From my inbox:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2010
SHINE FIGHTS ANNOUNCES BOUT BETWEEN
GRAPPLING ACES BRAULIO ESTIMA AND RICK HAWN
Bout will take place at "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas"
Miami, FL (USA): Shine Fight Promotions (Shine Fights) today announced the official signing of another main card bout for its upcoming "WORLDS COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS. THOMAS" event, as 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club 88-kilogram/Absolute division champion and Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom Braulio Estima (0-0) will make his MMA debut against 2004 Olympic judo competitor Rick Hawn (6-0). The fight will be contested at a catchweight of 175 lbs. "WORLDS COLLIDE" will emanate live at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina on May 15th, and will be broadcasted on pay-per-view.
This highly-anticipated bout will pit two fighters considered to be amongst the best in the world at their respective crafts. Estima is a BJJ black belt, and is the head instructor and owner of the Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Birmingham, England. His submission competition achievements include winning the CBJJ World Championship in 2004, 2006, and 2009, the Absolute World Cup Championship in 2006, the European CBJJ Absolute Championships in 2006 and 2009, as well as being the ADCC 2007 silver medalist. At ADCC 2009, Estima won both the under-88 kg and Absolute division championships, defeating DREAM veteran Andre Galvao and Sengoku veteran Xande Ribeiro in the respective finals. Called "the breakout star" of the 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club tournament by Sherdog, the 6’3", 190 lb. native of Brazil shocked the grappling community by submitting submission legend Marcelo Garcia, in addition to defeating Galvao and Ribiero on his way to the under-88 kg and Absolute division championships. Also labeled "one of grappling’s most underrated and overlooked competitors" by Sherdog, Estima is a multiple-time World, European and Pan-American grappling champion.
In regards to his opponent, Estima said, "I've seen a couple of fights and he's a tough kid. He's very strong, very explosive. I'm not expecting an easy fight at all. He's a top judo player in the world, so he's an athlete himself. Whoever makes fewer mistakes will win. He already has experience in MMA, 6-0. He has a pretty good advantage in the cage, but I'm going to try work myself in a situation where this won't affect me."
The 33 year-old Hawn is also a celebrated grappler with many decorations and distinctions in his field of combat. The 5’9," 170 lb. Massachusetts native splits his training time between Pedro’s Judo Center and Team Sityodtong. He placed 9th Place at the 2004 Olympic Games, and was a 2007 World Team member. His other grappling accomplishments include his being a four-time U.S. National Champion, a four-time U.S. Open bronze medalist, and garnering a 2007 Pan Am Games bronze medal. Hawn is also undefeated in MMA, and has finished four of his six opponents in the first round. He presents a very tall order for Estima’s first MMA opponent.
About Estima, Hawn said, "I'm looking forward to the fight with Estima. Even though he is new to MMA, he has extensive ground skills that will require me to elevate my game. I am more than ready for the challenge. It's not much of a surprise that I want to keep the fight standing with him if possible. This is MMA though, and anything can happen. Either way, I'm going to be well prepared and take advantage of my experience and strengths."
Shine Fights is extremely elated to bring the MMA world a match between world-class grapplers such as Braulio Estima and Rick Hawn. "Braulio and Rick bring ground credentials to the cage that few can match. I expect this to be an amazing fight, and I think it’s going to surprise many fight fans," stated Shine matchmaker Ron Foster. "Estima has been working diligently on his striking, and Hawn TKO’d four of his six opponents. ‘WORLDS COLLIDE’ just got even more interesting!"
This ground-fighting dream bout joins the previously announced main event between former boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga and MMA veteran Din Thomas as well as the co-main event between former EliteXC star Murilo "Ninja" Rua and Falaniko Vitale on the May 15th card. "WORLDS COLLIDE" is taking place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC, and will be beamed on PPV on cable and satellite in the United States and Canada. The event will be broadcasted in High-Definition, and it will be available in both English and Spanish (where available). The broadcast will broadcasted starting at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT by MultiVision Media, Inc. There will be a 30-minute countdown show prior to the live event at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT. The event will be available for $29.95. Tickets may be obtained by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420, or online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Crown Coliseum Box Office. For box office hours and more info, please call (910) 438-4100.