Minotauro likely not going to Battleship; Marco Ruas ready to go again; MECA 7 looking to sell out!
The Brazilian Beat:
We’re almost in November already and things are really heating up in Brazil! In a time where news about new events is popping up all the time, the "newest promotion in town," Battleship, has begun to draw attention from the press. Since "The Beat" maintains the policy of commenting on facts and correct information only, this column hasn’t commented on this event until now, but with some rumors popping up around the ‘net lately with Brazilian fighters names involved, we decided to clear up some things for the readers. Setting aside the to come in 2003, there are still several big shows taking place in the upcoming month of November of 2002, and PRIDE 23 is one of them with rumored fights becoming reality on a daily basis and MECA 7 heating up Curitiba for yet another night of pure Brazilian NHB action. In addition to all the upcoming event news, veteran NHB fighter and UFC legend Marco Ruas is ready to return to the ring, and since he always laid some beat downs on his opponents, take your seat and get ready to read a lot ’cause the "Brazilian Beat" is back in FCF!
- NHB legend Marco Ruas is finally fully recovered from his broken hand. Marco suffered the injury while training for a UFO fight against Murakami Kazunari, and had to withdraw from the event that saw Wallid Ismail crush the Japanese fighter. Now the UFC 7 champion tells FCF that he is not only fully recovered, but training hard and ready to fight again! Despite several comments in NHB circles to the contrary, Ruas guaranteed us that he isn’t thinking about retirement and hopes to get back in the ring – before the end of 2002 if possible. Still on the subject of the "King of the Streets," Marco Ruas and his wife just celebrated their 18th anniversary! FCF wishes the best for the couple and hopes they’ll still happy and together in the years to come.
- Ruas Vale Tudo team member Renato Babalu is currently training very hard in the USA for his upcoming UFC 40 bout against Chuck Liddell. This will be the last fight in Renato’s UFC contract and the Brazilian fighter is very clear on the fact that this is the fight of his life, so he isn’t taking "The Iceman" lightly by any means. According to his master, Marco Ruas, Babalu is dedicating himself to training with amazing discipline and has been looking to sharpen up his Muay Thai skills for the fight. Renato Babalu is also reported to be showing tremendous cardio condition and FCF will continue to follow his preparation.
- Chute Boxe star Vanderlei Silva is continuously training hard for his title defense at PRIDE 23, probably against Hiromitsu Kanehara. Silva has been training full time and is no longer sporting the stitches on the gash he received during a training session with fellow teammate Jamanta. "The Axe Murderer" told Full Contact Fighter this week that he is amazed with the amount of punching power he is developing in training and is looking to a stand-up brawl against his next opponent.
- Still on the subject of Chute Boxe and PRIDE 23, at this point is very highly likely that Chute Boxe star Murilo "Ninja" Rua and former Brazilian Top Team member/RINGS champion Ricardo Arona will face each other in the ring at the Tokyo Dome in November. The fight isn’t signed yet, but it’s considered a done deal among NHB circles in Brazil.
- Jiu-Jitsu legend Mario Sperry is definitely out of PRIDE 23. Despite some early intentions from DSE to maybe use him on their November card, Mario told FCF he won’t be competing in the show since he isn’t training properly for a fight now and has been focusing on helping his students and teammates for their next fights. The Zen Machine’s next step will be a travel to Curitiba to corner his student Luizao, and other BTT members Haroldo Cabelinho Bunn and Jucao for their MECA 7 fights.
- Since some fans are always wondering and asking about Chute Boxe heavyweight Assuerio Silva, "The Beat" decided to give an update on his current status. The MECA and PRIDE veteran is currently fully healed from his knee injury that took him out of action for so long, and he is training as hard as ever with the Chute Boxe team in Curitiba. Assuerio is reported to be much stronger now, due to all the time he spent in the weight-room during his absence from the ring, and is eager to fight again. Assuerio is likely to make his return at PRIDE 24 in December.
- There has been much talk lately about a new NHB promotion in America, called Battleship. Since there’s Brazilian fighter’s names being tossed around in relation to the new show, this column decided to clear some things up about the situation. The event will hold two 4-man tournaments – one middleweight & one heavyweight. It will most likely take place on January 31st and the prize money for the tourney winner is reported to be U.S. $250,000 Dollars. Contracts are flying around the globe looking to attract several top NHB stars. However, although it has been reported elsewhere that PRIDE heavyweight champion Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira is close to signing for this event, this is not the case. In fact Minotauro is very likely NOT going to fight at Battleship and still has a fight left in his PRIDE contract, which will happen still in 2002.
- UFC Middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante is training hard in Rio de Janeiro, both preparing his students and teammates and keeping himself in fighting shape. As of now Bustamante hasn’t signed any deals with any events, and is still studying offers from several events. It is still too early to say if Murilo will be fighting at the Battleship promotion, return to the UFC or go to Japan to fight, the only sure thing is that "Bustamove" will be fighting again in 2003 and still plans to fight for several years to come.
- MECA World Vale Tudo 7 is getting closer and things are heated in Curitiba! The promotion of the event is going at full force with advertisements on local radio stations and cars going around the city announcing the event over P.A. systems. Tickets are already on sale and the promoters are expecting a packed house as in the last show, however this time they’ll open the gates earlier to try to avoid a situation with more than 2.000 people being left without a ticket like in MECA 6, due to the event’s huge success. As the city’s excitement over the biggest NHB event in Brazil is huge, fighters are also finishing up their preparations… Chute Boxe coach Rudimar Fedrigo told FCF that Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Nilson de Castro are on the top of their games, and American fighter Dave Phillips is already back in Brazil and ready for his fight against Mario Sperry’s black belt Luis Orlando. Also, as MECA is attracting more and more attention from the NHB world, PRIDE’s Koichi Kawasaki has confirmed that he will be on hand as a special guest at the event on November 8th. Full Contact Fighter will continue to follow the last minute preparations for MECA 7.