Daniel & Rhalan Gracie, Wes Sims Highlight Card For Gracie Fighting Championships At Nationwide Arena.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Daniel Gracie and Rhalan Gracie of the world-famous a Gracie family and Wes "The Project" Sims will be among the featured competitors during a mixed martial arts event to be held at Nationwide Arena on March 3 and televised nationally on EVENTS-iN-DEMAND Pay-Per-View.
Relson Gracie, the second-oldest son of the legendary Helio Gracie and the 22-time Brazilian National Champion, and Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, the former national champion wrestler at The Ohio State University who has gained fame as a mixed martial arts fighter, will each bring a team of six mixed-martial arts fighters to Nationwide Arena for a head-to-head team match that will pit Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House in the first-ever Gracie Fighting Championships that will highlight the Friday Night Fights at Nationwide Arena.
The Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House matches will highlight a 10-fight card that will also include three Super Fights and a battle involving a Columbus police officer. Friday Night Fights will be the first-ever live Pay-Per-View event to originate from Columbus.
"We are thrilled with the quality of fighters who will take the ring in Columbus, Ohio on March 3," said James L. Lorimer, Director of the Arnold Sports Festival. "The Gracies are the first family of mixed martial arts, and their revolutionary style of fighting has dominated the sport for decades. Mark Coleman and his Hammer House team are some of the toughest fighters on the planet, so it will be a treat to see who prevails. One thing is for sure - we will make history in Nationwide Arena on March 3."
The featured match will pit Team Gracie's Daniel Gracie, the latest Gracie family member to put the revolutionary Brazilian jiu-jitsu style of fighting to use, against Team Hammer House's Sims, a 6-foot-10, 255-pound behemoth from Lancaster, Ohio. Daniel Gracie is 3-1 in his brief professional career, while Sims is 8-7, including dominating wins in his last two matches. Gracie and Sims will compete in a heavyweight fight scheduled for three, five-minute rounds.
In a second feature, 18-year-old Rhalan Gracie, the son of Relson, will make his professional debut when he faces upstart Dustin Hazlett of Cincinnati in a middleweight bout.
Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House Matches:
- Daniel Gracie (Rio de Janeiro) vs. Wes Sims (Lancaster, Ohio)
- Rhalan Gracie (Honolulu, HI) vs. Dustin Hazlett (Cincinnati), middleweights
- Fabio Leopoldo (Rio de Janeiro) vs. Matt Lindland (Oregon City, Ore.), middleweights
- Fabricio Cames (Rio de Janeiro) vs. Mike Pyle (Las Vegas), middleweights
- Daniel Morais (Rio de Janeiro) vs. Forrest Petz (Cleveland), welterweights
- Michael O'Donnell (Pittsburgh) vs. Jon Koppenhaver (Las Vegas), welterweights
- Fredson Paixao vs. Michael French, welterweights
(All scheduled for three, five-minute rounds)
Prior to the Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House bouts, three Super Fights will be held:
- Vitor Ribeioro (Rio de Janeiro) vs. Chris Brennan (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
- Alexandar Ustinov (Russia) vs. Dan "The Bull" Bobish (Cleveland)
- Carter "Beast" Williams (Modesto, Calif.) vs. Gary "Smiler" Turner (England)
- Steve Conkel (Amanda, Ohio) vs. Brion Peoples (Chillicothe, Ohio)
- Patrick Horner (Stockport, Ohio) vs. Phil Cardella (Austin, Texas)
Famous Names In Attendance:
In addition to the action in the ring, boxing legend Joe Frazier will be on hand to receive the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Many other television, wrestling, and professional wrestling stars are also expected to be in attendance.
The Friday Night Fights, Gracie Fighting Championships will be televised nationally on EVENTS-iN-DEMAND, and can be seen on Cable and Satellite and in Canada. The event will also be rebroadcast to millions of views in Europe. The EVENTS-iN-DEMAND broadcast will begin at 9 p.m.
Tickets for the Friday Night Fights, Gracie Fighting Championships at Nationwide Arena are on sale now. Tickets are $100 (sold out), $65, $55, $40, $30 and $20 and may be purchased at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (614) 431-3600. Tickets are also available at the Blue Jacket Zones located at the Chiller Dublin, Chiller Easton and Chiller North. All tickets are subject to applicable service charges. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The Friday Night Fights, Gracie Fighting Championships is among the many events to be held March 3-5 during the Arnold Sports Festival, the nation's largest sports festival that will bring 120,000 attendees and 15,000 athletes competing in 30 sports to Columbus. The Arnold Sports Festival will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Nationwide Arena and Franklin County Veterans Memorial.
Tickets to 25 events held during the Arnold Sports Festival are included in the $10 daily entry fee to the Arnold Fitness EXPO. These include martial arts, boxing, hockey skills, figure skating, speed skating, women's bodybuilding, fitness and figure prejudging, gymnastics, a fitness fashion show, cheerleading and dance, strongman contest, 5K pump and run, armwrestling, bench press, powerlifting, weightlifting, fencing, wrestling, table tennis, archery, youth dancesport, and volleyball.
Several other events require separate tickets. For a complete schedule of events for the 2006 Arnold Sports Festival, visit www.ArnoldSportsFestival.com.
Arnold Sports Festival