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Ray Sefo Out, Crafton Wallace In at RISE 88

  • Written by Dave Walsh

RISE had recently announced that K-1 veteran Ray Sefo would be taking on promotional Heavyweight champ Makoto Uehara at RISE 88, but it looks like damage to the eye from Sefo’s most recent fight against Mirko Crocop will be keeping him out of action here. Replacing him will be 40 year old American MMA fighter Crafton “Blaze” Wallace. Wallace is 18-6-1 with 8 KO and 9 submissions in MMA and went 0-2 in the UFC back in 2006 with submission losses to Nate Marquardt and Martin Kampmann. He is currently on a 3 fight losing streak in MMA, with his most recent losses to Waachim Spiritwolf and Patrick Cote. According to the press release, Wallace began fighting in muay thai in 1999 and won an ISKA Muay Thai Middleweight tournament back in 2003. Wallace is a Middleweight in MMA, but size should not be a huge factor here. Although Uehara is a heavyweight, he and Wallace are the same height and Uehara is only about 90kgs, which is most likely around what Wallace weighs without cutting weight. That being said, Uehara should glide through this fight.

Also on the card is a clash of top RISE Heavyweights as #1 ranked Kengo Shimizu takes on #2 ranked Raoumaru in a 90kg fight in what could decide Uehara’s next challenger. Shimizu won his most recent fight at RISE 86 while Raoumaru is 2-2 in his last 4, starting with a loss to Makoto Uehara for the vacant RISE HW title, a win over Mighty Mo in the quarterfinals of the RISE HW Tournament, a loss in the semifinals to Singh Jaideep and a win over Brazilian Eduardo Sakomoto at RISE 87. This fight being at 90kg is a bit strange considering it is their two top ranked heavyweights, but I see two reasons why RISE could be doing this. The first is that Raoumaru is a bit of a flabby guy and will have trouble making it down to 90kg while Shimizu is comfortable at the weight. I think this is a possibility because Raoumaru is already 0-2 against Uehara, though they were two very entertaining fights. The other reason could be that they are trying to set up a 90kg division to appeal to Japan’s crop of smaller heavyweights and want this fight at 90kg to see who is best suited at 90kg to take on Uehara. If the winner of this bout does not get a Heavyweight title shot, then it is a very good possibility that Uehara could drop down as well to face the winner for a vacant 90kg title.{jcomments on}

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