Archive | July, 2008

Elite XC Review: Lawler Retains, Shields & Silva Crowned

27 Jul

by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com (2008-07-27)

STOCKTON, CA- For the second time in two months, Elite XC found its way onto network TV with CBS Saturday Night Fights, headlined with a rematch from their first network TV broadcast.
Elite XC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler defended his title against Scott Smith for the second time in two months. Their first fight ended in a no contest after an accidental eye poke put a halt to their encounter.
Surprisingly both fighters started out cautious, stalking one another and gauging the distance with jabs and kicks. As the first round wore on, they began to trade shots with Lawler hurting Smith then Smith returning the favor with a combination followed by a high kick. The pair continued to swing for the fences as the round came to an exciting end.
The second round began the same way as the first ended with both fighters swinging and landing brutal shots before clinching up along the fence. Lawler began to bleed as he started to work over Smith with body shots and it paid off for him. Landing a series of knees to the body, Lawler smelled blood as he continued his barrage, dropping Smith and almost finishing the fight but Smith got back to his feet to only be dropped by knees once again, this time giving the fight a definitive finish at 2:35 of the second round.
Hometown hero Nick Diaz didn’t disappoint, stopping journeyman Thomas Denny in impressive fashion. Diaz started out strong connecting with punches as Denny returned fire, finding success of his own with punches before taking the fight to the ground. From the bottom, Diaz immediately went for an armbar forcing Denny to scramble out of it. They made it back to their feet and it was Diaz who began to get the better of the exchanges, tagging Denny with crisp combinations that began to take their toll. As the round came to a close it looked like Denny was close to done but he somehow survived.
The second round was much of the same as Diaz continued to punish Denny with combinations. He even started to taunt Denny before finally dropping him and finishing him off with strikes at forty seconds of the second round.
After months of waiting for his opportunity, Jake Shields finally got his shot at the vacant Elite XC welterweight championship taking on Bodog Fight welterweight champion Nick Thompson. Shields wasted no time and got the fight to the ground, instantly moving into mount and pounding on Thompson. As Thompson squirmed to escape, Shields found an opening and locked on a guillotine choke that forced Thompson to tap at 1:03 of the first round, making Jake Shields the first Elite XC welterweight champion and the best welterweight outside of the UFC.
A women’s bout opened the CBS broadcast with Chute Boxe fighter Cris “Cyborg” Santos taking on Josh Barnett trained Shayna Baszler. Right off the bat, Baszler wanted the fight to the ground as she dragged Cyborg down to the ground, looking for a leg lock. Cyborg was able to defend and they continued to grapple on the ground for the rest of the round with neither fighter gaining an obvious advantage.
The second round was much different as Cyborg unleashed a barrage of strikes that left Baszler stunned and scrambling to get the fight to the ground. Cyborg kept the fight on the feet and punished Baszler with vicious combinations, dropping her in a heap and started to celebrate her win, jumping on top of the cage to celebrate but the fight wasn’t over yet. It only delayed the inevitable as Cyborg again charged in with a combination, dropping Baszler again and finally putting a stop to the fight at 2:48 of the second round.
Brazilian slugger Antonio Silva became the Elite XC heavyweight champion by stopping UFC veteran Justin Eilers. Both fighters came out swinging but neither was able to gain the upper hand over the other. Silva then took the fight to the ground. Silva began to unleash strikes but some found their way to the back of Eiler’s head, which earned Silva a warning from referee Herb Dean. As Silva continued to punch Eilers, some again were to the back of head which forced referee Herb Dean to deduct a point from Silva. The round wore on with Silva gaining the upper hand on Eilers on the feet, unfortunately he was unable to land that one punch to end the fight as the round ended.
Silva came out swinging to start the second, connecting with punches that stunned Eilers. He continued his onslaught of strikes, dropping Eilers and finishing the fight with strikes on the ground, only nineteen seconds into the second round to become the first ever Elite XC heavyweight champion.
Highly touted Brazilian fighter Rafael “Feijao” stopped King of the Cage Canadian light heavyweight champion Travis Galbraith in impressive fashion. The fight started slow as both fighters took their time feeling each other out. They quickly clinched up and a stalemate ensued before “Feijao” executed a beautiful judo throw but Galbraith was able to quickly get back his feet. From there, “Feijao” charged in with a flurry of knees that stunned Galbraith, dropping him to the ground with Feijao finishing the job via strikes on the ground at 3:01 of the opening round.
Wilson Reis remained undefeated, winning a unanimous decision over Northwest fighter Bryan Caraway. Throughout the entire fight, Reis was able to ground Caraway and outwork him with superior positioning. From there Reis would either go for a submission or use ground and pound. Caraway’s best moment in the fight came in the second round when he stunned Reis on the feet almost finishing him, but Reis survived and fought on. Caraway was the better fighter on the feet, landing knees and punches but he was unable to stop Reis’s takedowns and that is what lost him the fight with Reis winning a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 on all three judge’s scorecards.
RESULTS:
Anthony Ruiz def. Jeromy Freitag by Unanimous Decision (29-28 on all three cards)

David Douglas def. Marlon Mathias by TKO at 0:12, R1.

Robbie Lawler def. Scott Smith by TKO at 2:35, R2.

Nick Diaz def. Thomas Denny by TKO at 0:40, R2.

Jake Shields def. Nick Thompson by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:03, R1.

Cris “Cyborg” Santos def. Shayna Baszler by TKO at 2:48, R2.

Antonio Silva def. Justin Eilers by TKO at 0:19, R2.

Rafael Feijao def. Travis Galbraith by TKO at 3:01, R1.

Wilson Reis def. Bryan Caraway by Unanimous Decision (30-27 on all three cards)

Carl Seumantafa def. Mike Cook by TKO at 3:39, R1.

Drew Montgomery def. Brandon Tarn by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 4:22, R3.

Spike TV: Silva a Hit with UFC Fight Night Viewers

20 Jul

by sherdog.com (2008-07-20)

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (Pictures)’s first appearance on free television in more than two years was a ratings hit, according to figures released Tuesday by Spike TV representatives.
Silva’s light heavyweight debut against former World Extreme Cagefighting titleholder James Irvin (Pictures) drew 3.8 million viewers as the anchor for the UFC Fight Night 14 broadcast Saturday in Las Vegas. By comparison, Fox’s coverage of Major League Baseball earlier in the day sported an audience just shy of 3.1 million viewers.
At its peak, the UFC Fight Night 14 telecast drew a 4.9 share among men, ages 25 to 34, and a 4.1 rating for men, ages 18 to 34. Silva had not competed on Spike TV since he blasted through Chris Leben (Pictures) in June 2006.
Unbeaten in seven trips inside the Octagon, Silva (22-4) blew away Irvin in 61 seconds, as he leveled the Californian with a straight right hand and finished the match with strikes on the ground. The otherworldly Brazilian has not been taken beyond the second round by any of his UFC opponents and will carry an eight-fight winning streak into his next match, rumored to be a middleweight title defense against Patrick Cote (Pictures) at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 in Atlanta.
Spike TV’s UFC Fight Night 14 telecast outdrew every other channel with 18-to 34-year-old men (903,000), 18- to 49-year-old men (1,550,000), 25- to 34-year-old men (622,000) and all 18- to 34-year-old viewers (1,326,000). Overall, the three-hour broadcast averaged a 2.1 household rating. Among males, ages 18 to 49, the event outdrew ESPN’s annual coverage of The ESPY Awards.

Versus Takes on ‘The Contender’

20 Jul

by Chris Pursell (2008-07-20)

Versus emerged as the winner in the battle for rights to “The Contender,” landing a deal for the upcoming fourth season of the reality boxing series. In addition, the cable channel will also air the first season of spinoff “The Contender Muay Thai,” a show about kick boxing, later this month.

The agreement includes 11 new one-hour episodes of the Mark Burnett-produced “Contender” series, as well as the two-hour season finale of the show, which will begin airing in December. The deal also encompasses 14 one-hour episodes and a two-hour finale of “Muay Thai” slated to start on July 31.

“This is a series that is right up our alley and we are pumped to be able to air it,” said Marc Fein, executive VP of programming, production and business operations at Versus. “In addition, this serves as a great compliment to our lineup of raw, real, authentic and hard-hitting programming such as “World Extreme Cagefighting,” “Fight Night’ and ‘TapouT.’”

Other networks contending for the series included Spike TV, according to sources. The series most recently aired on ESPN and also had a stint on network prime time when it debuted on NBC. For boxing fans, the series made stars out of athletes such as the recently crowned WBC Super Welterweight Champion Sergio Mora as well as Alfonso Gomez, Peter Manfredo Jr. and Steve Forbes.

The fourth season of “The Contender” will step up the weight class this year featuring 16 cruiserweights from around the world squaring off in a 12-episode competition that pits American boxers against an international group of fighters.

Series host and six-time world champion Sugar Ray Leonard is in negotiations to return for another go-round and Buddy McGirt is locked in to serve as trainer. The series is produced by Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks Television.

“The Contender Muay Thai” is based on the format of the mother series, serving as a reality competition that brings 16 of the best international Muay Thai kickboxers together to compete until one is left standing as international champion.

The series was shot on location in Singapore and is produced by Imagine Omnimedia in cooperation with Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks Television. Each episode culminates in a five-round professional bout after which the loser will go home.

“The gang at DreamWorks and I are really excited to be partnering with Versus on the fourth season of ‘The Contender’,” said Mark Burnett. “If the work they’ve done with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and Tour de France is any indication, we are confident that ‘The Contender’ will be a successful franchise for the channel.”

According to Versus executives, the recognition of the brand was a large reason the outlet pursued rights to the show.

“As a network, whether its NHL, the Tour de France or bull riding, we are determined to take established brands and try to blow them out to maximize their build-in audiences,” said Mr. Fein. “We’ve had boxing for a few years now and this series deepens our position in the sport and the opportunity for us to work with Mark Burnett and DreamWorks was too good to pass up.”

HEAT 7 Results

15 Jul

by FTX (2008-07-15)

This Saturday, July 12th HEAT held their 7th event in Nagoya Japan.Fairtex USA fighters Nathan Willet, and Justin Holdaas both competed on the card.Both fighters fought well, as did all of the athletes at the event.Nathan would drop a tough decision to a very experienced Yuzo Matsumoto.Nathan fought with the heart of a champion, but the experience of Matsumoto was too much to overcome.

Justin Holdaas took home a very impressive victory via 2nd round TKO over blackbelt Pedro Akira.He dominated and controlled both rounds.Justin is invited back to continue in the tournament which will take place in Osaka, Japan sometime in October/November 2008.

We look forward to seeing both fighters in action again soon.Here are the full event results.For more information visit http://www.heatofficial.com
8th fight

HEAT Kick rule Heavyweight Tournament 1st.

-100kg no elbow

Win Gotoku Onda (Shimura Dojo)

Lose Jason Suttie (E.T.K GYM)

Decision 2-0
7th fight

HEAT MMA Rule Heavyweight Tournament 1st.

Open weight no elbow

Lose Minoru Kato (Free)

Win Cristiano Kaminisi (AXIS/ATT

Decision 0-3
6th fight

HEAT MMA Rule Heavyweight Tournament 1st.

Open weight no elbow

Lose Amazon Juninho (Carlos TOYOTA BJJ TEAM)
Win Lee Sangsoo (CMA KOREA)
Decision 0-3
5th fight

HEAT Kick rule Heavyweight Special one match no elbow
Lose Peck Andrew (Free)
Win Prince Ail (Daidojuku Iran) 2R 2Œ03 KO
4th fight

HEAT Kick rule Middleweight Tournament 1st.

-70kg no elbow

Win Yuzo Matsumoto (Yuzo Dojo)

Lose Nathan Willet (Fairtex USA)

Decision 3-0
3rd fight

HEAT MMA rule welterweight tournament 1st.

-77.1kg no elbow

Win Yositaro Niimi (ALIVE)

Lose Jun Kito (BRAVE)

1R2Œ49 choke sleeper
2nd fight

HEAT Kick rule Middleweight tournament 1st.
-70kg no elbow

Win Kinji (Brake Threw)

Lose Park Eun Seok (CMA Korea)
1R 1Œ28 KO
1st fight

HEAT MMA rule welterweight tournament 1st.
-77.1kg no elbow

Lose Pedro Akira (STONE GYM)

Win Justin Holdaas (Fairtex USA)
2R4Œ34 KO
New Age Fight 4th

HEAT Kick Rure -60kg no elbow

Draw Gaku Sakai (Shimura Dojo)

Draw Masaaki Noiri (Ohishi Dojo)

Decision 1-0
New Age Fight 3rd

HEAT MMA rule -70kg no elbow

Draw Hironobu Yoshida (GSB)

Draw YUSUKE (Team Hambolt)

Decision 0-0
New Age Fight 2nd

HEAT Kick Rure -63kg no elbow

Lose Yoshiharu Ono (Ichinomiya Muay-Thai Gym)
Win Takao Niki (West-O) Decision 0-3
New Age Fight 1st

HEAT MMA rule -70kg no elbow

Win Kazuyoshi Hioki (Evolution)

Lose Koshiro Muramatsu (Brave)
Decision 3-0

Karaev captures K-1 Asia GP; Bonjasky, Samedov also win in Taiwan

15 Jul

by Monty DiPietro, photos courtesy of FEG (2008-07-15)

TAIPEI, July 13, 2008 — Russian kickboxer Ruslan Karaev, 25, captured the K-1 Asia GP 2008 Championship; while Remy Bonjasky KO’d Volk Atajev and Zabit Samedov upset Ray Sefo by split decision at tonight’s K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Taipei.
In the evening’s Main Event, two-time K-1 World GP Champion Remy Bonjasky of Holland stepped in against Russian power-puncher Volk Atajev.
Bonjasky confessed before the match the he was largely unfamiliar with his opponent. “I’ve only seen 30 seconds of one of his fights on You Tube, and it’s difficult to fight a guy you don’t know,” said the “Flying Gentleman.” Atajev reckoned he could exploit this: “If Remy doesn’t know me, but I know him and his techniques — the flying knees and so on — maybe that gives me an edge?” Maybe, and maybe not.
With his guard high and close, Atajev threw the low kicks to begin. The Russian landed a weak spinning back kick to Bonjasky’s midsection, but seconds later launched a similar attack with greater gusto, this time grazing Bonjasky’s head. Bonjasky launched high kicks, but the Russian blocked these and responded capably with body blows.
In the second Bonjasky tossed in some body blows of his own, then low kicks, and began to test with the knee. The fighters stood toe to toe, Atajev repeatedly going to the body, Bonjasky hoisting the knee then falling back to throw the low kicks.
Bonjasky continued constructing combinations with low kicks to start the third. Picking up the pace, he began slapping low kicks in from both sides and dashing forward with the fists, chasing his opponent across the ring. With Atajev in full retreat, Bonjasky fired up a left high kick and followed with a right flying knee that made full contact, sending Atajev down hard. A KO win capping a perfect performance by Bonjasky — the technical start developing to third round crescendo and spectacular finish.
The Taiwanese fans showed Bonjasky a lot of love as he left the ring, and the fighter returned the feeling in his post-fight interview: “I love Taiwan, it is a great place and the people are very nice. I’m happy I won, it doesn’t always work out that way, but luckily I was able to set up my flying knee!”
In another Superfight it was affable K-1 veteran Ray Sefo New Zealand and Zabit Samedov, a gritty Belorussian kickboxer. Sefo came to the ring riding the longest losing streak of his K-1 career — four bouts dating back to March 2007. Samedov, meanwhile, had won six of his last eight. A longtime fan of Sefo, Samedov wasn’t going to let admiration interfere with his goal: “I like Ray, but I also want to knock him out!”
Samedov started with the kicks, while Sefo closed with the jab then tucked in a couple of body blows. Too much clinching through the first round, although Samedov and Sefo both landed high kicks — Sefo doing a better job of blocking when the foot came to his head. Sefo closed again in the second, getting a right uppercut in before Samedov was cautioned for clinching. Samedovtook a page from Sefo’s book midway through, dropping his guard and monkeying, then tagged Sefo when he did the same. A nice move by Samedov later in the round, ducking forward to throw the left than following with an overhand right that caught Sefo. Spirited action and good sportsmanship here — the crowd loving it.
In the third both fighters let the fists fly — Sefo good with the hooks, Samedov making contact with an acrobatic right straight and a high kick. More clinching followed, for which Samedov was shown the yellow card and docked one point. Samedov in with a right uppercut late in the round, Sefo chasing him down with a right at the bell.
One judge liked Sefo and two saw a draw, and so this one went to an extra round. An early exchange of low kicks to start, Samedov scoring with a left hook. Sefo’s tight combinations were working, and he landed a right uppercut and more low kicks at the midway point. Samedov just missed with a high kick then planted a spinning back kick at the bell. The judges still couldn’t make a call, the fighters now even on all cards, and so a second and final tiebreaker round was prescribed.
Samedov with an early right hook and Sefo with an uppercut, the blocking sound but the power diminishing as both men fought past their usual distance. Samedov landed another left and threw the quick low kicks to effect, while a fatigued Sefo struggled to match.
A split decision, the win going to Samedov by the narrowest of margins.
Sefo was less than pleased with the result: “I feel upset, and I feel ripped off. What more can I say? I feel like I won the first three rounds, and then he got the yellow card. And when we went into extension rounds he just ran and clinched when I got close. What is that about? But most of all I want to apologize to the fans.”
Not surprisingly, Samedov had a different perspective: “He didn’t hurt me and I was able to get away from most of his attacks, I feel just fine about the decision.”
The third Superfight featured 23 year-old Japanese kickboxer Junichi Sawayashiki, who scored a shocking upset over K-1 veteran Jerome LeBanner last year; and Romania’s rising star — the meat-and-potatoes Catalin Morosanu, a 26 year-old former rugby player.
Due to delays in transit, Morosanu had arrived in Taipei just 24 hours before fight time. Nevertheless he dominated here, marching in from the opening bell with punching attacks while adeptly interjecting hard low kicks to control the distance. Sawayashiki attempted to get through on counters, and landed a knee — but otherwise the Japanese fighter was simply outmuscled. Morosanu scored three downs in quick succession — a left hook, a middle kick, and the decisive left hook to the temple to end it at just 2:04.
A superb power performance from a fellow who should have been hopelessly jet-lagged.
A spot at this year’s K-1 World GP Final 16 Tournament was up for grabs in the K-1 Asia GP 2008. This was a classic K-1 elimination tournament — eight fighters meeting in quarterfinal bouts, the winners advancing to a pair of semifinals, the victors there going head-to-head in the final. Thus, the man who would be this year’s Asia GP Champion had to prevail in three bouts.
The first of the quarterfinals saw the always-dangerous Ruslan Karaev, whose technique, power and speed won him the World GP 2005 in Las Vegas; stepping in against the always-tough Japanese karate fighter Tatsufumi Tomihira, who brings a big heart and a never-say-die attitude to the ring.
Karaev closed with the jab through the first, following with the right cross, all the while showing good evasions and blocking. Tomihira connected with low kicks, but Karaev was better in the round with a spinning back kick and a left straight punch. Light on his feet, the speedy Russian sunk some solid punches early in the second, and now Tomihira began to seek refuge in the clinch.
Speed and stamina are a deadly combination, and Karaev had both working in the second. As Tomihira approached, Karaev repeatedly stopped him, scoring points with a high kick and a couple of right uppercuts. Karaev continued to control in the third, sending Tomihira stumbling backward with a left and pumping the uppercuts from the clinch. Hurt time for Tomihira, who went down for a count when a left straight caught him off-balance, then fell to punches again just seconds after resumption.
A KO win for Karaev and a trip to the semifinals.
The second quarterfinal was a David versus Goliath matchup, with Young Hyun Kim of South Korea taking on Saiseelek Nor-Seepun of Thailand. The bout marked the biggest-ever height differential in a K-1 fight — at 216cm/7’1″, Kim towers a full 42cm/16″ over Nor-Seepun. (Not to mention the 73kg/161lbs weight difference.)
From the start Nor-Seepun wisely circled, but Kim did a decent job of cutting off the ring, pushing his opponent against the ropes and corralling him into the corner and laying in with the punches. The spunky Nor-Seepun meanwhile darted in the low kicks and taunted his opponent to the delight of the crowd. Kim swept with low kicks to send his opponent down, but these were ruled slips. In the second, Nor-Seepun again snuck in with low kicks, also connecting with a body blow and a right overhand that incredibly found its way up to Kim’s chin. The cleanest strike of the round was a Kim right, but Nor-Seepun shook this off.
More inspired kicking attacks from Nor-Seepun in the third round, and another right overhand; Kim meanwhile ineffectual until a straight punch got in, Nor-Seepun going down but the referee ruling it a slip. A closer contest than might have been expected, the unanimous decision going to Kim.
Accomplished kyokushin karate fighter Aleksandr Pichkunov of Russia met Nobu Hayashi of Japan in the first of the second bracket bouts. Hayashi, a karate fighter who has trained extensively in Holland, had not competed in K-1 for three years.
The pair traded low kicks and tested with jabs through the first, both making contact but neither landing a bruising blow. Pichkunov picked it up in the second, delivering a front kick to the chops and sailing a spinning back kick just short. Hayashi threaded through a few solid punches, while Pichkunov replied with the left straight and deft leg strikes. Hayashi brought the guard up and barreled in with punching attacks in the third, while a defensive Pichkunov picked up some points with tight hooks and a high kick.
One judge called it for Pichkunov, but two saw a draw, and so the contest went to a tiebreaker round. Here Pichkunov landed a high kick and a couple of surgical lefts to claim victory.
Another karate fighter, Makoto Uehara of Japan, took on South Korean tae kwon do stylist Yong Soo Park in the last of the tournament bouts.
Park launched high kicks through the early going, while Uehara stepped in quickly with the right cross, both fighters making contact. Uehara responded to a spinning back kick with a front kick and Park fell — Uehara protesting when the blow was ruled to be below the belt. The Japanese fighter took of a number of kicks in the first, going down after catching one in the midsection, but this was also ruled a slip. Park turned on the aggression here, although Uehara rallied somewhat with the fists late in the round. A spirited exchange of punches early in the third, Uehara getting some good stuff through, chasing his opponent into the corner, Park back with the kicks to keep it close.
A tie on all three cards, prompting a tiebreaker round. A Uehara right hook made contact early, before the referee cautioned both fighters for lack of attacks. Uehara heeded the warning — seconds later, with Park raising the right leg to throw a kick, he hammered in a mighty left hook, clocking the Korean on the jaw and sending him to the mat in a mess.
A KO win for Uehara, and a chance to meet Pichkunov in the semifinals.
It was Ruslan Karaev versus Young Hyun Kim in the first semi. This one didn’t take long at all — Karaev stepped in and pounded the punches up to the Korean behemoth’s face — three lefts, a right and then another left. The look in his eyes said Kim didn’t like this one bit. Another Karaev left, then a right uppercut, and that adage — the bigger they are, the harder they fall — well, it’s true. Kim crashed like a redwood tree. He beat the count, but as the ringside doctor dabbed the blood trickling from his nose, it was decided Kim couldn’t continue. Karaev to the final.
Before the second semi, it was announced that due to an injury sustained in his first bout, Makoto Uehara could not continue the tournament. Under K-1 rules, the winner of the reserve fight, Vaughn Anderson, was parachuted into the tournament to face Pichkunov.
A Taiwan-based Canadian multidisciplinary fighter, Vaughn “Blood” Anderson had looked good in the reserve fight, putting in one-two punch combinations to score a down then following with more of the same for a referee stop and first-round KO win over Japanese boxer Jun Ito.
Fighting from a southpaw stance, Anderson quickly slid in with punches, and Pichkunov, who might have regarded this fight as a walk in Gorky Park, realized he would have to work for the win. Pichkunov now took the initiative, bearing down on his opponent with the fists before firing up a high kick that kissed Anderson on the right cheek. The Russian followed with a flurry of punches to the head to put Anderson on the canvas. To his credit, Anderson got up and back into it, but as the clapper sounded, a punishing Pichkunov left hook ended the Canadian’s Cinderella story.
The all-Russian Asia GP tournament final pitted Pichkunov against Karaev.
An aggressive start for Karaev, closing with the fists and spinning round a back kick that went just wide. Karaev kept the pressure up, putting his opponent into the corner and laying in with the fists and a high kick before catching a low blow on a counter. After a short recovery-time pause, Karaev came back angrier than ever. He led with the left and followed with a right, pushing Pichkunov first to the ropes then into the corner, ducking a straight punch before slamming in a right uppercut and a left hook. In a second, Pichkunov crumpled to the canvas, where he stayed, unable to beat the count.
With his victory Karaev takes the K-1 Asia GP 2008 Championship, and advances to this year’s K-1 WGP Final 16, September 27 in Seoul.
“I didn’t think I was going to win it,” said Karaev afterward “I had a hard time finding my pace. I didn’t feel warmed up enough going into the first fight, and wasn’t able to throw the combinations that I wanted to. I guess there was also fatigue. But I won, so I’m very happy!”
Also on the card were a couple of fights featuring Taiwanese sanda stylists. A traditional Chinese martial arts form, sanda is the most popular fightsport in Taiwan, with rules not unlike shoot boxing.
Yang Tong Hsiung, the 1st Sanda Tournament and “King of Sanda” 2005 Champion,. battled Aussie kickboxer Matt Campbell in a thrilling contest. Unbridled aggression from Hsiung from the get-go, firing in one punch after another then literally running down his opponent. Campbell however showed a good chin, evasions and blocking, and when he got the chance, landed some fine kicks. But with the partisan crowd behind him, Hsiung was a human tsunami. Several times he landed the right hook. In the second, Hsiung worked the combinations, setting up with low kicks and again finding the opportunity to plant the right punch. Campbell threw the right himself in the third, and put a good knee up to the midsection. But Hsiung was the faster and hungrier fighter, and reaped the unanimous decision.
Another Taiwanese sanda fighter, Wang Chung Yaun, stepped in against 17 year-old kickboxer Mick Mittiga of Australia.
Yuan got his opponent in the corner early, but Mittiga weathered the punches and escaped unscathed. Just seconds later, however, Yuan once again got his opponent into the corner, and this time pounded three good punches in to get the down. Mittiga could not beat the count, and Yuan had the KO win.
Post-event, K-1 Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa addressed the media: “It was our first time here in Taiwan, and it was a great success. Without a doubt Remy Bonjasky was the MVP. He went against a guy like Atajev, that you’d never expect to fall down, and knocked him out with his flying knee. We had so much response from the media that it’s been overwhelming, and the crowd was fantastic.”
All bouts were fought under Official K-1 Rules, three rounds of three minutes each, with one possible tiebreaker round; two in the Superfights and tournament final.
The K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Taipei attracted an estimated 10,000 fans to the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. It was broadcast live across Japan on Fuji TV and in South Korea on the CJ Media Network. Time-delay broadcasts will bring the event to some 135 countries — for scheduling information, contact local providers. Check with the K-1 Official Website (www.k-1.co.jp/k-1gp) for official results and comprehensive coverage of this and all K-1 events.

Elvis Sinosic at Pancrase Spiral Tour 2005 in Japan

13 Jul

by Sportsnavi (2005-07-13)

PANCRASE 2005 SPIRAL TOUR
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Venue: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium (Kanagawa, Japan)
Live Gate: 4,500

ELVIS SINOSIC (Australia/ Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – powered by Fairtex) fought against DAIJIRO MATSUI (Takada Dojo).The fight went the distance where it was a very close fight.The judges gave it a 1-1-1 draw decision.

Amateur Bout Pancrase Gate Welterweight 2×5 min rounds KAZUNORI YOKOTA (GRABAKA) def. DAIGO ISHIJIMA (RKJ Kazumi Dojo) by referee stop TKO (arm bar) at 1R 4:41

Pro-Bout #1 Pancrase Athena -52kg bout 3×3 min rounds WINDY TOMOMI (PANCRASEism) def. MISAKI TAKIMOTO (Zendokai) by 3-0-0 unanimous judges decision at full time limit

Pro-Bout #2 Featherweight 2×5 min rounds
ATSUSHI YAMAMOTO (KILLER BEE) def. NOBUYUKI (Wajutsu Keishukai RJW/G2) by front choke at 1R 3:14

Pro-Bout #3 Super Heavyweight 2×5 min rounds
ALEX ROBERTS (Super heavyweight 4th ranked/Kujuken Kaikan) def. MASAHIRO YAMAGISHI (YMC Nagano) standing punch KO at 1R 0:27

Pro-Bout #4 Featherweight 2×5 min rounds
DJ.taiki(K.I.B.A.) def. KENTARO IMAIZUMI(SK Absolute) by 3-0-0 unanimous judges decision at full time limit
*As HIROTAKA MIYAKAWA (Team Alliance) got injured due to a sudden traffic accident, DJ.taiki replaced Miyakawa.

Pro-Bout #5 Super Heavyweight 2×5 min rounds
MASAYUKI KONO (freelance) def. TSUYOSHI TAMAKAIRIKI (Pancrase Team TAMAKAIRIKI) by referee stop TKO (arm lock) at 1R 1:10

Pro-Bout #6 Open-weight 2×5 min rounds
HIKARU SATO (PANCRASEism) def. SEIJI OGURA (Pancrase Team TAMAKAIRIKI) by choke sleeper at 1R 4:16

Pro-Bout #7 Heavyweight 2×5 min rounds
DAIJIRO MATSUI (Takada Dojo) drew ELVIS SINOSIC (Australia/ Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) by 1-1-1 draw judges decision at full time limit

Semifinal Welterweight 3×5 min rounds
SATORU KITAOKA (Welterweight 1st Ranked/ PANCRASEism) def. THOMAS SCHULTE by heel hook at 1R 1:11

Main Event Heavyweight 2×5 min rounds
YOSHIKI TAKAHASHI (Pancrase) def. YUJI SAKURAGI (Seikenkaikan) by arm bar at 2R 3:01

Serao Ready To Make PFC Debut

11 Jul

by By Jeremy Luchau – The PFC (2008-07-11)

LEMOORE, CA — The Palace Fighting Championship’s middleweight division has been in shook up in recent weeks, as new champion Santa Rosa’s Nate Loughran (8-0) is headed to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
But the PFC has also added some tough middleweights, such as North Highland’s Jaime Jara (18-5) and Brazil’s Leopoldo Serao (14-7).
Both will make their PFC debuts on July 18 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino at PFC 9’s “The Return”.
“Serao is sort of an unknown commodity in the U.S. He’s very talented, trains with the Fairtex camp in the Bay area and is a legit Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt. Leopoldo Serao definitely brings a dangerous infusion of talent to the PFC middleweight division,” PFC President Christian Printup said.
“He’s an aggressive striker and he’s a legitimate threat to anyone at 185 on any given night. He may not be the most well-known guy out there but he’s been in the ring with much bigger guys like Ninja Rua and Assuerio Silva and fought internationally for the most part.”
Serao will take on a very tough Roseville middleweight Dan Molina (10-8).
“Dan Molina will be standing across the ring from Leopoldo on July 18 and Dan is a very tough and well-skilled fighter. He’s a WEC and IFL veteran. He’s legit. This is a good test for Leopoldo. If he gets through Molina, there are some very interesting matchups there for him in the PFC.”
Matchups that could include Jara or former PFC champ Visalia’s Kenny Ento (9-4).
“My fighting style is Luta Livre, which is submission fighting. I come to the U.S. from Cluba De Luta in Brazil. Here in the United States I fight for Cluba De Luta and Fairtex,” Serao said. “The PFC is a great show, and I am happy to be fighting here. I am looking to impress the fans and earn a title.”
Molina was on a 4-fight win streak until a recent loss in April to Cory Devela (9-2).
“I do not know much about my opponent [Molina]. I have seen him fight a little bit in the IFL. He is tough, and it should be a good fighter. I want to make the fans happy, so I will try to win by knockout,” Serao said.
Serao last fought in the IFL in February, losing by decision to Oregon’s Josh Haynes (9-10). Serao’s loss to Haynes was his second in a row.
As the UFC put together a card for July 19 to counter the inaugural Affliction show, it affected the PFC in several ways, as Indiana heavyweight Jake O’Brien (10-1) was scheduled to fight Sacramento’s Jeromy Freitag (6-6), but that fight is now canceled, as O’Brien is slated to compete in the UFC now.
The initial PFC 9 card also had a scheduled PFC World Welterweight title fight, pitting Bakersfield’s Bryan Travers (10-1) and Porterville’s Morris Aldaco (6-0), but Aldaco had to pull out because of an injury and the fight has been moved to September.
PFC World Light Heavyweight champ Brazil’s Jorge Oliveira (3-2-1) was scheduled for a rematch with Arroyo Grande’s Glover Teixeira (6-2), but Teixeira had to pull out and Isaiah Larson (5-2) will fill in.
“Obviously we were looking forward to Jorge defending versus Glover, the rematch. Glover however had to travel back to Brazil and the timing of everything precluded him from being here for the fight. In this game you never anticipate a change in opponents, especially in a title fight, but a change should never surprise a promoter either,” Printup said. “I think in Isaiah Larson we found a great opponent. This guy is coming down from heavyweight; he’s 5-2 as a professional competing in the Midwest circuit. He has a strong wrestling pedigree and likes to stand and bang. It’s going to be a war. It’s Jorge’s first defense. It’s Isaiah’s shot at a championship and I expect both guys to bring it and the fans will be in for a treat on July 18.”
Tickets can be purchased at tickets.com or charge by phone at 1-800-225-2277. Tickets can also be purchased at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino Gift Shop.
Weighins will be held on Thursday, July 17 at 4 p.m. at the Den Sports Bar located on the third floor of the Palace. Fans are encouraged to attend.
On Friday doors open at 5:30 p.m. and fights start at 6:30. The fights will be held out doors for the first time in PFC history.
In other bouts:
— North Highland middleweight Jaime Jara (18-5) vs. Orange Country’s Marcus Gaines (4-4).
—Fresno featherweight Casey Olson (7-2) vs. Sacramento’s Tito Jones (4-1).
—Lemoore welterweight Mickey Martinez (5-1-1) vs. Bakersfield’s Jack Morrison (0-2).
—Hanford lightweight Jeremy Luchau (1-0) vs. Bakersfield’s Juan Lopez (1-3).
—Lightweight Dominique Robinson (12-2-1) vs. Bakersfield’s Chuck Kim (6-6).
—Las Vegas flyweight Ulysses Gomez (1-0) vs. Madera’s Anthony Perales (1-0).
—Visalia lightweight Darren Crisp (4-2) vs. Porterville’s Joe Soto (1-0).
—Lemoore welterweight Paul Gonzales (1-0) vs. Alfredo Mirelas (0-1).
—Hanford featherweight Javier Cervantes (1-1) vs. Corcoran’s Alex Ortiz (0-0).
For breaking PFC news go to http://www.palacefightingchampionship.com. You can also find other PFC and Palace information at http://www.tachipalace.com.

Sato KO’s Buakaw at Budokan

10 Jul

by Monty DiPietro, photos courtesy of FEG (2008-07-10)

TOKYO, July 7, 2008 — Japanese kickboxer Yoshihiro Sato, 27, upset two-time K-1 World Max Champion Buakaw Por Pramuk of Thailand tonight at the K-1 World Max 2008 World Championship Tournament Final 8. In the evening’s Main Event, Japanese kickboxer Masato defeated Armenian fighter Drago.
With thunderclouds blanketing the Tokyo sky, the air hung hot and humid inside the historic Nippon Budokan. A full house of more than 11,000 turned out for the fightsport extravaganza, which comprised four World Max Championship elimination bouts, along with four one-match World Max bouts; a trio of contests in a new 60kg/150lbs weight class, and a pair of K-1 Youth bouts.
With its 70kg/154lbs weight class, the K-1 World Max Series is one of the most popular fightsport championships anywhere. The World Max tournament format has been modified for 2008 with the introduction of a new, three-stage final. The winners of regional qualifying events held earlier this year in Japan, Holland, South Korea and Poland joined last year’s best at the Hiroshima Final 16 one-match elimination in April. The eighth winners from Hiroshima went head-to-head tonight in a one-match format, with victors advancing to the October World Max Final.
First up in the elimination bouts was a contest between Japanese kickboxer Yasuhiro Kido, who won this year’s World Max Japan tournament; and 21 year-old Ukrainian muay thai fighter Artur Kyshenko, who brought a World Max record of five wins and two losses to the ring.
A dozen Kido low kicks to start, Kyshenko looking to punch before shifting gears and responding with kicks of his own. The technical Kido had the better legwork through the first round, although Kyshenko blocked the high stuff. In round two, Kyshenko threw tight combinations to effect, closing to work the body. Kido looked to be in trouble here, although he planted a knee late in the round to keep it close. In the third Kyshenko showed he can throw low kicks as well, repeatedly stinging Kido’s left knee and closing with the fists. Kido kept coming back, but his knees and high kicks were ably blocked. A unanimous decision, securing Kyshenko a spot in the World Max Final.
“Kido talked a lot before the fight,” said Kyshenko afterward. “He said I have a weak mind, but I didn’t say anything because I wanted to show in the ring that my soul and spirit are strong. He tried to surprise me in the first round with some tricky stuff, and when he started throwing low kicks I threw low kicks back, because I wanted to show I could beat him at his own game.”
The second of the Final 8 matchups saw two-time and Defending World Max Champion Andy Souwer of the Netherlands taking on K-1 World Max Europe 2008 Champion Warren Stevelmans of South Africa.
Exchanges of hard low kicks to start, Souwer with the edge in power, Stevelmans building better combinations — stepping forward to pound in body blows. Souwer made his mark late in the first with a punishing knee that was the strike of the round. Stevelmans was pesky again in the second, snapping in low kicks and closing to work the body, landing a good hook, blocking a Souwer knee. In the third the circling Souwer suddenly launched a right hook that sent Stevelmans reeling across the ring. Souwer gave chase, but Stevelmans stayed on his feet, mounting an able defense with low kicks and straight punches. Souwer managed another hard knee before the end of the round to cement it. A unanimous decision for Souwer.
“Warren is powerful, tough an explosive,” said Souwer afterward, “so I had to watch out because I knew he could change everything with one punch. But I think my experience made the difference in this fight. Now that I’m going to the final in October, I’m confident that I can defend my title.”
The third qualification bout had two-time World Max Japan Champion Yoshihiro Sato taking on two-time World Max Champion Buakaw Por Pramuk of Thailand. These two had already fought twice, Buakaw winning both times.
Sato, who stands 11cm/4″ taller than Buakaw, has used his knees to effect against other opponents. But here Buakaw worked the distance well, tossing in low kicks, leading with the left and throwing the hard right through the first. In the second, Buakaw kept the left arm extended far forward, and turned sideways he didn’t give Sato much to hit. Again the Thai master controlled the distance with front kicks before exploding with the right. Frenzied action at the clapper, Sato in with an uppercut, Buakaw landing a right straight.
Buakaw was Buakaw again in the third — ahead on all cards, he might have figured on coasting to victory — as he coolly snapped the front and low kicks, coming in with the right straight, his positioning and evasions almost perfect.
Almost, because then it happened. Amid a punching exchange near the ropes, with both fighters swinging, Sato in the blink of an eye exploited an opening and found the side of his opponent’s jaw with a right straight punch. The pair’s relative momentum conspired against Buakaw, and the fighter many regard as virtually unbeatable went down hard. Buakaw lay motionless for a long time, and as a shocked silence gave way to a roar from the crowd, Sato leapt atop the corner posts in delirious celebration.
“I think the biggest reason I won this fight was that I did what I planned,” said Sato in his post-fight interview. “My tactic was to watch Buakaw in the first round, move in more aggressively in the second round, and then make a dash to finish him in the third. I kept saying that luck has been following me, and today I was also very lucky! Both my punches and low kicks were good, and my shin became very tough as a result of my hard training.”
“I also did weight training before this fight,” continued Sato, “it was the first time I’ve done that, and it was very effective as I felt my punches were very powerful. I’ll keep working on this for the final in October.”
The last of the Final 8 bouts featured Japanese uber-kickboxer Masato, who won the World Max Championship in 2003 and finished second last year, taking on Armenian muay thai stylist Drago.
Nonstop action in this bout, Masato setting the pace early with low kicks and rapid-fire straight and body punching combinations. Drago held his guard high and close, and Masato’s incessant attacks had the effect of keeping it that way through most of the fight, although Drago did come across with a quick right straight punch and a high kick in the first. When Drago dropped his guard and let out a yell, the unshakeable Masato simply fired in a right to shut him up.
Masato’s shock and awe strategy continued through the second, as he repeatedly punched into the guard, then powered under it with uppercuts, tossing in low kicks on the retreat. Drago continued to counter — a left straight punch making good contact, a couple of axe kicks falling short and a high kick ably blocked. Masato walked in with a terrific kick to Drago’s thigh, but otherwise used the legs mostly in quick combinations.
Masato scored with low kicks, body blows and uppercuts in the third. If Drago had figured on letting the Japanese fighter tire himself out that did not transpire, as Masato maintained his gatling gun offense to the final bell. The aggressive strategy and superior stamina delivered Masato a well-deserved unanimous decision, and a spot in the final.
“I knew from the first round that there was no way I’d lose because I could clearly see Drago’s techniques and strategy,” said Masato afterward. “But still I couldn’t hit him cleanly, I think all the Dutch fighters have the same fighting style — even if they are damaged by low kicks, they keep coming forward. I wasn’t totally satisfied with tonight’s fight because I was supposed to KO Drago — I don’t consider him a strong fighter so it’s not special for me to win a decision against him.”
And so on October 1 at the Budokan it will be Souwer vs Kyshenko and Sato versus Masato, the winners in those two bouts fighting, on the same day, for the K-1 World Max 2008 Championship Belt.
Featured among tonight’s other World Max bouts was a Superfight showdown between the inaugural World Max Champion, Albert Kraus of Holland, and compact Greek slugger Mike Zambidis.
A speedy Zambidis, light on his feet, darted in repeatedly through the first, peppering Kraus with the straight punches and low kicks, working the body and just missing with a big right overhand. But Kraus had also landed a few, a knee opening a cut over Zambidis’ left eye. In the second Kraus was more aggressive, throwing the straight punches and getting the knee up once again, but again Zambidis’ speedy strikes, including a barrage of hooks, scored him points in this gritty contest.
In the third, Kraus’ low kicks were in short supply, but the Dutch fighter got the knee up again, prompting a doctor’s check. Cleared to continue, Zambidis brought aggression and variety — pumping in body blows, throwing high kicks and launching a couple of flying knees. A close call, going to Zambidis on one judge’s card but scored a draw on the other two.
Alas, the cut near Zambidis’ eye precluded him fighting the tiebreaker round, and so under K-1 Rules Kraus was given the win.
Andre Dida of Brazil stepped in against Remigijus Morkevicius of Lithuania in another Superfight. Both these fellows do a fair bit of mixed martial arts fighting, but tonight was a test of their striking abilities. It was a test that Dida passed with flying colors.
An early down for Dida came courtesy a right hook. Morkevicius attempted to rally with combinations but Dida was unstoppable, sending the Lithuanian to the canvas twice in quick succession with another right hook and then a right uppercut. The three downs earned Dida a KO victory in just 1:43 — a simply overwhelming performance by the 25 year-old Brazilian.
Seidokaikan fighter Hiroyuki Owatari of Japan met compatriot Masaki, a kickboxer, in a battle of K-1 rookies. The 31 year-old Owatari, who works at an advertising agency and who Japanese media have dubbed the “fighting salaryman,” got his shot in the ring after an impressive performance at a K-1 open tryout event in March.
Nobody better mess with Owatari at the water cooler, because this is one tough paper pusher. From the start he laid into Masaki with the fists, landing a formidable right straight then following with a left hook, a knee and a high kick to open a cut on his opponent’s face. The ringside doctor had a look and called it at 1:53. Convenient for Owatari, finishing this early, as he’s expected at his desk by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.
The evening saw the debut of a new 60 kg/132 lbs weight class, which K-1 Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa predicted would deliver action “even faster then World Max.” Sixty kilograms is a common fight weight in Japan, and tonight three Japanese stepped in against Europeans in this weight class.
Daisuke Uematsu hosted fellow kickboxer Eddy Juozapavicius of Lithuania, both fighters making their K-1 debuts.
Juozapavicius wanted to punch, but Uematsu got an early knee up from the clinch to score a down, and soon afterward pumped up a few more against his closed-up opponent to score another. Juozapavicius looked sorely out of his league, and Uematsu finished him off cleanly with a right straight punch at the clapper.
Japanese karate stylist Susumu Daiguji of Masato’s Silver Wolf Gym took on Konstantin Trishin, a Ukrainian muay thai champion fighting in K-1 for the first time.
Superior speed in this dance, both men in motion throughout. Daiguji started with one-two combinations while Trishin was adept with the low kicks, getting a left high kick up and onto Daiguji’s head, and making partial contact with a spinning back kick. Trishin was fast and flashy again in the second, scoring with an axe kick and a right straight; while Daiguji was a beat late with most of his stuff. The Japanese fighter pressed with punches to start the third, but Trishin’s evasions and blocking were up to task. Tricky Trishin finished with pizzazz, whirling in back kicks — before getting a bit too jazzy at the clapper and eating a Daiguji right straight punch for it. Nevertheless, a majority decision for the Ukrainian.
Also at 60 kg/132 lbs was Haruaki Otsuki of Japan versus David Douge of France — two kickboxers making their K-1 debuts.
From the start Otsuki kept his opponent at bay with front kicks. When Douge charged past with punches Otsuki turned these away and was better with counters. Midway through the first Otsuki spun in a back punch to the head, following with a right to the body to score a down. Otsuki cut an intimidating figure in the second, his fists cocked low at the waist, hulking forward as if stalking Douge before exploding with big hooks and closing with body blows. The hapless Douge could not get at Otsuki, and in the third a series of desperate attempts left him dangerously vulnerable. Otsuki mercilessly pounded in the punches, sending Douge to the canvas twice. At the clock wound down, and with the beaten Frenchman now apparently attempting takedowns — the referee stepped in to call it with one second remaining. A KO win for the dominating Otsuki.
The first of two K-1 Youth matches gave the ring to a pair of promising 19 year-olds — Belorussian Denis Telitsa connecting with a dandy right cross on a counter to down Hirotaka Urabe of Japan and pick up the win. The second World Youth match saw 19 year-old Kizaemon Saiga of Japan outperform fledgling karate fighter Tyron Van Wyk, 16, of Australia, to win by second round KO.
In a World Max undercard fight, Alviar Lima of Cape Verdi scored downs in the first two rounds, and notched the win when the ringside doctor would not clear German Mark Vogel to start the third.
Bouts were contested under regular K-1 Rules, three rounds of three minutes each, with a possible tiebreaker round possible in all but the K-1 Youth and opening fights.
The K-1 World Max 2008 World Championship Tournament Final 8 attracted a crowd of 11,610 to the Budokan in Tokyo. It was broadcast live in Japan on the TBS network and on Main Event PPV in Australia and New Zealand. Delay-broadcasts will bring the action to 135 countries — for scheduling information contact local providers. Visit the K-1 Official Website (www.k-1.co.jp/k-1gp) for official results and comprehensive coverage of this and all K-1 events.

Great Event Is Mixed For Team Fairtex

2 Jul

by FTX (2008-07-02)

Saturday night’s Strikeforce was a fantastic event but brought mixed blessings for the team at Fairtex.Gilbert Melendez lost his Strikeorce Lightweight Title to josh Thompson in via decision in a very tough 5 round bout.Credit to Josh for fighting a great fight.We know that Gilbert has the heart of a champion, and we expect to see his hand raised again very soon.
On a happier note Cyrillo Padilha, a student of Jongsanan Fairtex, made a victorious Strikeforce debut.Cyrillo took a unanimous decision victory over Jesse Jones in an exciting fight that so both fighters pushing the pace throughout.Our congratulations to Cyrillo, and we look forward to seeing him in action again soon.
All in all it was a great event, with Strikeforce putting world class talent on display for the fans in San Jose.Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to Strikeforce for such a great show.

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