Hollywood, FL—Number one grappler in the world Pablo Popovitch is trading the mat for the cage to display an unstoppable force of excellence in the world of mixed marital arts. The NAGA Grappling hall of famer will make his MMA professional debut against Judo expert Jeff Savoy for the Action Fight League belt at Rumble-n-the Rock 3 at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at 7:00 p.m. Friday June 4.
Popovitch, who is the number one grappler in the 170lbs. category, is counting on his submission artillery to defeat his foe, a Kudon Black belt Judo and Jiu Jitsu red belt.
“My game is to take the guy down only to ground and pound him, then land a submission,” said Popovitch, who runs the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fl..
Squaring off against a future opponent in the cage will be second nature for the Rio de Janeiro born gladiator. An unparalleled submission artist, Popovitch holds magnificent victorious over Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Hermes Franca and Kenny Florian in grappling. He also defeated Strikeforce welterweight champion Jake Shields along with Marcelo Garcia and Reno Gracie. A respected master in the mma world for his third degree mastery in BJJ, UFC champions Georges Saint Pierre and BJ Penn have sought training lessons from the living legend.
For Popovitch, it was only a matter of time to make the transition of grappling to MMA.
“I won a lot of grappling tournaments,” a confident Popovitch said. “I wanted to try something new with new challenges.”
Popovitch was born to compete as he became involved in BJJ at 4 years-old. He trained at Barra Gracie School and was taught by the Machado brothers, Rigan, Carlos and Jean Jaques. At age 15, he moved to Florida and continued to study the martial art under Carlson Gracie along with members of the legendary Carlson Gracie Team and Brazilian top team. In high school, he excelled in collegiate-style wrestling and was offered college opportunities, but he opted to master BJJ.
He will compete at Rumble n the Rock 3 triumphant having won a BJJ world cup victory at Abu Dubai in September. In April, Popovitch also defeated all of his opponents in a Paris grappling tournament in April.
“I have the edge on the ground. I am a best the submission wrestling in 170libs,” he echoed.
To prepare for his debut, Popovitch trained with UFC contender John Hathaway in Europe.
Not only is he dominant with his wrestling and grappling, but he depends on his striking as he has boxed for several years.
“If the guy keeps backing away and doesn’t engage, I’ll strike,” he said.
Will Popovitch be fit for the cage? One thing is for sure: “I go in there knowing that I am going to win,” he said.
If that were not enough, Rock-n-Rumble 3 will also feature the ISKA World Lightweight Title Match of Charles Daniel “Krazy Horse” Bennett (40-16-2) v.s. Luis Baboon Palomino.
With 40 top fights under his belt, Bennett is an ultimate force and plans on annihilating his opponent. An Elite XC veteran, Bennett holds audacious victories over former CBS/Showtime Networks lightweight champion Karl James Noons, and former featherweight King of Pancrase Yoshiro Maeda. He is coming off a first-round knockout defeat by Bobby Green at King of the Cage Fight 4 Hope in California, so expect Bennett to bring the heat.
Added to line-up is next-generation MMA star Yuri Villefort (5-0), who was trained by the top fighting Brazilian families, the Villaforts and Gracies.
Rock-n-Rumble 3 will display an 11 stellar card showcasing top female mixed martial artist Jessica Aguillar (7-3). Jessica, a star in the making, will be looking for her third consecutive victory; Ailton Barbosa (5-2), Effrain Ruiz (12-5), Caleb Archer (3-0), Rafael Dias (12-7-1), Hayder Hassan (3-1), James Winn (2-10), Crafton Wallace (19-4-1) and more, including a possible world-class surprise.
Make sure not to miss a night of great MMA action.
The Rock-n-Rumble (Formerly Rumble at the Rock) series have been major South Florida MMA mega events, bringing sell-out and near sell-out crowds and unprecedented action and excitement. The Seminole Hard rock Hotel and Casino, already a South Florida landmark, has become the premiere MMA venue and are expecting this to be a quick sell-out. Don’t be left out of the action and purchase your tickets now.
Tickets are priced for families at $30, $50 and VIP tickets at $125. Seats go on sale April 23rd at the Hard Rock Live Box Office, open Monday Saturday from noon to 7pm. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time
About Hard Rock Live
Hard Rock Live, a spectacular state-of-the-art facility has quickly emerged as the entertainment capital of South Florida. Attracting music, comedy and sports fans, this 5,500-seat indoor arena further expands the ultimate entertainment experience at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. For more information please visit www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino provides quality guest experiences where South Floridians can play, stay, dine, and shop. Eighty-nine tables offer Blackjack, Baccarat, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Holdem Bonus Poker and Let it Ride on a nearly three-acre casino floor. Play one of the more than 2,500 Vegas-style slots including the Native-American casino linked Multi-Area Progressive Jackpots and Mega Jackpots. Separate high-limit rooms for table games and slots, in addition to a non-smoking room are available for guests to enjoy. Loyal Players Club members experience an exclusive VIP Plum Lounge and celebrity show kitchen. Convene in The Poker Room at Seminole Paradise for Texas Hold em, limit Texas Hold em, Seven Card Stud and two dollar and four dollar limit Omaha Hi Lo games. Located inside the casino is Hard Rock Café-Hollywood, part of Hard Rocks 127 globally recognized rock n roll themed restaurants.
The Green Lodging Certified by the State of Florida, AAA, Four Diamond rated resort showcases 500 luxurious guest rooms, 16 restaurants and lounges, 40,000-square-feet of meeting room space, a European-style spa, auto salon, 22 retail shops, 14 nightclubs, Paradise Live, and Hard Rock Live. Located on State Road 7 ( U.S. 441) in Hollywood , Florida . Take I-95, exit Stirling Rd. and travel west to 1 Seminole Way . For more information, call (954) 327-ROCK, 1 800-937-0010 or visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com.