Affliction: Banned" July 19 debut card
As we mentioned in Friday's "Inside MMA"/MMAjunkie.com preview clip, Affliction Clothing has officially released details of its debut card, which takes place July 19.
The event is set for the Honda Center ("The Pond") in Anaheim, Calif., and features a previously announced main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia. The main card airs live on pay per view.
The organization has also confirmed a number of former UFC and PRIDE veterans for its event, entitled "Banned," which is a knock at the clothing company recently being banned as a sponsor of UFC and EliteXC fighters.
Company executives report the following line-up:
MAIN CARD (PAY PER VIEW)
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Ben Rothwell vs. TBA
Paul Buentello vs. Aleksander Emelianenko*
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Nascimento
Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead
Ray Lazama vs. Justin Levens
Mark Hominick vs. Savant Young
J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight
Brett Cooper vs. Mike Pyle
* - not signed
Tickets for the event go on sale May 20.
HANSEN & ALVAREZ PRE-FIGHT COMMENTS
Joachim Hansen takes on Eddie Alvarez in the second round of the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix. MMAWeekly caught up with both competitors before they face off May 11 in Saitama, Japan.
Joachim Hansen is coming off back-to-back wins, entering this fight as the favorite, but many feel Eddie Alvarez is the dark-horse to win the tournament.
"We have similar styles and it's going to be a good fight," Hansen told MMAWeekly.com.
Alvarez respects Hansen's abilities and agrees with his assessment of their fighting styles. "Even before this tournament, I was a big fan of Joachim," said Alvarez. "I like the way Joachim fights. He's much like myself. He fights to finish the fight, not to win the fight, and I think the two of our styles, the way we clash, it can only make for the most exciting fight of the tournament."
This is the biggest fight of Alvarez' career and the American fighter recognizes the opportunity before him. "I realize the opportunity that's ahead of me, and it's allowed myself to push myself beyond barriers that I've ever pushed myself," said Alvarez.
"I believe this is the finals match. It's unfortunate that it has to happen so soon, but if we didn't get to fight, it would also be unfortunate. If we're going to fight, we might as well do it now and give the fans what they want to see. I think it's a great match up."
Hansen is a natural lightweight and has competed in that division his entire career. Alvarez recently moved down to the lightweight division from the 170-pound welterweight class. "I've been training very hard this time, so I'm a little bit under weight," commented Hansen. "I'm eating a lot to make the weight."
Alvarez will have a size advantage over Hansen, and expects to enter the ring well above the 154 weight limit after re-hydrating following stepping on the scales for the weigh-ins.
"I usually start my cut around 176, something like that, 176 pounds and I cut my weight down to 154 ," stated Alvarez.
Affliction Card - Incredible Fight Card and will take place in the ring
Profile - USATODAY.com
Big names, big gamble: Don't accuse Affliction of lacking ambition.
The clothing company made a splash in mixed martial arts by sponsoring several MMA stars, including at least six current or former major champions. But the company wants to go beyond just selling T-shirts and jewelry to MMA and heavy ****l fans.
Affliction made waves last month when it announced a July 19 show, to be headlined by Pride FC's last heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko, against two-time UFC title-holder Tim Sylvia. Affliction has since signed several more fights, bringing the tally of confirmed bouts to eight:
• Fedor Emelianenko - Sylvia
• Josh Barnett - Pedro Rizzo
• Renato Sobral - Mike Whitehead
• Matt Lindland - Fabio Nascimento
• Savant Young - Mark Hominick
• Justin Levens - Ray Lazama
• J.J. Ambrose - Patrick Speight
• Mike Pyle - Brett Cooper
Ben Rothwell, who became a star in the International Fight League before signing with Adrenaline MMA, is also scheduled to fight on the pay-per-view card, though an opponent hasn't been found yet, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio told me Friday.
The event also reportedly includes Strikeforce heavyweight contender and UFC veteran Paul Buentello against Fedor's brother, Alexander Emelianenko. But Affliction is still waiting to get back signed contracts from them, Atencio said.
If everything comes through, Affliction's inaugural show can boast of a heavyweight card whose depth rivals the best Pride FC tournaments of yesteryear.
Adding to the Pride echoes will be the fighting surface itself. Instead of a cage, Affliction will use a traditional ring, which should suit both competitors in the main event — Fedor has spent most of his career fighting in rings; Sylvia could welcome a chance to pin someone in a corner and tee off with his long jabs and heavy hands.
All things considered, the July a show that could leave longtime fans of mixed martial arts drooling, but it remains an enormous risk for a newcomer to MMA promotion.
The decision to stage its own shows has alienated UFC and EliteXC, effectively shutting off the biggest TV marketing vehicles for Affliction's core products. Affliction has responded by using the titled "Banned" for the July 19 show, but Atencio insists he doesn't threaten other fight promoters.
"We're not looking to compete with anybody," he said. "We're in the entertainment business. ... It's a lifestyle, it's a culture with us."
But it's hard to see how Affliction isn't competition for other MMA promoters, because few people can afford to buy every event. Most fans have to be selective, and it's still an open question whether they will choose Affliction.
Despite the talent-laden roster, Sylvia remains the only fighter on the card who has been in the main event for a pay-per-view that hit a six-figure buy rate. Fedor didn't draw well last year for BodogFight — another company that portrayed MMA promotion as part of its "lifestyle" business — and many casual U.S. fans wouldn't even know his name if not for Randy Couture's dogged pursuit of a fight with the Russian star. Meanwhile, Barnett and Rizzo have had great fights, but their UFC primes came before Zuffa's glory days.
And their drawing power could be moot point if Affliction doesn't settle its TV situation.
The company is still negotiating with HDNet, Atencio said, despite earlier reports that talks have collapsed. The marquee fights will be on pay-per-view, for about the same price that UFC costs — typically $45 to $50 in the United States, depending on the cable or satellite provider — but Affliction wants to air the undercard live on a non-PPV outlet as a teaser. The entire show would be replayed several days later on a non-pay outlet.
Atencio did confirm reports that the show will take place at The Pond, in Anaheim, Calif., though the company also considered San Jose or Chicago. Tickets go on sale May 20.
Affliction has plans for at least three shows, Atencio said. The next one would be in October, with the winners of Fedor-Sylvia and Barnett-Rizzo meeting in the main event, he said.
JZ with torn ACL, out rest of year
Dream lightweight superstar Gesias "JZ Calvan" Calvancante was a recent guest on the Savage Dog Radio Show on Sherdog.com. During the interview Calvan confirmed he had a torn meniscus that was scoped before the Aoki fight. After the fight he was examined and a completely torn ACL was diagnosed. Surgery has been scheduled for May 16th and Calvan stated that there will be at least a four month rehab, and he is most likely out until the end the year.
With an an extended lay off due to the injury and rehab, JZ will probably be groomed to face the Dream Lightweight Grand Prix winner sometime in mid-2009, and Calvan stated he wants to fight for the title.
Alvarez Earns International Recognition in Japan
Eddie Alvarez (Pictures)'s gutsy victory in the inaugural Dream lightweight grand prix left an indelible impression on fight fans around the world. But ask the kid from Philly if it was a breakthrough performance and he'll curtly reply, "No. Not really."
It's neither hubris nor modesty that motivates this response; rather, it's quiet confidence in his abilities.
"Going into the tournament, I had to convince myself that I was among the top and elite lightweights in the world, and I'm already past that point. I'm above and beyond that point," Alvarez said. "I know I belong in the tournament. Not only do I belong, but I want to prove to people that I'm the best in this tournament."
He proved his point all right -- by bludgeoning Andre "Dida" Amade, a tough striker from Chute Boxe who had made it to the finals of the K-1 Hero's lightweight tournament last year.
afflication is official july 19th in anaheim!!!
the fedor vs slyvia fight will be at the honda center, according to mmaweekly.com
glad to see the fights back in anaheim which might actually push the ufc return to anaheim go bye bye.. i would rather see the ufc fights in anaheim than afflication fights, i am hoping both come to the honda center, but i guess time will tell if the ufc will still return to anaheim like they have the previous years in sept not to mention if they don't with hockey and basketball yearly the ufc wouldn't return to so cal till earliest summer of 09"
Cage Rage 26 Weigh-Ins Freeman V Cahoon
BIRMINGHAM, England – All fighters have made weight for Cage Rage 26: Extreme, the first venture outside of London for the venerable British promotion.
Ian Freeman appears in amazing shape that belies his 41 years, looking like a fighter of half his age. He squares off with Paul Cahoon in Saturday night’s main event.
Ross Pointon stepped on the scales looking fresh and ready to go by virtue of correct diet and heavy cardio work leading up to the event. Ross Mason by contrast, undertook his usual heavy sauna routine to step on the scales on weight.
-Ian Freeman (205lbs/93kg) vs. Paul Cahoon (200.6lbs/91kg)
-Che Mills (169.7lbs/77kg) vs. Marios Zaromskis (169lbs/76.7kg)
-Rodney Faverus (204.1lbs/92.7kg) vs. James Zikic (202.7lbs/92kg)
-Ross Mason (169.7lbs/77kg) vs. Ross Pointon (169.7lbs/77kg)
-Mark Epstein (185lbs/84kg) vs. Matt Ewin (184.2lbs/83.6kg)
-Henrique Nogueira (200.6lbs/91kg) vs. Marc Goddard (205lbs/93kg)
-Paul Reed (145lbs/65.8kg) vs. Brad Pickett (145lbs/65.8kg)
-Kev Simms (240.2lbs/109kg) vs. Popek Rak (228.1lbs/103.5kg)
-Chris Rice (184.5lbs/83.7kg) vs. Edgelson Lue (180.7lbs/82kg)
-Harvey Harra (154.3lbs/70kg) vs. Garry Kelly (154.3lbs/70kg)
Hardcore Championship Fighting Done
Hardcore Championship Fighting is officially out of business, CEO Keith Crawford has informed Sherdog.com.
The news comes after a period of great optimism for the Canadian organization. HCF was expected to announce this week that it had been purchased -- a move that Crawford hoped would put the promotion among the few legitimately vying for the No. 2 spot behind the UFC.
Pele wants revenge
Jose “Pele” Landi has been recovering speedily from one of the ugliest injuries ever seen in MMA, and is already venturing some light training. “I’m training light in Jiu-Jitsu and boxing, but I’m limited due to this serious injury. I think my recovery has been coming along well, but I have to be careful. It’s still recent, only two months now, but I think in one month I’ll be able to fight again,” he declared to GRACIEMAG.com.
The muay thai ace, and one of the first big names in the sport in Brazil, suffered two fractures at once in his leg in a fight in the Canadian event TKO against Brian Gassaway in February of last year. The accident came about as a result of the wear from many years of training. Born in Cuba, but growing up in Brazil, Pele does not yet have a date to return to the ring, but the moment he suffered the injury has still not left his head.
“You could see I actually broke it before kicking. You can see right after the second round begins I did a front kick that didn’t connect and then when I put my foot down the peronio was already broken, then after that my tibia breaks,” he recalls.
Considering the final result unfair, the fighter already has it in his head what he wants as his career unfolds: revenge. “I wanted it considered a No Contest and them to grant me a revenge match. He (Brian Gassaway) was losing. I hope TKO re-watches the fight and does what’s right. I think if the referee had seen it he wouldn’t give my opponent the win,” he said in closing.
Pe de Pano to fight at Sengoku 3
Not having stepped in a ring since June of 2007, when he defeated Rafael Feijão in the IFL, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz has been getting back to peak form for a triumphal return, possible at Sengoku 3, on June 8th.
Even knowing from the start he would be working for the Japanese event organized by World Victory Road, the black belt does not yet know his opponent, since the show’s promoters have been having a hard time finding opponents for the Brazilian.
While he waits, the twice absolute Jiu-Jitsu world champion has been training hard with his team (Gracie Fusion) to get ready and get back on track in MMA and position himself among the best in the world.
“The fight will possibly take place at the next event (Sengoku 3) on June 8th. The problem is that they haven’t yet found me an opponent, they were trying, trying and haven’t managed to. I know some guys didn’t accept the fight with me. Not having an opponent yet doesn’t change much in training, what matters is that I’m in shape,” said the fighter to GRACIEMAG.com.
Curran Looking Forward to June 1st Tilt with Brown
n June 1st, at the upcoming World Extreme Cagefighting event in Sacramento, California, two of the United States more accomplished and respected featherweights will face off. Of course, the card’s main event competitors in WEC 145lb. champion Urijah Faber and challenger Jens Pulver fit this description, but so do scheduled undercard rivals, Jeff Curran and Mike Brown.
Full card announced for Adrenaline MMA in Chicago
Jeff Monson vs. Mike Russow
Daiju Takase vs. Terry Martin
Alberto Crane vs. Clay French
Tony Fryklund vs. Brian Gassaway
Jeff Cox vs. Bart Palaszewski
Rory Markham vs. Taiwon Howard
Mark Miller vs. Jame Gibo
Kerry Schall vs. Herc Hayes
Rob Kimmons vs. Hector Urbina
Aaron Rosa vs. Ron Fields
Dom O' Grady vs. Mike Stumpf
Joe Jordan vs. Ryan Williams
Christian Reynoso vs. John Hosman
Adrenaline MMA Press Release! Russow eyes biggest test in debut of Adrenaline MMA
So, it is understandable when Russow only smiles and refers to fighting veteran Jeff Monson in a professional mixed martial arts bout as a "great opportunity." Russow, 9-1 in his pro career, takes on Monson, 23-7, in the heavyweight main event of Adrenaline MMA on June 14 at the Sears Centre.
A total of 13 pro bouts are scheduled in the inaugural Adrenaline event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and fights begin at 6 p.m.
"Monson is far more than just a veteran," said Adrenaline CEO Monte Cox. "He has fought in every major event in the world and competed for countless titles, including the UFC heavyweight title. He comes into the event having won 18 of his last 20 bouts and is looking to prove Russow is not yet ready for the big time.
"Russow, on the other hand, has been crushing opposition and has been tested twice in major events... losing to then No. 6 ranked Sergei Kharitonov in Pride, then crushing Roman Zentzov in Japan's Yarennoka event last New Years Eve. He's ready to show he should be considered among the world's best."
Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Sears Centre Box Office, online at www.searscentre.com or by calling 1-888-SEARSTIX.
A foursome of UFC veterans make up the two feature bouts. Chicago's Terry Martin (16-4) will face Japan's Daiju Takase (7-11) while Chicago's Brian Gassaway (25-17) takes on Las Vegas' Tony Fryklund (14-9).
Cesar Gracie: Diaz Bout Back On
After days of confusion and frustration, it appears that Nick Diaz will be fighting Sunday in Japan after all.
"It was off, then on, then off again … now it's back on," said Diaz's trainer, Cesar Gracie. "I won't really believe it until he is on the plane tomorrow morning heading to Japan."
Saraiva vs. Cate to headline May 30 "AFL: BULLETPROOF"
Former UFC fighter and current American Fight League lightweight champion Diego Saraiva (11-6-1) will make his first title defense when he meets Hermes Franca's protégé Josh Cate (5-6) in the main event of"AFL: BULLETPROOF."
The AFL today announced the headline bout, which takes place May 30 at Atlanta's Phillps Arena.
Additionally, the organization announced that veteran fighters George Lockhart (7-2) and George Allen (12-14-1) will meet for the first-ever AFL middleweight title during the event.
DREAM fight in Jeopardy for Nick Diaz
Nick Diaz's DREAM bout is very much in jeopardy. Diaz was given the go ahead by EliteXC for a April 29th fight against Marcelo Garcia in Dream, however when that fight was scrapped, Dream decided to instead have Diaz fight on their May 11th show. Unfortunately no one at Dream shared this information with EliteXC and EliteXC President, Gary Shaw, only learned of the change via the internet 2 days ago.
With Diaz having been scheduled to fight in Hawaii on June 14th, Shaw finds the new May 11th date perilously close to the Showtime card and has therefore nixed Diaz's participation on the Dream card. Unless Shaw has a change of heart this fight will be a no go.
Forrest Griffin: “Jacaré has heavy hands”
The Brazilian Ronaldo Jacaré start at the DREAM middleweight GP at the better possible way. The rear naked choke at Ian Murphy putted Jacaré at the next round of the event and now he waits for the definition of his next opponent. The BJJ world champion, that now is training at Xtreme Couture, at Las Vegas , is attracting attention from his teammates with his strong trains with Forrest Griffin. “I definitely think that he can do well in that category. Apart from been very strong for this weight and also for Heavyweight guys, he has heavy hands”, said Forrest Griffin to TATAME magazine #145, that bring exclusives shots from Xtreme Couture trains.