Full Contact Fighter Database







Thursday, Nov 21, 2002

Ufc 40 Preview

UFC 40 banner provided by UFC/Zuffa

By Joe hall

UFC 40 Preview

It’s a dream bout. Bitter rivals with a storied history; champion of the present versus champion of the past; youthful audacity meets venerable valor. And, oh yeah, they hate each other.

UFC 40: Vendetta will host the biggest fight in modern mixed martial arts to take place on American soil: Tito Ortiz versus Ken Shamrock. "Everyone wants to see this fight," says Joe Silva, UFC Vice President of Talent Relations. "I think it is a huge match-up. It has even captured the interest of most of the other fighters." Silva also believes the epic encounter holds its own against the monumental match-ups of UFC past, including Gracie-Shamrock II and Ortiz-Frank Shamrock. "It has had more build up than those other fights because people have known for a long time that they don’t like each other."

Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock
Even though Shamrock had a stint in the WWF and Ortiz has a history of laying it on thick, the mutual disdain is genuine, according to Silva. "It’s not exaggerated at all, especially on Ken’s side," he says. "Ken is a proud guy, and he really feels that Tito has disrespected him and his team, and he is out for some payback."

The fighters will have 25 minutes to settle their rancorous dispute in front of a packed MGM Grand in Las Vegas. By the end of the night, debates currently raging among fans, fighters and media alike should conclude. Until then, the questions will remain unanswered: Can Ortiz take Shamrock down? Who will have the advantage on the feet? Will Ortiz’s rehabilitated knee function at 100-percent? Will Shamrock’s age fail him late? And finally, which of these two mixed martial arts luminaries will have his hand raised while the other suffers defeat?

As important as the bout will be for Ortiz and Shamrock, it may be even more crucial to the UFC. With two of the biggest stars in the sport headlining the card, UFC 40 is destined to attract a pay-per-view audience far exceeding previous numbers under Zuffa’s reign. Potential lifelong fans will evaluate the action, and, if the show delivers, a burgeoning future could be secured.

While those viewers may tune in to see the Ortiz-Shamrock clash, they’ll also be treated to an undercard ripe with talent. The attention the main event will garner offers a golden opportunity to expose future stars. "You definitely want to show off some of your top talent on what will potentially be your biggest show to date," says Silva, "but you also have to have talent ready for the next show."

Click here to continue the preview

From Josh Hedges/Zuffa:

UFC Logo

Ultimate Fighting Championship Heavyweight Champ Ricco Rodriguez To Defend His Title For First Time On Live Pay-Per-View

BJ Penn To Fight Caol Uno For Lightweight Championship

      LAS VEGAS, November 22, 2002…Officials of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today announced that tickets, $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, for UFC 41: Onslaught will go on sale tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 23, at the box office at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, at all Ticketmaster locations and at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets also may be ordered by telephone at 1-800-736-1420. Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino is the host of the event.
      An eight-fight card at Boardwalk Hall will feature the first title defense by new UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez of Las Vegas, Nev., in the main event against an opponent to be named. Rodriguez won the heavyweight title September 28 with a fifth round technical knockout of former champion Randy Couture. Lightweight top contenders BJ Penn of Hilo, Hawaii, and Caol Uno of Kangawa, Japan, will meet for the lightweight championship in the co-main event. Penn defeated Matt Serra of Long Island, NY, and Uno defeated Din Thomas September 28 for the right to meet for the championship. The remainder of the card will be announced.
      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, Dish Network, 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.

By Eduardo Alonso

Heating Up for PRIDE.23:
Vanderlei Silva Sharpens His Axe to Bring Back the Belt!

Undefeated in PRIDE and doing his fourth fight this year, Brazilian fighter Vanderlei Silva has been known to bring fear to his opponents ever since he began his fighting career. With a vicious and fearless style, Silva probably has one of the highest percentages of knockout victories in high-level competition and has been continuing to boost this percentage over Japanese opponents ever since he defeated Japanese hero Kazushi Sakuraba for the first time at PRIDE 13.
Vanderlei Silva
This time he wants things to be no different, as experienced veteran Hiromitsu Kanehara will stand in his way at the Tokyo Dome ring trying to take away his belt. Of course, "The Axe Murderer" has no plans to leave his belt in the land of the rising sun, and intends to deliver yet another knockout and bring the belt back to Brazil. As PRIDE 23 is getting closer and Vanderlei brings his axe as sharp as ever, Full Contact Fighter opens the microphone to the champion and let he heat increases even more!

FCF:   Your last fight was at Shockwave, facing the Japanese fighter Iwasaki. What did you think of the event as a whole, and what did you think of your fight in particular?
VS:     The even was a spectacle, the biggest event ever. In terms of production it didn’t disappoint at all. As for my fight, it was quick but I managed to turn it into a good fight, so it was nice. If they send the guy in my path, I’ll knock him out for sure.

FCF:   Once again you’ll be facing a Japanese fighter, and this has been generating some criticism from the public. How do you see this? Would you like to face American fighters like Quinton Jackson or Brazilians like Ricardo Arona?
VS:     I don’t chose opponents in fact, so for me the nationality of my opponent doesn’t matter. But this thing happens due to the media in Japan. It’s like when Sakuraba, as an example, was beating Brazilian fighters this would give a good media for PRIDE. So now they want to se a Japanese beat me, so they’re matching me up against Japanese fighters so all the fans there will go to see if this time Silva will lose to a Japanese. This is excellent in terms of media in Japan for the event. But for me it doesn’t matter, I don’t pick opponents and I’ll brawl with anyone. It can be black, white, Asian, I’m not a racist! [Laughs] Whomever they put in the ring with me will be treated in the same gentle way [Laughs]

FCF:   This time your title defense will be against Hiromitsu Kanehara, who is a very experienced fighter. What do you know about him as a fighter?
VS:     I know his name! [Laughs] I don’t know a thing about him, I don’t know who he is, and this is the way I like it.

FCF:   This is your second title defense in PRIDE as their Middleweight champion, but you fought in a number of non-title matches since you became the champion. Do you have a different feeling when your belt is on the line?
VS:     It’s different for sure. It’s gives you a different feeling ’cause you know you can’t make any mistakes. I’m taking this fight very seriously, I’m very well prepared and the guys can expect a great performance ’cause I’m well prepared both physically and technically.

FCF:   Will the belt come back with you on your luggage?
VS:     Sure! If God helps I’ll retire wearing this belt.

Click here to continue the interview

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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