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Monday, Feb 12, 2007

Antonio Carvalho Joins Fcf Fold



Antonio Carvalho Joins FCF Fold

Full Contact Fighter is honored to welcome Shooto contender Antonio Carvalho to our writing staff. Once a month, Antonio will be sending in his "Carvalho Report", a journal of sorts, which will tell readers about his experiences living, training and fighting overseas in Japan. The Team Shah Franco fighter recently relocated to Japan from Toronto, Canada, to pursue more training opportunities in the Nation where many of his greatest career successes have come thus far, competing in Shooto. Readers can also look forward to interviews that Antonio will be also sending in with various Japanese fighters, in addition to his monthly "Carvalho Report."



The Carvalho Report:
The Life and Times of a Shooto Contender in Japan

By Antonio Carvalho

Antonio Carvalho at Abe Ani Combat Club gym - Photo courtesy of Antonio Carvalho
Antonio at AACC

I finally made it to Japan. After sitting on a plane for fifteen hours, I was where I wanted to be. I must thank my good friends Mr. Yoshi Tanaka and his son Danny. Also, special thanks to Yuta Takahashi. Before I begin to tell you about my experiences in Japan, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Antonio "Pato" Carvalho. I am part of the Franco/Behring team out of Toronto, Canada. I have been competing in MMA for over four years and have fought most of my career in Shooto. It has been a dream of mine to one day live and train in Japan. I am now living that dream. On top of that, my new team was waiting for my arrival. So after a good night sleep, it was off to the Abe Ani Combat Club gym. The AACC gym is located in the Omori area in Tokyo. AACC is literally inside a massive Gold’s Gym on the seventh floor of the building. The facility is gorgeous and it provides you with everything you need to get a great workout. As soon as you walk up a flight of stairs, you will be amazed at how enormous everything is. Right away you will notice the large boxing ring and all the necessary boxing equipment. On the left side, beside the boxing area, there are all kinds of heavy bags. To the right of the boxing ring, there is a huge area dedicated to mat space for any kind of grappling. The first time I saw the mat area, I could not believe how large this place really was. I had never seen so much mat space at one place in a club.

As soon as I arrived, I was brought over to where Hiroyuki Abe and Megumi Fujii were. They are the head instructors of the AACC gym. Hiroyuki Abe greeted me immediately with a smile and a hug. I am very grateful to Abe-san. Because when he found out that I wanted to live and train in Japan, he offered me a spot amongst his team. Abe is a very kind, down to earth person outside of the ring. It certainly is much different than when you meet him in the ring. Watching Abe fight, you quickly realize that he can be your worst nightmare. He never gives up and will fight until the end. That is a quality of a fighter that I respect dearly. Abe is a veteran of the game and is someone I look up too. He has had many battles in the ring and is a rare combination of great fighter and teacher. Taking part in his classes, I have learned so many new tricks and techniques to implement into my game. I finally learned how to do those crazy sliding tackle footlocks that Imanari has made famous! From wrestling, striking and jiu-jitsu, Hiroyuki Abe can teach it all.

Megumi Fujii is the other instructor at AACC, which has a larger contingent of female fighters than most places because of her. A poster figure for SmackGirl and Shooto, many consider her pound for pound the best female fighter in Japan or even the world. I certainly won’t argue with that. The first time I got a chance to roll with her, it was a whirlwind of submission techniques being thrown at me. I was so impressed with her. Fast, fluid and technical, she is quite an amazing person. She certainly takes away the stereotype that some people have that women can’t fight. However, like Abe, she is a sweetheart outside the ring. Always concerned about everyone around her and helping everyone when need be. This caring attitude is spread though out the whole AACC team. Everyone is there to help each other get better. However, that doesn’t mean that hardcore training doesn’t happen at AACC; far from that actually. While there is a recreational part to the club, there are many pros at the AACC gym. Often times I would find out that some fighters were from other gyms and they came to AACC for the hard training. Usually after every class, Abe will keep the pros behind and put us through some rigorous strength and conditioning routines. Many of these pros fight in organizations such as DEEP, ZST and Shootboxing. Shootboxing is a promotion where it is kickboxing with takedowns, throws and standing submissions. In fact, I have already decided that I am going to throw my hat in the Shootboxing ring and give it a try. Abe took me to meet the promoters and they have already guaranteed me a spot on a future show. I am looking forward to that.

Antonio Carvalho at Kaminarimon - Photo courtesy of Antonio Carvalho
Antonio at Kaminarimon

Overall, my experiences in Japan so far have been fantastic. Besides tumbling down the escalator along with my suitcases at the airport and than getting lost multiple times in Tokyo, I am enjoying Japan and have totally engrossed myself in Japanese culture. I have had plenty traditional Japanese foods. I have already visited the famous Kaminarimon Gate in Arakawa. Not to mention everything that is MMA in Japan. Within the first few days of my stay, I was invited to a Shooto press conference where it was announced that Hiroyuki Abe would take on Shooto 65kg champion "Lion" Takeshi on the next big Shooto card called "Back to our Roots". It was also announced that Ishida, after his devastating lose to Gomi in Pride, relinquished his Pacific-rim Shooto belt because he can’t defend his title within the allotted time frame required by the Shooto commission. I even got put in the spot light for a bit. The Shooto commission just threw me in front of the cameras so that I could make a brief comment regarding my future in Japan and Shooto. "I really hope to be fighting in the Shooto ring again soon." was all I could think of at the time.

Also, none other than Shinya Aoki and Masakazu Imanari have asked me to come train at the official DEEP training facility. I got this message though a text message on my buddy’s phone. The message included a photo which the title read, "He is waiting for you!" It was a picture of Masakazu Imanari! Better watch out for those leg locks! I’ll tell you all about that experience next time though! And in between all of that, Abe-san is taking me to the waterfalls with a karate team for some good old fashioned training and meditation in the cold. This should be quite an interesting experience. Until next time.


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Two More Bouts Confirmed for UFC 69
By FCF Staff

The Ultimate Fighting Championship website is reporting two more confirmed fights for the upcoming UFC 69 card, "Shootout", which will take place at the Toyota Centre, April 7th, in Houston, Texas. In a middleweight bout that has been added to the card, "Ultimate Fighter" Season 3 winner, Kendall Grove (8-3), will take on Alan Belcher (9-2). Since defeating Ed Herman by unanimous decision at the TUF 3 finale on June 24th last year, Grove looked impressive in his only appearance since, stopping Chris Price with strikes in the first round at Ultimate Fight Night 7 on October 10th. The Hawaiian fighter has continued to train with Tito Ortiz and Team Punishment since winning the TUF 3 middleweight bracket, and as a result, has in all likelihood, added to his skill set considerably.

Belcher is coming off a KO win over Jorge Santiago at UFN 8 on December 13th, a fight the Biloxi native won in highlight reel fashion with a deadly right kick to Santiago’s head. The devastating KO was a nice way for Belcher to rebound, after he dropped a unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 62 last August.

In a welterweight bout that has been confirmed for the card, noted strikers Marcus Davis (10-4) will meet up with Pete Spratt (15-9). Davis, since losing both of his first two fights in the UFC to Melvin Guillard and Joe Stevenson back in 2005, has been on a roll as of late, winning seven fights in a row. Since returning to UFC competition, the TUF Season 2 veteran has won both his two fights, defeating Forrest Petz and Shonie Carter at UFN 7 and 8 respectively. Davis has worked on his ground game extensively over the last two years, which no doubt has contributed heavily to the fighters winning streak.

Spratt is also another TUF veteran who has recently had some success returning to the UFC fold. Since defeating Robbie Lawler at UFC 42 in April, 2003, Spratt has gone 3-3, with all of these losses coming against notable opposition in Georges St.Pierre, Chris Lytle, and Josh Koscheck. In Spratt’s last UFC appearance, the "Secret Weapon" submitted Jeremy Jackson in the second round at the TUF finale card on November 11th.

The UFC site also confirmed that Mike Swick. Roger Huerta and Heath Herring are all scheduled to compete at the upcoming April 7th event however, no opponents have been announced. The main event for UFC 69 will feature Georges St.Pierre taking on Matt Serra, with the undercard also set to feature Josh Koschek vs. Diego Sanchez, and Thales Leites taking on Pete Sell.



Ring of Fire 28 Teams Up With HDNet
By FCF Staff

The Ring of Fire MMA promotion announced this week, via a press release, that the organization has signed a deal with the HDNet television network. According to the statement, the upcoming R0F 28 card that will be held on February 16th in Broomfield, Colorado, and will be taped for 2 different HDNet broadcasts at a later date.

"I am thrilled to be working with HDNet on this project," Sven Bean, president of FY Productions said in the release. "HDNet has shown themselves to be a forward thinking company, and I like to think that ROF has an incredible future ahead. We have a great event planned and I am happy that people all across America will have a chance to see it."

The announcement marks yet another agreement between television broadcasters and MMA promotions, something that seems to be almost a monthly occurrence as of late. The deal between HDNet and ROF will also tie Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to the sport of MMA at least somewhat, as Cuban is the co-founder and President of the high definition network.

"Mixed Martial Arts events are a key part of our Friday night line-up," Mark Cuban, was quoted as saying in the release. "We’re very excited to bring all the intensity of this Ring of Fire event to our viewers in brilliant high def."

The two programs will also feature stories on Duane Ludwig and Alvin Robinson, who are both slated to compete on February 16th. In the main event Ludwig (14-6) is set to take on Shinya Kumazawa (4-1-1), while Robinson (7-1) will fight Olly Bradstreet, who has a combined pro-am record of 22-1.


From the event’s promoter:


BodogFight: St. Petersburg Series Debut Showcases MMA Star Yves Edwards

Following the overwhelming success of its hit debut season, BodogFight changes backdrops for its second season of mixed martial arts action. Swapping the sunny shores of Costa Rica for the frigid Russian tundra, BodogFight: St. Petersburg promises to amp up the intensity. It does just that with a first episode that spotlights a match involving one of the most exciting pound-for-pound fighters on the MMA scene.

Yves Edwards, the self-proclaimed creator of "Thug-Jitsu", carries an impressive 31-11-1 record into the ring against the muscular Mike Brown in a welterweight tilt that highlights the premiere of BodogFight: St. Petersburg. The weekly series debuts Tuesday, February 13 at 11 p.m./10 p.m. Central on ION Television, with viewers in more than 90 million U.S. homes being treated to two great bouts, culminating with Edwards vs. Brown.

Edwards, a 30-year-old native of Nassau, Bahamas, is a well-rounded veteran fighter who describes himself as "a professional ass kicker". He is well schooled at Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but also boasts a strong boxing pedigree. He calls this unique blend of styles "Thug-Jitsu", and teaches it to students at his Revolution Dojo in Houston, Texas.

His opponent in St. Petersburg earned a biology degree from Norwich University in Vermont, but Brown prefers the ring to the lab. A native of Maine, the 31-year-old now fights out of Florida, but has traversed the globe – including stops in Japan, England and Brazil – to work with some of the top trainers in MMA. Now training with American Top Team, Brown is a UFC veteran who also holds the AFC 145-pound title. He is a boxer/wrestler who will be tested by Edwards’ quickness.

The Brown-Edwards fight will be preceded by a bout that features a classic contrast in styles as 27-year-old Indian striker "Black Mamba" of Team Revolution takes on 26-year-old Brazilian wrestler Rodrigo "Crazy Face" Damm.

Like his venomous namesake, "Black Mamba" is quick and deadly, while Damm is patient and tactical. Trained by Peter de Andrade, Damm holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Their fight kicks of the exciting season of BodogFight: St. Petersburg, an eight-episode reality series that will be followed by a pay-per-view spectacular in April.

In addition to being broadcast on ION Television, all episodes of the series will be available to fight fans worldwide through streaming video on www.BodogFight.com. MMA followers will get access to previews, recaps, behind-the-scenes exclusives, fighter bios and additional footage only available online.



BodogFight’s PPV Clash of the Nations: Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko vs. USA’s Matt Lindland

BodogFight announces today a mammoth card for a Superfight pay-per-view spectacular that promises to be raved about for ages. On Saturday, April 14, live from the ICE Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, "BodogFight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Lindland, Clash of the Nations" takes place before an international audience in what will be an unforgettable event in mixed martial arts history.

Lindland, the No. 1-ranked middleweight fighter in the world, steps up in weight class to take on the top-ranked heavyweight fighter on the planet, Fedor Emelianenko – and Lindland will fight on the Russian superstar’s home turf. So, is he nuts?

"Yes, I am crazy," confirms Lindland, who has agreed to a six-fight deal with Bodog Entertainment. "That’s why I got into this sport, but I don’t make a habit of taking fights I don’t feel I can win. I want to fight the best guys out there, and I appreciate BodogFight giving me the opportunity to fight the very best."

Bodog Entertainment Founder Calvin Ayre is certainly looking forward to the event, which will be rich with the style and entertainment appeal that Bodog is famous for. "Fedor and Matt are both superstars in the world of MMA, and being able to showcase both of them on the same card is very exciting," Ayre said. "With BodogFight, we aim to offer fans the absolute best in MMA entertainment, and as this event will show, we’re throwing down the gauntlet."

This event will also mark the first time Fedor Emelianenko will appear on the same card as his brother, Aleksander, who will fight American Jiu-Jitsu specialist Eric "Big" Pele. Needless to say, the Emelianenko brothers will be anxious to put on a show at the ICE Palace in front of their hometown fans.

Also included on the card will be the winners of the hit reality show BodogFight: St. Petersburg, who will each compete for a cash prize and a contract.

Join veteran play-by-play announcer Colonel Bob Sheridan, color commentator Paul Lazenby, and special guest host and BodogMusic artist Bif Naked for all the action, beginning with the half-hour Countdown Show airing at 8:30 p.m. EST (5:30 p.m. PST) on April 14, 2007. This preview will be followed by the three-hour PPV show at 9:00 p.m. EST (6:00 p.m. PST) that will be viewed by millions worldwide.

"BodogFight: Fedor Emelianenko vs Matt Lindland, Clash of the Nations" PPV will be available on a number of PPV distributors – check local listings for your area. More details available soon on www.BodogFight.com/PPV.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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