Schultz Finds Security with Sengoku


International Fight League lightweight champion Ryan Schultz (Pictures) ended his search for professional stability in the open arms of the Japan-based Sengoku promotion.

Schultz has agreed to a five-event deal with Sengoku that begins with his participation in an eight-man lightweight grand prix on Aug. 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The deal could span six fights if Schultz reaches the final of the tournament. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The married 31-year-old father of one has not competed in the Land of the Rising Sun in more than two years but cited the need for financial security as a pivotal factor in his decision to sign on Sengoku’s dotted line.

“It’s huge; I have a family,” Schultz said. “I have a kid who’s relying on me. Plus, [Sengoku] made it worth my time. Knowing I’m guaranteed money over a certain amount of time … I really like that. It’s all laid out for me.”

Schultz (20-9-1) will square off with Mizuto Hirota (Pictures) in the opening round of the grand prix next month. A protégé of 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland (Pictures), Schultz will enter the draw with six consecutive wins, a streak that includes his memorable TKO victory over then undefeated Chris Horodecki (Pictures) in December. Hirota, a veteran of the Cage Force and Shooto promotions, has never been finished in 11 career bouts. He has knocked out his last three opponents.

“I don’t really know too much about him,” Schultz said. “I looked him up a little. It sounds like he comes to throw, and I kind of like that matchup.”

Still the only man to defeat streaking UFC lightweight contender Roger Huerta (Pictures), Schultz likes his chances in the tournament, which includes former Deep champion Kazunori Yokota (Pictures), Pride Fighting Championships veteran Eiji Mitsuoka (Pictures), King of the Cage mainstay Clay French (Pictures) and the fast-rising Rodrigo Damm (Pictures).

“I think it’s going to be tough, but I definitely think I have a chance of winning it,” Schultz said. “I’m coming to win. I respect the guys who are in it, but I think I can beat anybody in the world.”

Schultz’s departure -- along with other notable fighters and top executives, Senior Vice President of Communications Joe Favorito among them -- provides further evidence of the IFL’s imminent demise. Schultz has not competed since he successfully defended his belt with a unanimous decision victory against Lithuanian Deividas Taurosevicius (Pictures) in May.

“The IFL did the best they could with what they had,” Schultz said. “Unfortunately, they went under. It’s part of the game. A lot of shows start up and go under.”

The team-based promotion injected new life into Schultz’s career, as he entered the IFL with losses in four of his previous five bouts. Television exposure on MyNetworkTV, Fox Sports Net and HDNet proved invaluable for the Nebraskan, who has followed knockout losses to Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski (Pictures) in 2006 with six consecutive wins. When the IFL started its sink, suitors were not hard to find.

“The IFL put me on the map again,” Schultz said. “They gave me huge exposure and allowed me to fight for the belt. As soon as it went out that I had been freed up from the IFL, I started getting calls, and it kind of went from there.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related

Related News

  • 19 days ago
  • 14 views

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is not convinced Khabib Nurmagomedov can handle a 25-minute fight against him. Although Khabib Nurmagomedov can certainly talk a big game, Anthony Pettis is no read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 0 views

Sergio Pettis will join his brother, lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, on the fight card for UFC 185 in Dallas. read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 7 views

Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and No. 2-ranked division contender, Daniel Cormier, kicked off their fight week promotional duties earlier this evening with a media conference call ahead of the read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC welterweight and former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine is out of his UFC Fight Night 60 bout with Matt Brown with a groin injury. MMA Junkie was the first to report about the read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 33 views

LAS VEGAS -- UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones spoke to the media Wednesday about his UFC 182 main event fight opposite Daniel Cormier, whether he lied to the Nevada Athletic Commission about read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 231 views

LAS VEGAS - Ben Askren is the undisputed, pound-for-pound champion of trolling the UFC. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the latest to respond to one of the undefeated OneFC welterweight t read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 388 views

UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones responded to Ben Askren's tweet poking fun at his wrestling achievements. Several days ago, One FC welterweight champion Ben Askren took it upon himself to po read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 23 views

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Daniel Cormier will fight in the main event at Saturday's UFC 182, but haven't stopped their squabbling. Despite a tepid staredown, the two con read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 632 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will send lightweight "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone into battle against undefeated 155-pound sensation Myles Jury in the UFC 182 co-main event, which pops off later ton read news >>