MMA Fighting To Save The Amazon, Belfort Denies Soap Opera, SHOOTO Takes a Step Further in Brazil, PRIDE GP News and HEAT FC Adding to the Card
The Brazilian Beat:
As the month of July develops, plenty of exciting MMA news are popping up all over the globe, and Brazil could be no exception. In one of the most surprising piece of news in the past years in the Brazilian scene, Wallid Ismail and Antonio Inoki are revealing a breakthrough project for their intriguing Jungle Fight show, and FCF shares the word with the readers on this edition of this column, and will continue to unleash details and news about it in the coming editions. However, on what regards new shows in Brazil this is not all, the brand new Heat Fighting Championship is coming strong and continues to work on their first show, in what is promising to take the country’s MMA scene by storm! A lot of happenings are also taking place on the most famous Brazilian fighter’s careers, as the long awaited PRIDE Middleweight GP is coming up, making Wanderlei Silva eager again, and Vitor Belfort is already focusing on his next UFC outing. All in all we have plenty of other interesting facts going on and news to report, so let’s not wait more time with this introduction text, as this writer has to go straight out looking for more news, and Full Contact Fighter stands up for the coming challenges delivering the usual Brazilian Beat, in Jungle style this time!
- In a surprising move Brazilian fighter Wallid Ismail revealed some interesting and bold plans this week in Brazil. In a partnership with Japanese legend Antonio Inoki, Ismail is bringing a never seen before project to his county, holding a unique MMA event in September. "Jungle Fight" will feature eight Brazilian fighters facing eight fighting stars from abroad, performing in front of only 200 special guests, including 100 guests from Brazil and 100 International guests. The most amazing part about the concept is that the show will take place in the heart of the Amazon forest, showcasing one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, taking place in an astonishing hotel located in the middle of the Amazon wild. Amazingly, the project includes a "floating ring" on a river, creating a unique scene for any fighting event ever! The show will be broadcast in open Japanese TV, like UFO in 2002, and Wallid told FCF the objective of him and Antonio Inkoi with this complex project is to attract the world’s attention to what’s taking place with the Amazon forest "Inoki is very concerned with the situation going on in the Amazon! Last year the deforestation in the Amazon grew 40%! This is outrageous, and our goal with this event is to attract the world’s attention to this matter, and helping a reforestation process to begin, as well as a new conscience to be developed" Also according to Ismail, Inoki is planning to come to Brazil one month prior to the show, straight from China, to visit some Indian tribes and check the current situation in the forest. Among the fights that may take place at Jungle Fight, one will likely feature the return of "The Baby Face Assassin" Josh Barnett, facing Jiu-Jitsu veteran Carlos Barreto. Look for more details about this breakthrough project in FCF soon!
- Speaking of events, Brazil will have its second ever Shooto show this Saturday, July 12th, at the city of Niteroi, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The good news is that this time the show will not only feature Amateur fights, as well as professional Shooto fights (Class B) as well! There will be five professional bouts, consisting of two rounds of two minutes each, and the most interesting one is the super heavyweight challenge between MECA veteran Walter Aba against UFC veteran Rafael Carino, who is finally making his return to MMA competition after years of absence. As always Shooto scouts will be keeping a close eye on the show to recruit talents to their Japanese events, and FCF will have the results soon!
- PRIDE veteran Mario Sperry is having a different task this Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. Besides all his usual activities, such as training, teaching classes and managing fighters, "The Zen Machine" is having surgery on his right hand on this July 12th, because of his long-time broken hand. Sperry originally broke his hand in his PRIDE 22 win over Andrei Kopylov, and after recovering ended up braking the same hand again in training. Although he stated to FCF that he isn’t feeling any pain right now, doctors came to the conclusion that his hand wasn’t properly healed, being necessary to re-arrange the broken bone in proper place trough surgery, in a quick but annoying procedure. Mario went on to say that the doctors expect a recovery process of around one month until he can train again. FCF wishes the best of luck to Ze Mario and the fastest possible recovery.
- Speaking of PRIDE veterans, another PRIDE talent that hasn’t been active since PRIDE 24 is likely to return to action soon. Word around Brazil is that Chute Boxe warrior Murilo Ninja Rua is likely to take part in the MECA World Vale Tudo 9 card, in the first time the show will take place outside of Curitiba. The event is said to take place at August 1st, in the city of Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro, and Ninja’s likely opponent hasn’t been decided yet. If plans come trough and Murilo ends up fighting at MECA, this will mark the first time ever that both Ninja and his brother Shogun fight on the same card.
- Former PRIDE Heavyweight champion Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira is still training hard hoping for a match against Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic at PRIDE’s August 10th show. This match was considered certain at some point here in Brazil, but now rumors are flying around that Cro Cop may end up facing Ukrainian fighter Igor Vovchanchyn. One thing is certain, Minotauro already accepted the fight against Mirko and is hoping for a shot, cause he is eager to get back in action and erase the images of his last outing against Emelianenko Fedor.
- This past July 3rd, in the city of Fortaleza, also in the Northeast of Brazil, the 7th edition of the regional MMA show Champions Night took place. The show had its ups and downs, but manage to hold a good number of spectators, likely around 2.000, and had a mix of Muay Thai and MMA fights, as well as a special Submission Wrestling bout. On the most important MMA bouts of the show, Bitetti Combat 1 and 2 veteran Carlos Indio won an upset against Northeastern veteran, and also BC veteran, Rivanio Aranha. Indio was able to finish the fight with a rear naked choke, much to everybody’s surprise. On the show’s main event, another BC veteran Antonio Samurai, pleased his hometown fans defeating Andre Barbosa.
- The already traditional Black Belt Jiu-Jitsu challenge is planning to come strong in its third edition, next August 21st in Sao Paulo. This time the show plans to take place in the huge Ibirapuera arena, the same that held Abu Dhabi. Among the most interesting challenges on the works for the show, that only features single matches with slightly different rules from the usual Jiu-Jitsu ones, are Fernando Terere facing Fabio Negao, Abu Dhabi champion Marcelo Garcia against Eduardo Santoro, Bibiano Fernandes matching Nova Uniao’s Robson Moura, UFC veteran Alexandre Cafe Dantas against Gabriel Napao, and the most intriguing fight of the event putting former partners Jorge Macaco Patino against Roberto Godoi, in a match that promises to shake the arena in Sao Paulo.
- The last edition of the Storm Muay Thai event in Curitiba ended up not seeing the so awaited return of Chute Boxe heavyweight Assuerio Silva to the rings. Minutes before the match the promoters found out that his opponent, Edson Drago from the Brazilian Top Team, simply disappeared from the arena! Needless to say this caused major disappointment and Assuerio once again was left without a fight. The cause of the sudden and mysterious withdraw from Drago is yet to be discovered, as he alleged that he wasn’t feeling well during warm up, but doctors was quick to say he was perfectly fine after some tests. Edson hasn’t been found by his former teammates since the incident, and needless to say he was expelled from the Brazilian Top Team because of such unprofessional behavior. In the other fights of the afternoon, word has that Chute Boxe fighter Lauro Ramirez, Fabio Tigrao and Rio Grande Do Sul state fighter Helio Dipp was the standouts of the show.
- Ruas Vale Tudo fighter and UFC veteran Renato Babalu Sobral unfortunatelly ended up out of the Extreme Force 1 card. After training for a long time, and withdrawing from the PanAm games in Wrestling to compete in the Bitish event’s debuting card, Babalu’s opponent got injured and sadly enough the promoters didn’t find a replacement, opting to cancel Sobral’s participation on the show. However the young fighter is continuing to train looking for the IFC tournament in September, and maybe one fight even before that.
- If Brazil didn’t only have some talented men fighting in MMA, now the country is sending also a girl to represent its flag abroad! Michelle Tavares, out of Kimura/Nova Uniao, will be taking part of the next DEEP card in Japan, making his MMA debut. Michelle was BJJ world champion in the brown belt division in 2002, and is hoping to be the pioneer in what can bring a lot of other girls to our sport. BC veteran Gleison Tibau is also reported to be fighting in the same DEEP card.
- On the verge of his third match against Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba, PRIDE Middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva is eager to get back in action. Silva told FCF he has been training harder than ever, and currently his shins are swollen from all the kicks in training, despite the use of shin protection. "The Axe Murderer" received the news of a third bout with Sakuraba with a lot of joy, and commented he doesn’t care whom he may face in the second round of the Grand Prix, since he is preparing himself to face anyone, and will accept no outcome but bringing the title back to Chute Boxe. Wanderlei also went on to say that his teammate Mauricio Shogun Rua is preparing himself very hard for both MECA 9 and the IFC tourney, and he is scared to see how much development the kid is having on training, his opponents better watch out.
- Vitor Belfort is back on training in Brazil already focusing on his next UFC bout in November. "The Phenom" wants to prove that he is a new person, completely focused now, and decided to decline even the invitation to participate as a special guest on a national TV soap opera in Brazil! Vitor commented that he only cares about fighting now "This would take my focus away too much, I know how it goes, and all I care now is about fighting and getting the UFC belt". Belfort also told FCF he is welcoming a likely fight against up and comer Rich Franklin at the November UFC card, although he would liked to have a shot at the title "I would want to fight for the belt, but I have to face anyone, it doesn’t matter who I’ll have to fight, I’ll go there and do my job". Vitor Belfort also revealed to Full Contact Fighter that he is preparing some secret weapons for his next fight.
- The newest MMA promotion in Brazil is continuing to work hard as their inaugural show is coming closer. Heat Fighting Championship is promising a never seen before production in Brazil for their July 31st debut show, and as works continue to develop PRIDE, UFC and K-1 veteran Ebenezer Fontes Braga’s opponent was finally announced! Braga’s opponent is going to be non-other than KOTC veteran and young talent from the USA Forrest Griffin, in what the promoters believe has the potential to be the best fight of the night, in Griffin’s biggest chance of his career so far. Two more fights are likely to be announced this next week for HEAT FC 1, and the event’s website is reported to be debuting in the coming week as well. FCF will keep a close eye on what is promising to be one of the best MMA shows to ever take place in Brazilian soil!