Another Rematch For Overeemin Pride Open-weight Gp;drago To Face Nastula
Another Rematch for Overeem
in PRIDE Open-Weight GP;
Drago to Face Nastula
By Eduardo Alonso
As the second round of the PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix approaches July 1 in Tokyo, Japan, the promotion’s official website announced today that Dutch fighter Alistair Overeem, fresh off his second victory over Vitor Belfort at June 9′s Strikeforce, will face yet another rematch, this time trying to avenge his loss to Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira [February 2005's PRIDE 29] in a single undercard bout. Filling the card as well, Brazilian heavyweight Edson Drago makes his PRIDE debut, as previously reported, against Polish judo stylist Pawel Nastula, who last appeared in the PRIDE ring on New Year’s Eve against Aleksander Emelianenko. To round out the card, South Korea’s Eun Su Lee takes on Japanese kiss-blowing heavyweight Yoshihiro Nakao, last seen at the receiving end of Heath Herring’s fist prior to the opening bell of their New Year’s Eve K-1 bout.
Galbraith Wins Canadian Light Heavyweight Title at KOTC "Widowmaker"
By Kelsey Mowatt
Travis "the Gladiator" Galbraith defeated Ricardeau Francois this past Sunday night, June 18, in Edmonton, Alberta at King of the Cage Canada’s "Widowmaker" event to win the promotion’s Canadian Light Heavyweight Championship. Galbraith finally managed to subdue Francois and take the championship belt in front of 2,700 fans by submitting the tough Quebec fighter with a guillotine choke in the second round.
"This was not the fight I expected," says KOTC Canada promoter Keith Crawford. "We were happy to have this fight since we were forced to strip Patrick Cote of the title. Francois gave Galbraith all he could handle and the fight went back and forth. I had Francois winning both rounds until Galbraith ended it with a choke. This was not an exciting fight as Galbraith was not in the shape you should be for a fight of this magnitude. Neither fighter pushed the action the way we would expect a title fight to go. Congratulations to Galbraith, but he will need to be in much better shape for the next fight."
Galbraith conceded to FCF that perhaps his pre-fight training regiment had not been long enough to get him fully prepared for the bout, and that early in the fight he exhausted much of his energy trying to get a quick victory.
"I thought I had him in the first round," Galbraith says. "I had him in a guillotine choke and went balls to the wall with it, used up pretty much everything trying to get him to tap. It was close – I put everything into it trying to sever his head off, but he has such a slender neck. Then in the second round he came out with the kicks and I had a lot of trouble getting hold of the guy, but I finally got him down, used some elbows and got the choke. After my fight with James Lee got put off I didn’t train for a month, when this fight came up I really only had about two-and-a-half weeks of good training."
Galbraith is nonetheless excited about the win, and looking forward to life as the light heavyweight champion. Although Crawford tells FCF that the organization is looking at having Brent Beauparlant as Galbraith’s first title defense, "the Gladiator" is still hoping that a fight with Patrick Cote can still be arranged at a later date. Cote had been the KOTC Canada Light Heavyweight Champion and was unable to defend his title against No. 1 contender Galbraith, apparently due to contractual obligations with the currently-taping fourth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" television program.
"I’m so happy about winning the belt," Galbraith tells FCF. "I give props to Keith and Ken from KOTC for putting on a great event. I’d really like to fight Patrick Cote if he comes around, everyone talks about him, but I did something Patrick couldn’t do in stopping Ricardeau. I know a lot of people who thought Ricardeau beat Patrick in their fight, that’s why this win feels great; a lot of people didn’t think I was going to win. I owe a special thanks to Rodrigo Munduruca and Kyle Cardinal, they sacrificed everyday and everything in helping me get ready for this fight."
Marcus Soares’ fighter Garett Davis extended his winning streak to six by defeating veteran fighter Shannon Ritch by rear-naked choke in the first round. According to Crawford, the fight was one of the more exciting and emotional fights of the night.
"Amazing fight," Crawford says. "Shannon came out strong and hit Garett with a spinning hook kick on the side of the face. They went to the ground and Shannon got Garett in a perfect heelhook. Garett would not tap; his ankle was trashed after. Garett fought out of it and got Shannon’s back and tapped him with a rear-naked choke. The crowd went nuts, Garett looked strong and so did Shannon. Garett then dedicated the fight to his mother and sister who were admitted to hospital last Monday and Wednesday respectively with brain tumors. Very emotional."
Davis was extremely happy about the win, and despite the troubling circumstances that currently surround his family, the resilient jiu-jitsu fighter managed to walk away with the win.
"I’d like to think fighting and beating him is a boost to my career," Davis tells FCF. "He has a lot of losses but a lot of wins too. He’s fought all over the world against some pretty big names. Shannon always takes fights on short notice against bigger guys – it was a fantastic win. He almost got me with his famous heelhook, I heard the ankle popping and cracking, but just didn’t want to quit. I can walk on it so I don’t think it’s broken, but I think the damage is all ligaments and tendons. I’ll have to get it checked, let it heal up and take care of my family before fighting again."
In other action from Sunday night’s event, Team Sniper instructor Mike Yackulic took out Mike Rooney with a triangle choke in round one, Chris Ade defeated Elmer Waterhen with a first round armbar, Jesse Bongfeldt submitted Jan Kaszuba with a rear-naked choke also in the opening installment, and Justin Tavernini won by tapping out Calgary’s Greg Rego with a first round triangle choke.
KOTC Canada was hoping to hold an event in British Columbia next month, but due to the current sanctioning issues that seem to be arising in Vancouver, other municipalities in the province do not seem eager to hold MMA events. The organization is still planning on holding an event September 23 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.