Shine Fights Lightweight Grand Prix In Virginia OffA planned one-night, eight-man Shine Fights Lightweight Grand Prix has encountered major problems just six days before it was set to take place. As first reported by this morning, Shine Fights has been forced to move the tournament away from Fairfax, Virginia, where it was scheduled to be held. The event was set for this coming Friday.

While Shine Fights maintains that the tournament will still take place – now at an undetermined location in Oklahoma – this development marks the latest setback and controversial incident for the embattled company.

After promoting a pair of successful events in 2009, Shine Fights looked to put together a superfight between UFC veteran Din “Dinyero” Thomas and boxing star Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga at Shine Fights: “Worlds Collide” on May 15th in North Carolina. However, following a last-minute legal injunction from boxing promoter Don King, the headlining bout between Thomas and Mayorga was scrapped. On the night of the ill-fated event, as fans entered the arena, it was announced that the entire card had been cancelled. A lengthy war of words followed as fighters claimed that they were not paid their contracted “show money” fight purses.

In the midst of the controversy, Shine Fights named Jason Chambers, a former fighter and actor who also served as an MMA analyst for Bellator Fighting Championships, as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer. The promotion moved forward with plans to hold a one-night, eight-man lightweight tourmanent on September 10th. The format called for two, five-minute rounds for all quarterfinal and semi-final bouts with a three-minute overtime round if needed. The tournament final would be contested using three, five-minute rounds. Additionally, fans would be able to choose the matchups.

According to Shine Fights, the “fan matchmaking” plan is what caused problems with the Virginia State Athletic Commission and led to the cancellation of the event in Virginia. Others maintain that the real reason for the cancellation is that the commission failed to approve the tournament’s formatting; either in round times or the total number of rounds that the winner would potentially have to compete in en route to victory. Regardless, on just six days’ notice, the event will no longer take place in Virginia and may now be moved to somewhere in Oklahoma.

Requests for comment from the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission have not yet been answered, but further updates will follow as the promotion attempts to shift its event from Virginia to Oklahoma.

The fighters scheduled to compete in the tournament are Drew “The Master” Fickett (37-13-0), Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio (20-8-0), Carlo “Neo” Prater (24-7-1), Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett (23-17-2), Rich “Cleat” Crunkilton (16-3-0), Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez (6-0-0) and James “The Unbreakable Heavy Hitter” Warfield (21-6-0). Josh Shockley (6-0-1) was set to be the final participant, but withdrew due to injury. A replacement has not yet been named.