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Monday, Feb 05, 2007

Elite Xc Signs Shields And “ninja”

Elite XC Signs Shields and "Ninja"
By FCF Staff

New promotion Elite XC officially announced yesterday that the organization has added Jake Shields and Murillo "Ninja" Rua to their growing roster of fighters. Elite XC is scheduled to have their premiere event this Saturday, February 10th in Southaven, Mississippi, a card that will also be televised on the Showtime Cable Network. With such notable MMA fighters like Renzo Gracie, Frank Shamrock, David Loiseau and Joey Villansenor set to compete for the new promotion, the addition of Shields and Rua only further bolsters Elite’s fighter stable.

Shields of course is widely considered to be one of the world’s better welterweight fighters, carrying a record of 16-4-1, the Cesar Gracie fighter has defeated such notable competitors like Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit and Hayato Sakurai. The Pride veteran Ninja Rua rebounded recently from difficult times when he defeated British fighter Mark Weir last September at Cage Rage 18. Prior to that, Rua had lost 4 of his last 5 fights competing in Pride, albeit, against such world class fighters like Paulo Filho, Sergei Kharitonov and Denis Kang. The announcement from Elite XC stated that Rua, who currently has a record of 12-7-1, would be competing in the promotion’s middleweight division.

Both fighters are slated to make their Elite XC debut on the promotion’s May 5th card. The new organization has already previously stated that fighters signed to Elite XC will be allowed to compete in other promotions, as long as there are no scheduling conflicts.

UFC 69 "Shootout" Card Beginning to Take Form
By FCF Staff

Ultimate Fighting Championship 69: "Shootout" will take place on April 7th, at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas, and the promotion has begun to announce some of the card’s bouts. According to the UFC website, Georges St-Pierre (12-1) will finally defend his world welterweight title against Matt Serra (13-4), after their original scheduled fight for this past weekend, was called off due to a St-Pierre knee injury. The fight will mark the first time St-Pierre will defend his UFC belt after the Quebec fighter defeated former Champion Matt Hughes at UFC 68 on November 18th last fall. For Serra of course the title shot is the chance of a lifetime, as the Long Island fighter earned the chance to fight for the welterweight belt after winning the 170 pound bracket during the last season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Serra defeated Chris Lytle at the TUF Season 4 finale on November 11th by split decision, to entrench his upcoming bout with St-Pierre.

Matt Serra - Photo by Tom DeFazio Georges St-Pierre - Photo by Loretta Hunt
Serra St-Pierre

In what will be yet another intriguing welterweight bout with plenty of future title shot implications, Diego Sanchez (18-0) will face off against another former TUF veteran in Josh Koscheck (9-1). Sanchez has been on a tear since winning his bracket in the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter", going 6-0 during his UFC tenure. Most recently the Team Jackson fighter tore through Joe Riggs at Ultimate Fight Night on December 13th, knocking out his highly regarded opponent in the first round. Perhaps even more impressively, Sanchez was also able to get by Karo Parisyan at UFN 6 last August, working his way to a unanimous decision victory over an opponent who is widely considered to be one of the top welterweights in the world. Koscheck has also impressed as of late, demonstrating a new set of stand-up skills that have been added to his arsenal via training with the American Kickboxing Academy. Since losing to Drew Fickett at UFN 2 on October 3rd, 2005, Koscheck has won 4 fights in a row, defeating Ansar Chalangov, Dave Menne, Jonathan Goulet and Jeff Joslin.

Pete Sell (7-2) will look to get back on track against middleweight Thales Leites (9-1), after being knocked out in highlight reel fashion by Scott Smith at TUF 4 finale last November. Leites had been undefeated until his last recent fight against Martin Kampmann, where at TUF 4 finals event, the Danish fighter defeated Leites by unanimous decision.

Although the UFC site has not listed the fight as of yet, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the long rumored upcoming fight between Yushin Okami (19-3) and Mike Swick (9-1) will also be a go at UFC 69. Swick had said in an interview on FCF Radio on January 18th that this was the next fight he was hoping to sign, and that in all likelihood, it would materialize. Swick has been dominant in his UFC appearances thus far, winning 4 fights in the first round against such notable fighters as Joe Riggs and Gideon Ray. His only venture to go outside the first installment was his most recent fight against David Loiseau, where Swick, despite a late surge by the Canadian fighter, was clearly the winner in earning the unanimous decision victory at UFC 63 on September 23rd. Okami has impressed in all three of his UFC fights, since coming over from Japan to compete for the organization last summer. Okami has defeated Alan Belcher, Kalib Starnes and most recently Rory Singer to propel himself near the upper rankings of the UFC middleweight division. The winner of this fight could very well be in line for a title shot against Champion Anderson Silva, depending on what the promotion decides to do with the winner of the upcoming Jason Macdonald and Rich Franklin fight March 3rd.

Wesley "Cabbage" Correira: Veteran Fighter Ready for Silva at Elite XC
By Chris Onzuka

Wesley 'Cabbage' Correira - Photo by Mike Onzuka

Not many fighters are known by one name and even less fighters are known by the name of a vegetable (are there any?). Wesley "Cabbage" Correira has fought his way from the tough streets of Hilo, Hawaii, along with childhood friend BJ Penn, and rose to face two UFC Heavyweight champions. Since the height of his MMA career, Cabbage has had his share of victories and defeats. He is currently scheduled to fight the big Brazilian, Antonio Silva, who many are touting as the next big thing in the Superheavyweight division. This fight could mark be the turning point in Cabbage’s MMA career. A win would reintroduce the iron jawed fighter back to the upper tier of the heavyweight division. However, a loss may sentence him to the lower ranks where he will serve a tough test for up and coming fighters.

FCF: It has been a long time, what have you been up to?
WC:   Nothing much, just cross training and getting ready for my fight on Showtime. I have been relaxing and trying to get fights, but something always seems to get in my way.

FCF: Personal or business-wise?
WC:   I don’t know, a little bit of everything.

FCF: You were previously scheduled to fight in Cage Rage in England, but had to pull out. I read a post that you got mugged. Is that true? What exactly happened?
WC:   It was in the morning and I woke up and went out to get something to drink. It was first thing in the morning and I went out to buy water. I almost got back to my door and then something hit me in the head. The next thing I know I was waking up in front of my door. I was tripping out, so I went into my room, sat on the bed and gathered myself. I called my coach and told him that I think I got hit in the head or something. He said that I have to call the front desk and they sent security. The doctor said that I must have got in a fight or something because I had a mild concussion. They [the perpetrator] didn’t take anything either.

FCF: You are scheduled to fight Antonio Silva in the inaugural Elite XC/Showtime event on February 10th. Silva is getting some buzz about him, stating that he may be the next great heavyweight. What do you think about him and the fight?
WC:   I think he is a big guy. I saw him fight, but I am a totally different fighter than he is. I think that I have his medicine. I saw him get knocked out by "Big E" [Eric Pele]. I fought Big E. I know that I can knock this guy out.

FCF: A lot of people are saying this is a "make or break" fight for you. What do you think and does this add any more pressure?
WC:   It doesn’t add any pressure on me. If I beat this guy, that could mean a lot of things for me. If he beats me, then I just have to go back and train harder. I don’t feel like I have to do anything differently.

FCF: There is a ton of buzz about Elite XC/Showtime and they have a great card. How do you feel about being involved in this event?
WC:   I feel good being involved in Showtime’s first card. It feels wonderful to be mentioned along with those fighters. That is why I have been training extra hard. I flew to Oahu to train for the last two weeks. I am going on my second week right now.

FCF: How is your training going? The last time I saw you, you lost a ton of weight and looked to be in good shape.
WC:   I have been putting on some weight for this fight because I want to come in heavy. He [Silva] is a big guy. You remember in Super Brawl? I fought better when I was heavier. I don’t fight well when I am lighter. He is a big guy, I don’t want to go in there at 250 or 255 and he is 300lbs. That’s crazy.

FCF: What weight are you looking at for the fight?
WC:   I am weighing in at 275, so maybe I will come in at 285lbs.

FCF: Formerly you were training with BJ’s [Penn] camp. Who are you training with now?
WC:   I’m just cross training right now. BJ is not home right now, so I came up here (to Oahu) to work with Adrian Silva and Mike (Malone) from the Eastsidaz. Right now I am on the North shore working out with the Kai Garcia.

FCF: So are you still fighting out of BJ’s camp?
WC:   Yes, I’m still fighting out of BJ’s camp. I am just getting additional training. Every time that I trained with Mike (Malone) for the UFC’s, I won.

FCF: When we last spoke you mentioned that you are considering moving down to the Light-heavyweight division, which I thought for a guy with your build was insane. Are you still considering that? Why?
WC:   Yeah, I am still considering that. The last time I saw you, I dropped more weight. I was weighing at 255lbs when we met and I still had a lot of weight that I could drop. I think that I could drop to 235 and keep that weight on and drop to 205 and be a heavy light heavyweight.

FCF: Where does Cabbage go from here, win or lose?
WC:   I am going to stay in the heavyweight division, win or lose. After I beat this guy, I am going to stay in the heavyweight division. I want to fight as a heavyweight a little more and then go down to light heavyweight.

FCF: How active do you want to be?
WC:   If I could fight every month that would be great. If I could fight every month, injury free that would be excellent. Realistically, I am looking at every two-and-a-half or three months.

FCF: Any words you want to shout out to your fans?
WC:   I just want to say thanks for the support. There is more to come from me that many of them haven’t seen yet.

From the event’s promoter:

Bodog Entertainment, ION Media
Networks Strike Alliance to
Broadcast BodogTV Reality Programming

Bodog Entertainment, the digital entertainment giant known for its cutting-edge programming, announced today that it has reached a multi-year agreement with ION Media Networks, which will make popular BodogTV-produced content available on ION Television, reaching more than 90 million U.S. homes, beginning February 13.

BodogFight: St. Petersburg, a mixed martial arts reality show that promises to build on the success of its hit debut season, will be the first program to be broadcast under the agreement. Episode 1 of the weekly series is scheduled to air Tuesday, February 13 at 11 p.m. Eastern/10 p.m. Central. On Saturday, Feburary 17, ION Television will also air an encore presentation of the BodogFight: USA vs. Russia pay-per-view event, which drew raves from fight fans when it was first televised in December.

Later in the year, Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker II and other BodogFight seasons will be spotlighted on ION Television.

"The agreement with ION Media Networks marks a significant step for our TV productions," says Calvin Ayre, the billionaire founder of Bodog Entertainment. "Now, the edgy world of Bodog will be available to the largest television audience we’ve ever had. That news is very exciting for us."

Along with being broadcast on ION Television, BodogFight: St. Petersburg will be available to fight fans worldwide through video streaming on www.bodogfight.com. MMA followers will have access to previews, recaps, behind-the-scenes exclusives, fighter bios, a soundtrack featuring Bodog Music artists and much more footage only available on the award-winning web site.

A PPV spectacular, headlined by Superfights that pit some of the world’s most prominent MMA competitors head-to-head, takes place in April following the eight-week BodogFight: St. Petersburg series.

ION Media Networks recently announced that its flagship television network, reaching over 90 million U.S. homes, was re-branded to ION Television, consistent with the company’s corporate brand identity. This move reflects the energy and vision behind the network’s plan to expand its programming and viewership. The alliance with BodogTV is an exciting building block in ION Television’s expansion strategy. The new network brand was introduced to viewers on Monday, January 29, with the BodogFight: St. Petersburg season debuting Tuesday, February 13 at 11 p.m. Eastern/10 p.m. Central.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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