Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Golden Glory Photoshoot

As most of you should know, Team Golden Glory is one of the best fight camps in the world today. Based out of Holland and equipped with some of the best trainers in Bas Boon and Cor Hemmers, they produce some of the best fighters in the world. They have produced K-1 Grand Prix Champion in Semmy Schilt and currently have two fighters in Gokhan Saki and Errol Zimmerman within this year's K-1 Grand Prix Final in Japan. They have mma stars like the current Strikeforce HW Champ and Top 10 ranked Alistair Overeem and Sergei Kharitonov, who has become active in the Japanese mma scene once again. There are plenty of fighters within Team Golden Glory to keep an eye on and mma photo journalist/photographer Leo Van Kuilenburg did just that, when he visited their camp recently. Here are a few of the great photos from the photoshoot...

Photos credited to Leo Van Kuilenburg/mataleo.nl

If you would like to view the entire set of photos, please visit http://www.oypo.nl/mataleo

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wilson Reis Interview

Wilson Reis, born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the current EliteXC Bantamweight Champion. He is a black belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioner and has started his mma career undefeated at 6-0. His latest victory was for the EliteXC Bantamweight title, against KOTC champion, Abel Cullam. He and Abel went the distance in the 5 round battle, which Wilson dominated, mainly showcasing his great ground skill. With the future of ProElite looking very bleak and fighters trying to get out of their contracts, expect Wilson Reis to emerge once again eary next year for one of the bigger organizations out there, most likely scenarios being with Strikeforce or WEC. A young and very good spirited fighter, expect to see more accomplishments from Wilson in the not so distant future.

Darrick Patrick recently had an interview with this fighter, here is that interview...

Darrick: What was the journey that led you to professional mixed martial arts competition?

Wilson: A few years ago, I saw all of my friends from Brazil and really good Jiu-Jitsu fighters take the next step and get into MMA. I talked to my friends about doing MMA and it was Brad Daddis who pushed me for my first fight, and of course myself because I was really excited to take this sport to the next level.

Darrick: Do you have any words of advice for other individuals looking to compete in MMA?

Wilson: I think that if a person has a goal or a dream, then they should definitely go for it. When I was a kid, I had a dream and I followed it. With the right gym and coach, I made my dream happen. And the same thing can happen for anyone who wants to compete in MMA.

Darrick: Who are some of the people that greatly influenced you while growing up?

Wilson: A lot of fighters that I know personally, the coach that was coaching me as a teenager, Roberto Godói, and Jorge Macaco. Also, my family played an important role as well.

Darrick: What brings you the most fulfillment out of martial arts?

Wilson: I love the whole process of training and getting ready for a fight or even a Jiu-Jitsu match. Also, the whole lifestyle of the sport and being able to make my family back home and teammates happy and proud of me.

Darrick: Who are a few of the people in the sport that you highly respect?

Wilson: I respect Minotauro because as a person he is a great individual and as an athlete he is just all-around amazing. I also like Kenny Florian, Eddie Alvarez, Anderson Silva, and B.J. Penn. Really though, there are so many good fighters out there.

Darrick: What does a typical training session for you consist of?

Wilson: Two workouts a day and teaching classes. Conditioning in the morning, boxing or MMA in the afternoon, and class at night. Every day is different though, so it really depends on the day.

Darrick: Outside of MMA, what are your other interests?

Wilson: I love going for coffee, and catching up with my family and friends. And I can't get enough of Jiu-Jitsu.

Darrick: Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Wilson: People don't know that I'm not good with spicy food and I like Hip Hop music.

Darrick: If you had superpowers, what would they be?

Wilson: I would be able to point my finger at people and make them happy and full of life. Especially the poor people.

Darrick: What is your oldest memory?

Wilson: When I was two years old, my grandfather threw a rock at a rooster so that it would move out of my playing area - he missed and hit me on accident. I now have a scar above my lip to show for this past event. Also, in closing I would like to thank my coaches, family, and sponsors (Bad Boy, FightPlanet.ca, P90X, and FightMA.com)

For more interviews by Darrick Patrick, please visit his site here...

More exclusive Darrick Patrick interviews

Tamdan "The Barn Cat" McCrory Interview

Tamdan "The Barn Cat" McCrory, is a 21 year old American mixed martial artist, who is currently preparing for his upcoming fight with Dustin Hazelett at UFC 91 on November 15th. Coming of a decision victory over Luke Cummo, Tamdan wants to continue on his winning ways within the UFC. Having his first and only loss to Akihiro Gono within the UFC, The Barn Cat is 2-1 in the UFC and 9-1 overall. Another victory will keep Tamdan on the path to elite level opponents within the UFC's welterweight division. The CNY fighter, has been officially slotted to appear on the preliminary card, with a chance he may make the undercard of what will most likely be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, PPV of the year for the UFC, when Brock Lesnar challenges Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight title. This youngster has a very promising future ahead of him in the mma scene and already off to a delightful start to his career. He is definitely one fighter to keep track of.

Here's more from Tamdan, who recently had an interview with Darrick Patrick...

Darrick: What was the road that led you to professional mixed martial arts competition?

Tamdan: I am quite a misanthrope and through a series of coincidences I met my trainer and now good friend Erik Charles. I hated the world for a while and wanted to kick everyone's ass. I kept training hard and getting my ass kicked, but eventually I became good and went on a tear winning my first ten fights along with signing with the UFC.

Darrick: Any words of advice for other individuals looking to train in MMA?

Tamdan: Just keep your head up and keep training hard. If you're doing the right things with the right people, eventually everything will fall into place.

Darrick: Who are a few of the people in the sport that you highly respect?

Tamdan: Obviously my coaches who have put up with me for forever to make me the athlete and fighter that I am today.

Darrick: Your next scheduled fight is against Dustin Hazelett on November 15th. What are your thoughts about this upcoming match?

Tamdan: He's obviously good on the ground and has been around the block a few times. It'll be an exciting fight and hopefully it'll make the broadcast.

Darrick: What personally brings you the most fulfillment out of martial arts?

Tamdan: I guess the most fulfillment I get out of martial arts is seeing those that I coach succeed and excel. When you take someone who came from nothing and mold them into a monster that then challenges you, it's a very rewarding feeling. I look forward to seeing the guys that I train and train with succeed in the next couple of years.

Darrick: Who are some of the people that greatly influenced you while growing up?

Tamdan: Everyone that hated on me, all the people that pushed me around, and my coaches and friends now that brought me back up and made me a monster.

Darrick: Outside of MMA, what are your other interests?

Tamdan: Playing video games (Zelda of course and other fantasy titles), boozin' out on the town, chasing women, throwin' a good chaw in here and there - all the usual things a 21-year-old likes, I guess. I plan on spending a lot of time doing all of those things after I gain another W with this fight.

Darrick: Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Tamdan: If I told you, then everyone would know, right? Then there'd be no secrets. Really, I can't think of anything at the moment. Try back in a couple weeks. (Laughs)

Darrick: What is your oldest memory?

Tamdan: I remember when I was about two and first learned how to climb out of my crib. Well, I made it over the side and I fell off it and smacked the ground in the middle of the night while trying to go jump in my parent's bed.

Darrick: If you had superpowers, what would they be?

Tamdan: The ability to live a stress-free life.

For more interviews by Darrick Patrick, please visit his site here...

More exclusive Darrick Patrick interviews

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fedor Emelianenko Interview

Fedor Emelianenko recently made an appearance in Japan, at DREAM 6. There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not the World Alliance HW champ would participate at the DREAM NYE show. Although this would be DREAM's first NYE show, it has become tradition for Fedor to appear on NYE events in Japan. If he fights on DREAM's NYE event, it would be his 6th straight NYE appearance. Three of his five NYE appearances have been for Pride FC, while one was for Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye and the other for Yarennoka. He has a total of 7 appearances at year ending shows for promotions, as he made 2 year end show appearances for Rings as well.

This is usually when TV networks in Japan are eager to put on their best shows, as the viewers are usually flocking to their television screens. DREAM is looking to improve immensely on their relatively poor ratings thus far and they could really use the likes of a Fedor on their year end show. The rumors of opponents have been circulating for weeks now and one that is brought up most often is that of Olympic gold medalist in Judo, Satoshi Ishii of Japan. Although utilizing the fame of his recent performance at the Olympics in Beijing, it would be a huge mismatch for a new comer to mma. That said, NYE shows are not marketed to the harecore fans, but more to the casual fans, who watch to see big names in action, not necessarily competitive bouts.

Although the rumors have been rampent and the hopes of seeing Fedor in action again in Japan are high, it doesn't look likely to happen. One of the primary reasons for this pessimistic view is due to Fedor's contract with Affliction and specifically the timing of their 2nd event, which is to take place late January. Affliction is very concerned about Fedor suffering an injury at the event and would rather him sit out NYE and be fully ready for a bout with either Andrei Arlovski or Josh Barnett. They simply don't want to risk Fedor missing another bout, due to injury. They can ill afford to be without Fedor in a big title bout, when they are trying to rebound from a canceled/postponed event that was to take place next month in Las Vegas. Fedor recently had an interview with DREAM addressing whether or not he will fight on NYE and about potential opponent, Satoshi Ishii.

Here is the full interview by DREAM, translated by Suki (Suki MMA)...

DREAM: What was the main purpose of your current visit [to Japan]?

Fedor: I came to Japan to watch DREAM and to meet Satoshi Ishii, who is a Judo gold medalist from the Beijing Olympics.

DREAM: You couldn't see Ishii unfortunately...

Fedor: Unfortunately not, I had been excited to train with him. I'm looking forward to meeting him next time.

DREAM: Did you watch his performance at the Beijing Olympics?

Fedor: No, I was in the U.S. during the Olympics games. The U.S. network [NBC] televised a swimming race, instead of Judo.

DREAM: Did you know Ishii stated he wanted to fight you?

Fedor: Yes, I know. I think it's too early in his career to fight me. I'd be very happy to train with him, whenever he comes to Russia. I heard he said he has a desire to be the best fighter in the world. I think his ambitions are too unrealistic to attain now. He is young, so it's important for him to take his time to gain technique, knowledge and experience.

DREAM: You said you came here to watch DREAM. Have you watched DREAM before?

Fedor: I have only watched a fight of [Gegard] Mousasi's, because I often train with him. I have DVDs of previous events and I will watch all of them eventually.

DREAM: Tell me about your schedule.

Fedor: I'm always ready to fight. I'm going to participate in a Sambo tournament in November.

DREAM: Who are you fighting next in mma?

Fedor: I have been told my opponent will be either Andrei Arlovski or Josh Barnett, on the next Affliction event [in late January]. They are both former UFC champions and I'm sure they will be very strong opponents.

DREAM: Japanese fans are expecting to see you fight on NYE in Japan again.

Fedor: I want to fight in Japan again, however, I can't control everything. God knows what will happen. Whether I fight or not on NYE depends on negotiations between my manager and DREAM.
It doesn't sound like he'll be fighting Ishii or anyone else for that matter on NYE, but he doesn't completely rule it out. A work around that might allow Fedor to take on Ishii and eliminate most of the risk of injury, would be to have Fedor and Ishii face off at DREAM under a submissions grappling match. The idea might be welcomed by DREAM, who had set up a grappling match between Mirko CroCop and Ralek Gracie at DREAM 4. That fight was canceled due to an injury to Mirko, but it shows that DREAM would be open to such an idea. Affliction might give the green light, considering there would be far less risk of Fedor injuring himself, considering his injuries are usually due to breaking his hands on strikes. In any event, we'll most likely be seeing Fedor in at least one event within the next few months and possibly two.

Our thanks to Suki (Suki MMA) for the initial translation of the interview from DREAM. For more coverage of Japanese mma, please visit http://sukimma.blogspot.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Roger Gracie Off Sengoku 5 Card...

World Victory Road posted a press release on their website today, explaining why Roger Gracie will not be participating on the Sengoku 5 card. According to WVR officials, Roger Gracie relayed messages to them about not being able to participate due to injury. WVR subsequently wanted medical reports to back up the claim and supposedly haven't been given such reports and plans to issue a punishment for the 26 year old, Gracie Barra UK fighter, who is undefeated at 2-0.

Here is the press release from WVR, translated by Suki (Suki MMA)...

We regret to announce that Roger Gracie, who was supposed to fight Travis Wiuff on Sep. 28, will not be a participant at Sengoku 5. Here are the details of how this came about.

On Sep. 17, Kevin Liddle, who is Roger Gracie's doctor, emailed us and presented Roger's condition. In the email, he described that he ordered Roger complete bed rest for 4 weeks, because of damage to the intercostal muscles. Roger's manager actually contacted us a week ago and mentioned the possibility of Roger having an injury. We ordered him to submit a formal medical report of his injury from his doctor.

A WVR official doctor read the email and considered Roger's condition wasn't serious enough to cancel his fight. WVR asked Roger to submit additional information, such as an official medical report by his doctor, the result of CT scan and other related examinations he took. However, we didn't hear from Roger.

On Sep. 19, Roger contacted us and requested to have a phone meeting between Dr. Liddle and our doctor. Our doctor, translators and WVR staff were ready for the meeting, however, we couldn't reach Dr. Liddle. When Roger asked for a meeting, he agreed to let Dr. Liddle respond to our questions within 3 hours, but we didn't hear back from Dr. Liddle.

On Sep. 20, Dr. Liddle emailed us and reported that Roger didn't break nor fracture any bones and that he hasn't even taken any examinations.

WVR ordered Roger several times to arrive in Japan by Sep 22 and take an examination. He refused to come to Japan, stating he expected to have difficulty in breathing during the long flight. We haven't seen him in Japan yet and haven't heard anything from him. So, WVR decided to make this announcement today.

We apologize to Travis [Wiuff] and our fans for delivering this news at the last minute. As for Roger Gracie, we are considering issuing a severe punishment for the incident. We will find an opponent for Travis [Wiuff] as soon as we can.
No word on what the punishment will entail, but it'll be interesting to see how WVR deals with one of their up and coming and potentially very marketable, young fighter. On one hand, you would expect them not to burn any bridges with the youngster, but you would also expect them take effective action, so such incidents do not become common place within the organization. Roger Gracie and his management haven't made any replies to today's press release by WVR.

We would like to thank Suki (Suki MMA) for the initial translation of the WVR press release. For more coverage of Japanese mma, please visit http://sukimma.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cyrille "The Snake" Diabate Interview

Cyrille Diabate, the 34 year old French mixed martial artist, recently made his U.S. debut for ProElite's ShoXC branded event. He garnered a 3 round unanimous decision victory of American Jaime Fletcher. He hopes to work his way up the ProElite ranks and get featured on the EliteXC brand. The contenders in the light heavyweight division is developing nicely for EliteXC, with the likes Rajael "Feijao" Cavalcante, Jared Hamman, Paoi Sugunuma and possibly Justin Eilers, who may go down to light heavyweight. He's amassed a record of 12-6-1, predominately fighting in Europe and Japan. At 6'6, he has the height advantage against most of his opponents, but the great height advantage hasn't translated to big wins against the bigger names of the sport. Originally developed as a kickboxer and shootboxer, he now tries to establish himself as one of the premiere light heavyweights in ProElite's stable of fighters.

He recently had an interview with Darrick Patrick, here is that interview...

Darrick: What was the road that led you to competing in professional mixed martial arts?

Cyrille: Long story! In short, like a lot of my fellow fighters, it started with a tough childhood. I had a lot of anger and energy to express. I started to train and fight in Muay Thai, kickboxing, and Savate - and I fell in love with those arts. MMA was the next logical step.

Darrick: Any words of advice for other individuals looking to train in MMA?

Cyrille: Take your time and choose wisely who your trainer is going to be. They will have a great impact on what kind of martial artist you become.

Darrick: What personally brings you the most fulfillment out of martial arts?

Cyrille: A sense of achievement and the feeling that I've become a better person.

Darrick: Who are some of the people that greatly influenced you while growing up?

Cyrille: My mother and grandfather. They both passed away when I was young and both stayed strong until the end, never complaining.

Darrick: What does a typical training session for you consist of?

Cyrille: There's not really a typical training session anymore. I've been training and fighting for seventeen years and if I get bored, I don't train as well! The length, content, and intensity varies a lot depending on my schedule and needs. I rely a lot more on experience and steady training than before.

Darrick: Who are a few of the people in the sport that you highly respect?

Cyrille: There are a lot and for different reasons. Fedor is one of them. When I see him fight and read his interviews, I am as equally impressed by both. He's down-to-earth, effective, and humble. He has those qualities in large proportions! I also respect Genki Sudo - I saw a great documentary on him once. He's a great fighter and showman, and is a really interesting person.

Darrick: Outside of competitive fighting, what are your other interests?

Cyrille: Movies, reading, video games, traveling, and nice restaurants.

Darrick: What moment in your life have you been proudest of so far?

Cyrille: My first major win in an international tournament. I was twenty-three and I had won my three fights by knockout to win the tournament. It felt great!

Darrick: Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Cyrille: I draw well and take good pictures.

Darrick: What is your oldest memory?

Cyrille: Riding my bike as a kid.

For more interviews by Darrick Patrick, please visit his site here...

More exclusive Darrick Patrick interviews

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jaochim "Hellboy" Hansen Photoshoot

Jaochim "Hellboy" Hansen is currently on the high of his life, having just won the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Championship. Although he suffered a dramatic loss to Eddie Alvarez, a fight of the year candidate, he got slotted into the alternatives bracket and defeated Kultar Gill. Ironically, he came on as alternative for the fighter he lossed to, as Alvarez wasn't permitted to participate in the finals, after another fight of the year candidate bout with Tatsuya Kawajiri led to an eye injury. The stage was set for a rematch between Shinya Aoki, the heavily favored and home town hero, and Jaochim "Hellboy" Hansen. With Eddie Alvarez enthusiastically rooting him on, Jaochim managed the upset of the night via TKO in the first round and became the first ever DREAM title holder and Grand Prix Champion.

It was indeed a great accomplishment and one that had to top many other feats by Hansen, which include some dramatic victories over some of the best fighters in the world, like Rumina Sato,Takanori Gomi, Gesias Cavalcante, Caol Uno and Masakazu Imanari. The 29 year old Norwegian currently ranks amongst the Top 5/10 lightweights in mma today. Simen Kjellin, mma photo journalist/photographer, recently got an opportunity to take some amazing training session photos of Jaochim and his Team Hansen training partners. Here are some of those great shots from the set...

Photos credited to Simen Kjellin/simenkjellin.no

If you would like to view the entire set of 100+ photos, please visit http://www.simenkjellin.no

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gokhan "The Rebel" Saki Interview

K1 recently held their United States portion of their World Grand Prix in the state of Hawaii and the surprise victor was none other than Gokhan "The Rebel" Saki. The 24 year old Golden Glory fighter only got the slot, as fellow Golden Glory fighter Chalid Arrab could not obtain a visa to participate in the event. A disappointment for Arrab, but a great opportunity for Gokhan Saki. The winner of the Hawaii Grand Prix would be awarded automatic entry into the K1 Grand Prix finals, which will be held in Seoul, Korea. Gokhan Saki took advantage of this opportunity and did so in impressive fashion. He defeated all three of his opponents via KO (one in the 2nd round and two in the 1st). He's currently riding a 14 fight win streak and hasn't been defeated in the past two years. He'll take this momentum with him into the finals, where he will be taking on the best kickboxers in the world.

A little more about this young, up and coming fighter, he is of Turkish origin, fighting out of the Netherlands. He trains with Golden Glory Breda, under Cor Hemmers. He's amassed a record of 63 wins (47 via KO), 9 losses and 1 no contest. He is a two time Dutch and European Muay Thai champion and was a finalist at the K1 World GP 2006 in Amsterdam. Tournament champion at the K1 World GP 2008 in Hawaii. Nicknamed "The Rebel," Gokhan has shown to be quite the force to be reckoned with. He will be one of the fighters to look out for during the finals, not only competitively, but also by fans to see how he performs at the grandest of stages. It will be the toughest challenge in this fighter's young career, also one of the biggest opportunities in his career to establish his name as one of the best in the sport. He has the confidence, skill and determination to be successful. Clinch or Die recently had the benefit to chat with Gokhan and we are honored to present our first interview to our readers...

Clinch or Die: Who are some fighters that you look up to within the sport? Who are some fighters you simply enjoy watching?

Gokhan Saki: I like explosive fighters, who try to make the fight. Fighters like LeBanner, Karaev, Zimmerman and Chalid. I also have great respect for Semmy, he is a training beast.

Clinch or Die: Having spent some time in Hawaii, your thoughts on the state and the overall atmosphere/feedback from the Hawaiin fans? Did you have any time for leisure activies while there?

Gokhan Saki: I loved Hawaii, the atmosphere was great. My last entrance had the audience dancing and go wild, as we expected that to happen. For leisure, I went surfing and had muscle pain, hahaha.

Clinch or Die: Your entrance music during the Grand Prix has been popular amongst your fans, could you credit the artist and name for the fans?

Gokhan Saki: It is a creation by a DJ friend of mine, who made it specially for me. You will hear more of this guy in the future, as we are planning to release this mix with a video clip with, of course, my fights.

Clinch or Die: The field of fighters at the Grand Prix Finals will be the best of the best, do you feel you match up well with any particular fighter(s)? If you could pick an opponent you want to match up with in the first round, who would it be? Any fighter you would want to avoid in the first bout?

Gokhan Saki: LeBanner, Feitosa, Teixera, but really, I don't care either way. If in the next round, I have to fight fellow Golden Glory fighters, so be it. In the gym, we fight everyday and believe me, if you do not have your hands up, you will go down.

Clinch or Die: If you can credit one thing for all the success so far in your career, what would it be?

Gokhan Saki: Trainer Cor Hemmers and Golden Glory. They made my career go off like a rocket. They also made me have my own team (Team Rebel) within Golden Glory. This is mainly for potential future clashes with teammates, we know it is going to happen and we are all fine with it. It's just business and believe me, for us, a lot of honor in determining who will be the best from Golden Glory and for Glory fighters, hahaha.

Clinch or Die: Other than winning the K1 Grand Prix Finals, what are some other goals you hope to achieve in your fight career?

Gokhan Saki: I have a contract with K1 and I am happy about it. I want to enjoy life, which I am doing.

Clinch or Die: If you weren't fighting professionally, what would you be most likely doing instead as a professional?

Gokhan Saki: I was a good soccer player, so it would be soccer.

Clinch or Die: Who did you root for during EURO 2008?

Gokhan Saki: Holland of course, but as I am Turkish, I had two favorites.

Clinch or Die: Anything else you would like to add for your fans?

Gokhan Saki: Saki time has now started. I may be one of the smallest fighters, but my kicks are already compared to Mirko CroCop's, which I think isn't correct. I am very well rounded, always learning and my boxing skills have improved a lot. I am always learning every day. I am not only a good dancer, but I can fight as well. I fight everybody and proved this already. I like to give the fans a spectacular fight and I always go for the Knock Out!

Clinch or Die: Gokhan, thank you for the time. Best of luck with your training and fights.

Gokhan Saki: Peace!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sengoku Signing Spree Continues

World Victory Road's Sengoku continue to sign new talent. Having recently signed 2008 Mundials champion Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro, Pawel Nastula and Americans Frank Trigg and Ryan Schultz, Sengoku have gone on to pick up Kazuhiro Nakamura and Valentijn Overeem. Overeem is slotted to appear on Sengoku 4 (August 24th), while Nakamura will make his debut for Sengoku on September 28th, in Sengoku's Middleweight Grand Prix tournament.

Kazuhiro Nakamura, the 29 year old Judo star is coming along after two disappointing spells in the UFC. Albeit against tough competition, he went 0-2 against Lyoto Machida and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Prior to his UFC fights, his entire career was with, now defunct, Japanese promotion Pride FC. He held an 11-6 record within Pride, which includes battles with the biggest names of the sport like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Murilo Bustamante, Yuki Kondo, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Igor Vovchanchyn, Josh Barnett and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. He holds notable victories over Bustamante, Kevin Randleman, Evangelista Santos, Kondo, Nakao and Vovchanchyn. As you can tell from the whose who of fighters he has been in battle with, Nakamura is definitely up to the challenge to take on any and all competitors. He fits the bill of the true warrior spirit having fought bigger and stronger opponents. He'll also have a big opportunity to get his career back on track with a solid showing in Sengoku's inaugural Middleweight Grand Prix. He shall be a fan favorite being back in Japan and fighting alongside his training partner, Yoshida.

Valentijn Overeem, the 31 year old kickboxing and submissions fighter is looking to get active in mma again, having fought twice in the past 3 years. The Golden Glory fighter has an overall 25-22 record in mma and is a 12 year veteran of the sport, but hasn't fought in a major promotion since March of 2005, when he fought for K1's HERO'S promotion against Shungo Oyama. He's trying to turn his fate around, having lost 4 out of his last 5 bouts. He's fought for many promotions over his long career, including HERO's, Pride FC and Rings. He holds notable victories of Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Randy "The Natural" Couture. He'll look for a good showing in his Sengoku debut, when he meets up with relative unknown, Kazuo Takahashi.

Sengoku may not have started their promotion on full blast, but they are surely proving they are a viable contender to DREAM in the Japanese market with the recent signings (Trigg, Schults, Ribeiro, Nakamura, Nastula, etc.) and the announcements of the LW and MW Grand Prix tournaments. Here are the schedules, fight cards and participants for Sengoku 4 and 5...

Sengoku 4
August 24th, 2008
Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
Takanori Gomi vs Bang Seung Hwan
Makoto Takimoto vs Frank Trigg
Peter Graham vs Moise Rimbon
Pawel Nastula vs Yang Dong Yi
Kazuo Takahashi vs Valentijn Overeem
Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 1st Round match ups:
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Clay French
Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Rodrigo Damm
Kazunori Yokota vs. Bojan Kosednar
Mizuto Hirota vs. Ryan Schultz
Sengoku 5
September 28th, 2008
Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan
Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 1st Round participants:
Kazuhiro Nakamura
Evangelista Cyborg
Siyar Bahadurzada
Jorge Santiago


Sengoku Sign BJJ Champion Xande Ribeiro

Fresh off his World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships (also referred to as the Mundials) victory, Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro has signed with World Victory Road's Sengoku mma promotion. Having been a dominant force in the world of BJJ over the years (especially in 2006/2008), he'll make the crossover to mixed martial arts come September 28th in Japan. An opponent hasn't been announced yet, but his debut into mma will be cause for many to tune into Sengoku no matter who his opponent is. He'll most likely be fighting at the 185 lbs weight limit, which is a drop in weight from what he competes in BJJ tournaments, which is at 205 lbs. The cut in weight might be an indicator that Sengoku may slot Xande into the Middleweight Grand Prix, which WVR has planned for Sengoku 5.

The 27 year old from Maunus, Amazonas, Brazil trains with Gracie Humaita Academy in Brazil and along side his brother Saulo at their gym (University of Jiu-Jitsu) in San Diego, California. Xande has trained under Royler Gracie and his brother Saulo. His accomplishments in BJJ include earning 8 gold medals at the Mundials (two this year), 6 gold medals at the Pan-American BJJ Championships and numerous world championships at other BJJ/Grappling tournaments. He holds notable victories over Roger Gracie and Gabriel Gonzaga.

Sengoku continue to sign elite BJJ and Judo stars to their roster. BJJ notables include Antonio Braga Neto, Roger Gracie, Jorge Santiago, Rodrigo Damm and Marcio Cruz. Judo notables include Makoto Takimoto, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Pawel Nastula and Hidehiko Yoshida. They also have a few Judo and Wrestling signees currently competing at the Olympics in Beijing. Having established a nice mixture of World Champions and Olympians in various martial arts styles, Sengoku is preparing itself for quality tournaments, which are planned for Sengoku 4 (August 24th) and Sengoku 5 (September 28th).


Monday, August 4, 2008

Affliction Adding New Blood

Affliction is preparing the line up for their second event, which is to take place in Las Vegas on October the 11th. With the news that Fedor will not be able to participate, due to a hand injury, Affliction has gone out and signed some new faces. They have joined the UFC in scouring the remains of the IFL for fighters to sign. Their efforts have led them to sign two reigning champions of the IFL. Light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko of Midwest Combat and heavyweight Roy Nelson, who trains with Lions Den will be making their debuts for Affliction at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Roy "Big Country" Nelson (13-2), the 32 year old from Las Vegas, is coming off two title defenses. His first defense was against Brazilian Fabiano Scherner and his last title defense was against fellow American, Brad Imes. Currently on a 5 fight win streak, with his last lost coming against Ben Rothwell in a split decision, where many fans thought he deserved the victory. The signing does make a rematch with Big Ben a good possibility, so this may be on the mind of Roy and Affliction as well. His first bout is going to be with fellow new signee and Xtreme Couture fighter Jay White (2-5), who confirmed the bout over the weekend.

Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko (21-3), the 37 year old has an impressive record and solid victories over big names like Rizzo, Nogueira, Wiuff and Kondo. One of those he's beaten, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is likely to be his first opponent come October 11th. Nogueira will be looking to avenge his loss, while Matyushenko will try to continue to impress and improve his 8 fight win streak. He's coming off his only title defense, which was against Jamal Patterson four months ago. His last loss was against fellow Belarussian and fellow Affliction fighter, Andre Arlovski.

Two solid signings by Affliction. Nelson and Matyushenko are clearly not the biggest names in the sport, but both are on the cusp of most mma site's Top 10 rankings. A couple of big wins for either fighter in Affliction and they could see themselves crack the Top 10 rankings. Another potential signing may be Tito Ortiz, who has been making some mumblings about fighting Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson Stars in 3 movies...

Here is the list of movies and sources...

First Movie...
Kung Fu U (Kung Fu University)
Second Movie...
Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh
Third Movie...
Blood and Bone...

Should be fun and interesting to see Kimbo in movies, but I wonder how much these movies are taking away from his much needed training. Probably not much, but he still needs to be focused on his fighting career. That said, these movies show that Kimbo is really popular and that he's being signed to appear in movies because of that popularity. It'll also help him gain even more popularity, especially with the kids movies.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Introducing Clinch Or Die...

Clinchordie (.com) is currently in development, so we are launching our articles before the site officially launches. We plan to have the site up and running shortly, but in the meantime we are going bring you the latest mixed martial arts news available on the net via blogger. We also plan to provide in depth coverage of live events, provide fighter interviews, training footage, fighter rankings and a lot more things we plan to introduce later on. A lot of things are to come, so be patient and enjoy the articles until launch date.