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Monday, Oct 21, 2002

Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira Likely Out Of Pride 23

By Eduardo Alonso

Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira Likely Out of PRIDE 23

      It is almost certain that the PRIDE Heavyweight champion will not be competing in November’s PRIDE 23 at the Tokyo Dome. Despite DSE’s initial plans to have Minotauro defending his belt for the first time in the show, it looks highly likely the Brazilian fighter will only be appearing on their December card. The probable absence of Nogueira at the next PRIDE is due to the difficulty getting him a desired opponent, leaving the Champion waiting for a December title defense. Dutch fighter Semmy Schilt, who was considered as an opponent for Minotauro, is going to compete at the K-1 Grand Prix in early December and this is his main priority right now. A rematch with Bob Sapp was never seriously considered, at least by the champion’s camp; additionally, Sapp is also competing at the K-1 Grand Prix, and after his win over K-1 super star Ernesto Hoost he has to be considered a candidate for the tourney prize. With PRIDE 23 already featuring a Vanderlei Silva title defense, a likely Nobuhiko Takada farewell match and Kazushi Sakuraba’s return, DSE can hold Minotauro’s defense for their December card, probably against Heath Herring or Emelianenko Fedor, who may face each other in November. At this point, chances are slim that Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira will grace the Tokyo Dome ring in November, but FCF will continue to follow the developments.

From Josh Hedges/Zuffa:

UFC Logo
Ultimate Fighting Championship Is Creating One Of Its Best Fight Cards Ever As Ortiz Meets Shamrock For Light Heavyweight Championship
Tickets Now On Sale; Hughes To Fight Castillo For Welterweight Belt

      LAS VEGAS, October 22, 2002… The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will offer fight fans one of the best cards in its history with the addition today of two welterweights, top contender and former champion Carlos Newton and its fastest-rising star Robbie Lawler, to the lineup for UFC 40: Vendetta, live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST, Friday, Nov. 22, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Newton, of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, will meet Pete Spratt of Denton, Texas, and Lawler of Davenport, Iowa, will fight "Tiki" Khalil Ghosen of Huntington Beach, Calif. The main event will be the light heavyweight title fight between Champion Tito Ortiz, 10-2-0, of Huntington Beach, Calif., and UFC legend Ken Shamrock, 8-4-2, of San Diego, Calif. Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes, 27-3-0, of Hillsboro, Ill., also will defend his title for the third time against top contender Gil Castillo, 17-1-0, of Concord, Calif. Tickets, $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, can be purchased at the MGM Grand box office and all Ticketmaster locations, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-877-880-0880 and 702-474-4000, or at www.ticketmaster.com.
      UFC 40: Vendetta will be available live at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, BellExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $29.95.
      Newton, 11-6-0, is a veteran martial artist although he is just 25. He is a three-time Canadian jiu-jitsu champion and the current Canadian Pankration champion. He won the UFC welterweight title May 4, 2001, at UFC 31: Locked And Loaded at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., with a third-round tap-out by choke of UFC legend Pat Miletich. Newton lost the belt to current champion Hughes Nov. 2, 2001, at UFC 34: High Voltage at the MGM Grand.
      His opponent, Spratt, 11-4-0, is known as the "Secret Weapon" because he is one of the most talented "unknown" MMA fighters. Although he is welterweight in the UFC, Spratt is the Ring of Fire Middleweight Champion, Reality Combat Middleweight Champion, a two time Renegades Extreme Fighting Middleweight Champion and the USKA US Muay Thai Champion.
      Lawler, 5-0-0, is not only the youngest fighter competing in the UFC but also is one of its stars. He made a spectacular debut on May 10 at UFC 37: High Impact in Bossier City, La., in a grueling war with Aaron Riley that many believe to be one of the best UFC fights of all time. After three tough rounds, Lawler won a unanimous decision.
He returned in a main undercard match June 22 at UFC 37.5 Liddell vs. Belfort at Bellagio in Las Vegas against veteran Steve Berger. His punching power proved too much for Berger and Lawler won a second straight victory with a TKO at : 27 of round two.
      "Tiki," 8-2-0, is a submission and kickboxing specialist who is as an excellent stand-up fighter, which is also Lawler’s strength. "I’ve never seen him fight in person, but I am training hard every day and am now in the best condition of my career. I’m looking forward to meeting him," Tiki said.
      Another major match-up will pit UFC top light heavyweight contender Chuck Liddell, 10-1-0, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., against Brazilian kickboxing/submission specialist Renato "Babalu" Sobral, 10-1-0, of Rio de Janeiro.
      The Ultimate Fighting Championship, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., is the world’s leading mixed martial arts sports association. Owned and operated by Zuffa LLC, the UFC programs six live pay-per-view events yearly through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada, UFC events are distributed internationally through British Sky Broadcasting, WOWOW, Inc. in Japan, Globosat in Brazil and Modern Sports and Entertainment in Scandinavia. UFC licenses video games for all major playing platforms through Crave Entertainment.
      The UFC’s next live PPV event will be UFC 40: Vendetta at 10 p.m EST/7 p.m. PST on Friday, Nov. 22, from the MGM Grand.
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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