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With the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Strikeforce organizations already planning mixed martial arts events in Hawaii in the coming year, EliteXC is beating them to the punch with a Sept. 15 show at the Blaisdell Arena that will be broadcast live on Showtime pay-per-view.
The card will feature at least 10 bouts, including five televised main-card events. It will be the first mixed martial arts show in Hawaii to be broadcast live throughout the United States.
Local promotions Icon Sport and Rumble on the Rock will be involved in next month's card, which features a main event of "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler against Murilo "Ninja" Rua for the EliteXC world middleweight championship.
The card won't include Falaniko Vitale, who yesterday agreed to a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce and K-1 Hero's, setting up possible future fights against the likes of Cung Lee, Phil Baroni, Melvin Manhoef, and even Kazushi Sakuraba.
Other fighters to compete on the card include Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Charuto Verissimo and undefeated Gina Carano.
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For the first time, a mixed martial arts event in Hawaii will be broadcast live in the United States.
Elite Xtreme Combat, in conjunction with local promotions Icon Sport and Rumble on the Rock, has put together a mixed martial arts event for Sept. 15 at the Blaisdell Arena.
The event will include five main-card bouts to be broadcast on the Showtime pay-per-view channel live, beginning at 4 p.m.
One of the most notable omissions from the televised fight card is Falaniko Vitale, who yesterday agreed in principle to a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce and K-1 Hero's.
An earlier report had Vitale signing a three-fight deal with EliteXC, but that report was false, according to manager Ken Paiva.
"He won't be fighting with (EliteXC)," Paiva said. "K-1 Hero's and Strikeforce are sharing responsibilities and he will be fighting back and forth for both promotions."
Scott Coker, CEO of StrikeForce, said he's in the process of getting Vitale to fight on the Sept. 29 card at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Coker said Vitale will fight twice with Strikeforce and twice with K-1 Hero's.
"Strikeforce will be coming to Hawaii and we're looking to have Vitale fight either Cung Le or Phil Baroni," Coker said. "I know K-1 Hero's also wants him to fight Melvin Manhoef."
Meanwhile, the Sept. 15 event will feature Icon Sport world middleweight champion Robbie Lawler squaring off against Murilo "Ninja" Rua for Rua's EliteXC world middleweight title.
As listed on the Showtime Internet Web site and confirmed by another source, the other four televised bouts are Jake Shields against Charuto Verissimo, Joey Villasenor vs. Japan's Riki Fukuda, Gina Carano vs. Tonya Evinger and Nick Diaz against Mike Aina.
It had been reported that Diaz was fighting KJ Noons, but that bout has been off for more than a week after Noons broke his hand in a fight in late July.
Another key omission from the televised fight card is Waianae's Kala Kolohe Hose, who already had one title shot against Lawler pushed back in June. The rematch was scheduled for Sept. 15, but the fight is off again as Lawler will instead face the younger brother of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, according to Yahoo sports.
Details about the upcoming EliteXC card and the future of Icon Sport will be announced at a 2 p.m. press conference tomorrow.
The entire event is expected to be at least 10 bouts, but only the aforementioned five fights will definitely make the pay-per-view broadcast. Blaisdell Arena doors will open at 2:30 p.m. and the first fight will start at 3.
All bouts will take place under EliteXC rules, meaning it will be held inside of a cage instead of a ring.