Joe Warren vs. Rumina Sato at Vale Tudo Japan '09
At today's "GIG TOKYO" show in Shinjuku Face, Shooto promoter Sustain revealed the addition of a major fight to the rapidly approaching Vale Tudo Japan '09 (10/30). Previously announced participant Rumina Sato (24-14-2) has found an opponent in former DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix semifinalist Joe Warren (2-1). The bout will be contested at 63kg (~139 lbs.) under "VTJ Rules," which include legal stomps and knees to the head of a downed opponent.
Can CBS bring Fedor to the masses?
The new CBS commercial featuring Fedor Emelianenko drew a mixed reaction from the MMA faithful this week – a slick product, yes, but late in the game.
The 33-year-old Emelianenko, who faces heavyweight hopeful Brett Rogers Nov. 7 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on CBS, has been the people’s champion for legions of fans who live and breathe the sport.
Most of them, however, know that those outside their circle will spell success or failure for the network event.
CBS had some of both when they promoted three MMA cards last year under the banner of the now-defunct EliteXC. The first and last events, bolstered by Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano, were unqualified ratings triumphs. The second, void of fighters with crossover appeal, drew poorly.
Advertising for the Strikeforce event began a little over a month ago, leading many to question the network’s commitment to the promotion, and by proxy, the sport.
CBS Senior Executive Vice President Kelly Kahl said his network will put its best foot forward in the buildup to Nov. 7, but asked the faithful to help CBS hit a home run.
“MMA fans seem to seek a greater acceptance, and nothing helps better than calling your friends and saying ‘you’ve got to check this out,’” he said.
The network ran several 10-second spots for the event during the past two weekends of NFL coverage, the first salvo in what Kahl said was the start of a comprehensive campaign. He said the network was assembling footage for new promotional spots and said the volume – and scope – of advertising would be increasing shortly, expanding to cable, radio, and the web.
WEC 45 Likely For December 19 In Vegas
Although no official announcement has been made yet, WEC 45 likely will be December 19 in Vegas. The Saturday event was to have been held at The Pearl at The Palms, but with a scheduling conflict they could return to their old homebase, The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The event may be headlined by Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson but that's in question because of a Henderson injury. The only other fighter set for the event at this time is Bart Palaszewski.
Chris Leben vs. Jay Silva In The Works For UFN 20
Although UFC Fight Night 20 still hasn't been announced by UFC, the card continues to come togeter at what seems like a record pace. The 5th fight to be revealed in less than 24 hours is Chris Leben vs. Jay Silva, a fight that Leben has verbally agreed to.
Henderson, UFC Fail To Come To Terms
Dan Henderson’s career with the Ultimate Fighting Championship has ground to a close in a contract stalemate, and the former two-division PRIDE champion appears on the verge of signing a deal with the rival Strikeforce promotion.
Henderson, 39, devastatingly knocked out Michael Bisping in the second round of their heavily hyped fight on July 11 at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, in the final fight of his contract.
Ben Rothwell Says He's About to Make The Gamblers Happy
After nearly ten years in the fight business, moving from one small organization to another, Ben Rothwell will finally make his UFC debut next Saturday night at UFC 104 in Los Angeles. There he meets highly-touted AKA fighter and former All-American wrestler Cain Velasquez. Talking with Rothwell for this week’s SI.com column on the heavyweight clash, he says he has some surprises in store for the people who are still basing their opinions of him off the Andrei Arlvoski fight, and if Velasquez found himself in a little bit of trouble against Cheick Kongo, he’s really in for it on October 24.
Henderson still open to UFC, but ready to go
Dan Henderson hasn’t closed any doors yet with the UFC, but he’s ready to move on if necessary.
Henderson, 39, fought the last fight of his latest contract at UFC 100, knocking out fellow “The Ultimate Fighter” coach Michael Bisping in the second round.
A Friday report from Yahoo! Sports said that UFC president Dana White has been unable to come to terms on a new contract with Henderson, all but confirming an exit for the former two-division Pride champion.
EDIT: According to mania, it looks like Dan may be headed to Strikeforce.
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce In The Works For UFN 20
Capping off a busy day of fight announcements is word that Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce is being put together for the yet-unannounced UFC Fight Night 20 in Virginia. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Pierce is coming off an upset win over Brock Larson while Kos quickly beat Frank Trigg at UFC 103.
Efrain Escudero vs. Nik Lentz Set For UFN 20
The second fight announced today for the still-unannounced UFC Fight Night 20 in Virginia is a matchup of TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero and Nik Lentz. Escudero will go for his 13th win in 13 career fights while Lentz goes for his 10th straight win.
Province Suspended 9 Months, Fined $4K
The NSAC today fined WEC fighter Cole Province $4,000 and suspended him for 9 months for failing a post-fight drug test after WEC 42 in August. The fine equals 1/3 of his show money for the fight plus his entire win bonus. Province can return in May 2010.
Yvel granted license in Nevada; UFC next stop?
LAS VEGAS – Dutch heavyweight Gilbert Yvel has been given another chance to fight in Nevada. After a face-to-face meeting Friday with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he was given a one-fight license to compete in the Silver State.
During the meeting, he addressed concerns about his controversial past and made assurances he would behave honorably in competition.
Yvel was denied a license to fight Sergei Kharitonov for Pride 33 in February 2007 due to several well-publicized incidents involving disqualification and misconduct towards a referee.
Wanderlei confirms Akiyama fight for Sydney, Australia
Wanderlei Silva has confirmed his next opponent. In a video blog entitled ‘Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama’, the legendary Brazilian confirms the fight for Sydney, Australia on February 21st.
“Finally I have the date for my next fight. I am going to fight on 21st of February in Sydney Australia. I am so happy because this is the first event there and my boss has chosen to put me there, it is a great honour for me because it is the main event,” he says in the video.
Ninja turns down DREAM fight to help Shogun, negotiating with Strikeforce
Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua has turned down a fight at DREAM 12 in Japan because he is helping his brother Shogun (Mauricio Rua) prepare for his title shot against Lyoto Machida in the UFC.
Like his light-heavyweight brother, middleweight Ninja was a star of PRIDE FC but lost his way somewhat after the organisation folded. But his last outing was a return to form, as he KO’d Alex Stiebling in 45 seconds at Bitetti Combat in Brazil last month.
"I would fight, but I better not because I am helping my brother for his fight in the UFC," Ninja told Tatame. "He is well, very focused, and goes in search of victory."
Roger Huerta's new trainer.....Mickey Rourke
Roger Huerta is getting some choice instruction in his new life as a fighter/actor.
Almost a month after losing a hard-fought battle with Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 19, Huerta is studying acting with movie star Mickey Rourke and Rourke’s personal acting coach.
Huerta’s manager, Jeff Clark, said his fighter recently flew to New York at Rourke’s request.
“Mickey took him under his wing,” said Clark.
Does Rashad Evans have revenge on his mind?
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans is of two minds when it comes to his upcoming fight with Thiago Silva at UFC 108 in January.
Minutes removed from his first crack at runway modeling at a fashion show Monday for sponsor Silver Star, Evans re-affirmed his desire to get back to the wrestling roots that brought him his first successes in the UFC, aided no doubt by his knockout loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98.
“I definitely want to get back to what I used to do, because one thing about myself is that I fell in love with the power,” said Evans. “I fell in love with the fact that I could take somebody and just completely lay ’em out still... but I’m not a stand-up fighter. My thing is, I’m a wrestler. That’s what I do. I wrestle.”