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Across the Pond: British MMA News
By David West

Four Brits off to BodogFight

Four fighters from Cage Rage in the UK will be heading off to Costa Rica in February to take part in the next round of action for BodogFight’s reality TV show. US Air Force member Pierre Guillet, who trains and fights out of Cambridgeshire, England, will face powerful South African wrestler Trevor Prangley. Both men have fought Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Prangley is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Andrei Semenov at Bodog’s USA vs. Russia show that took place on December 2nd last year. Guillet is similarly coming off a big victory, his TKO over Daijiro Matsui last July, although Guillet was sidelined after that fight with a broken hand. This will mark his return to active competition.

Mark Weir’s team-mate Matt Ewin will meet Andrei Semenov in a rematch. The pair first met in December 2004 at M-1 in Russia, where Semenov took the unanimous decision. However, the Russian has lost all three of his fights since the first contest with Ewin and it will be interesting to see how that affects his confidence stepping into the ring. Ewin went 3-1 last year, bringing his record to 16-8-1, although his wins were over limited opposition. He lost against Thiago Goncalves from American Top Team and will need to be on fine form against the Russian to avenge the previous loss.

Featherweight Brad Pickett was scheduled to face Ronnie Mann at Cage Rage 20 on February 10th, but now he’s off to Costa Rica instead (who can blame him? London is damp and grey in February). Pickett is coming off two submission wins and is scheduled to face J.R. Simms, while Phil Norman will make a significant step up when he faces Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons. Coming from a background in Jeet Kune Do, Norman is undefeated at 5-0, but has only competed sporadically since he started fighting in 1998. He pulled off an upset over highly regarded BJJ stylist David Bielkheden in his last fight, shutting down Bielkheden’s submission game. Pele, however, is a totally different breed of fighter, who will be only too happy to test Norman’s chin if the JKD adept fighter chooses to stand and trade.

Seasons three and four of the reality show will be shot simultaneously in Costa Rica and it is not clear at press time which season will feature the four fighters from Britain, although they will not be the first participants from the UK in BodogFight. The UK’s top female competitor, Rosi Sexton, and her husband Matt Thorpe took part in the recently wrapped up second season which was shot in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sexton took on Carina Damm from Brazil, who has fought at G.C.M in Japan, while Thorpe’s opponent was Diego Gonzalez, who fights out of Sweden. The results of BodogFight: St. Petersburg are being kept under wraps until the series goes out on the ION network starting on February 6th. While Sexton had to contend with the bone-chilling Russian winter, the return to the Costa Rican location means that the four new UK entrants will do their fighting in a ring on the beach. Nice work if you can get it.

Fight Card for Cage Rage 20

The line-up for Cage Rage 20: "Born 2 Fight", is tailor made to appeal to the broadest audience with six heavyweight contests in a card of twelve matches. Eric "Butterbean" Esch is back at the top of the bill after his loss to Rob Broughton in December. This time Esch faces James "The Colossus" Thompson, fresh off his New Year’s Eve stoppage of Hidehiko Yoshida in PRIDE. Butterbean may be dangerous on his feet, but if Thompson gets on top of him on the floor, he’ll be in trouble as Butterbean’s sheer size makes him nigh immobile on the ground. Second on the bill, rising British heavyweight Mustapha Al Turk will face Mark Kerr, who has lost his last three fights and the once unstoppable Smashing Machine has seen his comeback hopes dashed time and again. Al Turk won the European round of the ADCC qualifiers, so he’s no slouch on the mat and demolished Henry Miller in his last outing, so if Kerr comes in ill-prepared he’ll have his hands full with the Londoner.

Rob Broughton and Tengiz Tedoradze will get to settle just who the best of the British heavyweights is when they clash. Both have beaten James Thompson and Robert Berry and are widely considered the top two big men in the UK. All that remains is to see who is number one and who is runner up. Dave Legeno will take a huge step up when he faces UFC legend Dan Severn. With his flair for the dramatic, thanks to his career as an actor and stuntman, Legeno took a surprise win over Kimo Leopoldo in September and has been training with Don Frye in the US as well as the London-based Team Titan. Legeno only has five MMA fights under his belt with a record of 2-3-0, while Severn has fought 98 professional contests with his current record standing at 77-14-7, so the difference in experience is vast.

Recently crowned British middleweight champion Zelg Galesic will pit his lethal striking skills against Daijiro Matsui in a clash of styles. If Matsui can keep the fight on the floor he may be able to take Galesic out of his element and Matsui has shown he possesses a granite chin in the past (neither Wanderlei Silva nor Igor Vovchanchyn were able to knock him out), but he will surely be sternly tested against Galesic, who has been on a tear since the start of last year, with no one able to take him beyond the first round in his last four outings.

Robbie Olivier will contest the vacant World Featherweight title against Masakazu Imanari, the leg lock technician from Team Rouken. Imanari has fought as a lightweight in the past, losing to Joachim Hansen and Marcus Aurelio, but half of his ten wins came by leg submissions and he’s a gifted grappler. Given that Olivier likes to ground and pound, this could be the fight of the night for technical fans.

Cage Rage 20 is scheduled for February 10th at the Wembley Arena, London, England.

Full Fight Card:

  1. Eric "Butterbean" Esch vs. James "The Colossus" Thompson
  2. Mark Kerr vs. Mustapha Al Turk
  3. Tengiz Tedoradze vs. Rob Broughton
  4. Dan Severn vs. Dave Legeno
  5. Daijiro Matsui vs. Zelg Galesic
  6. Mark Buchanan vs. Robert Berry
  7. Tom Howard vs. Tom Blackledge
  8. Masakazu Imanari vs. Robbie Olivier
  9. Jason Barrett vs. Jeremy Bailey
  10. Ronnie Mann vs. Ashley Grimshaw
  11. Marios Zaromskis vs. Paul Taylor
  12. Michael Johnson vs. Lee Doski

More Fights Made Official for UFC 67 Card
By FCF Staff

Patrick Cote’s manager Stephane Patry confirmed to FCF today that the Canadian middleweight fighter will be fighting Scott Smith at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s upcoming February 3rd event, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Centre in Las Vegas Nevada. The UFC website is also reporting two other new additions to the card, including Sam Hoger taking on lightheavyweight Lyoto Machida, and Frankie Edgar fighting Tyson Griffin in the lightweight division.

The announcement means that 6 fights now are confirmed for the upcoming show, which will be headlined by Anderson Silva attempting to defend his UFC middleweight belt against "Ultimate Fighter" Season 4 winner, Travis Lutter. The card will also feature the UFC debuts of Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic and Quinton Jackson, who are set to take on Eddie Sanchez and Marvin Eastman respectively.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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