TUF 8's Antwain Britt to Face Rick Roufus in UWC Main Event
The Virginia Pilot has a feature piece on up-and-coming light heavyweight prospect Antwain Britt, a fighter who'll be on tonight's debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter 8 and who'll be part of the main event for UWC: Confrontation.
Suffice it to say, I have no idea how far Britt makes it in the show, but I've seen him fight three times live. He has ridiculous knockout power and unheralded showmanship. All three times I've watched him he's waxed his grossly overmatched opponents. How far Britt makes it in the fight game is difficult to forecast, but its clear there is a strong buzz developing around him in this region and beyond:
"I can't say a lot, other than I went out there, I had a lot of fun and I met 31 other fighters," he said.
Fighters lived and trained together before squaring off. The show builds story lines around the inevitable clashes and rivalries that develop in such a testosterone-fueled environment.
"They try to bring in a lot of different personalities in order to get the best effect on camera," Britt said. "Fighters have no problem letting you know they don't like you, but I get along pretty much with everybody.
"They bring in some guys for their character and some guys for their fighting ability. I was one of the guys they brought in because I'm a good fighter."
Gracie Now Off Sengoku 5
Roger Gracie has now been forced off the Sengoku 5 event due to a rib injury. After being examined by renowned physiotherapist Dr. Kevin Lidlow, Gracie was diagnosed with an intermuscular tear to the intercostal muscle between the sixth and seventh left ribs. He was to have faced Travis Wiuff. Gracie's pullout will be announced Thursday, and a replacement may be named at that time.
Sengoku Announces TV Deal In Japan
Sengoku today announced the signing of a new TV deal in Japan that will begin later this month. A special presentation later this month begins the programming then they will get a weekly Sunday airing on TV Tokyo.
Winners of Cro Cop/Overeem, Kharitonov/Mighty Mo to Fight for DREAM Heavyweight Title
Earlier today, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic appeared on Croatian channel NovaTV (a station who in the past has televised many of the Croat's bouts live for his home nation) and revealed future plans for the fledgling DREAM promotion's heavyweight division. User "loreia" on the Kakutougi forums broke the news with a quickfire translation:
From his interview for NovaTV broadcasted just minutes ago:
"Winners of two HW fights scheduled for Dream.6 will fight for Dream HW title. Those fighter will be: myself and most probably [Sergei] Kharitonov".
Affliction's Future Hinges on Main Events
I remain unconvinced Affliction's new joint promotion with Golden Boy Promotions will end in success. However, the bottom line is that Affliction had to make a major change. Financial reality hit after their first show, and they found themselves in a position where they could not afford to lose that much again, but had no way to avoid losing that much again. They deserve credit for making a major change this early. Most promotions have waited too long, lost too much, and fell by the wayside before they could make changes.
In fight promotion, it is a universal truth that the main event sells PPV buys. There's a reason UFC 66 did over a million buys and UFC 73 did under 400,000. Similarly, Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather did over 2 million buys without any fights on the undercard to speak of. If Affliction can promote joint shows with just one big MMA fight and one big boxing fight, they may be able to pull in enough buys on PPV to survive. Besides those two fights, the fights on the undercard don't matter at all, and they need to avoid fights like Matt Lindland vs. Trevor Prangley, which would have cost about $350,000 for nothing in return.
Affliction Co-Promoter Englebrecht Comments on Affliction-Golden Boy Deal
Roy Englebrecht, Affliction’s Promoter of Record for the Affliction Banned and Day Of Reckoning PPV cards, spoke exclusively with MMAPayout.com about the joining of forces between Affliction and Golden Boy:
“I am the only person in this new partnership that has worked for both entities, as the COO for Golden Boy Promotions for its first three years, and as the licensed promoter for Affliction Entertainment and their inaugural MMA show Affliction Banned show.
The Affliction Entertainment bar has been set pretty high after Affliction Banned….a sellout of 13,850 fans and a 2.1 million dollar gate. I feel very privileged to have worked with some great people in Todd Beard, Tom Atencio, Rick Kulis, Michael Cohen, Eric Foss and Clif Chason in making this first show happen. What was done by a small number of people (7), in a small amount of time (60 days), with the awesome results achieved, may never happen again!
No one captain’s a ship better than Richard Schaefer at Golden Boy Promotions, so I am confident that this partnership will come out of the gate strong and be innovative in what they will do with this new combative sports concept.
It would be my pleasure to continue to have a relationship with them.”
Despite Affliction postponement, Jay Hieron still looking to fight Oct. 11
Jay Hieron, the final reigning welterweight champion of the IFL, had been slated to debut for his new fighting home of Affliction during it’s “Day of Reckoning” pay-per-view event scheduled for Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. But like many other fighters, Hieron learned last week that the card would not be taking place as scheduled and that the promotion’s second show is now slated for January 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Despite the setback, Hieron has no regrets about his decision to sign with Affliction despite offers from the UFC, WEC, EliteXC, and Strikeforce, and is still working on competing on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack anyway.
During an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, Hieron revealed that he’s in talks with another promotion to fight on that same date.
Akiyama Selects Tonooka for DREAM.6 Bout
Top-ranked middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama has officially been added to the card for DREAM.6, which will take place on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Akiyama will be facing karate stylist Masanori Tonooka.
DREAM officials stated at a press conference on Thursday that they had given Akiyama a list of three potential opponents for him to choose from, but his management team didn’t respond right away.
The judo expert fought for the first time this year on July 21, submitting professional wrestler Katsuyori Shibata in a bout that turned out to be tougher than expected. Tonooka is 1-1 thus far in his professional career. After falling in his debut against Young Choi at a K-1 Hero’s show last October, Tonooka bounced back to score a first-round knockout of Hidehira Yabu at DEEP’s 36th Impact show in July.
HECTOR LOMBARD RETAINS TITLE AT AUSTRALIAN CFC
SYDNEY, Australia – In front of a packed house at Sydney’s Luna Park, Australia’s Cage Fighting Championship staged its fifth event. The diverse and respectful crowd of MMA enthusiasts was eager to see Australia’s best up and coming mixed martial artists alongside some international talent.
The card did not disappoint with every bout being action packed, drawing the crowd’s interest and excitement with a demonstration of what Australia has to offer to the world of mixed martial arts. Clinton MacDonald reports from Sydney exclusively for MMAWeekly.com
Hector Lombard v Brian Ebersole – 84kg Middleweight Title Bout
Crowd favorite Hector Lombard returned to defend his crown against Brian Ebersole. Lombard was able to beat Ebersole to the punch standing and land several Judo-style throws to get the better of his opponent the entire fight. Lombard was content to strike for the most part of the fight, managing to open a large cut over Ebersole’s left eye that had to be tended to by the doctor in the fourth round. The doctor cleared Ebersole to continue and the fight resumed. Shortly after continuing the round, Lombard landed a takedown and started to work ground and pound. He landed a big right hand on the cut of Ebersole, which was all that Ebersole could take, verbally submitting after taking the blow. Lombard retains his CFC middleweight belt, but Ebersole clearly had got under his skin, with Lombard landing an illegal knee to his opponent’s ribs after Ebersole submitted and the referee had called the fight. Lombard apologized, but he needs to maintain his composure if he’s to compete at an international level again.
SENGOKU LANDS DEAL ON JAPAN NETWORK TV
World Victory Road’s “Sengoku” has landed a television deal with TV Tokyo in Japan, according to a report by Nightmare of Battle.
The report, citing NikkanSports.com, says that the deal begins with a one-hour program covering Sengoku 1 through 4 that will air on Sept. 27, the night before Sengoku 5. Following the inaugural show, operating under the temporary name of Sengoku G, a weekly, 25-minute series will be on Oct. 6.
In addition, the New Year’s Eve Sengoku event is believed to have a two-hour slot notched for it on the network.
According to Wikipedia, TV Tokyo is the smallest of Japan’s major broadcast television networks. It is a free network station, much like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox in the U.S.
GAN MCGEE MAKES SUCCESSFUL RETURN AT XFC
TAMPA, Fla. – Utilizing his 13-inch height advantage and clubbing fists, six-foot, ten-inch heavyweight Gan “The Giant” McGee successfully launched his MMA comeback Saturday night in Tampa, Fla. at the St. Pete Times Forum, stopping veteran fighter Johnathan Ivey by technical knockout in the second round at Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC)’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces 5.” Over 11,200 fans were in attendance, topping XFC’s June 28 attendance mark of 10,700. This was the fourth consecutive XFC promotion in Tampa to draw at least 10,000 fans.
“It feels great to be back,” McGee stated in a post-fight interview. “I love fighting. I [expletive] love it! Really short guys are really hard to hit, but I did what I had to do. ‘The Giant’ is back!”
JZ EYEING NEW YEARS EVE; ASKS FOR HANSEN
One of the most popular international fighters is just about to head back into training as Top 10 lightweight Gesias “JZ” Calvancante is almost finished rehabbing his knee injury and is ready to go out and claim the Dream title he didn’t get the first time around.
“A couple more weeks I’ll be back in training and I hope I can fight by the end of the year,” said Calvancante in an interview with MMAWeekly.com
The knee injury has been lingering for some time. After his last fight against Shinya Aoki, JZ was forced into surgery to finally repair the longtime damage.
“My first injury was a week before the first tournament in Hero’s when I fought Shaolin (Ribeiro). I kept going because I wanted to fight on New Year’s Eve,” he stated. “I could not so I came back in March to fight (Shinya) Aoki. It was a no contest. Then I kept pushing my knee, and then it ruptured totally.”
With two fights left on his current contract with the Dream promotion, JZ is ready to get back in action. His first goal is to take aim at the current lightweight champion in the organization.
Affliction and Goldenboy
Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio on Saturday confirmed that his company has entered into an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, the boxing promotion led by Oscar De La Hoya. The two will co-promote a hybrid evening of boxing and mixed martial arts to be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Jan. 17.
Gracie-Wiuff Rounds Out Sengoku 5
With the addition of Roger Gracie vs. Travis Wiuff to the card today, World Victory Road has finalized the official Sengoku 5 card. 8 fights in all are scheduled highlighted by the first round of WVR's Middleweight Grand Prix.
DREAM 6 Card Almost Final, Diaz-Mach Off
With the announcement of more fights today, DREAM has all but finalized its card for DREAM 6. It was confirmed that Hayato Sakurai will not face Nick Diaz for the inaugural DREAM Welterweight Title (Diaz' camp claims he hasn't been paid for his May fight) and that Yoshihiro Akiyama will be on the card but he doesn't have an opponent yet.
Report: Fedor Emelianenko to be featured on re-scheduled Affliction card
Adding to the speculation of Affliction's forthcoming "major announcement," it now appears WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will be featured on the re-scheduled "Affliction: Day of Reckoning."
NBCSports.com reported the addition of Emelianenko to a new Jan. 17, 2009, date after speaking with Affliction Chief Operating Officer Michael Cohen.
Messages MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) left with Cohen and Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio were not immediately returned.
Although Cohen told NBCSports.com that Emelianenko's services are secured, his potential opponent was not yet named.
"It is to be determined," Cohen was quoted as saying. "We are considering changing the combatants. We have not finalized that at this time. That is as a result of the issues to be revealed at the announcement."