Dynamite Lineup? Saku-Gracie II in LA

By Jordan Breen May 8, 2007
After several delays in promotion, Fight Entertainment Group, in association with Pro Elite, has finally announced the first smattering of bouts for the June 2 Dynamite!! USA card at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

As anticipated, the event, backed by Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank, will be co-headlined by former NCAA D-1 wrestling champion and pro-wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar (Pictures) making his mixed martial arts debut against South Korean superstar and former ssireum champion Hong Man Choi (Pictures), while MMA icons Kazushi Sakuraba (Pictures) and Royce Gracie (Pictures) will reprise their epic contest from May 2000. Both bouts are scheduled for five five-minute rounds.

It should be noted that the California State Athletic Commission, which has been noted for stringent provisions in sanctioning mixed martial arts under executive officer Armando Garcia, has requested a full physical examination of Sakuraba.

The mandate was expected, given the 38-year-old Sakuraba's now-infamous fainting spell during training this past September, and the subsequent medical tests that revealed damage to Sakuraba's vertebrobasilar system, preventing proper blood circulation in his head and neck.

In addition to the two headlining bouts, FEG confirmed match-ups for recent K-1 Hawaii Grand Prix champion "Mighty Mo" Siala Siliga (Pictures) and dynamic Dutchman Melvin Manhoef (Pictures), who will meet South Korean PRIDE veterans Mu Bae Choi (Pictures) and Dong Sik Yoon (Pictures) respectively.

While it was previously reported that HERO'S star Hideo Tokoro (Pictures) would meet Javier Vazquez (Pictures) on the card, it was noted that FEG's notoriously mercurial matchmaking may alter the bout before the official card announcement, and justly so. Tokoro will now meet Cage Rage and bodogFIGHT veteran Brad Pickett (Pictures), while Vazquez will take on 2000 Sydney Games Greco-Roman wrestling silver medalist Katsuhiko Nagata.

FEG did not officially announce match-ups for former USC Trojans and NFL wide receiver Johnnie Morton (Pictures), or K-1 star Ray Sefo (Pictures), who were both scheduled to compete. It is expected that Morton, who was originally slated to fight Mexican pro-wrestler Dos Caras Jr. (Pictures), will now face variety show entertainer and Japanese television personality Bernard Ackah. It is thought that Sefo will meet UFC veteran Marvin Eastman (Pictures), whom he previously faced under K-1 rules. Their K-1 bout in Aug. 2004 ended formally as a first round TKO win for Sefo, but more memorably concluded as a massive in-ring brawl which had to be broken up by the Las Vegas Metropolitan police.

FEG also did not formally announce a match-up for 2006 HERO'S 154-pound tournament champion "JZ" Gesias Calvancanti (Pictures), however, the Brazilian has stated himself that he will face local California favorite Nam Phan (Pictures).

The opening portion of the event, which will be co-promoted with Pro Elite and televised on Showtime to lead into the pay-per-view broadcast, will feature the expected match-ups of Jake Shields (Pictures) against Ido Pariente and female postergirl Gina Carano (Pictures) against Jan Finney (Pictures).

Mammoth Brazilian Antonio Silva (Pictures) is also scheduled to be the third bout on the Showtime telecast. While neither FEG nor Pro Elite have formally announced his opponent, Silva revealed that he expects his opponent to be Jonathan Wiezorek (Pictures).
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