The FFC is comking back to Tunica and I'll be there again. There are rumors that some of the TNF crew will be heading down there with me which could make for an interesting weekend to say the least. This tournament, held on September 24th at The Grand Casino, will feature the 170 lbers, 8 of them to be exact. More than likely they will also announce 1 or 2 superbouts to give the fighters time to rest between rounds of the tournament. The 8 fighters who are competing in the tournament break down like this....
Kurt Pellegrino 8-1-0 Miami, Florida As member of the vaunted American Top Team, you can expect Pellegrino to be among the best prepared fighters in the tournament. He has trained with some of the finest Jiu-jitsu fighters in the including Renzo Gracie and Richardo Almieda, and had his boxing skills honed former Olympic Gold Medallist and World Champion Howard Davis.
Jake “Man of Steel” Short 9-7-0 Detroit, MI. Former AAU Greco Roman All American, Short is one of the gamest fighters in the 170lb division. A three time FFC Veteran, Short has faced the pressure of a big fight and has a great style to go deep into the tournament. Solid wrestling skills and an ever-improving striking game.
Chris Conley 1-1 Birmingham, AL. One of the most well rounded fighters in the tournament. Conley feels comfortable on his feet as well as on the ground. He is constantly looking for a way to finish the fight and that makes him one of the most exciting fighters you will ever see.
Derek Keasley 2-0 Detroit, MI. Another tough young fighter from the Motor City. Trained by Mash Team Founder James Lee, Keasley comes in well versed in wrestling, submissions and Muay Thai Kickboxing. Great athlete, very durable.
Dustin Hazellett 2-0 Cincinnati, OH. Haslett burst onto the pro scene last June by scoring an impressive victory over the heavily regarded Jason Ireland. Making the victory more amazing was the fact that he choked out a notoriously great ground fighter in the first round. Fast finishing skills are a must for a tournament fighter, and Haslett has definitely got them.
John David Shackleford 6-0 Memphis, TN Temporarily put his fighting career on hold to compete in Sport Jiu-jitsu tournaments. Years of specific submission training at the famed Memphis Judo and Jiu-jitsu academy have honed his skills and many consider him to be the best pure submission artist in the tournament.
Nick Thompson 17-8-1 Minneapolis, MN. Thompson has moved down from the 185lb division. Thompson won the FFC Middleweight Tournament held last September at Caesars Indiana and you can bet that the experience gained there will be valuable. A solid striker with a wrestling background at 170 pounds he could be a terror.
Victor Moreno 7-3 Desmoine, IA. Like Thompson, he recently moved down from the 185lb division. A strong grapple who finishes 60% of his fights via submission. He is a veteran of the midwest fight circuit so he is no stranger to a tough fight.
Figher bios obtained from www.FFC.tv
It's difficult to find solid information on these up and coming fighters. I will go with Jake Short in this tournament just because I believe he's been in the ring/cage with a better group of fighters. Short has a notable win over TUF 2's Melvin Guillard and a notable loss against TUF 1 champ Diego Sanchez. Nick Thompson should be in there in the end as well. His most notable win comes against Brian Gassaway (loser to Diego Sanchez in UFC 54), Thompson has kept himself incredibly busy this year with 10 fights already, posting a 7-3 record since January 2005.