Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization today announced four more fights on the star studded card for the upcoming UFC 84: ILL WILL which features the long-awaited battle for the title of the undisputed king of the 155 pound division between UFC Lightweight Champion BJ “The Prodigy” Penn and former champion Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk. The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization presents UFC 84: ILL WILL live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, May 24, 2008.
Added to the fight card are the following exciting match-ups:
Goran Reljic vs. Wilson Gouveia
Antonio Mendes vs. Thiago Silva
Rousimar Palhares vs. Ivan Salaverry
and Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Sokoudjou
Goran Reljic (7-0-0) 6’3”/205 lbs., fighting out of Zadar, Croatia makes his UFC debut at UFC 84. Reljic trains out of The Roger Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in London, and in 2007, he swept both the 93kg and absolute categories at the European Gracie Jiu Jitsu Championships. The 24-year-old fighter has submitted 5 of his opponents and has had only one fight go to decision. The Croatian last fought in August of 2007 defeating Waldemar Golinski via unanimous decision. Now he will find himself on the big stage up against top ten light heavyweight contender Wilson Gouveia.
Fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla., (10-4-0) 6’1”/205 lb. Gouveia has been around the MMA block a few times in his career, fighting everyone from Jon Fitch to Keith Jardine. But through it all, Gouveia kept his eyes on the prize, knowing that his day would eventually come. After three straight submission wins in the UFC over Wes Combs, Seth Petruzelli, and Carmelo Marrero, and a stellar knock out at UFC 80 of Jason Lambert, the ever-improving Gouveia gets his big shot to move up in the light heavyweight division if he can finish Reljic.
Antonio “Samuray” Mendes (14-2-0) 6’3”/205 lbs., fighting out of Fortaleza, Brazil is on an 11-fight win streak with his last win against Kiril Sidelnikov. This match up against Silva will be the biggest fight of his career and would put him into the running in the stacked light heavyweight division if he can chalk up a win against one of the most aggressive strikers in the game today, Thiago Silva.
Fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil Chute Boxe’s Silva (11-0-0) 6’1”/205 lbs., has been impressive in stopping James Irvin and Tomasz Drwal in his debut fights in the Octagon™. He quickly moved on to yet another fierce first round TKO of Houston Alexander. Silva looks to continue his streak of wins as he takes on his fellow Brazilian, Mendes.
Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares (7-1-0) 185 lbs., fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a highly touted middleweight who trains with the Brazilian Top Team. Palhares is currently riding a five-fight win streak, which includes victories over the likes of Flavio Luiz Moura, Daniel Acacio, and Fabio Negao. The 27-year-old is a noted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner and of his seven victories, four have come via submission. His first opponent in the UFC will be Ivan Salaverry, a longtime MMA veteran.
Fighting out of Seattle, Wash., Salaverry (12-5-1) 6’1”/185 lbs., is one of the premier middleweights in the game today. The Toronto-native, given his ground knowledge, as well as a solid standup attack, has proven to be a rough night out for anyone at 185 pounds. He has defeated such fighters as Andrei Semenov, Tony Fryklund, and Joe Riggs. Beating Salaverry is no easy task, even in the best of circumstances, and this fight with “Toquinho” will be no exception.
Kazuhiro “Kaz” Nakamura (11-7-0) 5’10”/205 lbs., fighting out of Tokyo, Japan, is the owner of wins over Murilo Bustamante, Kevin Randleman, and Igor Vovchanchyn. This protégé of Judo legend and 1992 Olympic gold medalist, Hidehiko Yoshida, has also locked horns with Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, making him one of the most battle-tested veterans at the elite level of the game. Fellow former PRIDE® fighter Sokoudjou will also put up a mean battle that could go the distance.
Sokoudjou (4-2-0) 6’0”/205 lbs., moved to the United States from his native Cameroon in 2001, and by 2004, he had turned his attention to mixed martial arts. He made his MMA debut in 2006, and by 2007 he was brought in to fight in the PRIDE organization. It was there that Sokoudjou truly made his mark as he knocked out world-class light heavyweights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona in consecutive bouts, with neither fight making it out of the second minute. A member of the renowned Team Quest in California, the 23-year old Sokoudjou comes to the Octagon for the second time looking to show the fans of the UFC why he was, and is still, a force to be reckoned with when he takes on “Kaz.”