European Throwdown: France Comes to the Party

Looking to UFC 82

By Tim Leidecker Feb 1, 2008
European Vale Tudo Returns Under New Name

European Vale Tudo was one of the most popular and recognized series of events not only in Scandinavia but in all of Europe during its short-lived run from 2003-2006. After seven shows, regulation trouble in Sweden ended the event, in which fighters like Travis Lutter (Pictures), Martin Kampmann (Pictures), Dennis Siver (Pictures) and Per Eklund (Pictures) made some of their first tentative steps in MMA.

Now EVT is back with a new name: The Zone FC. The inaugural event is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Solnahallen in Stockholm, Sweden. Besides local fighters, competitors on the 12-bout card will arrive from Croatia, Germany, England, Holland, Norway, Lithuania and Russia.

The main event will be disputed between local star August Wallen, who recently dropped a unanimous decision to King of Pancrase Yuki Kondo (Pictures) at the PFP Ring of Fire show in Manila, and up-and-coming Red Devil lightweight Sergei Bal from Russia.

Full card:
Nicholas Musoke (Sweden) vs. Fredrik Klingsell (Sweden)
Martin Lavin (Sweden) vs. Srdjan Sekulic (Croatia)
Jonas Hellqvist (Sweden) vs. Markus Buchholz (Germany)
Joar Palm (Sweden) vs. TBA
Elina Nilsson (Sweden) vs. Danielle West (England)
Ake Bergvall (Sweden) vs. Siegfried Baltruschat (Germany)
Johan Antonsson (Sweden) vs. Nathan Schouteren (Holland)
Tor Troeng (Sweden) vs. Fatih Balci (Germany)
Klas Akesson (Sweden) vs. Jakob Lovstad (Norway)
Farbod Fadami (Germany) vs. Alexander Gustavsson (Sweden)
Sergej Maslobojev (Lithuania) vs. TBA
August Wallen (Sweden) vs. Sergei Bal (Russia)

International Super Fights Down Under

Three European fighters will also be on the card for Australia's Cage Fighting Championships event on Feb. 15.

French Europe Top Team members Francis Carmont and Moise Rimbon will take on Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts Gerald Burton Batty and Anthony Perosh (Pictures) in two 205-pound clashes.

Carmont is the winner of the KSW 5 eight-man light heavyweight tournament and also scored an impressive knockout over previously undefeated American fighter Todd Broadaway at Bodog Fight's Costa Rica tapings last year. His teammate Rimbon defeated Pride veteran Alex Stiebling (Pictures) on the same show.

In the main event, undersized Bulgarian wrestler Jordan Radev (Pictures) will step into the cage with red-hot Cuban judoka Hector Lombard (Pictures) for the CFC light heavyweight title. It will be Radev's first fight since the UFC released him after his loss to Dean Lister (Pictures) in December.

Lombard was one of the iron men of 2007, fighting eight times and winning seven of his fights.

European Stars Invade UFC 82

A total of four fighters from European countries face various challenges at UFC 82 on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Heavyweights Cheick Kongo (Pictures) and Andrei Arlovski (Pictures) both will do battle with American adversaries. After some shuffling of opponents, Kongo will take on Heath Herring (Pictures), and former UFC champion Arlovski clashes with undefeated wrestler Jake O'Brien (Pictures).

Both Kongo and Arlovski have a lot riding on their fights.

The Frenchman was originally gunning for a bout with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures), but he had to queue up behind Tim Sylvia (Pictures) for a shot at "Minotauro." A win over Herring would bring Kongo, who is 4-1 in the UFC with a big win over "Cro Cop" last September, in contention for a title eliminator against Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) in the summer.

Arlovski, meanwhile, is entering the Octagon in the final fight on his current UFC contract. A win is an absolute must for the Belorussian "Pitbull" -- either to improve his ability to negotiate a contract extension with Zuffa or to have his stock go up even more with potential new employers M-1 Global and EliteXC.

In the welterweight division, Swedish BTT member David Bielkheden (Pictures) could receive a very rough welcome to the UFC. He is matched up against none other than "Ultimate Fighter" winner Diego Sanchez (Pictures). Bielkheden, a 28-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert, will hope to do better in his UFC debut than his compatriot Per Eklund (Pictures), who dropped a unanimous decision against Sam Stout (Pictures) earlier this month.

On the undercard of the middleweight title unification bout between Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson (Pictures), Italian boxer Alessio Sakara (Pictures) will debut at 185 pounds after going 3-3 with one no contest in the light heavyweight division. The "Legionarius" will square up against "Ultimate Fighter" season one cast member Chris Leben (Pictures).

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