RELEASED BY IFL, CIESNOLEVICZ WANTS A SHOT
In the last days of the International Fight League, many of the promotion’s fighters have been given opportunities elsewhere on large shows. One fighter however that has been conspicuously absent from such large opportunities is light-heavyweight contender Mike Ciesnolevicz.
After losing his first two bouts with the promotion, Ciesnolevicz rebounded, winning five straight, becoming a big part of the Quad Cities Silverbacks team that took two straight team championships.
Eager to prove himself as an individual fighter, Ciesnolevicz looked to be a favorite heading into the promotion’s 205-pound Grand Prix, but due to a deviated septum was forced to sit on the sidelines and recover from injury.
Affliction: Day Of Reckoning - October 11, Las Vegas
ffliction announced over the weekend that its next show will feature a showdown of two of the best heavyweights in all of mixed martial arts as Josh Barnett will face Andrei Arlovski on Oct. 11 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The upcoming bout, labeled Day of Reckoning, is the second card for Affliction banner which made its debut at the Honda Center on July 19 in front of nearly 14,000.
In that card, Barnett dispatched Brazilian Pedro Rizzo to vindicate a loss early in his career. And that same night, Arlovski battled Ben Rothwell and earned a hard-fought knockout win.
More bouts are expected to be announced shortly for the pay-per-view event. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Icon Sport: Hard Times Results
175: Phil Baroni (11-10) vs. Ron Verdadero (5-5)
R1-Verdadero faints a jab. Baroni comes out with a leg kick. Verdadero with a 1-2 counter backs up Phil. Baroni answers with an uppercut and right hook that drops Verdadero. Shimada stops it as Verdadero QUICKLY gets back up. HORRIBLE STOPPAGE. Verdadero wasn’t even hurt. Oh man.
Winner — Phil Baroni (12-10) at :51 of round 1 by TKO (strikes).
Crane Rebounds, Villa Stuns Fickett at RITC
After 112 Rage in the Cage events held in Arizona, the promotion finally ventured out of the desert to New Mexico, where a combined 22 amateur and professional bouts fight card was held at the Santa Ana Star Casino Saturday night.
In front of 2,300 fans, native Alberto Crane (Pictures) looked impressive defeating Adrian Valdez with a first-round submission at 1:35.
Crane jumped at his opponent immediately with a takedown, then transitioned from an armbar attempt to the guillotine choke, which prompted Valdez to tap out.
“It was great to get back in the win column,” said Crane. “I wanted to throw more punches and that was the plan, but when he was in position for the guillotine, I went for it and stuck it to him.”
In the co-main event, Richard Villa upset Drew Fickett (Pictures) with a second-round TKO. Villa followed a game plan that started earlier that day at weigh-ins.
Fickett came in over weight and had to run off two pounds, which may have took its toll on him. Villa and his camp figured they would take full advantage of that by letting Fickett come out strong and blow his load, then pick it up as the fight progressed.
It was all Fickett in round one as he was able to land two good right kicks to Villa’s head followed by a takedown. Fickett hunted for the submission, but to Villa’s credit he held on to finish the round.
Round two saw Villa attack and drop Fickett to his back with a hard right, where Villa continued his onslaught with rights and left hands until he coaxed out the referee stoppage and the biggest victory of his career.
”I knew he was drained from running this morning,” said Villa. “We planned on letting him come out strong and then I’d kick it into another gear in the second. People didn’t know who I was before this fight, maybe now they’ll take notice.”
Minotouro asks for Affliction belt
Affliction’s first edition was great to Rogério Minotouro, that left HCF with some troubles and arrived on a new show, that promises shake MMA world. After Vitor Belfort announce to TATAME that he’ll face Matt Lindland for the middleweight belt, Rogério Minotouro asked for the belt. “I’ll fight in October 11th, but it’s not right yet against who. They’re speculating a lot of opponents, but they didn’t say anything yet”, told Rogério, that didn’t knew yet about Belfort’s fight. “Did they created a belt for him? Do you know if they’ll create a belt to light-heavyweight too?”, asked Nogueira.
After hearing a “no” as an answer, Nogueira promised win the belt – when Affliction creates one. “If they make one it’ll be great… I wanna be on top, and I’m ready. If I get this belt I can be a top 3”, said Rogério, that commented about the rumors of the fight between Renato Babalu Sobral and Tito Ortiz. “It seems like it’ll happen, they’re already negotiating it, but I don’t know if it’ll happen on the next event”, told Rogério to TATAME.com.
Baroni, Hose on Weight for ICON
Both Phil Baroni and former opponent Kala Kolohe Hose, who will be fighting in a non-title matchup, successfully made weight Friday afternoon after stepping on the scales to make their respective bouts official for tonight’s ICON Sport: Hard Times event, which will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.
All other participants were able to make weight as well except for a trio of fighters that were dropping down to lower weight classes. World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Sidney Silva was forced to take extra time to make weight after accidentally beginning to re-hydrate since opponent Hideto Kondo showed up late to the festivities. After weighing-in two pounds over the limit, Silva was able to shed the extra pounds after less than an hour.
If Lindland vs. Belfort happens, it won’t be for WAMMA title
If a bout between Matt Lindland and Vitor Belfort is signed for Affliction’s second-ever show on Oct. 11 and it’s for a title, it won’t be for the yet-to-be institute WAMMA middleweight title belt.
After reading a report on FiveOuncesOfPain.com that cited a Belfort interview with the Brazilian website Tatame.com that quoted Belfort as saying the matchup would be for a belt, WAMMA CEO Mike Lynch contacted us to issue a statement. While WAMMA believes that the potential matchup is intriguing, it doesn’t consider it one worthy of determining an undisputed champion at 185 lbs.
“There has been a lot of speculation that an upcoming proposed match-up between Matt Lindland and Vitor Belfort will be for a WAMMA title,” said Lynch in an e-mail to Five Ounces of Pain. “To be sure, Matt and Vitor are two of the very best fighters in MMA today. Lindland is currently ranked seven in our middleweight rankings and Belfort is a former UFC champion who is bound to excite fans everywhere with his explosive style. If this fight happens, it would be an incredible match up. It certainly rises to the level of a must-see fight and would be the highlight of any fight card.
WILL RANDY COUTURE FIGHT AGAIN?
LONG BEACH, Calif. – MMAWeekly.com caught up with former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture this week at a signing for his new book, “Becoming the Natural.” He was tired, bogged down from 14-hour days of back-to-back interviews and PR events. Wife Kim Couture described the book tour as a full day of being “on,” smiling and shaking hands, a constant parade of new faces.
A little over a week into the tour, Couture is getting tired of talking about himself all day.
“All the time,” he said with a smile.
Couture’s success outside the cage has blossomed since his departure from the UFC. He’s got a book, a movie debut, and a slate of film projects into next year. His fighting career, though, may be in serious jeopardy.
Gesias Cavalcante Interview
Two times Hero’s champion, Gesias Cavalcante is recovering from his knee injury at American Top Team, but watched the finals of Dream’s GP, that he fought against Shinya Aoki twice, but lost. The athlete spoke to TATAME about the surprise Joachim Hansen, that came from a substitute fight and won the GP. The Brazilian fighter spoke about the his recovering and that he hopes coming back soon to GP’s, and winning them. Check below the complete interview.
What do you think about Hansen’s victory at the GP?
This Dream tournament was great, excellent fights! Tournaments are like this, everything can happen, like a substitute being the champion.
Exclusive: Arlovski vs. Fedor likely to be scrapped, Arlovski vs Barnett expected to be the Headliner
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned late Friday that a proposed main event for Affliction’s second-ever show on Oct. 11 between WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski appears to be off for the time being.
A reliable source speaking on the condition of anonyomity revealed to Five Ounces of Pain that Emelianenko has been dealing with a lingering hand injury that will make it virtually impossible for him to be ready in time for Affliction’s October show at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Josh Barnett on Affliction return, rumored pay cuts
Despite being passed up for a shot at WAMMA heavyweight title-holder Fedor Emelianenko, and amid rumors of a possible pay-reduction request from the company's front office, heavyweight Josh Barnett (23-5) is preparing himself for a rumored October Affliction card.
Barnett discussed his possible return while a guest on "The Lights Out Show" on the TAGG Radio Network (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I've got a pro wrestling match Aug. 15 in Tokyo, Japan," Barnett said. "After that, I guess I'll be fighting someone Oct. 11. I don't know who yet."
Despite no official announcement from Affliction, Barnett feels confident the rumored show will come to fruition.
"I'm training for it," Barnett said.
Barnett, who has fought in several organizations throughout his 11-year career (including the UFC and PRIDE), said he enjoyed his first experience with the debuting Affliction promotion. The proximity of the Anaheim, Calif. show to the southern California resident's home was one reason Barnett was pleased.
"It was nice to be able to just hang out in my own house (and) drive down to the arena (and to) have all my friends and family be able to come and see me that live here in the States," Barnett said.
There was another simpler, yet important, reason Barnett hopes to return to the Affliction ring.
"I think [Affliction] is doing a pretty good job," Barnett said. "PRIDE owes me money. And the check from Affliction went through just fine. They're certainly a step up there."
After Affliction's first show, many believed a Barnett vs. Emelianenko bout would be the next logical step for both fighters. The prevailing belief at this point, however, is that Emelianenko will be paired with Belarusian heavyweight and former UFC title-holder Andrei Arlovski.
Barnett said he was unconcerned with Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio's choice of opponent.
"It's not about chasing down fights or fighters, particularly," Barnett said. "The fights will come. And I'm going to be standing on top."
Although official announcements regarding a future Affliction show have yet to be made, Barnett encouraged fans to contact the organization if a fight between "The Babyface Assassin" and "The Last Emperor" was something they wanted to see on an upcoming card.
"If people really want to see this fight, then they need to say something," Barnett said. "Write Affliction or whoever. Let it be known. If that's the fight you want to see, then say so."
With rumors swirling that Affliction may ask its fighters to take an alleged 50 percent pay decrease in the future, the possibility of a Barnett vs. Emelianenko bout may prove doubtful. But Barnett wanted everyone to know he's not opposed to the proposition.
"I know I've got a lot of great fans here, and I'm not here to let them down or sleight them," Barnett said. "There's nobody I wouldn't fight."
To hear the full interview, in which Barnett discusses other possible opponents as well as his extensive career in Japan, download Thursday's edition of "The Lights Out Show," available for free in the TAGG Radio Network archives.
The rating game: DREAM perhaps on life support, UFC turning Japanese and more
Now Japan’s DREAM (or PRIDE II, as some fans see it) is finding itself in the same murky waters. Dismal ratings have left many officials banking on its September 23 event as make-or-break for the company.
And that hardship couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for the UFC, who not coincidentally has just signed a new pay-per-view contract with Japan’s WOWOW PPV company.
Here’s an excerpt from Kamipro.com explaining the partnership:
“We finally signed a contract with the UFC on July 11. I knew this news had been rumored before we officially announced it. We used to air the UFC. We wanted to maintain our contract, but unfortunately the negotiations were broken off and we stopped broadcasting after the UFC 70 in April, 2007. They approached us again in 2008. We were planning to show the UFC in HD starting April of 2007; although the UFC terminated the contact. I remember we were very surprised and disappointed. We are basically going to show all numbering events. Their PPV packages are 3 hours. We will condense into 2 hours by picking up 5 to 6 fights.”
Talkin’ MMA & Boxing with Roy Englebrecht
Promoter Roy Englebrecht talks about his successful business philosophy, his intriguing new “American Champion” reality TV show project, Affliction Banned, and much more in this interview:
BoxingInsider.com: You have been busy promoting a lot of MMA shows lately. One of the claims you like to boast about is that you are still promoting shows while other promoters like the IFL are losing tons of money. Why are you able to remain successful as a promoter while others are flailing around in the business?
Roy Englebrecht: Deliver good shows, at good prices, in clean venues, and say thank you. Fans will come back. Also, I am a minor league operator, while the others thought they were major league without any experience.
BoxingInsider.com: Besides promoting boxing events in cities such as Irvine, CA you have also been involved in Fight Promoter University. Tell us a little bit about how this project started, why you started it, and who some of the more successful students to come out of the class have been.
Roy Englebrecht: The fight business has been very good to me and I wanted to give something back. It just made me so sad to see promoters, who meant well, lose $25,000 on a show and were never heard from again. I want everyone to have a chance to be successful. We have had graduates be successful in Ohio, PA, Boston, California, Texas.
Belfort vs. Lindland for Affliction's MW belt
The knockout over Terry Martin at Affliction’s first edition didn’t only put Vitor Belfort back to victories, but can get him a title fight. Belfort’s broken hand might not be a trouble for his next fight. “The doctor will analyze it, but I may stay four weeks out. I’ll come back in October 11th to fight Matt Lindland for the belt”, told the athlete, that will face the Fábio Negão’s opponent on Affliction’s first event.
“It’ll be a great fight, we’ll see who is the best of the world there”, said Belfort, that guarantees his style will be a problem for Lindland. “I saw his fight with Negão and he’s a warrior... He comes be over you, but I don’t think he has the strength to stay over me”, analyzes Vitor, that wants another knockout on his career. “I’ll go to knock him out… My punches are well-aimed and when it hits he won’t stand”, guarantees Belfort.
Mike Whitehead recovering from pre-Affliction injury
Less than two weeks after a unanimous decision loss to Renato "Babalu" Sobral at "Affliction: Banned" ended his 12-fight win streak, veteran light-heavyweight Mike Whitehead (23-7) is looking to heal a broken hand in time for Affliction's second card.
While Whitehead did his best to keep the news from going public, the pre-fight injury was brought up while Whitehead was a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"(The injury happened) about two-and-a-half weeks before the fight," Whitehead said. "I punched (training partner) Wanderlei (Silva) in the top of the head and I broke my hand."
Whitehead said the injury caused him to adjust his game plan dramatically.
Affliction VP Stands By PPV Numbers
Much speculation has surrounded the financial success of Affliction's debut as a mixed martial arts promoter. With a confirmed three million dollar payroll on July 19th, as well as a fifteen thousand seat arena to fill, it seemed a tall order for the clothing company to end up in the black.
But Affliction VP says that the money pit that many imagined wasn't as deep as expected. He won't give specific numbers on its pay per view performance. Like his sometime antagonist, UFC president Dana White, he believes that when people know how much money you make, it creates problems.
"It's been my experience that the UFC doesn't release their numbers, and I try to learn from other companies with mistakes and what they're doing right," Atencio said.