Martial Arts (MMA) event will return to the Blaisdell Center Arena on Oahu, May 7, 2005. Bringing together world-class headliners in the sport today to Hawai'i's island paradise, Rumble World Entertainment (RWE) plans to bring another action-packed, star-studded, and Hawaiian-themed event to Hawai'i's broad MMA fan base.
A total of nine fights are scheduled for the night with the main event featuring original UFC bad boy and self-proclaimed "White Mike Tyson," David "Tank" Abbott against Hawai'i's own Wesley "Cabbage" Correira. The two will step into the cage to settle bad blood from a previous match. Hilo boy BJ Penn will also be in attendance to make an official announcement on who his next scheduled opponent will be.
ROTR's most recent event, ROTR 6 (November 2004), was possibly the biggest production the Blaisdell Center Arena had seen since Elvis Presley's 1973 Aloha from Hawai'i concert, selling over 8,000 tickets and causing some fight publications and MMA web sites to call it the most anticipated MMA card in the U.S. in recent years.
RWE is encouraging fans to get their tickets early. ROTR 6 drew record numbers, selling out five full days before the event. In an effort to open up more seats for Hawai'i fans, RWE shrank the mainstage and opened up 1,500 more seats, which then sold out within 48 hours. To JD Penn, RWE's president, this is a sign of the sport's popularity.
According to Penn, "Our goal is to bring the best athletes in the sport here to compete in the largest MMA event in Hawai'i. MMA is exciting for people of all ages and we want to cultivate its popularity globally and share it with the people of Hawai'i. We also hope to break down a lot of the misconceptions people have about our sport because there's a lot of unnecessary controversy surrounding it. This sport is progressive, it's powerful and it's exciting. MMA is the future entertainment for the masses and RWE is here to help it reach epic proportions," he said.
On Friday, May 6th, fighter weigh-ins and a press conference will be held at the Ala Moana Centerstage at 2pm. Fans and media will have the opportunity to meet the fighters and their trainers and find out what strategies they have in store. Interested media will also have the opportunity to interview fighters pre and/or post event upon request. The May 7th event will be held at the Blaisdell Center Arena, doors will open at 6:30pm. Tickets, which go on sale Monday, April 18th, are priced at $35 and $70, with cage side seating priced between $150 and $300 They can be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or at any Ticketmaster location. MMA enthusiasts who cannot attend the event in person will have the opportunity to purchase certain fights on Pay-Per-View over the Internet - an option RWE has not offered in previous events.
The event will host the returns of UFC veterans David "Tank" Abbott (8-10), Wesley "Cabbage" Correira (13-7), Kimo Leopoldo (17-0), Ricco "Suave" Rodriguez (13-4) and Charuto Verissimo (4-2). Former football star Marcus "The Monster" Royster will make his ROTR debut at 6"8, 360 lbs against Kimo Leopoldo. Royster is being dubbed the biggest MMA athlete to ever compete professionally in Hawai'i. Other fights planned for ROTR 7 include: