The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

This Week in MMA - March 8

Posted by Blake Murphy on March 9, 2021

This Week in MMA is a weekly feature submitted by Kyle Norton.

• Rumors have run rampant over the past few weeks regarding Fedor Emelianenko’s contract status with M-1 Global. Since its founding in October of 2007, M-1 is yet to run its first independent event, having only run a co-promotion with K-1 Hero’s on New Year’s Eve 2007. One of Fedor’s managers, Apy Echteld, told ESPN early this week that Fedor and M-1 would be splitting shortly, while M-1 president and CEO Monte Cox stated that the two sides continue to have a working relationship. The bidding war appears to be back on for the number one ranked heavyweight in the world and UFC president Dana White has stated that he is willing to re-open negotiations. White now has extra incentive to sign the Russian after Randy Couture stated intent to leave the promotion at the end of his contract and seek a fight with Emelianenko. Also interested in Fedor’s services are Dream, World Victory Road, Elite XC and the nameless dark horse promotion of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Affliction Clothing.

• Maricio “Shogun” Rua ruptured his ACL in his right knee early this week, forcing the ex-Chute Boxe star out of his June 7th date with Chuck “the Iceman” Liddell in London, England. Rashad Evans has stepped in to replace Rua and a win could secure “Sugar” a title shot against the winner of Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin.

• New Japanese promotion World Victory Road hosted its first event, named “Sengouku,” on March 4th, which was headlined by a Judo vs. Catch Wrestling showdown between Hidehiko Yoshida and Josh “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Barnett. Barnett controlled all areas of the fight, doing damage on the feet and finally finishing Yoshida with a heel hook in round three. Takanori Gomi made quick work of Duane “Bang” Ludwig, finishing him in the first round by a TKO (cut/broken nose). In other action, Kazuo Misaki defeated Siyar Bahadurzada by guillotine choke in the second round, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos submitted Makoto Takimoto with a heel hook with nine seconds to go in the first round and Kazuyuki Fujita continued what he started at the weigh-ins the night before by taking out Peter Graham with a north-south choke just 1:32 into round one.

• Also in World Victory Road (WVR) news, it was announced at “Sengoku” that the promotion had signed heavyweight Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom, Roger Gracie and former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin “the Monster” Randleman. Gracie has an extensive BJJ pedigree but only one mixed martial arts bout, an armbar victory over Ron Waterman in December 2006. Randleman is also coming off an extensive layoff since October 2006 due to a steroid violation and injury problems. The once feared Randleman is 2-7 in his last nine fights and is looking to get a fresh start in the WVR.

• After an amicable release from his UFC contract, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed with Fight Entertainment Group’s Dream promotion and will make his return to the Japanese ring on March 15th against Yoshihiro Nakao, who last fought in Pride FC in April 2007.

• In a night of knockouts, Elite Xtreme Combat’s Cage Rage 25 – “Bring It On” threw down in London, England. Fans at the Wembley Arena were treated to seven first round knockouts. The main event of the evening was a bout between “the World’s Most Dangerous (Old) Man” Ken Shamrock, now back at heavyweight, and Robert “Buzz” Berry, a fighter who has never been to a decision in 18 fights. Shamrock proved why he never should have left WWE, suffering a knockout at 3:26 of Round 1 and looking tentative the whole fight.

This Week in MMA is a weekly feature submitted by Kyle Norton.

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