November 16, 2008

Larson to rematch for PFC title

St. Paul's Isiah Larson (6-1) will travel to California this week to rematch with PFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jorge Oliveria (3-2-1). The fight will be the main event of PFC 11 and broadcast live on this Thursday night.

Larson, a member of Team Bison, fought Oliveria at PFC 9 on July 18. The fight was declared a no-contest. During the third round Larson went for a takedown of Oliveria and both fighters slipped through the ropes. Larson came down on top of Oliveria and after several minutes the fight was declared a no-contest due to an Oliveria rib injury.

Controversy swirls around PFC 9

LEMOORE, CA. — A Palace Fighting Championship title belt did not change hands during the PFC 9 mixed martial arts show Friday night at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino.

But Isaiah Larson felt like that would have happened if a freak event had not halted his PFC light heavyweight title match vs. champion Jorge Oliveira.

The scheduled five-round bout was declared a no contest after Oliveira suffered a rib injury early in the third round.

"My game plan was working very well,'' Larson said. "I was doing everything I wanted to do.''

What Larson (6-1) wanted to do early in the third round was score a takedown against the ropes. But when he lifted Oliveira, the latter slipped through the ropes and both fighters fell on to a rail outside the ring. Larson landed on top of Oliveira, who took several minutes to regain his feet and then declared he could not continue.

Since the bout did not go three full rounds — the number needed to render a technical decision via the scorecards — Oliveira (6-2-1) retained his title via the no contest. The bout officially ended at 0:36 of the third.

"Isaiah Larson and Jorge Oiveira will rematch in November at PFC 11. Jorge was legitimately injured during their spill out of the ring. You never want to see something like that in a championship bout, one that was shaping up to be a great fight but it can happens," PFC President Christian Printup said. "Isaiah Larson is a tough dude, we knew that coming in. He wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to challenge for the title if he wasn't championship material. In November, they can finish their business."

Larson, a St. Paul, Minn. fighter, wasn't sure the fight-ending incident was purely an accident.

"I felt like he was giving in, like he was trying to get out of the ring to avoid a takedown,'' Larson said.

Larson gave up four inches in height to the sleek Brazilian, but he was surprisingly effective trading blows at long range and more than held his own on the ground with Oliveira — a Muay Thai/Jiu Jitsu specialist.

"I know people thought I was some patsy from Minnesota, but I'm nobody's patsy,'' said Larson, who controlled part of the first round, most of the second, and the early seconds of the third.

Oliveira apologized to the fans over the public address system for not being able to continue, and said he had been prepared to go the five-round distance.

"I was just getting warmed up,'' Oliveira said. "There were still two more rounds to go.''
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