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Thursday, September 06, 2012
The first show for the WCMMA will take place Saturday, September 15, at the MGM Grand Theater at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The WCMMA will feature both nation vs. nation team competition as well as individual title fights.
On this card, Team USA, coached by Ricardo Liborio, will face Team Portugal, coached by Kleber Repolho. A heavyweight title fight will pit Alexey Oleinik against Mike Stewart (replacing the injured Kelly Anundson).
Three fghters from China will also be competing for WCMMA titles on this card against three American fighters. Wang Sai will fight Brett Oteri for the WCMMA middleweight title, Yao Honggang will fight Dave LaChapelle for the WCMMA featherweight title, and Yang Jianping will fight Bill Jones for the WCMMA lightweight title.
The WCMMA has an ambitious plan of running events in many countries including later this year, establishing franchises in these countries, and building up to an actual World Cup team event in 2017 in Rome, Italy.
We spoke with Edward Catucci Wednesday night by phone about the WCMMA. The values promoted by WCMMA and its positioning stand in contrast to those of many MMA organizations.
The philosophy and mantra of WCMMA, he said in this interview, is "Respect, honor, and discipline." He emphasized, "What we wanted to do is really, truly pay respect to the discipline and art form of mixed martial arts." He views this project as a "public service" which is family-oriented and can influence young people to make "a real positive change, if guided in the right direction."
We thus discussed a lot about the concepts behind the WCMMA, the plans for running WCMMA events for the next several years, plans for television and for an Internet pay-per-view for the September 15 event, and much more.
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