by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Additional reporting – Damon Martin) Shine Fights suffered another blow to its Lightweight Grand Prix, this time in the form of the age-old injury bug. The promotion announced on Wednesday that Marcus Aurelio sustained an injury in training and bowed out of Friday’s event.
He was to have participated in Shine’s one-night, eight-man lightweight tournament that has suffered through a last-minute location change and several changes in the roster of participants.
Stepping up on just three days of notice is UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty, 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.
Jason Chamber, Shine Fight COO stated, “I am sad to see Marcus pull out of the tournament and wish him a fast recovery. Stepping up to a challenge of this magnitude on three days notice is a very daunting task. It is a testament to what a warrior Shannon Gugerty is. We are excited to see him compete!”
The Shine Fights Lightweight Grand Prix cast now includes Rich Crunkilton, James Warfield, Drew Fickett, Carlo Prater, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, Kyle Baker, Dennis Bermudez, and Shannon Gugerty.
Aurelio was recently announced as the next opponent for Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. The two are slated to meet at Dream 16 on Sept. 25. There has been no word yet from his camp as to whether or not Aurelio will be recovered in time for that bout. But even if he does, there is another hurdle to his participation.
“I can confirm that we do have an exclusive deal with Marcus Aurelio. I want to be fair with our agreement; I want our fighters to be fair. Our agreements are exclusive, within that there is language that speaks to giving permission to fight in other organizations. So a fighter can fight somewhere else, as long as we give that approval,” Chambers told MMAWeekly.com earlier this week.
“I can confirm that I have not given any approval for Marcus Aurelio to fight in Dream. There’s definitely a possibility Marcus Aurelio fights in Dream,” he said, before adding, “If you see him fight Sept. 10 in our pay-per-view, those chances are greatly improved.”
The pay-per-view appearance is now out, but it’s unclear what direction Aurelio’s future takes from this point forward.
Jason Chambers contacted MMAWeekly.com following the news of Aurelio’s removal from the card.
“We will examine that after Friday,” Chambers explained regarding Aurelio’s possible fight with Shinya Aoki in Dream. “The most important aspect of our business is to ensure this event goes well.”
At this point there are still no guarantees one way or the other if the Brazilian will be fighting in Japan or two weeks or not. MMAWeekly will continue to follow this story as it develops.