Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hallowed stadium to stage K-1 Dynamite.

By Miguel Lopez

LOS ANGELES - The L.A. Memorial Coliseum has hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, NFL games, college football and on June 2 it will host a sport that is skyrocketing to the caliber of those events.

Fighting Entertainment Group announced Tuesday that it was collaborating with ProElite and Showtime to bring its popular international show K-1 Dynamite to the Coliseum for the first mixed martial arts fight in the stadium's 74-year history.

With the show, the Japanese based FEG is bringing a mixed martial arts legend in Royce Gracie and a much-anticipated fighter who will make his debut in the sport, Brock Lesnar.

Gracie will be making his return to competitive MMA after taking nearly a year off since his loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 60 in Los Angeles. But the 40-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt says he is ready to fight and ready to move on since the defeat.

But Gracie's opponent in the June bout has yet to be determined, and according to FEG CEO Sadaharu Tanikawa, "a list of fighters is available that may face Royce."

Lesnar, a former NFL player, World Wrestling Entertainment superstar and collegiate wrestler, will make his debut versus a giant of a man in Hong Man Choi, who stands 7-foot-2 and weighs in at 355 pounds in the main event.

Lesnar agrees that he is in for a challenge as Choi has experience in the ring and knocked out his last opponent, Bobby Olugun, last December.

"This is my first MMA fight. I am extremely excited about this, I cannot wait," said Lesnar. "I am looking to make a huge impact in the mixed martial arts world today."

The fight was not the only announcement as promoters of the K-1 fight said they have taken the first steps along with MMA organizations HERO's, Cage Rage, Bodog, StrikeForce and Spirit MC to begin an alliance to share talents, footage and rules to build a better worldwide MMA sport

"We would like to expand the sport to all over the world and in the future we would like to bring this event to a global scale and we would like to have the event periodically," Tanikawa said. "We have support from Bodog and many other organizations and we would also like to be speaking with UFC (so we can) have a world-class alliance."

The entire fight card for June 2 is still being narrowed down, but there will be a two-part show with the first hour consisting of three bouts that will be shown live on Showtime. The second part of the show will be on the same ring but will be shown only on pay-per-view with most of the main fighters being in it.

Also on the card will be former NFL and USC wide receiver Johnnie Morton, who will make his MMA debut.


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