ProElite today named the participants of the second bracket of its planned heavyweight grand prix and there’s a pretty good chance you won’t recognize the names on the list.
Contrary to popular belief and ads that inferred as much, the tournament will not include former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia. According to the press release sent out by Stratus Media Group, the tournament will be structured similarly to Strikeforce’s Challenger Series in that the “up-and-coming’ winner will earn a shot at an upper-main card slot on a future event.
CagePotato.com has learned that ProElite’s second show under its new ownership and management will happen November 5 at the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois. Although no announcements have been made regarding the event, which is tentatively dubbed “ProElite II” or the show’s fight card, according to a published report, former UFC heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia (29-7) and Andrei Arlovski (16-9) are both verified to be on the card, only not against each other just yet.
ProElite had originally planned to hold its next show back in Hawaii, but evidently decided that Illinois was a better fit, considering Arlovski lives and trains two hours west of Moline in Chicago and Sylvia is a part-time police officer in Milan, less than 15 minutes away from the venue.
According to the report, Sylvia will be taking on another former UFC champ instead, Pedro Rizzo in the show’s main event and Arlovski will square off with journeyman fighter Travis Fulton (247 – 48 – 10 1 NC ).
That’s the damnedest case of jock itch we’ve ever seen, Kendall. (Pic: ProElite.com)
As the crowds in Rio walked out of UFC 134 and headed for the Copacabana Club, MMA fans in Honolulu, Hawaiia made their way to the Neal S. Blaisdell Center to witness the rebirth of ProElite. Those who watched were treated to submissions and knockouts galore as not a single bout went the distance, but there was more at stake than mere wins and losses. Last night’s biggest fights weren’t waged for a fight purse or sponsorships, but for the value in a name.
ProElite has a name many hardcore fans recognize, but not for reasons the promotion would want. From their previous partnership with noted scumbags to the messy collapse of their first run, they return to the promotion game carrying a lot of baggage. They can distance themselves from previous debacles by doing one thing, and that’s putting on quality, scandal free events. Last night was a step in the right direction. ProElite needs to build, but build slowly.
A run down of the fights, and video of the the Reagan Penn fight, after the jump.
Interview with BJ Penn’s brother, Reagan, who makes his MMA debut tonight. Props: MMAHawaii.com.
Many readers are probably looking for something to do after UFC 134 tonight. Preferably something that will involve a local bar with good drink specials and attractive women. Well, we can’t help you there. But for those hardcore MMA fans among us who don’t have things like “social lives” or “friends” holding you back, Sherdog has you covered with a live stream of ProElite’s return.
The stream begins at 1 A.M. ET on Sunday morning, and no, you don’t have to pay for it.
Aside from the return of Andrei Arlovski against King of the Cage light-heavyweight Ray Lopez, the event also features a middleweight tilt between the recently axed Kendall Grove and Joe Riggs. Both fighters are riding two fight losing streaks into the cage tonight. Also on the card are 2009 NCAA D1 wrestling champion Mark Ellis, UFC veteran Drew McFedries and BJ Penn’s younger brother, Reagan Penn, who is making his MMA debut. Again, you don’t have to pay for it.
(We’d recognize those feet anywhere. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
Fifth time’s a charm? After four consecutive losses — three by dramatic first-round knockout — Andrei Arlovski will have yet another chance to redeem himself at ProElite’s return show (August 27th, Honolulu). His opponent is as “rebound” as they get. ProElite has confirmed that Arlovski will be taking on Ray Lopez, a Michigan-based light-heavyweight with less than two years of pro experience, whose 5-1 record doesn’t include a January 2010 submission loss that was later changed to a no-contest. Lopez most recently scored a first-round knockout over Rob Morrow at a KOTC event on July 16th.
Arlovski vs. Lopez is listed as the event’s headliner. ProElite certainly did their part by finding an opponent that the Pitbull can beat — now all Andrei has to do is avoid taking a nasty one to the chin. Will he pull it off? ProElite 1 will also feature a co-headlining middleweight scrap between UFC vets Kendall Grove and Joe Riggs, and the MMA debut of BJ Penn’s brother Reagan Penn.
“The Pitbull” will be looking to snap a four-fight losing streak that includes first-round knockouts against Fedor Emelianenko, Brett Rogers, and Sergei Kharitonov. Arlovski’s opponent is unknown at this time — but since Tim Sylvia is also being rumored as another ProElite signee, well, are you thinking what we’re thinking?
Fabricio Werdum has finally responded to Alistair Overeem’s claims that he should be ashamed of his performance on Saturday night in their Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal match-up. According to Vai Cavalo, Overeem didn’t beat him; he lost the bout on his own by not listening to his corner and instead attempting time and time again to coax “The Demolition Man” into his guard.
“I don’t believe he won, I lost to myself. I could’ve won. The feeling I’m having now is worse than if he has smashed me up and if he was way better than me on the three rounds, winning with a large advantage,” he told TATAME today. “The guys is good, alright, so I’d have to keep my head down and train more. But it wasn’t like that and that made me choked. It was a [mediocre] bout, the fans expected much more, but he didn’t want to the ground at any cost.”
The public service announcement has been part of American culture for decades. Popularized by the perpetually foxy Nancy Reagan in the ’80s, the PSA has taught us everything from not smoking crack to not dumping a pot of boiling oil on your face, and a whole bunch of other not’s. It has also served as a way to punish celebrities and athletes who did something incredibly stupid and got caught.
MMA fighters eventually began to get roped into this as the popularity of the sport rose; some are good, while others should be avoided as much as strangers in pick-up trucks who offer to let you see their puppy. That is why today I present to you the top eight public service announcements featuring MMA fighters. Why? Because knowing is half the battle…
8. Randy Couture VS Crystal Meth
Just say no to drugs! Randy Couture enters the battle against Methamphetamines in this PSA, because when you think crystal meth, think Randy Couture. For a video that is meant to appear sad and claustrophobic, it comes off like an amateur snuff film and loses its impact with the soft-spoken UFC veteran.
Couture has done plenty of these ads, so don’t be surprised if he pops back up on this list. Am I saying he will for sure? No, but if I did, would you stop loving me? I can’t handle any more rejection…oh man, sinking back into that pit of despair. I need some meth. But if I do that, then Randy won’t love me either. Argh, what a vicious cycle! But seriously kids, don’t do drugs. If you feel yourself losing power to your addiction, go punch a hobo instead. It’s much more fulfilling, but don’t take my word for it.
Oh, and I lied. Randy does not appear again on this list. That was the crystal meth talking.
Following the post-event press conference at “Fedor vs. Silva” on Saturday night, I was able to get a couple minutes with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who ran down his thoughts on the insanity we’d all just witnessed — as well as some other big topics swirling around his promotion. To summarize:
- Coker still feels that Fedor Emelianenko‘s heart is still in competing, mainly because the first round of his fight against Antonio Silva wasn’t a total blowout. (By the way, a draw after two rounds? That second round was a clear 10-8 for Silva in my opinion, and the first round wasn’t a clear-cut win for Fedor either.)
- Whatever Andrei Arlovski does next is up to his camp, but Coker doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about putting him in the cage again.