Press Release courtesy of Ultimate Warrior Challenge
While much attention is being paid to the two co-Main Events featuring world championship title bouts pitting Mike “The Hulk” Easton vs. Chase Beebe and John “The Magician” Dodson vs. Pat Runez, the rest of the UWC REDEMPTION fight card is loaded with outstanding fighters in what could easily turn out to be its best lineup ever.
Continuing its evolution as a rising force in the MMA world and keeping with its mission to help grow the sport, particularly in the Washington, D.C. area, six of the seven UWC undercard bouts will showcase a local, up-and-coming prospect taking on a top-tier competitor fighting out of a prominent national gym.
After fighting in the evening’s first bout and earning first-round stoppages at the last three UWC shows, undefeated middleweight fan favorite Kris “Savage” McCray (3-0) of Woodbridge, VA will fight fourth on the show and step up in competition to face Igor “The Legend” Almeida (5-0-1) of Palm Beach, FL who has not lost as a professional as well.
To prepare for his battle, McCray, a former wrestling standout at Woodbridge Senior HS and member of Gold Medal Grappling, has been training in Greg Jackson’s camp with UFC lightweight Joe “Daddy” Stevenson and Tom “Kong” Watson while living at Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s house. The Army reservist has never tasted defeat — he was 9-0 as an amateur –and will need his all-around skills more than ever when facing his Brazilian-schooled opponent.
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Almeida is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Eduardo Brigadeiro. He trained in Rio for four years under Sergio Souza and Murillo Bustamante and spent another seven years training in Florida. Almeida has been practicing MMA and Muay Thai since 2003; two of those years were at the Xtreme Couture facility in Florida.
Looking to rebound from a hard-fought loss to War Machine at last April’s UWC Man “O” War, popular, two-time UWC veteran Timothy (formerly “Reshad”) Woods (4-2) returns to face Ryan “The Rhino” Sturdy (11-3-1) of Chicago in a 185-pound contest. Woods is probably best known to UWC fans for his devastating, knock-out power-bomb delivered to Ron Stallings (now a teammate of his at Team Lloyd Irvin) at UWC Invasion in 2008. The imposing 6’4″Woods has impressive clinching skills, lighting fast strikes, and devastating elbows. All four of his wins have come by knockout.
Sturdy, who fights for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) star Jeff Curran’s Team Curran, has won five consecutive, and 11 of last 12 fights. He holds the Extreme Challenge middleweight belt, the same organization that spawned such noted fighters as Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Tim Silvia, Pat Miletich and Rich Franklin, and should pose a worthy opponent.
Harrisonburg, VA’s hard-striking lightweight Kyle “The Alley Cat” Baker (7-4) has established himself as a rising force in the Mid-Atlantic region for impressive knockout wins over of former UFC fighters Drew Fickett and Chad Reimer and a bruising defeat of former Elite XC fighter, James “Binky” Jones, in arguably the fight of the night at UWC Confrontation last year. The MMA Institute fighter will collide with Tommy “Gun” Truex (6-2), a member of Greg Jackson’s New Mexico-based camp, who boasts a four-fight win streak. Truex serves as an officer in the National Guard and is a University of Mexico business school graduate.
One year older than his brother and more of a submission specialist, Beau “Blackjack” Baker (7-2), will also have his hands full with an outstanding opponent when he challenges undefeated Jacob “Tick-Tock” McClintock (5-0) of Arizona Combat Sports in a middleweight match. Notable opponents for Baker are Tommy Speer, Jorge Patino and TJ Grant.
No opponent has lasted past the first round against McClintock including heavy favorite Sultan Tikhayev whom the Phoenix, AZ-native submitted in his last fight held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
A teammate of the Baker brothers also fighting out of MMA Institute, Jesse “Mountain Man” Riggleman (6-0) puts his undefeated streak on the line against Josh “Taz” Ferguson (7-2), in a flyweight contest. A former two-time Virginia state wrestling champion, Riggleman is a relative newcomer to the sport who only started MMA training in February 2008. A grappling and ground-and-pound specialist, he turned pro after going undefeated in five amateur fights over an eight-month period.
Ferguson, a skilled submission specialist fighting for Team Cruz in Louisville, KY, lost in a title fight to current UWC champion Mike Easton at UWC Capital Punishment. All seven of his professional victories have ended with his opponent locked in either an armbar or a rear naked choke submission.
Rounding out the action-packed card as the first fight of the show will be Freddy Assuncao from Atlanta, GA and Newark, NJ’s Felipe “Sertanejo”Arantes (0-1), a pair of Brazilian featherweights now living stateside. Assuncao enters the cage with a strong pedigree as the brother of UFC veteran Junior Assuncao and twin brother of current WEC bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao.