IRONHEART CROWN VII: THE CRUCIBLE
Dream card falls apart...
...Then rises again, better than before!
CHICAGO, IL - After putting together what many have argued would have been the strongest card ever featured in the Midwest, the Ironheart Crown has gone through major setbacks within a matter of weeks. Headliner Curtis Stout withdrew from his commitment to pursue an opportunity with the UFC. Local stand-out Tommy Lee was also approached with a lucrative offer from TKO, also causing him to withdraw from the card. Top ranked Shooto competitors Jason Ireland and Joe Jordan have both suffered injuries then preclude their participation in the upcoming show. Local favorites Jake Ambrose, Davion Peterson, Freddie Santos, and Jason Bender were also forced to withdraw for various reasons. Within a period of seventeen days, virtually every bout on the card was hit, and several of the most highly anticipated fights were now in jeopardy.
Undaunted by these devastating blows, Shooto Commissioners Rich Santoro and Randy Erickson picked up the phone and hit the streets in search of replacements, coming up with a new - and arguably IMPROVED line-up which promises to be every bit as exciting as the first.
Keith Hackney protege Gideon Ray is perhaps the best kept secret in the Midwest with furiously fast hands, fancy footwork, high kicks, and keen grappling skills. He was a key element on this card, and Curtis Stout seemed like the ideal opponent for him until Stout announced that he had taken a fight with the UFC instead. While Stout was inarguably a worthy opponent, it seems that Gideon may have an even tougher match on his hands in Jason Black.
Black boasts an undefeated record with 19 victories to his name. He is a key member of the Miletich team and a feature fighter in Monte Cox's stable of world-class athletes. If Gideon expects to display any of his striking skills, he will have to contend with the near-unstoppable takedowns of this incredible grappler.
Stephan Bonnar is the flagship fighter of Carlson Gracie's new Chicago team. Undefeated in local competition with four of his six wins by submission and another by TKO, he was another essential component of the upcoming Ironheart Crown card. When Davion Peterson dropped out, he was replaced with an opponent that promises to bring a truckload of emotion to the ring. Moacir "Boca" Oliveira is a world champion with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As a member of the Florida-based American Top Team, he has strong ties to former members of the original Carlson Gracie Team in Brazil. This match essentially pits the new Carlson Team against the old in a bout that is sure to cause a commotion.