New York, NY (USA): Shine Fight Promotions (Shine Fights) today announced the official signing of David Heath to take on PRIDE veteran and former EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua at a catchweight of 190 pounds. In addition, Derrick "The Eraser" Noble has signed on to replace Nick "The Goat" Thompson in his scheduled fight.
Both bouts will take place at the "WORLDS COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS. THOMAS" pay-per-view event.
Devin Price, CEO Shine Fights said, "I am truly disappointed that Travis Galbraith will not be fighting Ninja Rua tonight." The promoter stated, "It's a shame that his manager, MMA Agents, placed him in a position to lose out on the biggest opportunity of his career to date. A manager should look out for the best interest of his fighter. Shine Fights gave Travis a tremendous opportunity in fighting on a pay per view against a truly gifted and very tough fighter. This was a bad managerial decision that has affected a young fighter. But Galbraith's loss is David Heath's gain, and this man has stepped forward to show his talent on PPV for all the world to see," added Price.
Shine Fights matchmaker Ron Foster stated, "We're excited to have a true professional like Derrick Noble on this card. ‘The Eraser' is an exciting fighter that will bring the action to all the Shine fans. We're sorry that Nick is unable to compete, but we feel confident that Derrick will satisfy the appetites of fight enthusiasts in attendance and tuning in on pay per view."
Now scheduled to face PRIDE veteran and former EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua in the co-main event, Heath (14-6), a native of Oklahoma, will bring his all-around skills to the Shine ring at "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas."
A five-time UFC veteran, Heath has proved he belongs with the big boys of MMA. He's faced top-flight competition such as former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida, former StrikeForce Light Heavyweight Champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral, as well as UFC veterans Mike Nickels, Tim Boetsch, and Sean Salmon.
After starting off his career with nine straight wins, Heath has experienced some highs and lows that come with professional fighting. But regardless of the outcome, he always delivers memorable fights. And with twelve finishes in his fourteen wins, he's now looking to thrust himself back into the MMA spotlight at Ninja's expense.
Born and raised in Curitiba , Brazil , Rua is the brother of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Ninja began his career in his home country, running off four straight stoppage wins. His impressive beginning to his career earned him a call from Japan , and he soon began to make a name for himself as an athlete that finishes fights.
After his time in PRIDE, Ninja moved to England 's Cage Rage promotion, before making his way to the United States . Since then, he has competed in both EliteXC and StrikeForce, while still making appearances in Japan, England , and his native Brazil .
Over the course of his nine year career, he has faced many of the top fighters in MMA, including PRIDE/UFC veteran Akihiro Gono, former PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson, former PRIDE contenders Sergei Kharitonov and Ricardo Arona, StrikeForce fighters Benji Radach and Kevin Randleman, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Fihlo, UFC fighter Denis Kang, Japanese fighter Riki Fukuda, and the aforementioned Lawler.
Ninja has defeated notables such as Mario Sperry, Alex Stiebling, Mark Weir, Xavier Foupa-Pokam, and Joey Villasenor, who he beat for the EliteXC Middleweight Championship belt. 15 of his 17 wins have come either KO/TKO or submission, and he always puts on a show for the fans, win or lose.
And Ninja expects to continue to show that in his fight at "Worlds Collide" on May 15th: "I'll try to impose my game and come out with a great win, so I can start off [my career with] Shine Fights in the right way. I'll always try to give great performances, making it for great spectacles for my fans and if God helps, try to win a belt, which will certainly be another great dream for me. I would like to first of all thank all the fans, and tell them that I'll be at ‘Worlds Collide' with a great appetite to seek the win for me and my family. Finally, I want to thank Shine Fights for the effort of promoting our sport and giving me this chance of being part of it!"
UFC veteran Derrick "The Eraser" Noble is a well-rounded striker with a lot of experience. From Russia to Canada to the United States , fans across the world have been witness to his exciting fight style. He's defeated notable fighters such as Thiago Alves, Jake Ellenberger, Shonie Carter, and Carlo Prater.
And with his 25-14-1 record, which includes 19 finishes, viewing a Noble fight, whether he wins or loses, is a sure guarantee of entertainment. Now he will step into the Shine ring for the first time, as he will take the place of his mentor Nick "The Goat" Thompson on "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas." Thompson suffered a knee injury in training, and as a result, Noble has the opportunity.
"Stepping in for Nick is a good thing because I know him so well. I want to perform well, and since we train together so much, I want to put as good a performance on as he was planning to give."
Noble will be facing Brazilian Eduardo Pamplona . One of the top welterweights in Brazil , Pamplona is on a mission to prove that he is also one of the best 170-pound fighters in the world. Already a veteran of organizations like Pancrase, Shooto, the IFL, and M-1 Challenge, Pamplona will now bring his aggressive striking and world-class ground game to Shine Fights.
Having earned victories over MMA legends such as Jorge "Macaco" Patino, Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons, as well as fellow Shine signee Daniel Acacio, Pamplona made his U.S. debut in 2007 at "IFL: Atlanta" in an exciting three round war with former EliteXC champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler. Pamplona lost a hotly contested bout that night, but the 34-year-old has reeled off seven straight victories since, bringing his record to 12-2 overall.
"Since I did some training with Nick to prepare for Pamplona , I already feel like I had an idea of a game plan. And I had actually already been offered to fight Pamplona a few months ago in Brazil , and even though it didn't go through, I have already familiarized myself with him."
"WORLDS COLLIDE" is taking 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 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.