Pride 33 “the Second Coming” Card Beginning To Take Form
Pride 33 "The Second Coming" Card Beginning to Take Form
Diaz to Meet Gomi in Non-Title Bout
By FCF Staff
Three more fights have been officially added to the upcoming Pride 33 card to be held February 24th at the Thomas and Mack Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada. In what has been rumored for sometime now, Pride’s website now confirms that UFC veteran Nick Diaz has indeed been signed by the Japanese promotion, and will be facing the organization’s lightweight champion, Takanori Gomi in a non-title bout. Diaz, (14-6) has looked impressive in his last two fights, stopping Gleison Tibau in the first round with strikes at UFC 65 on November 18th last fall, and prior to that, submitting Miletich fighter Josh Neer with a kimura at UFC 62 last August. Despite the fact that Diaz has lost six times, his losses have come way competing against the UFC’s best welterweight fighters, including Diego Sanchez, Karo Parisyan and current UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk. The Cesar Gracie fighter, who also has notable victories over Drew Fickett and Robbie Lawler, should present a tremendous challenge for the Japanese champion. Diaz, who has been competing at 170 pounds, will have to drop ten pounds for his fight with Gomi, a weight loss that should have little effect on the 23 year old fighter.
Gomi has won his last three fights in a row, including his recent victory over Mitsuhiro Ishida at Pride’s New Year’s Eve "Shockwave" event, where Gomi stormed through his highly regarded opponent, stopping Ishida with strikes in the first round. Pride’s lightweight champion went 3-1 in 2006, avenging his loss to Marcus Aurelio in April at Bushido 10, by working his way to a unanimous decision victory over the American Top Team fighter at Bushido 13 in November. In between his bouts with Auerlio, Gomi defeated David Baron at August’s Bushido 12 card. Gomi, will bring a record of 27-3 when he faces Diaz on February 24th.
Another intriguing bout that has been added to the card will feature Frank Trigg taking on Kazuo Misaki in a Pride welterweight bout. (183 pounds) Trigg has of course recently re-invigorated his fighting career in fine form by stopping Jason Miller with strikes at Icon Sport "Unstoppable" on December 1st. Since exiting the UFC, Trigg has gone 2-1, losing to Carlos Condit at Rumble on the Rock 9 last April, after defeating Rhonald Jhun at ROTR 8 on January 20th, 2006. Trigg’s current record now stands at 14-5.
The veteran Misaki (18-7-2) has entrenched his reputation for being one of the sport’s more resilient fighters over the last year, going 4-2 in that time competing against some of worlds better 183 pound fighters. Misaki defeated Denis Kang by decision on November 5th, last fall to lay claim to Pride’s Welterweight Grand Prix Title, after Paulo Filho, who had defeated Misaki earlier that evening, was unable to continue due to injury. Misaki also went 1-1 in 2006 against Pride Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson, and also defeated Phil Baroni by unanimous decision on June 4th at Bushido 11.
Veteran American fighter Travis Wiuff (43-9) will make his Pride debut against Kazuhiro Nakamura (11-6) in the lightheavyweight division. Nakamura, who dropped a unanimous decision loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at Pride’s Shockwave event last month, will be looking to rebound against Wiuff, who went 3-3 in 2006.
The announcement by Pride confirms 5 fights now for the upcoming event, which will also include Wanderlei Silva defending his middleweight title against Dan Henderson, and Mac Danzig’s Pride debut against Hayato Sakurai.
From the event’s promoter:
BRAWL AT THE MALL V!!!!
The Lightweight TITLE FIGHT!!
When? Saturday February 10, 2007
Where? Vision Quest Sport and Fitness center at the Auburn Supermall.
Tickets available at:
Who’s fighting? See list below, subject to change.
New KOTC Lightweight Champ Responds to Danzig
By Kelsey Mowatt
Newly crowned King of the Cage Lightweight Champion Clay French has responded to some of the statements Mac Danzig made to FCF in regards to their fight last weekend. French was awarded a split decision victory at KOTC "Hard Knocks", Friday night in Rockford Illinois to unseat the Pride bound former champ. In an interview earlier this week, Danzig told FCF that he did not agree with the judge’s decision giving French the victory.
"I thought I won the fight," French tells FCF. "Mac fought very well, he obviously feels differently then I do, the game plan going in was to neutralize his strengths and capitalize on his weaknesses, and I felt like I was able to do that. I was able to secure quite a few takedowns and get some decent ground pound. I mean he’s entitled to his opinion and I’m entitled to mine, he put on a great performance and I wish him all the best against Sakurai."
Danzig also expressed his suspicions to FCF that maybe, what he believed was a pro-French crowd, might have affected the judges scoring, a sentiment that French also does not agree with.
"It wasn’t my hometown," says French. "It’s four and a half hours away, yeah, I did have some friends and family there watching but it was an exciting fight, I mean a lot of the people there screaming and cheering were excited about the fight. A lot of the people there cheering weren’t there to watch me, they were there to watch King of the Cage."
The win extends French’s record to 9-2, and gets the Reinhardt Mixed Martial Arts fighter back on the winning track after dropping back to back losses against Justin James and Shinya Aoki last year. French, who fought Aoki last November at Pride Bushido 13 and still has one remaining fight on his Pride contract, is looking forward to life as KOTC Champ.
"Now I got to defend it," French says in regards to now holding the belt. "Danzig did a good job of defending it for a long time and I plan on doing the same thing. I just got to get motivated and give my 100% in training and when it’s time to fight."
Stay tuned for the rest of the interview with French, when it can be heard on FCF Radio later this week.