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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002

April 24, 2002



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Heating up for PRIDE 20
Arona is looking for the belt!

By Eduardo Alonso

Ricardo Arona post-fight at Pride 16
      Brazilian fighter Ricardo Arona impressed all the fighting world with a great showcase of strategy and grappling skills at Abu Dhabi wining both the absolute and his weight division at the event at 2001! However, for his teammates this wasn’t much of a surprise since he had already won his weight division at Abu Dhabi on the previous year, and used to show tons of skills at every Jiu Jitsu tournament he fought in! Combining a lot of power with good strategy and great technique, Arona quickly made the transition to NHB, where he found the same success at RINGS in Japan, and rapidly drawing the attention of PRIDE! With people like Mario Sperry helping his career, it didn’t take long before Ricardo Arona was finally making his debut at Japan’s biggest NHB event, facing the seasoned veteran Guy Mezger at PRIDE 16. Despite being ill he won the fight, and established his name among the contenders for PRIDE’s middleweight belt. After some time away from the ring, due to a rib injury suffered at his PRIDE debut, Arona is now finally returning to action against another top fighter, non other than Team Quest’s own Dan Henderson! The Abu Dhabi and RINGS champion is eager to fight again, and more importantly has a close eye on Vanderlei Silva’s belt! In this interview during Arona’s class he shared his expectations for this fight, and his views about the future of his career as FCF continues to get more and more heated for PRIDE 20!

FCF:   You suffered an injury in your ribs that prevented you from training for a good period of time. How was your recovery? Don’t you feel any pain right now?

RA:     Nowadays I’m feeling 100% recovered! I don’t have any problems during training, nor do I have any problems after training! I’m 100% recovered from my rib injury. I stayed almost two months resting, because you can hardly breath correctly when you have a rib injury! But nowadays I’m 100% again! I don’t feel any pain, and the recovery was great.

FCF:   You’re finally coming back to PRIDE after your win over Guy Mezger at PRIDE 16. Was it tough to stay away from the ring all that time?

RA:     Without a doubt it was Eduardo! Because I had two more events to fight in, and I should already have three fights in PRIDE by now! And because of my injury I had to stay away from fighting, and wait till I was fully recovered. So it was tough for me because I wanted to be fighting regularly! But on the other hand, it was good for me because I could improve in other professional aspects that I was still lacking.

FCF:   Did you get anxious to fight again?

RA:     Yeah mean, because this time away from fighting is not really good for a fighter. You always have that adrenaline from the moment, so it’s always good to be fighting regularly to be very used to this adrenaline and stuff, and to be in rhythm. But like I told you, I believe this time-off was also good for me because I could work and improve in another aspects that I was needing to work on, and now I’m coming back much more complete!

FCF:   How was your preparation for this fight?

RA:     For this fight against Dan Henderson I studied his game a lot watching tapes! I have been training a lot of Muay Thai with professor Tonico, and I also have been doing a physical preparation with Marcelinho, who is a great professional from Body Planet academy, who have been doing my physical preparation! Working a lot on my cardio, strength and power! He has been changing a lot my way of fighting, because he has been improving my physical condition and lot, and therefore I’m feeling very prepared!

FCF:   What about your ground game? Who has been preparing you on the ground?

RA:     As for the ground game, I have ten years of Jiu Jitsu, and this gives me a great background, so I don’t need to have someone to direct my ground training all the time! I can do my "ground game maintenance". What I need is someone to direct my training in Muay Thai, Wrestling and physical preparation. I’m at home on the ground!

FCF:   How much will you be weighting for this fight?

RA:     Around 93 or 94KG. This is my regular weight, so there are no problems about it.

FCF:   A fight between you and Dan Henderson started to be rumored some months ago. What do you think of him as a fighter?

RA:     Dan Henderson is a very tough fighter in my opinion! A guy that loves to fight as much as I do! We’re going to do a great fight for sure! But I have a great expectation to win, because I have been preparing specifically to fight him! So I’m sure I’m going to do a good fight, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight that everybody is going to like! He is a warrior, and I believe that I can win this fight, but regardless it’s going to be a great fight, and that is the most important thing!

FCF:   What do you expect from this fight? How do you think the fight will unfold?

RA:     Henderson is a guy that likes to trade standing up, and he also likes to do takedowns from the clinch, because he’s a great Greco-Roman wrestler. So I think we’re going to trade a lot of punches, and we’re also going to trade a lot of positions on the clinch trying to take the other down! I expect it to be a great fight!


Click here to continue the interview



Check back tomorrow
for Eduardo’s pre-PRIDE interview
with Mario Sperry!


From the event’s promoter:


Super Brawl 24: Return of the Heavyweights
April 26-27 – Blaisdell Arena – Honolulu, Hawaii

Sylvia vs. Whitehead
4.23.02
Somebody’s "0" must go. Sylvia is a menacing 6’8" and earned a berth in the tournament by winning the Utah qualifier. He is coming in to the tourney as a favorite.

Whitehead will have something to say about that. With an impressive 7-0 record and trained by "Crazy" Bob cook, he will give Sylvia all he can handle.

Jordan vs. Schall
4.22.02
Jordan is a little known up and coming fighter from the south who is looking for respect. He has a solid ground game and will need it against "The Meat Truck".

Schall is still stinging from his loss to Ben Rothwell in the Iowa qualifier. He fractured his foot in the first bout of the night but fought on anyway. The foot is healed and he already has his sights set on revenge. He may get the opportunity in the second round.

Cambra vs. Ballard
4.20.02
Kekumu Cambra has had a 3 year lay-off from the ring. He is one of the head instructors at Egan Inoue’s Grappling Unlimited. He is well rounded with a bit of a mean streak in the ring.

Ballard has a solid wrestling background. He is one of the up and coming stars from the talent rich Northwest and those in the know are calling him an early favorite.

Lambert vs. Faircloth
4.19.02
Lambert’s impressive record is matched only by his talent. Fighting out of Ted Williams Combat Grappling, look for him to be a seasoned pro who will be amongst the favorites to make the finals.

Faircloth is another Dave Strasser trained fighter. He is rough and can do damage from both the top and bottom. What he lacks in weight (235lbs is light in this behemoth field) he makes up for in heart.

Rothwell vs. Crawford
4.18.02
Rothwell earned a spot in Super Brawl 24 by winning the 8-man qualifying tournament in Des Moines, Iowa in March. Trained by Dave Strasser, he is well rounded and will certainly be one of the favorites to win it all. He will face Team Quest’s Brian Stromberg who recently beat Gladiators Challenge Heavyweight Champion, Kauai Kapuhea.

Crawford is a kick-boxer who trains with former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and the rest of Team Quest. With lethal hands and wrestling and submission instruction from some of the best in the business, he will be a formidable opponent for anybody in this tourney.

Wiuff vs. Henderson
4.17.02
Nearly 700lbs will test the ropes at the Blaisdell Arena in the 7th bout of Friday nights preliminaries! Wiuff (pronounced "VIEW") carries about 5% bodyfat on his 270lb frame and scored a brutal 6 second knock out in the Des Moines, IA qualifying round. Henderson is a load! He was robbed of a performance in the Utah qualifier when he was pushed over the ropes just 30 seconds into the 1st round and suffered a major concussion.

Beauperthy vs. Stromberg
4.16.02
Beauperthy was convincingly beating undefeated Tim Sylvia (Extreme Challenge 47,Utah Qualifier Champion) for over 10 minutes before finally getting caught. This ex-arena football star has no fear and is not afraid to trade bombs!

Cabbage vs. Neal
4.15.02
This matchup puts Hawaii heavy Cabbage against Chad Neal of Fresno, Ca. Neal, who tips the scale at 295. These two monsters will battle in the final preliminary fight on Friday night. Although Cabbage is one of the many favorites to win the tournament and has gone 5-0 in the last year, he will have no easy task with Fresno’s brawler Chad Neal.


From the event’s promoter:


"KING OF THE CAGE: REVOLUTION"
COMING TO SILVER LEGACY IN RENO AND TO THE COUNTRY ON PAY-PER-VIEW

LOS ANGELES, California -"King of the Cage," the hottest brand of no-holds-barred fighting, takes its show on the road!

"King of the Cage: Revolution" is proud to feature nine bouts in all on a stellar fight card. In the first of two main event title matches, Daniel "The Bull" Bobish defends his King of the Cage World Heavyweight Championship against bruiser Mike Kyle of the Primal Fighting Club. Then, Javier "Showtime" Vazquez puts his World Lightweight title on the line against Sean "The Peace Maker" Wilmot. Also included on the card . . . Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Akira Shoji from Pride, and Mike Rogers.

MAIN EVENTS:

King of the Cage World Heavyweight Championship Match
Daniel "The Bull" Bobish
(Champion)
Bart Vale Shoot Fighting
Vs.
Mike Kyle
Primal Tribe Fight Club

King of the Cage World Lightweight Championship Match
Javier "Showtime" Vazquez
(Champion)
Millennia Jiu Jitsu
Vs.
Sean Wilmot
Massachusetts Submission Academy

FEATURE FIGHTS:

Quinton Jackson
Team Punishment
Vs.
Sean Gray
Shootwrestling U.S.A.

Akira Shoji
A3 Gym
Vs.
Brian Sleeman
Dragons Lair

Mike Rogers
Rodrigo Vhagi
Vs.
Bobby Southworth
Frank Shamrock’s Team U.S.A.

Zane Frazier
Murder Inc.
Vs.
Rocky Batastini

"King of the Cage: Revolution" will be held on May 17, 2002 from Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada. Doors open at 3:30pm PST and preliminary matches begin at 4:30pm.

Combining Nevada’s turn-of-the-century silver mining heritage with state-of-the-art architecture and unrivaled entertainment theming, Silver Legacy Resort Casino is northern Nevada’s most spectacular "must see" property. Silver Legacy also features the finest in gaming, with 85,000 square feet of gaming space, including the newly renovated Race & Sportsbook, two Keno lounges, 80 table games, 2,500 slot machines, and 7 night clubs.

In addition, "King of the Cage: Revolution" marks the North American pay-per-view debut of the show. "KOTC" will be available to over 27 million households. The pay-per-view broadcast begins at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST. For more information on pay-per-view listings or availability, check your local listings.

For tickets, go to www.ticketsplus.net or call 1-800-585-3737.

For general information, visit our web site: www.kingofthecage.com

KING OF THE CAGE . . . KNOCKING OUT THE COMPETITION!


From the event’s promoter:


ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP, LMNO PRODUCTIONS
READY TO "GET IT ON" IN PRIMETIME


Leading mixed martial arts sports company to expand brand into mainstream TV
LAS VEGAS, April 24, 2002… Officials of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and LMNO Productions of Los Angeles, Calif., today announced they have signed an agreement to bring UFC to broadcast television.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s pre-eminent fight promotion that brings together world-class, mixed martial artists (MMA) from disciplines such as karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, sumo and others in a quest to become an ultimate fighting champion.
"The UFC is the only real fighting sport that is available to fans on every pay-per-view television platform in the United States. Presently UFC events air in over 52 million households on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, the Dish Network, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. With our amazing success in pay-per-view the timing is prefect to develop a weekly program based on the only original brand. We have the premier fighters, the experience and credibility, " said Dana F. White, UFC president.
LMNO’s CEO Eric Schotz said his company will develop multiple ideas for broadcasters including a weekly program as well as a large scale network reality series. "Ultimate Fighting is a quality brand name sport that until now was virtually untapped on network or cable TV." Schotz said, "Ultimate Fighting Championship is a rare blend," he added. "It has all the entertainment value of WWF, but it is completely real. There is nothing like it on the air."
The UFC was purchased in January 2001 by Zuffa LLC of Las Vegas, Nev. The new owners, Frank J. III and Lorenzo J. Fertitta designed a marketing strategy to take the UFC to pay-per-view television prominence and into the mainstream of sports in the U.S. and internationally.
The once " no holds barred sport has made a dramatic transformation since Zuffa took over in 2001. In addition to new rules and new fighters, the sport is now officially sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the New Jersey Athletic Control Board.
Now the fans can’t get enough. After two sellouts in New Jersey at the Trump Taj Mahal and Meadowlands Arena, the UFC held two fight events in Las Vegas, September 28 at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino and November 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Both ranked in the top 10 list of fight gate receipts for 2001 published by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. On March 22, 2002, UFC enjoyed another sell-out at the MGM Grand, which is the highest-grossing fight gate receipt in 2002 in Nevada.
LMNO (Leave My Name Off) Productions is one of the foremost providers of reality-based programming for network, cable and syndicated television. Some of its high-profile credits include the FOX series, "Boot Camp"; the CBS series "Kids Say The Darndest Things," hosted by Bill Cosby; the FOX series, "Guinness World Records: Primetime"; and "Behind Closed Doors With Joan Lunden." Currently, LMNO is producing the series "I Want A Husband: Alaska" for FOX; the new primetime series, "Sidelines," for ESPN; the third season of "Behind Closed Doors With Joan Lunden" for A&E; "Final Justice" for Lifetime; "Intuition" for the Game Show Network; "Cold Clues" for Court TV; "Travel Channel Secrets," "Best of" and "Destination Earth" for the Travel Channel as well as several hours of programming for Discovery Health Channel.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., is the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) fight promotion. It is owned and operated by Zuffa LLC and has distribution agreements with WOWOW, Inc. in Tokyo, Japan; British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) in London, England, and Globosat Programadora LTDA and Sportv in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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