ProElite has found their headliner. Just hours after losing Pedro Rizzo to a torn triceps tendon, Andreas "Big Daddy" Kraniotakes (12-4) has been tapped to face former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia (29-7) in the main event of the promotion's sophomore effort, scheduled for November 5th. Sherdog.com first reported the news.
The news is a surprise to all involved, including Kraniotakes, who was gearing up for a Superior Fighting Championship/M-1 Global co-promotion in Duren, Germany on November 26th. The 6'3", 255-pound behemoth applied for ProElite's eight-man tournament last month but was initially rejected. However, a frantic Monday afternoon phone call from promotion matchmaker Rich Chou changed everything.
"When I got the call, I had to sense the moment and told Rich that I'll have to take counsel with my pillow about the fight before I could give my final answer," Kraniotakes explained to Sherdog.com. "The more I got used to the idea, though, the more I understood that the moment I've waited for was finally here. This is a great breakthrough opportunity for me. It's been an incredible year so far and I will try to end it with a bang!"
Kraniotakes has indeed had a busy year. The 29-year-old Koblenz-native has fought five times thus far in 2011, winning four by first-round stoppage. In fact, Kraniotakes has yet to ride a victory into the judge's hands, earning all of his career wins by either knockout or submission.
"My fans have been asking me to make my U.S. debut for a long time now," Kraniotakes excitedly said. "I want to thank ProElite for not only making it happen, but putting me in their main event with one of the biggest names in the heavyweight division."