(PRESS RELEASE) KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Flyweight (125 pounds) superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) of Cincinnati, Ohio has signed a multi-fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships and will make her debut for the women’s world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion at its next event on an April date to be announced soon.

Frausto Gurgel will square off with submission expert Jennifer Maia (6-2) of Curitiba, Parana Brazil.

“We are thrilled to welcome Zoila, an established superstar in the sport, to the Invicta FC roster and are looking forward! to seeing her compete in our rapidly growing flyweight division,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp.  “Zoila has turned in a number of thrilling performances while rising through the ranks of fighters over the last few years, and we are confident that she will help raise the bar of competition even further in the Invicta FC cage.”

The 29-year-old Frausto Gurgel, the wife of former UFC and Strikeforce competitor Jorge Gurgel, is coming off a sensational, 6-1 run in Bellator Fighting Championships action that included victories over rival superstars Rosi SextonJessica Aguilar and submission wizard Megumi Fuji, who entered the Oct. 28, 2010 matchup with Frausto Gurgel with a perfect 22-0 record.  Frausto Gurgel edged out a split decision to snap Fuji’s unbeaten run that began in 2004, and become the first Bellator women’s strawweight (115 pounds) champion in history.

During the Bellator stint, Frausto Gurgel also handed Jessica Penne the only defeat of her career before Penne went on to become the first-ever Invicta FC champion at atomweight (105 pounds).

“I am excited to join Invicta FC, where the best women fighters in the world are competing,” ! said Frausto Gurgel, whose 22-year-old sister Stephanie Frausto, also fights for Invicta FC as an atomweight.  “Invicta FC has become more than just a promotion – it’s evolved into an entire movement for women’s MMA, and I’m proud to represent that movement while continuing to fight and beat the best opponents out there.”

(PRESS RELEASE) SINGAPORE – Glory Sports International, the parent company of the world’s new premiere kickboxing league, GLORY World Series, today announced the appointment of former WWE Executive VP Andrew Whitaker to the position of global CEO of Glory Sports International.

“We are excited that Andrew has agreed to assume the leadership mantel at GLORY in the pivotal role of CEO, on the front lines of our fast-growing organization,” said GLORY Sports International Chairman, co-founder, and award-winning hedge fund investor Pierre Andurand. “Andrew’s breadth of global experience in the media space is a tremendous asset to GLORY’s day-to-day business.”

“Andrew joining as CEO is an imp! ortant milestone in the development of GLORY as a company and kickboxing as a sport. We’ve had an incredible first year – we have over 40 of the world’s top kickboxing athletes signed to us exclusively, we’ve staged four amazing events, achieved TV distribution in 200 countries and trended No. 1 globally on Twitter on New Year’s Eve 2012 – GLORY and kickboxing are for real. As we start a new season in 2013, we have a calendar of over 10 events on 3 continents, an active global standard for athlete rankings, and we are rolling out a successful global format for kickboxing tournaments with our Grand Slams, Slams and Road to GLORY events. In addition, we are fully committed to entering the US market, and we are delighted Andrew has joined GLORY to oversee all this growth.”

Marcus Luer, co-founder of Glory Sports International, who has spearheaded GLORY’s rapid global expansion as interim-CEO over the last ! year since its inception, will resume the title Managing Director, allowing him to drive many of GLORY’s initiatives in Asia where he continues as CEO and founder of Asia’s leading, full-service sports marketing agency, TSA.

“At the same time,” Andurand continued, “this move will free up Marcus to focus on building the GLORY brand in the territories where his experience and business relationships are greatest.”

Whitaker will be spearheading the opening of a new GLORY office in the tri-state region of the United States.

“I am looking forward to taking a hands-on approach to driving the growth of what I have believed, for months, is an incredible combat sports entertainment product with tremendous global appeal,” said Whitaker, who previously served on the GLORY Sports International Board of Directors as Non-Executive Director.

“Our kickboxing rules distinguish our sport by requiring elite athleticism, skill, and! honor, from GLORY kickboxers, and produce some of the most exciting knockouts ever seen in combat sports. Our martial artists define the word ‘warrior,’, and our superb level of production makes our live events one of the most fan-friendly entertainment experiences in the world. GLORY has already redefined the standard for kickboxing, and has all the elements necessary to become a major player in the global sports industry,” continued Whitaker.

“I look forward to working with Andrew again and continuing our successful partnership which began over 10 years ago while he was with WWE. Together, we ushered the wrestling brand into Asia,” said Luer.  “GLORY is truly a global product now, which operates on a 24/7 basis with events and offices across three different continents – the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Prior to joining GLORY Sports International, Whitaker was the Managing Partner of Kings Highway Media, a global brand and media distribution advisory that serves sports and entertainment IP rightsholders, private equity and venture capital.

Whitaker also served as the Executive Vice President of International for NYSE-listed WWE Inc. where he was responsible for establishing and growing the leading professional wrestling entertainment company’s business via sales, marketing, promotion and public and government relations across television, digital media, live events, licensing and PPV/VOD.

Last week, GLORY debuted its new ROAD TO GLORY development fight series uniquely designed to identify and develop future kickboxing champions and other superstars in the U.S. and elsewhere, with an eight-man light heavyweight tournament (209 pounds/95 kilograms) at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Okla.  On Saturday, Feb. 9, the ROAD TO GLORY series heads to Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles, Calif. with an eight-man middleweight (187 pounds/85 kilograms) tournament.

The next stop for GLORY’s championship series, home to the world’s greatest kickboxers, will be Excel Arena in London, England, where a stacked fight card, headlined by a heavyweight showdown between superstar Tyrone Spong (68-6-1 42 KO’s) and decorated, all-time great Remy “The Flying Gentleman” Bonjasky (77-15, 40 KO’s), will take place on Saturday, March 23.

(PRESS RELEASE) TULSA, Okla. – After accepting the opportunity to fight just one day before the event, 24-year-old Dustin Jacoby (9-3) of Arenzville, Illin. rose to the occasion, defeating three consecutive opponents, all by way of (T)KO, in one night to capture the inaugural ROAD TO GLORY USA light heavyweight (209 pounds/95 kilograms) tournament championship at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Friday, Feb. 1.

Jacoby was called on to compete just 48 hours in advance of the event and drove to Tulsa from Arenzville, after Manuel Quezada, one of the original eight entrants, suddenly withdrew from the tournament for unknown reasons.

In the tournament’s quarterfinal stage, reigning ISKA world champion Randy “Boom Boom” Blake (25-2, 17 KOs) of Tulsa, a local superstar and favorite to win the tournament, battered the left leg of Jacoby and hammered Jacoby with punching combinations for over two rounds.  In the third stanza, though, Jacoby suddenly countered with a flurry that put Blake down and forced the referee to intervene and stop the bout at the 1:43 mark of the final scheduled round.

In the semifinal stage, Jacoby faced off with Roy “Wreckin’ Ball” Boughton (9-4, 8 KOs), who had defeated Daniel “Sandman” Brison (9-3, 6 KOs) by way of unanimous decision to advance past the quarterfinal stage.  After eating a right h! and, Jacoby responded with a series of stiff jabs that snapped Boughton’s head back.

Jacoby exploded with a knee strike to the head that sent Boughton to the canvas.  Boughton beat the referee’s 10 count, but was put down for the second time with a Jacoby left hook to the body.  The tournament’s “two knockdown rule” took effect, giving Jacoby the TKO victory at the 2:47 mark of the second round.

With a considerable amount of momentum behind him, Jacoby came out the aggressor in the tournament’s championship round, against previously undefeated Brian Collette(19-1, 16 KOs), who had scored a second round (:14) KO on Jeremy Freitag in the quarterfinal round of the event and a first round (1:29) TKO on Kyle Martin in the semifinal stage of the tournament.

Jacoby began connecting with a series of stiff jabs and a left hook to Collette’s body.  With ! less than 10 seconds remaining in the opening round of action, Jacoby unloaded a barrage that put Collette on the mat face first, unable to recover.  Jacoby was declared the victor of the bout by way of first round (3:00) KO.

COMPLETE ROAD TO GLORY USA LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT RESULTS:

Tournament Reserve Fight:

John King def. Jason Bloom via unanimous decision – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27

Quarterfinal Round:

Roy Boughton def. Daniel Brison via unanimous decision – 30-26, 29-27, 29-27
Dustin Jacoby def. Randy Blake via TKO – Round 3 (1:43)
Kyle Martin def. Myron Dennis via unanimous decision – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28
Brian Collette def. Jeremy Freitag via KO – Round 2 (:14)

Semifinal Round:

Dustin Jacoby def. Roy Boughton via TKO – Round 1 (2:47)
Brian Collette def. Kyle Martin via TKO – Round 1 (1:29)

Championship Round:

Dustin Jacoby def. Brian Collette via KO – Round 1 (3:00)

(PRESS RELEASE) – The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority have granted John Prisco of Xtreme Fighting Championships his promoters license and the XFC is heading to Kentucky for the promotions first Pro show in the Bluegrass State and second nationally televised event of 2013. Today it was posted on the KBWA event calendar that the XFC will be rolling the production trucks into the Kentucky International Convention Center in Downtown, Louisville on April 19th.

After successful events in Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Greece, the XFC has shown why they are a international powerhouse. XFC 19 sold out the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and showcased some of the very best events that Tennessee has ever seen in just 2012. Last year, we saw the rise of Nick NewellScott Holtzman, and a growing list of elite athletes added to the roster of stars. Already announced in 2013 has been the signing of several “next generation” MMA & WMMA superstars and veteran’d fighters. Make no bones about it, the XFC is making a huge statement to remain solidified as one of the top promotions in the country.

XFC 23 will mark the expansion of women’s MMA as John Prisco has already announced Stephanie Eggink will battle Angela Magana in the co-main event and newly signed Atomweight Angelica Chavez will make her XFC debut, marking this event as the first time multiple female bouts have been shown live on national television on AXStvfights.

“After thousands of requests from our fans, a great push from the local media on BluegrassMMA Radio & others, and a very good relationship that we’ve built over the years with some of the local promoters, it is time for us to return to the Bluegrass State. I can’t thank our Kentucky fans enough that have been traveling in to Tennessee to see our shows. We’ve got a very large fan base in that region and I can see this becoming a permanent stop for the XFC. I am very excited for the April show. I know the fans are ready and we are too.” said Prisco. “I encourage all local fighters to contact Brandon Higdon to inquire the open spots on the undercard.”

The excitement will have time to build as the remainder of the fight card is rumored to be finalized in the next 3 weeks and is set to feature several of the XFC’s current fighters, as well as bouts featuring the best fighters in the Kentucky region looking to earn their XFC contract. The event will air live on AXS TV and tickets will be on sale beginning Feb 8th. As the fight card builds you can follow the updates by going to  www.OfficialXFC.com/xfc23. You can also follow them on Twitter at @OfficialXFC and like their Facebook page Official XFC.

(PRESS RELEASE) Newport Beach, CA. – The Toughest Tournament in Sports continues as Bellator MMA has set a loaded Featherweight Tournament field  from Atlanta’s Gwinnet Center February 7th live on Spike TV. The night will be headlined by a Bellator Middleweight World Title fight as Russian knockout artist Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko and dominating Brazilian Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao battle for the Bellator Middleweight Championship.

After successfully winning his second Bellator Middleweight Tournament, Shlemenko has his sights set on one thing: The Bellator Middleweight World Championship. Currently riding a nine fight win streak and holding an incredible 46-7 record, Shlemenko knows his February 7th fight will be the biggest of his career.

“Big Rig” enters the fight after three dominating tournament victories inside the Bellator cage. After competing in organizations across the world, Falcao knows he has found a home in Bellator and is hoping to etch his name into the Bellator history books on February 7th from The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by visiting The Arena at Gwinnett Center Box Office, with tickets starting at just $40 dollars. The event will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Widely regarded as one of the best featherweights in the world, Marlon Sandro is primed for an extended tournament run as he takes on Russian finisher Akop Stepanyan in opening round action. After two tournament finals appearances, Sandro is ready for the next step and capture his first Bellator Tournament crown.

“There is nothing in this world I want more than the Bellator Featherweight Title, and this is my road,” Sandro said. “I love Bellator with all my heart and I know my opportunity is now.”

Armed with two of the quickest hands in MMA, Mike “The Marine” Richman will take on Bellator newcomer Mitch Jackson in a quarterfinal affair live on Spike. With 26 finishes between the two, it’s an opening round fight primed for fireworks.

“It feels great to be back in the tournament, and to showcase my skills on Spike TV for Bellator,” Richman said. “I’m going to out class Mitch Jackson and show him he isn’t at my level. He’s going to sleep, and then I plan on finishing the rest of the field and getting my title shot and that $100,000 prize.”

Two of the most exciting featherweights in the Bellator ranks go to battle when “Popo” Bezerra meets Genair da Silva in an explosive quarterfinal fight. Already 14-2 at just 25 years old, Bezerra is looking to elevate his game to the next level and embark on a long tournament run.

The Bellator Featherweight Tournament will be rounded out with a classic Brazil vs. Russia clash as Bellator newcomer and submission ace Fabricio Guerrerio clashes with Magomedrasul “Frodo” Khasbulaev. After two quick finishes inside the Bellator cage, “Frodo” is gearing up for his first taste of The Toughest Tournament in Sports.

“After my last two fights, my time is now, and February 7th will be the start of my championship run,” Khasbulaev said.

“With a Middleweight World Title fight and the start of our $100,000 stacked Featherweight Tournament, February 7th from the Gwinnet Center is going to be a huge night live on Spike TV,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.

(PRESS RELEASE) Submission ace Jonatas “Peixe Frito” Novaes has been selected by the Maximum Fighting Championship to join its lightweight ranks and he immediately jumps into a spot on the upcoming MFC 36: Reality Check lineup.

Novaes (10-4) replaces David Castillo for a tilt against Kurt Southern (10-3) at MFC 36 which takes on Friday, February 15. Castillo has been sidelined by a serious neck injury discovered during medicals.

Both the Novaes-Southern matchup and the recently altered middleweight tussle between Clay Davidson (filling in for the injured Luke Harris) and Jason Zentgraf will be featured bouts on the MFC 36: Reality Check main card which will air live on AXS TV Fights from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

“I’ve been training hard and I had a feeling that something good was going to happen for me,” said Novaes. “To get the opportunity to fight in the MFC and on AXS TV and against a good opponent like Kurt, I’m very excited about everything.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m very happy. I’m going to train even harder now and make something big happen.”

Novaes (Twitter: @jonatasnovaes) enters the MFC having won five of his last six fights and is coming off the first knockout of his career – a 51-second destruction of Drew Fickett back in June. That victory boosted Novaes to 75th in the world rankings compiled by Fight Matrix.

The 31-year-old, who is originally from Conceicao da Barra, Brazil, boasts seven career wins via submission, and seven of his 10 wins have come inside the first round.

A decorated jiu-jitsu practitioner, Novaes, who now lives in Chicago and has agreed a four-fight deal with the MFC, has earned a plethora of titles in various grappling tournaments highlighted by championships at the Pan-American and American Nationals as well as major meets in Brazil, Las Vegas, Toronto, Dallas, and Chicago.

“I’m a jiu-jitsu guy because that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life but in MMA I’m a complete fighter,” noted Novaes. “You saw that in my fight against Fickett when I knocked him out with a head kick. I’ve worked on my stand-up, my wrestling, everything to make me a complete fighter.”

A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Southern (Twitter: @kurtsouthern) rides a three-fight win streak into the matchup – a run highlighted by a first-round submission victory over MFC lightweight title hopeful Mukai Maromo.

Southern’s current streak – the third three-fight run of his career – includes wins over Jorge Britto and Brad Cardinal, and he has picked up notable career victories over Martin Grandmont, Evan Sanguin, and Kevin Manderson.

 

MFC 36: Reality Check Main Card

Graham Spencer (9-1, 1 NC) vs. Mukai Maromo (8-2), MFC lightweight title

Sam Alvey (19-4, 1 NC) vs. Elvis Mutapcic (12-2), MFC middleweight title

Mike Hackert (6-1) vs. Smealinho Rama (5-0), heavyweight

Jason Zentgraf (6-1) vs. Clay Davidson (7-3), middleweight

Jonatas Novaes (10-4) vs. Kurt Southern (10-3), lightweight

Leo Bercier (7-2-1, 1 NC) vs. Jay Silva (8-6), middleweight

(PRESS RELEASE) London, England – A MAJOR international welterweight bout has been added to the card for Cage Warriors 52.

Mohsen Bahari and Bruno Carvalho will clash on the organisation’s first show of 2013, which takes place at London’s HMV Forum on Saturday, March 9.

Bahari (5-0) will be aiming for a second successive Cage Warriors victory after he defeated Piotr Ptasinski at CWFC Fight Night 7 in Jordan back in September, a bout that was voted Fight of the Year by Cage Warriors fans.

The unbeaten 28-year-old, who fights out of Team Hellboy in Norway, has taken three of his four other wins by first-round stoppage.

Carvalho (14-6) will be eager to rebound from his decision loss to Cathal Pendred in the main event at Cage Warriors 49 in Cardiff back in October.

Currently based in Sweden, the 30-year-old BJJ black belt holds victories over former KSW middleweight champion Vitor Nobrega, Dream veteran Tatsuya Mizuno, former Pride middleweight Jean-Francois Lenogue and The Ultimate Fighter 11 contestant Kyacey Uscola.

Cage Warriors 52 will be headlined by a welterweight title bout between Cathal Pendred and defending champion Gael Grimaud.

(PRESS RELEASE) LOS ANGELES, Calif. – GLORY, the world’s new premiere kickboxing league, will bring it’s ROAD TO GLORY USA fight series, intent on discovering America’s next great fighting superstars, to Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles with a stacked, one-night, eight-man middleweight (187 pounds) tournament on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Tickets for the event, headlined by the ROAD TO GLORY USA single-elimination tournament, are priced from $40 and can be purchased by phone at 877-446-7962.  The tournament is being held as part of a Dennis Warner-promoted WCK fight card also featuring five Muay Thai bouts.

 “We are excited to showcase our new ROAD TO GLORY development series for prospective future superstars in the sports and entertainment mecca of Los Angeles,” said GLORY CEO Marcus Luer.  “Our fight team headed by legendary trainer Cor Hemmers has hand-picked a group of eight hungry, aspiring world champions from various parts of the U.S., looking to make it to the global stage that GLORY’s championship level events take place on.  To get there, though, they will have to show they have what it takes by persevering in this highly-competitive tournament.&rd! quo;

Enlisted for the eight-man tournament are red-hot prospect Eddie “Showtime” Walker (9-1-1, 7 KOs) of Atlanta, Ga., hard-hitting Andrew Kapel (11-3, 10 KOs) of Minneapolis, Minn., seven-time South African kickboxing champion Van “The General” Wyk Povey (32-3-1, 22 KOs) of Dublin, Calif. via Pretoria, South Africa.; California State ChampionEdgar Del Fierro (18-4, 14 KOs) of Fresno, Calif.; former Karate and Sambo champion Evgeny Zotov (5-2, 3 KOs) of Knoxville, Tenn.; undefeated upstart Mike Lemaire (6-0) of San Diego, Calif.; Casey Green (5-5) of Santa Monica, Calif.; and Jonarth Junio (8-4, 1 KO) of Bellflower, Calif.

The winner of the ROAD TO GLORY USA middleweight tournament will be awarded a grand prize of $20,000 and a one-year contract with GLORY where he will have th! e opportunity to compete in the world’s most prestigious one-nigh! t GLORY kickboxing tournaments that award up to $600,000 in prize money.

A tournament “alternate” bout on the card will pit Afram Egbochuku (2-0, 2 KOs) of San Diego against Jacob “King Cobra” Poss (9-1, 4 KOs) of Los Angeles.  Should any of the tournament’s quarterfinal round fight winners be unable to return to the ring for semifinal round action due to injury sustained en route to victory, the winner of the matchup between Egbochuku and Poss will take the injured fighter’s place in the tournament.

A draw to determine the ROAD TO GLORY USA middleweight tournament’s quarterfinal round matchups will take place on a date and at a location to be announced soon.

Doors at the first floor showroom at Hollywood Park Casino will open for the event at 5 p.m. PST and the first preliminary bout begins at 6 p.m.

(PRESS RELEASE) London, England – The card for Cage Warriors 52 is taking shape following the addition of two more bouts to the bill.

The event, which takes place at London’s HMV Forum on Saturday, March 9, will be headlined by a welterweight title bout between Cathal Pendred and defending champion Gael Grimaud.

Officials have today announced that Liam James and Alan Philpott are to meet in a bantamweight bout, while a middleweight rematch between Brett Bassett and Brett Sizeland has also been set for the organisation’s first show of 2013.

James and Philpott had been scheduled to square off at Cage Warriors 51 on New Year’s Eve, but a knee injury forced James out of the fight.

Philpott (7-3), who hails from Northern Ireland, made an impressive CWFC debut back in October, submitting Kris Edwards in the first round of their clash at Cage Warriors 49.

The 20-year-old said: “This is a fight that really suits me. I’m not worried about Liam’s stand-up and if he takes me down I’ll submit him. It won’t be a walkover but I will finish him. I think it could be Fight of the Night.”

James (6-4) recorded a career-best victory over Jean N’Doye at CWFC Fight Night 5 in Jordan last April, before moving down from featherweight and suffering a second-round submission loss to Olivier Pastor.

“I’ll put the fight where I want and knock Alan out or submit him,” said James, a 28-year-old Newcastle native. “Either way I’m going to win this fight.”

Bassett and Sizeland will meet for a second time following their previous clash – at Cage Warriors 45 in February of last year – which ended in a win for Sizeland by doctor stoppage after Bassett sustained a cut to the back of his head.

Sizeland (6-2), a 31-year-old Englishman, is a veteran of three CWFC victories but will be keen to return to winning ways following a loss to Denniston Sutherland at Cage Warriors 48 last July.

“I love a good rematch. I can’t wait,” said Sizeland. “Don’t blink because it’s going to be explosive and the outcome will be the same as last time.”

Bassett (8-3) is coming off a stunning KO victory over Mike Ling at last September’s CWFC Fight Night 7 in Jordan, a win that came after just 38 seconds of the first round.

The 26-year-old Londoner said: “This is my chance to set things straight. Sizeland didn’t beat me, he cut me and the fight was stopped. I came into that fight unprepared but that won’t happen this time. I’ll show that Sizeland isn’t on my level.”

(PRESS RELEASE) Newport Beach, CA. – As Bellator embarks into one of the largest television alliances in MMA history, the promotion announced today their longstanding alliance with Everlast, the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and licensor of fight sports equipment has been extended through 2014.

With the alliance, Everlast will stay the exclusive equipment provider for Bellator, including fight gloves, cages and training equipment.  Everlast will also be a category-exclusive promotional sponsor of all Bellator events and the two companies will both strategically market, promote, publicize and advertise their partnership through a wide variety of channels.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of success with Everlast over the last four years, so extending this partnership was a very easy decision,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “As the worldwide leader in combat sports equipment, Everlast has been a tremendous partner to Bellator since our start and I look forward to our relationship’s continued growth and expansion as we move to Spike TV.”

“Having world class athletes compete in our product is at the core of our brand’s authenticity.” said Matt Cowan, EVP Sales, Marketing and Product Development for Everlast. “With Bellator’s move Spike TV, we are excited for the continued growth of our partnership, as well as the sport of MMA.”

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator