Gugerty Replaces Aurelio in Shine Tourney; Aurelio Says He’ll Face Aoki at Dream 16

By Loretta Hunt Sep 8, 2010
Marcus Aurelio has withdrawn from Shine Fight’s eight-man, single-night lightweight tournament this Friday at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Okla.

Shine Fights circulated a news release Wednesday stating that the Brazilian fighter was injured and that UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty would fill his vacant slot last-minute.

However, Aurelio informed on Wednesday that he still plans to take a higher-profile bout against lightweight champion Shinya Aoki at Dream 16 on Sept. 25 at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan.

Aurelio said he dropped out of his Shine Fights’ appearance because of a recurring elbow injury he agitated in training about two and a half weeks ago, but will rehabilitate the arm until his September rendezvous with the Japanese submission master. Aurelio said he’s keeping Dream reps abreast of his progress in the interim.

“I’m going to do my best to fight, and maybe my arm won’t be the best, but I’ll fight (in Dream),” said Aurelio.

Meanwhile, Shine Fights CEO Devin Price told on Tuesday that Aurelio signed an “exclusive worldwide contract” with the organization, which allows him the right to fight for other promotions at Shine’s discretion.

Price said that the promotion hadn’t yet given Aurelio permission to compete in Dream. Aurelio said Wednesday that he was not aware of whatever contract obligations he might have with Shine in taking bouts outside the promotion and the matter was in his lawyer’s hands.

Aurelio, who parted ways with his longtime management and training squad American Top Team six months ago, said a recent MRI revealed substantial inflammation in the joint and that his physician recommended he not compete Friday. Aurelio said he even took a cortisone shot on a Shine official’s recommendation and against his doctor’s advice, but the treatment didn’t alleviate the immobility that has restricted his striking and grappling sessions during the past two weeks.

“I feel like I don’t have my left arm. I’m not going to fight like this,” said Aurelio, who added he’s currently undergoing physical therapy two times a day.

Aurelio said Shine officials understood his decision to withdraw from Friday’s tournament.

“I spoke to them and made them understand and I feel bad,” said Aurelio. “I like Shine and I feel bad for them and I don’t want to close this door. I was hoping to fight in Shine and in Dream right after, but I can’t risk fighting Friday.”

Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers said Wednesday that a representative for Aurelio notified the promotion early this week that the fighter was nursing the elbow injury and might not be able to compete. Chambers said the rep told him he was having issues reaching Aurelio throughout the week, but final word came late Tuesday night that the Pride FC and UFC veteran would be pulling out of the tournament, which will see its finalists compete three times in one evening.

Chambers said he did address with Aurelio’s representation the possibility that the fighter would participate in the Dream bout instead in two weeks.

“Marcus’ representation told me it wasn’t clear he’d be able to compete (in the Dream bout) with his injury,” said Chambers.

Regardless, Chambers reiterated that Aurelio would need to seek Shine’s approval to take the bout per its agreement with the fighter.

“We have requested documentation of the injury from Marcus’ physician through his management and have been told we’ll receive it,” said Chambers on Wednesday. “We’re waiting to review those documents to see what further action we’d take, if any.”

Gugerty, a five-time UFC veteran, will face undefeated prospect Dennis Bermudez in the tournament quarterfinals. The 28-year-old San Diego fighter dropped his last two bouts in the Octagon, including a second-round submission defeat to Clay Guida at UFC Live 1 last March in Broomfield, Colo.

In the three remaining brackets, EliteXC standout Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett will meet UFC veteran Drew Fickett, Virginia standout Kyle Baker faces Shine returnee James Warfield and WEC veterans Carlo Prater and Rich Crunkilton will clash.
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