Josh Barnett weighs-in for PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
UFC and PRIDE veteran Josh Barnett will fight for the second time this year at World Victory Road’s upcoming second “Sengoku” show on May 18th at the at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
The organization announced Barnett’s participation late last night.
Barnett was part of the inaugural “Sengoku” show in March, submitting former judo standout Hidehiko Yoshida with a heel hook in the third round.
Before then, the former UFC heavyweight champion had not fought since losing a unanimous decision to current UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. The fight was a rematch of their Open-Weight Grand Prix bout in September 2006 where Barnett came away with a razor-close, split decision over the Brazilian.
An opponent for Barnett will be announced in the coming weeks.
Mike Pyle (right) poses with Jake Shields. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Elite Xtreme Combat veteran Mike Pyle will fight in Japan for the first time when he takes on Dan Hornbuckle at World Victory Road’s upcoming second “Sengoku” show on May 18th at the at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
The organization officially announced the bout earlier today.
Pyle, who recently became a free agent after leaving EliteXC over a dispute concerning his lack of promotion within the organization, last fought at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Destiny” event in February. He submitted Damir Mirenic in the second round.
Hornbuckle, a veteran of BodogFight, also fought most recently inside the confines of HCF. He last submitted Andrew Buckland late last month. The Illinois native is currently riding a thirteen-fight winning streak.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman and Roger Gracie are also scheduled to be in action. The card for the event currently looks as follows:
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Ian James Schaffa
Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Kwang Hee Lee
Jorge Santiago vs. Yuki Sasaki
Mike Pyle vs. Dan Hornbuckle
Yoshihiro Nakao vs. Jim York
Kevin Randleman vs. TBA
Roger Gracie vs. TBA
Kazuyuki Fujita throws a left hand at James Thompson. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
World Victory Road has announced that Japanese professional wrestler and PRIDE veteran Kazuyuki Fujita will compete at the organization’s upcoming third “Sengoku” show on June 8th. He becomes the first fighter the promotion has confirmed for their June show.
Fujita is coming off of a submission win over K-1 kickboxer Peter Graham at the inaugural “Sengoku” show last month. The 37-year-old needed just over a minute to secure a north-south choke and force Graham to tap out.
Before then, Fujita had not fought since being submitted by fellow heavyweight Jeff Monson at PRIDE’s final event in April of last year. The fight was the first and only “UFC vs PRIDE” fight to take place under the plan between Zuffa and Dream Stage Entertainment officials that never ended up coming to fruition.
A potential opponent for Fujita has not yet been announced.
Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago weigh-in for Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Photo by Jon Swenson.
World Victory Road has announced that Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago will clash in a middleweight bout at the organization’s upcoming second “Sengoku” show on May 18th at the at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
The two were originally booked to face each other in the first round of Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament in November but Sasaki was pulled from the event after failing an an MRI exam. Santiago would go on to defeat both Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley and win the tourney.
Sasaki has not fought since submitting Bo Guk So with an armbar at a DEEP event in July of last year. Before that the longtime Pancrase and Shooto veteran was unsuccessful in his lone bout inside the UFC, dropping a lackluster unanimous decision to Dean Lister.
After suffering consecutive knockout losses in 2007, Santiago bounced back in a big way last year. His Strikeforce middleweight tournament victory was preceded by a surprising submission win over Jeremy Horn. It was the first time that Horn had been forced to tap out in seven years.
The promotion announced yesterday that former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman and prospect Jim York would both be in action at the event.
A pair of lightweight fights were also already announced for the show: 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 last month’s DREAM event, are all expected to be in action.
Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and pound for pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto have both reportedly informed the Japanese media of their respective intentions to return to action this summer.
The news comes from Sherdog’s Jordan Breen in his latest edition of the Koubousen Companion.
Gomi stated that he planned to compete at World Victory Road’s upcoming third “Sengoku” event on June 8th while in attendance at this past weekend’s All Japan Combat Wrestling National Championships and plans to begin training again later this month.
The 29 year-old returned to action after a year of inactivity, stopping Duane Ludwig at WVR’s inaugural event last month. Ludwig suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose that forced ringside doctors to prevent him from continuing.
Meanwhile Yamamoto informed the media that he hoped to return to the ring in June or July. His contract with Fight Entertainment Group will have “Kid” competing inside the confines of DREAM. He remains unsure of which weight he will fight at.
Yamamoto last stopped World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Rani Yahya with strikes at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve.
Kevin Randleman. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
World Victory Road has announced two additional competitors for it’s upcoming second “Sengoku” show on May 18th at the at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan: Kevin Randleman and Jim York. It’s unknown whether or not the two heavyweights will be facing each other at the event.
Randleman, who had previously announced his participation at the event, will also be fighting Jeff Monson at a Global Fighting Championships in June.
The former UFC heavyweight champion has not fought since being submitted by Mauricio Rua in October of 2006. His time off last year was filled with bad events, including Randleman suffering from multiple severe staph infections, kidney failure, and an arrest for driving under the influence as well as six other additional charges.
After losing his first professional bout, York has gone on two win nine straight fights. He most recently stopped Iro Seki with strikes at a MARS event in April of last year.
A pair of lightweight fights were already announced for the show: 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 last month’s DREAM event, are all expected to be in action.
Fuji TV is expected to air tape-delayed segments from the event on a program entitled “Special Ring Side”, which will feature highlights from kickboxing and mixed martial arts events around the country. It will be one of the first instances where the network has broadcast any type of mixed martial arts since it broke off ties with the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships.
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.
Photo courtesy of World Victory Road.
As if poor television ratings for DREAM’s recent show weren’t already a good sign for World Victory Road, it appears that the promotion has secured a television deal with Fuji TV.
The news comes from MMA News, which reports that the station will broadcast tape-delayed segments from the organization’s debut show on March 5th on a program entitled “Special Ring Side”, which will feature highlights from kickboxing and mixed martial arts events around the country.
It will be the first time that Fuji TV has broadcast any type of MMA since the network broke off ties with the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships, which enjoyed a long-run of ratings success until June 2006 when the channel dropped PRIDE from it’s lineup, citing a breach of contract.
However most believe that there were concerns with PRIDE parent company Dream Stage Entertainment’s rumored ties with the Yakuza, a Japan-based organized crime ring.
Zach Arnold has pointed out that Seiya Kawamata, a close confidant of K-1 creator Kazuyoshi Ishii, seems to be running the show these days when it comes to DREAM, which is promoted by Fight Entertainment Group and many former employees of DSE. The promotion’s debut show last weekend only scored a 8.9% share on the Tokyo Broadcasting System, a number that is considered to be sub-par.
It’s been said that Kawamata was the driving force behind the media getting ahold of the the DSE-Yakuza story and eventually causing Fuji TV officials to drop PRIDE programming, likely in order to help K-1 gain an advantage in the ratings war.
Ironically Kawamata’s strategy didn’t work and he’s now working with some of the same staff that he once attempted to bring down. Could we see Kawamata try something similar when it comes to J-ROCK and World Victory Road in an attempt to get his product back on Fuji TV once again? Time will tell.
Strap yourselves in, we have a lot of news to report on this morning…
If you haven’t seen Friday night’s episode of Inside MMA on HDNet yet, go ahead and check it out above.
UFC 82 Fighters Test Clean
All of the fighters that were tested following UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st came back negative for performance enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse.
The ten fighters that were tested are as follows: Andrei Arlovski, Anderson Silva, Heath Herring, Chris Leben, Josh Koscheck, Diego Sanchez, Yushin Okami, Jon Fitch, Luigi Fioravanti, and Jorge Gurgel.
Clark-Harper Finalizes Next Week’s WEC Show
After opponent Bryan Baker was tapped to replace WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho against Team Quest product Chael Sonnen, Logan Clark will now take on American Top Team’s Scott Harper in a middleweight preliminary bout.
Clark revealed the news on his official website yesterday.
“Scott may have a few losses but hasn’t dropped a fight since joining American Top Team this last year,” Clark said in the post. “He is on a three fight win streak with three submission stoppages. He looks to have a good ground game but not exceptional stand-up. This means that I will be able to stick with my previous gameplan and look for the knockout standing.”
Two More EliteXC Bouts in March
Light heavyweights Aaron Rosa and Jaime Fletcher will now clash on the televised main card portion of this Friday’s ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series event.
The news comes from ProElite.com, which also reports that a women’s bout between Jen Case and Cristiane Cyborg was scrapped after it was learned that Cyborg would be unable to enter the United States in time for the event due to visa issues.
Luke Stewart will also meet veteran Tiki Ghosn at the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, according to MMA Junkie.
Report: Lytle Tapped for July UFC Return
The Fight Network is reporting that popular welterweight Chris Lytle will likely return to action at UFC 86 in July against an opponent yet to be named.
Lytle has now won two out of his last three bouts inside the UFC. A loss to Thiago Alves because of a cut is currently sandwiched in between wins over Jason Gilliam and Kyle Bradley.
World Victory Road Announces Fighter for Next Event
WVR officials have announced four confirmed participants for their next event on May 18th at the at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
Roger Gracie, Satoru Kitaoka, Yuki Sasaki, and Yoshihiro Nakao, who was originally reported as facing Mirko Cro Cop at this past weekend’s 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.
Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Earlier today at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku” event at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan, officials announced the signing of two additional heavyweights to the organization’s roster: Kevin Randleman and Roger Gracie.
Both are currently scheduled to compete at the promotion’s next event on May 18th in Japan.
In addition to his deal with WVR, Randleman told MMA Weekly that he has signed with Global Fighting Championships as well and will make his debut for the company this summer.
“As of right now, I am fighting Jeff Monson on June 21st in North Carolina in Bobcat Arena,” Randleman said in the report. “My first fight is going to be May 18th in the new Japanese organization, it is not Pride, but World Victory Road.”
Randleman, a former UFC heavyweight champion, has not fought since being submitted by Mauricio Rua in October of 2006. His time off last year was filled with bad events, including Randleman suffering from multiple severe staph infections, kidney failure, and an arrest for driving under the influence as well as six other additional charges.
Gracie was victorious in his one and only professional mixed martial arts fight in December of 2006, submitting Ron Waterman with an armbar at a Bodog Fight event. He was originally rumored to have been fighting Hidehiko Yoshida but WVR officials obviously opted for Josh Barnett instead.
Touch of gloves to MMA Man Japan for the find.