by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
The Doncaster Dome on Sunday, Dec. 16, will play host to Ultimate Force and its Festive Fury fight card.
Ultimate Force is the U.K.’s leading promotion in the north of England and one that is arguably Tengiz Tedoradze’s hometown event. The promotion has secured a headline bout between Tedoradze and James Thompson in a rematch of their June 2004 encounter.
Tedoradze has been knocking on world class for a long time now with his highly effective ground and pound arsenal to compliment his formidable wrestling credentials. Somehow, he always seems to be overlooked on the international level despite a record of 22-7-1 with notable losses coming from upper echelon fighters such as Jeff Monson, Fabricio Werdum and Antonio De Silva.
Thompson by contrast has been in the limelight in Pride and is a recognized international fighter. He has scored wins over Don Frye, Hidehiko Yoshida and Dan Severn, but has unfortunately come up short when fighting on home turf, having dropped bouts against Neil Grove, Butterbean and Rob Broughton. Fights he was arguably expected to win.
Such a tumultuous run of results led Thompson to force a change in his training during the summer of this year when he decided to leave Team Trojan and make the transition over to Xtreme Couture in the U.S. This will be his first outing under a new training regime. It will be interesting to see how he approaches this fight with probably the best wrestler in U.K. MMA at present.
A win for Tedoradze will truly mark him as a fighter in desperate need of high-level international competition. A win for Thompson will garner a heavyweight title, as well as indicate his potential stateside under the regime of EliteXC.