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SEOUL – The K-1 World Grand Prix ‘07 Final Eight were determined at the Seoul Olympic Complex Saturday night. Sunday, in the Grand Ballroom of the COEX Intercontinental hotel, the first-tier matchups were set for the Dec. 8 Yokohama Arena GP Final.
The pairings were decided with a system that combines choice and chance. One after the other, in an order decided by lot, the fighters were free to select any available position on the tournament tree.
SEOUL - The Europeans fared well as always, big Hong-Man Choi squeaked out a controversial win, and Japan’s new wunderkind scored an upset tonight at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final Elimination in Seoul.
Fightsport’s most coveted crown, the K-1 WGP Championship is bestowed each year on a single warrior after a worldwide series of qualifying tournaments. On this early autumn evening, the top 16 stepped in for eight fights at the Seoul Olympic Complex, with the eight winners earning a spot at the WGP Final in December.
Undefeated Strikeforce World Lightweight (155 lb. limit) Champion, “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (12-0), will take on former Shooto star, Tetsuji Kato (18-7), in a non-title bout during the highly-anticipated Strikeforce extravaganza at The Playboy Mansion on Saturday.
“This is definitely a challenge because it’s a bigger guy dropping down in weight and he’s got a lot of experience,” said the 25-year-old Melendez, whose start on the first-ever mixed martial arts fight card at the world-famous home of entertainment mogul Hugh Hefner, will be his first of 2007. “It’s been a while since I fought so I’m super pumped about coming back.”
Melendez’s last effort, a meeting with superstar Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri during Pride Fighting Championship’s star-studded “Shockwave 2006” affair in Japan on New Year’s Eve, was the American’s toughest challenge thus far in his five-year professional career. Melendez showed tremendous poise as he handled Kawajiri intelligently before walking away with a unanimous decision victory following the close of two rounds. The win propelled the American young gun into the world rankings of every major, independent ratings system.
“I take it as a compliment, but I just see myself in the top 10,” said Melendez of the recognition he has gained by the various outlets, a number of which position him as high as three amongst all lightweights around the globe. “Any of the guys in the top 10 are capable of being number 1 on any given day. That’s how I see it and I think I have a lot more to prove. I really appreciate that people do give me that ranking and I want to prove them all right, but I think it’s gonna take a couple more wins to prove it.”
NEW YORK - The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world?s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced that longtime television executive, event producer and boxing industry icon Jay Larkin has been named to the newly-created position of President and Chief Operating Officer. Larkin will report directly to IFL CEO Gareb Shamus and will oversee all the day-to-day operational details of the IFL.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -? The New York Pitbulls completed an unbeaten season, topping the two-time defending champion Quad Cities Silverbacks, 3-2, to claim their first International Fight League World Championship, before 3,470 at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. Delson Heleno, Deividas Taurosevicius and Andre Gusmao recorded wins for the second-seeded Pitbulls, coached by Renzo Gracie, en route to the title, with Gusmao?s dramatic first-round knockout over Mike Ciesnolevicz at light heavyweight in the decisive fifth match breaking a 2-2 tie.
DALLAS, TX—SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc. (Pink: SSPE) announces the line-up for the next professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card for ART OF WAR 4 “MISSISSIPPI MAYHEM” to be held on Saturday October 27th 2007 in Tunica, Mississippi at Harrah’s Grand Casino Tunica.
SUN’s new Vice President of Fighter Relations and Media, Clyde Gentry III, who oversees all fight cards stated, “I’ve been in the MMA Industry for quite a while, and this is the perfect time to jump back in. It is an intriguing challenge to match fights for different size cards, from the big pay-per-view events to the smaller venues. It’s an exciting time to be in the sport right now and I know I can make a difference because SUN will be around for a long time and we’re growing.”
Coming off the recent pay-per-view success of ART OF WAR 3 Team USA vs. Team BRAZIL, which garnered the esteemed Platinum 4-Star Award from Tain’d Entertainment, ART OF WAR 4 makes its way to the Deep South in a special event to showcase the hottest new MMA talent.
There are fighters who act crazy before a fight, and then there are fighters who act crazy in the ring. New York’s Crazy Dan “The Caveman” Hawley does both.
It is safe to say four-time state wrestling champion Blair Tugman (1-0) will have his hands full when he steps into the ring against the unorthodox and unpredictable Hawley (4-0) on the next episode of the hit mixed martial arts series Bodog Fight: New Jersey, airing Tuesday, September 18 at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on the ION Television Network.
“I’ve never lost a fight and I never will,” says “The Caveman” with confidence. “I plan to rip off my opponent’s arm and feed it to him in the ring. Meow!”
“He’s going to have to fight my style,” replies an unfazed Tugman. “He should worry about what I’m going to do to him, not what he’s going to do to me! I’m used to training with bigger guys, so I don’t think I’ll have any problem taking him down and controlling him on the mat.”
YOKOHAMA - Gesias Calvancanti prevailed in two fights tonight to defend his Belt in the Hero’s Middleweight World Championship 2007 Tournament Final at the Yokohama Arena.
The twenty-four year-old mixed martial arts fighter was one of three Brazilians in the final four of the 70kg/154lb tournament. The bouts were fought under Hero’s Rules, two five-minute rounds.
The first of the semis featured chute boxer Andre Dida of Brazil and fan favorite, accomplished grappler Caol Uno of Japan.
With a edge in striking, Dida was content to stay on his feet, while Uno wanted to take this one to the mat. Dida did better in the early going, powering a couple of uppercuts and a hard knee to Uno’s face to bloody an eye and send the Japanese fighter to the mat. But Uno was capable on his back, employing bicycle kicks to keep the aggressive Brazilian at bay. Uno dove in looking for a leg takedown but Dida intercepted and the two were re-stood. Now it was Uno who tested with the jab while Dida circled, and the first ended without further damage.
LOS ANGELES - ProElite, Inc., a sports entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) events, today announced the acquisition of King of the Cage, Inc. (KOTC), a prolific MMA promoter with an established stable of world-class fighters and global brand equity.
As part of the agreement, KOTC will promote events in conjunction with Los Angeles-based ProElite’s respected and highly acclaimed live events division, EliteXC, which broadcasts MMA events on Showtime Networks. KOTC will also provide live-streaming video content through ProElite.com.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
DALLAS - Mixed Martial Arts superstar Chuck Liddell and actor/comedian Kevin James help kick off the premiere episode of Inside MMA, the new weekly HDNet series covering the latest news, rankings, stats and highlights from the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
Inside MMA, hosted by Kenny Rice and former MMA fighter Bas Rutten, debuts on HDNet at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday, September 14. This episode includes an appearance by former MMA fighter and HDNet Fights Commissioner Guy Mezger. Each episode of Inside MMA will also include in-depth features by HDNet’s Ron Kruck.
“Inside MMA is the only program of its kind,” said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. “It will be THE destination for MMA fans looking for the latest news and information on this exciting sport.”
HDNet has also announced the new HDNet Fights series that will premiere on the network on October 19.