Blanco Departs Sengoku, Enters Talks with Zuffa, Bellator


Maximo Blanco could be headed stateside. | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com


Maximo Blanco is no longer under contract with Sengoku Raiden Championship promoter World Victory Road.

The 27-year-old Venezuelan lightweight has parted ways with the Japanese organization and, having recently signed with American management company SuckerPunch Entertainment, is eying a move stateside in 2011. Sherdog.com learned Wednesday from a source close to the fighter that SuckerPunch is already engaged in talks with UFC and Strikeforce parent company Zuffa, LLC, and Bellator Fighting Championships regarding Blanco’s services.

A former lightweight King of Pancrase, Blanco has won six straight bouts. Known for his explosiveness and powerful strikes, “Maxi” made his Sengoku debut in 2009, finishing Seigo Inoue with stomps just 38 seconds into their contest. Blanco fought four times in 2010, collecting technical knockouts of Rodrigo Damm, Kiuma Kunioku and Chang Hyun Kim.

Most recently, the Pan-American Games freestyle wrestling bronze medalist earned a unanimous decision over South Korean prospect Won Sik Park at SRC’s “Soul of Fight” in December. The victory marked the first time Blanco had seen the judges’ scorecards as a professional.

Tony Loiseleur contributed to this report.

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