The Northern Touch:news And Notes From Canadian Mma
The Northern Touch:
News and Notes from Canadian MMA
By Kelsey Mowatt
"Pequeno" Nogueira Out, Takeshi In Against Carvalho for Shooto 143-Pound Title
Team Shah Franco fighter Antonio Carvalho informed FCF this week that he will now be fighting Lion Takeshi May 12 in Tokyo, Japan for the Shooto 143-pound World Title, instead of current Champion Alexandre "Pequeno" Nogueira. Due to a knee injury, Nogueira will be unable to defend his title this Saturday, a belt the highly-regarded Brazilian fighter has not defended now in 14 months. A report on Shooto’s official site today stated that Nogueira had been stripped of his title.
"Usually when Shah calls me at weird times it going to bad news, so when he said Pequeno was out with a knee injury I wasn’t surprised," says Carvalho. "It’s tough. You had your sights set on someone and then have to consider new things, I have to change from someone who guillotine’s everyone to a guy who punches everyone’s head in. I’m assuming it’s for the belt because that’s what the contract says, Nogueira hasn’t defended his belt in 14 months so it wouldn’t surprise me if they are stripping him of it."
Carvalho (9-1), who defeated Japanese Shooto legend Rumina Sato in February with TKO, will be taking on Takeshi (8-1) now for a second time. Their previous fight occurred in August of last year, when Carvalho gave Takeshi his first career loss, winning the fight by majority decision. Despite his disappointment in not being able to meet Pequeno, Carvalho is looking forward to this next installment with Takeshi, and the opportunity to win the Shooto World Title.
"I think he saw a different me in my first fight with him," Carvalho maintains. "When I first started fighting in Japan, I realized I had to come back and work on my grappling. Against Sato, I think those adjustments really helped. I totally didn’t think they would offer me a title shot; I figured I was in the title picture because of the win over Rumina, but I thought they would have Pequeno and Gilbert (Melendez) throw down. But I think with Takeshi he’s a good draw in Japan for Shooto, he’s kind of old school, wears the old school shorts. I’m assuming he’ll come out throwing his hands – that’s his bread and butter. For me, if the most comfortable thing to do is what I’m doing, I’ll keep doing it, whether it’s on the ground or standing."
Menjivar Defeats Nakahara at K-1 Hero’s 2006
Canadian resident Ivan Menjivar defeated Taiyo Nakahara by unanimous decision May 3 at the Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, Japan for K-1 Hero’s 2006 event. The win is a nice follow-up to Menjivar’s recent loss to Urijah Faber at TKO 24, where "the Pride of El Salvador" was disqualified for kicking a downed Faber, a move not allowed under the organization’s rules. According to Menjivar, whose record now climbs to 18-4, the outcome of his latest fight with Nakahara was never in doubt as he awaited the judge’s decision, as he was extremely confident his performance had secured him the victory.
"Most of the fight was standing and I tried to put pressure on him the entire time," Menjivar tells FCF. "I blocked his kicks and punches; when we clinched I kneed him to the head and cut him. I got in some spinning back kicks and spinning backfists. I controlled the whole fight, took him down a couple of times, I was never hurt and never was in danger. I knew I had won the fight."
Menjivar fought Nakahara in K-1 Hero’s 155-pound division, a departure from the145-pound weight class the 5’5 tall fighter has usually competed in. For an organization that has such notable lightweights as Caol Uno, Genki Sudo and Champion Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Menjivar is keenly aware of the potential match-ups that might await him if he continues to compete at 155 pounds.
"I prefer to fight at 145 pounds," Menjivar admits. "That is where I think I’m at my best. These fighters at 155 are bigger and stronger, but I’m willing to do it. To fight a big name like Uno or Sudo it would have to be for big money. It’s hard for me at 155 but depending on the check, I’ll fight anyone. I like fighting in Japan – the people at K-1 are very professional and all the people there love the sport."
With the recent news that Mark Hominick has lost his TKO Featherweight Title to Hatsu Hioki, Menjivar, who still has fights left on his TKO contract, was open to the idea of fighting the newly crowned Champion.
"If I have time to train and life is good," Menjivar says, "I’ll fight him sure; I have fights left with TKO so we’ll see what happens."