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Sunday, September 18, 2005
Mixed Martial Arts--- The Latest on Ken Shamrock vs. Kazushi Sakuraba, and Phil Baroni vs. Pro Bodybuilder
The potential fight between Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba cannot be officially signed or announced until at least October 13th (as first reported by MMAWeekly's Ryan Bennett and later picked up by the Wrestling Observer). The reason for this is that a no-compete clause in Shamrock's UFC contract expires on October 12th, meaning that the earliest he could sign with Pride would be October 13th.
Shamrock vs. Sakuraba is one of the fights that Pride would like to put on its October 23rd card, although the fight may or may not end up happening. Even after the expiration of Shamrock's no-compete clause, the UFC will still have the contractual right to match any offer that Pride makes to Shamrock, but this is considered unlikely given the amount of money involved and given the fact that Shamrock has the right to turn down specific UFC fights if he chooses to do so.
In other news, the Wrestling Observer recently featured the following brief news item on a potential fight between Phil Baroni and professional bodybuilder Craig Titus, which could take place in either Pride or King of the Cage:
"Believe it or not, Phil Baroni is pushing Pride to book him in a freak-show fight on December 31st against high-level bodybuilder Craig Titus. The two have had a war of words for years. New Year's Eve is a freak show night [in Pride]. Also, King of the Cage, which does pay-per-view shows that nobody buys, has offered Baroni $10,000 to fight Titus in King of the Cage."
Obviously, even if Baroni vs. Titus does take place in Pride at some point, the date of the fight would not necessarily be December 31st. It's far from a certainty that Baroni vs. Titus will ever take place, as the Observer report simply stated that Baroni wants Pride to book the fight, and even if Pride agrees to do so, there's no telling if Craig Titus would be willing to take the fight.
UPDATE: The finals of the Pride Bushido tournaments are actually scheduled to take place in November (not on December 31st), so it's entirely possible that Baroni could fight in the finals of the 183-pound tournament in November and still be able to fight Craig Titus on December 31st. Thanks to Zach Arnold of PuroresuPower.com for the clarification.
Labels: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Pride Fighting Championships News
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