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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wfa Reborn?

WFA Reborn?
Rampage vs. Lindland Headlines July 22 "King of the Streets" Event
By Loretta Hunt

LOS ANGELES, May 15 — With a stroke of their pens, Quinton "Rampage" and Matt Lindland put to an end rumors they would fight one another in the re-launched World Fighting Alliance. Agreeing to meet at 205 pounds for July 22’s "King of the Streets" event at The Forum in Inglewood, California, Jackson and Lindland headline a card that will include Brazilian-Japanese K-1 standout Lyoto Machida and former UFC middleweight contender Ivan Salaverry among others.

Lindland and Jackson sign contracts as WFA promoters Goodman and Palazzo look on
Lindland and Jackson sign contracts
as WFA promoters Goodman and Palazzo look on

The WFA, once owned by fighter John Lewis and :"Club Rubber" traveling nightclub magnate John Huntington, ran a trio of Las Vegas MMA events between 2001 and 2002 before funding for the promotion ran dry. It is unclear if either Lewis or Huntington still have a connection with the organization’s reinvention.

"We will be the premiere mixed martial arts organization in the world," WFA CEO Jeremy Lappen confidently relayed to an audience of selected media in its L.A. offices. "We are a ‘fighters first’ organization. We’re going to be building our brand off the fighters themselves, off their stories, off their personalities, off their unique backgrounds they bring into play."

To punctuate Lappen’s words, Jackson was asked to unveil a sampling of the WFA’s billboard marketing campaign. Titled "Rampage Reborn," the ad featured the chain-necklaced former PRIDE personality Jackson in a menacing pose.

New WFA marketing campaign

"Ka Ching," Jackson voice spiked when asked why he chose the WFA over a handful of rumored offers, which included the UFC… "The WFA offered me the most money. All of these other so-called ‘big companies’ deals were lacking, they were kinda small, and I knew the WFA would promote me the way I wanted to be promoted."

"The more they take care of me, the more I’ll take care of them," Jackson continued. "All the years I’ve been fighting in these other shows, they’ve been pretending like they’ve been treating me good, but backstage they’ve been dogging me to my face."

"They’re a ‘fighter first’ organization," Lindland concurred. "They’re doing a great job of promoting the fighters, so we’re gonna go out there and provide a great show for the fans."

Lappen, who has managed Jackson, Randy Couture, Jens Pulver, and Bas Rutten in the past, refrained from commenting on his new position with the promotion. Along with Lappen, the WFA’s management and ownership group also includes Las Vegas attorneys Ross Goodman and Louis Palazzo, and retired businessman William McFarlane.

WFA "King of the Streets" Announced Line-Up

Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Lindland
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Ron Waterman
Lyoto Machida vs. Vernon White
Ivan Salaverry vs. Art Santore
Kimo Leopoldo vs TBA
Rob McCullough vs. TBA
Jason Miller vs. TBA

Pangea Fights Bring Combat Arts Tradition Back to Hollywood Palladium
Ruediger Taps Out Young in Comeback Victory

By Loretta Hunt – Photo by Daisy Rosas

Pangea is the theory that the Earth was once one massive land mass before it made way for the oceans, that the continents as we know it once aligned together like puzzle pieces.

Proposing that mixed martial arts can unite these masses together once again through competition, Pangea Fights made its debut Friday night at the famed Hollywood Palladium on Sunset and Vine in Los Angeles. A mecca for kickboxing in the ’70s and ’80s, greats like Benny "The Jet" Urquidez and Peter "Sugarfoot" Cunningham once attracted the celebrity clientele to the 2,000-seat hall. On this night, a 10-fight card, comprised of more newcomers than names, attracted an estimated crowd of 900 to the nostalgic site.

In the main event, a calm Brian Warren (8-4) weathered an early takedown and heelhook attempt from Brodie Farber (7-2) and maneuvered to his own North-South choke. Unable to get the tapout, Warren moved to side control and a head and arm choke that Farber rode to the bell. Farber threw heavy knees in their second round clinch before the tangled pair fell to the mats, and Warren then transitioned into the triangle choke for the finish.

Former WEC lightweight champion Gabe Ruediger took a trio of Trenell "Savant" Young’s one-two combinations in the second round of their matching, and subject to the stockier Young’s body slams and power knees in the clinch, "Godzilla" found himself in clear deficit going into their final round together. Not wasting any time, Ruediger dropped levels for the takedown at the bell and swiftly moved to mount and began to soften Young with punches before tipping off the side for a wrenching armbar.

In a shocker for the local Bomb Squad/10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu friendly crowd, Jimmy Smith (4-1) caught Eddie Bravo brown belt Jason Chambers (8-4-2) with an excruciating-looking heelhook for the 1:55 first round tapout. At the bell, Chambers walked right into a one-two before securing a soft takedown on Smith. From a scramble, Chambers almost secured a smooth armbar, now on the bottom, before Smith expertly leaned back for the submission that would end it. Although many cageside commented they’d heard a large "pop" before Chambers tapped, the fighter eventually rose and walked out of the arena on his own accord limp-free.

Also on the card, a poised Steve Magdeleno stayed in the game despite an aggressive Joe Calavitta’s power slams and general cage control throughout their three rounds’ action, a respectable pro debut for both fighters. Team Wildman’s Calavitta connected with hooks and purposeful ground-and-pound whenever warranted and would have surely been awarded the decision – that is until Magdeleno latched on a tight triangle choke from Calavitta’s second-to-last slam. Lifting Magadeleno off the mat and plunging him down one final time, Calavitta couldn’t shake off the tapout with only 15 seconds left to go.

In a competitive light heavyweight offering, Travis Gambino edged out Team Wildman’s Lucas Taber by split decision, a bout FCF scored 29-28 in favor of Taber. The deceptively doughy Gambino carried an effective straight, but was betrayed by his stamina in the final round and found himself on the bottom of Taber’s punches till the bell.

Gambino connects with Taber's chin
Gambino connects with Taber’s chin

Pangea Fights "The Beginning" Results

3 Rounds (5 Minutes)
Brian Warren def. Brodie Farber – Submission (Triangle Choke) 1:54 R2
Gabe Ruediger def. Trenell "Savant" Young – Submission (Armbar) 1:29 R3
James Smith def. Jason Chambers – Submission (Heelhook) 1:55 R1*

3 Rounds (3 Minutes)
Scott Epstein def. Reuben Duran – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 2:40 R1
Steve Magdaleno def. Joe Calavitta – Submission (Triangle Choke) 2:45 R3
Conor Huen def. Martin Hench – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 2:54 R2
Travis Gambino def. Lucas Taber – Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Tony Gomez def. Rafael Ramos – Tapout (exhaustion) 1:40 R2
Edgar Cruz def. Randy Bullard – TKO (referee stoppage- strikes) :51 R2
Jonathan Romero def. Isamu Himaru – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)

*Announced for 4-minute rounds

From the event’s promoter:

IFL Logo
Three Original Taped Telecasts Will Air Nationally on May 21, May 28 and June 4, Highlighting New League’s Innovative Team-Based Concept

Los Angeles – May 15, 2006 – Underscoring the fast-growing popularity of mixed martial arts, Fox Sports Net (FSN), a division of the FOX Broadcasting Company and News Corp, today announced the dates and times it plans to world premiere the International Fight LeagueTM (IFL) on national television. The action-packed one-hour shows will air on May 21, May 28 and June 4, with each original show cut from footage gathered during the IFL’s April 29 and June 3 events in Atlantic City at Trump Taj Mahal.

Recently formed, the IFL mixes the intense action of mixed martial arts (MMA) with the established team-and season-based approach found in America’s most loved sports. MMA legends Bas Rutten, Pat Miletich, Renzo Gracie and Maurice Smith are the coaches of four teams – Anacondas, Silverbacks, Pitbulls and Tigersharks, respectively – comprised of five fighters each in the lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. The events are held in a ring (not in a cage), believed to be the most conducive environment for fighters, fans and production.

Viewers are encouraged to check their local listings, as it will be the Silverbacks and Anacondas battling on FSN’s first telecast on Sunday, May 21, followed by the Pitbulls vs. Tigersharks on Sunday, May 28. The two winning teams will then be seen squaring off for the IFL Legends Championship broadcast on Sunday, June 4.

"MMA is the future of fighting," said Michael Feller, FSN Vice President of Programming. "The IFL adds a great new dimension to the MMA genre that FSN is proud to be able to showcase for our viewers."

IFL’s televised shows are produced and directed by Emmy award-winning producer Peter Lasser, who has worked on several Olympic telecasts as well as with ESPN, NBC Sports, NFL Films and FSN, among others.

The IFL was formed by Gareb Shamus, founder and chairman of the comics empire Wizard Entertainment Group, and Kurt Otto, a highly successful New Jersey real estate investor and a life-long martial arts participant.

"We’re going to give the fans what they want," said the IFL’s Shamus. "Our first event on April 29 at the Taj Mahal had a lot of great action, with nine out of 11 fights ending in a KO or submission. That, along with more great fights coming up at our June 3 event, will make for three very powerful TV shows on FSN."

Added the IFL’s Otto, "We’ve got MMA legends as coaches and some of the best young fighters around, and all of them have really embraced the concept of the IFL. There was an energy and camaraderie throughout our first event that was electric. We intend on extending that buzz to our next event on June 3 and can’t wait to show the fans how great it’s all going to look on TV."

From the event’s promoter:

New WFA marketing campaign
Eilers back in ‘Hall’ for Combat in the Cage 2

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The last time Justin Eilers fought in Boardwalk Hall he was battling for the world heavyweight championship. He left the arena in an ambulance… without the championship belt. Eilers suffered two broken hands, a broken nose and a torn ACL in his loss to former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. On Saturday, May 20, Eilers will return to the "Hall" and once again will headline a mixed martial arts event. This time, he’ll face hard-hitting Sherman Pendergarst in the main event of Combat in the Cage 2. "I think I still have pieces of me scattered around that place," Eilers joked about Boardwalk Hall. "Honestly, I’m excited to go back. And, hopefully, it will be a completely different result from the last time." Eilers (9-5-1) is a 4-time UFC veteran and a banger who has the reputation of either knocking out his opponent, or being knocked out himself. "I don’t like decisions," he says. "I like for a fight to end decisively." Pendergarst, nicknamed "The Tank," has a 5-2 record and has won three straight bouts… none of them by decision.

Also featured on the card will be Canadian standout and 4-time UFC veteran Joe Doerksen of Winnipeg. Like Eilers, a member of Team Extreme, Doerksen has a 33-9 record and owns wins over standout Chris Leben, Lee Murray, Denis Kang, Ed Herman and Patrick Cote.

Big Bryan Vetell of the Renzo Gracie Academy will make his MMA debut and local standout Billy Craparo, who recently won a title in Ring of Combat, will also compete on the card.

Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or go to www.ticketmaster.com and look under Combat in the Cage.

Sherman Pendergarst (5-2) vs. Justin Eilers (9-5-1) hwt.

Leremy Johnson vs. Joe Doerksen 205
Boban Simic (1-0) vs. Bryan Vetell (0-0) hwt.

Craig Gunder (1-1) vs. Tom Galechio (1-0) 170
Jamie Toney (4-2) vs. Billy Craparo (3-0) 170
Kevin Manderson (6-4-1) vs. John Mahlow (4-4) 155
Jerry Spiegel (4-17) vs. Eric Tavares (4-5) 185
Franklin Ferrer (1-0) vs. Stephan Cloud (0-0) 185
Anthony Montanaro (0-1) vs. Christian Geraci (0-1) 155
TBA vs. Scott Malloy (0-1) 155

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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