ROTR 8 World Championships Hosts 8-Man Welterweight Tournament at Blaisdell Center Arena January 20th
Event to Feature World’s Top MMA Athletes and Debut of Local Favorite “Butterbean”
HONOLULU, HAWAI'I - Jan 09, 2006 On January 20th Rumble World Entertainment, promoters of Hawai‘i’s largest and most respected Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event Rumble on the Rock (ROTR), will hold the first ever ROTR World Championships at the Blaisdell Center Arena in Honolulu. The event will be the preliminary test in an attempt to crown the first ROTR world champion at the highly anticipated ROTR Welterweight Grand Prix in April 2006.
RWE searched the world to find eight of the best welterweights in MMA today. In Los Angeles they found UFC contender and World Fighting Alliance (WFA) Champion ranked 5th in the world Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg. In Brazil they found Cage Rage Champion Anderson Silva and hailing from Japan is K-1 representative Yushin Okami. Former UFC Champion Dave Menne, former Shooto champion Jake Shields, New Mexico’s Carlos Condit, jiu-jitsu champion and ROTR veteran Renato “Charuto” Verissimo and former King of the Cage (KOTC) champion Ron “Machine Gun” Jhun were also signed to give the ROTR 8 card a bevy of undisputed champions.
To top off the star-studded evening, two Superfights featuring ROTR veteran and Hawai‘i football star Scott Junk as well as Hawaiian knockout royalty Wesley “Cabbage” Correira against Eric “Butterbean” Esch will draw the event to a close with Superfights that are the kind that make MMA history.
Promoters are hopeful that bringing these legends to Hawai‘i’s shores will help to further Hawai‘i’s appreciation of MMA and the caliber of fighters coming to compete in the tournament. According to JD Penn, “The athletes we’ve signed for this event are the very best in the sport right now, the top- ranked group in the welterweight division today. We originally scheduled this event for November but postponed it so that we could bring the fans a card packed with the world’s best. We’ve put together a card we’re proud of and we hope that the fans enjoy it,” he said.
In the first match-up of the evening, Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert and coach to BJ Penn, Renato “Charuto” Verissimo (5-2) will take on the up-and-coming Carlos Condit (13-2). Verissimo, ranked #6 in the world, is known to be the most technical in his division holding victories over Carlos Newton in the UFC and Yuichi Nakanishi in ROTR 7. Condit is a rising star with recent wins over Ross “Da Boss” Ebanez in a ROTR Qualifier event in November 2005 as well as Pete Spratt in a recent kickboxing match.
Hawai‘i’s most experienced professional fighter Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun (23-15-2) will take on former WFA champion Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg in the second match-up of the evening. A former KOTC champion, Jhun is considered to be a heavy underdog. Trigg, known for his flashy antics and exciting style, is currently ranked #5 in the world after beating Verissimo in UFC #50. A possible re- match between Trigg and Verissimo in April’s ROTR Grand Prix Championships is highly anticipated.
The third match-up of the evening will bring together Dave Menne (38-12) and Jake Shields (11-4-1). Menne, UFC’s first-ever middleweight champion, is arguably the most skilled and experienced tournament fighter and will move down a weight class to take on former Shooto champion Shields who is currently ranked #9 in the world.
Former Shooto Champion, current Cage Rage champion and Pride veteran Anderson Silva (14-3) of Brazil will compete against K-1 representativeYushin Okami (13-2) of Japan. Silva who is ranked #1 in the middleweight division will drop a weight class and attempt to capture the ROTR Welterweight Grand Prix Title. Standing in his way is Demolition of Octagon Gear champion and K-1 rival Yushin Okami.
Two Superfights will draw the evening to a close. The first will feature the comeback of football star Scott Junk who returns to ROTR after his impressive debut against UFC veteran Ricco Rodriguez at ROTR 7.
The final Superfight of the evening will be between two knockout artists likely to cause fireworks in the Blaisdell Arena. With a professional record of 63 wins and 3 losses, Eric “Butterbean” Esche of Alabama will make his transition into MMA against Hilo’s Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (17-8). Nicknamed the “King of four-rounders” and “The man Mike Tyson refused to fight,” Butterbean proved to be very popular in K-1’s World Grand Prix event in May 2005 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawai‘i fans were so impressed with Butterbean that RWE promoters decided to bring him back to compete in ROTR.
Rising off three straight wins in October, November and December 2005, Cabbage is on a warpath with a vengeance. The relentless 27-year-old Hilo native has come to be known for a willingness to accept bouts with some of the toughest fighters in the sport today. The heavyweight Superfight between Butterbean and Cabbage promises serious knockout power when one of the most famous boxers of our time will make his debut against a Hilo boy who just wants to scrap.
The evening’s grueling tournament promises to bring the action and excitement that has made ROTR the fastest-growing event in the U.S. and Hawai‘i’s premiere MMA event. The event will be held under MMA rules with three, five-minute rounds held in an octagon-shaped cage. A press conference will be held Thursday, January 19 at Ala Moana Centerstage at 5pm. On January 20, doors to the Blaisdell Center Arena will open at 6pm.
The event will also feature world-renown Polynesian entertainment group Malu Productions, known for their Snoop Dogg video performance on MTV as well as their performances with the NFL and the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. Malu Productions highlight the Polynesian dance styles of Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa.
Tickets to ROTR 8 can be purchased at the Blaisdell Box Office, at www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster toll-free at 1-877-750-4400. Tickets are priced at $35, $60, $100, $200, and $300 Up-to- date event news can be found by visiting www.rumbleontherock.com.
ROTR 8 will be broadcast on Canadian pay-per-view and worldwide Internet pay-per-view on January 21 by visiting www.rumbleontherock.com and clicking on “RumbleVision.”
About Rumble World Entertainment
Rumble World Entertainment (RWE) is a Hawai‘i-based entertainment company who produces Rumble on the Rock (ROTR), ROTR Qualifiers, and RumbleVision. In less than two years, RWE, formerly Prodigy Productions, has taken ROTR from a small Hilo-based show to a globally recognized event broadcast in 90 countries including Japan Pay-Per-View and U.S. Pay- Per-View. Known as Hawai‘i’s premiere MMA event, ROTR draws record audiences of 12,000. RWE hopes to bring their events to California and Las Vegas in the near future.