Search Underway for Missing Arizona MMA Fighter Todd Whitzel
Search is currently underway for 27-year-old Arizona professional mixed martial arts fighter and Rage in the Cage veteran Todd M. Whitzel, who has been missing for 12 days.
Whitzel was last seen at a little neighborhood bar called “The Wagon Wheel” in Picture Rocks, Ariz., a subdivision on the outskirts of Tucson, late Thursday evening, May 12, 2011.
Whitzel’s aunt, Michelle Estala, contacted ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) with the news over the weekend in order to get the word out to the MMA community, hoping someone may come forward with information regarding Whitzel’s whereabouts.
According to Estala, Whitzel was involved in an altercation against two men outside the bar when a group of men from inside came out and joined in. At this point, apparently a gun was pulled by a friend of Whitzel’s to keep the crowd at bay, giving Whitzel time enough to escape on his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his friend on the back.
Estala stated, according to the friend, Whitzel dropped him off at his home about four minutes away. He asked Whitzel to stay but he declined and said he needed to go. That was the last anyone has seen or heard from Todd Whitzel.
Whitzel’s aunt said his girlfriend made a call to his mobile phone at 3:01 a.m. early Friday morning, May 13. The phone was answered and she stayed on the call for 23 minutes calling out for Whitzel but all she could hear was the motorcycle, until finally, the bike shut off and she heard a dog bark but there was still no response.
She hung up and repeatedly tried to call back to no avail until around 5:30 a.m. when either Whitzel’s phone was shut off or the battery went dead.
Estala said Whitzel is not the type of person to just take off somewhere and not let anyone know. Aside from being close with his family he is also the single father of two young sons, ages four and two. The two-year-old lives with his mother, but Magnus, the four-year-old, lives with Whitzel.
ProMMAnow.com spoke with Whitzel’s mother, Glenda Whitzel, this morning via phone while she was in the desert searching for any signs of her son, or his motorcycle which is still missing. This is something she has been doing for the last ten days.
“We’re in the desert looking for buzzards to see where they’re landing, to see if we can find his body,” said Ms. Whitzel.
She said the Marana and Pima County police were currently attempting to get a court order to find the location of the tower where her son’s mobile phone was last used, a process that could still take another day or two.
There have been complaints from the family regarding the local law enforcement’s seeming unwillingness to get involved. Our call to the Marana Police Department regarding the case has not been returned.
Todd Whitzel never won a UFC title. Most of you have never heard of Todd. But the fact he was a professional mixed martial arts fighter means he was still part of this family, and the fact he was willing to get inside that cage and stand toe-to-toe with another man gives us at least an inkling of the type of person he is.
Todd’s last professional fight on record took place at Rage in the Cage 119 in Nov. 2008 at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Ariz. He defeated Joshua Bossardet via kimura submission in the third round.
If anyone has any information relating to Todd Whitzel’s location or this case please contact Sgt. Alvarez at the Marana Police Department in Marana, Ariz., at 520-382-2000.
Name: Todd M. Whitzel
Height: 5' 10?
Weight: 165 lbs.
Recognizable features: Has an Ace of Spades tattoo on the back of head
Last seen: 5-11-11 on a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle near Tucson, Ariz.
Akihiro Gono Back to Kickboxing This Weekend
Akihiro Gono has signed for his next fight, and once again, it's not in MMA. The UFC and Pride veteran will take part in a Muay Thai event in Japan this weekend on May 29. The event is sponsored by Japan's NJKF organization. Gono's fight is part of a larger international Muay Thai tournament that concludes this fall. That tournament, called the Isuzu Thai Fight tournament, will feature top Muay Thai talent from all over the world competing in two different weight classes. This weekend's event is a 4 man tournament to determine Japan's Thai Fight representative at the 70kg level. If Gono wins, he'll move on to the main tournament, which begins in September.
State Senate Votes to Legalize MMA in NY
By a vote of 42-18, the New York State Senate on Monday voted to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in The Empire State.
The passage of the bill was hailed as a breakthrough by UFC President Dana White, though it still must pass the State Assembly and receive the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo before it becomes law. Similar bills have passed twice before, only to stall elsewhere in the state legislature. New York remains one of six states that do not regulate MMA.
The UFC has had a full-court press on the state for quite some time. The promotion held a press conference at Madison Square Garden in January, promising the state two UFC events within the first year of legalization. If the bill is passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor, there will still be a 90-day waiting period before events can be sanctioned.
The vote in the state senate brings fighters like UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra one step closer to competing inside the Octagon in their home state.
Murilo 'Ninja' Rua Retires Following TKO Loss to Tom Watson at BAMMA 6
Murilo Rua lost to Tom Watson on the third round of their middleweight championship bout on BAMMA 6. That marks his second loss in a row, and 4 out of his last 8 bouts, dropping his overall MMA record to 20-12-1. Shortly after the bout, 'Ninja' took to twitter and announced his decision to retire from professional Mixed Martial Arts.
His farewell twitter post is after the link.
Super Cage Combat 1 Weigh Ins
LAS VEGAS – The 16 fighters competing in tonight's first-ever Superior Cage Combat event successfully made weight for the show.
Friday's weigh-ins featured lightweight headliners and UFC vets Steve Lopez and Justin Buchholz, who both weighed 155 pounds
BAMMA 6 Weigh-in Results
Fans can watch the 3-fight main card live on SyFy in the UK, The Fight Network in Canada and available as an online Pay Per View for the rest of the world at BAMMA.TV. The UFC will also featrone one preliminary bout for free via their Facebook Page between Scott Jansen vs. Craig Chesters.
Middleweight bout: Tom Watson (184.5) vs. Murilo Rua (185)
Middleweight bout: Frank Trigg (184.5) vs. John Phillips (186)
Middleweight bout: Ivan Salaverry (186) vs. Matt Ewin (184.5)
Lightweight bout: Jason Ball (156) vs. Leonardo Santos (156)
Welterweight bout: Che Mills (170.5) vs. Marcio Cesar (171)
Lightweight bout: Scott Jansen (156) vs. Craig Chesters (155)
Heavyweight bout: Catalin Zmarandescu (236) vs. Sharif Mohammed Ali (241)
Lightweight bout: Shane Omer (154) vs. Aaron Wilkinson (156)
Welterweight bout: Sam Watling (169) vs. Leigh Cohoon (170)
Lightweight bout: Costas Doru (156) vs. Jeremy Petley (155)
Welterweight bout: Lee Taylor (170.5) vs. Kenny Moyston (167)
Welterweight bout: Jeremy Bailey (170.5) vs. Laurens-Jan Thijssen (170.5)
Light heavyweight bout: Ryan White (203.5) vs. Fraser Opie (206)
Welterweight bout: Charles Scott (169.5) vs. Murray Fullerton (168)
Bellator Fighting Championships 45 Weigh-In Results
Light Heavyweight Title bout: Richard Hale (204.4) vs. Christian M’Pumbu (199.4)
Featherweight bout: Patricio Freire (145.8) vs. Daniel Straus (145)
Middleweight bout: Karl Amoussou (185) vs. Sam Alvey (184.6)
Heavyweight bout: Shawn Jordan (255.2) vs. Johnathan Hill (254.8)
Welterweight bout: Luis Santos (171) vs. Nicolae Cury (171)
Middleweight bout: Tim Ruberg (185.4) vs. Michael Fleniken (185)
Catchweight (140 lbs) bout: Joseph Abercrombie (139.8) vs. Ben Parpart (139)
Lightweight bout: Renê Nazare ()* vs. Kelvin Hackney ()*
Chuck Liddell Is The “Iceman” From The Top Gun Film
UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell literally took up the role of Val Kilmer’s character “Iceman” from the Top Gun movie Thursday, as the former champ took to the air in the backseat of an F-16 fighter jet. “The Iceman” took to the air with the USAF’s air demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds, who fly out of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
Ford Stops Parisyan on Third-Round Cut
Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford stopped UFC veteran Karo Parisyan on a third-round cut in the MMA Live 1 headliner on Thursday at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, Canada. A knee strike resulted in the damage, which forced the doctor to intervene 1:26 into round three.
Bellator CEO Claims Promotion Has Been Looking to Insure Fighters
The UFC blew some minds when they announced that they were implementing accident insurance for their fighters. Hell, some people even suggested that this would impact talent acquisition going forward. The UFC's move put some pressure on other promotions to step up their game. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says that they've been looking into getting accident insurance for quite some time. Via MMA Fighting:
Hector Lombard: I'll Go Up to 205 to Rematch Gegard Mousasi
Anyone who watches Bellator knows that their middleweight champion Hector Lombard is a bad, bad man. He's 7-0 in Bellator with 6 finishes, 4 by clean knockout. One took a grand total of six seconds. Another took 36. His most recent highlight reel win was five days ago when he put Falaniko Vitale out cold early in the third round of their matchup. Lombard spoke with Dave Herbert at Buddhasport yesterday, and it seems like he wants to fight everyone.
MFC Officials Fire Hermes Franca Citing Arrest and Breach of Contract
Hermes Franca was arrested in Oregon this week on multiple charges of Sexual Abuse and Unlawful Sexual Penetration. He is currently in Clackamas County Jail with bail set at $250,000, facing a trial date of July 12.
Franca had been scheduled to fight Drew Fickett for the vacant MFC lightweight championship at MFC 30 on June 10 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The promotion on Thursday, however, made the decision to release Franca from his contract, citing both the allegations against him and a breach of his agreement by fighting outside of the organization.
Source: Da Silva-Yamaguchi, Gomez-Bittner Signed for TPF 10
A blockbuster flyweight scrap between Jussier da Silva and Mamoru Yamaguchi is set to go down on Aug. 5 at Tachi Palace Fights 10.
Sherdog.com on Wednesday confirmed the matchup with a source close to the bout, who also stated that Tachi Palace has signed Yamaguchi to a multi-fight contract that is exclusive in the United States.
The bout joins another pivotal 125-pound affair on the card, as TPF flyweight champion Darrell Montague defends his strap against surging WEC veteran Ian McCall at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Additionally, former titleholder “Useless” Ulysses Gomez will square off with undefeated Drew Bittner.
DREAM rep: Nelson out at DREAM.17, Clementi faces Aoki
Just hours after MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned that Shane Nelson had agreed to face Shinya Aoki (27-5 MMA, 11-2 DREAM) at DREAM.17, DREAM rep Mike Kogan announced via Twitter that Rich Clementi (40-19-1 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) will instead take on "Tobikan Judan."
Kogan said that verbal agreements are in place and contracts for the contest are expected to be finalized shortly.