MM-Eh! News and Notes from Canada
Until very recently the name Hardcore Championship Fighting was
known mainly to a few Canadian MMA fans. But recent signings of
PRIDE veterans Aleksander Emelianenko
(Pictures) and Antonio Rogerio
Nogueira (Pictures) and UFC veteran Renato Sobral (Pictures) have MMA fans around the world
thinking, "Who are these guys?"
The Calgary, Alberta-based HCF has been on Canadian airwaves for
roughly a year on the Score Television Network. Initially the
company broadcast fights from events such as Rumble in the Cage and
King of the Cage. When a lack of new content threatened its TV deal
with the Score, though, HCF started promoting its own shows.
In July the inaugural event in Edmonton included such Canadian
notables as new TKO welterweight champion Jesse Bongfeldt, Nabil Khatib (Pictures), Sean Pierson and also several
fighters like Joe Riggs
(Pictures) and Solomon Hutcherson who are
more recognized by UFC fans.
HCF's next card, scheduled for Oct. 19, will be held in the Calgary
Corral with the main event featuring Emelianenko versus UFC 14 vet
Dan Bobish (Pictures), who replaces a missing-in-action
According to HCF President Keith Crawford, nobody, including
Correira's manager, Ken Pavia, has been able to reach "Cabbage" for
several weeks now.
"We made the decision to take him off the fight card because we
can't afford to bring in Emelianenko from Russia and not have a
good fighter on the other side of the cage," Crawford told
Bringing in Bobish raises one interesting question though, as a
scheduled MMA event in Moncton for Sept. 29 was reportedly
cancelled due to the headlining Bobish having broken ribs --
something Crawford said isn't true.
"Dan Bobish (Pictures) is in perfect health and is
looking forward to taking this fight, and at no time did Mr. Bobish
have a broken rib that we know of through his management and
through direct contact with him," Crawford said.
Although Aleksander will be the Emelianenko brother headlining Oct.
19, Crawford revealed that it was the elder brother, Fedor, whom he
had initially tried to acquire. "Dave [Houshiar, Crawford's
partner] came in and told me to get Fedor," Crawford explained,
"and out of that we got Aleksander."
The No. 1 heavyweight in most rankings will be making the trip to
Calgary to corner Aleksander. "Fedor has a lot of options right
now, but we feel that we may possibly be one of those options still
in Canada for him," Crawford said.
One thing looks certain: Some of the Emelianenko brothers Red Devil
Sport Club teammates will be coming to HCF.
"We are going to be doing some work with the Red Devil Sport Club
for some of their other fighters, and we have more announcements
coming with guys that we're signing both under exclusive and
single-fight contracts," Crawford said. "And I would like to deal
with them extensively, so you never know what might be coming down
the pipe with the Red Devil Team and Hardcore."
Crawford also revealed that Antonio Rogerio
Nogueira (Pictures) will make his HCF debut on Nov.
24 in Vancouver and that "Babalu" will likely begin his
non-exclusive deal on the Feb. 1 2008, card, which is planned to be
a worldwide pay-per-view from Calgary.
"It's a shared contract with Strikeforce," Crawford said of
Sobral's deal. "When they're not using him, we will and vice
HCF's recent signings have also energized Crawford and his
"We're excited about getting into this level of promoting," he
said. "Now that we're starting to sign these guys, everything seems
to be falling into place, and everything is working out for
Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald returned home to Red Deer, Alberta,
on Saturday, after spending several weeks training with Canadian
light heavyweight prospect Roger Hollett (Pictures) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Besides Hollett, who is preparing for his own clash with American
Top Team's Lew Polley at
ECC 6, MacDonald trained his standup with former Muay Thai world
champion Rob Walker and his ground game with Renzo Gracie (Pictures) brown belt Peter Martell.
MacDonald told MM-Eh! that he has a week of hard training in
Alberta before he flies to Cincinnati on Oct. 16. He said he has
all the confidence in the world that he'll emerge from the Octagon
victorious on Oct. 20.
ECC President Rob Walker shared with MM-Eh! the latest version of
his next Halifax fight card, scheduled for Oct. 20 in the Halifax
Yet again light heavyweight champion Roger Hollett (Pictures) had a potential fight with
American Top Team's Tom
Lawlor scrubbed. Lawlor claimed to have a broken jaw, but
Walker doubts the injury.
"I talked to those guys [ATT] down there, and they don't know
anything about it," he said.
Sticking with ATT, Walker then offered the match to UFC veteran
(Pictures), who turned down the offer.
Instead, Hollett will face ATT's Lew Polley, a natural heavyweight
who Walker thinks will be Hollett's biggest challenge to date.
"Lew Polley, I think, is
going to be a crazy fight for Roger," Walker said. "He is a
Division I all-star wrestler who's now about 230, 240 pounds."
Yet Walker didn't sound terribly concerned for Hollett.
"Roger always comes out in the end," he said.
ECC 6 will feature the debut of two new belts. Although Hollett
already holds the ECC Canadian title and the MFC World title*, his
bout will be for the new ECC world light heavyweight title.
ECC veteran Travis
Axworthy (Pictures) will meet Stjepan Vujnovic (Pictures) for the ECC Canadian middleweight
title. Their bout may just be the sleeper of the night, as neither
knows how to put on a boring fight.
Vujnovic's Boreland Combat teammate Shaun Krysa (Pictures) will make his return to Halifax
after his controversial March defeat to Jason MacKay (Pictures) at ECC 5. He'll face ATT's
Mike Bruno, brother of
Korea's Spirit MC champion Steve Bruno (Pictures).
(Pictures) vs. Lew Polley
(Pictures) vs. Travis Axworthy (Pictures)
Ryan Jimmo vs. Matt
Shaun Krysa (Pictures) vs. Mike Bruno
Matt McGrath vs. Steve
(Pictures) vs. Alexis Davis
(Pictures) vs. Jeff Harrison
Tim Kelly (Pictures) vs. Johnathan Golaki
Adam MacDonald vs.
Ryan Ford vs. Adil Abbas
Aaron Jollimore vs.
Canadian fighter Bill
Mahood (Pictures) announced that the CN Centre in
Prince George, British Columbia, will host Extreme Fighting
Challenge 5 on Nov. 3.
(Pictures) vs. Jake Ellenberger (Pictures)
Kajan Johnson vs. David
Tim Thurston (Pictures) vs. Tim Jenson
Ryan Chiappe vs. Mike
Jay Jenkins (Pictures) vs. Victor Daychief
Matt Leo vs. Justin Tavernini
Bruno Coupville vs. Ryan
Charlie Zak vs. Jarrod Shaw
Dan Shenk vs. Jarrett
Doug Read vs. JJ Micks
Chris Ade vs. Joel Thomas
Neil Berry (Pictures) vs. Eddy Ellis (Pictures)
Although still several months away, Freedom Fight has announced
several matchups for its Jan. 26 event in Hull, Quebec.
Craig Brown (Pictures) vs. John Cole
Stephan Lamarche vs.
Ilya Woronowski vs.
Mark Holst vs. Derek Giroux
Jean Marc Lalonde vs. Rick Bawden
Wedderburn vs. Trevor Zeigler
vs. Eric Muir
Brett Portieous vs.
Ian Dawe vs. Todd Wood (Pictures)
Jason Bissonnette vs. Jon
Jefferson Alvarez vs. Tony
*Sherdog.com incorrectly identified Hollett's MFC belt as a
"Canadian" title. MFC does not promote Canadian titles.
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