Gracie-Sakuraba Rematch Among Key Bouts on
Star-Studded Dynamite!! USA Fight Card
Gracie seeks to exact revenge for legendary 90-minute bout seven years ago;
Full card features MMA favorites and crossover curiosities
Los Angeles, May 8, 2007 – MMA legends Royce Gracie and Kasuzshi Sakuraba, who fought an exhausting 90-minute battle seven years ago, will meet once again, this time as the co-main event at “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite” in the Los Angeles Coliseum on June 2 (live SHOWTIME® PPV, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Gracie (roycegracie.proelite.com), considered the godfather of modern-day mixed martial arts, will face the imposing Sakuraba (sakuraba.proelite.com), nicknamed “The Gracie Hunter” for his well-documented victories over four members of the Gracie family, including the dramatic victory over Royce in 2000.
The rematch will be part of an extraordinary main fight card that includes 7-foot-2 South Korean Hong Man Choi, former WWE champ Brock Lesnar, NFL star Johnnie Morton, Ray Sefo (New Zealand), Antonio Silva (Brazil) and J.Z. Calvan (Brazil). The complete fight card is as follows:
SHOWTIME® PPV (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)
Brock Lesnar VS Hong Man Choi
Royce Gracie VS Kazushi Sakuraba
Mighty Mo VS Mu Bae Choi
Melvin Manhoef VS Dong Sik Yoon
Live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT)
Jake Shields VS Ido Pariente
Gina Carano VS Jan Finney
Live Stadium Only (5 p.m. PT)
Javier Vasquez VS Katsuhiko Nagata
Brad Pickett VS Hideo Tokoro
The Gracie-Sakuraba story is rich in history, as the Gracie family, represented by Royce, Ryan, Renzo and Royler have come after Sakuraba four times and all four times have fallen short of victory. The final and longest of those matches took place on May 1, 2000, in the second round of the Pride Grand Prix Open Weight Tournament, when Royce faced Sakuraba for the first time. The fight, a no-time-limit match, was scheduled for 15 minute rounds until a winner was declared. The match lasted for 90 minutes (7 rounds at 15 minutes each), and both fighters demonstrated remarkable heart and determination, especially because the winner was expected to face his next opponent on the same night. In the 4th round, Gracie injured his leg due to repeated kicks from Sakuraba and remained hobbled for another 45 minutes, until the beginning of the 8th round, when his corner threw in the towel, stopping the fight.
“I’ve been waiting for this fight for close to a decade, it’s been something that I’ve struggled to live with for some time,” said Gracie. “We both have mutual respect for each other, but June 2 is circled on my calendar as the date I plan to avenge my family’s legacy from Sakruraba.”
Tickets for Dynamite!! USA are on sale via Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com and the LA Coliseum box office. Seats will be available on the field and throughout the majority of the stadium bowl, with the exception of limited blocked sections on each end for restricted viewing. In the stadium bowl, seats in the upper sections will sell for $30, with the exception of the west end, which will be $10. The lower bowl will sell for $60 in most areas and $30 in the west end. On the field, tickets will run at $100 on the outer rim, $250 in the middle section and $1,000 at ringside.
The other co-main event on the Dynamite!! USA fight card will face 7-foot-2 South Korean giant Hong Man Choi, aka “Techno Goliath,” against former NCAA and WWE wrestling champion Brock Lesnar. Johnnie Morton, a former USC Trojan wide receiver and NFL star, will return to the Coliseum for his MMA debut.
Dynamite!! USA will begin at 5:00 p.m., PT with doors opening at 3:30 PM, with a fight undercard that includes Hideo Tokoro, J.Z Calvin, Brad Picket as well as EliteXC fighters Jake Shields, Antonio Silva and Gina Carano. The SHOWTIME® PPV fight card will begin at 7 p.m. PT, 10 p.m. ET.
Dynamite!! USA marks the first FEG event on U.S. soil and the inaugural MMA contest in the LA Coliseum’s 74-year history. FEG’s Heroes MMA events in Japan and Korea have routinely sold out major arenas and stadiums, including the 74,000-seat Tokyo Dome. The inaugural Dynamite in August of 2002, held at Tokyo National Stadium, drew a record crowd of 92,000 fans.
The SHOWTIME® PPV fight card will feature up to six fights, with co-main events. Prior to the pay-per-view, SHOWTIME will televise the three undercard bouts, free to SHOWTIME subscribers from 9-10 p.m. ET/6-7 p.m. PT. For pay-per-view pricing and ordering information, viewers should contact their local cable or satellite provider.
# # #
About FEGFormed in 2003, FEG, Inc assumed the role of K-1 Corporation in production and management of K-1 events that at the time were enjoying 13 years of success. In addition to K-1 Events, FEG, Inc’s goal was to expand the company’s presence into the world of Mixed Martial Arts as it saw the overwhelming demand from theviewers and fans. In 2005 FEG, Inc started the production of the Hero’s events in Japan. Under the current corporate structure, FEG, Inc is responsible for the production and promotion, as well as all otheraspects of business from fighter contracts to event marketing of both the K-1 and Hero’s (Mixed Martial Arts) events all over the world.
About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME® TOO™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE® and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND™ and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME® PPV.
ProElite Inc. delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite’s live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world’s top fighters. ProElite’s interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of mixed martial arts enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com – Empowering the Fight Community TM