Somehow my address got onto the list for the Strikeforce press conference email. Included in the package was a general overview for the event, which included:
Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.
Yup, that’s two different middleweight belts on the line at one event. As it says in the title, that’s a very ‘boxing’ thing to have.
You can see the entire press conference email including pics after the jump.
FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
From Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Grill at HP Pavilion; San Jose, CA
Shamrock vs. Baroni Is On
Villasenor Faces “Ninja” Rua
Friday, June 22, 2007 At 10 pm ET (7 pm PT)
Live On Showtime PPV
From HP Pavilion
Watch The Undercard Free On ProElite.com at 7:30 ET (4:30 pm PT)
Despite rumors concerning the eligibility of both “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to compete on Friday’s “Shamrock vs. Baroni” world championship mixed martial arts fight card, it was confirmed, two days beforehand, that both will suit up and enter the cage for their respective matchups. Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.
As many as five additional bouts will be broadcast during the live Showtime Pay Per View event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070); by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com, or at any TicketMaster outlet. The event is being co-produced by Strikeforce and EliteXC.
Complete “Shamrock vs. Baroni” Fight Card:
Main Event – Strikeforce World Middleweight (185 lb. limit) Championship Bout:
Frank Shamrock vs. “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni – 5 x 5 Rounds
EliteXC World Middleweight (185 lb.) Championship Bout:
Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua – 5 x 5 Rounds
Additional Pay Per View Bouts:
Cung Le vs. Tony “The Freak” Fryklund – 185 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
Carter “The Beast” Williams vs. Paul Buentello – heavyweight – 3 x 5 Rounds
Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela vs. Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett – 155 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
Pay Per View “Swing” Bouts:
Josh “The Punk” Thomson vs. Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez - 155 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs. Paul “Semtex” Daley – 170 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
Preliminary Card – Live Broadcast on ProElite.com:
Rex Richards vs. Steve Jester – superheavyweight (+ 265 lbs.) – 3 x 5 Rounds
Seth Kleinbeck vs. Sam Spengler – 185 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
Anthony Figueroa vs. Chris Cariaso – 135 lbs. – 3 x 3 Rounds
Jason “Live Wire” Von Flue vs. Luke Stewart – 175 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
Aaron Wetherspoon vs. Mike “Quicksand” Pyle - 170 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds
“He’s done a lot of talking and, now, I think he’s wrote some checks that I don’t think his ass will be able to cash”
“This ain’t a joke. This ain’t about fighting in my hometown and fighting hand-picked opponents.”
Speaking To Shamrock: “You can laugh and smile with that stupid looking face all you want, but when they shut the fuckin’ cage door, it’s not gonna be a fuckin’ joke. So, keep smiling. Keep smiling. You’re not gonna be smiling when I separate you from consciousness.”
“This is a big opportunity. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my career and my life, but so has everybody. I just don’t cry about it like this guy.”
On being granted a license by the California Athletic Commission after additional medical exams: “People say I should be thankful. What the fuck am I thanking them for? They’re puttin’ me in a fuckin’ cage and telling me to fight–. But, they stepped up this time and they took my back. They did the right thing-.I guess I’m not that fuckin’ crazy.”
“I’m gonna fight like a rockstar-..(Speaking To Shamrock) You’re looking kind of scrawny. You should get some Gamma-O, bitch.”
“Phil, what you don’t know is you are the hand-picked opponent and that’s why you’re here. This is my town. This is my arena and this is my sport and welcome to world, baby.”
“You think (this fight) is about you. That’s why you’re underneath the name ‘Shamrock.’ So, welcome to my show. I like your glasses. Your tan is better than me. You’re ripped more than me. You’ve got a better beard and I can’t really grow one. All I wanna see is – if you beat me, God bless you. If you don’t, we just move on from here. This is about fighting. I’ve said all I need to say. You’ve said more than you need to say.”
“All you fighters, fight your heart out. We’re an independent show, making huge waves. We’re gonna change MMA – help make it right. This is about fighting, about art.”
Murilo “Ninja” Rua
“Thank you very much. This fight should be the best fight of the night because of what we have on the line. We’re going to put on a great show for MMA fans.”
“I’m going to win this (fight) and dedicate this (title) belt to Gary Shaw.”
Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor
On Rua’s comments about dedication of the fight: “Then, we’re in a tough spot because I’m dedicating this win to my mom cause it’s her birthday.”
This is a pretty awesome fight, definitely worth watching. Some people like to say it’s controversial, but if you ask me they’re only saying that because they’re all over BJ Penn’s penis. This match is like most other Penn defeats : Penn comes out strong, then wilts later in the fight from poor conditioning. While I think Penn is the more talented fighter, I think Jens may come out of this one on top.
Just when you thought California was where big promoters went to crash and burn, Strikeforce and EliteXC have managed to metaphorically pull their event up from a nosedive and back to cruising altitude. From Sherdog:
Hurdles in the way of Phil Baroni (Pictures) and Murilo Rua’s (Pictures) anticipated fights Friday in San Jose, Calif. have been cleared, California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Armando Garcia told Sherdog.com.
Not so lucky is Charles Krazy Horse Bennet, who remains locked up with no chance of getting out before the beginning of July. But considering the day started with 3 of the headliners being off the card, this is a definate improvement. Now we just have to find out what Cesar was smoking when he posted that shit about Baroni.
It’s definitely a weight class I can compete at, but you know, I’ll go where the UFC tells me to go. If I beat B.J. Penn and they want me to fight in the UFC, OK. But yeah, if they give me the freedom and the choice then I’m definitely going to go to the WEC, for sure. I’d love to be at 145. That’s my weight class. Especially now, there are some tanks! There are some big, big people going to 155. That’s too much work! I’d rather just be at 145, now I can be happy.
While everyone is always saying the lightweight division is the most exciting, it’s also missing star power at the moment. With BJ Penn adamant that he’s gonna go back up in weight after a few fights, the UFC really needs someone like Jens to be the superstar of the division. On the other hand, how much good is Jens Pulver if he keeps on getting tooled by ‘lightweights’ that come into the cage weighing over 170 pounds?
The Frank Shamrock VS Phil Baroni Strikeforce card has suffered a major setback with Baroni now scrambling to pass his medical requirements. Baroni had in fact previously passed all his medicals but is now having his MRI results re-evaluated after it had come to the attention of the CSAC that there was a previous problem with an old MRI report from Las Vegas, dating back when he fought Pete Sell.
Our inside sources have confirmed that it was representatives from the UFC that faxed over Baroni’s MRI to Armando Garcia of the CSAC, thus prompting this latest issue. Baroni has been cleared to fight in Las Vegas, Nevada since the Pete Sell fight, with his latest appearance in the state occuring in Pride on October, 21st 2006. It is unclear why California would now bar him. We will keep our readers up to date with whether or not Phil is able to clear his latest hurdles, or if a replacement will be necessary.
Since then it’s been taken down and replaced with an equally tantalizing “REMOVED BY REQUEST” post. Of course, the internet is like pandora’s box, so good luck killing this story. If the first part is true, it’s basically lights out for the Strikeforce card. Losing Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua, Charles ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennett, and Phil Baroni all in one week should be enough to make the promoter’s heads explode like in Scanners. If the second part is true, then the world is witnessing the most evil collaboration since the Germans and Japan during World War 2. All in all, it’s a pretty big fucking story, and I look forward to the delicious drama that drips from it like a ripe pomegranate.
Hat Tip: Fightopinion