IFC: Genesis participants gathered at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv Israel for a pre-fight session with the local media. Speaking about the media, nearly all mainstream Israeli channels were at the venue to cover the press conference. That’s something we rarely see, even in the UFC-explored countries like Germany and United Kingdom.

The event will take place on November 9th, at the 11,700-capable Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. You can watch the event LIVE on GoFightLive.com for only $9.99.

Here’s a few insights from my time at the press conference:

o The venue is expected to be sold out, with a total capacity of ~11,000 spectators. As for now, the promoters sold approximately 9,000 tickets.
o A total of 5 Million NIS (New Israeli Shequels) were invested in the event, which is almost 1.40 Million Dollars.
o It will be the first ever “cage” event in Israel. All the previous fight cards took place inside the ring.
o The referee Kevin Mulhall will corner Daniel Gracie in his fight against Martin Wojcik. Kevin Mulhall serves as a striking coach for Daniel Gracie.
o Ricco Rodriguez will fight in Boxing shorts. That’s something we rarely see in MMA.
o Ricco’s fight will be at 205. The wieght cut will be definitely a tough one for him, but it’s still safe to say that he looks in the best shape of his career.
o Frank Trigg’s opponent Roy Neeman looks like a legit Light Heavyweight. Franko Triggo might have not an easy task ahead of him.

I also had a chance speaking to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Here’s some of the things he had to say about his trip to Israel:

On his previous fight: “It didn’t go the way I expected, that’s for sure. But I’m continuing to move forward, because I simply love MMA. And as long as I’m healthy, you will see me fighting.” Why he’s not using his Judo skills: “I’m a huge fan of Muay Thai. So I like to fight this way against my opponents. Some guys are better than me on the ground, so that’s why I prefer to keep it standing.”

Sokoudjou also spoke about the atmosphere at Team Quest following Chael Sonnen‘s positive UFC 117 PED test: “You know, fight is a fight, and I know that Chael gave everything in his power to win against Anderson Silva. Fighting is not an easy thing, and at times it gets pretty intense. What happened after the fight was very disappointing. I had no chance to talk to him yet, but I’m sure he will deal well with the pressure.”

Israel FC: Genesis Fight Card

Light Heavyweight bout: Jeff Monson  vs. Sergey Shemetov
Light Heavyweight bout: Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Valdas Pocevicius
Light Heavyweight bout: Ricco Rodriguez vs. Daniel Tabera
Light Heavyweight bout: Alexandro Ceconi vs. Vitaly Shemetov
Lightweight bout: Hermes Franca vs. Moshe Kaitz
Welterweight bout: Shonie Carter vs. Jeremy Knafo
Lightweight bout: TBA vs. Ariel Abergel
Lightweight bout: Thiago Meller vs. Fabrice Riconneau
Welterweight bout: Frank Trigg vs. Roy Neeman
Lightweight bout: Marc Berger vs. Akop Stepanyan
Lightweight bout: Ido Pariente vs. Joshua Hewlett
Lightweight bout: Vitali Krbrsky vs. Serob Minasyan
Heavyweight bout: Daniel Gracie vs. Martin Wojcik

Photos: Eliran Avital