Affliction ‘Day of Reckoning’: Pedro Rizzo vs Ben Rothwell
Affliction fighters Ben Rothwell (29-6) and Pedro Rizzo (16-8) have been scheduled to face off at October’s “Day of Reckoning” in a match that will right one ship and sink the other.
Rothwell is coming off a strong effort against Andrei Arlovski at Affliction “Banned” on July 19 that saw him hanging tough - only to eventually succumb to the Belarusian’s superior striking and ability in the third round.
It was Rothwell’s first loss in 14 fights and just sixth overall. He was unstoppable in the now defunct IFL and at just 27 years of age, is at or nearing his prime.
Rizzo on the other hand, may be feeling a sense of urgency. “The Rock” still garners respect from his ability to hit like a wrecking ball, but he’s not been able to demonstrate the kind of striking that made him famous earlier in his career.
His knockout loss to Josh Barnett last month probably hasn’t helped matters, but it looks like he’ll get another chance to turn things around against Rothwell.
From a career standpoint, it could be now or never.
Affliction “Day of Reckoning” takes place on October 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and features the main event of Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett (23-5) vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (13-5).
BART PALASZEWSKI HEADS XFO 25
The XFO returns on Saturday, Aug. 9. Known as the “small show with big fights,” X-treme Fight Organization will hold its 25th event in Island Lake, Ill.
Headlining the show will be IFL and XFO veteran Bart Palaszewski. “Bartimus” is scheduled to face Eric Wisely in lightweight action. The Team Curran fighter defeated UFC veteran Jeff Cox in his last outing at the inaugural Adrenaline MMA event.
Pat Curran looks to continue his unbeaten streak when he takes on HIT Squad fighter Amir Khillah. The featherweight prospect is coming off of a win over Lazar Stojadinovic. The crew at Tapout were on hand to film Curran recently and his fight will be profiled in a future episode of the Tapout show.
Sengoku announces four fighters for Middleweight Grand Prix
World Victory Road’s Sengoku promotion has announced four of the eight fighters that will be competing in its Middleweight Grand Prix beginning at Sengoku 5 on Sept. 28 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium.
According to a press release received by FiveOuncesOfPain.com on Friday, Jorge Santiago, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Siyar Bahadurzada, and former UFC and PRIDE light heavyweight Kazuhiro Nakamura will all be a part of the tournament field.
More on Fedor Emelianenko's hand injury
Soon after Affliction's debut event in July and Fedor Emelianenko's quick main-event victory over Tim Sylvia, the California State Athletic Commission confirmed that the Russian fighter had been issued a 180-day medical suspension due to a right-hand injury.
The injury will keep Emelianenko from making a scheduled return at Affliction's Oct. 11 show.
On this week's edition of "Inside MMA," which airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on HDNet, Bas Rutten discusses why he thinks Emelianenko is so susceptible to hand injuries.
And thanks to you partnership with the weekly MMA news show, we now have an exclusive preview clip of that conversation.
"It's the way he hits," Rutten said. "It's a little awkward. It's not an overhand. It's a really crazy punch, and he connects with it. That's the whole problem, once you connect with a crazy punch."
TKO 35 to feature three title bouts; Mark Hominick expected to headline
TKO Championship Fighting will be presenting TKO 35 live at the Bell Centre on Friday, October 3, 2008. As of now the card is currently rumored to be featuring three title bouts including champions Hatsu Hioki, Adrian Wooley, and Jesse Bongfeldt. Also expected to appear on the card are UFC veteran Mark “The Machine” Hominick, Steve Bosse, and Jeff Harrison.
Ultime Fanatic is reporting that Adrian “The Bully” Wooley will be defending his TKO bantamweight title against The Ultimate Fighter alumni Noah Thomas. Wooley is currently one of Canada’s brightest prospects who holds dominant victories over Guillaume Lamarche, Syd Barnier, and Danny Martinez.
TKO is currently in the hunt for an opponent to face Japanese-featherweight Hatsu Hioki. Hioki was originally set to clash horns with Stephane “Simba” Vigneault but the fight was scrapped when it was announced that Vigneault had suffered a nasty eye injury during training. Hioki, known for his history in Shooto, has fought under the TKO banner twice defeating UFC veteran Mark Hominick in both outings.
David Loiseau to Headline XMMA 5 on Sept. 13
Xtreme MMA has announced that hometown favorite David “The Crow” Loiseau will headlined their September 13th card titled “XMMA 5: It’s Crow Time”.
Loiseau, a native of Montreal, Quebec, is a part owner in the fledging promotion alongside good friend and fellow fighter Steve “The Snake” Claveau. Loiseau and Claveau went into business together in September 2007 and have since reeled off four successful events. XMMA is molding itself as one of the country’s top promotions alongside MFC and TKO Championship Fighting.
Loiseau has extremely deep roots in Quebec which include fourteen appearances where he amassed an impressive record of 11-3 with victories over notable names such as Shawn Tompkins, Joe Doerksen, and Tony Fryklund.
Dream 6 Tourny Announced: Zelg vs Jacare!
Dream has today officially announced the line-up for their 4-man Middleweight World Championship Tournament, which will take place on September 23rd at Dream 6: Middle Weight Grand Prix 2008 Final.
Zelg "Benkei" Galesic, who has carved himself a fearsome reputation in Japan by winning both of his previous fights at Dream, will be facing the slightly less experienced but just as deadly BJJ Specialist Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, who has likewise won both of his previous outings at Dream and holds a 7-1-0 MMA record.
This could be a classic striker vs grappler match-up, with Zelg holding a clear advantage in the striking department, and Jacare being super-slick on the ground. However, Zelg has been working extremely hard on his ground game of late and has pulled off some surprises of his own from the ground, including knocking out Mark Weir from within his guard, and then going on to win several fights by submission, including two armbars and a Kimura. This could well be one of the best fights of the event!
Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell not expected to fight at second Affliction show
Despite public comments that he would return for Affliction’s second-ever MMA event on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia currently has not been scheduled for the show and is unlikely to be added, his manager Monte Cox relayed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com on Wednesday.
And in spite of a report in the Aug. 4 print edition of the Wrestling Observer that indicated Ben Rothwell (also managed by Cox) was looking for a possible fight against Paul Buentello, Cox also stated that Rothwell is not scheduled for the card and is unlikely to be added as well.
Cox did indicate that the two Miletich Fighting Systems heavyweights could be involved with the promotion’s third-ever MMA event.
Jacare Dismisses 'Mayhem Miller' As A ''Jackass''
Brazilian jiu jitsu phenomenon Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has set his sights on winning the DREAM middleweight belt.
He progressed to the semi-finals of the middleweight grand prix after earning a decision win over Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller.
But earlier this week, Miller had some choice words to say about Jacare – which means Alligator – when he appeared on the Lights Out show.
“He punches like a girl, he kicks like a girl,” said Miller, before adding graciously: “He’s good at jiu-jitsu…that’s it.
“I was stupid enough to grapple with him. That was my fault. I’m retarded.” But I showed the world that he don’t know how to box.”
Jacare was dismissive of the comments, calling Miller “a jackass with a mouth”.
Larson Wants Rematch with Condit Next
At this past weekend’s WEC event, Minnesota native Brock Larson made his case for getting a rematch with current promotion 170-pound champion Carlos Condit by scoring an impressive win.
In what was supposed to be a tough test against highly regarded Carlo Prater, Larson came out aggressively and put Prater down and out for the count in just 30 seconds.
“It went better than I assumed it would,” he admitted. “I thought it would be a little tougher than that.
“Prater’s the real deal, it just worked out that I caught him with the first shot that I threw and I followed up with many more.”
To be sure, it was the kind of win that Larson needed, especially after his last fight – against John Alessio in March – ended in controversy.
“That was my goal; to go out there and do it quick and make everyone open their eyes again and let them know that I’m back and that the last two fights were kind of flukes,” he said.
“I’m the real deal and I’m ready for Condit.”
According to Larson, the rematch of his title fight with Condit from August of last year appears to be what’s on the horizon next, as long as a deal can be worked out between everyone involved.
“I’m ready for it, so it’s just a matter of getting (Condit) to agree, but (the WEC) definitely wants it to happen,” he commented. “It’s up to Condit’s camp to figure out what it wants.”
Normally Larson would look to stay active, but he explains that he’s not willing to put his title shot on the line should it take longer for a fight with Condit to get worked out and scheduled.
“I’d like to fight as often as possible, but the way it’s looking, this is the fight I want to wait for,” he said. “I don’t want to risk anything like I did before fighting Condit the first time.
“I was supposed to fight him when I fought Kevin Knabjan two months before, and I think I peaked too early for that. It’s hard to peak twice in two months, so if it comes out that way, that’s the way I’m going to have to take it.”
When the rematch does take place, Larson feels that it will be a much different fight the second time around.
“My confidence level is as high as it can be,” he exclaimed. “I’ve always been really confident in my ground game, but now with my hands I’ve been doing a lot of sparring, and I’m confident everywhere now.
“I don’t feel like I have a huge hole anywhere. It’s going to take a pretty tough dude to bury me. I think that right now I’m doing the best that I’ve ever done and I’m ready for it.”
With a three-fight winning streak in tow and only two losses in 26 fights, it would be hard to imagine anyone in the WEC other than Brock Larson getting a title shot against Carlos Condit any time soon.
“I want to thank Warrior Wear and Bowtech for taking care of me,” he closed out. “Everybody out there, fans of mine, I appreciate the support.
“Keep watching and you’re going to see more explosiveness from me and that belt around my waist.”
IFL WW Jay Hieron Officially A Free Agent
Jay Hieron, the final reigning welterweight champion of the International Fight League, received his formal release from the organization in recent weeks and is a full-fledged free agent.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of this news Wednesday afternoon while speaking with his manager, Monte Cox.
According to Cox, Hieron is considering offers from Affliction, Strikeforce, the AFL, and EliteXC. Thus far, the UFC has not expressed an interest.
At one point it was thought that Hieron could be a prime asset in a reported acquisition of select assets from the IFL by the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa. However, no official announcement has been made yet by Zuffa or the IFL regarding an acquisition. Cox stated that at one point it appeared several contracts were going to be transferred and that for some inexplicable reason, the IFL went ahead and released all of its fighters.
Adrenaline MMA targets October return
Adrenaline MMA is working to determine the best date for its second show, but a crowded fall fight calendar has presented problems.
The Midwest promotion launched June 14 with a Chicago-area event that was headlined by heavyweights Mike Russow and Jason Guida.
Adrenaline CEO Monte Cox told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the event that a Sept. 6 return to Illinois, specifically Moline in the Quad Cities area, was in the works. However, that was before the UFC scheduled UFC 90 in Atlanta on the same date.
A decision to move the Adrenaline event to the following Saturday was subsequently scrapped due to a conflict with the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game, which could siphon would-be ticket buyers. That's pushed Adrenaline MMA II to the following month, with either Oct. 18 or Oct. 25 the likely landing spot.
Champ Jamie Varner confident the WEC can find worthy contenders
Just days after his first successful WEC lightweight title defense, Jamie Varner (15-2) says he believes the organization is well-suited to attract top-level opposition for future bouts.
Varner discussed his desire to face elite-level competition while a guest of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I have faith that the WEC is constantly growing," Varner said. "They're constantly recruiting new talent. They're going to be finding guys for me to fight. I trust that eventually a guy that they're going to bring in will be a top-five guy, a top-10 guy, and I'll have a true test."
Varner survived an early test from challenger Marcus Hicks this past Sunday night's WEC 35 event. But after overcoming the initial onslaught, Varner was able to blast back with a barrage of punches, kicks and knees en route to a first-round stoppage.
Varner was impressed by the courage of his opponent.
"I was definitely wondering when [Hicks] was finally going to (fall)," Varner said. "Either the corner was going to throw in the towel or he was going to take his final fall. That was definitely going through my head as I was hitting him. I was like, 'How is this guy still standing?' But eventually he did fall, and (referee Steve) Mazzagatti stopped the fight."
The win was Varner's fourth in a row. "The Worm" has lost just once in his most recent 15 official bouts.
Varner believes there are a few immediate obstacles for him to overcome. Once past them, he feels the responsibility will shift to the WEC to find him suitable challengers.
"I'd like to fight Richard Crunkilton, Donald Cerrone or 'Razor' Rob (McCullough) again," Varner said. "I think any of those three would be worthy opponents -- or even all three of them. I'm looking at those three.
"And if I win all three of those fights, I pretty much cleaned out my division. And then the WEC is going to have to find some new talent."
McCullough, who Varner defeated for the title in February, and Cerrone, an undefeated prospect, will meet in September at WEC 36 in Hollywood, Fla., Varner believes the winner of that bout will more than likely be tagged as his next foe.
"I haven't heard anything about my next fight," Varner said. "I just kind of assume that it's going to be the winner of 'Razor' Rob and Cerrone, the 'Cowboy.' Next Monday I'm going to start training for a right-handed kickboxer. Hopefully I'll end up with one of those guys."
Should Varner be able to register his fifth consecutive victory, the Arizona Combat Sports fighter trusts the WEC will continue to seek out the best available opponents.
"I think I should be fighting top-five guys," Varner said. "I trust that the WEC will be bringing me that kind of talent and that kind of competition.
"I'm 23 years old. I'm in no hurry. But my goal is to be the best fighter in the world, and I trust that the WEC will get me there."
Varner also discussed the possibility of a cross-promotional bout with the WEC's sister-company, the UFC, his training with Arizona Combat Sports, and his days before becoming a full-time fighter. To hear the full interview, download Wednesday's edition of "TAGG Radio," available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
Affliction Lands Horodecki
In a move that strengthens its roster outside the heavyweight division, the upstart Affliction promotion on Wednesday announced the signing of former International Fight League poster boy Chris Horodecki (Pictures). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The once-beaten 20-year-old Canadian will make his promotional debut at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. An opponent has yet to be named. Horodecki (12-1) last competed in April, when he earned a unanimous decision victory against World Championship Fighting veteran Nate Lamotte (Pictures) at an IFL show in East Rutherford, N.J. ...
Affliction Announces Lindland-Belfort, Nelson-Buentello
Matt Lindland (Pictures) will fight Vitor Belfort (Pictures) at the Oct. 11 Affliction event in Las Vegas, Affliction announced Wednesday at a news conference.
Belfort (17-8) is currently serving a 180-day medical suspension with the California State Athletic Commission following his July 19 knockout win over Terry Martin (Pictures) at Affliction’s debut event in Anaheim. An orthopedic doctor must clear him before he can fight Lindland.
Affliction also announced Wednesday that IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson (Pictures) will fight Paul Buentello (Pictures).
Jay Hieron tapped for Oct. 11 Affliction; Lindland vs. Belfort in jeopardy?
Reigning International Fight League welterweight champion Jay Hieron (15-4) has been approached by Affliction executives and is expected to compete at the organization's "Day of Reckoning" event in October.
On Tuesday a representative from Hieron's Xtreme Couture camp told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the upcoming bout.
No opponent has been determined.
"Affliction: Day of Reckoning" takes place Oct. 11 at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The event -- the second one for the rookie Affliction Entertainment promotion -- features a headline match of Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett.
Hieron, a 32-year-old UFC and WEC veteran, hooked up with the IFL soon after its formation in 2006. He's 7-2 in the organization and defeated Delson Heleno for the IFL welterweight title back in December. He made one title defense -- a first-round TKO of Mark Miller in April -- before the organization's financial troubles forced the IFL to cease operations earlier this summer.
Although Affliction is best known for a stocked heavyweight division, executive Tom Atencio has promised the organization would begin signing additional talent for the lighter weight classes. Hieron brings instant credibility to a welterweight division that's still under construction.
The former stand-out high school and collegiate wrestler will now go for his fourth consecutive victory -- and his sixth win in his past seven fights. His only career losses have come to UFC veteran Georges St. Pierre, Jonathan Goulet, Chris Wilson and Brad Blackburn.
For the latest on "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.
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MMAjunkie.com has also learned that a rumored Oct. 11 Affliction bout between Matt Lindland and Vitor Belfort -- both of whom were winners at Affliction's first show back in July -- could be scratched.
A source close to Belfort said that the middleweight fighter has been slowed by a lingering hand injury.
As we previously reported, the California State Athletic Commission suspended Belfort 180 days after his July victory over Terry Martin for undisclosed medical reasons (though a hand injury is believed to be the reason why).
Belfort can be cleared early by a doctor, but any signs of a hand injury would make an October return unlikely.
MMAjunkie.com coudln't immediately reach Belfort or Lindland for comment, but we'll have more on this story later in the week.
Jacaré wants Dream’s belt
Waiting for the announcement of his next opponent, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza keeps training hard without caring about who he will face. “The expectations are the best, I’ll do my best as a person and fighter, all my heart and faith to be the champion”, said Jacaré to TATAME. After hearing about what Jason Miller said about him. “He’s a jackass with a mouth, and can say whatever he wants. He calls himself a jackass. He can say whatever he wants, he lost, and if he wants to fight again just need to ask”, answered Ronaldo, that said he’s working everything to win his first MMA belt. “I’m training everything, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu… I’m going to do MMA. I’ll bring this belt home”, guarantees the Xtreme Couture athlete.