Thursday, July 26, 2007

Five Cage Rage 23 Fights Announced

Cage Rage promoters Andy Geer and Dave O’Donnell have announced five fights for Cage Rage 23 “Unbelievable,” which is scheduled to take place at the Wembley Arena in London on September 22 – the same day as UFC 76. Bold move.

The beloved James Zikic will defend his Cage Rage World light heavyweight title against Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Both fighters were victorious in their Cage Rage 21 fights, and I expect this to be a good fight.

Cage Rage British heavyweight champion Tengiz Tedoradze, fresh off a KO win over Butterbean a few weeks ago, will be defending his title against the dangerous Mustapha Al Turk, who most recently defeated the legendary Mark Kerr and has a very scary name.

British MMA icon Mark “The Wizard” Weir will make his 170-lb. debut at Cage Rage 23 against Paul “Semtex” Daley, who defied my prediction and KO’d Duane “Bang” Ludwig on the Strikeforce Shamrock-Baroni card last month.

On the undercard will be two light heavyweight matches: Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Pierre Guillet, and Ed Smith vs. Roman Webber.

Cage Rage, for those unfamiliar, is a U.K.-based MMA promotion that has showcased some big name talent: Anderson Silva (currently the CR World middleweight champ), Vitor Belfort, Matt Lindland, Michael Bisping, Babalu Sobral, Bob Sapp, James Thompson, Vitor Ribiero (long-time CR World lightweight champ), and Gesias Cavalcante.

Recently, Cage Rage made headlines when majority shareholder John Faraday sold his stake in the company. Shortly thereafter, U.S.-based Pro Elite (EliteXC/Strikeforce, ShoXC) stepped in and is now “investing heavily in different areas,” Andy Geer told Geer also said that Cage Rage and Pro Elite will be engaging in fighter exchanges as early as next year.

Care Rage is also the only British fight promotion available on free live television, thanks to an agreement with Sky Sports, and its growing affiliation with Pro Elite, as well as London becoming a hot market for MMA, should only lead to big things for the company and for the sport.

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