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Pride Critical Countdown 2005
Held June 26, 2005
Saitama Super Arena
The event premieres on North American pay-per-view via iNDEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH NETWORK, UrbanXtra, TVN1, VU!, and Viewer’s Choice Canada on July 1st at 10:00pm EST, 7:00pm PST (including a countdown show at 9:30pm EST, 6:30pm PST). For additional replay times, please contact your pay per view provider.
Villasenor Defends Middleweight Belt,
Kampman KOs Seguin in KOTC UK Debut
King of the Cage "Warzone"
Ice Sheffield, Sheffield, England
June 24th 2005
Report and photos by Keith Mills
Sheffield, England — This last weekend in June has been full of entertainment events here in England from the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament and Glastonbury rock festival to King Of The Cage’s UK debut. KOTC may not be quite the level of the others but being an indoor event the rain lashing this land at least had no effect as this most recent KOTC franchise started the beginning of what, according to KOTC President Terry Trebilcock, is to be contractually two shows per year. MMA in general has been growing to the point the "Men and Motors" and "Bravo" satellite channels together have been responsible for bringing the punters free broadcasts of UFC, KOTC, K-1, and even fellow British event Cage Rage. Full Contact Fighter’s correspondent David West will be covering Cage Rage on June 2nd.
Sheffield itself is an ideal setting for growing MMA, situated in the industrial belt of England a short drive east of Liverpool and Manchester while roughly half way between the Scottish border and London. Basically the location is reminiscent of Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the U.S. as far as proximity to major markets as opposed to London where Cage Rage runs. For the curious the closest tourist destination is Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest and Nottingham roughly twenty miles away, an interesting angle in this country known more for so-called "civilized" sport than North America. Another UK group, Cage Warriors, has been running successful events in this region for at least two years with their next show July 16th reportedly already sold out. This KOTC show was actually viewed as two people involved with Cage Warriors splintering off and opening a KOTC franchise to tap this market, not surprising considering both KOTC and Cage Warriors have very similar business plans that almost always turn a profit. Unfortunately for this event that experience wasn’t fully tapped and only an estimated 4-500 tickets were sold for this show. With a second KOTC already contractually in the works look for that to change in the months to come.
Two of the familiar KOTC names had to cancel with both Pride vet Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett and former Gladiator Challenge Champion James Lee dropping their fights against UK fighters Ian Butlis and Pierre Guilet respectively. No official word was available on Krazy Horse’s withdraw even from KOTC Vice President Ted Williams although his participation in July 9th’s Arizona KOTC card is still confirmed.
Of the other two KOTC vets Joey Villasenor of Jackson’s Submission Fighting in New Mexico successfully defended his Middleweight belt against Damien Riccio from France in a come-from-behind KO. Joey was caught by a left to the jaw that droped him early in the fight but managed to pull guard, reverse, and get a dramatic KO all within two minutes. Joey is already scheduled to next defend his title on KOTC’s next pay-per-view card in August against American Top Team’s Jorge Santiago in what is rumored to be possibly his last KOTC defense before moving on in the footsteps of fellow former KOTC Champions Dean Lister, Paul Buentello, Daniel Bobish, and many more.
Coincidently the other KOTC vet Brendan Seguin was an opponent of Villasenor from earlier this year although the two get along well outside the cage. Brendan trains at M.A.S.H. with James Lee who was not only dropped from the card but wasn’t present to corner his fighter, an angle for which details are still emerging. Greg Jackson who helped Villasenor come up with his winning strategy against Seguin actually ended up being Seguin’s cornerman for this fight. Seguin ended up at the receiving end of the other KO of the night in his fight against Martin Kampmann in a fight that saw Seguin make improvements on his standup movement over previous fights but not enough to instill his own gameplan. Kampmann timed Seguin’s movement to the left during disengagement and threw a high left kick that caught the Michigan fighter square on the jaw, dropping Seguin to the mat unconscious.
The rest of the fighters were mainly UK fighters familiar to the regional fans but making their KOTC debuts. Look for more details on their fights as well as more complete coverage of this event in the July issue of Full Contact Fighter.
From the event’s promoter:
Complete XFO Results…