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Old 05-05-2004, 11:11 PM #1
Curly Howard
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773-793-6555 in the Chicago area
or 219-688-7363 in Northwest Indiana.

Saturday, June 5, 2004
Doors open at 5:00 PM; Show begins promptly at 7:00
5825 Sohl Avenue - Hammond, IN

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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.


Tommy Lee, of Gilbert Grappling is another local hero, born and bred in Illinois where he has developed quite a following in the wake of his many strong performances. In order to further his ranking on the U.S. Shooto circuit, Ironheart promoters agreed to fly Christian Allen in from Denver, Colorado to face Lee in a preliminary match which will ultimately lead to the crowning of a Shooto Americas Champion. While relatively unknown on the MMA scene, Allen is a well rounded fighter with a 13-3 record in thai boxing to complement a 52-0 record in submission grappling. His MMA record thus far is 3-1. When Lee bowed out of the match, Santoro quickly replaced him with Antonio Carlvalho, a heavy-hitting Canadian from the Shah Franco Team. Carvalho has fought in every major Canadian production and remains undefeated. A heavy striker as well as a strong grappler, he matches up well with Christian Allen, making this a match to look out for!


Joe Jordan and Mike Haltom are both Class-A shootors who were slated to meet head to head in another preliminary towards the Shooto Americas title. When Jordan was injured, Ryan Ackerman quickly stepped up to fill his shoes. While Ackerman hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he has developed an avid fan base in the Chicago area due to his aggressive style backed with sound technique at all ranges. Haltom, equally skilled, is more than up to the challenge.


Keith Hackney's school seems to be churning out hard-nose fighters in mass quantities in recent years. Rafal Piszcek is the latest of these, returning to the IHC ring after a recent victory over Jay Buck at the Extreme Challenge, he was set to face a relatively unknown fighter in Jake Ambrose. When Jake suffered a knee injury, John Renken stepped up to the plate. With well over fifty fights in several different countries, Renken is one of the most experienced fighters out there. And, with victories over both Keith Wisniewski and Curtis Stout, he has proven that he is a threat to any man in the ring.


Many of the highly anticipated bouts are still set to go on as scheduled. Local favorites Miguel Torres and Mustafa Hussaini will lock horns to determine who's the best at 132 pounds in the Chicago area. The crowd-pleasing Henry Matamoros of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is still on track to face the Rick Davis, a rising Shooto sensation out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay Buck and Keith Wisniewski will still meet in yet another highly anticipated bout, and Terry Martin and Bill Hill will finally face one another on the June 5th card.

As a bonus to top it all off, another match has been added to the card. The monstrous Jeff Monson, two time Abu Dhabi world champion and an undefeated professional boxer will journey from his home in Miami, Florida to face Don Richards, fighting out of Detroit, Michigan.

The Ironheart Crown wishes the best of luck to the fighters who have left to pursue greater endeavors. To those that have been injured, we send you our wishes for a fast and full recovery. But in spite of the major setbacks, the show must go on... and indeed it will. While a number of big names have fallen from the card, they have been swiftly replaced with enough talent to maintain the anticipation that had been set by the original card.

The Ironheart Crown will take place on Saturday, June 5th at the Hammond Civic Center Arena, just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. Tickets are on sale now, and a limited number of ringside seats are available. For tickets and information, call 773-793-6555 or visit us on the web at [Link View Has Been Removed. Click Here To Unlock This Content.]
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:27 PM #2
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:12 AM #3
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