Super Heavyweight

Weekend Recap: UFC Veterans Victorious

Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A quarter of UFC veterans earned victories at Superior Cage Combat's second-ever showing on Saturday night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Josh Neer defeated WEC veteran Blas Avena via TKO in the first round in the show's main event. Former UFC welterweight title challenger John Alessio also submitting last-minute replacement opponent Shawn Fitzsimmons in the opening frame as well.

In addition, Team Alpha Male member Justin Buchholz grinded out a unanimous decision over Thiago Meller and John Gunderson scored an emotional victory James Birdsley, submitting his foe with a guillotine choke in the second round just days after his trainer, Shawn Tompkins, passed away.

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Sapp Tapped to Face Sokoudjou at DREAM.11


Bob Sapp. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.

Popular Japanese fight scene veteran Bob Sapp has been tapped to replace an injured Gegard Mousasi against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the semifinals of DREAM’s first-ever “Super Hulk” tournament, which continues at DREAM.11 on October 6.

Sapp confirmed his participation at the event with MMA Weekly on Wednesday. He re-enters the tourney after falling in the opening round to Ikuhisa Minowa back in May. “The Beast” last competed on June 27, suffering yet another defeat to former WWE star and undefeated heavyweight prospect Bobby Lashley. It marks the first time Sapp has suffered consecutive losses in his career.

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Ross Clifton Dead of Apparent Heart Attack


Ross Clifton. Photo by Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com.

Super heavyweight fighter Ross Clifton, best known for a first-round submission loss to Ken Shamrock at a War Gods event earlier this year,  has died of an apparent heart attack. Clifton was 32 years old.

UFC veteran Cal Worsham, Clifton’s former trainer, confirmed his death with MMA Weekly yesterday. Bob Carson was the first to report the disheartening news.

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Tuchscherer Wins at “Extreme Beatdown”


Chris Tuchscherer. Photo courtesy of SNMMA.

Rising heavyweight prospect Chris Tuchscherer garnered his third straight victory in as many fights, swiftly earning a first-round stoppage of Jamie Klair less than two minutes into their featured attraction at Sovereign Nations MMA “Extreme Beatdown” on Saturday night.

After a brief exchange on the feet, Tuchscherer (17-1), who had the services of UFC heavyweight champion and training partner Brock Lesnar in his corner, quickly brought Klair (7-1) down to the mat and proceeded to unleash a barrage of unanswered shots that forced the referee to wave off the bout. The loss was the first of Klair’s professional career.

The win is the third for Tuchscherer after he suffered his only career loss to date at the hands of experienced veteran Travis Wiuff at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s infamous one-night heavyweight tournament back in April of last year.

 

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Reports: MacDonald to Replace Day at UFC 88


Jason MacDonald. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Jason Day has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled middleweight bout against Jason Lambert at UFC 88 after suffering an arm injury during a recent training session. He will reportedly be replaced by fellow Canadian veteran Jason MacDonald according to Sherdog.com.

Day suffered an elbow and biceps injury that will keep him out of action for an indefinite period of time states MMA Weekly. He is scheduled to have an MRI on his arm in the coming days, which is expected to give him a time-frame for his recovery.

Following his disappointing submission loss to Demian Maia at UFC 87 last month, MacDonald will be stepping in to face Lambert, who will be making his middleweight debut at the event, on short notice with a little less than three weeks of training time.

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Report: Esch-Berry Likely at Cage Rage 27


Eric Esch. Photo courtesy of YAMMA Pit Fighting.

Fresh off of a surprising knockout of Ken Shamrock, Robert Berry will likely try his hand against infamous former professional boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch at Cage Rage 27 in July.

The news comes from Stash Capar of The Fight Network, who cites an anonymous source within the United Kingdom’s most high-profile mixed martial arts promotion.

As was previously mentioned, Berry knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock at Cage Rage 25: Bring It On last month. The win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Berry and quickly became his biggest career win to date. The English veteran has gone up against the likes of Dan Severn, Colin Robinson, and Tengiz Tedoradze but fell to all of them.

Esch was stopped at the hands of Patrick Smith at this past weekend’s inaugural YAMMA Pit Fighting show. The former boxer has now lost his last three fights. Esch weighed-in at 416 pounds for the fight against Smith, his highest weight to date. This will be his fourth bout against the confines of Cage Rage.

Nortje, Sefo Join Xtreme Couture


Photo property of Xtreme Couture.

Former K-1 kickboxing stars Jan Nortje and Ray Sefo have joined the ranks of the Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

The gym made the announcement earlier today it’s official blog.

Nortje is coming off of an impressive victory over former NFL lineman and mixed martial arts veteran Bob Sapp at this past weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Dome” show. Nortje stopped Sapp with strikes in the first round.

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 expressed his desire to compete under the Strikeforce banner in the future.

“It wasn’t luck,” Nortje said during a post-fight interview. “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.“

Sefo, more renowned for his success in the world of kickboxing, only has one professional MMA fight to his credit. He knocked out Min Soo Kim with a head kick at a K-1 Hero’s event in July 2005. The New Zealand native is already enjoying the company he has at the gym.

“A lot of times, high level fighters have bad attitudes,” Sefo said in the article. “But not here. Everyone is cool and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.”

Sefo also revealed that he was offered a fight against top heavyweight striker Mirko Cro Cop but opted to decline the bout since he was given extremely short notice.

Sapp, Riggs Suffer Brutal Losses in the Dome


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.”

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Strikeforce at the Dome Weigh-In Results


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)