Vancouver, Canada – What happens when you pair one of the most exciting sports in the world with an international entertainment and TV powerhouse? You get nine weeks of televised sporting prowess, scenic Costa Rican beaches, beautiful Bodog girls and one of the most anticipated pay-per-view events of the year: BodogFight: USA vs. Russia.
Saturday’s BodogFight event - the culmination of nine weeks of mixed martial arts combined with lifestyle and entertainment, all captured on film as part of the BodogFight reality television series - was broadcast live on pay-per-view and on broadband to millions of viewers from around the world. The final event, which pitted USA’s toughest and brightest fighters against the elite Russian Red Devils, took place in the fully-packed Agrodome in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.
Team USA took home the inaugural BodogFight trophy by winning six of the eight bouts against its Russian Red Devil opponents, but not before the thousands of fans were treated to some big surprises and huge upsets.
“MMA fans from around the world witnessed some pretty spectacular fights Saturday night,” said Calvin Ayre, the creator of the BodogFight and Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker television franchises. “From the debut of Roger Gracie of the legendary Gracie family to the big upset of the night - a bout that saw underdog Eric Pele take down Antonio Silva - the night offered non-stop entertainment and delivered a kind of action and excitement that very few sporting events can offer.” Ayre continued, “We are incredibly excited about our next BodogFight TV series and the PPV showdown and will work hard to make it bigger and better for MMA sports fans around the world.”
Some of the major highlights of the event included Roger Gracie, the latest edition from the legendary Gracie fighting family, who put forth an impressive mixed martial arts professional debut, submitting veteran Ron “H20? Waterman with an armbar midway through the first round of BodogFight’s main event.
Another widely anticipated bout, the super heavyweights, ended in controversy. The 320-pound Eric Pele TKO’d the previously unbeaten Antonio “Junior” Silva in a contest that was chaotic from the start. Pele was literally running for his life in the early parts of the first round, as Silva, undefeated in seven fights prior, unleashed a flurry of menacing shots that left the Las Vegas resident dazed and confused.
The turning point of the match came moments later, however, when Silva kicked Pele in the groin giving the woozy fighter time to collect himself in the corner. After mounting another offensive charge, Silva was caught with a devastating overhand right from Pele, which stunned the Brazilian giant and sent him to the canvas. Pele then went on an offensive barrage of his own, unleashing a series of headshots. The clinching (albeit, highly suspect) blow came when one of Pele’s punches bounced Silva’s head off the mat, forcing the referee to step in and end the fight.
Pele’s celebration was a thing of beauty as he gestured to the frenzied crowd; he was overcome with emotion while Silva’s corner argued vehemently about the referee’s decision to stop the fight.
Another superfight saw one of the most promising strikers in mixed martial arts, the product of Philadelphia’s Fight Factory, Eddie Alvarez, unleash left-right combos against Seattle native Aaron Riley – a great display of his boxing experience and training. To see the results, watch this fight on BodogFight.com. With the culmination of BodogFight’s successful first season and pay-per-view extravaganza, filming of BodogFight: St. Petersburg is now under way. In the breathtaking city of St. Petersburg, Russia, 32 of the world’s top combatants will compete for a spot in BodogFight’s second live pay-per-view event in March 2007.
Biographies of all BodogFight: St. Petersburg fighters, exclusive footage, and unedited interviews from the filming in Russia will soon be available at BodogFight’s official web site, http://www.bodogfight.com, with additions added to “The Latest” section as MMA news happens. Each episode will air simultaneously on the BodogFight.com broadband network and in more than 43 million homes across the United States.
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