K-1 Brazil Set to go!
NHB stars everywhere in Brazil;
MECA postponed amp; Bitetti Combat on the rise!
The Brazilian Beat:
As we march to the end of February with steady steps, things are heating up in Brazil and plenty of things are happening in the fight world. The end of the shortest month of the year is holding an interesting and an enjoyable surprise for the fighting fans with the first ever K-1 Brazil taking place in Sao Paulo, where NHB veteran Carlos Barreto will serve as the main attraction and probably most intriguing point of the fighting afternoon at the Maksud Plaza Hotel, making his professional stand-up fighting debut! With UFC 41 and PRIDE 25 also quickly approaching, fighters like Pedro Rizzo, Rodrigo and Rogerio Nogueira, Nino Schembri and Anderson Silva have their hands full of work right now. As nothing is ever enough for FCF and our avid readers, the end of February also brings the final details for Bitetti Combat 2, with some interesting fights scheduled to happen at the show and the latest developments of MECA World Vale-Tudo in its eighth edition. So, before you get a taste of the action delivered by K-1 Brazil, UFC 41 and PRIDE 25, take your time to get your usual dose of Brazilian news, as we step up to a fast-paced rhythm for yet another Brazilian Beat, courtesy of Full Contact Fighter!
- K-1 Brazil is set and ready to go in Sao Paulo this Sunday, February 23rd. Promoter Sergio Batarelli has all the details worked and promises to deliver a never seen before show in terms of stand up fighting in Brazil. The production is reported to be top notch, and more than 10 cameras will be responsible for the television coverage of the event. The show, featuring a 8 men tournament and some single fights, will qualify two fighters to perform at K-1 USA in Las Vegas, one being the champion and another one selected by the producers based on the performance displayed through the fights. On Saturday, February 22nd, the press conference, rules meeting and weigh-ins are going to be held at the astonishing Maksud Plaza Hotel, and the fights will begin on Sunday at 5:00 pm local time. FCF will be there bringing you all the action!
- Speaking of K-1 Brazil, NHB veteran Carlos Barreto is more than ready for his first event stand up competition. Barreto will be leaving Rio de Janeiro and going to Sao Paulo this Friday, February 21st, and is feeling very confident regarding his performance. The Brazilian Top Team member has been training exclusively Muay Thai for some weeks now with his trainer Paulo Nikolai, and is weighing 110kg for the event! Barreto told FCF he wants to represent his team and NHB at the K-1 event, and believes he will surprise a lot of people with his performance! Don’t miss a new interview with the BTT veteran tomorrow here at FCF’s site!
- PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva and his teammate Murilo Rua Ninja both went to the city of Londrina, in the state of Parana, Brazil, to meet and learn from Waldemar Guimaraes, one of the most important physical trainers in Brazil, being at some point in his career the responsible for the training of world class bodybuilders such as multiple times Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates. "The Axe Murderer" and Ninja stayed in the city for a good while and learned specific weight training routines for fighters from Guimaraes, as well as tips on their food intake. According to Silva himself, he and Ninja are looking to be even more professional about the sport in 2003, and both will return in their best shape ever to perform at the PRIDE ring.
- PRIDE Middleweight contender Ricardo Arona is taking his time off the PRIDE ring to take care of his personal issues as well as train hard. The next time Arona steps on the ring he will be sporting two new tattoos he just made, one complementing his old tattoo on his ribs, and a new one on his thigh. Ricardo Arona has been training hard as always, and expects to be back at PRIDE 26, if it happens.
- Brazilian Top Team member and PRIDE Heavyweight champion Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira continues his preparation for his title defense against Emelianenko Fedor at PRIDE 25. On the meantime his fame continues to grow in Brazil, and he is slowly getting the recognition he deserves from the general public. Minotauro was featured this week on one of the countries most prestigious TV talk shows, being interviewed along with his twin and brother and PRIDE fighter Rogerio Nogueira. It’s amazing that the stars of our sport are finally getting mainstream appearance as they truly deserves.
- The month of March will have the second edition of the Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Challenge in Sao Paulo. The first edition of the event that matches up famous BJJ black belts against each other in single matches was a success, therefore the promoters have the second edition already planned for March 25th, also in Sao Paulo but in a larger venue, holding up to 3.500 people. All the winners from the first edition will be coming back, and some interesting match ups will be taken place such as Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros against Gabriel Napao, Fabio Leopoldo against Claudio Godoy, and Saulo Ribeiro facing Jeferson Moura.
- Ruas Vale-Tudo fighter and UFC heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo will be leaving for the USA this Sunday, heading for Atlantic City where he will be fighting against Vladdy Matyushenko. As Rizzo told FCF previously, he decided to only go to the USA one week before the event, instead of going two weeks in advance to finish his preparation with his mentor Marco Ruas. The reason is because Atlantic City has a friendlier time zone than Vegas in relation to Brazil, so this time he will meet Marco only in the week of the bout to work on the final details of his game plan. "The Rock" is still in great shape, probably the better he has been in the latest years and promises to deliver.
- Jiu-Jitsu sensation Nino "Elvis" Schembri is excited with the chance of a lifetime in facing Japanese NHB superstar Kazushi Sakuraba at PRIDE 25. Nino has been training a lot of Jiu-Jitsu with his friends at Gracie Barra, as always, and despite being taken by surprise in some sense with this opportunity, feels he is ready for the task and the fans can surely expect a flamboyant entrance, remembering his idol Elvis Presley, by the BJJ stylist at the PRIDE arena.
- The 8th edition of MECA World Vale-Tudo, the most important NHB event in Brazil right now, is once again postponed due to television issues. As has been becoming a trend with all the latest editions of MECA, Sportv [The cable channel that is the main sponsor of the event] still didn’t decide what is the best date to have the event, and the initial plans of April 26th of 2003 are now totally unlikely and the promoters and channel directors are now looking in to a date at the month of May 2003. However, promoter Rudimar Fedrigo guaranteed to FCF that all the matches that were previously announced are still up for the show.
- The so awaited STORM Muay Thai Grand Prix also has a chance to be postponed, but in only one week. The event was set to go at April 5th in Curitiba, however Chute Boxe heavyweight Assuerio Silva will be competing on the same week at the 1st Free Style Switzerland Tournament, an 8 men NHB tournament in Switzerland, of course. With that, Chute Boxe masters Rudimar Fedrigo and Rafael Cordeiro feel that is important to show support to their fighter by going along with him to the Swiss event, and then hold the STORM Grand Prix one week after it. An official announcement about the final date for STORM Grand Prix may be made this week.
- Speaking of the STORM Grand Prix, Chute Boxe rising star and newest sensation in Japan, Anderson Silva is still confirmed at the up to 85 kg division of the Muay Thai tournament! Despite the fact that Anderson will be facing former UFC champion Carlos Newton at PRIDE 25 in March, he will also be performing his beloved Muay Thai in front of his hometown fans of Curitiba on April, granted he doesn’t suffer any major injuries on his bout against Newton. Anderson Silva told FCF he is in great shape and ready for both tasks!
- The second edition of Bitetti Combat Nordeste is almost set and ready to go and promises to truly rock, being one of the best, if not the best, NHB event ever held in the Brazilian Northeast region. Even with the unfortunate absence of NHB veterans Mario Sucata and Marcelo Tigre, who were negotiating to be fighting at the event, promoters Conrado and Amaury Bitetti have worked hard to deliver a great card to please the crowd of Natal. The event will take place at March 20th and will once again bring 8 NHB fights, with the highlights being the NHB debut of Jiu-Jitsu prodigy Fernando Terere, the return of NHB veteran Johil de Oliveira, MECA winner Cyborg, as well as the first Bitetti Combat sensation Tiago Pitbull! Fernando Terere has been training with Vitor Belfort himself, and will be making his NHB debut against Tibau, who is a tough experienced young fighter who won at the first edition of the event, and trains with the Ruas Vale-Tudo team from time to time. Luta Livre legend Johil de Oliveira will be fighting Silmar Rodrigo, who also won at the first issue of Bitetti Combat and already fought the likes of Darrel Gohlar in his young career. MECA winner Cyborg will face MECA and Bitetti Combat veteran Lucas Lopes, while the talented Tiago Pitbull will return to the ring to face a tough local fighter in Dinarte! FCF will continue to follow the developments of what is turning to be one of the most important events in the southern hemisphere.