Rumble On The Rock 6 Press Conference
Rumble on the Rock 6 Press Conference
Ala Moana Shopping Center
By Michael Onzuka
The powerhouse organization known as K-1 has teamed up with promoter JD Penn to back Rumble on the Rock 6, ROTR’s biggest show to date. Once again, JD puts his famous little brother to work, this time moving up yet another weight class to the 185 lb. division. JD Penn was the man who placed his number one ranked 155 lb brother against then number 2, Takanori Gomi, in this same octagon to determine who was the best at 155 (Everyone knows BJ won). The UFC then matched up the Prodigy against the most devastating force at 170 lbs, Matt Hughes, whom was choked by Penn to claim the number one spot at 170 lbs. This time Rodrigo Gracie, grandson of the one of the two brothers that founded Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie, puts his undefeated record on the line as Penn attempts to climb to the top of the 185 lb division. If BJ does succeed tomorrow night and a dominate 185 lb fighter is clearly determined, you can probably bet that may be the next ROTR main event. This would solidify his place in MMA history as the best MMA fighter ever, but first a very talented young fighter with an enormous family history in the fight business wants to de-rail the BJ Penn train. During the press conference, Rodrigo Gracie, showed a lot of class by acknowledging Penn’s skills and said that he was looking forward to the fight. BJ, when asked why was he moving up, stated that he would fight anyone at any weight, even a 300-pounder because if he got knocked out, he wouldn’t remember it anyway.
This star studded card also features K-1 superstar Carter Williams in an MMA match with the Green Beret Tom Howard. UFC veterans Wes "The Project" Sims faces a lesser known Antoni Hardonk and Hawaii’s own Cabbage Correira is locked up in a heated battle with Yoshihiro Nakao. There seems to be a little grudge going on here. Cabbage needs a win badly to get his career back on track as he attempts to raise his stock in the heavyweight division. Rodrigo’s second cousin and one of the most successful grapplers of all time, BJJ black belt and Abu Dhabi world champion, Royler Gracie, makes his Hawaii fighting debut after a brutal loss to Genki Sudo in the last K-1 event. Royler thanked K-1 for giving him another opportunity and will face 2000 Sydney Olympian, freestyle wrestler Kazuyuki Miyata who will be making his fighting debut. Dennis "Superman" Hallman jumped in after a number of opponents dropped out for local boy, Ross "Da Boss" Ebanez. Ebanez, who usually fights at 170 agreed to fight at 180 to match Hallman. Hallman stated that he has been working a lot on his upper body Karate which he plans to use tomorrow night and after the fight he will be looking for a lady to practice some lower body Karate. Ex-pro-wrestler, Sean O’Hare had some funky hair and dropped 20 pounds to fight a very small, but rugged Shungo Oyama. The fight of the night may be the first fight were BJ Penn’s Kaynan Kaku challenges one the fastest raising fighters at 155, Cesar Gracie’s Gil Melendez. Both fighters come in with undefeated records and may possibly make a jump to fight the division’s best at 155 in a fight or two.
Ticket sales have been going through the roof and the big screen had to be taken down to add more seats to satisfy the Hawaii fans. Other notables at the press conference were Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, newly crowned Pancrase champ, TK Tsuyoshi Kosaka, and Pride veteran Gilbert Yvel. ROTR has brought in Bruce Buffer to announce for the event to solidify that he is the voice of the octagon(s) and Larry Landless to referee. At the end of the press conference, K-1 revealed that the headline fight for the huge end of year show would be none other than Hawaiian Chad "Akebono" Rowen vs. Royce Gracie. Both fighters showed mutual respect for each other and Royce even joked that his strategy was to just survive against the mountain of a man, Sumo Yokozuma (or Grand Champion) Akebono. This is one of the biggest weight differentials for quite some time with Royce coming in at a lean 185 lbs and Akebono listed at 460 lbs. Yours truly will be doing the color commentary with Ryan Bennett and I will be looking forward to a number of fights on this card as well as the main event. Stay tuned to FCF for the full write up.
Rumble on the Rock 6 Fight Card
Gladiator Challenge Results
By Keith Mills
Colusa, CA — With just one more Gladiator Challenge show this year, the Lightweight and Heavyweight titles are decided for 2004. Team Cesar Gracie’s Nick Ertle took the Lightweight belt with is relentless pursuit of an armbar over Brian Cobb while Dan Evensen retained his belt against Warpath. Nick was simply out of Cobb’s league while Evensen’s fight was far from his impressive performance earlier this year where he won the title with three fights over two days in a tournament style marathon. It should be noted that Evensen was coming not only off a Muay Thai fight one month ago but suffered a knee injury a week after that which prevented him from training during normal peak time and it showed. Warpath on the other hand took the fight on literally a one-day notice after original contender Bo Cantrell was KO’d in his title fight against Paul Buentello in KOTC last weekend. If these two were in peak shape it may have been a much better headline fight but their sloppy exchanges and questionable conditioning was a low point to the night.
The crowd during the six main events was notably enthusiastic to say the least. How about near riotous in their support. Few shows have attained that level of sheer noise as former champion and local favorite Jamie Jara entered the cage. With Tito Ortiz in his corner, Lou Russell also made the fans go hoarse as he did a good job against Walter Patterson but in the end Patterson kept his cool and found the submission. Hungary’s Sarkozi added a dash of international appeal despite his opponent Scott Ernsty just not being up to the task, finally quitting in less than a minute after being knocked down, a major disappointment from a main event.
The sixth main event winner was Marco Alvarez from Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance. From a team perspective Nor-Cal, headed by Team Cesar Gracie’s latest UFC vet David Terrell, went 3-0 with Tyson Griffen and George Lopez also picking up wins. Also from the team perspective UFC vet Cal Worsham’s Team X went 4-0 with Jara, Saints Perrases, Alan Scoville, and Jason Gerus emerging victorious.
Look for a full report in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter.
Gladiator Challenge 32: King of the Hill