A bout between former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho and Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii, presumably at light heavyweight, is being targeted for Amazon Forest Combat’s inaugural event in Manaus-Amazonas, Brazil on September 14. According to a report by TATAME, the promotion is also in talks with several notable ex-Zuffa fighters including Marcus Davis, Nate Marquardt, Patrick Cote and Ronys Torres.
AFC is the upstart promotion Royler Gracie opted to fight for over an Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Grappling Tournament match against Eddie Bravo that he previously agreed to compete in prior to demanding upwards of $75,000 for the bout. The show’s promoters contacted Bravo to instead face Royler in an MMA bout on the September 14 card, but Bravo declined the offer and later stated that it was because he didn’t think it was a a smart move to face a Gracie “in dangerous-ass Brazil.” Black House manager and the AFC’s matchmaker Jorge Guimarães revealed that he originally tried to get Hideo Tokoro, who won the DREAM Bantamweight tournament with a unanimous decision victory over Masakazu Imanari at the Japanese promotion’s Fight for Japan event this past Sunday, but said that the fight fell through.
“Tokoro will probably fight again at Dream in September, so he won’t be able to fight here,” Guimarães said.
It’s interesting that Guimarães is ignoring weight classes when matching the bouts.
Tokoro fights at 134 lbs and Royler hasn’t competed lower than 150. Filho is a natural middleweight who has occasionally fought at 205, whereas Ishii is a heavyweight who hasn’t fought at a lower weight than 240. There was word that he was planning to drop down a class to fight for Strikeforce following his win over Jerome LeBanner at K-1 Dynamite!! in December, but his planned SF debut never came to fruition due to “visa issues.”
Maybe they are planning the bout as an open weight event.