An Early Christmas In New Jersey
An Early Christmas in New Jersey
By Gaby Genia
Christmas arrived early today for a pair of Garden State fighters, as the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board’s hearings regarding their suspensions yielded reduced punishments — and the chance to return to the ring much sooner than originally anticipated.
On October 6th at the Cage Fury Fighting Championship, Atlantic City MMA powerhouse Anthony Morrison was handed a microphone after his loss and given the opportunity to address the audience. Things got ugly, however, and after being ushered out of the cage amidst a barrage of threats and insults, Morrison rushed backstage to attack another lightweight competitor. Commissioner Larry Hazzard suspended the brash (yet promising) fighter on the spot. But at today’s hearings the remorseful Morrison’s initial suspension of 12 months was reduced to just six. Morrison is eligible to fight again after April 6th.
The NJSACB also reconsidered the fate of Team Tiger Schulmann badass Dominic Dellagatta, who, after a sudden knockout loss at the November 17th Ring of Combat show, became irate and confrontational with Commission staff. Dellagatta was initially given a suspension of six months, but that suspension was reduced to three months after his apologetic appearance at the hearing. The clock on the TSK fighter’s reduced suspension begins to run once he’s medically cleared to compete (he was, after all, knocked out cold).
Another matter reviewed by the NJSACB: whether or not to overturn the result of the April 22nd Sportfighting 3 bout between Tracy Taylor and Doug Gordon. Though Gordon won via referee stoppage that night, Taylor’s camp has since protested the referee’s call. At the hearing today it was concluded that that win will still stand.
"The Athlete" Continues to Prepare for UFC 66 Showdown with Leben
FCF caught up with Jason "The Athlete" Macdonald last week as the Red Deer fighter continues to prepare for his upcoming, December 30th bout with Chris "The Cat Smasher" Leben. The fight will mark Macdonald’s second appearance in the Octagon, after impressing the MMA world in his UFC debut, by submitting Leben’s Team Quest teammate Ed Herman at Ultimate Fight Night 7. According to Macdonald training has been going well for the 31-year-old fighter, as he prepares a game plan for his upcoming south paw opponent, who is well known for his knock out power.
"Since I never get too far out of shape then training camp is really more about preparing a game plan for the upcoming fighter." Macdonald tells FCF. "I have been spending a great deal of time on my boxing and more specifically boxing with left handed pro boxers. Just getting really comfortable with a south paw stance in front of me and the different angels the punches come from. I’m in great shape my weight is coming along good and I’m feeling confident."
It’s a busy time for Macdonald and his usual training camp, who are also preparing fellow Pro Camp teammate Victor Valimaki, for his UFC debut against David Heath at this Wednesday’s Ultimate Fight Night.
"I have been helping my teammate Victor Valimaki prepare for his UFC debut next week so things have been pretty intense in training for some time now." Macdonald says. "Mark Pavelich is keeping the training on track so that we both peak at different times. We traveled down to Lethbridge to train with Lee Mein, Jason Day and their team in their Cage last week, and will probably be heading back down for a couple of more days closer to the fight. While Vic and Mark are in San Diego I will be getting a lot of time in with Josh Russell from Gracie Barra Calgary who is my jiu jitsu coach. So things are coming together perfectly, I will be ready for another war on December 30th."
Macdonald will head to UFC 66 with a record 17-7, and has won his last five fights in a row, a streak that includes wins over the aforementioned Ed Herman, and "The Ultimate Fighter" participant Gideon Ray. Macdonald’s last loss came against TUF finalist Patrick Cote earlier this year in March, losing by rear naked choke in an epic 5 round bout. Leben’s record currently stands at an impressive 16-2, who after losing to current UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva at Ultimate Fight Night 5 in June, rebounded in dramatic fashion at UFN 6 in August, by knocking out Jorge Santiago.
King of the Cage Freedom Fight Announces Debut Card
MMA promotions, King of the Cage Canada and Freedom Fight have announced the card for the two promotion’s first joint effort. Set to take place in Hull, Quebec, on January 20th, at Baribeau Arena, the card will feature several notable match-ups, including a title defense by KOTC Canada LHW Champion Travis "The Gladiator" Galbraith. The Pride veteran, whose record stands at 12-4, will defend his title against Ontario’s Craig "Farmer" Brown (3-0). One of Jeff Curran’s top fighters, Matt Fiordirosa (10-1), will meet another Ontario resident in Mark Bocek. Although Bocek has a limited MMA experience (2-0), the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor recently defeated veteran fighter Kevin Manderson, and is a well decorated submission grappler.
Some of the other match-ups on the card include, TJ Grant taking on Nick Portieous, Barry Macdonald fighting Tony Legnaro, and Markhaile Wedderburn set to meet Mickel Alexander.
Maximum Fighting Championship’s "Gridiron" to Feature Two Professional Football Players
Edmonton, Alberta’s MFC promotion has announced that its upcoming February 3rd card, to be held at the Shaw Conference Centre, will feature local Edmonton Eskimo football players Mike Mauer and Adam Braidwood. The fight will mark the second time that Mauer, who won the Canadian Football League’s Most Outstanding Canadian player’s award at the 2005 Grey Cup, will fight for the organization. In his MMA debut at MFC 9 in March, Mauer defeated Darren Apels by submission due to strikes, and then drew with Chris Harker in his second career fight at the Ultimate Martial Arts Championship in April.
Mauer’s teammate, defensive lineman Adam Braidwood, will be making his MMA debut at the event. Also featured on the card will be a match-up between two of Canada’s more notable lightheavweights, as Jason "Dooms" Day (13-6), will take on Quebec’s Martin Desilets (5-1).
TKO 28 Card Taking Form
The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, will host the upcoming, February 9th, TKO 28 card, that will feature several high profile match-ups. Likely the most notable will be a rematch bout between UFC veteran Mark Hominick and Pride Bushido fighter Hatsu Hioki. Hominick lost his TKO Super Lightweight title to Hioki at TKO 25 in May, and since then has defeated Samuel Guillet, Jorge Gurgel and most recently, Doug Edwards by rear naked choke. Hioki has beaten Jeff Curran and Byung Jo Kim since his first encounter with Hominick, and will come to the event with a record of 11-1, while Hominick’s stands at 13-5.
Also on the card will be an intriguing UFC veteran match-up between Steven Vigneault (11-6) and Jonathan Goulet (16-7) for the TKO Welterweight Championship. Due to the fact that the organization’s former champion, Georges St-Pierre, is now the reigning belt holder in the UFC’s welterweight division, the TKO title is up for grabs. Other bouts also scheduled for TKO 28 include; Jason St-Louis meeting Steve Claveau, Tyler Jackson taking on Stephane Dube, and Dave Pariseau fighting Martin Grandmont.