New Year’s Eve Shows’ War And Broken Nose Takes Shoji Out Of Heat Fc 2!
New Year’s Eve Shows’ War and Broken Nose Takes Shoji Out of HEAT FC 2!
By Eduardo Alonso
A broken nose suffered in late November and later the battle taking place between three Japanese organizations to use fighters on their New Year’s evening shows forced Japanese fighter and PRIDE veteran Akira Shoji to be taken out of of the HEAT FC 2 Revolution card, coming up this next December 18th. Around the initial date for HEAT FC 2, November 27th, Akira suffered a broken nose during a training session against UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry, making it impossible for him to attend the show. With the constant rain in the city of Natal, hometown of HEAT, moving the show to December 18th at an indoor arena, it was against possible, although not sure, for the Japanese fighter to compete again, since his trainer Matt Hume was hoping for a possible recovery in time. However, as the seasoned fighter recovers Japanese events started a war after fighters to use in their cards. With three major shows taking place at New Year’s evening, fighters native from the land of the rising sun became very important and a fight for Shoji in one of those also became probable, making HEAT promoters to make a choice for taking him out of their card, keeping a good relationship with the AMC Pankration camp as well as shows such as PRIDE. On the same trend, WEF veteran Roman Roytberg, also from AMC Pankration, had to withdraw from the show due to personal issues and conflicts with the new date, but will most likely be featured at a future edition of the show, with HEAT FC 3 being tentatively scheduled for late March of 2004. Replacements for both Akira Shoji and Roman Roytberg will be announced at any time by the promoters. Here is the current card of HEAT FC 2, on December 18th:
From Dream Stage Entertainment:
TWO SHOWS IN TWO WEEKS!
LOS ANGELES, California – Dream Stage Entertainment announces two upcoming events for the year 2004:
PRIDE FC: INFERNO
Live Event: February 1, 2004
PPV Date: February 8, 2004
From the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan
PRIDE FC: BUSHIDO 2
More information on both fight cards soon to follow.
COUTURE TO DEFEND LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE AGAINST BELFORT LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW AT UFC 46: SUPER NATURAL, JANUARY 31
Matt Hughes To Meet BJ Penn For Welterweight Crown In Ultimate Fighting Championship Super Bowl Weekend Show At Mandalay Bay In Las Vegas
Heavyweights Frank Mir, Wes Sims To Battle In Rematch;
TICKETS NOW ON SALE!
LAS VEGAS, December 2, 2003…Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Randy "The Natural" Couture will defend his title for the first time against Brazilian phenom Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC 46: Super Natural LIVE on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST, Saturday, January 31, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
In the co-main event of the Super Bowl Saturday fight show, Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes will defend his belt for the sixth time when he meets one of the world’s top rated fighters, BJ Penn, who will move up from the lightweight division for the title fight. In two feature matches on the eight-fight card, Las Vegas Heavyweight Frank Mir will again fight Wes Sims in the much-anticipated re-match of their June 6 bout, and Lee Murray, one of Britain’s top ranked middleweights will clash with Jorge Rivera. The remainder of the card will be announced.
Live event tickets, $350, $250, $150, $75 and $35, are now on sale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office in Las Vegas, at all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com and www.mandalaybay.com. Tickets also may be ordered by telephone at 1-877-632-7400 or 1-702-474-4000. Ticket purchases are limited to eight per person and are subject to transaction fees. UFC 46: Super Natural also will be available on pay-per-view on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Echostar, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $29.95.
Couture and Belfort fought six years ago in an epic battle that Couture won by technical knockout. Now both are at the peak of their careers and are ready for a re-match. Belfort vows the outcome will be different this time, but Couture says the light heavyweight division suits him well and he won’t be relinquishing the belt any time soon.
Couture (12-5-0 in mixed martial arts) from Portland, Ore., is the 40-year-old superman who has blitzed the light heavyweight division since he dropped down from heavyweight in June and defeated then number one contender Chuck Liddell to capture the interim championship. He followed with an even more impressive defeat of Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision September 21 to capture the light heavyweight crown outright. Couture, the former two-time heavyweight champion, is the only fighter in the UFC’s 10-year history to win titles in two different weight classifications.
Belfort (11-3-0) from Rio de Janeiro, is one of the world’s top-ranked light heavyweight fighters. He is coming off a dominating performance in June in Las Vegas where he defeated Marvin Eastman by technical knockout in just 1:10 of the first round. Belfort’s mastery of jiu jitsu and his lightning quick hands established his reputation early on. He exploded on the scene in 1997 at just 19 dazzling fans and opponents alike with his furious hands and punching power. He won his first three fights with devastating punches, including a 53 second knockout of the legendary Tank Abbott.
Penn (6-1-1) from Hilo, Hawaii, is the undisputed top lightweight fighter in the world. A threat both striking and on the ground, the energetic, young Hawaiian is always looking for a new challenge. He may have accepted his greatest one yet moving up a weight class to challenge the seemingly unstoppable Welterweight World Champion Hughes (30-3-0) from Hillsboro, Ill.
Since winning the welterweight crown in November 2001 with a knockout of Carlos Newton, Hughes has destroyed everyone in his path including highly-rated Frank Trigg with a rear naked choke in just 3:54 of the first round at UFC 45: Revolution. Hughes, known for his high amplitude body slams and devastating ground and pound attack, is considered the pound-for-pound strongest fighter in mixed martial arts. He is at the absolute top of his game right now and everyone wants to know if Penn will shock the world or if he has bitten off more than he can chew against the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history.
The Mir-Sims bout not only will be a re-match but also a grudge match. Sims, the 6’10" Hammer House fighter, and 6’3′ submission expert Mir first battled at UFC 43: Meltdown. Mir (6-1-0) from Las Vegas, started strong taking Sims down and working for a submission. The fight ended when Sims (6-2-1) from Columbus, Ohio, was disqualified for repeatedly stomping Mir in the face, a tactic that is illegal under UFC fight rules. Sims claims the stomps were payback for Mir eye gouging him earlier in the fight. Both agree the only way to settle their differences is with a rematch and both are confident it is their hand that will be raised at the end.
The Murray-Rivera fight will pit two fighters of similar styles. Rivera made an impressive debut at UFC 44: Undisputed in September with a three-round unanimous decision over David Loiseau, one of Canada’s top middleweights. After sustaining a head cut in the first round, Rivera (7-1-0) of Milford, Mass., came back strong to win all three rounds with his boxing skills. Murray (8-1-1) from London, England, will be making his UFC debut. He also is an accomplished boxer and submission specialist who says bluntly that his favorite technique is the knockout. He currently holds middleweight titles in World Extreme Force, Millennium Brawl and is the CFC British champion.