On Saturday, June 27, 2009, MMA comes to the Mississippi Gulf Coast as Prize Fight MMA and Fight Force International present Ultimate Chaos. The event will take place at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. The main event will feature a super-heavyweight bout between former WWE superstar and amateur wrestling champion Bobby Lashley going up against former PRIDE and K-1 superstar Bob Sapp.
Lashley won three national amateur wrestling championships at Missouri Valley College. He is also a two-time NAIA national wrestling champion and wrestled for the U.S. Army before he joined the ranks of pro wrestling, where he has been a superstar for both the WWE and TNA. His collegiate wrestling credentials and pro wrestling background, combined with his natural 6'3", 265-pound frame, has drawn many comparisons to current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Lashley is 3-0 in MMA since making his debut on December 13, 2008, which was exactly one month after Lesnar won the UFC heavyweight title. On Saturday night, Lashley will be getting a stiff upgrade in competition, as he will be facing his toughest and biggest challenge to date as he takes on the massive 6'4", 330-pound Bob Sapp.
Sapp started his athletic career playing pro football, where he played for four NFL teams before he made a name for himself by defeating former NFL star William "The Refrigerator" Perry in a Toughman boxing special promoted by the FX channel in 2000. From there, like Lashley, he would pursue a pro wrestling career that led him to Japan. Sapp was subsequently recruited by the Japanese MMA organization PRIDE, where he quickly became a fan favorite due to his massive size and aggression. This fame was punctuated in Sapp's third MMA fight, when he delivered a dangerous highlight reel pile driver on former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira, who was the PRIDE champion at the time of the bout. Nogueira would go on to win the fight, but the bout became an instant classic. Sapp would later crossover into K-1 kickboxing, which included two wins over four-time K-1 champion Ernesto Hoost via TKO.
The co-main event at Ultimate Chaos on Saturday night will pit Muay Thai powerhouses Gilbert Yvel and Pedro Rizzo against each other. Yvel of Holland and Rizzo of Brazil were main heavyweight figures in the once rival PRIDE and UFC promotions. Yvel was a mainstay in PRIDE, while Rizzo was a contender in the UFC. They have both been noted for their brutal Muay Thai striking prowess and penchant for keeping fights standing to attain a crowd pleasing KO. They are also both coming off losses to the same man in Josh Barnett in the first two Affliction events, Rizzo in July and Yvel in January. While Barnett is now set to face Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction - Trilogy on August 1, 2009 to determine the best heavyweight fighter in the world, it has been noted that the winner of Yvel vs. Rizzo will determine who fights Paul Buentello on that same Affliction card in August. That will just add incentive and fireworks to a bout that has been on the wish list of many hardcore MMA fans for years.
Also on the main card, will be a pair of former lightweight standouts in a featherweight bout, as fellow jiu-jitsu black belts Din Thomas and Javier Vazquez mix it up in another highly anticipated bout. Thomas is a nine-time UFC veteran, which saw him participate in the famous 4-man tournament in 2003-2004 to fill the vacant UFC lightweight championship. The tournament, also included B.J. Penn, Matt Serra, and Caol Uno, but it did not crown a winner after Penn and Serra fought to a draw in the finals. After leaving the UFC for a few years, Thomas would return as a welterweight on The Ultimate Fighter 4 - The Comeback, which featured a cast of UFC veterans vying for a title shot. Thomas would reach the semi-finals of the show and would fight for the UFC five more times after the show as a lightweight, before leaving the UFC again to continue his career as a featherweight. He has won both of his fights outside of the UFC, since dropping to featherweight.
Thomas will be facing Vazquez, who is widely regarded as one of the most technical MMA fighters in the world. His spectacular finishing moves combined with his trademark pink shorts has earned him the nickname of "Showtime". Vazquez was the first King of the Cage lightweight champion, the Gladiator Challenge lightweight champion, and he earned two victories with the now defunct EliteXC. He also has a sterling grappling resume, which includes winning the 2004 ADCC North American Trials. The winner of this bout will see their stock skyrocket as a featherweight, which is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and competitive divisions in the world.
The main card will also feature a slew of familiar names such as former IFL lightweight star Chris Horodecki, who has been inactive for over a year due to the demise of the IFL. He will be facing KOTC veteran and Muay Thai specialist William Sriyapai. In welterweight action, IFL and Affliction standout Brett Cooper will face KOTC and ROTR veteran Waachiim Spiritwolf. In catchweight action Saturday night, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio will participate in his second MMA fight against fellow 1-0 fighter Randy Hedderick in a 160-pound bout and TUF 3 veteran Danny Abbadi faces local favorite James Orso in a 175-pound bout. Ultimate Chaos will be broadcasted live on PPV at 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. PST.
-Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Sapp (Super-Heavyweight Bout)
-Gilbert Yvel vs. Pedro Rizzo (Heavyweight Bout)
-Din Thomas vs. Javier Vazquez (Featherweight Bout)
-Chris Horodecki vs. William Sriyapai (Lightweight Bout)
-Brett Cooper vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf (Welterweight Bout)
-Tom Atencio vs. Randy Hedderick (160-pound Catchweight Bout)
-John Harris vs. Brandon Harder (Lightweight Bout)
-Danny Abbadi vs. James Orso (175-pound Catchweight Bout)
-Eric Bradley vs. Kelly Leo (Welterweight Bout)
-Colin McKee vs. Lance Thompson (175-pound Catchweight Bout)
-Eric Graham vs. Drew Wallace (160-pound Catchweight Bout)
-Greg Maher vs. Rocky Overstreet (Heavyweight Bout)