Gegard Mousasi prepared for U.S. debut Aug. 1

Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1) is coming off a big win (no pun intended) over Mark Hunt at the DREAM.9 “Super Hulk Tournament” back in May. Mousasi, who is considered by many to be one of the top ten middleweights in the world, is on a 12-fight win streak.

On Aug. 1, 2009, Mousasi will make his U.S. fighting debut as he takes on Renato “Babalu” Sobral at “Affliction: Trilogy” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Mousasi, now training in Holland, spoke with MMAJunkie Radio on Monday about his fight with Hunt, the continuation of the “Super Hulk Tournament,” and his upcoming fight with Babalu.

Read moreGegard Mousasi prepared for U.S. debut Aug. 1

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USA West shuts out Russia Imperial 5-0 at M-1 Challenge South Korea


Seoul, South Korea – USA West became the first team from the 2009 “M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction” ( season to clinch a semifinal final playoff berth on Saturday night. The post-season berth was locked down after taking first place in Group B by defeating the defending 2008 M-1 Challenge Champions, Team Russia Imperial.

While family and friends celebrate the Fourth of July at home in America, USA West held a celebration of its own in Seoul after recording its second 5-0 shutout of the season by sweeping Imperial. The statement victory allowed the Americans to finish the regular season with an unblemished 3-0 challenge record and a remarkable 13-2 record in individual fights.

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“M-1 Challenge: South Korea” in-depth preview and weigh-in results


Seoul, South Korea – At the start of the 2009 “M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction” season, USA West’s playoff fortunes were hardly a lock due to being placed in a loaded Group B that includes South Korea, Brazil, and the defending ’08 M-1 Challenge Champions, Fedor Emelianenko’s Team Imperial.

But thanks to a deep roster, USA West is currently 2-0 and just one win away from clinching a semifinal berth. With a win in Saturday’s best-of-five series vs. Imperial, USA West can claim its first-ever Group title.

Read more“M-1 Challenge: South Korea” in-depth preview and weigh-in results

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Team USA West set to face next generation Russia Imperial during M-1 Challenge South Korea on July 4

While friends and family will be back at home in the U.S. celebrating the Fourth of July Holiday at BBQs and fireworks displays, Team USA West will find itself immersed in a best-of-five series with Team Russia Imperial in Seoul, South Korea.

And when the 2009 “M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction” ( resumes with its “Sixth Edition” inside the Seoul Arena, Group B leading USA West (2-0 in team challenges and 8-2 overall individually) will find itself going head-to-head with an Imperial team that will not feature a single member from its 2008 M-1 Challenge Championship team.

Read moreTeam USA West set to face next generation Russia Imperial during M-1 Challenge South Korea on July 4

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Yvel to face Buentello at “Affliction: Trilogy”

According to VP of Affliction Entertainment Tom Atencio, the winner of the Pedro Rizzo (16-9) vs. Gilbert Yvel (36-13-1) fight at this past weekend’s “Ultimate Chaos” event was to be rewarded with a fight against Paul Buentello (27-10) at “Affliction: Trilogy” on Aug. 1.

Yvel ended up defeating Rizzo on Sat., June 27, in dramatic knockout fashion that left the former UFC heavyweight contender unconscious on the canvas just 2:10 into the first round. Yvel confirmed in his post-fight interview that he indeed would now be facing Buentello.

Buentello was originally scheduled to face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at the “Trilogy” event. However, Sylvia was pulled from the fight for precautionary reasons after he received a brutal knockout at the hands of professional boxer Ray “Merciless” Mercer.

Read moreYvel to face Buentello at “Affliction: Trilogy”

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Affliction finished with Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski was one of the few fighters in history to leave the UFC on an upswing. Arlovski left the world’s premiere MMA organization in 2008 on a three-fight win streak, having defeated Marcio Cruz, Fabricio Werdum, and Jake O’Brien in consecutive heavyweight bouts.

In July 2008, he made his debut with Affliction and leveled Ben Rothwell in the third round with devastating punches remeniscent of the Arlovski who held the UFC Heavyweight Title in years past. The Belarusian appeared reinvigorated and his popularity was booming.

Just three months later, in Oct. 2008, Affliction loaned Arlovski to Elite XC. Once again “The Pit Bull” emerged victorious, becoming the first man to ever stop “Big Country” Roy Nelson, and set himself up to face the world’s consensus number one heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko.

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Dana White recruiting Vitor Belfort?

During a TUF 9 Finale commercial break, Amir Sadollah interviewed UFC president Dana White for an “Inside the Octagon” segment. In the interview, Dana White said that he is considering signing former UFC light heavyweight champion, Vitor Belfort for a middleweight title fight with current UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva.

“While he [Anderson Silva] is fighting Forrest, I’m working on some other 185 pounders,” White said. “Vitor Belfort – he is a former heavyweight who moved down to 205. Now he’s at 185 pounds. He’s got great hands, he’s good on the ground, and if his head is right, he can be a dangerous, dangerous guy. I think that would be a great match up.”

As many may remember, back in April, Dana White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that he was working on signing a middleweight fighter that “would blow your mind”. Could Belfort be the “mind blowing” middleweight White spoke of? Fans will have to wait and see.

Read moreDana White recruiting Vitor Belfort?

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Heavyweights weighing down Fedor

Even though it does not matter in the least, nothing seems to rile up MMA followers like a good old fashion pound-for-pound debate. Some push for Anderson Silva, while others campaign for the so-called Last Emperor, Fedor “M-1 Global” Emelianenko.

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, since pound-for-pound is an entirely subjective system. However, these past two weekends have illustrated the argument against Emelianenko’s transcendent status better than any blogger ever could.

Andrei Arlovski, a fighter who has long been recognized as a top five heavyweight, was defeated on June 6 in only twenty-two seconds by prospect Brett Rogers. Five months prior, the entire MMA community bore witness to another episode of Emelianenko’s supremacy as he starched the same Arlovski late in the first round.

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“Affliction: Trilogy” press conference quotes

A press conference announcing Affliction and M-1 Global’s August 1st professional mixed martial arts event “Trilogy” was held Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at Trump Tower in New York City. Speaking at the press conference were the “Trilogy” headliners; WAMMA Heavyweight Champion and number one ranked heavyweight fighter in the world, Fedor Emelianenko, and his challenger, “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Josh Barnett who is the number two ranked heavyweight in the world.

Also speaking at the press conference were Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr., both who are helping with promotion, and Vice President of Affliction Entertainment Tom Atencio. Fighters Gegard Mousasi and Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who will be facing each other also spoke at the event, as did M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein, and M-1 Global CEO Joost Raimond.

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Belfort and Santiago to meet at “Affliction: Trilogy”

According to a report from fellow mixed martial arts news website MMA Weekly, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort (18-8) will meet current Sengoku Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago (21-7) on August 1st in an “Affliction: Trilogy” middleweight showdown.

Originally, Belfort was rumored to fight Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1), but the fight fell through when Mousasi’s camp announced he could no longer make the middleweight division’s 185-pound limit and Belfort did not want to move up to a higher weight class. Mousasi is now expected to fight Renato “Babalu” Sobral (32-8) in a light heavyweight bout on the same card.

In his last few fights Belfort has looked similar to the Vitor fans were used to seeing when he tore through the UFC in the mid to late nineties earning the nickname “The Phenom”. In his last fight he walked through top five middleweight Matt “The Law” Lindland (21-6) in just 37 seconds at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” this past January.

Read moreBelfort and Santiago to meet at “Affliction: Trilogy”

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