Legends of the fight game on Las Vegas Hilton Fight Card

October 12, 2011 No Comments

Dewey Cooper (L) is right on the mark.

If this were a rock concert, you’d be asking, “How can they possibly afford to have so many big names on the same bill?”

If this were a special op group asked to go behind enemy lines to retrieve some American prisoners, you’d feel confident in their success. The latest WCK Muay Thai show at the Las Vegas Hilton on October 22 has recruited the heavy-hitters.


 

Here’s a short list of Saturday’s headliners: Mighty Mo, Rick Roufus, Dewey Cooper, Lerdsila “Mr. Lightning” plus three young ladies, Lena Ovchynnikova, Tiffany Van Soest and Cong Wang; the aforementioned will surely deep-six any memory you have of Charlie’s Angels.

Also on the Undercard, they added a formidable group of up and comers to challenge the phenoms visiting from China. That’s a manifest that promises many entertaining bouts.

A brief rundown of the folklore surrounding our headliners:

Mighty Mo

Silala “Mighty Mo” Siliga, an American Samoan, made his K-1 debut on February 15, 2004 in the “K-1 Burning” event in Japan against a guy by the name of Hiraku Hori. He knocked Mr. Hori out at 1:22 of the 4th round.

After losing in the semifinals at his first 8-man tournament in Las Vegas against fellow American Dewey Cooper, Mo made a comeback four months later at the Battle of Bellagio II, winning his first K-1 GP Championship by knocking out Brecht Wallis in the finals.

On March 4, 2007, Mo, who stands six foot, 3/4” tall traveled to Yokohama, Japan to face Choi Hong-manof Korea, a 7’2” behemoth who had never been knocked out. Mo KO’d the giant with his trademark overhand right.

You gotta believe when you're going up against the big boys, right Mighty Mo?

At the time, it was considered to be the record for the “Biggest height differential win” (33 cm) resulting in a KO in the history of the fighting sports. To put his fete in perspective, Nikolai Valuev at 213 cm, is 28 cm taller than Ruslan Chagaev at 185 cm.

On December 31, 2007, at the K-1 Dynamite Tournament in Osaka, his record was surpassed by Danish Karate fighter Nicholas Pettas (180 cm), who was able to KO the 217 cm Korean Kim Young-hyun (their height difference, 37 cm).

A few of the Mighty Mo highlights

On April 28, 2007, Mo entered the K-1 World GP Tournament in Hawaii. After knocking out all three of his opponents, he earned himself a spot in the K-1 World GP Eliminator. June 23, 2007, he lost to the defending K-1 Super Heavyweight Champion Semmy Schilt. Rumors surfaced that Mo was nursing both a knee and a hand injury from previous fights. After all, he had fought seven times over a four month period.

Mighty Mo enjoys a moment with his fans.

In 2010, he replaced Andrei Arlovski at the K-1 World Grand Prix in Seoul against Romanian Raul Catinas and won by unanimous decision. As a result, he became the only American to ever make it into the K-1 World Grand Prix Final. K-1 is the combat sport that combines the techniques of Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Kick Boxing, Savate, and Boxing.

The 280 pound super heavyweight, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, is trained by Eddie Mills and fights out of Millennia MMA and Sit Rama Soon Muay Thai. On Saturday, October 22 this 41 year-old legend will return to face Rick Roufus who is 45.

In his younger days, Rick Roufus was the intimidator.

Rick “The Jet” Roufus, born June 3, 1966 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was just four years-old when his father took him to his first Karate class. He’s now married, has three children and lives in the Phoenix area. He trains at The MMA Lab in nearby Glendale.

After fighting all over the planet in 103 bouts, even in Paris, France, he said “My scoreboard reads, 63-9-1 as a Kickboxer, 14-5-1 as a boxer, and 5-5 in MMA. I’m no longer that brash kid, the guard has changed and I’m very excited to be fighting.”

Roufus is considered by many as the most decorated North American kickboxer in the history of the sport.

Rick Roufus took you on no matter how big you were. Roufus (left) gets in a head shot on Taro Akebono, a former Grand Champion of Sumo Wrestling, during the third round of their K-1 Battle of Bellagio III, in Las Vegas. Roufus won the fight by an unanimous decision.

“Once I got started in Karate,” said Roufus, “it was like ice cream. I could never get enough of it. I competed on the national circuit and soon earned a Black Belt. After starting to box, I competed in the Junior Olympics and Golden Gloves, and then went on to win the WBC’s Continental Americas Cruiserweight title but I never got a shot at the world title.”

The jacket he wears on his ring entrance speaks volumes of the love he has for his wife Michelle.

The former pro Boxer, Mixed Martial Artist, is now back competing in his specialty, Muay Thai Kickboxing.

The six time world champion (in two weight classes) under the International Kickboxing Federation Pro Full Contact Rules won the Light Heavyweight Title at Caesars Lake Tahoe Casino on January 22, 1994 and the IKF Pro International Rules Heavyweight Title on May 15, 1999 when he defeated Stan Longinidis of Boxhill, Victoria, Australia by TKO in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Rick Roufus with his lovely wife Michelle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another headliner is none other than Dewey “the Black Kobra” Cooper who’s originally from Los Angeles but now calls Las Vegas home. On November 10th, this man about town will turn 36.

After you check out his Facebook page, you can see the former big time player is starting to settle down, become more of family man with just one special lady.

No matter which subject you throw at him, he’ll speaks volumes and quite eloquently. He has this amazing ability, like a chameleon, to pick up on any subject whether it be motivational in nature, music, poetry, sports, politics, you name it. Over the years he has done it all, from the karate, the boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, modeling, on stage entertainer, writing, and public speaking.

Proud father spends some quality time with one his two daughters, Shaolin.

Also on his Facebook page, he’s displayed many of his poems and once you start reading them, you can’t stop.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, “No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.”

Dewey Cooper has those qualities in his prose.

Dewey Cooper's Hall of Fame induction ceremony was one of the highlights of his career.

Cooper’s coach is Nick Blomgren and they train at “the infamous” One Kick’s Gym in Vegas.

Coming from Los Angeles and being one of eight children, he learned early the importance of being competitive. He’s played most every sport imaginable and excelled in football (as a wide receiver), basketball, baseball, track, and karate.

Dewey Cooper (R) has a great many connections, some of them, like this gent, Dana White, are in very high places.

He first started going to the gym when he was 10. His overall record: 48-12 as a kickboxer, 18-3-3, 10 KOs as a professional boxer and 2-1 as a Mixed Martial Artist.

Aside from his daughters, Crystal and Shaolin, Cooper is most proud of his 2008 induction into the Master of Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame. The belts he’s held include a WKC and WFF World Title.

Of the many trips he’s taken, he really enjoys going to China to train, to see the sights and enjoy the beautiful people.

If you like nonstop action, with the high flying kicks and knees to the face, you have to see LerdsilaMr. Lightning” in action against Li Ning. They are so light on their feet, at times it will appear as though they’re flying.

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