Villareal Accepts Rutten Challenge;wfa Enters Pay-per-view Realm
Villareal Accepts Rutten Challenge;
WFA Enters Pay-Per-View Realm
By Loretta Hunt
Photos by Daisy Rosas
LOS ANGELES, July 21 — With a laundry list of replacements covering the spectrum from Wes Sims to Wade Shipp to former UFC 20 adversary Kevin Randleman, no one but the WFA promoters and the California State Athletic Commission themselves knew for sure just who’d step onto the scale this evening to face Bas Rutten in tomorrow night’s WFA "King of the Streets" at the Forum in Inglewood.
It would be Sacramento fighter Ruben Villareal, whose notice for this engagement might not have even been a complete 24 hours. Villareal replaces Kimo Leopoldo, pulled from the card Thursday after it was announced the Hawaiian failed a pre-fight steroids test. A KOTC staple, the 10-7-3 Villareal will need to go on a "Warpath" indeed to tame the 24-7-1 Holland import who once wore the UFC gold around his waist. What is in Villareal’s favor are the numbers; he weighed in 260 pounds today — 46 pounds heavier than the seven-years-removed Rutten who reigned in the sport in a different era.
For Rutten, the animated returning fighter forthcomingly divulged the search to find a last-minute replacement opponent had put a noticeable stress on him, but once Villareal hit the stage, the worry subsided.
The main attraction to tomorrow night’s proceedings is outspoken power wrestler Quinton Jackson, fighting back in the States for the first time in nearly four years following a fruitful run in Japan’s PRIDE organization. More stand-up comedian than imposing killer, the rambunctious Memphis native managed some crowd-rousing zingers as he climbed the steps to the scales to log in a 204-pound reading. His entire MMA career staked at 185 pounds, the more subdued Matt Lindland, an Olympic silver medallist in Greco-Roman wrestling who’ll need to impose his trade to counter Jackson’s strength, rang in at 200.5 lbs.
Receiving a respectful round from his peers, new daddy Ivan Salaverry’s relaxed demeanor was only matched by opponent Art Santore’s equally friendly exchange with him. Chilean-born Salaverry weighed in a pound shy of the middleweight mark; Team Quest fighter Santore was three-quarter’s pound over, but within the CSAC’s allowance.
Although Brazilian Jorge Oliviera had a few inches on him, opponent Marvin Eastman mustered a vicious staredown that drew a reaction from the packed room of onlookers. Eastman puckered like his life depended on it, while Chute Boxe USA rep Oliviera did his best to reciprocate. Both weighed in at 206 pounds.
Rumored to be broadcasting as many as seven fights tomorrow night, WFA "King of the Streets" will be available live on pay-per-view via InDemand and Dish Network (Check local listings for availability.)
WFA "King of the Streets" Weigh-in Results
*Announced as unofficial weigh-in pending CSAC paperwork completion and approval
MacDonald Goes for Hat Trick at Saturday’s ECC 3
By Peter Parsons
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 21 — The Oasis Bar and Grill was the location of the weigh-ins for tomorrow night’s Extreme Cage Combat 3. ECC returns to its original location at the Halifax Forum where an astonishing sold out crowd of 5,650 fans witnessed the first ever MMA event in Atlantic Canadian history. Extreme Cage Combat 2 took place just three weeks ago in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Ironically, some of the fighters revisited Moncton on route to tonight’s weigh-ins due to some inclement weather in the Halifax area. "Some of the fighters couldn’t land in Halifax, so we had to bus them in from Moncton," says the event’s promoter Peter Martel.
Only one fighter was unable to weigh in — Ohio native Shane Lightle. "Shane will arrive tomorrow and weigh in the day of the fight," explained the promoter. Continues Martel, "Shane and [opponent Victor Valimaki] usually fight at light-heavyweight, but they agreed to fight at heavyweight, which means they won’t cut weight and will probably come in between 215 to 220."
In the night’s main event, Nova Scotia native Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald (12-7) will fight Fritz "Animal" Paul (7-2) from Team Nestor in Quebec. This will be MacDonald’s third main event in a row for the ECC promotion and he’s subsequently looking to go three-for-three in the ECC cage.
Overseen by the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority, tomorrow night’s rules are similar to the Unified Rule utilized throughout North America with the exception of no elbows to the head on the ground or standing. However, elbows are allowed to the body. "We are working on the elbows; it all comes slowly," says Martel. "We hope to have elbows to the head allowed in future events."
ECC 3 Weigh-In Results:
* Curtis Fiander weighed in 1.2 lbs over his 180 lb limit. Fiander was given two hours by the boxing authority to make weight.