Miami, FL (USA): A bout between two of the most experienced lightweights on the Shine roster was finalized today, as UFC veteran Junior Assuncao (10-4 MMA, 1-0 Shine) will take on former PRIDE mainstay Luiz "The Joker" Azeredo (12-8 MMA, 0-0 Shine) in a stimulating bout at 155 pounds.
The contest will be part of May 15's "WORLDS COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS. THOMAS" card, which takes place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville , North Carolina and will be broadcasted on PPV.
Born in Recife, Brazil, Assuncao grew up in Miami, Florida. He now fights and trains out of Atlanta, Georgia at Ascension MMA with brothers Raphael and Freddy, also fighters. Junior went 1-2 during a three-fight streak in the UFC before being cut, earning a victory over David Lee and losing to tough foes Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino and Nathan Diaz in the process.
The 28-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Capoeira black belt has since gone on to win five of six fights, including a hard fought split-decision victory over Peter Grimes at Shine II last September. A strong wrestler who loves to stand and bang, Assuncao also earned the XFC Lightweight Championship on March 19 with a first-round submission victory over John Mahlow. The well-rounded fighter brings a four-fight win streak into his collision with "The Joker."
One of only four men to defeat current pound-for-pound king and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva, Sao Paulo, Brazil native Luiz Azeredo made his mixed martial arts debut in 1997 and has since faced and defeated many of the most legendary lighter weight fighters in the sport's history.
His list of opponents includes Silva, current top contender Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, Luiz "Buscape" Firmino, Takanori "The Fireball Kid" Gomi, Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen, Paul "Semtex" Daley, Tatsuya "Crusher" Kawajiri, and notables Fabricio "Morango" Camoes, Tony DeSouza, Milton "Miltinho" Veira, and Naoyuki Kotani. His win over Daley ranks as one of the crowing achievements of his career.
In short, the 33-year-old Chute Boxe member has faced a who's who of lighter fighters. Assuncao will be another notable added to his list. The veteran has also been in some of the most memorable wars in the sport's history, including his 2005 victory over Shine veteran Firmino that ranks as one of the best battles in PRIDE's storied history.
"I've always been a fan of these two fighters, and this is one of the sleeper fights on May 15 that will help make Shine III the card of the year," Shine Fights matchmaker Ron Foster said.
This pivotal bout in the Shine lightweight division joins the previously announced 160-pound catchweight main event between former boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga and MMA veteran Din Thomas as well as a welterweight contest between MMA veteran Nick "The Goat" Thompson and Brazilian star Eduardo Pamplona on the May 15th card.
Two surefire ground wars are set to take place at 175 pounds between 2009 ADCC Absolute Champion Braulio Estima and former Olympic Judo competitor Rick Hawn and at 205 pounds between Brazilian star Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferriera and IFL veteran Jamal "The Suit" Patterson.
"WORLDS COLLIDE" takes place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC, and will be beamed on PPV on cable and satellite in the United States and Canada. The event will be broadcasted in High-Definition, and it will be available in both English and Spanish (where available).
The broadcast will start at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT and will be produced by MultiVision Media, Inc. There will be a 30-minute countdown show prior to the live event at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT. The event will be available for $29.95. Tickets may be obtained by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420, or online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Crown Coliseum Box Office. For box office hours and more info, please call (910) 438-4100.
For more information on Shine Fights or "Worlds Collide," please follow Shine on Twitter @ShineFights, Myspace (http://www.myspace.com/ShineFights), YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/ShineFights), or become a fan on Facebook.
Here are the announced bouts for "Worlds Collide:"
Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga vs. Din "Dinyero" Thomas
Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Travis "The Gladiator" Galbraith
Nick "The Goat" Thompson vs. Eduardo Pamplona
Braulio Estima vs. Rick Hawn
Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira vs. Jamal "The Suit" Patterson
Junior Assuncao vs. Luiz "The Joker" Azeredo