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Shields Signs Long-Term Deal With EliteXC

The decision, it turns out, was a no-brainer. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to even call it a decision.

“The plan was always to stay with EliteXC,’’ said Jake Shields, who has re-signed with Los Angeles-based ProElite’s Live Fight Division. “For some reason, reporters were running like crazy with the notion that I was going to leave and sign with some other organization. I talked with other groups, but, in the end, I decided the best thing for me and my career was to stay put. I have been happy with EliteXC from the beginning. They have been like family to me.’’

Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Event President, made the announcement Friday night on the eve of an EliteXC cage fight card here. In one of Saturday’s top bouts at the American Bank Center Arena on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), Shields will take on Mike Pyle.

“Jake is, flat-out, No. 1 in the world in his weight class and we are thrilled that he has re-signed with us,’’ Shaw said. “He has been part of the EliteXC family from the beginning. Jake and his dad, Jack, are class acts and a joy to not only work with but to be around.”

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Trigg-Dewees, Miller-Salmon Headline HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon

DALLAS, TEXAS—- Mixed-Martial-Arts stars Frank Trigg and Jason “Mayhem” Miller are recognized as two of the sports top middleweights.  They, in fact, once squared off in an epic battle for the ICON World Championship, with Trigg coming away the newly crowned champ. 

On Saturday, December 15th, the non-stop warrior, Trigg, and the master of mayhem, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, will share top billing (in separate fights) on RECKLESS ABANDON, when Mark Cuban’s HDNet FIGHTS returns to the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Let the lessons in Triggonomics and Mayhem begin.

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Santiago Ready to Upset Prangley

Bodog Fight Middleweight Champion Trevor Prangley may be considered the favorite to win California’s first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament, but Florida’s Jorge Santiago is prepared to upset the champ should they meet Friday, Nov. 16 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

“I’ll throw everything I have at him,” says Santiago. “I think I can beat him on the ground or standing up.”

Santiago (14-7) and Prangley (16-4) are two of the four men competing in the single-elimination middleweight tournament that will headline Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives, presented by Bodog Fight.

The other combatants are Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1) and Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (24-7). The winner of the tournament will have to get through two matches, with each bout consisting of two five-minute rounds.

A random draw to determine the match-ups will take place during the weigh-in, and although Santiago recognizes Prangley’s skills, he isn’t afraid to face him in the tournament.

“Trevor Prangley says he is one of the best 185-pound fighters in the world and I agree with him, but everyone has his day.”

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WEC Announces Three Title Fights for December

LAS VEGAS - With three world titles on the line as well as the return of a true mixed martial arts legend, the World Extreme Cagefighting event on Wednesday, December 12th is not only the biggest and best WEC show of the year, it may be the greatest card in the six year history of the organization.
Featuring WEC Featherweight Champion “The California Kid” Urjiah Faber against Jeff “Big Frog” Curran, “The Rhino” Doug Marshall defending his Light Heavyweight title against Cuba’s own Ariel Gandulla, Paulo Filho returning to the Cage to defend his WEC Middleweight crown, and former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver making his WEC debut at 145 lbs. against rising star Cub Swanson, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will be rocked off its foundations by the most explosive MMA action of 2007.
WEC: Faber vs. Curran will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT.

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Imes Replaces Eilers at PFC 5

The Palace Fighting Championship will hit the road to North Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 10 for PFC 5 “Beatdown at 4 Bears.”

It will be the first PFC show held away from the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, CA where four straight sold out shows have pushed the PFC into one of the fastest growing mixed martial arts promotions in the country.

“We are excited about this show. With PFC 5 we are able to bring some of our West Coast talent to the Midwest and we are also able to get a look at some of the up-and-coming talents from North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Ohio,” Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino Entertainment Director Christian Printup said.

“We will always have Lemoore as our home base and we have six events planned for 2008 in Lemoore, however with our impending television deal we will travel the show to markets where we will be televised. All in all it’s a very exciting time for the PFC,” Printup added. “We will continue to move the show around we are close to signing with a talent agency that will work to book us into other casinos and venues around the country.” And first on the list of stops is New Town, North Dakota’s 4 Bears Casino.

In the main event, Brad Imes squares off with Chris Blair (6-0) of Kearney, NE.

“We initially had Justin Eilers scheduled to fight Chris Blair, who is a tough up-and-coming heavyweight from Nebraska, with a good wrestling pedigree. Unfortunately, Justin hurt his ankle during training and we had to look for a replacement,” Printup said.

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Prangley Expects to Win Strikeforce Tournament

Bodog Fight Middleweight Champion, Trevor Prangley, has something to prove at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Friday, November 16.

“I’ve been telling everyone that I’m one of the best 185-pound fighters in the world, and winning this competition will show people I’m not just talking sh*t.”

The competition the confident South African is referring to is the four-man, single-elimination middleweight tournament that will headline Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives, presented by Bodog Fight.

The winner of the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament in the state of California will potentially be awarded the opportunity to challenge Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock.

That very well could be Prangley, who trains at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose and is sure to be buoyed by the pro-AKA crowd.

“Of course, I hope they cheer for me, although I usually only hear the crowd when I walk out,” says Prangley. “When I’m in the ring I’m mainly focused on what my corner is telling me. But the crowd can give you a lift, and most fighters feed off the energy.”

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Round 5 Releases First Set of Figures

In response to the rapid growth of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Round 5 has just released the first official line of MMA collectible figures. The collectibles are set to launch in North America in over 1000 different stores this holiday season. They will also be available internationally online.

“This first series showcases the most exciting championship fighters to date, in their most well known poses,” said Barron Lau, Marketing Director of Round 5. He continues to explain, “Series 1: Champions, will include fan favourites; Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Tito ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ Ortiz, Matt Hughes, and Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture. Each collectible is expertly sculpted, stands 6” tall and is fully pose-able. Select characters even include accessories such Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s signature chain. Each fighter had direct input in the design and development of their own collectible figure including the look, feel and pose. We are honoured to be releasing these collectibles at a time when the sport has achieved so much success.”

The collectible figures are sculpted by famous McFarlane artist and owner of INU Art design studio, David Cortes. He is best known for sculpting comic-related and mainstream characters like Hellboy, Spawn, and the Incredible Hulk. Cortes takes great pride in the level of detail and likeness captured in the 6” tall caricature-style figures. 

Interest in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has grown dramatically over the past several years, surpassing both boxing and professional wrestling in popularity and Pay-Per-View sales in some areas of the world, to currently become one of the fastest growing sports around. “Due to the mainstream rise in popularity of professional MMA, the response from our website has been tremendous. These collectibles will be the hottest sellers for the upcoming Christmas season,” said Damon Lau, CEO Round 5.

EliteXC: Renegade Press Conference Quotes

The America Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas, will rock like it never has before when Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, presents “EliteXC: Renegade’’ on Saturday, Nov. 10, on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

An excellent main event will feature an EliteXC world title fight in a brand new weight class – 160 pounds—between talented, crowd-pleasing Nick Diaz and exciting, hard-hitting KJ Noons.

In other televised bouts, Kimbo will make his EliteXC debut against Bo Cantrell and world-ranked welterweight Jake Shields will face Mike Pyle. A fifth televised fight will be announced in the near future.

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Fox Sports Canada to Broadcast IFL Grand Prix

The International Fight League, the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and Alfred Haber Distribution (AHDI) today announced that Fox Sports World Canada will air this Saturday’s “IFL World Grand Prix” live from the Sears Centre in Chicago from 9-11 p.m. ET/8-10 CT. It will mark the first live national broadcast of MMA in Canada on broadcast television.

The first hour of the event, which will feature many of the rising stars of Mixed Martial Arts (including Canadians Chris Horodecki and Brent Beauparlant), will also been seen live in the United States on MyNetworkTV. World champion Bas Rutten, Kenny Rice and Ron Kruck call all the action.

“We are very excited that Fox Sports World Canada and CanWest MediaWorks will be taking two hours of our event live to Canada,” said IFL co-founder and CEO Gareb Shamus. “Combined with our MyNetworkTV coverage in the United States, this will give us the largest possible North American platform to showcase our great athletes live and in primetime on free television. Our goal for 2008 is to bring all of our events to the fans live on television, and this is the latest step in achieving that goal.”

Among the matchups featured on the broadcast will be the IFL light heavyweight title matchup between undefeated Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko and Alex Schoenauer (Pictures), the lightweight rematch of undefeated Canadian phenom Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki and Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski, and Montreal native Beauparlant against undefeated Benji “Razor” Radach. Nine fights, featuring the best individual athletes from the 11-event IFL season, will be featured on the card.

Fireworks in the Cage IV Moved to December 28

Hall of Fame Boxing Referee Richard Steele and Steve Oshins, co-owners of Steele Cage Promotions, LLC and the International Fighting Organization, LLC (IFO), announce that their previously scheduled December 15th event has been moved to Friday, December 28th in order to accommodate television.

The event will be televised on HDNet, the network owned by Mark Cuban. The event will take place at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada at 7:00pm with doors open at 6:00pm. There will be two title fights on this card along with other exciting bouts which will include some of the most exciting fighters from previous IFO events. The fight card will be announced at a later date. Tickets will be on sale soon.

John “Ski” Stachofsky, Vice President of Steele Cage Promotions and the IFO, stated, “When we found out that we had to move the date, we decided that News Years’ weekend in Las Vegas would be ideal given the number of people in town to celebrate. Since this event is called Fireworks in the Cage IV, we have the perfect tie-in to the New Year’s celebration.”

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