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."
BAS RUTTEN & IFL CREW JOIN AFFLICTION
As Affliction picks up steam heading into its Oct. 11 Las Vegas debut, the promotion continues to tweak things its roster, television deals and most recently their broadcast team as well.
Out is the initial pay-per-view broadcast group of Jay Glazer, Frank Trigg and “Big” John McCarthy; in is the familiar former International Fight League team of Kenny Rice, Ron Kruck and MMA living legend Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
PFC Announces Complete Card for “Explosive”
The Palace Fighting Championship has announced the complete fight card for it’s upcoming event on September 26. “Explosive” will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
World Extreme Cagefighting mainstay Olaf Alfonso will take on UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni in the show’s main event. Baroni dropped down to welterweight for the first time in his career and knocked out Scott Jansen at Cage Rage 27 in July, following it up with a first-round TKO of Ron Verdadero at ICON Sport’s “Hard Times” on August 2.
Alfonso snapped a dreadful six-fight losing streak with a surprising knockout of lightweight prospect Casey Olson at a PFC boxing and MMA card in February. Regardless of the outcome of his fight against Baroni, PFC officials intend on offering Alfonso a shot at the promotion’s lightweight title later this year.
Other notable fighters in action include WEC veteran Antonio Banuelos, Poppies Martinez, and Xavier Foupa-Pokam. A total of three championship bouts will also take place on the card, which can be found after the jump.
Phil Baroni vs. Olaf Alfonso
Shawn Klarcyk vs. Brandon Miller - PFC Bantamweight Title
Brian Cobb vs. Lance Wipf - PFC Lightweight Title
Bryan Travers vs. Jeremiah Metcalf - PFC Welterweight Title
Antonio Banuelos vs. Bryan Goldsby
Poppies Martinez vs. Sergio Cortez
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Derek Thornton
David Mitchell vs. David Suarez
Chris Botelho vs. Anthony Bivins
Dustin Akbari vs. Bill Theofanopoulos
Joe Soto vs. Brandon Jinnies
Lavar Johnson vs. Vince Lucero
Elvis Franco vs. Mike Craddock
Joey Cabezas vs. Billy Terry
Chad Mendes vs. Giovanni Encarncacion
Luis Gonzales vs. Elbert Randle
Brian Gassaway to appear at TKO 35 on Oct. 3
TKO Championship Fighting has announced that UFC veteran Brian Gassaway will take on welterweight prospect T.J. Grant at TKO 35: Hioki vs. Quenneville.
Gassaway, a native of Chicago, Illinois, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 28-18-2 and has appeared in the UFC confines once losing to TUF 1 winner Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. Gassaway’s record includes appearances in organizations such as King of the Cage, World Extreme Cagefighting, and Pancrase while he holds victories over Travis Fulton, Mark Hughes, and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons.
Gassaway’s victory over Pele marked his debut in TKO and the bout ended in a gruesome fashion. While battling it out on the feet, Pele moved in and attempted a low kick only to have his right tibia and fibula snap. He immediately went down in a heap of pain and Gassaway was awarded the victory on the injury.
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
In an , Ortiz had the following to say about 'Rampage' Jackson's firing of trainer Juanito Ibarra:
"Let me explain this to you because it really pisses me off that Ibarra has done what he has done, he is a thief. I have been running training camps for seven years up in Big Bear California and the most that my camp has cost a fighter to attend is $35,000. Ibarra was charging Jackson $65,000 to go to Big Bear. I don't understand that!! He was being very disrespectful and taking advantage of ‘Rampage’. Including travel, training partners, food and lodging, the most ever was $35,000, maybe if you flew in more trainers...$40K. Where did that extra money go that Ibarra was charging? ‘Rampage’ is really pissed and he feels betrayed that he was taken advantage of and I couldn't agree more with him. I don't care if Juanito reads this or hears about it anywhere, he already knows that he is blackballed. I don't care who you are; fighters work very hard for the money they earn and I feel slighted for even knowing Juanito."
Remember that White Chocolate Management (Who also represents Jackson) filed a $10 Million Lawsuit against Ibarra and Jackson for alleged breach of contract by two. Jackson has now all but been removed from the lawsuit since he fired Ibarra.
Affliction Not Bitter About Couture Deal
Affliction promoter Tom Atencio says he is pleased that Randy Couture has been able to reconcile himself with the UFC.
And he denies that the deal has cost his promotion a Couture/Fedor fight, saying that Couture never had a fight contract with Affliction.
"I think the biggest problem is people assume everything," he told MMARated.com "The bottom line is Randy is our partner with Xtreme Couture. Randy is sponsored by Affliction. He's been with us and we work with him.”
UFC president Dana White announced on Tuesday that estranged heavyweight champion Randy Couture was back in the fold.
He also used the conference call to pour scorn on Affliction’s prospects as a mixed martial art s promoter, saying he would be “horrified” if the company was still promoting in a
"Randy needs to do what he needs to do to handle his problems," Atencio said. "I'm happy for him."
Sengoku 5 Fights Added, UFC Vet & Japanese Wrestler Featured
World Victory Road yesterday announced 3 more fights for its Sengoku 5 card on September 23, highlighted by UFC veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura making his Middleweight debut and Japanese pro wrestler Takashi Sugiura returning to MMA after a 2-year absence to face the debuting Alexandre Ribeiro in a superfight.
TKO SIGNS NEW TV DEAL, BEGINS AIRING FRIDAY
TKO Championship Fighting on Wednesday announced the signing of a television deal with the TQS television network in Canada.
The sport of mixed martial arts will be seen on network television in Quebec for the very first time beginning Sept. 5. TQS will air “TKO, Friday Night Knockouts” every Friday night at 9pm.
“For over eight years I have been working very hard to make the public understand and appreciate our sport and our athletes,” explained an elated Stephane Patry, president and founder of TKO Championship Fighting.
“When we first started in 2000, our events were held in small venues and TKO was available on DVD and on specialty sport channels only. In 2006, TKO Championship Fighting found a new home at the Bell Centre and our fans began to multiply. Now, thanks to this partnership with the Rémillard brothers and the team at TQS, I am confident that our sport will reach a whole new level of popularity which is exactly what the sport and our athletes deserve.”
AFFLICTION CLEARS ROADBLOCKS, READY FOR MORE
By now, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio has become used to swimming upstream against the doubters of his company. Since he launched Affliction Entertainment as the new fight promotion on the block in early 2008, he has faced naysayers at every turn, despite assembling one of the most talent-packed MMA cards in the sport’s recent history with “Affliction: Banned” this July.
None have been more vocal than UFC president Dana White. Since Affliction’s emergence, his not-so-affectionate moniker for the company, “the t-shirt guys,” has often been followed by a prediction of the company’s approaching demise. In a teleconference on Tuesday announcing Randy Couture’s return to the UFC, he was true to form.
“In this economy right now, losing money is a really bad thing,” White said. “There’s nobody out there looking to fund anything, nobody’s spending any money, nobody’s investing in anything. When you’re losing the kind of money that these guys are losing, you’ve gotta sell a lot of t-shirts to get back that money.”
'Couture Vs Fedor' When Affliction Folds
Randy Couture will remain in the UFC whether he wins or loses his title fight with Brock Lesnar in November.
Dana White told media during a conference call that the heavyweight champion would not be walking away after one fight, regardless of its outcome.
Couture has signed a new three-fight deal while has delivered a severe blow to his hopes of eventually fighting Fedor Emelianenko.
Couture has "made it very clear he wants Fedor," said White. "We will do all in our power to make that fight, but we are not going to mess with other people's contracts."
"Fedor is under contract to another promotion," he explained, referring to the Russian heavyweight's agreement with Affliction that is rumoured to contain a North America no-compete clause.
"If we can work something out, great. If not, we will get him when Affliction folds," he said.