By Mike Russell
Apparently rumors of the demise of Warrior One (W-1) MMA were greatly exaggerated as the Toronto, Ontario-based promotion that made waves with its stacked Canadian cards the past two years but hasn’t held an event since last October, is back with another impressive offering — this time for American MMA fans in Florida.
W-1: Reloaded is set for October 15 at the Bank United Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida and according to W-1 president Jack Bateman, the reason his organization has not held an event in almost a year is that it underwent an ownership restructuring and he and his new partners were carefully laying the groundwork for the promotion’s foray into the U.S. because they wanted to make sure they took their time and did it right.
“Everything has come together and I couldn’t be happier with the way the company has evolved and the quality of our first event in the States,” Bateman told CagePotato.com Monday. “I have a great group of partners who are at the top of their specific fields and whose skill sets bring a lot to the table when it comes to promotion and putting on events like we’ve come to be known for putting on. We have some big signings we’ve been working on and will be having a few of those names on our next card in Miami on October 15.”
The main event of “W-1 V2.0′s” first card will feature former UFC number one heavyweight contenders Jeff Monson (42-12) and Gabriel Gonzaga (11-6). “The Snowman” has one up on “Napao” having won on points when they squared off in a grappling match at the 2005 at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Submission Fighting Championships tournament in 2005 and will be hoping that since Gonzaga hasn’t fought since last October, the long layoff will be to his advantage. At 40, Monson is one of the most active fighters in the game having already fought five times this year. The American Top Team fighter is on pace to beat his career record he set last year with nine fights. Taking Gonzaga lightly, however, is never a good idea. Just ask Mirko “Cro Cop”Filipovic, who was knocked out via a nasty headkick when he overlooked the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s striking at UFC 70 back in 2007. The 32-year-old native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil who trains out of Team Link in Ludlow, Massachusetts, will likely be hungry for a win and to climb back into the heavyweight top 20 rankings.
The event, which will be recorded for broadcast on Fox Sports, will also feature a middleweight bout between Valdir “BBMonster” Araujo (8-2) and Bellator veteran Mike “El Gringo Diablo” Bernhard (9-2), a welterweight showdown between Team Link standout John Manley (6-1) and ATT product Sabah Homasi (4-2) and a women’s bantamweight match-up between Kim “Sugar Free” Couture (3-5) and ATT instructor Suzie Montero (0-0). Rounding out the show will be welterweight Tom “The Bomb” Waters (4-1) taking on Alan Arzeno (4-4), lightweight Bellator vet JP Reese (3-1) versus Taylor Callens (3-0), welterweight Strikeforce vet Nathan Coy (8-4) versus Anderson Melo (5-5), middleweight Bellator vet Frank Carrillo (4-2) versus Joe Watson (4-1) and a middleweight scrap between Bruno Reis Da Maria (1-0-1) and Kenny Moss (3-2).
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Bank United Center
University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida
Jeff Monson (42-12) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (11-6)
Valdir Araujo (8-2) vs. Mike Bernhard (9-2)
John Manley (6-1) vs. Sabah Homasi (4-2)
Kim Couture (3-5) vs. Suzie Montero (0-0)
Tom Waters (4-1) vs. Alan Arzeno (4-4)
JP Reese (3-1) vs. Taylor Callens (3-0)
Nathan Coy (8-4) vs. Anderson Melo (5-5)
Frank Carrillo (4-2) vs. Joe Watson (4-1)
Bruno Reis Da Maria (1-0-1) and Kenny Moss (3-2)