HERO's: Newton Out, Rounds Finalized

By Jordan Breen Aug 3, 2006
HERO's has announced some important changes on the eve of its Ariake Coliseum card.

Firstly, it was announced that former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton (Pictures) has pulled out of his match with Cage Rage ace Melvin Manhoef (Pictures). There was speculation in the past few days that Newton may be off the card after he expressed doubt over his own participation to the fight media.

Now the HERO's executive commitee says Newton suffered a ligament tear in his right knee, which will sideline him.

Stepping into Newton's vacant slot in the Grand Prix will be PRIDE Bushido veteran Crosley Gracie (Pictures). The cousin of fellow 85-kilogram tournament competitor Rodrigo Gracie (Pictures), Crosley last competed in May of 2005, when he dropped a competitive decision loss to Akihiro Gono (Pictures).

Gracie stated earlier this year that he was looking to get back into action, and that action has now come sooner than expected for the 27-year-old jiu-jitsu practicioner.

HERO's also made the official announcement in regards to round format for the light heavyweight tournament.

From the time both the middleweight (70 kg) and light heavyweight tournaments were announced several months ago HERO's executives considered the idea of making the 85-kg bouts feature a 10 minute first round. Now, they have announced that those fights will feature a 10-minute first round, followed by a five-minute second round, and a possible five-minute extention round if necessary.

Kazushi Sakuraba (Pictures), who was a firm proponent of the rule change, expressed his pleasure regarding the alteration. "I think it's good. It's easier, since I'm used to it. I welcome it," said Sakuraba.

Conversely, fellow HERO's tournament competitor Yoshihiro Akiyama (Pictures) was less than thrilled, stating, "I must fight obediantly, and adapt then. I haven't got a chance to practice for ten minutes rounds yet."
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