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  Saturday - July 1, 2006
PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix Results

Click here for article and photos

PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix
North American PPV premiere: July 2, 2006

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New episode of FCF Radio

In our latest broadcast,
we speak with Mark Hominick and Rashad Evans.

Click here to listen/download.  

  Sunday - July 2, 2006
Cage Rage 17: Ultimate Challenge
Held July 1, 2006
Wembley Arena, London, England
Report by David West - Photos by Keith Mills

Melvin Manhoef
The Manhunter Melvin Manhoef added another name to his hit list tonight, sending Ian "The Machine" Freeman into unconsciousness in just seventeen seconds. Freeman charged Manhoef, who knocked him down with a vicious left, then hammer-fisted Freeman on the canvas. The Machine scrambled to his knees but Manhoef blasted him with another left and Freeman dropped to all fours. Standing over his opponent, Manhoef unleashed a nightmare right hand that impacted the side of Freeman's head like a cannonball and left the veteran battler out cold on the floor. Freeman announced afterwards that this was his last fight.

In the biggest upset of the night, unheralded Rob Broughton, from Liverpool, survived a rough first round against PRIDE star James Thompson, in which Thompson pounded Broughton on the floor and bloodied his face. In the second round Thompson maintained the top position for most of the period, but seemed to have gassed out and he couldn't put Broughton away, drawing the derision of the crowd. In the final round, Broughton, who was impossibly still fresh after being mauled for the better part of ten minutes, finally got on top of Thompson and unleashed a furious barrage of hammer fists, landing uncounted blows to the face, and the referee jumped in seconds before Thompson's corner threw in the towel, with their fighter senseless on the canvas. Broughton is now the new British Heavyweight champ.

Broughton is now the new British Heavyweight champ
Broughton victorious over Thompson

Gilbert Yvel nullified Brazilian Fabiano Scherner's leg locks by smashing Scherner with his very heavy hands as his opponent tried to secure submissions from the bottom. Yvel's accurate and potent striking required the referee to save the battered grappler after a minute and a half.

Yvel punching out of submission attempt by Scherner
Yvel punching Scherner

Zelg Galesic pulled off a surprise upset against the much more experienced Curtis Stout, who took Galesic down early in the first round only to get caught in an arm bar.

Paul Daley took the vacant British Welterweight title in a hard-fought contest with Ross Mason. Thai boxer Mason edged out the first round with crisp combinations on his feet, so in the second and third rounds Daley took the fight to the canvas, where he dominated positions and worked an effective ground and pound to take the win by decision.

Pierre Guillet narrowly avoided being tapped out by an ankle lock from Daijiro Matsui in the first round of their match, with Matsui cranking on the submission as Guillet grimaced in agony before he finally freed his leg. On their feet Matsui landed several scathing thigh kicks, but Guillet repeatedly found the mark with some fast hands and wobbled Matsui with his uppercut. After sprawling on a shot from the Japanese grappler, Guillet kept chopping down at Matsui, who suffered a deep cut on his left eyelid that forced the doctor to halt the contest, giving Guillet the TKO win.

Guillet toughing out sub attempt by Matsui
Guillet toughing out sub attempt

Featherweight Mark Chen had been loudly proclaiming that he was the number one contender for the British title, but he came up short against Robbie Olivier, who took Chen down, took his back, and choked him out in just over three minutes in a dominating performance from the Cambridge firefighter.

Full Results:
  • Dean Bray def. Darren Geisha - Rear-naked choke 3:03 R1
  • Robbie Olivier def. Mark Chen - Rear-naked choke 3:11 R1
  • Phil Norman def. David Bielkheden - Unanimous decision
  • Paul Daley def. Ross Mason - Unanimous decision
  • Adbul Mohamed def. Jean Silva - Majority decision
  • Pierre Guillet def. Daijiro Matsui - TKO (Doctor stoppage - cut) 4:08 R2
  • Mark Epstein def. Dave Legeno - KO 0:45 R1
  • Robert Berry def. Henry Miller - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 1:06 R1
  • Zelg Galesic def. Curtis Stout - Armbar - 1:10 R1
  • Gilbert Yvel def. Fabiano Scherner - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 1:30 R1
  • Rob Broughton def. James Thompson - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 0:49 R3
  • Melvin Manhoef def. Ian Freeman - KO 0:17 R1

Cage Fury: A Stellar Debut
By Jim Genia

Al Buck kicking Mike Schneck
Buck kicking Schneck
(June 30th, Atlantic City, New Jersey) Camera crews, projection screens, solid matchmaking, a very smooth production - you'd never guess this was the Cage Fury Fighting Championship's debut show. But it was, and with a nearly-full Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall, it was a great one. Highlights of the night included:
  • Atlantic City MMA's Anthony Morrison, who displayed quite a bit of power in dispatching Will Loushin in just under a minute.
  • TNT Martial Arts' Josh Rhodes, who withstood a hell of a beating to beatdown Wayne Cole.
  • Local star Carmelo Marrero, who put a game Petrus Walker on his back and pounded open a cut for the win.
  • John Swangler (Hamilton Martial Arts-188lbs) vs. Brian DeMuro (Balance-181lbs)
    DeMuro via armbar at 2:49 of R1.

  • Jason Pitman (Team Vendetta-173lbs) vs. Bill Bontcue (Balance-170lbs)
    Bontcue via guillotine at 0:39 of R2.

  • Joe Veres (Jorge Gurgel-156lbs) vs. Dwayne Shelton (Team Prodigy-155lbs)
    Veres via unanimous decision.

  • Brian Vanes (Balance-154lbs) vs. Malachy Friedman (freestyle-156lbs)
    Friedman via guillotine at :22 of Round Two.

  • Dave Perez (Jersey Shore BJJ-185lbs) vs. Dan Miller (Planet JJ-185lbs)
    Miller via TKO - Perez could not answer the bell for R2.

  • Rich Ashkar (Team PKA-171lbs) vs. Frank Lowers (Team Vendetta-166lbs)
    Ashkar via rear choke 1:02 of R1.

  • Anthony Morrison (Atlantic City MMA-156lbs) vs. Will Loushin (FAMA-155lbs)
    Morrison via ref stop due to unanswered strikes at 0:59 of R1 - another impressive win from the powerful Morrison.

  • Alexis Aquino (TNT Martial Arts-185lbs) vs. Josh Roseanne (Dynamic Martial Arts-185lbs)
    Aquino via KO at 1:58 of R1.

  • Al Buck (Team Evolution-154lbs) vs. Mike Schneck (Xtreme Fitness-153lbs)
    Buck via unanimous decision.

  • Nick Cottone (Balance-136lbs) vs. Matt McKabe (Jorge Gurgel-133lbs)
    Cottone via ref stop due to unanswered strikes at 4:53 of R1. Cottone is now the Cage Fury Fighting Championship Featherweight Champ.

  • Doug Gordon (Rio JJ-185lbs) vs. Marcus Davis (Team Irish-182lbs)
    Davis via unanimous decision.

  • Josh Rhodes (TNT Martial Arts-201lbs) vs. Wayne Cole (Team Cole-205lbs)
    Rhodes via ref stop due to unanswered strikes at 4:28 of R1 - a good, back-and-forth battle. Rhodes is now the Cage Fury Fighting Championship Light-Heavyweight Champ.

  • Carmelo Marrero (freestyle-227lbs) vs. Petrus Walker (ATT-257lbs)
    Marrero via doc stop due to a cut at 2:41 of the third round. Marrero is now the Cage Fury Fighting Championship Heavyweight Champ.

  Tuesday - July 4, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Pellegrino's Inevitable Shot
By Derek Callahan

Kurt Pellegrino, victorious once again at MFC 5 - Photo by Tom DeFazio If a wrestler doesn't seem religious, it's because he doesn't need anything else to worship: he's already got Dan Gable. Wrestlers look up to Dan Gable more than the Lost Boys looked up to Peter Pan. There have been so many Dan Gable anecdotes, stories, quips and myths that he's become as much a fairy tale as he was a wrestler. One of them says that Gable would always work ten or fifteen minutes more a day than his opponent. Kurt Pellegrino (11-1) lives by this idea, and hopes that when he fights Drew Fickett (28-4) at UFC 61 on July 8th, the math will be right.

The math says that those mere minutes of extra work add up to days, or even weeks more training put in than Gable, or in this case Pellegrino's, opponent. It's counting pennies to make dollars, and Pellegrino hopes to cash in on his UFC debut.

"I'm not just training for myself, I'm training for my dream," says Pellegrino, sounding as if he were talking to a camera on The Ultimate Fighter. As a local favorite who sells tickets and has an outgoing personality, Pellegrino seems like the type to make his way through the TV show. He got his shot the old fashioned way though, having never lost a fight in the United States.

"I believe my character would have been 100-percent hilarious on that show. But God works in mysterious ways, because I probably would have made a fool out of myself," laughs Pellegrino. "It would have made great TV."

More seriously, Pellegrino has become an East Coast stalwart, getting the chance to take on international opponents while transitioning from his renowned submission grappling career. "My grappling record is very good, and I've always believed in my jiu-jitsu," says Pellegrino. A record of 94-3 in grappling left him wanting more.

"I did this sport to get away from the jiu-jitsu matches," he says. Since June of 2001 he's been inching closer to full-throttle MMA training with Ricardo Almeida, then American Top Team and now Hermes Franca's school in Jupiter, Florida. Talking about the fight with Fickett, Pellegrino gets excited, and seems eager to show off his game.

"I'm very interested to see where this fight will go. I want it to be on the feet and on the ground," he says. "I want to show the world how good my stand up is. People may think I'm cocky, or maybe arrogant. No one knows that I'm even good!"

Pellegrino, a native of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, comes into this bout with something to prove. Apparently it's nothing new. "I was always the kid who, 'you can't do this, you can't do that,'" he says.

It gives him the desire to work an extra fifteen minutes more after practice and the desire to fight a contender at 170-pounds when he could just as easily fight at lightweight, a division where he's never lost. However, "my most important thing is I believe in myself so much," he says. In high school, he bumped up from a 140-pound wrestler to 160-pounds, trying to prove that he could hang with bigger competition. As a runner up in the state tournament the year before, he was leaving a weight class that he has a pretty good handle on. His senior year, twenty pounds out of his element, he repeated as a state runner up.

MFC 4: Kurt Pellegrino grins as he beats on Sergei Goliaev - Photo by Tom DeFazio
Pellegrino grins as he beats on Sergei Goliaev at MFC 4

"My wrestling complements my jiu-jitsu," says Pellegrino, referencing that fighting is one of the only things to come so naturally to him. "I have a hard time reading or writing, but if you show me how to do a single leg [takedown] I'll have it perfect by the end of the night." It's an ability that has him enthusiastic about fighting Drew Fickett in what is the highest-profile bout of his career. For Pellegrino, his enthusiasm breeds strategy.

"Just kind of play cat and mouse and when it's time to put them in the trap, I do," he says. "I'm looking forward to fighting Drew Fickett," summing up his thoughts on the bout. As someone who has earned a sterling reputation in grappling, and has sacrificed to find the best training he could, Pellegrino isn't generally one to let opportunities pass him by.

"I want to show everyone how much work I've put in," he says. "This is a dream come true for anyone who works hard."

The Northern Touch: News and Notes from Canadian MMA
Soszynski, Desilets, and Macdonald Victories
Highlight Busy Friday Night

By Kelsey Mowatt

Victoriaville, Quebec hosted TKO 26 "Heatwave" Friday night, June 30th, at the Colisee Des Bois-Francs, and although the card did not feature many of TKO's more famous alumni, some of the night's action did indeed feature some notable results. Team Tompkins and International Fight League veteran heavyweight Krzyzstof Soszynski returned to the winning column by submitting tough TKO veteran Yan Pellerin with a Kimura at 1:30 of round one. Although Soszynski has been training with the famous Tompkins' team that is noted for its strikers, the Winnipeg fighter / MMA promoter went back to his extensive jiu-jitsu background to pull off the win.

"Game plan was to stand up with Pellerin," says Soszynski as he discusses his game plan going in and the end of the fight. "I was told he is a good ground fighter and I have been training with Shawn Tompkins and Bas Rutten so my stand up is improving every day. Once I connected with my straight left I felt that he did not want to trade no more, so he went for the clinch, we exchanged knees for a bit then he dropped for a single and took me down, he immediately put his hands on the side and I right away went for the Kimura, my favorite sub, I waited till he loosened up and I went for it, he tapped."

The win brings Soszynski's combined pro-am record to 12-6-1, and ends a five fight winless streak for the heavyweight. Although some of Soszynski's recent losses are against reputable opposition like Matt Horwich, Brian Schall and most recently, against Miletich fighter Ben Rothwell at the IFL in April, the win will go a long way to restoring Soszynski in amongst Canada's heavyweight rankings.

"It feels great to win again, it has been a while," Soszynski tells FCF. "I did very well against Rothwell, everyone thought I would loose in a minute to Ben, but I did very well and had him hurt on a couple of occasions, just did not finish. It was a great learning experience for me and a confidence boost, Pellerin is a very tough fighter, it was my biggest win to date."

Soszynski will have plenty of opportunity to build upon his TKO 26 victory, as the Winnipeg fighter continues to prepare for several cards, both in Canada and south of the border, that he will be fighting on over the next few months.

"I have been spending a lot of time in LA with Bas Rutten and Shawn Tompkins," Soszynski says. "Having those two guys as my coaches is amazing, I am very lucky to be in the situation I am in now. Next is TKO July 29th, IFL Sept 9th, and UCW (Ultimate Cage Wars) Battle for the Belts, Oct 29th."

In the night's main event fight, lightheavyweight Martin Desilets made short work of David Medd, stopping the less experienced fighter with strikes at 3:45 of the first round. The win keeps Desilets record unblemished at 5-0, a record that also includes a TKO victory over the aforementioned Soszynski at TKO 23 last November. One certainly gets the feeling that Desilet's placement in the main event and subsequent prominent positioning in TKO posters as of late, may reflect the organization's wish to groom Desilet as Quebec's next MMA export.

On the injury front, Team Tompkins fighter Chris Horodecki was unable to fight Samuel Guillet due to injury; Guillet stopped Horodecki's replacement, Jimmy Tat, with strikes at 3:06 of round one.

Macdonald Defeats Spiegel At Extreme Cage Combat 2 "Collision Course"

Jason "The Athlete" Macdonald stopped Jerry Spiegel in the second round at 0:33 by TKO Friday night, in the main event of ECC 2 "Collision Course" in Moncton, New Brunswick. The win is Macdonald's second in a row, as the Red Deer fighter recently defeated Gideon Ray in April by unanimous decision at the ECC's debut event. Unfortunately for Moncton MMA fans, Macdonald's scheduled opponent, Canadian BTT member Stephan Potvin, was unable to compete after incurring injuries in his recent loss to Luigi Fioravanti, June 10th, at Apex "Evolution." The win brings Macdonald's record up to 14-7, while the loss drops Spiegel's record to 4-18-1.

In other action at ECC 2, Victor Valimaki defeated Craig Sloan by unanimous decision, Jesse Bongfeldt submitted Eric Beaulieu with a rear naked choke at 1:16 of round one, and Dave Scholten earned a TKO win in the opening round by stopping Tim Tamaki at 2:17.

  Thursday - July 6, 2006
July 7th Ring of Combat Show Postponed
By Jim Genia

Thanks to the New Jersey governor, the legislature, an impasse over the state budget and some ill-conceived political games, the July 7th Ring of Combat show at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City has been postponed until a later date.

To put pressure on the legislature, an executive order issued by Governor Corzine has for the past six days forced a shutdown for all non-essential governmental services -- which included the lottery, state parks, the casinos (state inspectors have to oversee gambling activities), and even the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. Earlier today an agreement was reached on the budget, but because of legal technicalities (an actual bill must be drafted by the legislature, voted on, then signed by the governor) it will take 24 to 36 hours before that executive order can be lifted. No NJSACB employees (i.e. - referees, judges, etc.) can work before then. Ultimately, that means there can be no show.

For the promoter Lou Neglia, who put together a fantastic card and even flew in a competitor from Japan to face Laura D'Auguste, and for all the fighters who trained hard in preparation, this is a tough blow to absorb. But Ring of Combat -- which is considered to be one of the best MMA promotions in the Garden State, and which has served as a stepping stone for more than a few UFC fighters -- will definitely be back.

Down in Weight and Up in Energy,
Stevenson Faces Lightweight Test

By Derek Callahan

Spending time at Tito Ortiz's stacked Big Bear training camp, Joe Stevenson (25-6) is on top of his strategy for his fight this Saturday against Yves Edwards (31-10-1). "You have to be on top of Yves," he says. Surrounded for the past several weeks with wrestling studs like Ortiz and fellow Ultimate Fighter alumnus Matt Hamill, Stevenson plans on navigating the fight to where he thinks the advantage will be.

"My biggest strong point is probably jiu-jitsu," he says, coupling it with a pedigree in wrestling. While Stevenson's gameplan is no secret to Edwards, the inverse is also true. "It's easy to imagine what he's gonna do," says Stevenson. In Edwards, the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner has a fighter who is good enough on the ground to not just survive, but work to his feet and create his own offensive. With his jiu-jitsu and wrestling, Stevenson brings the type of aggressive ground and pound that opens doors for submission.

"I think that's a very good formula to fight Yves because he's very good on the ground," he says. With the physical tools and skills coming in nearly even, Stevenson is focused on keeping his head on straight going into the bout. "I feel like I need to be prepared for war. My cardio, mental state need to be 100-percent," he says. In order for that to have happened, Stevenson had to overcome the initial effort to get on weight. Having fought the gamut from 155 to 170 pounds since he began his career at age 16, Stevenson upped his public recognition substantially by winning the welterweight side of TUF 2.

"When I fight I like to have fun, go 110-percent," he says. At 170-pounds, it was becoming tougher to keep both a furious pace and a reasonable weight. It culminated last April when Stevenson was upset by Josh Neer, losing a lackluster unanimous decision. "Any loss sucks but for the most part I blame myself. I went out there not in the right mind frame and performed accordingly," he says. "I just cruised a lot in that fight."

For Stevenson, where his weight stays is a hint at how hard he's working. "I use it as a measuring stick," he says. At welterweight it didn't take much to be on weight, so he made the decision to take it down a notch to 155 by putting in more effort at the gym. "It was a decision I wanted to do from the get-go," he says.

"At 170, it's just really easy to cruise, you don't have to put too much effort into it." Ironically down in weight and feeling more pumped up, Stevenson is looking forward to shaking off the loss to Neer. "Everything happens for a reason, maybe I just needed to get my butt in gear," he reasons. "I don't have one regret with any decision I made."

Since his debut in 1999, Stevenson has made plenty of decisions. Having made his debut at such a young age, he's seen the like of Jens Pulver, Chris Brennan and other UFC veterans that are now predecessors to the different generation of fighters that start to peak on TV.

"I think they stack up very well," he says about the newer crop of competition compared to the old guard. "The distinct advantage is I was able to grow." Big changes in a career make for fresh starts, and it certainly looks that way for Stevenson. He's down a weight class and in the thick of a newly reintroduced, heavily talented group.

Chances to redeem a 7-year old loss to Jens Pulver and go for the reincarnation of the lightweight title are suddenly plausible opportunities, and Stevenson sees it all as good opportunities meeting the type of preparation that he's constructed over his time in the sport. His most recent preparation has taken him to Big Bear where he, along with roommate Kendall Grove and a host of others, are getting ready for the future.

"Nothing but positive vibes, that's extremely important mentally," says Stevenson on how Big Bear has helped him. "You have to feel good everyday. Not only the caliber of guys but their attitude levels." It's attitude that has put him in a position to make his name in the UFC in the first place. No longer the kid who needs to grow, Stevenson must get through his first, formidable test as a lightweight.

"When you're green you grow, when you're ripe you rot," he says about his young start. Right now, he's grown by dropping weight. Against Edwards, it's the time to see how much he has grown, and where that will take him.

  Friday - July 7, 2006
Podcast logo

New episode of FCF Radio

In our latest broadcast,
we speak with Hermes Franca and Jason Macdonald.

Click here to listen/download.  

  Saturday - July 8, 2006
Professional Fighting Association: Pride and Fury 5 "USA vs. the World"
Held July 6, 2006
At the Coeur D'Alene Casino
Worley, Idaho
Report & photos by Mike Neva

For their fifth professional event, co-promoters Derek Cleveland and Trevor Pangley used the tried-and-true adage of the United States against all comers. Earmarked as "USA vs. the World", nine fighters from seven Nations comprised the World team, with the Lion's Den Fight Team (Idaho Branch) representing the USA. Anchored by UFC and Pride vet, Josh Thomson, the heavily favored USA squad went on to win all but one bout.

MMA stars were out in full force (L-R) Bill Mahood, Trevor Prangley, Phil Baroni, Cook and Bobby Southworth - Photo by Mike Neva
Mahood, Prangley, Baroni, Cook & Southworth

In the headliner, Thomson took on relative unknown, Rocky Johnson, for the PFA lightweight title. As the bout commenced, the easygoing Thomson seemed content to circle and trade leg kicks with Johnson. With a smile on his face and the hometown fans cheering him on, Thomson proceeded to throw a flying axe kick that narrowly missed the mark as it whistled passed the ear of a ducking Johnson. In return, Johnson fired off a spinning back kick, which landed to the mid section, but didn't seem to phase the steadfast Thomson. Moments later, Thomson again threw an axe kick, but lost his balance giving Johnson the opportunity to take the fight to the ground. Although the Greco Roman specialist, Johnson, seemed more at ease on the mat, the well-rounded Thomson, a product of the American Kickboxing Academy, quickly transitioned into an arm bar for the submission victory.

Manabusen (bottom) taps to choke by Routh - Photo by Mike Neva
Manabusen (bottom) taps to choke

Look for a full report in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter.

Bush choking Heo - Photo by Mike Neva
Bush choking Heo

Muay Thai results

Travis Smith (USA) def. Jameel Al-Muthafar (Iraq) by unanimous decision after R4

Amateur MMA results

James Berti (USA) def. Dave Adriatico (Philippines) by TKO referee stoppage from strikes at 1:03 of R1

Chanti Johnson (USA) def. Shawn Scribbner (USA) by guillotine choke at 1:06 of R1

Ed Nuno (Mexico) def. Mike Wells (USA) by TKO referee stoppage from strikes at 2:25 of R2

Pro MMA results

Zach Lari (USA) def. Tranjit Thiara (India) by rear-naked choke at 3:03 of R1

Travis Bush (USA) def. Yoon Heo (Korea) by rear-naked choke at 4:22 of R2

Ray Routh (USA) def. Zach Manabusen (Guam) by head & arm choke at 0:25 of R1

Josh Curran (USA) def. Trent Standing (USA) by TKO doctor stoppage from a cut at 5:00 of R1

Josh Thomson (USA) def. Rocky Johnson (USA) by arm bar at 1:55 of R1

Thomson submitting Johnson - Photo by Mike NevaA blood soaked Trent Standing - Photo by Mike Neva
Thomson submitting
Bloody Standing

Edwards Returned to a New Division,
Now Looks to Adjust

By Derek Callahan

Yves Edwards - Photo by Joel Gold
Two fights in Pride and two more in the UFC are all that's guaranteed right now for Yves Edwards. Someone who has earned so much as far as reputation in the ring, Edwards will have to earn whatever he gets beyond those four separate shots. In what is known widely as a "what-have-you-done-lately?" business, lately Edwards has been training for the UFC. To their credit, the UFC has been moving lately with the lightweights.

"Hearing that the lightweight title is coming back is giving me focus," says Edwards. More than anyone since Jens Pulver, Edwards was a UFC stalwart. During the only UFC lightweight champion's reign, Edwards was on his way up. Early losses to Matt Serra and Caol Uno held him back from Pulver, but after "Little Evil" left for greener pastures Edwards took the division as his own. He won his next six UFC fights, but still no title was in sight.

"When you've had a fight or two in the UFC you're there. Without a title at lightweight it was kind of hard," he says. Through the fall of 2004 and all of 2005, Edwards didn't get a chance in the UFC. He had won all his fights, but the uncrowned "People's Champ" of the division was MIA. Finally in March of this year, the chance to get back into the mix came and, like any pessimist would expect, Edwards was upset by Mark Hominick.

"Of course I want a rematch with that guy," he says. "I just didn't perform to my standards, that's what disappoints me more than anything." He didn't have much time to get over the disappointment, because his second of a three-fight contract came creeping up as fast as his return to the UFC did.

"It was good, a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect it to be that quick, I was pleasantly surprised," says Edwards on his UFC return. Next up is former welterweight Joe Stevenson, the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner who is coming off a loss of his own, to Josh Neer. "Of course I've seen quite a few of his fights," says Edwards on Stevenson. "I see a lot of good things about him, his jiu-jitsu looks strong. Those leg locks look pretty painful."

With that in mind, Edwards is keeping his Texas-based training camp intense until he boards the plane for Vegas. "My cardio is where I want it to be, I'm still pushing it. When I leave town is when I cool it down," he says. On another hand, Edwards can't afford to cool down. While for a while it looked as if the division was all him, Hermes Franca and Josh Thomson, right now that can't be farther from reality.

"I'm looking forward to this new division and the challenges," he says. "The UFC is where I cut my teeth as far as being a name and I want to be the man there." That can't happen without first beating Stevenson, who assuredly has the same goals in mind. Trying to put the unexpected loss to Hominick behind him, Edwards knows there will be pressure to avoid dropping two in a row.

"Pressure's like Jell-O, you feed off it or drown in it and there's always room for Jell-O," he reasons. "All the guys I can mention are tough, even the young guys. If you like to fight tough guys, this is like being a kid in a candy store."

Edwards knows that he doesn't have to worry about getting tough fights. The trick now will be adapting to a revamped division that includes a whole new array of competition for Edwards. Arguably the most notable addition -- or more accurately re-addition -- is Jens Pulver.

Edwards wasn't enough of a contender during Pulver's time as champion, so the meeting between two well-rounded yet dangerous strikers never took place. Even with the loss to Hominick, Edwards was the one whose stock rose the highest in Pulver's absence. The return of both to the organization that helped make them famous excites Edwards, who keeps his enthusiasm for that match in the back of his mind.

"Man, Jens Pulver's back and that excites me. The man was the champion he deserves to be back. That means something," he says. Edwards has lost before and came back before, but with Stevenson in his way, none of the options in a deep lightweight division are open to him yet. It takes a win against Stevenson, and must go from there.

  Sunday - July 9, 2006
UFC 61: Ortiz Ends Shamrock's Night Quickly, and Sylvia Goes Distance To Defend Title
By Kelsey Mowatt

The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted UFC 61 "Bitter Rivals" Saturday night, and due to the pre-fight hype that has accompanied the cards co-main events, speculation was abounding that the UFC might have possibly set new pay per view records this evening. As is unfortunately to often the case, the under card match ups and not the main attractions tonight, offered the most compelling action.

One of the card's co-main event featured former UFC Light-heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz meeting the legendary Ken Shamrock in what was being billed as a "grudge" match. In what is now well documented history, the two Season 4 "Ultimate Fighter" coaches have a long storied past, including Ortiz defeating several of Shamrock's Lion's Den training partners, Jerry Bohlander and Guy Mezger, and pummeling Shamrock himself for a TKO victory, at UFC 40 in 2002. The pre-fight hysteria continued as each fighter walked out to the Octagon, as a roaring crowd and security guards greeted the fighters to make sure the two men did not begin the bout prematurely.

Unfortunately for fight fans around the world and in attendance, the fight itself would not live up to its ferocious hype, ending in just over a minute. As the opening bell sounded, Shamrock seemed to surprise Ortiz as the 42-year-old combatant rushed at him throwing left and right punches, momentarily pinning "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" against the fence. Ortiz calmly pushed Shamrock's head away and transferred into a Thai clinch only to drop down in attempting to secure a double leg takedown. As in their first fight almost 4 years ago, Shamrock was unable to keep the fight standing as Ortiz slammed the Lion's Den mentor hard to the mat. In similar fashion to so many of Ortiz's previous wins, the former champ quickly pined Shamrock against the Octagon fence and began raining blows down onto the veteran fighter. Ortiz proceeded to land five unanswered thunderous right elbows to the head of Shamrock, prompting referee Herb Dean to jump in and rescue Shamrock who was doing little to defend himself. Shamrock rose to his feet almost immediately to vehemently protest the stoppage, as many in the Mandalay Bay audience also booed the fight's quick halt. Despite the protests of Shamrock, his corner and many in attendance, the TKO victory was awarded to Ortiz at 1:18 of round one, improving the fighter's record to 15-4. In a post fight interview with Randy Couture, Ortiz defended Dean's decision to stop the fight, while also stating he would fight Shamrock again if needed.

UFC President Dana White then proceeded to the Octagon to announce that PRIDE 205 pound Champion Wanderlei Silva was in attendance and invited him into the cage. At this juncture it was also announced that current UFC LHW Champion Chuck Liddell would fight Silva in November, provided that Liddell defends his title against Renato Sobral next month at UFC 62. In what was no doubt, one on the nights more defining moments for hardcore MMA fans, Liddell and Silva then engaged in a somewhat theatrical stare down.

The night's other main event pitted UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia against the former champion Andrei Arlovski in the highly anticipated rubber match. Sylvia regained his belt in April at UFC 59, after stopping Arlovski in the first round to avenge his UFC 51 loss to "the Pitbull," in February of 2005. The opening installment of this heavyweight fight saw both fighters eager to test the other's chin, as each fighter measured their opponent with feints and jabs during the opening seconds. Arlvoski landed several telling kicks to Sylvia's lead leg, causing noticeable swelling and redness around the Champion's knee. As the first round appeared to be going in Arlovksi's direction, Sylvia landed a stiff right cross that sent the former champion reeling into the fence. To his credit, Arlovksi quickly negated Sylvia's attack by tying him up in the clinch and as the first round ended, he had once again resumed his pursuit of Sylvia.

The second round of the bout would set the tone for the remainder of the fight, as a pressing Arlvoski was consistently greeted and stifled by an effective counter punching game from Sylvia. The leg kicks in Arlovski's arsenal that he had thrown so effectively in the first round all but disappeared, and Sylvia never was prey to the right cross that Arlovski used to drop the Champion in their previous two meetings. Still the second round of the fight was extremely close, and although Arlvoski lands a few blows to Sylvia's midsection, his pace began to diminish by the end of the second round.

The third and middle installment of the fight saw the pace slow considerably, and with little notable offense being brought by each fighter, suspicions at this juncture that the fight might become a strategic five round effort, seemed to be confirmed.

The evidence of Sylvia's effective counter punching became fairly evident by the fourth round, as Arlvoski was bleeding around both eyes, and his face was bruised and swollen. The fourth and fifth round were still extremely competitive, as both Arlovski and Sylvia were able to land a few punches and occasional leg kicks over the remainder of the fight. Despite the crowd growing restless due to the methodical approach by each fighter, the steady pace continued until the end of the bout, and neither fighter ever came close to ending the fight as the rubber match came to a conclusion. The judge's decision rewarded Sylvia's discipline and sound preparation, as he was granted a unanimous decision victory with a 48-47, 49-46 and 48-47 score.

The night's swing fight included two of the UFC's more highly regarded up and coming welterweights, as TUF Season 2 veteran Josh Burkman would take on Miletich Fighting Systems member Josh Neer. In a fight that saw great action from both fighters in the standing and ground positions, Burkman would land more of the telling blows, including a right hand that dropped Neer in the opening round and several hard takedowns that led to further ground and pound punishment throughout the bout. In the end the judges awarded Burkman for a well balanced performance against a resilient Neer, giving him the unanimous decision with29-28, 30-27, 29-28 score.

The pay per view portion of the event began with Yves Edwards taking on Joe Stevenson in a lightweight match up, and was Stevenson's debut at 155 pounds in UFC competition. Despite starting the fight with bang by landing a left high kick to the head of Stevenson, the follow up flurry by Edwards would mark the fighter's telling offense of the night. "Daddy" Stevenson would recover from this early setback to enact his highly regarded ground game, ultimately taking Edwards down only to severely cut the UFC veteran with numerous elbows to his head. By the end of round two, a horrifically bloodied Edwards was no longer allowed to continue as the doctor would stop the fight, making Stevenson's debut at 155 a successful one.

Next to step into the Octagon were heavyweights Frank Mir and Dan Christison, with the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Mir looking to rebound from a loss to Marcio Cruz and Christison hoping to build upon a recent victory over Brad Imes in April. For most of the fight it appeared that Christison may in fact pull off the upset, as Mir at times was on the defensive both standing and on the ground. As round two ended, the exhausted former champion needed to clearly win round three, and Mir did just that. Promptly coming out and putting Christison on the mat, Mir appeared to be on the verge of stopping his opponent, punishing the New Mexico fighter with punches and elbows from side mount. Christison, to his credit, survived the onslaught to once again begin offence of his own as the fight came to an end. Despite being given the unanimous decision victory by the judges, with all three scoring it 29-28, the questions about Mir's ability to once again climb to the top of the heavyweight division still clearly remain.

In the card's dark matches; Hermes Franca submitted Joe Jordan with a triangle choke at 0:47 of round three, Drew Fickett defeated Kurt Pellegrino with a rear naked choke at 1:20 of round three, Cheick Kongo was awarded the doctor's stoppage victory over Gilbert Aldana due to cut at 4:13 of round one, and Jeff Monson stopped Anthony Perosh in the first round with strikes to earn the TKO win at 2:22.

  Tuesday - July 11, 2006
FCF Survey
What's on your mind?

Give Us Your Thoughts...

Dalby Shirley - Photo by Joel Gold
In light of recent controversial judging performances (the 29-29 score by judge Dalby Shirley in the Evans/Bonnar fight at Ultimate Fight Night comes to mind ... you know, the one where commentator Joe Rogan said that the judge who scored that fight a draw should be shot.), we wanted your thoughts on the officiating/judging process overall. Do you feel that fight officials are being properly trained? Do some states do better than others in the process of recruiting/training/licensing? Should judges and referees be required to take standardized training courses and tests that are specific to MMA officiating? Should judges/referees experienced in other sports like boxing and kickboxing be automatically licensed as MMA officials with little or no training in the new sport due to their pre-existing knowledge and experience in the other sports? Should officials be held accountable for bad calls (we already know how Joe Rogan would handle it, but what do YOU think should be the process for reviewing/handling bad judgments by officials)? After all, these calls affect fighters' livelihoods and careers. We'd like to hear your thoughts and ideas on the process as it exists today and how it might be improved upon. The results of the survey and some of the commentary we receive may appear in the upcoming issue of FCF.

Click here to take the survey

  Wednesday - July 12, 2006
The Northern Touch: News and Notes from Canadian MMA
Team Toshido:
Kelowna Fight Team Is Starting To Turn Heads

By Kelsey Mowatt

Kelowna, British Columbia's Team Toshido is quickly gaining notoriety throughout Canada's MMA scene, as one of the countries best up and coming fight teams. Headed up by instructor's David Lea and Vince Ross, Toshido's roster boasts an impressive winning percentage, and although the majority of the team is still relatively inexperienced, MMA insiders have begun to take notice of Toshido's fighters. Most recently the team came back from Rumble in the Cage 17 in Lethbridge, Alberta, with nothing but good news to report, as members Tim Jenson, Rory Macdonald and Gary Wright all walked away with victories.

"I think we are one of the most underestimated teams in Canada," says Toshido head instructor David Lea. "We have one of the highest winning percentages in the world. At the last Rumble in the Cage Tim Jenson totally overwhelmed Jason Tatlow and he's considered one of the top guys at that weight. (lightweight) In Gary Wright's last fight he felt gypped and disappointed because the fight didn't go long enough. We've got five guys competing regularly now, and people are starting to notice. We've had to say no to a lot of fights because so many promoters are calling us after seeing our guys fight."

Indeed the team's winning percentage is quite impressive, regardless of the fact that most of Toshido's fighters have yet to eclipse the five fight mark. The aforementioned Tim Jenson and Gary Wright have 4-0 and 3-0 records respectively; Mike Adams also is undefeated at 4-0, while 16 year old stand out Rory Macdonald has gone 3-0 to begin his MMA career. The teams overall pro-am record according to the FCF database is an impressive 19-5. Macdonald, who turns 17 next month, is already drawing comparisons to Team Tompkins protιgι Chris Horodecki, who at just 18 years old; has put together a six fight winning streak to begin his promising career.

"Josh Burkman saw one of Rory's fights and he couldn't believe it," Lea tells FCF. "Nothing against Horodecki, he's a great fighter but he has nothing on this kid. Rory's jiu-jitsu is unbelievable, he's an amazing athlete. He started training when he was 14, helping the other guys get ready for fights; we're trying to bring him along slowly. I totally understand peoples fear when they hear a 16 year old is fighting professionally, but once you see him fight you change your mind. He walks through guys in their twenties."

The recent successes of Team Toshido are the product of years and years of martial arts training and fighting from the team's more senior members. Lea has an extensive background in martial arts and is a former professional MMA fighter, while Ross is a retired kick boxing Champion. When MMA was just a drastically misunderstood and fledgling sport six years ago in Western Canada, Lea, Jason Towns and Bob Shabaga competed for Team Toshido in various MMA events.

"My hope is to return to fighting at some point," Lea confirms. "I've had a string of bad luck, I separated my shoulder in my last fight, then blew out my knee rolling with Marc Laimon after I had finally recovered from that. Jason Towns was set to have a come back fight against Justin Tavernini but he broke his foot before the fight. We are always trying to evolve with the sport, our philosophy is to take the fight anywhere, I'd have to say our jiu-jitsu is our base but we are very comfortable with our stand up. Tony Pep has been out to see us and always compliments us on our stand up game."

Lea, who is now 35 years old, was also one of the key contributors in getting MMA legally sanctioned in British Columbia and the city of Vancouver. His World Freestyle Fighting Championships was the first MMA event to be held in the province's largest city of Vancouver, and although Lea is no longer active in promoting, he is confident that the recent call for a risk assessment of MMA by Vancouver's city council; will not result in a ban of the sport.

"Well two years ago I basically took a giant step away from promoting," says Lea. "I wanted to focus back on my fighters and the gym, promoting is an all encompassing industry and my club and fighters were suffering. I took what I learned from promoting MMA in the Okanagan and went to Vancouver, at the time they didn't want any MMA inside city limits. I tried to educate them on it, I convinced them to do some shows on trial basis and they realized that MMA was a very progressive thing; it had progressed beyond many sports, even boxing. I haven't heard this directly from "the horse's "mouth, but I think this latest main focus from city council was on the Toughman issue, apparently some of them thought Toughman and MMA were the same thing."

From the event's promoter:
Rogers Sportsnet (Canada) to
Broadcast Original IFL Shows
(Legends Championship)

Rogers Sportsnet has recently acquired the rights to televise the International Fight League (IFL) shows originally aired on Fox Sports Net. This expansion into the Canadian marketplace is a great fit for the world's first mixed martial arts league.

Broadcast times all Eastern

Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
7/13/2006 midnight – 1:00am
7/16/2006 11:00pm – midnight
8/3/2006 midnight – 1:00am

Rogers Sportsnet West
7/16/2006 10:00pm – 11:00pm
7/31/2006 1am – 2am
8/7/2006 1am – 2am

Rogers Sportsnet Ontario
7/16/2006 10:00pm – 11:00pm
7/17/2006 8:00 pm – 9:00pm
7/18/2006 8:00 pm – 9:00pm
7/24/2006 8:00 pm – 9:00pm
7/25/2006 8:00 pm – 9:00pm

Rogers Sportsnet East
7/16/2006 10:00 pm – 11:00pm

  Thursday - July 13, 2006
From the event's promoter:
Extreme Challenge Tourney Full of Young Talent

HAYWARD, Wis. -- Over the years, the Extreme Challenge 8-man tourney at LCO Casino has helped discover some of the sport's top stars.

In EC 21 it was Matt Hughes and Dennis Hallman; In EC 29 Hughes was back, along with Dave Menne, Joe Doerksen, LaVerne Clark and Chris Lytle; In EC 63 it was Brock Larson and Ryan McGivern.

The EC 68 event, scheduled July 15, will feature an 8-man welterweight tourney with a field that has combined to win 48 bouts, while losing only 12.

"We're hoping to find the next Matt Hughes," says promoter Monte Cox. "We did it before, so who's to say we can't do it again?"

Headlining the show is a battle between Jamie Toney (6-2) and UFC veteran Brian Gassaway (21-14).

But, the tourney always seems to steal the show.

"This year, we'll do the first two rounds... then, the two finalists will return to fight for the title on Aug. 26," Cox explained.

The tourney features: Chad Reiner (10-0) of Omaha, Nebraska; Dustin Hazlette (5-2) of Huntington, W.V.; Victor Moreno (16-5) of Des Moines, Iowa; Bobby Voelker (5-1) of Kansas City, Mo.; Mark Bear (6-4) of Tama, Iowa; Justin Wilcox (1-0) of Erie, Pa.; Nick Sorg (4-0) of Findlay, Ohio; and Edward O'Daniel (1-0) of Dayton, Ohio.

Tickets are available at LCO Casino. Check out the website at www.lcocasino.com.

Special guests include former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver; current UFC star Jorge Gurgel, former UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne and former UFC heavyweight standout Andre Roberts.

Extreme Challenge 68
July 15, LCO Casino, Hayward, Wis.

Main Event
Jamie Toney (6-2) vs. Brian Gassaway (21-14)

8-man Welterweight Tournament
Bracket A
Victor Moreno (16-5) vs. Nick Sorg (4-0)
Mark Bear (6-4) vs. Dustin Hazlette (5-2)
Bracket B
Bobby Voelker (5-1) vs. Justin Wilcox (1-0)
Edward O'Daniel (1-0) vs. Chad Reiner (10-0)

Alternate Bout
Jason Loucke (3-0) Bettendorf, Iowa vs. Mike Cardosa (0-0) Carlsbad, Calif.

Special appearances
Jens Pulver, former UFC lightweight champion
Jorge Gurgel, UFC vet, Ultimate Fighter TV
Dave Menne, former UFC middleweight champion
Andre Roberts, 4-time UFC standout

  Friday - July 14, 2006
Podcast logo

New episode of FCF Radio

In our latest broadcast,
we speak with Jeff Monson and Bill Mahood.

Click here to listen/download.  

From the event's promoter:
K-1 Offers August Open Fighter Tryout

K-1, the world's premiere martial arts fight promotion, will host its fourth-ever open tryout for both stand-up fighting and mixed martial arts competitors at Las Vegas, Nevada's Bellagio on Friday, August 11th and Saturday, August 12th, the day of its "Battle at Bellagio" mega-card.

The two-day trial period will be open to all fighters in all weight classes and will serve as a means of recruiting new blood not only for K-1's stand-up fighting circuit, but also for its mixed martial arts fight cards.

"It's the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone looking to do this for a living and make a name for themselves in the sport," said 25-year-old Patrick Barry, a graduate of the first open tryout in K-1 history, held at the Bellagio in August 2004. Barry, a powerful heavyweight Muay Thai striker, has since seen action in K-1 events staged in both Japan and Las Vegas, including April 29th's "Mayhem At Mirage II," where he battled Russia's Alexandre Pitchkounov in a tournament reserve contest. "The tryouts really helped launch my career with K-1. Before that, I was just kind of floating around and looking for a window that would lead to a shot in the big-time. It's a great feeling now to know that people 18,000 miles away know my name."

The April 29th card in Las Vegas also hosted the debut of another K-1 tryout veteran, Dan Green. In 2005, Green, a former amateur boxer and kickboxer from Utah, was simply a number amongst over 100 contestants vying for a place with the fight promotion.

Tryout participants will partake in various exercises that test a wide array of skills including speed, power, coordination, flexibility, and knowledge of the sport. They will also engage in modified sparring sessions with one another.

K-1 USA Fight Coordinator Sven Bean will oversee and direct all activities during the two-day trial period. A group of judges as well as executives from K-1 Japan and K-1 USA will observe the tryouts and make recruiting decisions. Judges of past K-1 open fighter tryouts have included legendary K-1 competitor Sam Greco as well as three-time K-1 tournament champion, Michael McDonald, and 2005 K-1 World Grand Prix Hawaii champion, "Big Daddy" Gary Goodridge.

Those who wish to register for the tryout should contact Mr. Bean via email at beanz4@msn.com or should fax a request for an official tryout application to 303-400-1756. Candidates will be required to make their own arrangements for travel and stay in Las Vegas during the tryout period.

K-1 will supply all boxing gloves and headgear for the tryouts. Participants will be required to bring their own shorts and protective equipment including a groin protector, a mouthpiece, and shin guards.

K-1 is a martial arts fighting sport that derives its name from its inclusion of a wide array of combat disciplines, including Karate, Kung-Fu, and Kickboxing ("K"), and its intent to determine one champion in one ring ("1"). After being staged for the first time in Japan in 1993 under the direction of founder Master Kazuyoshi Ishii, it later evolved into the country's most popular sport and achieved popular culture status there as its athletes turned into larger-than-life celebrities.

  Saturday - July 15, 2006
From the event's promoter:
Small Changes for Extreme Challenge Tournament

HAYWARD, Wis. -- Mike Cardosa of Carlsbad, Calif., didn't even allow promoter Monte Cox even finish his sentence.

"I told him I had a guy drop out of the tournament and he said 'I'll do it,' " Cox said. "I didn't even have time to ask him if he wanted to take the spot in the main draw... he was all over it."

Cardosa was scheduled to fight in the alternate bout, but when Mark Bear of Tama, Iowa, pulled out the day before the fight, he had no hesitation. He will now face Dustin Hazelette in the opening round of the Extreme Challenge 68 tournament tonight at LCO Casino.

As luck would have it, Cardosa's spot was also filled when Josh Smidt of Omaha, Neb., offered to step up. Smidt had come as a cornerman for Chad Reiner (10-0), the tourney's top seed.

The Extreme Challenge tourneys at LCO Casino have produced many top level fighters and two UFC world champions. In EC 21 it was Matt Hughes and Dennis Hallman; In EC 29 Hughes was back, along with Dave Menne, Joe Doerksen, LaVerne Clark and Chris Lytle; In EC 63 it was Brock Larson and Ryan McGivern.

The EC 68 event features an 8-man welterweight tourney with a field that has combined to win 42 bouts, while losing only 8.

"We're hoping to find the next Matt Hughes," Cox said. "We did it before, so who's to say we can't do it again?"

Headlining the show is a battle between Jamie Toney (6-2) and UFC veteran Brian Gassaway (21-14).

But, the tourney always seems to steal the show.

"This year, we'll do the first two rounds... then, the two finalists will return to fight for the title on Aug. 26," Cox explained.

The tourney features: Chad Reiner (10-0) of Omaha, Nebraska; Dustin Hazlette (5-2) of Huntington, W.V.; Victor Moreno (16-5) of Des Moines, Iowa; Bobby Voelker (5-1) of Kansas City, Mo.; Mike Cardosa (0-0) of Carlsbad, Calif.; Justin Wilcox (1-0) of Erie, Pa.; Nick Sorg (4-0) of Findlay, Ohio; and Edward O'Daniel (1-0) of Dayton, Ohio.

Tickets are available at LCO Casino. Check out the website at www.lcocasino.com.

Special guests include former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver; current UFC star Jorge Gurgel, former UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne and former UFC heavyweight standout Andre Roberts.

Extreme Challenge 68
July 15, LCO Casino, Hayward, Wis.

Main Event
Jamie Toney (6-2) vs. Brian Gassaway (21-14)

8-man Welterweight Tournament
Bracket A
Victor Moreno (16-5) vs. Nick Sorg (4-0)
Mike Cardosa (0-0) vs. Dustin Hazlette (5-2)
Bracket B
Bobby Voelker (5-1) vs. Justin Wilcox (1-0)
Edward O'Daniel (1-0) vs. Chad Reiner (10-0)

Alternate Bout
Jason Loucke (3-0) vs. Josh Smidt (2-2)

Special appearances
Jens Pulver, former UFC lightweight champion
Jorge Gurgel, UFC vet, Ultimate Fighter TV
Dave Menne, former UFC middleweight champion
Andre Roberts, 4-time UFC standout

  Monday - July 17, 2006
Total Combat 15
By Steven Marrocco

Breaking ground on big city San Diego for the first time ever, Total Combat 15 hosted a night of very competitive fights at the San Diego Sports Arena. Despite TC's electing to only use half of the arena due to cost concerns, they proved that hungry fighters and scantily clad dancers always make up for any lack of pomp and circumstance.

Coming into the ring, Tony "Tiger" Velarde gave his best impression of his animal namesake as he screamed at his opponent, Josh Tampsen, before flattening him with an overhand left in the opening stanza of the bout. From there, he pounced on Tampsen, landing a few more shots before the referee had seen enough and stopped the bout. It was all over in 14 seconds.

Joey Rodanzzo quickly took Christian Vargas down in response to Vargas' attempt at a flying knee and spinning backfist. After Rodanzzo's brief attempt to get Vargas against the cage, Vargas was able to reverse and take Rodanzzo's back, sinking in a rear-naked choke in the first round.

After a brief appearance by UFC vet Brandon "The Truth" Vera, TC Welterweight champion Juan Miranda made short work of Aric Nelson, reversing an attempted headlock takedown and getting Nelson's back, where he quickly sunk in a rear-naked choke that rendered Nelson unconscious within five or six seconds. Upon regaining consciousness, Nelson smiled widely at the referees and doctors, laughing boisterously at his twist of fate. Asked later if he had heard the referee's command to open his eyes, he said it was the last thing he heard before entering a dream about getting some really good sleep in preparation for his fight.

Next was an incredibly competitive bantamweight bout between showman Ian McCall and Chris David. The first round saw McCall take down David on several occasions, who responded by attempting many guillotine chokes before being slammed to the mat. From there, he was able to neutralize McCall's punishment from his back by rolling out into a ground clinch before standing up. The second round saw more of the same, as McCall shot in on David and worked to minimize David's guillotine attempts. After a brief pause in action, a rowdy female fan yelled, "You're getting tired!" to which McCall winked at her and playfully shushed her, suggesting she was on to him. The third and final round saw McCall become more brazen in his attacks, attempting several Karate Kid flying roundhouses before taking David down. Ultimately, the pressure he put on David was the deciding factor in the fight, as David was never able to hit his stride, and McCall walked away with a unanimous decision.

TC Heavyweight champ Gary Padilla was clearly the fan favorite walking into his bout with newcomer Thierry Sokoudjo. However, Sokoudjo quickly showed a composure beyond his professional experience in stuffing Gary's relentless single leg takedown attempts, countering with overhand rights that always seemed to find their mark. After the first round, it was clear Padilla had not only burned most of his energy trying to take Sokoudjo down, but had also lost the will to brave Sokoudjo's powerful kicks and counter punches. Despite long stretches of inactivity, it was Sokoudjo's striking accuracy and dutiful takedown defense that won him a split decision against Padilla.

In another heavyweight fight, UFC vet Wade Shipp used his jiu-jitsu skills to counteract the wrestling abilities of Allen Sullivan, who landed takedowns but did not do any damage from the top position. After slamming Shipp to the mat, Sullivan gassed as Shipp maneuvered around him and took his back, sinking in a body triangle that drained his energy to fight a rear naked choke Shipp was gunning for. A few minutes into his defense, Sullivan tapped out before the choke was sunk in.

Next up was another extremely competitive bout between Dave Hisquierdo and Dominic Cruz. Particularly throughout the first round, Cruz was particularly adept at landing a one-two body head combo, while Hisquierdo chose to counterpunch before taking Cruz down. The fight went back and forth throughout all three rounds, Hisquierdo dropping Cruz on two different occasions and Cruz returning the favor on another, with Cruz getting the upperhand on the ground as he worked his elbows and punches from the top position. Ultimately, it was this advantage that gave Cruz the split decision. Backstage, both men acknowledged they had fought a war and had gained tremendous respect for the other.

In the main event of the evening, undefeated Chance Ferrar took on the highly animated and also undefeated Shawn Bias. It looked to be Chance's night as he landed a huge slam that bounced Bias' head off the canvas and sent the audience into a frenzy, but Bias was able to maintain his composure and reverse Ferrar on two different occasions before pulling a slick transition to an armbar from the side of Ferrar's back that forced him to tap at 4:29 of the first round.

Final Results of Total Combat 15:

Tony Velarde def. John Tampsen by knockout in R1.
Christian Vargas def. Joey Rodanzzo by rear-naked choke in R1.
Juan Miranda def. Aric Nelson by rear naked choke in R1.
Ian McCall def. Chris David by unanimous decision at the end of R3.
Thierry Sokoudjo def. Gary Padilla by split decision at the end of R3.
Wade Shipp def. Allen Sullivan by rear-naked choke in R2.
Dominic Cruz def. Dave Hisquierdo by split decision at the end of R3.
Shawn Bias def. Chance Ferrar by armbar in R1.

The Brazilian Beat
Chute Boxe master coming back, Ninja gets BJJ black belt, Shaolin eager to fight, Shogun looking for rematch, Bushido WW GP news and more!

The Brazilian Beat:

We are only halfway through July and so much has happened already in MMA over the course of this month. From the action of the second round matches of the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, to the pairing of the competitors for the next round, a series of UFC bouts and an announcement of a possible fight for the near future that has been shaking up the imagination of MMA fans worldwide, excitement has been tone for the seventh month of the year. Looking ahead, many promising things are shaping up nicely. Needless to say, if there are many happenings taking place in the MMA world currently, there are also many things boiling on the Brazilian scene, with many things going on at camps such as Chute Boxe and BTT, fights being paired and the usual share of new shows coming up; so after a brief hiatus, we're here once again to update you a little bit on the latest from a country that is showing more passion in its MMA representatives, than what other famous and traditional Brazilian sports have been showing in world-level competition, as Full Contact Fighter brings the beat and makes it sound out loud as always, in typical Brazilian style, enjoy!
  • Training is intense right now at the Brazilian Top Team camp in Rio de Janeiro, with Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira getting himself ready to face "The Baby Face Assassin" Josh Barnett at the finals of the Open-weight Grand Prix this coming September. This fight could possibly be the first of two fights in the same night; if Nogueira wins he'll advance to face the winner of Wanderlei Silva vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. However, before this Minotauro outing comes up, another BTT representative will have his own share of GP action as Paulo Filho is getting himself ready for August's second round of the Pride Bushido Welterweight Grand Prix. Although nothing is set in stone as of now, it seems highly likely at this point that Filho will be facing Japanese fighter Ryo Chonan for his second participation in the GP, if Chonan is cleared by the doctors to fight in August, after the eye socket injury he suffered in his last bout. Another match that is likely to take place in the second round of the Welterweight GP is between sensation Denis Kang and experienced striker Amar Suloev, leaving two other bouts to be paired.

  • Getting ready for the K-1 MMA tournament coming up in August, Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba is once again in the city of Curitiba training at the Chute Boxe academy. Sakuraba arrived on June 29th and has been training daily at what was once his nemesis academy. This is his third time in the country training with Chute Boxe. The Japanese fighter is reported to have been impressed with the intensity of the training in Curitiba, and returns when possible to train with the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua, Murilo Rua, Nino Schembri and others. This also goes to show that despite Sakuraba's split with Pride and joining with K-1, his relationship with Chute Boxe continues to be solid and one of great friendship.
Click here to continue The Beat

  Wednesday - July 19, 2006
Podcast logo

New episode of FCF Radio

In our latest broadcast,
we speak with Bas Rutten and Stephane Patry.

Click here to listen/download.  

National Fighting Challenge 6: Natural Disaster
Held July 15, 2006
At the Squamish Nations Rec Center
Vancouver, British Columbia
By Mike Neva

  • Shawn Albrecht def. Kris Arbanas - TKO (ref stoppage - punches) R1 2:53
  • Brian Grimshaw def. Jas Malhi - Triangle choke R1 3:08
  • Colin Daynes def. Ramin Astaseare - DQ (multiple fouls) R2 4:34
  • Hardeep Singh def. Mike Grant - Rear-naked choke R1 0:48
  • Leonard Carter def. Robert Young - Armbar R1 1:37
  • Kerry Melnyk def. Garrett Zacharias - KO (punches) R1 0:16
  • Andrew Peterson def. Frank Ziak - KO (punch) R1 0:04
  • Brandon Dudley def. Cesar Narita - Unanimous decision
  • Myles Merola def. Justin Jones - Toe hold R1 2:26
  • Aaron Stark def. Marcus Hicks - Verbal submission (rib injury) R1 3:23
  • Cam Brown def. Shane Lightle - Choke R2 1:46
  • Danny Dlask def. Marcus Vinicios - TKO (ref stoppage - punches) R2 2:32
Dudley punching Narita - Photo by Mike Neva
Dudley punching Narita

The Northern Touch: News and Notes from Canadian MMA
Extreme Cage Combat: New East Coast Promotion Holds Third Event This Saturday
By Kelsey Mowatt

The Halifax Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia will host Extreme Cage Combat 3 this Saturday, the third event in just less than three months for Canada's latest MMA promotion. ECC's debut card was held on April 29th and drew an awe inspiring attendance of 5,650, while the promotion's second event held in Moncton, New Brunswick, on June 30th, still drew a respectable crowd of 2,000. According to Combat Production's and ECC promoter, Peter Martell, he realizes that drawing over 5,000 people on a regular basis in one of Canada's less populated provinces, will certainly be a challenge.

"I really though we'd sell out the first event," Martell acknowledges. "There was a lot of controversy and media coverage for the first show, it wasn't the people of Halifax, it was the media. You know they want to sell papers, get people listening to there radio show, so they want to keep it controversial. To be perfectly honest it helped sell the show. I expected some controversy, but not the amount that we saw, I would have expected that ten years ago when MMA was just beginning. The media really seemed to only want to talk about violence without knowing much about the sport. Now the real work starts, to keep people coming back, I think people are really starting to embrace it, I hope that we sell between 2,000 and 3,000 tickets per show, that's not bad at all considering the size of Halifax."

The main event at ECC 3 will once again feature top ranked Canadian middleweight Jason Macdonald, who has recently defeated Gideon Ray by unanimous decision at ECC 1, and Jerry Spiegel by TKO at ECC 2. In Macdonald's third ECC appearance he will take on Fritz Paul (7-2), whose nine professional fights have also occurred in Eastern Canada, competing in Ultimate Generation Combat and Apex MMA cards held in Quebec. Macdonald, who is originally from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, is beginning to make a name for himself in his native province, due his previous successes in the ECC.

"He was a well kept secret in Halifax," Martell tells FCF. "He was very well known in his hometown which is pretty small, but now everyone in the province is beginning to hear about Jason Macdonald. I'm surprised he hasn't been called by the UFC yet, we're very happy to have him fighting for us, he is an unbelievable fighter, one of Canada's best at 185."

The card also features several match-ups that will feature fighters from Halifax's Team Titan, including local favorite Roger Hollett (1-0) taking on Marcus Hicks (4-1), teammate Jason Mackay (1-0) fighting Russell Triggs and Titan member Roger Colbourne (1-0) meeting Travis Axworthy. According to Martell, who holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is one of Titan's instructors, by promoting the ECC in Atlantic Canada, the regions less experienced, but growing pool of MMA fighters, now have a local event to compete in.

"The main reason we started Combat Productions was to develop East Coast fighters," says Martell. "We are years behind Quebec and much of the rest of Canada. Titan MMA base is BJJ, originally under Renzo Gracie, but we also have a great Muay Thai program. I'd say that one of the best guys out of Titan is Roger Hollett, his stand up is fantastic and he has a really solid ground game too. Most importantly though he has heart, you can't teach a guy heart and will but with Roger there's no quit in him. He is an extremely explosive fighter and is really marketable; he's certainly someone to watch."

Saturday's card will also feature some intriguing match ups outside of the card's main event and local talent. Victor Valimaki (5-2) who recently defeated Craig Sloan (6-3-1) at ECC 2, will take on Shane Lightle (4-5), while Lethbridge lightheavweight Jason Day (8-5) will fight veteran Chris Peak (9-14).

Combat Productions is planning on returning to Halifax once again for ECC 4, on November 4th, and will return to Moncton in 2007.

From the event's promoter:
Fights at AMC Vision Quest!!!

Another great night of fights that you don't want to miss!!!!!!

Date: Saturday July 29, 2006

Place: Auburn, WA - Vision Quest sport and fitness center at the Auburn Supermall

Time: Doors open 7PM, Fights Start 8PM

Tickets available at the door and at:
  • Vision Quest Sport and Fitness Center at the Supermall
    Auburn, WA

  • AMC Kickboxing and Pankration
    427 6th Street South
    Kirkland, WA
General Admission $20, VIP $30, Ringside $40-$50

From DSE/Pride:

TOKYO, Japan – Four tournament bouts have been announced for PRIDE FIGHTING'S upcoming event, BUSHIDO SURVIVAL: DAN HENDERSON vs. KAZUO MISAKI, RYO CHONAN vs. PAULO FILHO, GEGARD MOUSASI vs. AKIHIRO GONO, and DENIS KANG vs. AMAR SULOEV. Others scheduled to participate in non-tournament bouts include "The Fireball Kid" TAKANORI GOMI and IKUHISA "The Punk" MINOWA.

PRIDE FIGHTING'S BUSHIDO SURVIVAL is the second round of an exclusive 16-man welterweight tournament, spanning three events. BUSHIDO SURVIVAL is scheduled to premiere in the United States on Fox Sports Net on Sunday, August 27th, 2006 at 7:00pm nationwide.
U.S. Premiere Schedule:

Premiere Date: Sunday, August 27th, 2006
Premiere Time: 7:00 pm nationwide


Tournament Bouts:
Dan Henderson (USA) vs. Kazuo Misaki (Japan)
Akihiro Gono (Japan) vs. Gegard Mousasi (Armenia)
Ryo Chonan (Japan) vs. Paulo Filho (Brazil)
Denis Kang (Korea/Canada) vs. Amar Suloev (Russia)

Non-Tournament Bouts:
Takanori Gomi (Japan) vs. TBA
Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa (Japan) vs. TBA

Fight Card Subject to Change.

These are the world's elite mixed martial artists squaring off in the PRIDE ring exclusively on FSN!

FSN reaches more than 81 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. FSN, based in Los Angeles, serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces over 4,500 live events each year. In addition to home team games, FSN telecasts a wide variety of national sports events and programming, including Best Damn Sports Show Period and Beyond the Glory. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at www.FoxSports.com.

From K-1:
Karaev Meets Cooper In "Battle At Bellagio" Superfight

July 16, 2006; New York, NY....K-1's hottest new superstar, Ruslan Karaev, will square off with two-time world kickboxing champion and undefeated professional boxer, Dewey "The Black Kobra" Cooper, in a Superfight during the star-studded "Battle At Bellagio" card at Las Vegas, Nevada's Bellagio hotel and casino on Saturday, August 12th.

Flaunting explosive speed and knockout power, Russia's Karaev fired up a near-capacity crowd at Las Vegas' Mirage last April as he ran to three consecutive victories during the "Mayhem At Mirage" eight-man, single-elimination tournament. The 23 year old kickboxing stylist, who was billed a 17 to 1 underdog by odds makers prior to the event that marked his debut in North America, set the tone for a thrilling night of martial arts fighting when he made short work of quarterfinal round opponent Freddy Kemayo. Without warning, Karaev, standing toe to toe with the Frenchman, suddenly spun around and drilled Kemayo with a spinning back kick to the liver. The blow sent Kemayo down for the 10 count at the 1:39 mark of the opening round.

In the semifinal round, Karaev attempted to finish Switzerland's Azem Maksutaj in similar fashion. What resulted instead was one of the greatest K-1 battles of all-time as Karaev unleashed an onslaught of punches, including a leaping straight right hand, in the first round of action before flooring Maksutaj in the opening seconds of the second round with the same kick that he had used to defeat Kemayo. Maksutaj beat the referee's count, however, and, after taking more punishment, began to turn the tides on the forceful Karaev before the round ended.

During the third and final round of the semifinal bout, Karaev scored one more knockdown on Maksutaj with a straight knee strike to the midsection before advancing to the tournament's championship round by way of unanimous judges' decision.

The championship fight pitted Karaev against American Scott Lighty. Karaev, once again, fought at a furious pace before being awarded a third victory and the tournament crown by all three judges scoring the contest.

On April 29th of this year, Karaev returned to Sin City where he squared off with three-time K-1 tournament champion, Stefan Leko. Leko, who had previously never been defeated in Las Vegas K-1 competition, found himself engaged in a relentless firefight. Karaev downed Leko once in the second round with a straight right hand and once in the third round with an overhand right before earning another win via unanimous judges' decision.

Cooper's history with K-1 spans six years. Handicapped by his 205 pound frame that has frequently been thrown into battle with 230 plus pound opponents from K-1's super heavyweight roster, the 31-year-old resident of Las Vegas has proven himself to be one of the sport's mentally toughest competitors as he has never been stopped in a K-1 fight.

A versatile athlete with outstanding agility, Cooper made his finest stand to date in K-1 tournament competition on April 30, 2004 when he finished as runner up in the eight-man, single-elimination affair at the Bellagio. After defeating Japan's Nobu Hayashi in the playoff's quarterfinal round, Cooper overcame 265 pound knockout artist, "Mighty Mo" Siligia. In the championship showdown, Cooper was repeatedly beaten to the punch by two-time K-1 tournament champion, Michael McDonald, who was declared the victor of the event after three rounds.

While maintaining his status as one of the most active competitors in the martial arts fight mix, Cooper has built a second home for himself in the world of professional boxing. Trained by Jeff Mayweather, uncle of world champion "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, Cooper has compiled a 14-0-2 record in the sport, with 9 of his wins having come by way of knockout.

In addition to the Superfight between Karaev and Cooper, "Battle At Bellagio" will be highlighted by an eight-man, single-elimination tournament as well as two additional Superfights. Two-time K-1 tournament champion, Alexey "The Scorpion" Ignashov and 2003 K-1 USA tournament victor, Carter Williams, are scheduled to compete in the tournament. The remainder of the August 12th lineup is expected to be finalized shortly.

Tickets for the K-1 "Battle At Bellagio" event are on sale at the Bellagio box office (888-488-7111) and are priced at $300, $200, $100 and $50.

The Grand Ballroom at Bellagio will open for the event at 5 PM. The first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM and the tournament will commence at approximately 7 PM.

From the event's promoter:
Results from
Extreme Challenge 68

Saturday, July 15, LCO Casino, Hayward, Wis.

Main event
Brian Gassaway def. Jamie Toney, unanimous decision, 3 rounds (15:00)

8-man welterweight tourney

Alternate bout
Jason Louck def. Josh Smidt, unanimous decision, 3 rounds (13:00)

First round
Victor Moreno def. Nick Sorg, unanimous decision, 2 rounds (10:00)
Dustin Hazelette def. Mike Cardosa, :48 triangle choke
Justin Wilcox def. Bobby Voelker, unanimous decision, 2 rounds (10:00)
Chad Reiner def. Edward O'Daniel, :31 Rd. 2 (5:31) knockout.

Hazelette def. Moreno, 1:02 armbar
Reiner def. Wilcox, 2:54 armbar

Hazelette vs. Reiner, Aug. 26 at Extreme Challenge 70 at LCO Casino

  Friday - July 21, 2006
Breaking Down the WFA
Despite a Last-Minute Card Change,
a New Promotion Trudges into the Market

By Derek Callahan

Kimo Leopoldo - Photo by Joel Gold
Kimo out
On paper, the new owners of the WFA have put together a card that wasn't all that imaginable even a year ago. In two of their most anticipated bouts -- one for its novelty and the other for its competition -- the fighters were either then-retired, or fighting for the UFC or Pride. The WFA isn't just laying their reputation on the competitive fight between Matt Lindland and Quinton Jackson, or the good-natured return of Bas Rutten (who just yesterday, lost intended opponent Kimo Leopoldo to a positive pre-fight steroids test and will now face Wes Sims). The show is building potential stars by using their heads prior to matching up fights.

They knew that Lyoto Machida is the only man to have beaten UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin. By bringing Machida onto the show, they have someone malleable enough to work on, assuming he beats Vernon White. Machida isn't known for a whole lot in the U.S. and the WFA is incurring some risk in having him fight White. Coming off wins over Alex Stiebling and Jason Guida, White is bringing momentum into the bout. If that momentum can continue through the Machida bout, White will have given his career another unexpected surge, and the WFA will have one less ace on their soon-to-be competitor, the UFC.

Even if the plan to build up Machida at the expense of White doesn't pan out, the WFA will still have Jason Miller to count on. Despite the fact that Miller is bumping up in weight to fight Lodune Sincaid, it seems as if the new poster boy for the WFA is set up for a win. Sincaid is enjoying success recently with a win over UFC vet James Irvin. Still, the skills that Miller has shown in a loss to Georges St. Pierre and in wins over Ron Jhun and Falaniko Vitale will more likely than not be too much for "The Ultimate Fighter" alumnus.

From here the fights get more competitive. Marvin Eastman is taking on Jorge Oliveira, and that will be a good test to see where he's currently at. His bad luck on the big stage of the UFC may subside since he has the chance to fight again for a burgeoning show that, on the strength of it's card, can be titled for now as the 'big stage.' Eastman is a fighter whose career has been patterned on strings of wins, followed by unexpected setbacks. He's been on his game lately though with an avenged loss to Jason Guida, set up by wins over the likes of Jason MacDonald and Travis Wiuff. For Oliveira's part, he hasn't had much experience to speak of. Thrown into good competition early on, his ledger has a win over Shonie Carter, a loss to Justin Levens and a win against Mike Van Arsdale. It's an impressive way to start a career, but whether or not that translates into a win over a decorated striker like Eastman is another story.

Rob McCullough has looked like a completely different fighter than he was when he lost to Harris Sarmiento in 2004. The WFA knows this, and seems to have him on pace to become a big local draw in his native California. Sarmiento has lost four straight, and McCullough hasn't seen defeat since they last met.

In one of the more evenly matched fights on paper, Art Santore has the chance to raise his own stock when he takes on Ivan Salaverry. Coming off of a loss nearly a year ago to Nate Marquardt, a win for Salaverry would put him back in position to fight some of the best middleweights in the world. With Matt Lindland on the same card, it may not be too big a stretch to see a rematch between the two if fans clamor for it.

Lindland is bumping up to light heavyweight to fight Quinton Jackson in a bout that will go to -- at the risk of saying the obvious -- the one who can impose his game plan on the other. Always a thinking-man's fighter who finds ways to win, Lindland is undoubtedly coming into this bout with an idea of what he wants to do. "I think [he's] a great, athletic opponent," says Lindland. He concedes that Jackson is both stronger and more explosive, but Lindland's takedowns will be something that Jackson needs to think about. On the flip side, Lindland is giving up weight for this fight, making his control and positioning that much more important.

While it's still unseen whether or not the WFA card will live up to it's billing, the return of Bas Rutten doesn't look like it could be spoiled, even with the last minute switch in opponents. Training in California with a crew that includes Dan Henderson and comedian Kevin James of "The King of Queens" fame, Rutten is feeling in shape after a long road back to fitness. While he feels like the fight, "just popped up. It came to me and I took it," Rutten is optimistic about the newest MMA show to hit an oversaturated market. "If you looks at this card, I think they put a good [one] together," he says. It certainly looks that way. All that's left for the WFA, is to see it unfold in the way that hope it to.

  Saturday - July 22, 2006
Villareal Accepts Rutten Challenge;
WFA Enters Pay-Per-View Realm

By Loretta Hunt
Photos by Daisy Rosas

LOS ANGELES, July 21 -- With a laundry list of replacements covering the spectrum from Wes Sims to Wade Shipp to former UFC 20 adversary Kevin Randleman, no one but the WFA promoters and the California State Athletic Commission themselves knew for sure just who'd step onto the scale this evening to face Bas Rutten in tomorrow night's WFA "King of the Streets" at the Forum in Inglewood.

It would be Sacramento fighter Ruben Villareal, whose notice for this engagement might not have even been a complete 24 hours. Villareal replaces Kimo Leopoldo, pulled from the card Thursday after it was announced the Hawaiian failed a pre-fight steroids test. A KOTC staple, the 10-7-3 Villareal will need to go on a "Warpath" indeed to tame the 24-7-1 Holland import who once wore the UFC gold around his waist. What is in Villareal's favor are the numbers; he weighed in 260 pounds today -- 46 pounds heavier than the seven-years-removed Rutten who reigned in the sport in a different era.
Bas Rutten (left) vs. Ruben Villareal - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Rutten vs. Villareal

For Rutten, the animated returning fighter forthcomingly divulged the search to find a last-minute replacement opponent had put a noticeable stress on him, but once Villareal hit the stage, the worry subsided.

The main attraction to tomorrow night's proceedings is outspoken power wrestler Quinton Jackson, fighting back in the States for the first time in nearly four years following a fruitful run in Japan's PRIDE organization. More stand-up comedian than imposing killer, the rambunctious Memphis native managed some crowd-rousing zingers as he climbed the steps to the scales to log in a 204-pound reading. His entire MMA career staked at 185 pounds, the more subdued Matt Lindland, an Olympic silver medallist in Greco-Roman wrestling who'll need to impose his trade to counter Jackson's strength, rang in at 200.5 lbs.
Quinton Jackson - Photo by Daisy RosasMatt Lindland - Photo by Daisy Rosas

Receiving a respectful round from his peers, new daddy Ivan Salaverry's relaxed demeanor was only matched by opponent Art Santore's equally friendly exchange with him. Chilean-born Salaverry weighed in a pound shy of the middleweight mark; Team Quest fighter Santore was three-quarter's pound over, but within the CSAC's allowance.

Although Brazilian Jorge Oliviera had a few inches on him, opponent Marvin Eastman mustered a vicious staredown that drew a reaction from the packed room of onlookers. Eastman puckered like his life depended on it, while Chute Boxe USA rep Oliviera did his best to reciprocate. Both weighed in at 206 pounds.
Jorge Oliviera (left) vs. Marvin Eastman - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Oliviera vs. Eastman

Rumored to be broadcasting as many as seven fights tomorrow night, WFA "King of the Streets" will be available live on pay-per-view via InDemand and Dish Network (Check local listings for availability.)

WFA "King of the Streets" Weigh-in Results

  • Quinton Jackson (204 lbs) vs. Matt Lindland (200.5 lbs)
  • Bas Rutten (214 lbs) vs. Ruben Villareal (260 lbs)
  • Ricco Rodriguez (298 lbs) vs. Ron Waterman (286 lbs)
  • Ryoto Machida (205 lbs) vs. Vernon White (204 lbs)
  • Ivan Salaverry (184 lbs) vs. Art Santore (185.75 lbs)
  • Jason Miller (202 lbs) vs. Lodune Sincaid (205 lbs)
  • Rob McCullough (154 lbs) vs. Harris Sarmiento (155.5 lbs)
  • Marvin Eastman (206 lbs) vs. Jorge Oliveira (206 lbs)
  • Edwin Aguilar (185.5 lbs) vs. Martin Kampmann (184 lbs)*
  • 160 lb Limit - Adam Arredondo (158 lbs) vs. Antonio McKee (163 lbs)*
*Announced as unofficial weigh-in pending CSAC paperwork completion and approval

MacDonald Goes for Hat Trick at Saturday's ECC 3
By Peter Parsons

Fritz Paul (left) vs. Jason MacDonald - Photo by Peter Parsons
Paul vs. MacDonald
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 21 -- The Oasis Bar and Grill was the location of the weigh-ins for tomorrow night's Extreme Cage Combat 3. ECC returns to its original location at the Halifax Forum where an astonishing sold out crowd of 5,650 fans witnessed the first ever MMA event in Atlantic Canadian history. Extreme Cage Combat 2 took place just three weeks ago in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Ironically, some of the fighters revisited Moncton on route to tonight's weigh-ins due to some inclement weather in the Halifax area. "Some of the fighters couldn't land in Halifax, so we had to bus them in from Moncton," says the event's promoter Peter Martel.

Victor Valimaki - Photo by Peter Parsons
Only one fighter was unable to weigh in -- Ohio native Shane Lightle. "Shane will arrive tomorrow and weigh in the day of the fight," explained the promoter. Continues Martel, "Shane and [opponent Victor Valimaki] usually fight at light-heavyweight, but they agreed to fight at heavyweight, which means they won't cut weight and will probably come in between 215 to 220."

In the night's main event, Nova Scotia native Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald (12-7) will fight Fritz "Animal" Paul (7-2) from Team Nestor in Quebec. This will be MacDonald's third main event in a row for the ECC promotion and he's subsequently looking to go three-for-three in the ECC cage.

Overseen by the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority, tomorrow night's rules are similar to the Unified Rule utilized throughout North America with the exception of no elbows to the head on the ground or standing. However, elbows are allowed to the body. "We are working on the elbows; it all comes slowly," says Martel. "We hope to have elbows to the head allowed in future events."

Roger Hollett - Photo by Peter Parsons
ECC 3 Weigh-In Results:
  • Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald (184.8) vs. Fritz "Animal" Paul (184.4)

  • Roger Hollett (203.0) vs. Jason Cecil (204.0)

  • Robert Colbourne (189.0) vs. Travis Axworthy (188.8)

  • Jason MacKay (176.2) vs. Curtis Fiander (181.2)*

  • Victor Valimaki (220.0) vs. Shane Lightle (Did not weigh-in)

  • Neil Berry (184.6) vs. Nabil Khatib (184.8)

  • TJ Grant (169.2) vs. Daniel Grandmaison (168.6)

  • Robert Haynes (224.2) vs. Jered Kilkenny (239.6)

  • Nelson Riquelme (168.6) vs. Jay Jenkins (169.0)

  • Shawn Marchand (203.2) vs. Dan Chambers (202.4)
* Curtis Fiander weighed in 1.2 lbs over his 180 lb limit. Fiander was given two hours by the boxing authority to make weight.

  Sunday - July 23, 2006
ECC 3: East Coast Warriors
MacDonald goes 3 for 3 in ECC

Report by Peter Parsons - Photos by Brian Parsons

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 22 -- An enthusiastic crowd at the Halifax Forum appreciated a night of knockouts and submissions alike at ECC 3: East Coast Warriors. Arena officials were not finished counting the ticket sales at press time, but one arena official estimated the crowd to be 2,500. "I'm happy with the crowd tonight," exclaims event promoter Peter Martel. "Our main demographic is the younger crowd and with university being out this time of the year, I think we had a very successful show."

In the main event, Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald earned his third straight victory and made it three-for-three in the ECC with his armbar submission over Montreal native Fritz Paul. After a brief exchange, MacDonald rushed Paul into "The Athlete's" corner against the cage. "Our game plan is always, it sounds silly, but it's always to take the fight to our corner," said an enthusiastic MacDonald post-fight. Continues MacDonald, "The last thing Josh [Russell, MacDonald's jiu-jitsu trainer] said to me was, 'Jay bring him over to the corner and let's pick this guy apart.'"

MacDonald did just that. The two fighters exchanged knees against the cage before MacDonald went for a standing Kimura. "We just watched a tape of that standing Kimura on the Internet today," MacDonald laughed. "All of a sudden it was right there and Josh walked me through it step-by-step, we systematically picked him apart."

MacDonald brought Paul into his guard where he then transitioned into a straight armbar. Paul fought the armbar off for about a minute as the fighters ended up in almost a North-South position. "Josh walked me through it; I knew it was just a matter of time." Continues MacDonald, "We made a few small adjustments and snap, snap, snap, there it is," said MacDonald.

MacDonald, usually not one to talk trash, had this to say in his post-fight interview with FCF. "Fritz Paul, he went out on a limb here and announced that he was going to knock me out no problem. Well, Fritz Paul's going back to Montreal with a broken arm."

Next up for Jason MacDonald is the main event of the Maximum Fighting Championships in Alberta on September 8. Unsure of his opponent, MacDonald wants to fight a top level fighter or anyone who will take him one step closer to reaching his ultimate goal of fighting in the UFC. Never one to back down from top level competition, MacDonald says, "Anyone who my manager Mark Pavelich feels is necessary to take me to that next step, that's who I'm going to fight."

In the semi-main event, Halifax's own Roger Hollett looked to improve to 2-0 against Jason Cecil. Son of former Canadian Middleweight Boxing Champion and local hero Ralph Hollett, Roger entered the cage to the loudest ovation of the night.

Hollett quickly got the fight to the ground where he passed Cecil's half-guard with ease to side control. Hollett landed some strong punches that set up a keylock attempt that Cecil defended. His second attempt was the charm and Hollett got the keylock submission at 1:41 of the first round.

"I went for the first keylock, he slid his knee in, I gave him a couple of hammerfists and went back to it, he got lazy with it and I was able to put it back on him for the finish," describes Hollett of his second pro fight, and what looks to be the start of a promising MMA career.

In the most dramatic fight of the night, local favorite Robert Colbourne took on Prince Edward Island's Travis Axworthy. A high paced first round saw Colbourne working hard for takedowns against his opponent. Colbourne unloaded some effective ground and pound early in the round, however Axworthy showed his toughness as he survived Colbourne's early barrage.

Axworthy worked his way back to his feet against the cage forcing Colbourne to work hard to get him back to the mat. The takedowns became harder to come by as the round went on for Colbourne who started to tire. Axworthy stuffed a Colbourne takedown attempt to end the round.

In round two, an exhausted Colbourne was unable to take Axworthy down. A Muay Thai stylist, Axworthy began to find a home for his vicious leg kicks that echoed throughout the arena. Colbourne began to flop to his back after each missed takedown attempt. Axworthy proceeded to throw leg kicks and let Colbourne back to his feet.

Axworthy then saw the opportunity to follow an exhausted Colbourne to the ground and unleash some ground-and-pound of his own looking for the stoppage. Colbourne absorbed a tremendous amount of punches as he continued to defend himself, but offer nothing in return. The referee was forced to stop the fight late in the second round.

Local standout Jason Mackay made short work of opponent Curtis Fiander as Mackay choked Fiander unconscious at the 55-second mark of the first round. McKay applied the rear-naked choke in which Fiander didn't tap. Fiander appeared to go limp for approximately the last seven seconds the choke was applied. The referee finally stepped in to stop the fight.

After the match you could hear a pin drop in the Halifax Forum as Fiander laid motionless. The cageside physicians rushed in to the ring only to see Fiander begin to go into convulsions. Thankfully, this only lasted for a few seconds and Fiander ended up coming around and was quickly back to his feet. He was able to walk out of the cage under his own power.

Edmonton's Victor Valimaki improved his record to 6-2 with a victory over Ohio native Shane Lightle. After a brief exchange, Lightle looked for the takedown in which Valimaki defended successfully. Valimaki knocked Lightle down where he followed him to the ground and finished Lightle with strikes at the 1:46 mark of the first round. Next up for Valimaki is a fight for the MFC Light Heavyweight title versus Jason Day on September 8.

TJ Grant joined local fighters Roger Hollett and Jason Mackay with a submission victory of his own. Grant came out with a big slam of opponent Daniel Grandmaison in which he landed in side control. Grant quickly advanced to full mount where he landed some big shots. To Grandmaison's credit, he was able to reverse position. However, Grant looked very comfortable from his back getting the armbar submission from his guard at the 1:46 mark of the first round.

The evening's second fight produced the highlight of the night as Nelson Riquelme landed a beautiful spinning backfist that sent opponent Jay Jenkins to the mat in the second round. Riquelme wasted no time jumping on his dazed opponent, throwing a quick flurry of punches to get the TKO at 3:35 of the second round.

ECC 3 was a professional 10-fight card sanctioned by the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority. Extreme Cage Combat looks like it's definitely here to stay as MMA looks alive and well in Atlantic Canada. "Our next show will be late October or early November in either Halifax or Cape Breton," says promoter Peter Martel. The first three ECC shows have seen a combined attendance in the ballpark of 10,000.

Jason MacDonald - Photo by Brian ParsonsRoger Hollett - Photo by Brian Parsons

Extreme Cage Combat 3 "East Coast Warriors" Results
  • Shawn Marchand def. Dan Chambers - Submission (Rear-naked choke) 2:25 R1
  • Nelson Riquelme def. Jay Jenkins - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 3:35 R2
  • Jared Kilkenny def. Robert Haynes - Submission (Strikes) 1:17 R1
  • TJ Grant def. Daniel Grandmaison - Armbar 1:46 R1
  • Nabil Khatib def. Neil Berry - Submission (Rear-naked choke) 1:55 R2
  • Victor Valimaki def. Shane Lightle - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 1:46 R1
  • Jason McKay def. Curtis Fiander - Submission (Rear-naked choke) 0:55 R1
  • Travis Axworthy def. Robert Colbourne - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) R3
  • Roger Hollett def. Jason Cecil - Key lock 1:41 R1
  • Jason MacDonald def. Fritz Paul - Submission (Armbar) 2:14 R1
Look for more extensive coverage of ECC 3 in the next issue of Full Contact Fighter.

Rutten Rises, Jackson Power-Plays Lindland at WFA Return
By Loretta Hunt - Photos by Daisy Rosas

LOS ANGELES, Calif., July 22 -- His return, in a word, was tremendous. From the first note of his mariachi-inspired "El Guapo" anthem to the moment the curtains subsided to unveil his bald, smiling melon of a head, Bas Rutten brought the house down with an infectious personality that carried him down the long ramp and into the cage. Dispersed throughout Inglewood's Great Western Forum 17,500-seat arena, an estimated 5,000 spectators had finally found a common cause to get behind -- the salute of a true mixed martial arts' original.
Bas 'El Guapo' Rutten kicking Ruben 'Warpath' Villareal - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Bas Rutten kicking Villareal

Rutten's UFC 20 heavyweight title bout against Kevin Randleman was a turning point in the sport, the unwavering division between fans regarding who prevailed catalyzed the formation of rounds and the re-evaluation of judging criteria. Although Rutten retained his belt that night, it would prove his last fight for seven years.

The time away did nothing to tarnish Rutten's star, undoubtedly assisted by his foray into commentating, which kept him in the spotlight. The 42-year-old Holland import opened his performance with a couple of sharp punches replacement opponent Ruben Villareal ate heartily, but he quickly adjusted and began to close the distance to try and land some preferred close-range punches. A look of puzzlement passed Rutten's face, and he later commented it was time to make a decision. With a torn groin, a torn ACL, and a pulled rib, Rutten added his missing kicks. Three low kicks connected a few seconds apart, the last had the 260-pound fighter limping to meet Rutten once more. A final low right kick and Villareal fell to his knees. Referee Josh Rosenthal hesitated to see if Villareal would rise. When Villareal didn't even raise his head, he halted the action 3:24 in.

In the main event, light heavyweights Quinton Jackson and Matt Lindland both staged a worthy battle and the highlight of this card.

Olympic silver medallist Lindland waged a stellar first round, latching on his guillotine from his back following Jackson's opening slam, then later took a standing Jackson's back for a rear-naked choke attempt.
Matt 'The Law' Lindland gets picked up by Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Lindland gets picked up by Jackson

Jackson evened the score in the second with a pair of slams and an unloading of punches on the fence that had Lindland wobbly. Lindland demonstrated some crafty scrambles to his feet throughout, but still dropped the round.

Two minutes of stalemate on the fence to open round three quickly evolved into a gripping final moments. With a jaw-snapping right, Jackson again caught Lindland, but to his credit the Team Quest fighter returned fire with a high kick to ward his stronger foe off. In a following clinch, Jackson craftily fell to a knee to prevent Lindland from throwing more knees himself, but it would set up another of Lindland's "choke slams." Lindland held the guillotine grip from his back for an extended moment and the audience was on its feet. Wiggling free, Jackson then reversed and tried to land some elbows -- an authoritative final few seconds that could have swayed two of three judges in his favor.

Even without his Kentucky Fried Chicken hat, a masked and Monopoly-money-chucking Jason Miller's entrance was energetic and snappy, much like his gung-ho attack on "The Ultimate Fighter" season one veteran Lodune Sincaid. Miller rushed Sincaid at the bell with a flying knee, then went to work in the cageside clinch with knees Sincaid deflected. Grabbing Sincaid's head with a Muay Thai hold, Miller brought Sincaid to the mat with a knee. From side to back control with a body triangle, Miller flirted with the rear-naked choke, finally snagging it 4:29 in.
Jason Miller choking Lodune Sincaid - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Miller choking Sincaid

Middleweight Ivan Salaverry's left high kicks proved the fatal ingredient for Team Quest's Art Santore, who absorbed over a half dozen flush to his right cheek throughout rounds one and two. Both athletes were active with strikes from the start, yet Salaverry's speed in giving and (avoiding the) receiving made the difference. Skirting Santore's advances by backtracking each times, Salaverry may not have over-impressed the crowds, but he legitimately came forward and connected when he did.

In round two, he'd softened Santore enough to land a high right kick, then the left, and a final left hook that sent Santore down. Salaverry leapfrogged to mount, landing a slew of punches that opened Santore's face and brought on the stoppage.

Surprisingly, 808 Fight Factory's Harris Sarmiento chose to trade with challenger Rob McCullough, whose whip-like inside and outside low kicks peppered his three-round offensive. To keep up with McCullough this way one has to be rugged, which Sarmiento undoubtedly was, but a takedown attempt or two might have been a more prudent route for the Hawaiian.

Catching McCullough's left leg in his hands in round two, Sarmineto was able to take the former kickboxer off his feet, but the advance was short-lived. McCullough deservedly earned the unanimous decision.

Tedious was the only way to explain a lackluster pairing between Vernon White and the anticipated U.S. debut of Brazilian Ryoto "Lyoto" Machida, who list of credits includes UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin's only career loss and a decision victory over BJ Penn. Choosing a traditional sideways stance, Machida often switched lead legs, but spent more time backing away from White's advances than pushing forward himself. When Machida did engage, his technique was there, but his few connecting strikes and takedowns were few and far between. At the conclusion of round three, the audience booed uniformly, an indication that they weren't really intent on learning the victor in this stagnant affair.

Halting the steamroller that is wrestler Ron Waterman, a rematching Ricco Rodriguez managed to keep his feet securely planted and connected with his first overhand right midway through round one. The effect on Waterman were almost immediate, so Rodriguez kept on coming with looping lefts and rights, cornering Waterman on the cage for a barrage of short hooks that left him winded. Still demonstrating the same technique and finesse that once earned him the UFC heavyweight title, it was only Rodriguez's extra weight (some 35 pounds) that slowed his punches. Still, Rodriguez's onslaught was effective. Waterman's left eye bubbling and bruising over and under within a course of the first minute rest prompted the doctor to recommend a stoppage referee nelson Hamilton seconded.

A draw and a house of jeers is what Marvin Eastman and Jorge Oliviera's uneventful standoff earned them in the second offering of the evening.. Tossing off a plethora of high kicks too far out of range to land, Oliviera lacked the fire to ever really threaten Eastman; while the Las Vegas native rarely accomplished contact from the handful of times he actually closed the needed distance to hit his mark.

Working off a clinch along the fence, Denmark native and last minute replacement Martin Kampmann scored the takedown, but Mexican brawler Edwin Aguilar managed to his feet. Positioning himself for his trademark rapid-fire onslaught, Kampmann simply slipped in on the inside, landing a combo whose tail end punch connected. Registering the hit slowly, Aguilar took a slight step back, then crumpled to his side and down to the mat. Referee Cecil Peoples stepped in right then, ensuring Kampmann's record would now move up to a sound 9-1.

WFA "King of the Streets" Results

  • Quinton Jackson def. Matt Lindland -- Split Decision (29-28 L, 29-28 J, 29-28 J)
  • Bas Rutten def. Ruben Villareal -- TKO (Ref stoppage -- kick) 3:24 R1
  • Ricco Rodriguez def. Ron Waterman -- TKO (Ref stoppage- doctor rec.) 5:00 R1
  • Ryoto Machida def. Vernon White -- Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ivan Salaverry def. Art Santore -- TKO (Ref stoppage- strikes) 4:18 R2
  • Jason Miller def. Lodune Sincaid -- Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 4:29 R1
  • Rob McCullough def. Harris Sarmiento -- Unanimous Decision (30-27)
  • Marvin Eastman vs. Jorge Oliveira -- Draw (30-27 E, 29-28 O, 29-29)
  • Martin Kampmann def. Edwin Aguilar -- TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 2:43 R1

  Monday - July 24, 2006
Podcast logo

New episode of FCF Radio

In our latest broadcast,
we discuss the WFA with Loretta Hunt and Matt Lindland.

Click here to listen/download.  

Results from
Punishment in Paradise 12 East Vs. West

Held July 21, 2006
Dole Cannery Ballroom, Oahu, Hawaii
By Mike Onzuka - Photo by Lisa Onzuka

Punishment in Paradise returned with Shooto sanctioning and a mix of kickboxing on this very well matched card. Local favorite Ron "The Machine Gun" Jhun returned to action and fought for a chance to become the Shooto Middleweight Pac Rim Champion. Unfortunately, the long and very technical K-Taro Nakamura had other plans. As expected Jhun tagged Nakamura standing for short time and Nakamura closed in for the clinch eventually taking Jhun to the mat. The skilled Nakamura slipped to Jhun's back and held it there for most of the round attacking mostly with rear naked choke attacks and throwing in a punch or two. Jhun took a chance to push for an escape which allowed Nakamura the space he needed to slap in a text book mata leao and Jhun tapped. In the co-main event, another Japanese fighter, Usui, stepped up to face the Icon Sport and X-1 champ, Ed Newalu of the 808 Fight Factory. Newalu was clearly the wrestler, while Usui was a skilled judo practitioner and they traded pummeling standing up. Usui took down Newalu in the first round and had excellent positioning on the ground which won him the first round. In round two Usui followed up and got to Newalu's back early, but Newalu was able to scramble out, took the top and eventually get to Usui's back. Newalu kept Usui's back for most of the round which won him round 2 and kept the fight a draw. This fight left the crowd drooling for a third round to see which fighter could impose their game. The kickboxing fights were very competitive and well matched. The knock out of the night had to have come from Kaleo Kwon as he fought up a weight class and Wayne Perrin dropped some pounds to come down to meet Kwon there. Both fighters were measuring themselves and Kwon stepped in and landed a earth shattering left hook that sent the larger fighter to the canvas and scored him a knock out at 1:14 seconds in round 1. The remaining fights were a mixture of class B shooto bouts and kickboxing which kept the fans entertained during the very long evening.

Keita Nakamura looks to soften up Ronald Jhun with punches at Punishment in Paradise 12 - Photo by Lisa Onzuka
Nakamura looks to soften up Jhun

Full Results:
  • Shooto Middleweight Pacific Rim Championship Class A (3x 5 Minute Rounds)
    Keita Nakamura (Shooto, Japan) vs. Ronald Jhun (808F.F, Waipahu)
    Nakamura by rear naked choke at 3:55 of R1.

  • Lightweight Shooto Bout Class B (2x5 Minute Rounds)
    Hayate Usui (Shooto, Japan) vs. Ed Newalu ( 808 F.F, Kaneohe)
    Majority Draw (19-19, 19-19, 18-19)

  • 165lbs. PIP Kickboxing Championship (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Kaleo Kwon (Eastsidaz, Kailua) vs. Wayne Perrin (Team Bigdogs, Waianae)
    Kwon by KO at 1:14 of R1 by a wicked left hook

  • 135lbs. P.I.P Kickboxing Championship Bout (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Nui Wheeler (Team Soljah, Waianae) vs. Bronson Mohika (808 F.F.,Kailua)
    Mohika by TKO (injured knee from kick) at 0:44 of R2.

  • 140lbs.P.I.P Kickboxing Championship Bout (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Ryan Lee (Bulls Pin, Kailihi) vs. Domi Lopez (Team Bigdogs, Waianae)
    Lopez by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

  • 150lbs. P.I.P Kickboxing Championship Bout (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Marcus Moreno (Bulls Pen, Kailihi) vs. Duke Saragossa (808F.F, Wahiawa)
    Saragosa TKO (injured rib or elbow) at 1:26 of R1.

  • 165lbs.P.I.P Kickboxing Championship K Bout (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Keoni Bryant (Jus Rush, Kailua) vs. John Visante Jr (Sit You Down, Waianae)
    Bryant by majority decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)

  • 183lbs. Light Heavyweight Amatuer Shooto Bout (2x3 Minute Rounds)
    Jesse Ware (Kaneohe Team, Kahalu'u) vs. Joey Corn (Universal Combat Sport, Waianae)
    Bout cancelled due to weight discrepancy.

  • 160lbs Kickboxing (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Dean Henze (Smith Taekwondo, Kaneohe) Vs Jason Santos (Discples of Puhui, Kuaui)
    Santos by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30)

  • 200lbs Kickboxing (3x2 Minute Rounds )
    Koali Castillo (Koden Kan, Kailua) vs. Lance Ta'aFaasu (Sit You Down, Pearl City)
    Castillo by majority decision (30-26, 30-26, 28-28)

  • 205lbs Cruiserweight Shooto Class B Bout (2x5 Minute Rounds)
    JJ Richardson (Jus Rush, Kailua) vs. Miller Ualesi (Sit You Down, Waianae)
    Ualesi by TKO (Richardson disqualified for multiple groin shots) in round 2.

  • 175lbs. Kickboxing (3x 2 Minute Rounds)
    Weston Victorino (Disciples of Puhi, Kuaui) vs. Zane Kamaka (Sit You Down, Waianae)
    Victorino by KO at 1:26 of R1.

  • 132.3lbs. Featherweight Shooto Class B Bout (2x5 Minute Rounds)
    Justin Anderson(Jus Rush, Kailua) vs. Jay Bolos (Animal House, Ewa Beach)
    Bolos by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18).

  • Welterweight Shooto Class B Bout (2x5 Minute Rounds)
    Dominic Ah Nee (Universal Combat Sport, Maui) vs. Hugh Jones (Fighters Union, Waianae)
    Ah Nee by majority decision (20-18, 20-18, 19-19)

  • 145lbs. Kickboxing Bout (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Sam Choong (Smith Taekwondo, Kaneohe) vs. Erwin Celes (Sit You Down, Waianae)
    Choong by TKO (referee stoppage) at 55 seconds of R2.

  • 130 lbs. Kickboxing Bout (3x2 Minute Rounds)
    Christian Chang (Team Hooligan) vs Jared Matsuda (Koden Kan)
    Matsuda by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29)

  • Middleweight Shooto Class B Bout (2x5 Minute Rounds)
    Anthony Ornellas (Jus Rush, Kailua) vs. Micheal Cuban (Team Uprising, Wahiawa)
    Cuban by TKO (referee stoppage) at 3:18 of R1.

  • Middleweight Shooto Class B Bout (2x5 Minute Rounds)
    Keoki Cyrpiano (Jus Rush, Kailua) vs. David Pedro (Freelance, Kailua)
    Cypriano by TKO (referee stoppage due to punches standing) at 3:47 of R1

  • 80lbs Kickboxing Bout
    Kylan Ancheta (Team Uprising) vs. Ronald Matautia (Sit You Down, Waianae)
    Matautia by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • 70lbs. Kickboxing Bout (3x1 Minute Rounds)
    Nainoa Mesiona (808 F.F, Salt Lake) vs. Jacoby Visante (Sit You Down, Waianae)
    Vistante by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
    Heavyweight (3 X 11/2 Minute Rounds)

From DSE/Pride:


PRIDE FIGHTING'S BUSHIDO SURVIVAL is the second round of an exclusive 16-man welterweight tournament, spanning three events. BUSHIDO SURVIVAL is scheduled to premiere in the United States on Fox Sports Net on Sunday, August 27th, 2006 at 7:00pm nationwide.

Others scheduled to participate in non-tournament bouts include "The Fireball Kid" TAKANORI GOMI, MITSUHIRO ISHIDA and IKUHISA "The Punk" MINOWA (match ups for each to be announced soon). Welterweight tournament bouts will feature DAN HENDERSON vs. KAZUO MISAKI, RYO CHONAN vs. PAULO FILHO, GEGARD MOUSASI vs. AKIHIRO GONO, and DENIS KANG vs. AMAR SULOEV.

U.S. Premiere Schedule:
Premiere Date: Sunday, August 27th, 2006
Premiere Time: 7:00 pm nationwide


Welterweight Tournament Bouts:
Dan Henderson (USA) vs. Kazuo Misaki (Japan)
Akihiro Gono (Japan) vs. Gegard Mousasi (Armenia)
Ryo Chonan (Japan) vs. Paulo Filho (Brazil)
Denis Kang (Korea/Canada) vs. Amar Suloev (Russia)

Non-Tournament Bouts:
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan) vs. Chris Brennan (USA)
Nobuhiro Obiya (Japan) vs. Gilbert Melendez (USA)
Shinya Aoki (Japan) vs. Jason Black (USA)
Hatsu Hioki (Japan) vs. Jeff Curran (USA)
Takanori Gomi (Japan) vs. TBA
Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa (Japan) vs. TBA

Fight Card Subject to Change.

These are the world's elite mixed martial artists squaring off in the PRIDE ring exclusively on FSN!

  Thursday - July 27, 2006
Podcast logo

New episode of FCF Radio

In our latest broadcast,
we talk with Karo Parisyan and Joe Doerksen.

Click here to listen/download.  

WEC Hosts Saturday's "The Hitman"
to Assist Bennett Family

By Derek Callahan

WEC 22 Poster - Provided courtesy of WEC It's important for a community as passionate for its sport as MMA to remember why it is so important to want to help the young family of Ryan Bennett. As much as Ryan was a professional on-camera, an engaging voice behind the mic, and an instant friend to anyone who interacted with him in even the briefest way, he was a family man first. That is why stepping up to make his family's future an easier one is so good an idea.

The people behind World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) know that the most important part of Bennett's life is now in need. Along with the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, WEC promoters Scott Adams and Reed Harris are a classy example of what friends are for. "The Hitman" is a show that will benefit the Bennetts - which includes recovering wife Tonya and her four children Ashley, Allison, Jada, and Braden - to the tune of an anticipated five figures; the key is to help pave the Bennett's road to recovery. Throwing together a last minute, all-volunteer show set for July 28 at the Tachi Palace, Adams and Harris have put their faith in a sporting community that craves challenges. Knowing the challenge of putting together a show that needs to produce financially, yet cost next to nothing to produce, the WEC has a challenge of their own.

Their generosity must be reciprocated by the MMA community, and so far the WEC has been the recipient of key figures in staging a show. The free availability offered goes beyond the timekeepers, physicians, event employees, DVD production crew and the overwhelming accommodation of the Tachi Palace. Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. and a host of fighters now as hungry to help as they normally are to win, have all guaranteed their efforts to ensure a success.

By producing a DVD of the event, the WEC is giving fans a chance to lend a hand. By holding an event in the first place, they are giving fighters who had the chance to work with Ryan the opportunity to help. The event isn't easy to put together, and that was obvious from the get-go. (While tracking down participants, I was told at one point to call a different welterweight than the one I had listed, because he was going to be the one fighting. When asked about why he took the fight, he replied, "I didn't know I was fighting.")

Putting together a last-minute show and convincing people to do it for free was obviously a tough task. But from the looks of the card, which will hold exhibition matches so as to protect fighter's records and safety and keep the objectives of the show clear, many in the fight world stepped up admirably. Most of the card is comprised of less experienced West Coast fighters who know that helping the WEC will undoubtedly help them. The fact that it is lesser known, less experienced fighters that are stepping up to compete on short notice says enough about their guts before they even get into the ring.
It isn't all greenhorns though that made it a point to take care of the family of one of their sport's own. "I wanted it to be a professional level show and I think we got that," says Adams.

Renowned 145-pounder Urijah Faber will be grappling in an exhibition bout, and Wes Sims continues his road warrior ways. Having had three recent. high profile fights against Mark Kerr, Bobby Hoffman and Jimmy Ambriz fail to see the light of day Sims is excited about getting to fight. Still, he knows what he is doing and why. Although it has subsequently been decided that he will compete against the 1-1 Joel Suprenant, Sims had no idea who he was fighting at the time we spoke. From the way he spoke, he didn't seem to care.

"Whatever good you could find in a person [Ryan] would find," says Sims. "It's a good time to help out Ryan's family."

Underneath the surface of this elaborate gesture is the compelling return of Alex Stiebling. Unheard of since a KO loss to Vernon White last October, former PRIDE fighter Stiebling never quite got to the top tiers of MMA. This is a good way to see what sort of shape he's in, and where his timing and ring rust is in a non-threatening match. He has a good opponent to do it against in Jason Guida, a journeyman opponent who has enjoyed recent success with a win (albeit an avenged one) over Marvin Eastman. The real story though, is the kindness that is starting the show in the first place.

As a sport, MMA breeds connections between athletes, fans, and casual practitioners of the artistry they see in the ring or cage. By supporting selfless endeavors like the one the WEC has created, fans will refuse to forget one of the sport's own by remembering those he left behind. More than a nice nod to the memory of Ryan Bennett, the event is an opportunity to give. Fans can know the compassion it takes to help somebody in need: learn how it feels, and do it again through the memory of one who would have done the same.

WEC 22 "The Hitman" Line-Up
Robert "The Wrecker" Densley vs. Mike Joy
Trevor Harris vs. Colley Bradford
Rafael Del Real vs. Keith Berry
JT Taylor vs. Drew Dimanlig
Joel "The Godfather" Suprenant vs. Wes "The Project" Sims
Joel "The Nice Guy" Thomas vs. Pat Murphy
JJ Mix vs. Mario Rivera
Jack Morrison vs. Glover Teixeira
Jeff Terry vs. Doug "The Rhino" Marshall
Alvan Cacdus vs. Casey Olson
Troy Miller vs. Poppies "Tachi Kid" Martinez
Alex Stiebling vs. Jason Guida

Grappling Exhibition: Urijah Faber vs. Cory Cass

From DSE/Pride:

TOKYO, Japan - Former IBA heavyweight boxing champion, ERIC "BUTTERBEAN" ESCH is set to make his PRIDE Fighting debut at BUSHIDO SURVIVAL. The 350-pounder sports a boxing record of 72 wins (54 KOs) with 7 losses and 4 draws. His opponent will be the "giant killer", IKUHISA "THE PUNK" MINOWA, who has defeated the likes of Giant Silva, Kimo Leopoldo and Phil Baroni.

The four tournament bouts will feature DAN HENDERSON vs. KAZUO MISAKI, RYO CHONAN vs. PAULO FILHO, GEGARD MOUSASI vs. AKIHIRO GONO, and DENIS KANG vs. AMAR SULOEV. Others scheduled to participate in non-tournament bouts include "The Fireball Kid" TAKANORI GOMI as well as Japanese fighter MITSUHIRO ISHIDA

PRIDE FIGHTING'S BUSHIDO SURVIVAL is the second round of an exclusive 16-man welterweight tournament, spanning three events. BUSHIDO SURVIVAL is scheduled to premiere in the United States on Fox Sports Net on Sunday, August 27th, 2006 at 7:00pm nationwide.

U.S. Premiere Schedule:
Premiere Date: Sunday, August 27th, 2006
Premiere Time: 7:00 pm nationwide


Tournament Bouts:
Dan Henderson (USA) vs. Kazuo Misaki (Japan)
Akihiro Gono (Japan) vs. Gegard Mousasi (Armenia)
Ryo Chonan (Japan) vs. Paulo Filho (Brazil)
Denis Kang (Korea/Canada) vs. Amar Suloev (Russia)

Non-Tournament Bouts:
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan) vs. Chris Brennan (USA)
Nobuhiro Obiya (Japan) vs. Gilbert Melendez (USA)
Shinya Aoki (Japan) vs. Jason Black (USA)
Hatsu Hioki (Japan) vs. Jeff Curran (USA)
Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa (Japan) vs. Eric "Butterbean" Esch (USA)
Takanori Gomi (Japan) vs. TBA
Mitsuhiro Ishida (Japan) vs. TBA

Fight Card Subject to Change.

From the event's promoter:
Fights this weekend at AMC Vision Quest!

Another great night of fights that you don't want to miss!!!!!!

Date: Saturday July 29, 2006
Place: Auburn, WA - Vision Quest Sport and Fitness center at the Auburn Supermall
Time: Doors open 7PM, Fights Start 8PM
Tickets available at the door and at:
  • Vision Quest Sport and Fitness Center at the Supermall
    Auburn, WA

  • AMC Kickboxing and Pankration
    427 6th Street South
    Kirkland, WA
General Admission $20, VIP $30, Ringside $40-$50

See You There!

  Saturday - July 29, 2006
Elvis is Still Alive!
Nino Schembri makes his return to BJJ competition this weekend
By Eduardo Alonso

In the past five years Nino "Elvis" Schembri has been dedicating himself exclusively to MMA competitions. His MMA career started with promising wins, defeating names like Johil de Oliveira, Daiju Takase and even Kazushi Sakuraba in his first three bouts, but later started to face a tough road, suffering a streak of losses -- one of which was in a rematch against Sakuraba himself, and most recently against Olympic silver medallist wrestler Matt Lindland. People say that sometimes when things are tough it's wise to go back to your roots, and that's what Schembri did as he got his gi back again, and trained as hard as ever to make his much anticipated comeback to jiu-jitsu competition, where he is considered by many one of the most impressive athletes ever to compete in the "gentle art," and has captured many fans all over the world due to his exciting style that's always in search of submissions. Since his early Gracie Barra days, jiu-jitsu, gave Nino his excellent reputation, a number of titles that even included the same BJJ world championship he is heading back to again, and now, only two days before facing an intriguing challenge of seeing where he will stand right now, against competition such as World Champions Marcelo Garcia and Andre Galvao, after such a long hiatus from his gi in tournaments, the biggest fan of Elvis Presley in fighting sports, and one of those responsible for the ground game of the Chute Boxe team, took some time to speak with Full Contact Fighter in a very honest interview about what was behind his return to BJJ, his plans for the future and his views about MMA and the path that his career has taken and will take in the years to come, enjoy!

Click here to continue the interview

From the event's promoter:
Suzuki to Give Away ATV
at Wizard World Chicago Event 8/3-8/6
IFL Booth #535

Suzuki Kingquad - Photo provided courtesy of IFL Suzuki(IFL Sponsor) ATV and Motorcycles will raffle away a FREE King Quad 700 ATV during the Wizard World Convention at the Donald E. Stephens convention center in Chicago at the International Fight League Booth #525. Packed into the IFL booth will be a full-sized IFL ring that fans can walk around in, a master of ceremonies introducing fighters and fans alike, and ring girls, coaches and fighters who will be signing autographs and taking pictures throughout the 4-day event.

IFL merchandise will also be available so you can dress like your favorite fighters. Along with everything happening at the IFL booth, you will have the opportunity to train with some of the best fighters in the world.

There will be a 2-day seminar featuring Bas Rutten, Pat Miletich, Matt Lindland, Shawn Tompkins, Renzo Gracie and Maurice Smith all giving unique instruction from their real-life experiences in the sport of MMA. The weekend is geared towards offering fans the most interactive MMA experience ever! Come join us at Wizard World Chicago, August 3-6.

FCF New Issue Check out what's in the current issue of FCF...

Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix.

Q&A with Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira.

CSAC Disbanded - Changes to California's sports regulatory process.

WFA Preview.

Jeremy Lappen - We speak with the newly appointed CEO of the revamped WFA organization.

Bill Goldberg to take the mic at "King of the Streets".

Rorion Gracie UFC founder talks about brother Royce's loss in the Octagon.

Rickson Gracie - Legend to return to battle on New Year's Eve?

PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi takes a moment to relax.

Dean Lister - Who's afraid of "The Boogey Man"?

Cage Fury Fighting Championship's inaugural event.

WEC 21: McCullough, Crunkilton and Franca put in solid performances.

Cage Rage 17: Manhoef finishes Freeman in 17 seconds.

AFC 17: Masvidal & Rinaldi capture belts at AFC's biggest event to date.

UFC 61: Ortiz ends Shamrock's night quickly, Sylvia goes the distance to defend title.

Ultimate Fight Night: Anderson Silva takes out Chris Leben in under a minute.

TUF Season Three ends with new contenders emerging.

Spencer "The King" Fisher is out to prove he's more than just a nickname.

Jens Pulver returns to the UFC.

Chris Horodecki - The 18-year-old rising star is already a prospect.

Team Salmon starts out on the winding road to the top.

Pride and Fury 5: USA Vs. the World.

In our monthly columns...

Our Focus On series takes a look at Chicago, Illinois.

In Matt Hume's techniques, Trevor Jackson & Daniel Eng demonstrate Rolling Omo Plata.

Mikey Burnett BioFile.

Every issue of Full Contact Fighter is jam-packed with fight news from the U.S. to Brazil to Japan. FCF travels the globe to bring the fights to you. Get yours today! Available at Tower Records stores around the world or by subscription...

Click here to order securely online with your credit card
or print off the order form & mail it in with your payment

  Sunday - July 30, 2006
Fighting for a Memory:
Stiebling, Sims, Olson Victorious
in Bennett Charity Event

Report by Loretta Hunt - Photography by Daisy Rosas

LEMOORE, Calif., July 28 -- Whether the fights be good or bad, MMA events are almost always a whirlwind of commotion and deafening sound. Tonight, the mood was somber, a usually hyper central Californian crowd tamed and polite in reflection. As Tonya Bennett cried softly to a video tribute of her late husband Ryan, a healthy crowd around 3,000 spectators sat silently, their attendance a tribute to the commentator and announcer who once graced a cageside seat of the WEC cage.

Taken from the MMA community much earlier than it ever would have liked, Ryan Bennett passed away in May from a fatal car crash in his home state of Utah. With wife Tonya and his four children in the car with Bennett at the time, WEC promoters Reed Harris and Scott Adams were one of the first to respond to the family's needs.

All proceeds from WEC 22's "The Hitman" would go to the Bennett family and many of tonight's staff volunteered their services to keep production costs down. 22 fighters -- most of them local newcomers hungry for the experience and exposure - answered the call for a one hundred dollar payday. The WEC requested the results be for exhibition only.

The most seasoned of the card, a polished and well-conditioned Alex Stiebling utilized excellent footwork and crisp left jabs to get the better of Midwesterner Jason Guida in the earlier moments of what would become a rambling 15-minute affair. When Stiebling upgraded to combos, Guida decided to shoot on the former PRIDE fighter, pressing him against the cage. Stiebling held his ground, eventually breaking away to reset in the center for some more trading.

A tiring Guida's hunt for the takedown continued into round two, where he finally succeeded in getting the Utah fighter down. Stiebling turned his attention to an appendage, but it was only a ruse to get to his knees and back up to his feet. Guida struggled to connect as Stiebling floated at a distance, often eating a combination off his single-punch attempts.

WEC 22: Alex Stiebling (right) vs. Jason Guida - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Stiebling (right) vs. Guida

In the final set, Stiebling's left jab returned, Guida's brown locks matting with blood against his puffy face. Desperate, Guida threw off a flying knee and Stiebling scooped him up and crashed the Gilbert Grappling fighter to the mat. His knee on Guida's belly, Stiebling turned his back to go for a leglock, now mounted in North-South position. Guida grabbed a foot and began to torque, resorting to an ill-received "wedgie" attempt when the submission didn't take. Stiebling deservedly earned the unanimous decision.

WEC 22: Wes Sims - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Wes Sims
For the gesture of gestures, the usually villainous Wes Sims took on the role of hero for the crowds. Choosing to turn down a $30,000 paycheck from a last-minute offer to meet Bas Rutten in the WFA last Saturday, Sims instead kept a commitment to lend his talents to the fundraiser. He was rewarded with a short, but sweet victory that started a missed Karate Kid sidekick that sent him to his back. Opponent Joel Surprenant followed into Sims' guard and the triangle, which ended the festivities a mere 28 seconds in.

The Pit's Glover Teixeira was all business against overwhelmed adversary Jack Morrison. The Bullet NHB Fight Team rep couldn't stop the takedown, nor the punches "The Brazilian Pit Bull" rained down from half guard. With the referee too slow to respond, Morrison tapped himself out.

Lightweight Casey Olson, also from The Pit, was billed the headliner for the evening. A Fresno State wrestling star, Olson's impulsive and frenetic style is quickly molding him into a favorite in the area. Taking down opponent Alvan Cacdus easily, Olson pinned him into the cage's corner and unloaded a ground-and-pound onslaught Cacdus could not answer. The referee stoppage followed.

WEC 22: Casey Olson (facing camera) vs. Alvan Cacdus - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Olson vs. Cacdus

Quelling a local rivalry, Lemoore's own Poppies "The Tachi Kid" Martinez nailed a gorgeous trip on Visalia's Troy Miller, then tossed him down again with a suplex when Miller rose to his feet. Taking Miller's back, Martinez isolated an arm for the speedy under-a-minute tap out. Flanked by Capital City Fighting Alliance's Urijah Faber (who he trained with for two months in Sacramento), Martinez showed signs that he's taking his MMA career much more seriously these days.

WEC 22: Poppies Martinez scoops up Troy Miller - Photo by Daisy Rosas
Martinez scoops up Miller

To opponent Mario Rivera's credit, it took Yakima Freestyle Fighting rep JJ Mix a few minutes to finally unveil his solid right high kick. The wrestler in Rivera kept Mix pinned down for much of the first round, but when the pair was stood for inactivity, Mix unloaded a barrage of punches and knees that had Rivera on the run. Wearing Rivera down with a slew of high kicks in rounds one and two, Mix brought the bout to a grinding halt with a rear-naked choke finale 3:47 into the third round.

Nor Cal Fight Factory's Drew Dimanlig got a challenge in Oregon veteran JT Taylor, who always seemed a step ahead of the newcomer. Dimanlig scored the takedown, but couldn't keep his hold as Taylor rolled free and spun into an armbar attempt. Dimanlig escaped to his feet from Taylor's subsequent heelhook attempt and Taylor began to score with upkicks from his back as Dimanlig struggled to figure out his next move. Moving into Taylor's guard, Dimanlig fell into the triangle choke, which Taylor modified to an armbar for the tap out.

What started as an even match-up quickly wilted when wrestler Joel Thomas lost his steam in the second round against Pacific Martial Art's Pat Murphy. Murphy's outside kicks coaxed Thomas to shoot in repeatedly, and when Thomas' stamina failed him, his takedowns became his sole offensive weapon. Unable to complete his submission attempts on the mats though, Murphy had to settle for the unanimous decision.

Bantamweight Kale Bradford fought a race against time as Trevor Harris unloaded a solid right in their initial clash, ripping a sizable gash under his right eye that drew blood immediately. Bradford bullrushed for the takedown and the pair waged some feverish scrambles for control on the canvas. A calm and collected Harris prevailed with a rear-naked choke 2:19 in.

Fighting the heat more than others who came later in the card, lightweights Mike Joy and Robert Densley opened the show with a valiant effort. Joy secured the early trip takedown, quickly unleashing his "jump for joy," a Kazuki Sakuraba-inspired leaping punch into Densley's guard. Though it didn't connect, the crowd was appreciative, and Joy fed off it. Spinning into a Kimura attempt from his back, Joy then transitioned to the first of numerous armbar attempts from guard. From the look of Joy's bruising face, Densley did his job in mounting his own offensive from top. Joy persisted though, landing the fight-ending armbar with just two seconds left on the clock.

The numbers didn't lie for 0-0 Jeff Terry and 4-2 WEC staple Doug Marshall. NHB Bullet vet Terry speedily found his back touching his mat with Marshall resting on his chest in mount from a failed standing guillotine. After a few connecting elbows and fists from "the Rhino," referee Nelson Hamilton stepped in to end the mauling 1:50 in.

WEC 22 "The Hitman" Results
  • Mike Joy def. Robert Densley - Submission (Armbar) 4:58 R1
  • Doug Marshall def. Jeff Terry - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 1:50 R1
  • JT Taylor def. Drew Dimanlig - Submission (Armbar) 3:47 R1
  • Alex Stiebling def. Jason Guida - Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Wes Sims def. Joel Surprenant - TKO (Ref stoppage - triangle choke) 0:28 R1
  • Pat Murphy def. Joel Thomas- Unanimous decision
  • Trevor Harris def. Kale Bradford - Submission (Rear-naked choke) 2:19 R1
  • JJ Mix def. Mario Rivera - Submission (Rear-naked choke) 3:47 R3
  • Glover Teixeira def. Jack Morrison - Submission (Tap out to strikes) 1:27 R1
  • Poppies Martinez def. Troy Miller - Submission (Armbar) 0:50 R1
  • Casey Olson def. Alvan Cacdus - TKO (Ref stoppage - strikes) 2:28 R1

  Monday - July 31, 2006
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In this edition of Full Contact Fighter Radio we talk with Ivan Salaverry, who discusses his recent win over Art Santore at the WFA, and Johnny Alessio, who is getting ready for an upcoming bout with UFC veteran Nick Diaz. We have decided to post the segment with Alessio despite recent Internet speculation that is saying the fight with Diaz is off.

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The Northern Touch: News and Notes from Canadian MMA
Newton, Manhoef Fight Questionable?
Gill and Menjivar Ready for K-1 Hero's Tourney

By Kelsey Mowatt

The Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan is set to host the opening round of K-1 Hero's Light Heavyweight and Middleweight Grand Prix this Saturday, August 5, and Canada will be well represented. Heading to Japan to fight in the 154-pound bracket (middleweight) will be noted Team Revolution striker Kultar Gill and UFC veteran, Ivan Menjivar. Although it had been reported that one of Canada's MMA pioneers, Carlos Newton, would be fighting Cage Rage standout Melvin Manhoef in the opening round of the 187.5-pound (light heavyweight) tournament, Newton could not confirm his participation to FCF earlier this week.

"I've been training and it has been going great," commented Newton on his return to MMA competition after a nearly 22-month lay-off. "I was looking forward to fighting but now it seems kind of up in the air. I can't really comment at this time, but I don't know if the fight is going to happen."

Newton would not elaborate on the circumstances that support his pessimism regarding his return. FCF's attempts to reach Newton's management for further comment were unsuccessful.

In the 154-pound bracket, Montreal fighter Menjivar (19-4) will take on Hideo Tokoro (13-11-1), who since capturing headlines by drawing with the legendary Royce Gracie at K-1 Hero's New Year's Eve card "Dynamite," has lost two of his last three fights. Menjivar returns to Japan for the first time since defeating Taiyo Nakahara at K-1 Hero's 2006 in May by unanimous decision, and is looking forward to this weekend's event.

"I'm not going to try to do anything special, I'm just going there go there to take the fight and get the win," says Menjivar. "I'm going to try to finish the fight, keep my hands up, and get the submission or knockout. I want to keep going to Japan because I like fighting there and want to keep winning so I can keep negotiating my purse up."

According to Menjivar, he has changed little in his pre-fight training regimen and has no set game plan for Tokoro due to knowing very little about his opponent.

"I turned off my satellite; I don't watch the fights anymore," Menjivar admits. "I just worry about my training and preparation and see how it goes when I fight."

In fact, Tokoro's last loss came to Kultar Gill the same night that Menjivar defeated Nakahara in May, with the noted Canadian striker defeating the Japanese rep in 43 seconds via TKO. Gill, who carries a record of 8-3 and often goes by the nickname "Black Mamba," will meet UFC veteran and highly regarded Caol Uno (20-8-4). For Gill, taking on a fighter in Uno, who has only lost three times in three years to such notable opponents as Joachim Hansen, Hermes Franca and "Kid" Yamamoto, this weekend's fight could be his toughest test yet.

"Of course this will be the biggest fight for me so far," Gill tells FCF. "Tokoro was a good victory for me, but Uno is one of the best fighters at that weight. It will be the classic striker versus grappler match-up; in my mind he'll try to stand with me just to try to get me comfortable and then he'll try to take me down. I've been working a lot of my wrestling with Olympic wrestler Colin Daynes, so hopefully I'll be able to keep it up and knock him out, come back to work on Monday with the victory."

Gill works full time as a Corrections Officer in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia, and trains with Team Revolution out of Langley city. Gill's training partners at Team Revolution include several notable Canadian fighters, including Tyler Jackson, Todd Gouwenberg, Tim Thurston and "The Ultimate Fighter" season 3 participant Kalib Starnes. Despite the successes of the team and in his own career, Gill has no plans to quit his day job just yet.

"This is my hobby," says Gill. "I train a little bit and fight, with my natural ability I'm able to get ready for these fights and still work a full-time job. I'll fight anyone at any time, the worst thing that is going to happen is I'll get knocked or choked out, or I'll do the same thing to them. I have a mortgage and a wife; this isn't my career because there just isn't enough money in it right now. Who knows what will happen in the future; if someday I get offered enough money to fight full time then I will."

The K-1 Hero's Grand Prix is also set to feature Kazushi Sakuraba taking on Kestutis Smirnovas, Shungo Oyama fighting Rodrigo Gracie, and Yoshihiro Akiyama versus Kin Taiei in the opening round of the light heavyweight tournament, while Gesias "JZ" Calvalcanti versus Hiroyuki Takaya and Rani Yahira meeting Kazuya Yasuhiro fill out the remainder of the middleweight bracket.

From the event's promoter:
Sefo Returns to Vegas for "Battle at Bellagio" Superfight with Maksutaj

July 31, 2006; New York, NY ... K-1 superstar Ray "Sugarfoot" Sefo will face off with five-time world kickboxing champion, Azem Maksutaj, in a "Battle At Bellagio" Superfight at Las Vegas, Nevada's Bellagio on Saturday, August 12th.

For Sefo, the appearance will mark the second of his career in Las Vegas. During a Superfight two years ago at Bellagio, the 6 foot, 235 pound New Zealander rushed out of the gates against American brawler Marvin Eastman. A barrage of punches from Sefo put Eastman out on his feet and brought about a referee stoppage at the 1:32 mark of the opening round.

Sefo's breakthrough year in K-1 competition came in 2000 when he reached the championship round of the annual, year-end "World Grand Prix Finals" eight-man tournament staged in Japan's 70,000 crowd-capacity Tokyo Dome. There, he steamrolled his first two opponents, Japan's Musashi and France's Cyril Abidi, respectively, before meeting four-time World Grand Prix champion, Ernesto Hoost, in the championship round of battle. Against the man otherwise known as "Mr. Perfect," Sefo stood his ground and went the distance of the bout before Hoost was awarded the victory.

Of late, Sefo has reaffirmed his status as a top contender in the sport by defeating two of K-1's hottest prospects. In Hiroshima, Japan last June, it took Sefo a mere 37 seconds to stop the lightning quick Ruslan Karaev with a barrage of punches. Three months later, Sefo secured a victory over Thailand's Kaoklai Kaennorsing by way of judges' decision. On June 3rd of this year, Sefo met Karaev for a second time and produced a result similar to that of their first bout, sending Karaev down for the 10 count with a right hook at the 1:42 mark of the opening round.

Maksutaj's appearance will also be his second on a K-1 card in Las Vegas. Last August, the 31-year-old native of Switzerland entered the eight-man "Mayhem At Mirage" tournament a relative unknown amongst American fight fans. Over the course of the fight card, however, he gained the respect and admiration of the near-sellout crowd on hand.

After scoring an upset victory over three-time Las Vegas K-1 tournament champion Michael McDonald in the quarterfinal round, Maksutaj engaged Russia's Karaev in a relentless, toe-to-toe war that has since been referred to as one of the greatest K-1 fights of all-time. Maksutaj battled back from two knockdowns and nearly put Karaev down in the third round before the closing bell rang and Karaev, the eventual tournament winner, walked away with the decision.

In addition to the Superfight between Sefo and Maksutaj, "Battle At Bellagio" will be highlighted by an eight-man, single-elimination tournament as well as two additional Superfights. Two-time K-1 tournament champion, Alexey "The Red Scorpion" Ignashov; three-time Las Vegas K-1 tournament winner, Michael "The Black Sniper" McDonald; and 2003 K-1 USA tournament victor, Carter Williams; are scheduled to compete in the tournament.

In other Superfight action, Ruslan Karaev will take on two-time world kickboxing champion and undefeated professional boxer, Dewey "The Black Kobra" Cooper and world Muay Thai champion and K-1 Max veteran, Duane "Bang" Ludwig, will square off with three-time kickboxing champion, Fernando "Cool" Calleros.

Tickets for K-1 "Battle At Bellagio" are available for purchase both online at K-1 North America's official website, www.k-1usa.net, as well as at the Bellagio box office (888-488-7111). Tickets are priced at $300, $200, $100 and $50.

The Grand Ballroom at Bellagio will open for the event at 5 PM. The first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM and the tournament will commence at approximately 7 PM.

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