The Fight Nerd

March 25, 2015

“WWE” and “Tapout” join forces with new strategic partnership

Filed under: News — The Fight Nerd @ 12:17 PM

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WWE (NYSE: WWE) and Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG) today announced a joint venture for Tapout, a newly repositioned fitness lifestyle brand. Tapout is now the official fitness and training partner of WWE, and will be integrated across WWE’s global platforms including TV programming, WWE Network, pay-per-view broadcasts, live events, digital, and social media.

“Tapout was ABG’s first acquisition and it continues to be a global brand with strong sales and blue chip partners all over the world. We have a very strong commitment to the brand’s ongoing success,” said Jamie Salter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ABG. “WWE is a media and entertainment force and we are excited to partner with them on Tapout’s future growth.”

“WWE is always looking for new opportunities to partner with best-in-class organizations, develop new products for our fans and drive shareholder value,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “This joint venture aligns with our strategic approach, and we look forward to building the Tapout brand.”

As part of this strategic partnership, WWE will create new content featuring its Superstars and Divas in Tapout apparel and market the brand across all platforms. Tapout branding will also be featured at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and all performers, trainers, and staff will be outfitted in Tapout™ workout apparel.

“WWE’s expansive reach provides a global platform to broaden Tapout’s presence and consumer base,” said Nick Woodhouse, President and Chief Marketing Officer of ABG. “This is a powerhouse pairing given the synergy between Tapout’s brand promise to be the premiere hard-body fitness brand, and WWE’s commitment to training and fitness.”

“Combining ABG’s strengths in retail brand development, licensing and distribution with WWE’s marketing expertise, global reach and passionate fan base, makes for a powerful partnership,” said Michelle D. Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “The Tapout brand will enable us to expand into new product categories and further grow our current $1 billion consumer product retail business.”

The next generation of Tapout™ preserves the original brand essence and drives a hard-body, fitness-centric message positioned around motivation, discipline and determination. An all new line of men’s and women’s performance apparel and accessories will launch at retail in Spring 2016. New Tapout™ branding and packaging will roll out in key categories throughout 2015 starting with beverages, supplements and fitness centers.

Via Press Release

March 23, 2015

Two title fights headline UFC 189

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 7:40 PM

In one of the most anticipated matchups in UFC® history, reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo goes head-to-head with Irish superstar Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 189, Saturday, July 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Plus, newly crowned welterweight champion Robbie Lawler makes his first title defense against No. 2 Rory MacDonald in the co-main event. The two world title fights will be the signature events of UFC’s International Fight Week™, which kicks off July 7 in Las Vegas, the home of the UFC.

Aldo (25-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), second in the pound-for-pound rankings, looks to continue his historic reign and remain the only featherweight champion in UFC history. He will attempt an eighth straight successful title defense against polarizing Irish sensation McGregor (17-2, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland), a winner of 13 straight. After several heated exchanges through the press and social media, these adversaries will finally meet in the five-round main event. The talking ends July 11.

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Plus, UFC welterweight champion Lawler (25-10, 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) will make his first title defense in a rematch against a young and hungry MacDonald (18-2, fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Lawler handed MacDonald his only loss in the last five years at UFC 167 in November 2013, and then went on to defeat top-ranked contenders Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown before taking the 170-pound title from Johny Hendricks by decision. MacDonald has rattled off three straight wins over Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine to secure his title shot and rematch with the champ.

Additional bouts will be announced soon.

March 21, 2015

Bellator MMA signs wrestling star Bobby Lashley to a long-term contract extension

Filed under: News — Tags: , — The Fight Nerd @ 7:30 PM

lashley bellator

Bellator MMA announced today that superstar heavyweight Bobby Lashley (12-2) has signed a long-term contract extension with the promotion. Lashley is a perfect 2-0 under the Bellator banner, and 10 of his 12 victories have come by way of stoppage.

The 6’3 wrestling standout started training in the sport at age 12, and would go on to win several titles including three National Championships at Missouri Valley College, an NAIA National Championship, a CISM World Championship Silver Medal and a two-time Armed Forces Wrestling Championship when he served in the United States Army.

With his amazing wrestling pedigree, “The Dominator” signed a developmental contract with the WWE in 2004 and made his professional debut for the organization in 2005. Lashley would go on to fight for ECW and TNA as well, but wanted to prove himself in the world of MMA.

In 2008, Lashley began training in MMA full time with the American Top Team (ATT) gym in Coconut Creek Florida. He would later open his own ATT gym in Denver, CO, and trains between the two facilities with several respected athletes including Josh Barnett, Antonio “Big Foot Silva”, and Todd Duffee.

“I’ve had two fights with Bellator, and I’m happy to be calling the promotion my home,” said Lashley. “Scott Coker and the company have really reignited my desire to fight and I’m looking forward to a huge year with some dominant wins.”

March 20, 2015

Superhero “Phoenix Jones” makes WSOF debut at WSOF 20 on April 10

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 2:35 PM

A war hero versus a real-life superhero – both fast-rising stars in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Who do you root for?

That is the question that fans will be faced with when Emmanuel Walo (7-2-1) squares off with undefeated Ben Fodor (5-0-1), also known as costumed crime fighter “Phoenix Jones,” in a welterweight (170 pounds) contest at the much-anticipated WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes event at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Friday, April 10, live on NBCSN.

“This is a matchup between two of the most prolific prospects in our great sport, and a fabulous addition to our first-ever event in Conn. that is already stacked with a tremendous lineup of talent,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

Another new addition to the WSOF 20 fight card will see Steve Mocco (4-1) of Coconut Creek, Fla. battle Juliano Coutinho (6-1) of West Yarmouth, Mass. in a heavyweight tilt.

In the midst of his fourth year as a professional fighter, the 28-year-old Walo of Jersey City, N.J. is also a member of the National Guard who saw action in Iraq during the war there. It was while he was stationed in Iraq that Walo was introduced to MMA through a fellow U.S. military operative and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt who offered to teach Walo

After returning home from combat, Walo followed what had become his passion, reeling off a 2-0 record in amateur MMA competition in 2011, before making the jump to the professional ranks.

Walo received a rude awakening in his professional debut on Dec. 10, 2011, losing a unanimous decision to Michael Wilcox, but rebounded and went unbeaten in his next eight starts.

The 26-year-old Fodor of Seattle, Wash. signed a multi-fight contract last week with WSOF after being covered in a compelling feature segment on ESPN SportsCenter that profiled his strenuous lifestyle as both a prize fighter and a costumed crime fighter dedicated to curbing street crimes and assisting people in distress in Seattle’s streets.

Fodor is coming off a third round (3:06) technical submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Jason Novelli on Feb. 21, 2015.

In the main event, reigning WSOF World Middleweight (185 pounds) Champion David Branch (15-3) will move up to light heavyweight (205 pounds) and face off with fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ronny Markes (15-3) in what represents the second bout of the multi-event WSOF tournament that will crown its winner the promotion’s inaugural world light heavyweight champion.

In the lightweight (155 pounds) co-main event, Melvin “The Young” Assassin Guillard (32-14-2, 2 NC) of New Orleans, La. will collide with fellow hard-hitting, KO artist Ozzy Dugulubgov (6-2) of Hackensack, N.J.

Leading off the live NBCSN telecast that will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT, is another lightweight matchup between Nick Newell (11-1) of Springfield, Mass. and Joe Condon (12-7) of Victorville, Calif.

wsof 20 poster

March 18, 2015

WBC will present custom Emerald Belt to winner of Mayweather VS Pacquiao

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 1:44 PM

After an intense voting week, fans have ruled that the winner of MEGA-FIGHT between Mayweather vs. Pacquiao will triumphantly hold aloft … The Emerald Belt!

This exquisite masterpiece is especially designed by the World Boxing Council for a unique bout that is already gracing the pages of boxing history.

mayweather-vrs-pacquiao-belt

In order to appropriately recognize the winner of this titanic and epic event on May 2nd, emeralds have triumphed. It was a very close decision, as the emerald belt won by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent for the onyx belt. The emerald-studded belt cost $1 million to make and will only be given to the winner of the May 2 fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/176133/wbc-to-award-emerald-studded-belt-to-winner-of-pacquiao-mayweather-bout#ixzz3VFvACVAO
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

The World Boxing Council is very grateful to the multitude of fans who participated in this process by voting on our web page to choose the historic belt Mayweather or Pacquiao will proudly possess.

Via press release

March 1, 2015

Liam McGeary becomes Bellator MMA’s first British champion at “British Invasion” – Bellator MMA 134 Results

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Englishman Liam McGeary (10-0) kept his professional record unblemished, capping off a successful “British Invasion” and claiming the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight title with a five-round decision win over former champion Emanuel Newton (25-8-1). The contest served as the headlining bout of Friday’s “Bellator MMA: British Invasion” event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

McGeary attacked from the start, as he used his lanky frame and incredible grappling to move from submission attempt to submission attempt in entertaining fashion. From triangle choke to kimura to armbar, McGeary was constantly on the move, but Newton showed capable defense and pulled free from each hold. Despite the obvious danger on the ground, Newton continued to take the fight to the floor in the second round, working from his opponent’s extremely active guard. Once again, McGeary’s submission attempts were relentless, but Newton pulled free from each hold.

The remainder of the fight played out in similar fashion, with Newton able to take the fight to the floor with ease but forced to defend constant grappling attacks from McGeary. Both fighters could make arguments for the win, with Newton enjoying extended stretches in the dominant position. However, McGeary’s constant offense set the tone for the action. In the end, judges sided with McGeary, awarding him the win with scores of 48-46, 48-47 and 48-47.

McGeary remains perfect through the first 10 fights of his career. Meanwhile, Newton sees a seven-fight winning streak come to an end. “It was a close fight,” Newton said. “I was on the ground. I didn’t stop hitting and moving with triangle hits. That guy is so slippery and tough.”

In the night’s co-feature, light heavyweight contender Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (15-4) moved up to the heavyweight division and earned an impressive decision win over Cheick Kongo (22-10-2). Facing a massive size differential, Lawal turned to his wrestling base rather than try and trade with the bigger man. The plan worked, as Lawal controlled the action in the clinch and racked up points with takedowns. While the crowd tried to entice Lawal to take a more risky approach, “King Mo” remained disciplined in his approach and cruised to what looked like a clear-cut decision win, though he had to settle for a split result, 30-27, 28-29 and 29-28.

“I don’t agree with the split decision at all,” Lawal said after the fight. “I won all three rounds. He knows he lost that fight. I got the victory and that’s all that matters. Wrestling works and it showed in this fight. “I have a great coaching staff at American Top Team. I could’ve gone another two rounds. At the end of the third round, I knew he was gassed, so I just walked him off. I hope to get the chance to fight for a title next.”

In welterweight action, Brazilian veteran Andre “Chatuba” Santos (37-10) proved himself a game opponent against Paul “Semtex” Daley (36-13-2), but the British slugger ultimately cruised to a decision win.

In typical Daley fashion, he fired heavy punches on the feet, looking for the knockout. However, Santos proved resilient, answering with strikes of his own while also looking to work from the clinch. The action went back and forth for the opening two rounds before Daley took over in the third.

An early Daley knockdown set the tone for the final frame, and Daley worked hard for the finish. Santos, however, simply wouldn’t quit, and despite being dominated in the final round, he did survive until the final bell, where Daley was awarded a decision win.

“It feels good to be back in MMA; I was a little rusty,” Daley, who had been focusing on his kickboxing career, admitted after the win. “This guy was so tough. I caught him with heavy, wild shots, and normally I would’ve taken my opponent out in the second or third round, but he didn’t quit; he has a ton of heart. It was a great fight.”

Fighting for the first time since a failed bid for the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight World Title, Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (15-4) scored a second-round TKO over Rameau “The African Assassin” Sokoudjou (16-13). Vassell controlled the action from the start, taking Sokoudjou to the floor and scoring with ground-and-pound blows while hunting out opportunities to end the fight with a submission. That opening would come in the second round.

Again working hard to take the fight to the floor, Vassell refused to give Sokoudjou any room to work, scoring top position and utilizing superior grappling skills. Sokoudjou was unable to get back to his feet, and Vassell eventually unleashed a flurry of strikes that earned the stoppage at the 3:18 mark of the second. “I wanted to finish him in the first round,” Vassell said after the win. “He held my arms and stopped me from taking him down. “It feels great representing my country and to come here and fight in front of all the American fans is a great honor.”

In the night’s first main-card contest, welterweight Brennan “The Irish Bad Boy” Ward (10-3) made quick work of “Courteous” Curtis Millender (7-1), needing just 64 seconds to score a submission win. The two went toe-to-toe on the feet to open, and it appeared Millender was getting the best of the initial exchanges. But after coming up short on a takedown, Ward scored a crisp two-punch combination that sent his opponent to the floor. Ward took advantage of the opening, hopping on his opponent’s back and sinking in a rear-naked choke, ending the fight at the 1:37 mark of the first round. “You know me, man,” Ward said after the quick win. “I come straight at guys like always.”

In bouts shown on Spike TV, around the world on Spike.com, hometown fighters did not disappoint here at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT as Blair Tugman (North Haven), Matt Bessette (Hartford) and Dean Hancock (Danbury) all won their bouts in impressive fashion. Tugman (7-5) started off the night with a dominating performance over Marvin Maldonado (2-4) of Latham, N.Y, scored 30-26, 30-27 twice, all in favor of Tugman.

“Felt great to get another win in Bellator against a tough opponent in Marvin,” said Tugman. “I was excited to fight in front of my home crowd. I have a great coach (Andrew Calandrelli) and training partners at Ultimate MMA Training Center in North Haven, CT. And was confident that if I implemented my game plan I would come out with the victory. I’m upset I didn’t finish Marvin but he’s a tough guy to finish. I hope my dominant performance shows Bellator I am ready for bigger fights.

Bessette (14-6), who was able to break free of Josh Laberge’s (9-5) attack by striking him with power punches and stuns to the jaw. “Everything went right tonight, I won,” said an ecstatic Bessette.” I was able to throw my power shots and did to him what he does to other people. “I got the win, which is the most important thing. Josh [Laberge] gave me an awesome fight and I couldn’t be happier.”

In a swing bout, Hancock looked poised in his professional debut against Mike Mangan (0-3), despite early jitters. “It felt great coming out of the cage, the first few seconds were like a blur to me,” said Hancock. “Once I got my bearings I was able to go to work and do what I do best. It was a huge moment for me.

“I feel like I belong in Bellator, it was great to get my first professional win. I need to just keep moving forward.”

New York transplant Neiman Gracie did what Gracie’s do best: win via rear naked choke at 2:36 of round 1 over Massachusetts’s Bobby Flynn (4-3). With the win, Gracie keeps his unbeaten streak intact at 3-0.

Also from New York, Binghamton’s Tamdan McCrory (13-3) scored an armbar victory over Jason Butcher (8-2) at 1:06 of the first frame.

Emergency! Raphael Butler is now 9-1-1 after scoring a guillotine choke victory over Josh Diekmann (15-6) at 1:04 of round 1.

Main Card Results

Liam McGeary def Emanuel Newton by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-47) to win Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight title

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Cheick Kongo by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Paul Daley def. Andre Santos by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Linton Vassell def. Rameau Sokoudjou by TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:18

Brennan Ward def. Curtis Millender by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:37

Preliminary Card Results

Dean Hancock def. Mike Mangan by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:33

Matt Bessette def. Josh LaBerge by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00

Raphael Butler def. Josh Diekmann by submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:04

Tamdan McCrory def. Jason Butcher by submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:06

Neiman Gracie def. Bobby Flynn by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:36

Blair Tugman def. Marvin Maldonado by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

February 17, 2015

M-1 Global launches “M-1 Medieval,” pro full-contact jousting – this is a real thing!

Filed under: News — Tags: , — The Fight Nerd @ 9:34 PM

Seems like someone is a big fan of “Game of Thrones” in Russia. M-1 Global is expanding their ventures beyond the four corners of their white ring, and putting their stakes on a white knight instead as the company has announced plans to create a league for LARPer’s.

After a previous successful event, the company has decided to create a new combat sports group for medieval knights to do battle. While my sarcasm might be thick, I am actually legit excited. As a fan of Ren Faires and this era, I welcome this original and unique idea and would love to attend one of these in person. This is probably the coolest thing M-1 has done and may very well be the best thing to come out of MMA (take that, MMA Hip Show).

m-1 medieval

From the press release:

M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelstein and Artemy Gershvald have formally announced the launching of a new project, M-1 Medieval, which features professional full contact jousting fights.

Combatants will be men dressed in medieval warrior armor fight each other using replicas of medieval bladed weapons with a blunt edge. The original M-1 Medieval fight was held August 15, 2014 at M-1 Challenge 50: Battle on Neva in St. Petersburg, Russia. Five-time world, 10-time Russian historical fencing champion Sergey Ukolov defeated American Mike Ivey.

The second and third M-1 Medieval fights happened October 17, 2014 at M-1 Challenge 52: Battle of Narts in Ingushetia, Russia. Russian warriors squared off as Sergei Ukolov beat Maxim Plaksin in one match, while Ingushetia favorite Maxim Plaksin knocked out Demitry Stadnichenko, of Kazakhstan, in the second round of their competition.

In the fourth M-1 Medieval fight, Kazakhstan Vladimir “The Bear” Toropov, representing the Bayard Club, was victorious over Nikolai “The Raven” Potryasov, of Kyrgyzstan.

February 1, 2015

“Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” announces prelims

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:27 AM

With a thrilling middleweight matchup between knockout artist Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (29-12-1) and former Bellator MMA champ Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (50-9) in the headlining role, “Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” now features a full lineup of 12 contests, loaded with some of California’s top fighting talent.

Bellator officials today announced the addition of eight preliminary contests, which join previously announced matchups of Manhoef vs. Shlemenko, Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8), Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0) and Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0).

The newly announced bouts include featherweights Art “King Arthur” Arciniega (14-4) vs. Charley Huston (6-2), undefeated middleweights Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0), flyweights Paul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2), welterweights “Terrible” Tom Cook (1-1) vs. Mason “The Mangler” Fowler (1-0), lightweights Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1), light heavyweights John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1), lightweights Jonathan “J.T.” Contrestano (4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1) and bantamweights Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0).

“Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” which takes place Feb. 13 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Airs live and free on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET. Tickets for the event, which start at just $28, are currently on sale at Bellator.com and Ticketmaster.com.

Arciniega vs. Huston, Watkins vs. Zuniga, Sperling vs. Ruiz and Cook vs. Fowler all stream live on Spike.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT local time) and precede the evening’s four-fight Spike TV-televised main card.

Meanwhile, Bustamante vs. Jauregui, Elias vs. Sons, Contrestano vs. Tobar and Cevera vs. Picolotti stream live on Spike.com following the conclusion of the televised card.

Art “King Arthur” Arciniega, of Dos Palos, Calif., brings a seven-fight winning streak to the cage, having last tasted defeat in 2009. He now face Charley Huston, of Orangeville, Calif., who has earned five of his six career wins by first-round stoppage.

Blake Watkins, of Fresno, Calif., has opened his career in spectacular fashion, owning all four of his career wins by first-round stoppage, including three of just 67 seconds or less. He now meets fellow undefeated fighter George Zuniga, who is also no stranger to quick wins, having earned a 34-second win this past September in his Bellator MMA debut.

Paul Ruiz, of Firebaugh, Calif., is a two-time Bellator MMA veteran, who made his professional debut fighting for the promotion in 2011. He now meets Nicolas Sperling, who opened his professional run with consecutive losses but has since bounced back to earn three-straight first-round stoppage wins.

“Terrible” Tom Cook, of Placerville, Calif., has earned mixed results in his first two professional bouts, but both ended in the opening frame. He now meets Mason Fowler, of Fresno, Calif., who in October needed just 28 seconds to pick up a submission win in his professional debut.

Nick Bustamante, of Fresno, Calif., makes his Bellator MMA debut on the strength of two stoppage wins to start his career. He now challenges Luis Jauregui, of Madera, Calif., who fell short in his 2010 professional debut but then took nearly four years off before returning with consecutive stoppage wins.

John Paul Elias, of Madera, Calif., owns both of his his wins by stoppage, including one knockout and one submission. He now faces Cody Sons, of Bakersfield, Calif., who suffered a disappointing TKO loss in his professional debut but now looks to rebound for his first career win.

Jonathan “J.T.” Contrestano, of Visalia, Calif., returns to action following an 18-month layoff to meet fellow prospect Ryan Tobar, of Oakdale, Calif., who open his career with three-straight first-round victories but suffered a decision loss in October and now looks to rebound from the first setback of his career.

Ray Cervera, of Bakersfield, Calif., brings a three-fight winning streak to the cage and has earned seven of his eight career wins by stoppage. He’s also never been stopped, as both of his professional defeats have come by decision. He now faces undefeated prospect Adam Piccolotti, of Fresno, Calif., who began his professional career in 2013 and has since earned four-straight wins, including two knockouts and one submission.

Bellator 133: Friday, Feb. 13, Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.

Main Card on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Middleweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (29-12-1) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (50-9)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8)

Bellator Women’s Featherweight Feature Fight: Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0)

Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0)

Preliminary card on Spike.com (8 p.m. ET)

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Art Arciniega (14-4) vs. Charley Huston (6-2)

Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0)

Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Paul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2)

Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Tom Cook (1-1) vs. Mason Fowler (1-0)

Preliminary card on Spike.com (Following Manhoef vs. Shlemenko)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Prelim Fight: John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Jonathan Contrestano (4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1)

Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0)

January 28, 2015

Askren VS Santos meet for welterweight title at “ONE FC: Age of Champions”

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:28 AM

askren_vs_hieron

Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization with a 90% market share, ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), has announced its return to Kuala Lumpur with another blockbuster event. ONE FC: AGE OF CHAMPIONS is set to take place on 13 March at the iconic Stadium Putra. The main event will feature a ONE FC Flyweight World Championship bout wherein incumbent champion Adriano Moraes will be defending his title against Japanese stalwart Asuka ‘Riku Shibuya’ Mikami. Malaysian mixed martial arts superstars Peter Davis and Ann Osman are also expected to be featured on the card.

ONE FC will also return to Manila, Philippines for ONE FC: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS on 24 April and to Singapore on 22 May for ONE FC: WARRIOR’S QUEST. ONE FC: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS will be held at the state-of-the-art MOA Arena while ONE FC: WARRIOR’S QUEST will be held at the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium. Originally scheduled to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 February, ONE FC: ODYSSEY OF CHAMPIONS will be moved to a later date.

Ben Askren will defend his ONE FC Welterweight World Championship for the first time at ONE FC: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS. Standing opposite him in the ONE FC cage will be Brazilian MMA veteran Luis Santos, who made quick work of Bakhtiyar Abbasov in his ONE FC debut.

Tickets for ONE FC: AGE OF CHAMPIONS, presented by Tune Talk, are on sale from 19 January at www.AirAsiaRedTix.com. Ticket categories begin with the full Red Carpet and cageside experience for VVIPs at RM388 followed by VIP RM278, Gold RM168, Silver RM108 and Bronze RM58. Early bird promotions for Gold, Silver and Bronze categories are available until 31 January. Prices include ticketing fee.

CEO of ONE Fighting Championship™, Victor Cui, stated, “We are kicking off 2015 with three spectacular events lined up to start the year. ONE FC: AGE OF CHAMPIONS will see the return of ONE FC Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren as he takes on one of the toughest challenge of his career against Luis Santos. Ben Askren is the absolute best in the world and we are excited to see him up against the highly skilled Luis Santos. We are also ecstatic at the chance to be back in Manila on 24 April and in Singapore on 22 May to treat fans to world-class mixed martial arts action!”

Adriano ‘Mikinho’ Moraes is the reigning ONE FC Flyweight World Champion. He has looked unstoppable since moving to ONE FC’s flyweight ranks, notching three submission victories in a row whilst capturing the inaugural ONE FC Flyweight World Championship in the process. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt with aggressive takedowns and freakish athleticism complementing his submission skills.

Asuka ‘Riku Shibuya’ Mikami is a Japanese flyweight star and one of the brightest talents to emerge from the country in recent years. He boasts a stellar 11-2 record and has not lost since 2009. Mikami possesses impressive striking skills highlighted by professional kickboxing experience. After building a solid foundation in Japan, he now faces the biggest test in his career after signing with Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization.

Former NCAA Division I All-American, Ben Askren is a collegiate wrestling legend and one of the finest mixed martial artists in the world today. In just two fights in ONE FC, Askren was able to seize the ONE FC Welterweight World Championship with a resounding technical knockout victory over Nobutatsu Suzuki. At 14 wins with no losses, Askren is widely considered to be the absolute best in his division and one of the best fighters in the world pound for pound. His next challenge is a tough one, as he pits his skills against veteran mixed martial artist from Brazil, Luis Santos.

Luis ‘Sapo’ Santos is a mixed martial arts veteran from Brazil with over 70 professional fights on his record, featuring 61 wins with over half of those wins by either TKO or KO. With a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a penchant for spectacular finishes, Santos made his successful ONE FC debut last November with an emphatic KO of Bakhtiyar Abbasov. Against Ben Askren, Santos is expected to come in at full strength for a shot at the ONE FC Welterweight World Title.

January 22, 2015

King Mo meets Cheick Kongo at Bellator MMA 134

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:30 AM

Injury has forced the delay of a heavily anticipated matchup between Bobby Lashley (12-2) and James Thompson (20-14) but Bellator MMA officials have announced a blockbuster fight to replace it in Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (14-4) vs. Cheick Kongo (22-9-2). Also Andre Santos (37-9) has stepped in for the injured welterweight champion Douglas Lima (26-5), and will now face the always-dangerous Paul Daley (35-13).

The new contest is scheduled for the televised portion of “Bellator: British Invasion,” which takes place on Friday, February 27, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The night’s main card airs live on Spike TV, while preliminary bouts stream on Spike.com.

Tickets for “Bellator: British Invasion,” which start at just $25, are already on sale at Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com. Additional bouts are expected to be announced shortly.

“We’re disappointed we had to delay these fights between Bobby Lashley and James Thompson, and Douglas Lima and Paul Daley, but I have no doubt that these matchups will be fantastic once they eventually come to fruition,” Bellator MMA CEO Scott Coker said. “Fortunately, we’re able to replace the bouts with equally entertaining contests for our fans.”

“King Mo” Lawal fights for the 10th time for Bellator MMA and has established himself as one of the most recognizable superstars in the sport. A standout wrestler who normally competes at light heavyweight, the former NCAA Division I All-American and Pan American gold medalist has earned 11 of his 14 career MMA wins by knockout, including recent striking stoppages of Joe Vedepo and Dustin Jacoby. The former Bellator MMA tournament winner and Strikeforce light heavyweight world champion now moves up to heavyweight for the first time since 2009 to challenge himself against Kongo.

Kongo, a 6-foot-4 Frenchman, is a former professional kickboxer who boasts black belts in both Karate and Kendo. A multiple-time world champion in kickboxing, Kongo now focuses solely on MMA and has built a 4-1 record under the Bellator MMA banner. Training at Wolfslair MMA Academy in London, Kongo most recently flashed his well-rounded game by scoring a first-round submission over fellow striker Lavar Johnson in a September matchup. Kongo’s lone Bellator loss came in a five-round contest for the Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Championship, in which he went five full rounds with Vitaly Minakov but came up short in a decision result.

Paul Daley is a highly feared and respected veteran with dynamite in both fists, which earned him the nickname “Semtex”. The 31-year-old from Nottingham, England has won an impressive 74% of his 35 victories by way of knockout. Having fought for Scott Coker under the Strikeforce banner, rejoining him at Bellator was a no brainer. Daley took to the internet to share his feelings on the injury to Lima, stating: “Nervous, Scared??…..I understand, preparing to fight me…. I would be. It’s ok…. guess you get to have a few more photo shoots with the belt…. My focus has shifted, same date, new opponent…. British Invasion at Bellator 134.”

The new opponent his focus has shifted to is Andre “Chatuba” Santos. A veteran of the sport in his own right, the Rio De Janeiro fighter has two more wins than Daley in four less fights. Santos defeated James Terry at Bellator 129, in what was his first fight on American soil. He now has his sights set on Daley, with hopes to win his seventh straight fight.

king mo vs kongo

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