Kid Yamamoto. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Here are your quick hits for the afternoon of June 18, 2009.
— Former pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will return to action a little less than two months after suffering his first professional MMA loss in seven years at K-1’s “World MAX 2009” event on July 13 in a kickboxing bout. “Kid” will be fighting Jae hee Cheon in a three-round matchup. Other notable MMA fighters competing include Tatsuya Kawajiri and Atsushi Yamamoto. [Japan-MMA.com]
— Longtime veteran Dennis Hallman will now be facing training partner Justin Davis in a catch-weight bout at tomorrow night’s “Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg” event at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. Hallman was originally slated to take on Cedric Marks, who was forced out of the bout after reportedly competing this past weekend and acquiring a medical suspension because of it. A lightweight bout between Jorge Gurgel and Conor Heun will also now be contested at a catch-weight of 160 lbs. [MMA Junkie]
War Machine. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
WASHINGTON, DC - East coast regional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) powerhouse the UWC - Ultimate Warrior Challenge formally announced today that a catch weight bout of 175lbs between War Machine (Jon Koppenhaver) and local rising star Reshad Woods will serve as the co-feature at “UWC 6: Capital Punishment “, April 25th at the George Mason University Patriot Center Arena in Fairfax, VA.
“As a DC-based operation that’s also the largest professional MMA show on the East Coast, we have a responsibility to find and showcase the MMA stars of tomorrow from this area,” said UWC CEO S. Marcello Foran. “But we also have a responsibility to have DC’s best fight the best from around the nation. In keeping with that duty, we are proud to announce War Machine vs. Reshad Woods for UWC: Capital Punishment. Woods has steamrolled his last four opponents and is looking for bigger challenges, while War Machine is seeking redemption and to prove he can be a title contender. Given where they are in their career, this is the perfect fight for both fighters.”
War Machine (Jon Koppenhaver) is 7-2, is a veteran of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” season 6 and a two-time veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He trains out of MMA legend Randy Couture’s world-class fight facility and team Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, NV as well as SD Undisputed in San Diego, CA.
A controversial figure in the sport of MMA for unfiltered outbursts and opinions that eventually affected his placement in the sport, War Machine is now managed by Ken Pavia and is looking for image redemption. After losing to Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 84 in August of 2008, War Machine has won his last two fights stopping both opponents in under one round.
Following on from many discussions during 2008, an alliance of MMA promoters have come together to help the growth of the sport in the U.K. and to assist homegrown talent to the international stage by creating a unified set of British belts.
Titled the BFC – British Fighting Championship – the aim of this joint venture is to include established and new promotions across the U.K. regions to grow their fighter talent in a free and unrestricted market and for all to benefit from the media exposure that one group brand will be able to provide.
Founders of the group include: FX3, Ultimate Force, Ultimate Warrior Challenge, AMMA, and Cage Warriors, who between them will provide the U.K. MMA scene with 12 BFC shows in 2009, including an end of year Night of Champions when the 2009 season contenders for the British belts go head to head. The belts will cover seven male and two female categories to be as inclusive as possible and will be worth up to £250,000 in total tournament purses.
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