(Press release)

German-born heavyweight Andreas “Big Daddy” Kraniotakes has agreed to step in for what he calls the biggest fight of his career when he takes on former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in ProElite’s Nov. 5 main event in Moline, Ill.

Brazilian striker, and UFC veteran, Pedro Rizzo – Sylvia’s original opponent -- had to withdraw after tearing his left triceps muscle during training.

Rizzo tweeted today: “I would like to apologize to ... ProElite and especially to Tim Sylvia because I can't be in the ring … to face him.”

In Kranitotakes, Sylvia faces a 6-foot-3, 255-pound striker who is 12-4 with 9 victories by KO or TKO. All of Kraniotakes fights have taken place outside of the United States.

“This certainly isn’t a step back in competition for Tim,” his manager, Monte Cox, said. “Now we have a guy who’s looking to make a name for himself here and sees Tim as that marquee name to help make that happen. He has heavy, heavy hands and one-punch knockout power.”

ProElite also announced the field for its eight-man heavyweight tournament. The bracket, filled with fighters ready for a wider audience, is highlighted by 2009 NCAA wrestling champion Mark Ellis of the University of Missouri. Ellis (1-0) will take on Ryan Martinez (5-1). In another opening-round battle, Richard Odoms of Texas faces Jason Bosler of Illinois. Jake Heun of Salt Lake City squares off against Chris Birchler of New Jersey. And, in the final matchup, Esteves Jones of Arizona will meet Walter Harris of Alabama.

“When we say we’re looking for the next great heavyweight this was not a half-hearted search. We have eight guys from eight different regions of the country. We have both coasts, the South, Midwest, Southwest and Mountain region covered,” ProElite’s Head of Fight Operations, T. Jay Thompson, said.

Also on the card will be Reagan Penn of Hawaii. Penn is probably best known as the younger brother of former UFC champion B.J. Penn. Four time UFC veteran Waylon Lowe, a collegiate wrestling, rounds out the main card.

The undercard will feature a more local flavor. Clinton, Iowa’s, Todd Monaghan is participating in a heavyweight tournament alternate bout.

Bettendorf, Iowa’s, Kelly Skeffington will take on Burlington, Iowa’s, Jonathon Thomson in an amateur fight while Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s, Daniel DeCamp fights Quincy, Ill., native Nick McClean.

The 11-fight card will be held at the i wireless Center in Moline, Ill., and will be broadcast live by HDNet.

Tickets are available at the box office or through TicketMaster.



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