Countdown To Clash Of The Titans
Countdown to Clash of the Titans
By Aaron Crecy
Thursday, May 24, 2001
TOKYO–The sky over Tokyo is dark and dismal, and though a steady rainfall persists, the air is thick and humid. Inside the Hilton Tokyo hotel, there is an atmosphere of nervous anticipation that is equally stifling. Most of the fighters have commented that the card promises to be an exciting one with many knockouts and TKOs. However, many fighters are irritated that the Pride organization gave them so little time to prepare for their respective opponents. In most cases, match-ups were confirmed just two to three weeks out! At this elite level–and with such high stakes–that simply isn’t enough notice.
Guy Mezger arrived today, weary from travel but confident. He is coming off a successful professional boxing debut, a second-round knockout at a recent event in Dallas. Lions Den teammate Tra Telligman made the trip, along with Guy’s brother, Ken.
The fighters who are here completed medical checks today. Yet to show but expected tomorrow are Heath Herring, Gilbert Yvel, Valentijn Overeem, Chuck Liddell and Gary Goodridge. The five Japanese fighters on the card will also be at the hotel Friday for interviews.
Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman are in town as well. The Hammer House duo is preparing to put on a tag team performance for the New Japan professional wrestling organization. Coleman is also completing negotiations for several high profile entertainment opportunities on Japanese television.
Most of the fighters worked out for the first time today. Mezger worked out with Telligman and Ken Shamrock. Belfort and the amazingly flexible Nino Schembri used the same workout room and were joined by Darrel Gholar and several trainers. Dan Henderson worked out with Randy Couture and 2000 U.S. Olympic Greco Roman wrestler Heath Sims. Mezger stopped by to give Henderson some insight on Akira Shoji, who beat the Lions Den fighter by judges’ decision in Pride 6.
The practice facilities are located several blocks away in an office building, where several rooms have been cleared and furnished with mats. Word has it that the building’s owner is a Pride fan and thus allowed the organization to use the makeshift training facility. The hotel has an extremely small fitness facility, along with a sauna and pool. An off-site fitness center is an option, but it is of interest to note that most of those establishments have a strict ban on tattoos–and of course, a good many Pride fighters sport ink.
More tomorrow from Tokyo.
Warriors of the New Millennium III
has moved to May 27th
By Chris Onzuka – Chris@Onzuka.com
Warrior of the New Millennium III
Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii
Saturday, May 27th, 2001
You can ask any promoter and I bet you will get the same answer. The life of a promoter is never boring. Warriors was originally scheduled for May 12th, but it postponed to May 26th, because of the untimely loss of Rickson Gracie’s son, Rockson. Then a week before the event, it was pushed back one day to the 27th. They are running out of days left in May, so I am sure that this is the final date. The card has been juggled around a bit, but the promoters are striving to keep it as close to the original format as possible. The event will feature a couple tournaments and three super fights. The weight classes for the tournaments are as follows: 160lbs and under, 161-190lbs, and 191lbs and over.
All of you MMA fans in Maui, come out and support Maui’s only MMA event. FCF will be there to cover the action, then I will fly back to cover another Warriors show on Oahu, Warrior’s Quest which is two days later on May 29th. It will be a busy, but thoroughly entertaining few days.