Joe Riggs On Misaki And Close Call With Kimbo
Fight fans, take notice: In a small way, Joe Riggs helped create Kimbo Slice.
The year is 2003. Riggs is at least a year away from his UFC debut. He’s fighting for $1,000 a show, good money for him at the time. Slice’s manager, Icy Mike, puts out a challenge to tough guys around the country – come to Florida if you think you can beat up Kimbo Slice. Win, and you get $10,000.
Riggs’ manager at the time, Trevor Lally, jumps at the offer. He emails Mike and says he’s got someone for him. He offers to put up $50,000 of his own money as a show of faith.
Riggs begins training in earnest and mentally preparing for a fight with Slice. But when Mike finds out about Riggs’ credentials, the door is promptly closed.
“I’d of beat the (expletive) out of him,” Riggs told MMAWeekly.com. “It would have been done. No Kimbo. I would have rubbed him out and saved everyone the headaches.”
Or Riggs could have videotaped his street brawls, something he jokingly wishes he did.
Riggs had other things in store for his future, including a two-year stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. There, he met mixed results. He failed to make weight for a title fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 56 then lost the fight decisively. Batting .500 in his four post-Hughes fights, he asked to be released from his UFC contract after a spat with matchmaker Joe Silva.
Other than the requisite scraps of a hotheaded MMA fighter, the closest Riggs got to Slice was a post-UFC 57 brawl with opponent Nick Diaz at the hospital where they stayed.
“Young Guns III” Forced to End Early
A broken cage door forced the California State Athletic Commission to abruptly shut down the remainder of Strikeforce’s “Young Guns III” show last night in San Jose due to an official ruling preventing the event to continue with a damaged fighting structure.
Shortly after Chris Bostick scored a first-round submission of Jorge Interiano, ringside officials discovered that the latch locking the cage door had broke. A brief intermission was instituted in order to allow Strikeforce workers the opportunity to fix the problem, but their attempts were unsuccessful.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Strikeforce has experienced a problem with their cage. Bobby Southworth‘s June 2006 bout against James Irvin was ruled a no-contest after a Southworth takedown attempt inadvertently drove both fighters through the cage.
Babalu Undergoes Knee Surgery, Eyes November Return
Renato “Babalu” Sobral has undergone successful surgery on his injured knee which on Wednesday knocked him out of his “Strikeforce at the Mansion 2? bout against Anthony Ruiz.
The former UFC 205-pound contender could return to action by as early as November.
Sobral’s manager, Richard Wilner, confirmed the developments with MMA Junkie on Thursday.
Following a mid-August injury Babalu last week underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee to repair a medial meniscus tear.
Strikeforce continues to look for a replacement for Sobral to take on Ruiz on the September 20th card.
Injury strikes again: "Babalu" off Sept. 20 Strikeforce-Playboy card
A leg injury has forced Renato "Babalu" Sobral (30-7) out of his upcoming bout with Anthony Ruiz (21-11), which was set to take place Sept. 20 at "Strikeforce at the Mansion II."
Strikeforce executive Mike Afromowitz today told MMAjunkie.com that Sobral was forced off the card and said the organization is looking for a replacement.
Ruiz was actually a recent replacement for Strikeforce world light heavyweight champion Bobby Southworth (9-5), who was forced off the card last month after after suffering a leg injury of his own.
UFC Heading to Japan
The Japanese press is reporting that the UFC is looking to put on a mega-event in Japan as early as next spring. Dave Meltzer reported on this a while back.
Word is they're calling out the top Japanese stars and hoping to set up a battle of the Zuffa champs vs the Japanese stars. Dana is apparently hoping to land Kazushi Sakuraba, Kid Yamamoto, Hidehiko Yoshida and Takanori Gomi to face Zuffa's top stars. Presumably they want Urijah Faber vs Yamamoto and B.J. Penn to rematch Takanori Gomi. Not sure who which wolf they want to throw Sakuraba to. And Brock Lesnar vs Hidehiko Yoshida is just too dreadful to contemplate.
Clearly from a business angle they're after the right Japanese fighters, although you could make a case for Yoshihiro Akiyama instead of Sakuraba, both as a draw and as a top fighter. Regardless, it would require getting both DREAM and World Victory Road on board, as well as securing a Japanese TV deal.
Strikeforce adds three fights to ‘Payback’ card
Three matches have recently been added to the Strikeforce: “Payback” event, which takes place at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colo., on October 3.
In a welterweight tilt, UFC veteran and “The Ultimate Fighter 4? alum Pete “The Secret Weapon” Spratt (18-14) will face off against former IFL competitor Donnie Liles (11-5).
Spratt is (1-2) in 2008, losing to John Alessio and Ryan Ford, while scoring an impressive knockout victory over Jason Von Flue in April. Liles on the other hand has won both of his fights this year, beating Cruz Chacon and Seth Baczynski with third and first round submissions respectively.
Also signed for “Payback” is a middleweight bout featuring the undefeated Billy Evangelista (7-0) taking on two-fight UFC veteran Luke “Lil Hulk” Caudillo (14-11).
Caudillo lost both of his fights in the UFC to Nate Mohr by unanimous decision and Marcus Aurelio by first round technical knockout. In his first fight after leaving the top organization he lost a disappointing fight at a Ring of Fire event, submitting to Torrance Taylor in the third round. The loss brought his losing streak to three.
Evangelista impressed a lot of folks in a split decision victory over Nam Phan in June even though he gassed out towards the end of the fight. This will be his fifth fight under the Strikeforce banner. He also holds a knockout victory over “TUF 5? alum Marlon Sims, who claims to be “Mr. Indestructible.”
The third fight announced is a female match pitting Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Watterson (3-2) - one of the stars of the television program “Fighter Girls” - against Fatal Femmes Fighting veteran Brandy Nerny (1-1).
Quach, Murphy Withdraw from ShoXC
Bao Quach and Jon Murphy have both withdrawn from their respective bouts at the latest edition of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series, which is scheduled to take place at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California on September 26th, according to reports by Five Ounces of Pain and MMA Junkie.
Quach, who was slated to take on skilled grappler Wilson Reis for EliteXC’s vacant featherweight title, has been forced off the card after suffering a “facial injury” during a recent training session. A timetable for his return is unknown at this time.
MMA on Tap has since confirmed with EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw that King of the Cage flyweight champion Abel Cullum will move up in weight to challenge Reis for the belt.
Overeem: Cro Cop Bout 'Definitely Happening'
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (Pictures) confirmed to Sherdog.com that he will meet former Pride Open Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (Pictures) at Dream 6 on Sept. 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
No contract signed yet, but this would be a pretty big boost for DREAM if it gets done.
Scott Coker the man behind Strikeforce's curtain
This is the kind of thing that doesn't happen every day. Or every year. Or even every decade.
Scott Coker was 21, teaching martial arts near his Northern California home and not sure what he planned to do with the rest of his life. But he had a passion for taekwondo, enjoyed what he was doing and, like many young adults, wasn't particularly concerned at the time with where life was leading.
He was instructing in an otherwise typical day at his gym when one of his students, an employee of Coors Brewery, told him that Coors was looking to sponsor professional kickboxing events that were being broadcast on ESPN.
Southworth Injury Update, Could Return In '08
Strikeforce executive Mike Aframowitz has revealed that SF Light Heavyweight Champion Bobby Southworth has a potentially torn ACL and meniscus suffered during training last week, but left the door open to Southworth returning before the end of the year. The injuries caused Southworth's upcoming title defense against Renato Sobral to be scrapped.
Frank Trigg ready for Falaniko Vitale (and Cung Le and Frank Shamrock)
After suffering little damage in his unanimous-decision victory over Makoto Takimoto at this past weekend's Sengoku 4 event, veteran middleweight fighter Frank Trigg (17-6) expects a proposed Oct. 3 Strikeforce bout with Falaniko Vitale (26-8) to go on as planned.
With less than seven weeks separating the bouts, and with his wife due to give birth literally any day now, Trigg wasn't initially sure if competing at the upcoming Strikeforce event would be a possibility.
However, he recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's ready for the fight -- and future bouts with Strikeforce world middleweight champ Cung Le (6-0) and former title-holder Frank Shamrock (23-9-2).
"I'm more tired than anything," Trigg said of his victory over Olympic gold medalist Takimoto. "My ear is a little torn up. He caught me with a good right hook early. It just bled a lot, but it wasn't really hurt or anything."
Now, Trigg will focus on the hard-hitting and, as he calls him, "very dangerous" Vitale. The Hawaiian fighter has won five of his past six fights with all but one of the victories coming via strikes. The Trigg-Vitale fight is expected to be the co-main event at "Strikeforce: Payback," which takes place Oct. 3 at the Broomfield Event Center near Denver.
Trigg, a former UFC and PRIDE fighter who turned 36 back in May, knows Father Time is casting a shadow on all his upcoming bouts. The clock is ticking, yet a series of fights fell through to create a recent eight-month layoff from competition. The Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture fighter is now anxious to pick up the pace.
With his recently inked Strikeforce deal, Trigg is aiming for a bout with Le, the undefeated former San Shou kickboxer who beat Shamrock for the Strikeforce title back in March. As MMAjunkie.com recently reported, Strikeforce officials expect Le's burgeoning acting career to keep the fighter sidelined until early next year.
There's also been talk of a potential Trigg-Shamrock fight with Strikeforce. That fight -- and one with Le -- had been discussed at various times during the past 18 months, but they never panned out. Trigg said he want both fights in the next year, though the order makes no difference.
"Which one of the two do I want to fight first?" Trigg asked of Le and Shamrock. "If both are in my future, who cares? It doesn't make much of a difference."
However, both Strikeforce and World Victory Road are anxious for him to fight another opponent: Kazuo Misaki (20-8-2). Like Trigg, Misaki is also signed to both organizations, and since losing to Trigg at PRIDE 33, Misaki has been vocal about wanting a rematch.
"If he wants to go again, that's fine," Trigg said. "I'll be happy to beat him again."
Given the way their contracts were drawn up, Trigg expects the Misaki fight to take place in Japan under the WVR banner.
So, if everything works out as planned, Trigg could spend the next year fighting Vitale, Le, Shamrock and Misaki.
Outside of the UFC, you'd be hard pressed to find a tougher line-up.
"No one said it's going to be easy," Trigg said.
No SF Title Fight For Babalu On 9/20
Although Renato "Babalu" Sobral is still on for Strikeforce At The Playboy Mansion next month, his title shot isn't. SF Light Heavyweight Champion Bobby Southworth, who was to have defended against Sobral, is now off due to injury. Sobral will now face Anthony Ruiz.
Josh Thomson vs Ashe Bowman Strikeforce fight booked for Playboy Mansion
Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson will take on team Lion’s Den member Ashe “The Machine” Bowman (6-4) in a three-round, non-title match at “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., on September 20.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz confirmed the news today to MMAmania.com, which was first reported by Ariel Helwani.
Bowman has won six of his past seven contests after beginning his career with three straight losses. He’s competed five times under the Ken Shamrock Productions banner, winning each time.
Take that for what it’s worth.
He certainly comes as a surprise opponent for the champ — most fans were probably expecting someone with a little more notoriety. But that doesn’t mean Bowman isn’t capable of pulling off the shocker … anything can in mixed martial arts, right?
This will be The Punk’s first fight since winning a unanimous decision in June over then highly-regarded champion Gilbert Melendez. Thomson was a significant underdog in that fight. And after pulling off the upset he earned himself a place amongst the big dogs in terms of the top fighters in the world.
Therefore, it would be an upset of epic proportions if Thomson loses this fight. Bowman just isn’t on his level when it comes to talent or experience. This is most likely a showcase fight for the champ — perhaps to keep him busy and at the same time rest his still-healing shoulder.
In short, don’t be surprised if he takes this one in impressive fashion.
Some were expecting this fight to take main event status after Thomson’s opponent was announced, but given the caliber of opponent and it being a non-title fight, it’s possible that one of the other matches will take center stage.
The light heavyweight championship fight between champion,Bobby Southworth and challenger Renato “Babalu” Sobral is the likely choice.
Cory Devela To Meet Terry Martin At "The Mansion"
Strikeforce recently announced that middleweight rising star Cory Devela will meet the recently KO'd Terry Martin at "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" which will take place on Sept. 20 at the "Playboy Mansion".
Devela hasn't lost since his June '04 bout against Ed "Short Fuse" Herman. His only other loss came against Matt Horwich in Devela's pro debut. He most recently defeated Dan Molina via unanimous decision at an Xtreme Cage Combat event in April. He also holds wins over Joe Riggs and Lodune Sincaid.
Strikeforce October Event On HDNet
Strikeforce VP Mike Aframowitz announced over the weekend that the promotion's Denver debut event in October wil air live on HDNet. This will be the 2nd event of at least 4 this year HDNet will air per an agreement with Strikeforce.
Strikeforce Expects Le Back In Early '09
According to Strikeforce VP Mike Afromowitz, Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le is expected to return to the promotion in early '09. No word yet on a potential opponent but former champion Frank Shamrock is thought to be a possibility, as is top Japanese fighter Kazuo Misaki if he beats Joe Riggs next month.
Strikeforce To Denver In October
Less than 2 weeks after it's next Playboy Mansion event, Strikeforce will pack up and head east to Denver. The promotion will make it's Colorado debut on October 3 with a Sam Morgan vs. Duane Ludwig main event, and possibly Phil Baroni & Frank Trigg fighting on the same card.
Babalu Goes For Strikeforce Gold On 9/20
Strikeforce today confirmed that their Light Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Southworth, will next defend against former UFC standout Renato "Babalu" Sobral on 9/20 at the Playboy Mansion. This fight will be the first of 2 in about 3 weeks for Babalu, who also is to fight again for Affliction in October.