Strikeforce ‘Revenge’ Fighters Tapped For Sundance Candidate Film
Two mixed martial arts fighters who will face off with one another during Friday, June 9th’s Strikeforce “Revenge” fight card, which will take place at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion, will also be the subject of a full-length documentary film aiming for entry to the annual Sundance Film Festival.
Slated to run 75 minutes, The One Shot will examine the lives of four mixed martial arts competitors, each of whom is at a different stage in his career. Xone Media Group, the production company spearheading the project, will not disclose the names of the two Strikeforce combatants who have been enlisted for the movie until after production is complete.
“We want to build suspense throughout the film so the audience gets emotionally attached to the fighters,” said Xone Director Debbie Sugiyama, whose last film, “Six Minutes of Damage,” was admitted to New York City’s annual Tribeca Film Festival last year.
According to the director, the documentary piece will exhibit the vigorous work that mixed martial arts competitors put into their training as well as the necessary sacrifices that they make in their everyday lives in order to remain committed to their profession.
“The whole point of the film is to bring credibility to the sport,” Sugiyama explained. “The One Shot is a story that’s lived every day – not just in the world of MMA, but in all our lives. Everybody wants their one shot – their time to stand above the crowd, to rise or fall. Whether they succeed or fail, its important to them to know they had their shot.”
Sugiyama noted that The One Shot does not contain any narration, only monologue by those interviewed, which, other than the four main subjects, include a handful of other prominent fighters, trainers, and members of the mixed martial arts media.
In order to be considered for admission to The Sundance Film Festival, the premiere showcase for independent American films, The One Shot will be submitted for review to a panel of judges commissioned by the festival’s principals. Each year, the panel receives thousands of independent films and, the eight that they feel are most worthy, advance to the festival where they are screened before the public.
The 2007 Sundance Film Festival will commence on January 18th and run through the January 28th.
The Strikeforce “Revenge” bill will be headlined by a rematch between former UFC light heavyweight champion, Vitor Belfort, and Pride Fighting Championship superstar, Alistair Overeem. During their first encounter at Pride’s “Total Elimination 2005″ event a year ago, Belfort and Overeem battled for nine and a half minutes (Note: Pride Fighting Championship schedules the first round of its bouts for 10 minutes) before Overeem secured a guillotine choke on Belfort and forced the Brazilian fighter to tap out.
Another rematch on the card will see World San Shou kickboxing champion Cung Le face “Mr. Unbreakable” Brian Warren. Le, whose start marks his second career appearance under mixed martial arts rules, defeated Warren by way of unanimous decision in a bout contested under San Shou rules in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 30, 2004.
Strikeforce’s “Revenge” card will also be highlighted by a matchup between undefeated 22-year-old Tyson Griffin and K-1 and UFC veteran, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, as well as a meeting between light heavyweights Bobby Southworth and James Irvin. Southworth introduced himself to the masses during Spike TV’s premiere season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series two years ago.
Strikeforce 155 pound champion, Clay Guida, will set out to defend his crown for the first time since he captured the vacant title by persevering over four-time UFC fight winner and Bay Area favorite, Josh “The Punk” Thomson. Thomson will also return to battle and attempt to steer his career back on track.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar, Daniel Puder, will make his third career mixed martial arts appearance during the event.
Tickets for Strikeforce “Revenge” are on sale at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070) as well as at all Ticketmaster (408-998-TIXS) outlets and Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com). An arena seating chart can be easily accessed by visiting Strikeforce’s official website, www.strikeforceusa.net, and clicking on the “Tickets” link.
Strikeforce made history twice over on March 10th with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at the HP Pavilion, played host to 18,265 fans, the largest-ever attendance at a mixed martial arts fight card held in North America.
The Strikeforce mixed martial arts event is being produced by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment (SVS&E, www.svse.net), a leading producer of major sporting and entertainment events and the exclusive producer of such events for San Jose, California’s largest entertainment venue, HP Pavilion. SVS&E’s many properties include “Fight Night at the Tank” professional boxing; the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks; and the annual ATP men’s professional tennis “SAP Open” event.