs) vs Zach Skinner (143 lbs)
Dave Corshane (169 lbs) vs Nathan Coy (170 lbs)
A scheduled welterweight bout between Tiki Ghosn and J.J. Ambrose has been cancelled according to Sherdog’s Josh Gross after Ambrose failed to show up for the event’s weigh-ins, which were reportedly very unorganized and took nearly five hours to complete according to those in attendance.
A replacement opponent for Ghosn will not be found in time so he will not be on the card.
Carmelo Marrero, who wasn’t advertised as participating at the event, will not be fighting after declining a fight against Team Quest’s Vinicius Magalhaes on short notice.
All of the other fighters on the card successfully made weight, including native Hawaiian Kauai Kupihea, who passed all of the required tests administered by the California State Athletic Commission. Kupihea will take on Mark Kerr. Kerr’s original opponent, veteran kickboxer Rick Roufus, was not cleared by the CSAC in time for the event due to late paperwork.
There aren’t any blockbuster events going down this weekend but there are some smaller shows that everyone should definitely follow…
Obviously the big one has to be WCO: The Return, which will take place at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA this Saturday night. The card is stacked with veterans of the sport, including a main event between Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Lion’s Den veteran Vernon White as you can see below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Kauai Kupihea
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
David Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Wesley Correira vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. JJ Ambrose
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Cain Velasquez vs. Tony Sylvester
As we reported yesterday, Rick Roufus was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Mark Kerr after he was not cleared by the California State Athletic Commission in time for the fight. Armando Garcia says that it has nothing to do with Roufus’ health but rather his paperwork was not done on time in order for him to be scheduled to undergo all of the necessary pre-fight tests.
WCO officials are trying to replace Roufus with Kauai Kupihea, who has racked up a 15-11 professional record that includes knockouts of Wade Shipp and Travis Wiuff. Kupihea has been tentatively approved but that not passed all of his requirements as of this morning. We will have an update on his status as soon as we receive the information.
Semmy Schilt will fight in MMA for the first time in over a year when he takes on Nandor Guelmino at the first-ever Lord of the Ring event this weekend at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.
Schilt has not fought since submitting Min Soo Kim with a triangle choke at K-1 Hero’s 6 in August of 2006. Not much is known about Guelmino except that he only has three professional MMA bouts under his belt.
Sherdog has an article on Schilt’s return here.
Bonecrunch Fighting will also hold it’s first-ever event this weekend in Lakeland, Florida. The promotion uses a schedule similar to the IFL except matchups between teams will work like an elimination tournament if that makes any sense.
UFC lightweight Din Thomas will guide the Port St. Lucie Devils into action against the Tampa Terrors. The Cincinnati Norsemen and the Lakeland Blaze will clash in the other matchup. Seth Petruzelli and Josh Odom will be at the event to announce their fight between each other at the promotion’s next event in February.
KOTC and DEEP also have events scheduled for this weekend. MMA on Tap will have full results for those shows and the rest of the events that are taking place this weekend.