Thursday, August 9, 2007

Jeff “Snowman” Monson, Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo,

Jeremy “Gumby” Horn, C.J. Cumo and Tommy Habeeb

RE: Sept. 1, 2007…Art of War 3…Dallas, Texas

Lester Bedford: Art of War 3 will take place on Saturday, September 1, and I will be handling public relations for the event, so if anyone needs anything, please contact me. It will be USA vs. Brazil. The main event will be Jeff “Snowman” Monson vs. Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo and also on the phone today will be Jeremy Horn and Ron Waterman.

I would like to introduce the CEO of Sun Sports International, Mr. C.J. Cumo…

C.J. Cumo: Thank you, I am the Chairman and CEO of Sun Sports and Entertainment and we are delighted to be able the Art of War 3, a world championship fight for the IFA, International Fight Association heavyweight championship belt, currently held by Pedro Rizzo and the challenger for that is Jeff Monson. This is a world championship fight with the tagline, “The World is Watching.” We are excited to be able to host this in our home city of Dallas, TX and the American Airlines Center with a seating capacity of 20,000 people and home of the biggest sporting events, Stanley Cup winner, NBA playoff team and the rest of the exciting stuff that is going on here. We are delighted to be playing a role in the fastest growing sport in America and to present the US National Team fighting the Brazilian National Team.

Tommy Habeeb (overlooking production of event, producer of “Cheaters”): This event will be distributed by inDemand, the largest distributor in the marketplace today, which has over 500 systems around the country. The Dish Network will also be carrying the event. Distribution will also reach Canada and we have been in contact with over 50 countries.

What are your plans for expansion?

CUMO: Art of War is a series of events and this is our third one and we have four and five pending in 2007 but are not ready to release dates and locations – we should have those within the next 10 days. We are hoping to get together with Mexico, China Canada and Russia and we also have underground cage fighting which is our mobile marketing division and we are looking to host several events in Texas is smaller arenas.

It is global and there are great competitors around the world and there are great fighters and we will continue to move onward and upward. We have an undefeated champion in every weight classification.

The price for the event is a very affordable $29.95.

Let’s go to Pedro Rizzo calling in from Brazil. He won the title on March 9.

Pedro Rizzo: I am doing good, training hard and working on all of my weaknesses. Trying to get better and better and I am in perfect shape. I will be 100% for Sept. 1. I think Jeff is a good fighter and he has had some very good fights. He has been fighting a lot and he is a great wrestler.

How do you stay when you are not competing?

Pedro Rizzo: I train every day against the best guys so I am always in shape. I train on the ground every day with a new guy so every day is a new challenge so I stay focused. Every day I wake up from my bed I know I will be training very hard that day. This is my profession and I am a fighter. It is my job to train.

I expect him to try to take me down and I expect him to take the fight to the ground. Each fight is different than the other one. I have been training on the ground and have a great grappler team. We just had the Pan Am games in Brazil so we had the best wrestlers here and I trained with them. I went to the camp and trained with the Cuban guys and the American guys. And I also train in my stand-up.

Art of War here, they give me a good chance – they gave me a good offer. Art of War treats me very well. They believe in me like a partner – like a tough fighter. I am very happy to be here and I am very happy they are bringing Jeff Monson here to fight me. I feel good and I am comfortable and that’s why I am here.

Is this fight wrestler vs. grappler?

Pedro Rizzo: I really do think it is going to be striker vs. grappler. He will try to take the fight to the ground but he has known me for a long time and if Jeff tries to take the fight to the ground I will be very comfortable whether it is on the bottom or on the top or however it happens in the ring. I know that Monson has been striking good, better than 4, and my striking is better than 4, so I think it will be a little more different than old times.

Who have you been training with in Brazil?

Pedro Rizzo: There are great grapplers here in Brazil and I look for them to train with. I know my grappling has gotten better. When I look back at those fights in ’99, I tell myself I could have done this or I could have done that – I know I could have fought different than I did. Now it would be a totally different fight on the ground than it was. I feel better on the ground now – that is for sure. I would win those fights that I lost now.

Where do you think Monson stacks up compared to others you have fought?

Pedro Rizzo: He has proven he is a great gound fighter- he just won a grappling tournament in America and he has a great teacher. He is the best grappler opponent that I could fight.

Jeff is shorter than me, but he is very strong on the ground. He never gets tired on the ground. I am not much taller than him. I am 6’2” and I think he is almost the same, so I don’t have an advantage there. Jeff will try to take me to the ground when I kick. I can be good for me or it can be bad for me. I will use my kick, but at the right time.

Jeff has been fighting the best grapplers in the world an nobody can beat him. I am a good striker and I will try to knock him out. But I can’t make a prediction because we never know what is going to happen in the ring – so predictions never work. I will try to stop him. I respect Monson a lot but I will be in great shape and training for more than three months and I hope to put on a great show and thanks for giving me this chance.

Jeremy Horn will be next.

Jeremy Horn: I have been training hard and I won’t make any predictions. I have a gym in Salt Lake City and I have been there for 4½ years and most of my training is against those guys I have in the gym.

Will your experience help you in this fight?

Jeremy Horn: Experience does count but he trains with a great team had has had many high profile fights so that shouldn’t make a difference. I have fought a lot of talented fighters and have been able to hold my own on the ground so we’ll see what happens.

Jeremy Horn: Fights now are a lot harder against tougher guys all of the time and it is tough to be prepared to fight guys at this level once a month. It is a lot of stress on your body and it is nice not to have to go right back into the gym as soon as I have a fight. It is nice to have the break – my body needs it – so I don’t break down and it relieved a lot of stress. It is hard to be in the gym all day long and not have a break. .

I stay busy when I am not training for myself – I get a lot of high level guys in the gym training for fights all of the time. So if I am not training myself I am training somebody else. If you train hard every day for a fight you get a lot of mental stress. Running the gym and training myself is difficult – I train other guys for 8 hours a day and it is hard for me to put in my two hours after that.

It is nice to have the reputation that I will fight anyone. I love the fans but don’t seek out the reputation. I am happy for the recognition but I don’t seek it out.

My manager chooses what he thinks is best for me but I like to fight the best guys that are out there and I fight them. I like to fight the guys that are at the top.

It is fun to train someone then watch them go out and beat someone and be successful, but I will not go into training full-time right now. I still like to fight, although I have found a lot of other things I like to do and it is difficult to fit them all in to one day. I can see myself still fighting for a long time – even five years.

Jeff Monson is now on the call.

Jeff Monson: I am calling from England and I have been training here for a couple of months. I will fly back to the States. Pedro is a great name and has fought for the UFC title a couple of times. He is a hall-of-fame type of guy and I hear he is training hard and I am really focused.

You are schedule to fight on August 17…

Jeff Monson: I have been in grappling competition and then fight. I slowed down when I was with UFC because you can’t do that. I have fought back-to-back weeks and to me I don’t take one any lighter than the other and if it goes well it gives me more preparation. I will peak for this one on the 17th and then I will be back in the gym working – but I will already be in good shape.

The training is the same here in England; it is just a different environment. For one, there is no cell phone ringing off the hook. So we can really concentrate. When I come back we will go over the final details with my coner, who has been with me for over six years. I am working on my boxing, which is a little bit of a change. As far a s conditioning and mat work, I am doing that as well. But I am focusing more on boxing than I have in the past.

My girlfriend is here so I am visiting here with her as well as training. My people know what I am doing and I talk to them frequently. Wilson, Mario is tough and these guys are giving me a run for my money – it is full contact – brutal.

A lot of young guys and at 36 years old I feel like the elder statesmen, and it is tough to get up in the morning sometimes. It is so big now and they have a long career ahead of them and I am on my last leg so to speak – but I think I am in my prime. In 5 years they will still all be fighting and I won’t be. When I was 25, I wasn’t as good as I am now and I wasn’t prepared for this kind of environment.

Experience goes a long way and I feel very comfortable because of that, knowing what I need to know to win.

MMA is not as big in England, there are guys that like to do it but it is not at that level yet. They have a couple of good shows, but everybody really wants to fight in the States on big shows. It is just a matter of time and it will take time for the fighters to get on par with the States. There are some guys, but the depth is not the same.

C.J. Cumo: At this time, we are concentrating on selling tickets in the lower bowl and we will open the upper bowl it ticket sales are brisk. This is our third show and we know how to market the event and we do that as well as anybody else. We spend money on a mobile billboard, we do a lot of flyers, billboards and radio commercials. We do everything by the book and we look at the Dallas people and if they want to see what is real, they will have a great night. There is great value for the price of the ticket, that start at $30.

The number in the lower bowl is about 13 or 14,000 tickets.

DALLAS, TEXAS – ART OF WAR 3 — Mixed-Martial-Arts heavyweight stars, Jeff “The Snowman” Monson and Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo, are set to headline ART OF WAR 3 on Saturday, September 1st at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. The Monson vs Rizzo battle for the IFA World Heavyweight Championship will be the main event on a that will also feature MMA stars Jeremy “Gumby” Horn and Ron “H20” Waterman.

The ten bout card will be available Live on Pay-Per-View and begins at 10 pm Eastern (9 pm Central, 7 pm Pacific) time. But first, Monson, Rizzo, Horn and Waterman will kick off the countdown to ART OF WAR 3, USA vs BRAZIL with this CONFERENCE CALL.

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About the author

Lester Bedford