Photos: Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010,
American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), San Jose, California
“FEDOR VS. WERDUM’’ – This Saturday at HP Pavilion
Live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT
SAN JOSE (June 23, 2010) – This Saturday, STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL will make history when they present a Mixed Martial Arts fight card that will feature the universally recognized No. 1 male and female fighters in the world stepping into the same cage on the same night for the first time. The eagerly awaited event will take place at HP Pavilion and be televised live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, the world’s No. 1 pound for pound fighter, will take on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and top-ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum in the main event. The No. 1 female fighter, Cris Cyborg, will defend her STRIKEFORCE Women’s World 145-pounds Championship against Jan Finney in the semi-main.
Fedor and Cyborg were joined by Cung Le and Josh Thomson, who also will appear in featured fights
on Saturday, at a Media Workout Wednesday at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA).
Le, of San Jose, is a former STRIKEFORCE middleweight titlist. He relinquished the belt last year to
pursue an acting career that has since spawned two major motion picture releases, but returned Dec. 19,
2009, at HP Pavilion to face Sacramento’s Scott Smith. Le dominated before losing via a shocking third-
round KO. He’ll take on Smith in a rematch of one of MMA’s most epic come-from-behind knockouts.
Thomson, of San Jose, will return to the cage for the first time since losing the STRIKEFORCE world
lightweight title to top rival Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez on Dec. 19, 2009. He’ll face dangerous
submission artist Pat “Bam Bam” Healy in a lightweight bout.
Tickets for STRIKEFORCE and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum are on sale at the HP Pavilion box
office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) as well as
What they had to say:
“I am always interesting in performing against top 10 fighters and Werdum has been in the top 10 for a long time. He’s a good, very patient fighter who thinks a lot and I am very happy to be fighting him. Style-wise, this should be a very interesting fight.
“The talk about me entering politics are false rumors. As long as I am competing in MMA, there will be no politics for me.
“MMA is a beautiful kind of sport that combines various elements of martial arts. You need to be good in all of them. I am excited about having my wife with me for the first time for a fight of mine in the United States.’’
STRIKEFORCE AND M-1 GLOBAL WORKOUT QUOTES
“I’m very anxious to get back in the cage and very excited about this fight. It is a great honor to be on the same card as Fedor. I’m looking forward to meeting him and seeing all the other fighters on this show.
“I know Jan Finney is coming to win this. I don’t have a specific plan but I’m ready for anything. I’ll see how the fight starts and then go from there. I expect a tough fight.
“It will be great having (husband and fellow STRIKEFORCE fighter) Evangelista in my corner again. He couldn’t be there last time. He is the one who trains me, who got me started in this sport, so I love it when he is in the corner.
“I’d much rather be the one fighting than having to watch him fight. All I can think of while I am watching him fight is, ‘I hope this ends very quickly.’ ’’
“I dominated for two-and-a-half-rounds the first time against Scott. Before the last round, my corner told me to take it easy and not take any unnecessary chances. But rather than listen, I tried to close the show with a bang, but it backfired on me.
“Saturday is a new day and a new fight. It is not our last fight and it isn’t last year. I am amped for it.
“I learned a hard lesson from our first fight, but I am determined to move forward. I love to compete and I am very excited about this fight.’’
“I didn’t make any excuses after the last fight with Gilbert, but ring rust is real. I didn’t get it gone, and Gilbert looked very good but I know why I lost and that is because I didn’t listen to my corner.
“On Saturday, the plan will be, like always, to get off first and dictate the pace. The plan against Gilbert was not to make it a brawl but that is what happened,
“I feel I’ve learned from that fight so expect a different Josh Thomson on Saturday than the one you saw against Gilbert.
“This is going to be a tough fight against a tall guy. There are lots of big fights down the road for me but they will go away fast if I am not totally focused on Saturday.’’