GCM Hopes Tournament Talent Will Be UFC-Bound
When the Worldwide Cage Network formed last September, there was
considerable intrigue over the international union and its goals of
cross-promotion. Would we really see the exchange of talent between
Greatest Common Multiple and England's Cage Warriors? Australia's
Warrior's Realm and Hawaii's Rumble on the Rock? California's
Pangea Fights and Finland's The Cage? Could the WWCN accomplish its
goal of fostering international talent with the hope of promoting
elite fighters to the UFC?
With GCM and the Worldwide Cage Network having revealed plans for
2007, the answer would appear to be a resounding yes.
At a press conference held Wednesday at GCM headquarters in the
Ginza district of Tokyo, GCM Communications announced that in
cooperation with the Worldwide Cage Network two tournaments would
be contested in 2007 on CAGE FORCE cards. The tournaments will be
held at 155 and 170 pounds, and GCM and the WWCN are currently in
negotiations with Zuffa for the two tournament winners to compete
in the UFC, effectively realizing the goal of the Worldwide Cage
"Many fighters want to use this event as a stepping stone to
fighting internationally," said GCM official Gen Isono. "If a fighter has good
results, we want to recommend [them] to a foreign promotion."
Currently, 10 fighters are officially announced for the 155-pound
tournament, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 17 during GCM'S CAGE
FORCE card at the Yonago Industrial Gymnasium in Tottori.
Isono told the media that GCM is also currently in talks with Cage
Warriors, Pangea Fights and Total Combat to bring in additional
Confirmed for the tournament are former Shooto 154-pound Pacific
Rim champion Koutetsu Boku
(Pictures); Cage Warriors tournament
Kanomata (Pictures); former KOTC 155-pound champion
(Pictures); PRIDE veteran Eiji Mitsuoka (Pictures); Yasuyoshi Kanehara; Wataru Takahashi (Pictures); and Wataru Miki (Pictures). The international contingent of
the bracket is highlighted by fast-rising prospect Artur Oumakhanov (Pictures), a former Spetsnaz agent in his
native Russia who has turned heads in his young career fought
exclusively in Japan. Also confirmed for the tournament are
18-year-old Australian standout Jacob Sidic and Finland's Jarkko Latomaki.
The 170-pound tournament is scheduled to begin on March 17’s GCM
CAGE FORCE card at Tokyo's Differ Ariake. Already confirmed for the
tournament are former Shooto 167-pound world champion Akira Kikuchi (Pictures); former 165-pound King of
Pancrase Katsuya Inoue
(Pictures); Noboru Asahi disciple Yoshiyuki Yoshida
(Pictures); Finnish pounder Janne Tulirinta; and Australian
upstart Justin Turtle. GCM is still in negotiations with other WWCN
members to bring in 170-pound tournament competitors, and hopes to
have between eight and 12 participants come March 17.
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