Monday, February 19, 2007

PRIDE's Present

By Loretta Hunt

PRIDE Fighting Championships invades Las Vegas this week for its second effort in the U.S., and American Dan Henderson has the opportunity to carve his name into MMA’s history books by becoming the first fighter to ever hold titles in two different weight divisions simultaneously. Of course, that’s if the Temecula, Calif. wrestler, who claimed PRIDE’s Welterweight (Under 183 lbs) title last year, can tame the beast in Brazilian Wanderlei Silva, the keeper of PRIDE’s Middleweight (Under 205 lbs.) title for the last five-and-a-half years.

With heavyweight Gilbert Yvel’s license application denied on Friday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the card stands at eight fights, with no additional matches planned at this time, according to a Dream Stage Entertainment rep.

PRIDE 33 "The Second Coming"
Wanderlei Silva vs. Dan Henderson
Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz (Non-Title Bout)
Frank Trigg vs. Kazuo Misaki
Mac Danzig vs. Hayato Sakurai
Travia Wiuff vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Joachim Hansen vs. Jason Ireland

Festivities for PRIDE 33’s “The Second Coming” and its opening ceremonies begin at 6 PM PT from Thomas & Mack Center, but expect plenty of “sightseeing” this week at the hosting Caesar’s Hotel & Casino. In addition to a slew of fighters mingling through the slots and tables, on Wednesday a three-day, open-to-the-public training session begins at the outdoor Roman Plaza. Fighters on the card will work out and greet the public in a makeshift PRIDE ring through to Friday, when the 16-fighter roster steps onto the official scales to weigh-in. Each day’s demonstrations begins at 2:30 PM PT.

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