Cage Fury Fighting Championship 3 Preview
Cage Fury Fighting Championship 3 Preview
By Jim Genia
What: Cage Fury Fighting Championship III.
When: January 19th.
Where: Tropicana Casino & Resort, Atlantic City.
Coming off a strong debut year, CFFC returns with their third installment — dubbed "Battleground" — and it has all the makings of a barnburner. Featuring top East Coast up-and-comers, the card promises hard-hitting action with the likes of sluggers Anthony D’Angelo and Doug Gordon, as well as some slick submissions from such ground experts as Dante Rivera and Dan Lauzon. Here’s a closer look at some of the fighters:
Anthony D’Angelo — United MMA
Dante Rivera — Team Renzo/Almeida
Dan Lauzon — Reality Self-Defense
Jose Rodriguez — Rhino Fight Team
Nissim Levy — Team Tiger Schulmann
Doug Gordon — Rio Jiu-Jitsu
The fight card as of 1/17:
NABC Welterweight Title
NABC Middleweight Title
NABC Lightweight Title
CFFC Welterweight Title
Munduruca Ready for Battle at Colosseum 4
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Winnipeg instructor, Rodrigo Munduruca, will make his return to MMA competition at the upcoming Gladiator Fighting Series "Colosseum 4" event that will take place on January 26th, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The card, which will feature both professional MMA and kickboxing bouts, will take place at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Munduruca informed FCF that he will be fighting Arthur Cook, one of the cities better known boxers, who is currently ranked as one of the Nation’s top ten heavyweight pugilists by the Canadian Boxing Federation. Munduruca is aware of his upcoming opponent’s reputation as a striker, and has been working on his stand up game with K-1 kickboxer Guiseppe Denatale.
"Not that I know of," Munduruca tells FCF in response to whether or not Cook is cross-training for the fight. "I have some students that sparred with him and they all say he is a monster boxer. This is MMA though; if I play his game things won’t be good for me. This should be a classic match between striker versus grappler, just like the old UFC days. I’ve been training for 6 weeks now with Giuseppe Denatale here in Winnipeg. He is my coach and he is getting me super ready for anyone. Every time I fight he is the guy that I go train with, he works on my stand up and cardio. After I leave his gym I train with my students and go running too."
Munduruca’s connection to the Western Canadian MMA community dates back several years now, as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor has helped train such notable fighters as Joe Doerksen, Chris Fontaine and Travis Galbraith. Due to running his own school, a fight team, and incurring several injuries, the heavyweight Munduruca has only competed in a handful of MMA fights.
"I have 3 MMA fights, last one was in 2004," Munduruca tells FCF. "I’ve been competing in grappling and keeping my eyes open for some MMA events, last 2 cards I was schedule to fight but hurt my knee, again! If I’m healthy and can get the training in, I would like to compete more in MMA. I have another fight in Regina in the UMC (Ultimate Martial Arts Championship) on February 17th, after that if I’m not hurt I’m looking to fight more."
As for the jiu-jitsu specialist’s call on the fight, Munduruca offered FCF this prediction.
"Impose my game plan and finish him off in the 1st round."
Colosseum 4 will also showcase a few other MMA fights, including the Gladiator’s Fighting MMA Middleweight Championship bout between the aforementioned Chris Fontaine and Ohio fighter, Mitch Whitesel. Fontaine, who carries a record of 10-9, will be looking to make it two wins in a row as the Winnipeg fighter defeated Neil Berry by TKO in the first round at Colosseum 3 on September 23rd. Although the veteran’s record does not seem very impressive at first glance, upon further inspection one will see that Fontaine has been in the ring with some of North America’s more notable middleweights, having lost to Jason Macdonald, David Loiseau, Gideon Ray, and most recently Jason Day. Whitesel, who stopped Adrian Serrano with strikes at the GFS "Festival of Fights" last year on June 3rd, will bring a record of 4-4 to Colosseum 4.
Other MMA action taking place on the card will be welterweight Dominick Blais taking on Kyle Olson and featherweight’s Eric Perez fighting Mike Davis.
Upcoming Canadian MMA Schedule
"Farmer" Vs. "The Gladiator" Highlights King of the Cage: Freedom Fight This Saturday
By Peter Parsons
King of the Cage Canada makes their Eastern debut as they team up with Freedom Fight this Saturday, January 20 at the Baribeau Arena in Gatineau, Quebec, for what is being dubbed as King of the Cage: Freedom Fight 2007. Headlining the card will be KOTC Canadian Lightheavyweight Champion Travis "The Gladiator" Galbraith, (10-4) as he defends his title for the first time against two-time Freedom Fight veteran Craig "Farmer" Brown (3-0).
Galbraith is coming off the highest profile fight of his career, a loss at the hands of Kazuhiro Nakamura at Pride’s inaugural USA show, The Real Deal. The Gladiator showed true warrior spirit in his back and forth battle with Nakamura, a fight in which he took on just 8 days notice. Despite the short notice, Galbraith turned heads on the international scene with his performance against the Pride veteran.
"I almost had the kneebar," recalls Galbraith, "I gassed in that fight, I think I would do much better with more notice."
The 25-year-old Galbraith is no stranger to top opposition. All of his losses have been against elite fighters such as Jonathan Goulet, Joe Doerksen and most notably, the current UFC World Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. Galbraith lost by TKO to St. Pierre early in their respective careers at Universal Combat Challenge 11 in October of 2002.
When asked about his opponent Craig Brown, Galbraith replied, "I know he has heavy hands, I just have to beat him to the punch." Galbraith however is known more for his ground game, having won 8 out of his 10 fights by way of submission. Galbraith submitted Ricardeau Francois by guillotine choke to win the then vacant KOTC Canadian Lightheavyweight title at KOTC: "Widowmaker" in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, last June.
Galbraith will be facing the hometown fighter Farmer Brown in his first title defense. "I’m expecting to be the bad guy, but it won’t faze me," Galbraith continues about the pressure of defending his title in the main event, "If I can handle the bright lights of Pride, this shouldn’t be a problem."
Craig "Farmer" Brown comes into the fight with a lot less experience than the champion Galbraith, a role the 30 year old is familiar with. The victory that put "Farmer" Brown on the map was his win at the inaugural Freedom Fight event in July of 2005, a KO over the aforementioned Ricardeau Francois. "I came into that fight 1-0 and Ricardeau had like 13 fights, so it was a pretty big upset."
That upset earned Brown a return to Freedom Fight, where he last fought, scoring a first round TKO victory over Connecticut native John Clarke, at the Apex Championship Fighting: Freedom Fight 2006 event last January. So what has Brown been up to in the last year? "I had my second daughter four months ago and I recently changed gyms and I have been training harder then ever." The former Team Ronin member now hones his skills at FIT MMA, a gym that he helps manage in Ottawa.
Hailing from Kemptville, Ontario, a town just outside of the nation’s capital, the self proclaimed "country boy" Brown considers it an honor to once again fight in front of his hometown fans. "It’s a positive thing to have a lot of people behind you, it might add a little pressure, but I’m always relaxed." Brown continues, "I’m not one of those super serious guys, I’ll sleep in the change room before a fight."
There’s a good chance somebody will go to sleep in the cage Saturday night as both Brown and Galbraith have yet to have a fight go the distance in their professional MMA careers.
In feature lightweight action, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Mark Bocek (2-0) takes on KOTC veteran John Mahlow (7-6). Having studied BJJ for over a decade, the Nova Uniao Black Belt has a long list of accomplishments in the grappling world. Most recently, Bocek won the ADCC North American trials in New Jersey last October.
October of ’06 was a busy month for Bocek as he is coming off a first round rear naked choke victory over Kevin Manderson at the Apex Championship Fighting: "A Night of Champions" event. Bocek looks to continue to make his mark in the MMA world with another victory Saturday night.
Bocek’s original opponent Matt Fiordirosa had to drop out due to an ankle injury. Never one to back down from tough competition, John Mahlow steps up on three weeks notice to fight Bocek. Mahlow had mixed success in ’06 going 3-2, losing his last fight by majority decision to Jani Lax in November at the Ironheart Crown event in Hammond, Indiana.
Mahlow was very impressive to start off ’06 with 3 first round submission victories over top Canadian lightweights Kevin Manderson and Tyler Jackson, as well as Pride veteran and Team Miletich fighter Joe Pearson. These three straight victories earned Mahlow a shot at the KOTC World Lightweight title against champion Mac Danzig. Mahlow took the champ the distance losing a unanimous decision. He hopes to get back to his winning ways against the undefeated Mark Bocek.
In a battle of East vs. West, undefeated welterweights, TJ Grant (4-0), from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia takes on Nick Portieous (3-0) fighting out of Vernon, BC. After defeating his first three opponents by arm bar submission, Grant most recently showed that he can also strike when he dropped BTT Canada fighter, Eric Beaulieu with an overhand right, which he followed up with a barrage of strikes to earn the 33 second TKO victory at the Extreme Cage Combat 4 event in Halifax, NS. Grant has had 3 out of his 4 MMA fights in the Halifax based ECC where he made his MMA debut at ECC 1 last April.
This will be Portieous’ second appearance in King of the Cage. He is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jacob MacDonald at KOTC: Widowmaker last June. Portieous began his MMA career with back to back victories in the Ultimate Generation Combat promotion in November of ’05 and May of ’06. This is a great opportunity for both of these young undefeated prospects to make a name for themselves on national television.
King of the Cage: Freedom Fight 2007 is scheduled to be televised on Canada’s leading sports network TSN, within the next month, according to Freedom Fight promoter Pete Rodley.
205 lbs: Travis "The Gladiator" Galbraith vs. Craig "Farmer" Brown
155 lbs: Mark Bocek vs. John Mahlow
170 lbs: TJ Grant vs. Nick Portieous
155 lbs: Barry McDonald vs. Derek Giroux
185 lbs: Markhaile Wedderburn vs. Chester Post
155 lbs: Jean Marc Lalonde vs. Brett Portieous
170 lbs: Stephane Lamarche vs. Garrett Venroy
145 lbs: Nick Denis vs. Chris Myra
250 lbs: Wayne Xilon vs. John Cole
170 lbs: Yan Fortier vs. Allen Harvey
220 lbs: Jason Bissonette vs. Vailancourt
McCullough Vs Cope Clash Headlines WEC This Weekend
By Kelsey Mowatt
The World Extreme Cagefighting organization is set to host its next event this weekend, its first since the announcement came earlier this year that the WEC had been purchased by the seemingly ever expanding UFC. According to all reports thus far regarding the recent purchase, the UFC intends to continue to run the WEC as a separate fighting circuit, and this weekend’s action will offer a first glimpse at the organization under new ownership. This Saturday’s January 20th card will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and business discussion aside, the night’s line up should offer some compelling MMA action.
Headlining the night’s card is a lightweight championship bout between "Razor" Rob McCullough and Kit Cope for the vacant WEC title. Both Cope and McCullough had resounding successes in their respective professional kickboxing careers and as a result, it’s likely that many are expecting this Saturday’s fight to be an all out stand up war. McCullough has transitioned quite well into an MMA career thus far, currently holding a record of 13-3. The 29 year old fighter will come into this WEC event riding a 7 fight win streak, a series of victories that includes wins over Olaf Alonso, Ryan Healey, and most recently Harris Sarmiento. At the World Fighting Alliances’ "King of the Streets" card on July 7th last summer, McCullough avenged a 2004, split decision loss to Sarmiento at WEC 9, by working his way to a unanimous decision victory in the rematch.
Cope has gone 1-3 to begin his MMA career, and clearly does not have the same amount of experience as his upcoming opponent does in MMA competition. It is interesting to note however that McCullough also struggled somewhat after making the move from professional kickboxing, going 2-2 in his first 4 MMA fights. Cope has not fought in MMA since his loss to Kenny Florian at The Ultimate Fighter 2 Season Finale on November 5th of 2005, when the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt tapped out Cope in the first round with a rear naked choke. If the fight with McCullough does spill to the mat, it will be interesting to see how far along Cope’s ground game has come over the last year, and whether or not McCullough has a decided advantage. Chances are though this fight will be decided on its feet.
The other title bout of the night will showcase WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah "California Kid" Faber, looking to defend his title against Miletich fighter Joe Pearson. Faber fought 6 times in 2006, going undefeated, while defeating Cole Escovedo by TKO at WEC 19, on March 17th, to lay claim to the promotion’s featherweight title. Faber currently holds a record of 16-1, with his only loss coming to Tyson Griffin, who defeated Faber by TKO in the third round at Gladiator Challenge 42 on September 10th of 2005. The California Kid, who had a storied freestyle wrestling career in college before he began competing in MMA, also holds notable victories over Naoya Uematsu, Enoch Wilson and Charlie Valencia. Widely regarded as one of North America’s best 145 pound fighters, Faber also currently holds the King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge titles in his division.
Pearson has been fighting since 2002, and since that time has amassed a record of 17-7-1. After enduring a 4 fight losing streak that began in late 2005 and ran through until April of last year, the Miletich fighter has been on a tear as of late, winning 7 fights in a row. Most recently, Pearson defeated highly acclaimed Yoshiro Maeda (19-4-1) at PRIDE Bushido 13 on November 11th last fall, choking out the Japanese fighter in the first round. The veteran fighter Pearson also holds wins over Tommy Lee and Jay Estrada, and has also competed against the likes of Miguel Torres and Hatsu Hioki. Pearson represents one of the more experienced and well rounded fighters that Faber will have faced, and could very likely be one of his toughest tests to date. If Faber gets by Pearson and goes on in 2007 to have continued success, it will be interesting to see whether or not the California Kid has any impact on the UFC introducing its own 145 pound division.
The event’s under card also features some notable names and match-ups, one of which features John "The Natural" Alessio (17-10) taking on his welterweight opponent Brian Gassaway (23-15-1). After looking impressive in his decision loss to undefeated star Diego Sanchez at UFC 60 on May 27th last spring, Alessio has struggled in his last two fights. At WEC 23 on August 17th, The Natural narrowly got by tough Russian fighter Alex Serdyukov with a third round near naked choke, and dropped a unanimous decision loss to Thiago Alves at UFN 7 on October 10th. Gassaway also has a loss to Sanchez on his resume, as the veteran was stopped by the Team Jackson fighter with strikes in the second round at UFC 54 on August 20th, 2005, and has since lost 2 of his last 4 fights.
In what could turn out to be the sleeper hit of the evening, Carlos Condit (18-4) will meet up with Kyle Jensen (29-9-1) in another welterweight fight. Condit’s introduction to many MMA fans came in January and April of last year, when, the relatively unheard of fighter at the time, defeated UFC veterans Renato Verissmo and Frank Trigg at Rumble on the Rock 8 and 9 respectively. Since losing to Jake Shields in the ROTC Welterweight Tourney finals by unanimous decision and Pat Healey by submission at Extreme Wars 3 last June, Condit has won 3 fights in a row competing for Pancrase.
Although Jensen does not have a "big-name" victory on his resume like Condit, the veteran fighter has been in the ring with such notable fighters like Jason Black, Jonathan Goulet, and Josh Neer. Jensen has won 4 fights in a row, and most recently, the fighter recorded a rear naked choke submission win over Joe Winterfeldt, at the Dakota Fighting Championships 7 on October 7th.
In other action scheduled for this Saturday’s WEC, middleweight fighter Brendan Seguin (12-10-1) will take on Fernando Gonzalez (10-3), the undefeated Logan Clark (8-0) will fight Blas Avena (1-0) in another 185 pound match-up, lightweights Olaf Alonso (5-6) and Alex Karalexis (3-2) will do battle, and bantamweight fighter Mike French (7-7) is scheduled to fight Antonio Banuelos (12-3).
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