Valor Fighting and Management (VFM) is pleased to announce that three of its very best, Tom Howard, Nathan Jones and Sylvester Terkay, have signed exclusively with K-1, the world’s leading fight promotion. Their multi-year Agreements call for a minimum of four fights each year, under both K-1 and Mixed Martial Arts rules.VFM is a California Limited Liability Company formed in January 2004 by Rick Bassman’s Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and Eddy Millis’ Shark Tank.
Howard, Jones and Terkay all began their professional careers with California-based UPW, where they still perform on a regular basis. Through UPW’s association with World Wrestling Entertainment, all three went on to sign with WWE. Each has since elected to leave WWE in order to pursue opportunities in Japan.
Howard, as “The Green Beret,” Terkay, as “Predator” and Jones all gained notoriety in Japan through the Zero-One Pro Wrestling Organization. In 2001, both UPW and Howard signed one-year contracts with Zero-One, exclusive to pro wrestling in Japan. Upon expiration of those contracts in 2002, each has continued to perform its obligations to Zero-One, as have Predator and Jones, on a non-contractual tour-by-tour basis. Howard, who has appeared for Zero-One on more than 30 tours, has held the Zero-One Tag Team and US Titles. UPW has brought numerous colorful and talented characters to Zero-One, including King Adamo (UPW’s Skulu), Hardkore, Inc., UPW Tag Team Champions The Ballards and UPW Lightweight Champ Frankie Kazarian, current WWE wrestlers Ryan Sakoda, Jon Heidenreich, Nova and Horshu, as well as current Zero-One mainstays Spanky and Vansack Acid. With its recent booking of Jack Bull on Zero-One’s April tour, the Company brings its total to 39 pro wrestlers introduced to Zero-One by UPW. Predator started with Zero-One in 2002 and Jones in 2003, and each quickly became popular there. Like Howard, Predator and Jones have appeared for Zero-One on a tour-by-tour non-contractual basis.
As far as Tom, Nathan and Predator are concerned,” Bassman continues, “we have aggressively looked to develop opportunities to advance their careers in Japan for more than a year,” Bassman continued. “Each has been keenly interested in shoot fighting, and with its continued explosion in Japan, long-term fight deals were the logical course to pursue. K-1 made Tom, Nathan and Predator offers that met many of our objectives and exceeded others.”
Some controversy over Howard’s, Jones’ and Terkay’s signing to K-1 has arisen in Japan, amidst some claims that PRIDE, through its association with Zero-One, had first rights to these fighters. Explains Bassman, “for quite some time now, we’ve told Zero-One what Tom’s, Predator’s and Nathan’s objectives were (signing long-term fight deals). They (Zero-One) were clear through many communications that these deals were not going to happen through PRIDE at any time in the foreseeable future. From time to time, they indicated that there might be a single fight opportunity available for all or one of the guys, but no offers were made. Several e-mails were sent recently regarding Predator’s possible participation in the Grand Prix, but a formal offer was never made, nor did Predator, or UPW on his behalf, agree to participate in the Grand Prix. Through the course of this correspondence, Predator signed a long-term Agreement with K-1 that he is very happy with, as are Tom and Nathan. Each has a family to support and a mortgage to pay and the new arrangement with K-1 provides a welcome level of security. I am truly sorry if this has caused any confusion or created any problems for Zero-One.”
“We’ll be forever appreciative of the opportunities afforded to us by Zero-One,” says UPW Founder/Owner and Valor Co-President Rick Bassman. “Mr. Hashimoto and Mr. Nakamura have worked very hard to build Zero-One and we’re grateful that we were able to be a part of their effort from the beginning and to watch the Company grow over the past three years. UPW hopes to continue to provide them with unique and colorful wrestlers. We have so many excellent prospects for Japan, including many who would be appearing there for the first time, and I hope these appearances are made for Zero-One.”
The Valor Company itself has signed a Development Deal with K-1, which includes the scouting, training and booking of talent to K-1, as well as the development and production of special projects. In 2004 alone, in addition to Howard, Jones and Terkay, Valor has thus far contracted Stefan Gamlin, Kimo, Mighty Mo and Brian Warren to fight for K-1.
Valor Co-President Eddy Millis, whose world-renown Shark Tank has trained fighters for K-1 over the past two years, says, “Our association with K-1 through Valor opens a whole world of new possibilities. At the end of 2004, I feel confident that Valor will have delivered many great new fighters to K-1, that some will have captured World Championships and that Valor will be on the map with its own events and identity.”
Valor Fighting debuts June 5 at the Swinomish Northern Lights Casino in Anacortes, Washington and follows that up with an appearance July 9 in Barbados.