The first-round matchups for the Sept 1 Shine Fights Promotions Grand Prix Tournament from the First Council Casino in Newkirk, OK have been finalized, it was announced today by Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers. Chambers stated, “It is no secret that we have faced a barrage of challenges with this tournament; however the Shine team has persevered and done an amazing job of ensuring both the fighters and fans get to be part of an amazing show Sept 10th.” The tournament will follow the Nevada State Athletic Commission rules. Below is list of the tournament’s matchups, which will be broadcast on PPV:
Drew “Knight Rider” Fickett vs. Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett
Drew Fickett: 37-13 with 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.
Charles Bennett: 23-17-2 with 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 EliteXC 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.
Rich “Cleat” Crunkilton vs. Carlo Prater
Rich Crunkilton: 16-3 with 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.
Carlo Prater: 24-7-1 with 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 vs. “Alley Cat” Kyle Baker
James Warfield: 21-6 with 15 TKO/Kos, 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.
Kyle Baker: 9-4 with 7 TKO/KOs, 1 submission. One of the most well-rounded fighters in Virginia, “Alley Cat” trains with the famed MMA Institute in Harrisonburg. Dubbed “the hardest hitting man in Virginia,” Baker is the WKA Muay Thai Champion, as well as a former ISKA Kickboxing Champion. In addition, Baker was a high school state champion wrestler, and currently holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The 29 year-old Baker stands 5’11”, and usually competes in the welterweight division. He holds a victory over two-time UFC veteran Chad Reiner, and has defeated fellow Grand Prix participant Drew Fickett.
Shannon Gugerty: 12-5 with 3 TKO/Kos, 9 submissions. Gugerty is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under famed grappler Dean Lister. He began his professional MMA career successfully with a submission victory over current WEC mainstay Cub Swanson. After amassing a 10-2 record, he was invited to compete for the Ultimate Fighting Championships, where he has fought five times. During his time with the UFC, Gugerty was able to rack up wins over Dale Hartt and Matt Grice. The 28 year-old San Diego native trains at Victory MMA with fellow notables Jeremy Stephens, Court McGee, Toby Imada, Peter Sobotta, Joe Brammer, and Tomas Drwal.
Dennis Bermudez: 8-0 with 3 TKO/KOs, 1 submission. This rising young lightweight has carved out an unblemished 8-0 record as a professional MMA fighter. A former Division 1 All American wrestler, Bermudez has the type of ground game that makes fight aficionados stand up and take notice. Included in that group is former longtime WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber, who recently brought in the talented wrestler to his camp in order to help him prepare for future fights.
The Grand Prix Tournament 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 Grand Prix Tournament 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.
Ticket Information: Tickets for the Mixed Martial Arts Tournament at the First Council Casino on Friday, September 10 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets which are on sale now are priced at $250, $175, $95, $65, and $35. Tickets will be available through Ticketstorm.com and the First Council Casino box office by calling 866-966-1777.