- NINJA OUT, VILLASENOR “JUST WANTS TO FIGHT”

June 16, 2007
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by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Murilo “Ninja” Rua will not be facing Joey Villasenor as part of the “Shamrock vs. Baroni” event next week. He did not pass his physical as required for licensing by the State of California.

Rua and Villasenor were scheduled to fight for the vacant EliteXC middleweight title as part of the June 22nd Strikeforce-EliteXC co-promoted event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

In comments to MMAWeekly, Joey Villasenor said that he had just found out about the fight late Friday afternoon. “I don’t know what the hell is going on. I know my managers are doing their best to find me a fight.

“With everything going on, I would love to be [EliteXC’s] first champion, but right now, I just want to fight. I haven’t trained this hard ever before in my life,” he said.

Villasenor’s obvious frustrations stem from weeks of preparing for the five-round title fight, only to have it yanked out from under him. Now, his managers and the promoters are left to scramble just to find him an opponent.

“I have been training hard, preparing for five rounds, for weeks,” commented Villasenor with irritation in his voice. “I just want to fight. I need something to let all of this out.”

“This is a tough break for ‘Ninja,’ Joey Villasenor and all MMA fight fans,” said Gary Shaw, President of Live Events at EliteXC. “This was going to be a terrific fight. We expect to announce a suitable opponent for Joey very soon.”

At press time, an opponent had not yet been determined. There has been some speculation as to Falaniko Vitale being a possibility, but no official word from EliteXC was forthcoming.

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