Mike Van Arsdale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The American Fight League has reportedly signed former UFC light heavyweight contender Mike Van Arsdale, who is preparing for return to active competition as well as a trio of successful female fighters for their budding womens division.
Van Arsdale, a former amateur wrestling standout, has not competed since being submitted by Matt Lindland at Raze MMA’s “Fight Night” in April 2006. The loss topped off a four-fight losing streak and Van Arsdale abruptly walked away from the sport.
“This is huge for us,” AFL CEO B.J. Santiago told MMA Junkie. “Van [Arsdale] is a scary, freak-of-nature-type athlete who has a terrific wrestling and MMA pedigree. He is a Class-A fighter with unbelievable potential. This is big for us and I think MMA in the long run.”
Van Arsdale’s participation in the AFL’s star-studded November pay-per-view event was also confirmed. He now joins former professional wrestler Bobby Lashley and Tara LaRosa as the only fighters to be announced for the show.
The AFL has also reportedly signed Julie Kedzie, Roxanne Modafferi and Emily Thompson, a move that will quickly bolster the promotion’s female stable of fighters. A tenative debut date was not given for any of the three.
Kedzie is primarily known as being Gina Carano‘s opponent at EliteXC’s first-ever event in February 2007. Kedzie dropped a unanimous decision to Carano but has since won three out of her last four bouts.
Modafferi is also enjoying a winning streak as well, ending up victorious in her last six fights. She last defeated Vanessa Porto at Fatal Femmes Fighting 4. Thompson meanwhile ended a three-year hiatus from the sport in April when she defeated Breanne Vickers via third-round TKO.
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