MONDAY, March 18th, 2002, AT 6:00 PM, PT


Denver Colorado, USA: Friday night, March 15 was a night to remember. Leonard Garcia became ROF's (Ring Of Fire, Mixed Martial Arts) new Lightweight Champion when he armbared Steve Horton in the first round. Lil' Joe Stevenson became the new ROF Rocky Mountain Champion when he kneebared Cruz Chacon in the first round.

The highlight of the night was the featured K-1 Middleweight Tournament. Denver Colorado's Duane "BANG!" Ludwig (Right) defeated Melvin Murray and Ole Laursen to become the first ever K-1 Middleweight North American Champion. BANG! will advance to the finals in Tokyo on May 3rd, where he will compete for $100,000 and the chance to become the first ever K-1 Middleweight Grand Prix Champion.

Here's the action as described by Mr. Michael Afromowitz of MuayThaimes:
It was one of the most anticipated head-to-head matchups between two fighters billed as the hottest rising stars in martial arts. And when it finally happened during the championship round of K-1's premiere middleweight series qualifier in Denver, Colorado on Friday, May 15th, all of the expected fireworks flew before Duane "Bang" Ludwig finally topped rival Ole Laursen in "sudden death" overtime to advance to Japan's Tokyo Dome.

The result came as a shocking turnaround to a bout in which Laursen nearly closed in the first round. After driving a powerful knee strike into Ludwig's ribs that put him on the canvas for several seconds, though, Muay Thai's self-dubbed "thundercat" went on the receiving end of a complete offense that gave Ludwig the following two rounds. The second saw Ludwig deliver both a sharp, straight right punch and a knee to the head of his opponent that appeared to take its toll.

Ludwig's victory of rounds two and three by a margin of 10-9 in each evened up the judges scorecards' and sent the bout into a three-minute overtime. A well-fought round on the part of both fighters was given to Ludwig as was the bout by unanimous decision. The expectation of the four-fighter tournament finale had been well-built up after Ludwig delivered a second-round knockout of opponent Melvin Murray and Laursen answered with a devastating knockout of Canada's Jason Jillain in the first half of the first round. For his efforts, Ludwig was awarded his dream: the opportunity to compete in the Tokyo Dome where the winner of an eight-man playoff scheduled for May 3rd will take home $100,000. More to follow on this hot story….

Here's ALL the nights results of Ring Of Fire Warriors 4...

  1. Kickboxing 150 lbs: Chrisanne Roselip (CO) Defeats Valerie Anthonson (CO) by 3R Decision.

  2. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) 155-170 lbs: Danny Jung (CO) Defeats Sam McFarlin (CO) by 3R Decision.

  3. Kickboxing 205 lbs: Mark Baier (CO) vs Aaron Williams (CO) by exhibition draw.

  4. MMA 155-170 lbs: Thomas Shulte (NM) Defeats TonyKent (CO) by 1R armbar.

  5. MMA 185-205 lbs. Bobby Johnson (OK) Defeats Mario Horta (CO) by 1R rear naked choke.

  6. K-1 RULES 154 lbs: Duane Ludwig (USA) Defeats Melvin Murray (CAN) by 2R KO (knee).

  7. K-1 RULES 154 lbs: Ole Laursen Defeats (USA) Jason Jillain (CAN) by 1R KO (punch).

  8. MMA 170-185 lbs: John Cronk (CO) Defeats Jeff Lindsey (OK) by 1R submission (punches from mount)

  9. MMA 140-155 lbs: Leonard Garcia (TX) Defeats Steve Horton (IL) by 1R armbar.

  10. MMA 170-185 lbs: Joe Stevenson (CA) Defeats Cruz Chacon (CO) by 1R kneebar.

  11. K-1 RULES 154 lbs: Duane Ludwig Defeats Ole Laursen by 4 round (Extra round) decision.

MONDAY, March 11th, 2002, AT 10:50 PM, PT

Robert Coquette
Out of K-1 Middleweights!!!

Coquette suffered an injury while training and fractured his shin. His spot in the tournament will be replaced by Melvin Murray of Surrey,Canada. Murray is a ring veteran with 40 professional fights. In his career he faced some of the best fighters on the circuit including Alex Gong, and Craig "THE BULLET" Buchannon. He is a crafty fighter with lots of experience and should add an interesting twist to the talent filled middleweight tournament.

The K-1 North American Championship will take place on the RING OF FIRE #4 show in Denver, Colorado on March 15th.
For more Info go to www.rof-mma.com

SATURDAY, February 23rd, 2002, AT 1:25 PM, PT

The Upcoming North America
K-1 Middleweight Tournament
Has Plenty Of IKF Talent...

There's no question the upcoming K-1 Middleweight North American qualifying tournament has some top talent in it. All 4 of the fighters in it have either won or hold top titles in the IKF. The Tournament will be a part of IKF. Promoter Sven Bean's "Ring Of Fire 4" on Friday, March 15, 2002 at the Radisson Graystone Castle in Denver Colorado, USA.

Here's a look at the Challengers for the
K-1 North America Middleweight Crown.






The Middleweight tournament will include Ole Laursen (Right) of San Diago, CA, USA via Copenhagen, Denmark. Laursen is currently ranked number 1 in the IKF Pro MuayThai Rules Middleweight division. His Pro record is 7 wins, 4 loses with 3 wins by KO. He is the current IKF Pro MuayThai Rules European Middleweight Champion. He's been fighting professionally for only three years but has quickly moved to the top. He's traveled, trained, and fought all over the world refining and perfecting his unmatchable technique and power. He was born in 1977 in the Philippines to a Danish father and Filipino mother, and raised in Denmark by his mother. His brother Christian Laursen was a Danish and Scandinavian professional MuayThai champion.

Christian encouraged him at the age of 15 to begin training in MuayThai but Ole didn't study it seriously until joining the army at the age of 18. The turning point for him came when he defeated the Danish amateur champ by knockout. This event caused him to devote himself to MuayThai in hopes of becoming the best fighter in the world. Ole continued fighting as an amateur along with his brother for only one year, both brothers winning all fights by knockouts.

He then moved to Thailand to train and turn professional. As a professional, he trained under Sam Lung who Ole credits with giving him the tools to be a disciplined MuayThai fighter. In 2000, he won the IKF Pro European Middleweight title over Eval Denton (Pictured left, L-R: Eval, IKF European Director Alby Bimpson & Ole) from England, in England by split decision.

Next in the mix is Duane "BANG" Ludwig (Left & Right) of Aurora, Colorado, USA. Ludwig has been known to the IKF for quite sometime now. As a Pro, he's currently ranked number 2 behind Laursen in the IKF Middleweight MuayThai Division. He has a Pro record of 7 wins with only 1 loss and an amateur record of 12 wins, 2 loses with 8 wins coming by KO or TKO.

Our first view of Ludwig was on June 5th, 1999 in Orlando Florida, USA when he suffered 1 of his only 3 career loses in kickboxing/MuayThai. In Orlando, Ludwig met Tony Haddockof Orlando Florida to fight for the International Rules (Leg kicks, no knees) Light Middleweight U. S. Amateur Title. In round 2 of that bout, Haddock unloaded a blistering left hook that quickly dropped Ludwig to the canvas. Ludwig stood up as IKF Referee Dan Stell started the count but once up, he fell back into the ropes and it was obvious he was not able to continue. Stell stopped the championship bout at :51 seconds into the second round. At the time, Ludwig made it clear he only wanted to fight MuayThai Rules bouts. Why? The "ONLY" 2 bouts Ludwig lost as an Amateur were International Rules bouts. (Leg kicks, no knees) Ludwig's only other loss came in Calgary Alberta Canada to Trevor Desjarlais. Proving this in true form, in August of 1999 he redeemed himself as expected in a MuayThai Rules Championship bout when he captured the vacant IKF United States Super Middleweight Amateur Muay Thai Title with a unanimous decision win over Terrace James of Albq. New Mexico, 50-46, 50-46 & 50-45. He went on a month later to be one of the first ever IKF USA National Amateur "Tournament" Champions at the very first IKF USA National Championships in September of 1999 where he won the Light Middleweight MuayThai Rules U.S. Title.

Ludwig's only other loss in his Kickboxing career was against seasoned Pro MuayThai fighter and ISKA World Champion, Alex Gong (Right) as an undercard on the K-1 Event in Las Vegas last year. The bout was for Gong's Title and if not for the half point scoring system, Ludwig may have pulled off a major upset. Ludwig has since made it clear he wanted a rematch with Gong for his World Title, but from what we've been told, no rematch has been offered.

Befor Gong Ludwig had pro wins over Terrace James again, Steven Berkolyko, Sean Himes, then Bryan Poejoy, another fighter then Gong. After gong he defeated a fighter from France, on the Warriors Cup 3 show. As of today, his pro record stands at 8 wins and 1 loss. Ludwig also has a lot of experience in MMA/NHB with a record of 11 wins and 2 loses. He turned down an offer from the UFC to take the K-1 fight as well since it is his DREAM.

So what's stopping Ludwig from fighting for the IKF MuayThai Rules Middleweight World Title? The same thing that's stopping everyone else... A fighter by the name of Kongnapa, (Left) who was not allowed to compete in the North American K-1 Middleweight event because he's a Thai. Kind of a shame he and others aren't allowed to compete. Ludwig would have been happy to meet Gong in the tournament, but he didn't want to be in it. So instead of a Ludwig Vs Gong fight or Ludwig Vs Kongnapa possibility, Ludwig will make the better financial decision in his career, to put aside a shot at a "World" title and go for the money in the Tournament. Not just any tournament though, he hopes to make it all the way to Japan for the Big Show! If he wins it all in, he gets a check for $100,000, and we all know, it would take a lot of World Title bouts to come anywhere close to that kind of cash.

Next in line is IKF number 3 ranked Pro MuayThai Middleweight fighter and former IKF Pro MuayThai Middleweight World Champion, Robert Coquette (Right) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Coquete and Laursen (Above) have something in common, they have both beaten Eval Denton of England for an IKF title.

Coquete won his IKF Title by unanimous decision over Eval Denton of England, 48-47, 49-46 & 48-47 in Winnipeg, Matitoba Canada on February 12th, 2000. There's a little confusion as to why he no longer holds his IKF World Title though. Coquete was challenged in the Spring of 2000 to re-match Denton in England but his trainer, Arthur Pereira, wanted too high of a purse (Wanted $6,000 when first time defenders can only demand $2,500 or the average of their last 3 fights, which was less) and the bout offer was dropped. Coquete was later challenged by former IKF Pro MuayThai North American Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Sawyer (Left) of Alberta, Canada. Since there were negotiation problems with the last challenge for his title, this time the IKF stepped in to require Coquete accept the challenge for the minimum "First Challenge Purse" of $2,500.00. His trainer, Pereira came in with several other issues why he didn't want Coquete to fight Sawyer along with being verbally abusive to everyone involved.

After a long process of trying to make the match work, Coquete himself choose to vacate the title and move up in weight. However, if you ask us, it was his trainer, Pereira who really lost Coquete his title. With the title sitting vacant, it was eventually won by Kongnapa. "We feel it was just bad management that led to Coquete vacating his title." Says IKF President Steve Fossum. "There was no question he wanted to fight Denton or Sawyer, or whoever we wanted him to. But there were just too many issues between his trainer/manager Pereira and Sawyer's trainer/manager Mike Miles (Right). Not with Miles, but with Pereira. It was another case where a great fighter becomes the victim of bad management." Coquete has an overall fight record of 21 wins, 2 loses and 1 draw.

Last but certainly not least we have the currently number 1 IKF Ranked Junior Middleweight and current IKF Pro MuayThai Rules North American Junior Middleweight Champion Jason Jillain (Right) out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Jillain is trained by Mike Miles (Above right) and has an overall fight record of 28 wins, 8 loses, 1 draw with 14 wins coming by KO or TKO. He is also a former (1997) IKF Canadian Amateur MuayThai Rules Welterweight Champion. Jillian won his IKF Amateur Title on June 14th, 1997 by unanimous decision over Dave Zuniga, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 48-47, 48-47 49-46 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. turning Pro in 2000, he won his IKF Pro North American MuayThai Rules Title against James Cook (Left) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. For 5 full 3 minute rounds these two went at it toe to toe. In the end, Jillain took the advantage by a unanimous decision victory, 49-46, 48-47 and 50-46.







Advanced Tickets for this event are, Reserved $40.00, General Admission $25.00 and all $5.00 more at the door. The doors will open at 6:30 PM with the first bout (Undercard to the Middleweight Tournament) starting at 7:30 PM. Only 18 and Over are allowed at this event.

Additional info for this event contact Promoter Sven Bean by e-mail at beanz4@msn.com.