by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
American Top Team is regarded as one of the best training camps in all of mixed martial arts and the list of top fighters going there to train just keeps growing and growing. In the latest ATT camp report, we learn of new team members and a ton of great fights coming up for the Florida based team.
UFC & ATT
The Ultimate Fighting Championship and American Top Team seemingly go hand in hand with all of the fighters from the camp making their way to the Octagon lately.
At UFC 81, ATT lightweight Gleison Tibau makes his 4th appearance for the promotion as he faces Tyson Griffin in what should be a fast paced bout that could steal the show for Fight of the Night.
UFC 82 will feature the return of Luigi Fioravanti as he faces former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Luke Cummo.
Also it appears that new American Top Team member, Alessio Sakara, fresh off the heels of his win over James Lee at UFC 80, will make his 185lb debut at the Columbus, OH show, but as of now nothing is confirmed and no opponent has been named.
UFC Fight Night on April 2 in Denver, CO will host three American Top Team members as Din Thomas returns following a knee injury suffered in his last bout with Kenny Florian, Marcus Aurelio makes his third trip to the Octagon, and Thiago Alves squares off against Karo Parisyan in a welterweight bout.
While no bout agreements have been put in place, it appears Thomas will square off against Josh Neer while Marcus Aurelio will face off against Miletich lightweight Spencer Fisher.
Yet another American Top Team talent appears headed to the UFC as well as Steve Bruno is expected to make his Octagon debut sometime in April or May.
Radach & Polley Head For The IFL and ATT Looks To Field A Team
Benji “Razor” Radach will return to action on Feb 29 as a representative of Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture squad as they face Mario Sperry’s team in IFL competition. Radach is coming off of a loss to Matt Horwich, but the long time American Top Team contributor looks to bounce back in February.
Also slated to help out Xtreme Couture’s team at the IFL is rising star Lew Polley who will represent the camp at 205lbs against an as of yet unnamed opponent. Polley is currently undefeated as a professional and recently won a huge fight over Roger Hollett in Canada.
Polley also looks to defend the ECC light heavyweight championship he won by defeating Hollett in the near future, most likely in March.
Representatives from the IFL are also looking into an American Top Team representation for the league which has changed its format to a camp versus camp style this year, as opposed to the city based teams for previous seasons.
March K-1 Event To Feature 3 Top ATT Fighters
Coming off an injury that forced him off of the New Year’s Eve card in Japan, top lightweight prospect Gezias “JZ” Calvancante will return in March to face another perennial top ten lightweight in Shinya Aoki as K-1 puts together another stellar MMA card set to take place in March, although no date has been set yet.
Calvancante had a tremendous year in 2007 and he looks to continue that momentum as he faces Aoki who will be a formidable test for the ATT standout.
Also, new American Top Team member and grappling legend Marcelo Garcia will return to action for his second fight in K-1, while top ten middleweight competitor, Denis Kang, will also make his way back to active competition with the K-1 show in March. Neither fighter has an opponent as of now, but both are expected to be featured on the card.
News & Notes From Around ATT
Antonio Silva, currently the top heavyweight in Elite XC, returns Feb 16 in Miami,
Fla as he faces former UFC heavyweight champion, Ricco Rodriguez. Yves Edwards will also return to action on the same card as he faces Edson Berto in a lightweight match-up.
Micah Miller returns to action in the WEC on Feb 13 to face Chance Farrar. The featherweights were scheduled to meet at the last WEC show, but an injury forced Farrar off the card and no replacement was found so the bout was scratched from the event entirely.
Jorge Masvidal, regarded as one of the top lightweight prospects in the world, will look for his 7th win in a row as he faces Ryan Healy on the StrikeForce card in Tacoma, Wash featuring the return of Bob “The Beast” Sapp to MMA.
Jorge Santiago, who won the first ever StrikeForce middleweight tournament in November, is looking to get back to action soon, most likely on the March 29 StrikeForce card featuring a main event between Frank Shamrock and Cung Le.
Thiago Silva will make the trip to Florida to work out with the fighters at American Top Team in the next few weeks. There is no indication that this is a permanent move, simply just a chance for the rising 205lb fighter to train with the camp and work with many top competitors in and around his weight class.