European Throwdown: Notes from Iberia to Siberia
European MMA is heading down the home stretch for 2007, but not
without churning out a few more interesting events in the remaining
six weeks of the year. Get the lowdown on shows from Slovenia,
Germany, Russia and Belgium. Plus: A trio of Euro fighters make
waves in Japan.
After canceling an event in May because too many fighters had
dropped out due to injury or better financial offers, promoter WFC
is now back with its third show. Headlining the Nov. 18 card, which
takes place in Domžale near Slovenia's capital Ljubljana, are PRIDE
veterans Rodney Faverus
and Jean Francois
Faverus, a Dutch fighter competing in his first MMA fight this year
after a broken hand, will take on undefeated Croatian judoka
Maro Perak. The busy
Frenchman Lenogue, who has a fight with Hector Lombard (Pictures) scheduled just five days later in
Australia, will go head to head with super-strong Chechnyan
The lone bout that made it from the cancelled show to this one is
the confrontation between Italy-based Brazilian Fabricio Nascimento
(Pictures) and Lithuanian HERO'S
Smirnovas (Pictures). Nascimento lost a decision to
the Baltic Muay Thai specialist on his home turf in Modena in March
and is looking for revenge on neutral ground.
Rodney Faverus vs.
vs. Jean Francois
(Pictures) vs. Mindaugas Smirnovas
Bojan Kosednar vs.
Traian Carciuc vs.
Daniel Marhold vs. Igor Mihaljevic
Adnan Redzovic vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain
(Pictures) vs. Sergey Shemetov
Jose Baraddas vs. Roel Rink
Alfredo Limonta vs. Francisco Veras
Nives Radic vs. Jennifer
After suffering a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Cage Rage
welterweight champion Paul
Daley (Pictures) in March, Germany's Daniel Weichel, widely
considered to be one of the top-10 170-pound fighters in Europe, is
continuing his comeback. He already made the first step in April,
when he submitted countryman Fatih Balci via triangle
The 22-year-old jiu-jitsu expert, who holds wins over Cage Rage
British lightweight champion Abdul Mohamed (Pictures) and UFC veteran Dennis Siver (Pictures), will try to make the second step
against little-known American fighter Chas Jacquier in Darmstadt on
Nov. 25. The fight is part of the Tempel Mix Fight Gala 6, which
also features a Muay Thai title fight between Muhammed Gür of
Turkey and Vasilis Natsis of Greece.
Although unnoticed by American fans, bodogFIGHT has started selling
tickets for its second pay-per-view show from Russia, aptly named
"Russia vs. USA 2."
The Nov. 30 event will again take place at the Khodynka Arena in
Moscow, which played host to the super fight between Fedor Emelianenko
(Pictures) and Matt Lindland (Pictures) in April.
Because of cost-cutting measures inside the promotion, the card may
not be as stacked with superstars as in the past but still features
some intriguing matchups. UFC legend Oleg Taktarov will come out of
retirement to fight UFC veteran John Marsh (Pictures) in the main event. We will have
more on the comeback of the "Russian Bear" later this week.
Alexander Kokoev vs.
Ivan Anikanov vs. Besiki
vs. Thalmann Sheriffs
(Pictures) vs. James "Binky" Jones
Constantine Glukhov vs. Dan
(Pictures) vs. Jessica Aguilar
Akhmet Sultans vs. "Big" Eric
vs. Wagner da
Conceicao Martins (Pictures)
Shlemenko vs. Diego
(Pictures) vs. Emyr Bussade
Oleg Taktarov vs. John Marsh
Two European fighters have made it to the finals of Cage Force's
eight-man lightweight and welterweight tournaments.
Englishman Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy won a decision over King of
Pancrase Daizo Ishige
(Pictures) and knocked out HERO's
veteran Hidetaka Monma
(Pictures) to book his place in the
170-pound final. There he will meet up-and-coming Japanese knockout
Yoshida (Pictures) in what should be another
fantastic standup war.
Meanwhile, Russian kickboxer Artur Oumakhanov (Pictures)'s path was delayed when Chute
Boxer Andre Amade
(Pictures) knocked him out in K-1
HERO'S. Since he was not fit to compete on Sept. 8, promoter GCM
had to reschedule his semifinal bout against experienced Shooter
(Pictures) for this past Sunday.
Oumakhanov edged out his Japanese opponent on a somewhat
controversial doctor's stoppage. In the opening round, he had won a
split decision over well-rounded DEEP vet Wataru Miki (Pictures).
Oumakhanov's opponent on Dec. 1 will be Killer Bee fighter Koutetsu Boku (Pictures). The 30-year-old teammate of
Japanese mega-star Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto holds wins over former
UFC lightweight title challenger Hermes Franca (Pictures) and former Shooto lightweight
Franca Nogueira (Pictures).
Boku should without a doubt be Oumakhanov's toughest adversary to
date. Although a win redeems the Russian after his loss to Amade, a
loss could very well kill off his young career as a top
Shooto's final show of the year on Dec. 8 provides another
interesting story from a European perspective: the tale of Paolo Milano (Pictures).
The Italian kickboxer had lived in London for nine years and even
fought on smaller shows such as the UK Mixed Martial Arts
Championship, Intense Fighting and Cage Rage Contenders. Then he
watched the "Rites of Passage" documentary and decided he wanted to
train in Japan.
Enter legendary trainer Yuki
Nakai (Pictures), who invited him to Paraestra
Tokyo and used his connections with promoter Sustain to place the
Italian in Shooto. Even though he lost his first bout against
(Pictures), Milano was invited back
and turned more than a few heads in July when he submitted Takayuki Ohkouchi (Pictures) in just 16 seconds.
With world-class training partners like Nakai and Shooto
middleweight champion Shinya
Aoki (Pictures), the Bruce Lee fan now aspires to
become an A-Class Shootor -- a professional fighter who also gets
to compete for championships. Standing in Milano's way is the much
more experienced Koumei
Will the pupil of NHB legend Enson Inoue end the Italian's dream of
entering the professional elite or will we see him challenge the
likes of Takashi
Nakakura (Pictures), Ganjo Tentsuku (Pictures) and Yusuke Endo (Pictures) in the future?
Nine days before Christmas, Charleroi -- Belgium's steel city, like
Pittsburgh -- will host one of the strongest lineups of any MMA
card in Europe this year. At Shooto Belgium 4 "Encounter the
Braves," top fighters from France and the Netherlands will clash in
a highly competitive country-versus-country showdown.
Team France will be captained by madman Jean Francois Lenogue
(Pictures), who will be fighting his
third bout in less than a month if he makes it unscathed through
encounters with Askharov and Lombard. Also representing "La Grande
Nation" are PRIDE veteran David
Baron (Pictures) and his teammate Casimir Bendy,
who is undefeated in his last six fights.
Team Holland has a top representative of its own in reigning Shooto
light heavyweight champion Syiar Bahadurzada. The "Afghan Killa" is
joined by fellow Shooto veteran Marc Duncan (Pictures), his undefeated pupil Niek Tromp and controversial
grappler Willy Ni
(Pictures). The Dutch duo of Vincent Latoel and Arno Verbrak
will also scuffle with Czech opposition.
Lenogue (Pictures) vs. Syiar Bahadurzada
Tarec Saffiedine vs.
Willy Ni (Pictures) vs. Wim Deputter
Vaclav Pribyl vs.
Tomas Kuzela vs. Arno
David Baron (Pictures) vs. Niek Tromp*
Casimir Bendy vs. Marc
*Shooto Europe middleweight title fight
** Shooto Europe welterweight title fight
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