FAIRFAX, VA (August 23, 2010) - In their quest to mold Shine Fights Promotions into MMA's most fan-friendly organization, CEO Devin Price and COO Jason Chambers have taken the unprecedented step of allowing Shine fans to play matchmaker for the company's upcoming Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament, which will be televised nationally on Pay Per View.
Eight of the fight world’s best 155-pound competitors have been selected to put their skills to the test against one another on Sept 10th at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA.
History will be made, as fans have never been given the opportunity to actually choose the fights they want to see. Now, they can mix and match those eight fighters in order to create the four opening-round bouts that they want to see.
The combinations with the most votes will be selected as the official bouts. Suggestions should be emailed to GrandPrixPick@Shinefights.com.
"Every MMA organization tells fans what fights they are going to see, even though the fans are the ones paying the money," said Chambers. "We are saying, 'You are buying the PPV, you are buying the tickets, so you tell us what you want to watch. We feel it’s one of the most unique opportunities fight fans have been given to date!"
"We decided to go with a one night eight man tournament because we wanted to give fans what we knew they really wanted", said Devin Price. "By having the fans choose the first round fighters we are involving them in a direct way. We value their opinion and respect their knowledge."
Below is a list of the eight competitors who are eligible to be matched by fans:
Rich "Cleat" Crunkilton: 16-3 (7 TKO/KOs, 6 submissions). The 30-year-old Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native is known for his devastating throws and slams, high kicks, and wild punches. A product of the famed American Kickboxing Academy, "Cleat" has faced top 155ers during the course of his career, including Bao Quach, Hermes Franca, former WEC Lightweight Champion "Razor" Rob McCullough, and "The Fugitive" Dave Hansen.
Josh Shockley: 6-0-1 (3 TKO/KOs, 2 submissions). Only 19 years of age, Shockley has made a name for himself through his athleticism and skills. Never beaten, this rising star is the youngest entry in the tournament. He is also a finisher, with five of his victories coming via stoppage. He fights out of Duneland Vale Tudo with training partners Keith Wisniewski, Darren Elkins, and Mark Burch.
Drew Fickett: 37-13 (3 TKO/KOs, 26 submissions). This Tucson, Arizona native is only 30 years old but has competed in fifty professional fights. A submission specialist, he holds notable victories over UFC stalwarts Josh Koscheck, Kurt Pellegrino, Dennis Hallman, and Kenny Florian, as well as UFC veterans Josh Neer, Edwin DeWees, Keita Nakamura, Mark Weir, and Derrick Noble. In addition, he defeated fellow tourney entrant Carlo Prater via submission in their first bout back in 2004.
Carlo Prater: 24-7-1 (2 TKO/KOs, 12 submissions). Hailing from Sao Paolo, Brazil, Prater began competing in professional mixed martial arts in 2002. The ground fighter challenged then-WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit for the title at WEC 32 in 2008, putting up a valiant effort before succumbing to his bigger opponent. Now based in Texas, Prater has set his eyes on the Shine title. He possesses notable victories over UFC lightweight Spencer "The King" Fisher, Condit (in their first bout), Strikeforce fighter Pat Healy, and UFC veteran Keith Wisniewski.
James Warfield: 21-6 (15 TKO/KOs and 6 submissions). A veteran of many MMA organizations, Warfield is known for his reputation as a finisher, having never won by anything other than a stoppage. The Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native trained in Jeet Kune Do and karate as a child, but has blossomed into a full-fledged mixed martial artist. He’s faced quality competition throughout his six-year fight career, including UFC veteran Rory Markham, former TUF contestant Seth Baczynski, and former top ten-ranked lightweight Yves Edwards.
Marcus Aurelio: 20-8 (4 TKO/KOs, 13 submissions). This Brazilian put his name on the MMA map in 2006 when he put the top-ranked lightweight in the world at that time, Takanori Gomi, to sleep with an arm-triangle. A multi-time veteran of PRIDE and the UFC, the BJJ black belt has garnered a reputation for being difficult to stop, having never been knocked out or submitted. His ground game is second to none, and the 36 year-old holds wins over Gomi, Masakazu Imanari, Rich Clementi, and Daisuke Nakamura.
Dennis Bermudez: 8-0 (3 TKO/KOs, 1 submission). An accomplished amateur wrestler, Bermudez utilizes his ground game to the fullest in the cage. He turned pro in 2009, and has already competed in MMA eight times. A training partner of top WEC star Urijah Faber, the compact Bermudez is a threat to any fighter on the ground.
Charles Bennett: 23-17-2 (14 TKO/KOs, 6 submissions). One of the most controversial fighters in MMA history, the 30-year-old Ocala, Florida native is known for his antics in and out of the cage. He’s been known to insult opponents, disrespect referees, and has even brawled with other fighters backstage. Once quoted at saying that ground fighting "is like making love … it's not real fighting," Krazy Horse has attempted to clean up his act in recent years. Regardless, fight fans know that they will be entertained when "Krazy Horse" is on the card. Bennett holds notable wins over former Elite XC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons, UFC veteran Gerald Strebendt, and WEC Bantamweight contender Yoshiro Maeda, and has faced some of the world’s best lightweights in Takanori Gomi, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Jeff Curran, and Urijah Faber.
The MMA showdown will be beamed on PPV on cable and satellite in the United States and Canada. The event will be in High Definition and it will be available in both English and Spanish (where available). The MMA showdown will be distributed live on Pay Per View beginning at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST by Multi Vision Media, Inc. The suggested retail price is $29.95.