by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
A mixed martial arts promotion based out of Las Vegas is starting a new event using a team format with MMA legends as coaches. Platinum Fighting Productions has named its event Ring of Fire – not to be confused with the venerable MMA promotion of the same name based in Denver.
PFP announced Royce Gracie, Josh Barnett, Gokor Chivichyan and Ken Shamrock as its first four coaches. Its first event is Ring of Fire, Manila, scheduled to take place Dec. 9 at Araneta Stadium in the Philippines, the home of the historic Mohammed Ali and Joe Frazier fight known as “The Thrilla in Manila.”
International Fight League commissioner Kurt Otto acknowledged Shamrock’s involvement and confirmed that he is still a coach for IFL as well.
Each team will battle in four events to be held in the Philippines, Macau, Japan and China; with the best two teams progressing to the Final Ring of Fire event slated for December 2008.
Team Gracie features Cleber Luciano, Jorge Patino, Daniel Serafian, John Marsh and Katrine Alendal. Team Barnett will field Koji Oishi, Yuki Kondo, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Jeff Monson and Ginele Marquez. Team Gokar includes Karen Darabedyan, August Wallen, Rodney Faverus, Hakim Gouram and Amanda Buckner. Rounding out the field is Team Lion’s Den with Evan Dunham, Kyacey Uscola, Mike Whitehead, Ricco Rodriguez and Tonya Evinger.
The Dec. 9 event features Team Barnett versus Team Gokor.
-Koji Oshi (Barnett) vs. Karen Darabdeyan (Gokor)
-Yuki Kondo (Barnett) vs. August Wallen (Gokor)
-Renato “Babalu” Sobral (Barnett) vs. Rodney Faverus (Gokor)
-Jeff Monson (Barnett) vs. Hakim Gouram (Gokor)
-Ginele Marquez (Barnett) vs. Amanda Buckner (Gokor)
Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Zach Light will also participate in a separate bout on the Dec. 9 event and will reportedly be coached by UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson.