Travis Galbraith to Take on Ninja Rua
Shine Fight Promotions (Shine Fights) today announced the official signing of the penultimate bout for its upcoming “WORLDS COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS. THOMAS” pay-per-view event, as former PRIDE/EliteXC fighter Travis “The Gladiator” Galbraith replaces the injured Falaniko “Niko” Vitale to take on PRIDE veteran and former EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua at a catchweight of 190 pounds. One more bout will be announced for the PPV-broadcast card.
Both long-time veterans of the sport, this fight is as an intriguing bout between two very well-rounded fighters in the game. Rua (18-10-1) was a PRIDE mainstay, fighting in Japan’s premier MMA organization a total of 13 times, and his brother is UFC light heavyweight contender Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Galbraith (17-7) is one of the biggest names in Canadian MMA, and is a seven-time King of the Cage veteran, winning the King of the Cage Canadian Middleweight Championship in 2009.
“I was looking forward to fighting Niko Vitale, and have been training since New Year’s Eve to fight him. It was sad that he got injured, but that’s how life goes. As a fighter you have to be prepared to overcome those things and step up to the challenges,” said Ninja.
“Everybody knows I fight anyone and I love fighting. Just looking back at my career you’ll see the names I have fought, in three different weight classes, and realize I’m not the type of fighter that runs from fights or fears challenges. It’s just ridiculous that people would take advantage of the injury of an opponent to talk shit and try to force their way into a big show on PPV like Shine Fights. My career is nowadays in the hands of my manager, and he tells me who I have to fight and I just go and do it. This is called professionalism, and some people should learn to act like professionals.
“I’m very happy to be fighting Travis. I think he is an experienced, well-rounded fighter who will look at this fight as a great opportunity, and will do his best to turn this fight into a war. I’m excited about this fight, and I have been training hard since early January, doing a lot of jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and wrestling, so I think our fight can turn into Fight of the Night this coming May 15th,” he concluded.
Born and raised in Curitiba, Brazil, Rua is the brother of UFC light heavyweight contender Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Ninja began his career in his home country, running off four straight stoppage wins. His impressive beginning to his career earned him a call from Japan, and he soon began to make a name for himself as an athlete that finishes fights.
After his time in PRIDE, Ninja moved to England’s Cage Rage promotion, before making his way to the United States. Since then, he has competed in both EliteXC and StrikeForce, while still making appearances in Japan, England, and his native Brazil. Over the course of his nine year career, he has faced many of the top fighters in MMA, including PRIDE/UFC veteran Akihiro Gono, former PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson, former PRIDE contenders Sergei Kharitonov and Ricardo Arona, StrikeForce fighters Benji Radach and Kevin Randleman, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Fihlo, UFC fighter Denis Kang, Japanese fighter Riki Fukuda, and the aforementioned Lawler. Ninja has defeated notables such as Mario Sperry, Alex Stiebling, Mark Weir, Xavier Foupa- Pokam, and Joey Villasenor, who he beat for the EliteXC Welterweight Championship belt. 16 of his 18 wins have come either KO/TKO or submission, and he always puts on a show for the fans, win or lose. And Ninja expects to continue to show that in his fight with Galbraith: “I’ll try to impose my game and come out with a great win, so I can start off [my career with] Shine Fights in the right way. I’ll always try to give great performances, making it for great spectacles for my fans and if God helps, try to win a belt, which will certainly be another great dream for me.” What separates him from his opponent? “My pace, my cardio and my will to enter the cage and look for the win all the time!”
And Ninja has a message for the fans: “I would like to first of all thank all the fans, and tell them that I’ll be there [at WORLD’s COLLIDE], with a great appetite to seek the win for me and my family. I’ll be even more motivated cause I’m going to be a father for the second time, so I need this win badly! If God helps me, this will be a great gift for me and my family. Finally, I want to thank Shine Fights for the effort of promoting our sport and giving me this chance of being part of it!”
A native of Prince George, British Columbia, the 28-year-old Galbraith has made his name in MMA as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, and he is currently a BJJ brown belt under noted trainer Rodrigo Munduruca. But “The Gladiator” has also shown an impressive knockout power in both hands, thus making him one of the more dangerous fighters in the middleweight division. The Canadian has faced some of the best that the sport has to offer, including current UFC Welterweight Champion and top pound-for-pound fighter Georges St. Pierre, current UFC fighter Jonathan Goulet, UFC veteran Joe Doerksen, PRIDE veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura, Strikeforce fighter Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, and Cage Rage veteran/MFC fighter Tom “Kong” Watson.
The talented member of Edmonton, Alberta’s Triple Threat MMA has also earned impressive victories over UFC veteran David Heath, top-ranked Canadian light heavyweight Martin Desilets, and King of the Cage veterans Nick Hinchliffe (twice) and Craig Brown. “The Gladiator” has also made appearances in PRIDE Fighting Championships, the now-defunct Elite XC, and is a five-time veteran of Canada’s Maximum Fighting Championships, going 4-1 in that organization. Having stopped opponents in 15 of his 17 career victories (10 submissions, 5 knockouts), Galbraith is currently ranked as the No. 5 light heavyweight fighter in Canada by TopMMANews.com. Galbraith has won four of six bouts dating to the start of 2008, stopping all but one foe.
This bout joins the previously announced 160-pound catchweight main event between former boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga and MMA veteran Din Thomas as well as a welterweight contest between MMA veteran Nick “The Goat” Thompson and Brazilian star Eduardo Pamplona on the May 15th card. A surefire ground war is set to take place at 175 pounds between 2009 ADCC Absolute Champion Braulio Estima and former Olympic Judo competitor Rick Hawn. A 205-pound grappler’s dream will also take place between Brazilian star Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira and IFL veteran and BJJ black belt Jamal “The Suit” Patterson to round out the PPV-broadcast main card.
“WORLDS COLLIDE” is taking place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC, and will be beamed on PPV on cable and satellite in the United States and Canada. The event will be broadcasted in High-Definition, and it will be available in both English and Spanish (where available). The broadcast will start at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT and will be produced by MultiVision Media, Inc. There will be a 30-minute countdown show prior to the live event at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT. The event will be available for $29.95. Tickets may be obtained by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420, or online at www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Crown Coliseum Box Office. For box office hours and more info, please call (910) 438-4100.
For more information on Shine Fights or “Worlds Collide,” please follow Shine on Twitter@ShineFights, MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/ShineFights), YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/ShineFights), or become a fan on Facebook.
Here are the announced bouts for “Worlds Collide”:
Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga vs. Din “Dinyero” Thomas
Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Travis “The Gladiator” Galbraith
Nick “The Goat” Thompson vs. Eduardo Pamplona
Braulio Estima vs. Rick Hawn
Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira vs. Jamal “The Suit” Patterson