Dude, Where’s my MMA?

By Jordan Breen Jun 5, 2009
It's a great weekend to be an MMA fan, with major cards from both Strikeforce and WEC. However, if you're in Poland or Aruba, your enthusiasm for the sport may be tempered.

Two of this weekend's best regional MMA shows, both slated for Saturday -- Pro Fight 4 in Szczecin, Poland and Vengeance FC 2 in Oranjestad, Aruba -- were both cancelled late this week. Pro Fight were forced to nix their fourth effort at the Szczecin Sports House on Wednesday due to paltry ticket sales, while Vengeance FC officials told Sherdog.com Friday that their event at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino would be rescheduled as a result of a venue conflict.

In a statement on the promotion's official Web site, Pro Fight revealed that Saturday's event was cancelled "as a result of small interest and weak ticket sales." The Szczecin Sports House, a standing room venue, holds approximately 800.

Szczecin is Poland's seventh-largest city, but one of the strongest MMA sites in a country quickly emerging as an impact nation in the sport. The city is home to two of Poland's most established MMA teams -- Linke Gold Team and Berserkers Team -- as well as four of the country's eight BJJ black belts.

The news is especially bitter for the event's slated main eventer Michal Materla, who was scheduled to take on Lincoln Rodriguez in the bill’s marquee. A Szczecin native, Materla took the Rodriguez bout in lieu of accepting a spot in Polish powerhouse promotion KSW's middleweight tournament, so he could fight in front of his hometown crowd.

Vengeance FC's second event was scheduled to feature a heavyweight bout between former UFC heavyweight title challenger Jeff Monson and unbeaten prospect Chase Gormley, in addition to an eight-man, one-night light tournament at 205 pounds. The light-heavyweight bracket was set to include several strong divisional prospects, including diminutive powerhouse Rodney Wallace, once-beaten TUF 8 veteran Ryan Jimmo and Anderson Silva training partner Fabio Maldonado.

"The event has been rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts with the venue," Vengeance event coordinator Chris Allen told Sherdog.com in an email Friday. "We had no choice but to move the date to September 5 after learning of an engagement at the convention hall a day prior, [which would] impede our efforts at set up and production of this event. We have made sure three days prior are blocked for the event in September."

Allen told Sherdog.com that it is the promotion's intent to keep the Monson-Gormley bout, as well as the light heavyweight tournament intact for the Sept. 5 rescheduling.
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