Saturday, April 28, 2007

K-1 Dynamite MMA Coming to the States


Seems like everyone is cashing in on the MMA these days. FEG (Fighting Entertainment Group), ProElite (PELE:PK) and Showtime Networks announced last month a deal to bring the “K-1 Dynamite” mixed martial arts (MMA) series to the United States for the first time. “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite,” this SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View event will take place June 2nd at Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum. The event will host a mixed martial arts fighting event for the first time in its 74-year history. Mr. Tanikawa, CEO of FEG claims “Mixed martial arts has shown tremendous growth in recent years and events like this show that we are looking to raise the bar in making it one of the more popular sports in the U.S.”

UFC and PRIDE have most of the big-name MMA fighters locked up, but the idea of K-1 working together with EliteXC, England's Cage Rage, Strikeforce, Bodog Fight and SpiritXC is fun to think about. “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite” will combine the disciplines of karate, kickboxing and kung fu, as well as masteries of jiu-jitsu, judo and wrestling. The action takes place in a boxing-style ring, which provides easy accessibility for TV viewers and audiences. FEG holds events in more countries worldwide than any other MMA organization. The events, which draw in excess of 90,000 fans to packed arenas, have been broadcast in more than 130 countries, including New Years Eve prime time broadcasts that average more than 40 million viewers worldwide. The Dynamite!! USA is being broken up into two events, EliteXC will sponsor the early portion and broadcast it on Showtime, while the second half (the K-1 portion) will air on PPV. I think that the combined star power of an ex-WWE wrestler, a 7’2 Koren, a NFL hottie and a martial arts legend, there should be no trouble publicizing the event and raking in the dough for Showtime and all the sponsors. All the fighters bring different sets of skills to the ring, which makes for truly entertaining combat.

Dynamite!! USA promises to be one of the most exciting MMA events in history. Making their MMA debuts will be former NCAA Division I wrestling champion, WWE pro wrestler, and Minnesota Viking tryout Brock Lesnar, NFL alum Johnnie Morton. Taking on Lesnar will be 7-foot-2 South Korean giant Hong Man Choi, aka “Techno Goliath.” Also joining the fight card on June 2 will be mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie.

Lesnar is a North Dakota native who rose to WWE stardom in shows such as WWE Raw, SummerSlam and WrestleMania. He could be a legit future MMA star if he can take a punch. He's already leaps and bounds ahead of most MMA fighters in terms of power and wrestling ability. If he can strike and more importantly, absorb strikes, he may just be major force at heavyweight. His competitor Hong Man Choi, a K-1 Asia champion, will be making his first U.S. MMA appearance at the June 2nd event. Gracie, a 14-year MMA pioneer and UFC Hall of Famer, began his training in the discipline of Jiu-Jitsu and has taken on many larger opponents during his career, including 6’8, 486 lb. Sumo Grand Champion, Akebono, who Gracie defeated. Morton, a Los Angeles native and football star with University of Southern California and the NFL’s Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers during an illustrious career, will be making his MMA debut at “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite.”

First of all HELLO has anyone seen Johnnie Morton? I had wondered what happened to him; I may hafta purchase a ringside seat, just to see him without a shirt on! And who the hell ever heard of a 7’2 Korean, or a 7’2 person period? Those two factors themselves may have me planning a trip out west, scalping tickets to see Johnnie boy and the Korean giant!

The pay-per-view fight card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, will feature up to six fights, with co-main events. Prior to the pay-per-view, SHOWTIME will televise three explosive bouts featuring EliteXC stars Jake Shields, Antonio Silva and Gina Carano. In the weeks prior to the live event, SHOWTIME® will air a six-part series entitled “Countdown to Dynamite!! U.S.A.,” profiling fighters, detailing the match ups and previewing the historic night of action. New episodes of Countdown will premiere every Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT beginning April 30, on SHOWTIME.

2 comments:

Mark van Tuel said...

Great event!

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