The Fight Nerd

March 1, 2015

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

bellator134 newton liam

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

January 19, 2015

VIDEO – Conor McGregor jumps fence to confront Jose Aldo at UFN 59

Filed under: News — The Fight Nerd @ 3:28 PM

The race to the title in the featherweight division just got a lot more interesting this weekend.

After a one-sided fight with Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston, Conor McGregor ran across the octagon and leapt over the fence to run into the crowd and confront champion Jose Aldo, who was conveniently sitting cageside. Aldo, who had a sign that made fun of Conor that said “Go Joker, Go… Make me laugh”, got face to face time with Conor after his TKO win over Siver, and nearly had a fight in the audience instead of the in the cage. Aldo was not intimidated, and seemed unimpressed by the win with a smile on his face. Lucky for him, security intervened and made the sure the two did not start brawling on the spot.

“I’m looking into the crowd and I see Jose in the crowd, with my face on a joker poster or something. I don’t know what that was all about. They all think it’s fun and games, and I’m not playing,” McGregor said after his bout to the press, at which point after seeing the sign McGregor sprinted across the canvas towards Aldo. “The only thing that’s stopping me from smacking Jose and whooping him in the crowd was the money. Now it’s time. Now we have a location, and Jose will be the next one to learn that it’s not all talk, it’s not all jokes. Now we only have one man left.”

The featherweight title bout is expected to take place this Summer in Las Vegas, so you have some time to figure out who you are going to bet on and where. Before betting on a match, check out these comprehensive list of reviews this for ideas.

January 18, 2015

“Pitbull” Freire chokes out Straus to retain featherweight title at Bellator 132

Filed under: Event Results,News — The Fight Nerd @ 3:29 PM

Bellator MMA Featherweight World Champion Patricio Pitbull (23-2) was pushed to the limit by tenacious challenger Daniel Straus (22-6), but in the end, the Brazilian showed a ton of heart and retained his title with a gutsy fourth-round submission win.

The contest headlined Friday’s “Bellator: Pitbull vs. Straus” at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif.

Known for his wrestling, Straus showed improved striking skills throughout the bout, as he used his reach and quickness to frustrated Pitbull and open a cut over the champ’s right eye. But Pitbull refused to relent his title and used a late fourth-round takedown to work himself on to his opponent’s back, where he sunk in a rear-naked choke that ended the fight with just 11 second left in the round.

“I knew he’d come out striking,” Pitbull said after the win. “He’s a former world champion and one of the best strikers on the planet. I stuck to my gameplan and showed why I’m the champion. AND STILL!”

Pitbull already knows his next opponent, as Georgi Karakhanyan (24-4-1) picked up an incredibly impressive win over top featherweight prospect Bubba Jenkins (8-2). The two-time D1 All-American Jenkins went quickly to his preferred attack, looking for the takedown, but Karakhanyan was waiting with the perfect counter: a guillotine choke.

Karakhanyan missed on his first attempt at the hold, but when they returned to the feet, Jenkins again looked for the takedown but left his neck behind. Karakhanyan happily cinched up the hold and put Jenkins to sleep with a spectacular finish at the 1:49 mark of the first.

Karakhanyan said he looks forward to the opportunity to erase the frustration of a 2011 loss to Pitbull. “I’m very excited that I’m getting a title shot,” Karakhanyan said. “I’d love to fight Patricio and get my revenge.”

In additional main-card action, local hero Virgil Zwicker (13-4-1) edged out Houston Alexander (16-11-1) by split decision, while Fernando Gonzalez (23-13) outstruck Marius Zaromskis (20-9) en route to a unanimous decision win.

January 9, 2015

Moraes defends bantamweight title against Hill at WSOF 18

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:33 AM

Reigning World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) world bantamweight (135 pounds) champion Marlon Moraes (13-4-1) of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. via Nova Friburgo, Brazil will put his coveted Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) title on the line for the first time against undefeated rival Josh Hill (10-0) of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in the main event of a stacked, four-fight, live NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) telecast from the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Thursday, February 12.

“This is an incredible matchup between two of the world’s top 135 pound fighters that we have been looking to put together for the last several months and, now that it is finally here, we will see who the superior fighter is on February 13,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

In the featherweight (145 pounds) co-main event, a red-hot Chris “Gritz” Gruetzemacher (12-1) of Scottsdale, Ariz. will square off with hard-hitting puncher Antonio “Pato” Carvalho (15-6) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
World-class striker Shane “Shaolin” Campbell (10-2) of Edmonton will make his debut in the WSOF cage against brutal finisher Brandt Dewsbery (13-3-1) of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada in a welterweight (170 pounds) tilt, and unbeaten prospect Hakeem Dawodu (3-0) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada will battle Tristan Johnson (9-5) of Jordantown, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Marlon Moraes vs. Josh Hill

The 26-year-old Moraes, quickly becoming recognized as the top bantamweight fighter in the world, will enter the WSOF cage with eight consecutive victories under his belt, including a split decision over former world champion Miguel Torres, and devastating KO finishes of fellow stars Tyson Nam and Carson Beebe.

In his last effort, Moraes turned in another dominant performance – a second round (1:35) submission (rear-naked choke) of Cody Bollinger in a 140-pound catchweight contest at WSOF 13 on September 13, 2014. Moraes’ win streak dates back to December 2, 2011, when he earned a unanimous decision over Chris Manuel.

The versatile Moraes will attempt to become the first to solve the puzzle that is the 28-year-old Hill, unbeaten since he made his professional debut with a second round (1:42) TKO (punches) of Vito Attanasi on October 10, 2009.
After a 22-month hiatus, Hill, known for his superior wrestling base, made a thunderous return to action on June 7, 2014 at WSOF Canada 2, scoring a first-round (4:20) KO (punch) on Mike Adams.

Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Antonio Carvalho

The 28-year-old Gruetzemacher is riding a spectacular 11-fight win streak that began with his split decision win over Josh Gaskins on April 11, 2009. A power striker with considerable ground skills, Gruetzemacher has, to date, claimed 6 of his 12 career wins by (T)KO and 3 by way of submission.

On March 29, 2014, Gruetzemacher made his WSOF debut, earning a unanimous decision over renowned submission expert John Gunderson. The bout represented the first time in over four years that Gruetzemacher was taken the distance of a fight.

Carvalho will make his much-anticipated debut in the WSOF cage after an extended layoff from competition that began after the 35-year-old suffered a first round (3:06) TKO (punches) at the hands of Darren Elkins, as a result of what many believe was a controversial stoppage by the referee, on March 16, 2013. To date, 10 of Carvalho’s 15 career wins have come by way of (T)KO or submission.

Prior to the defeat, Carvalho reeled off back-to-back victories in the UFC over Daniel Pineda and Rodrigo Damm on July 21, 2012 and November 17, 2012, respectively.

moraes vs hill

Shane Campbell vs. Brandt Dewsbery

Over the course of the last nine years, the 26-year-old Campbell has distinguished himself as a force in both the MMA world and the kickboxing ring while competing all over the world.

In 2013, Campbell did damage amongst the ranks of kickboxers in three of the world’s top promotions, including K-1, winning five consecutive bouts. In both of his MMA starts in 2014, Campbell dominated with his superior striking, scoring a second round (:43) TKO (punches) on Jerrid Burke on May 9 and a second round (:29) TKO (punches) on Marcus Edwards on October 3.

With a proven ability to finish opponents both on his feet and on the ground, the 24-year-old Dewsbery arguably represents Campbell’s toughest challenge in the cage, yet. The 6-year veteran of professional MMA has, thus far, earned 6 of his 13-career wins by way of (T)KO and another 6 wins by way of submission.
Dewsbery will enter the WSOF cage for the second time in his career, in the midst of a three fight win streak that he began on February 21, 2014 with a first round (4:31) submission (rear-naked choke) of Mark Drummond. Dewsbery continued making a statement through the remainder of the year, scoring a fifth round (4:34) KO (flying knee strike) on Chase Maxwell on May 23, and a stunning, 38-second TKO (punches) on Tyler O’Brien on October 18.

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Tristan Johnson

Dawodu made his professional debut at the inaugural WSOF event in Canada on Feb. 21, 2014, scoring a thunderous first round (1:07) KO (punch) on Behrang Yousefi. The protégé of Muay Thai guru Mike Miles has since extended his unbeaten streak with two more dramatic victories, finishing Jake MacDonald by second round (:18) KO (punches) at the second WSOF Canada event on June 7, stopping Mike Malott by way of first round (4:13) TKO (punches and elbow strikes) at WSOF 14 on Oct. 11.

The hard-punching Johnson finished 2014 on a strong note, KO’ing Keven Morin with a punch in the first round (3:59) of their June 7 matchup. The 31-year-old is an eight-year veteran of the professional fight game, who ran to five consecutive victories in his first five starts before suffering his first defeat three years later, in 2010.

January 8, 2015

Glory 19 to feature welterweight tournament, Verhoeven VS Zimmerman

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 9:37 AM

GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced the co-headline bout and finalized the Welterweight Contender Tournament participants for GLORY 19, completing the card set to air live on SPIKE TV at 9/8c from Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia on Friday, February 6.

The co-headline bout for GLORY 19 features an explosive clash between two top-10 kickboxers, as knockout artist and #1 ranked middleweight Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling (18-6-0, 11 KOs) takes on 21-year-old Canadian prodigy Robert “White Dragon” Thomas (7-2-0, 5 KOs), ranked #9.

Announced last week on gloryworldseries.com, Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (84-11-0, 44 KOs) returns to GLORY as a participant in the one-night, four-man Welterweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 19. Initially slated to face Murthel Groenhart, Holzen now meets relentless Russian striker Aleksandr Stetcurenko (49-8-0, 24 KOs) in the tournament’s first semifinal match-up.

Due to a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for the first half of 2014, Holzken’s most recent appearance for the organization came while conquering the Welterweight World Championship Tournament field at GLORY 13: TOKYO in December of 2013.

Also announced last week, the second tournament semifinal match-up pits American karate world champion and human highlight reel Raymond “The Real Deal” Daniels (25-1-0, 15 KOs), currently #7 in the division, up against Brazilian prospect, #6 ranked Jonatan Oliveira (20-3-0, 11 KOs).

The winners of each semifinal bout will then face off, fighting for the second and final time that evening, to earn the right to compete against reigning GLORY Welterweight World Champion “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini at a later date.

GLORY 19 is headlined by Rico Verhoeven (44-9-0, 10 KOs), defending the GLORY Heavyweight World Title against bitter rival and hard hitting veteran Errol “The Bonecrusher” Zimmerman (103-11-1, 44 KOs) in the rubber match of a trilogy that dates back to January of 2012.

glory 19

In association Veteran Operation Wellness (VOW), GLORY will host its first armed forces exhibition featuring one member of the US Navy competing against one member of the US Air Force under GLORY Rules.

VOW is a Spike campaign created to inspire veterans to make the same commitment to their health and wellness that they made to their country.

December 16, 2014

MMA Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against UFC, Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 5:57 PM

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 5.53.10 PM
Three current and former high-profile Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters filed a multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit today against the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization, accusing the $2-billion outfit of illegally maintaining monopoly and monoposony power by systematically eliminating competition from rival promoters, artificially suppressing fighters’ earnings from bouts and merchandising and marketing activities through restrictive contracting and other exclusionary practices.
The civil action – Cung Le, et al. v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC– filed todayin the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose,seeks treble damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act stemming from the UFC’s alleged “over-arching, anti-competitive scheme to enhance its monopoly power” in the market for promotion of live Elite Professional MMA bouts, and monopsony powerin the market for live Elite Professional MMA Fighter services in the U.S. Monopsony refers to when there are many “sellers” and few “buyers” in the marketplace.
The lawsuit filed by fighters Cung Le, Nathan Quarry and Jon Fitch,who seek to represent a class of similarly situated current and former UFC professional combatants,allegesthat the plaintiffs are victims of the UFC’s illegal scheme to eliminate its competition in the sport of MMA and suppress compensation for UFC Fighters from bouts and fighteridentities and likenesses.
According to plaintiffs’ counsel Benjamin Brown, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC,“The UFC was built on the battered bodies of MMA fighters who have left their blood and sweat in the Octagon.  Those fighters are entitled to the benefits of a competitive market for their talents.”
The lawsuit targets defendants Zuffa LLC, the Las Vegas-based company that conducts business as the UFC. Zuffa isprimarily owned by billionaires Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, along with the UFC’s front-man, President Dana White.  White has publicly boasted about the success of the UFC’s alleged illegal scheme, allegedly claiming that “there is no competition” because “I am the grim reaper[.]”
The lawsuit claims that the UFC’s alleged anti-competitive acts, in particular its actions over a period of years, have made and maintained the UFC asthe onlyoption for MMA fighters who want to earn a viable living in the profession.
“All UFC Fighters are paid a mere fraction of what they would make in a competitive market,” said Brown.“Rather than earning paydays comparable to boxers – a sport with many natural parallels –MMA fighters go substantially under-compensated despite the punishing nature of their profession.”
Above all, the lawsuit alleges thatthe UFC prevents fighters from working with other MMA promoters, mounting self-promotional efforts of their ownor signing with outside sponsors – monopolistic practices that suppressfighters’ incomes.
According to named plaintiff Cung Le, of San Jose, Calif., an internationally acclaimed MMA combatant, “Because  of the UFC’s coercive practices, competitive market forces have been strangled, future earnings power of the athletes is stripped away, and purses to the fighters are artificially depressed.”
Plaintiffs’ co-counsel and sports law specialist Robert Maysey, of Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC, added, “As a result of the UFC’s illegal conduct, they have become the only game in town and locked down the entire sport.  It is ironic that the fiercest combat athletes in the world have, until now, been powerless to take on the UFC.”
The lawsuit alleges that the UFC has pursued an aggressive strategy of depriving key inputs to potential rival promoters or merging with them to maintain its monopoly position.  The complaint alleges “exclusionary scheme” to impair and foreclose competition, whereby the UFC deprives potential competitors in the fight promotion market access to elite MMA fighters, premium live event venues and sponsors.
According to plaintiffs’ co-counsel Michael Dell’Angelo, of Berger & Montague, P.C., “the lawsuit alleges that the UFC has engaged in an illegal scheme to eliminate competition from rival MMA promoters by systematically preventing rivals from gaining access to ingredients critical to successful MMA promotions, including by imposing extreme restrictions on UFC Fighters’ ability to fight for rivals during and after their tenure with the UFC.  The UFC also takes the rights to fighters’ names and likenesses in perpetuity.  As a result of the UFC’s scheme, we allege that UFC Fighters are paid fraction of what they would earn in a competitive marketplace.”
The lawsuit alleges that as a result of these and other anti-competitive acts, including the UFC’s acquisition of rival Strikeforce, the UFC has maintained control of more than 90 percent of the revenue derived from live MMA bouts nationwide.
The lawsuit also alleges that the UFC has retaliated against fighters who have worked with or who have announced intentions to work with rival promoters or sponsors by refusing to book their bouts and/or eliminating them from key UFC promotional activities such as advertising campaigns and video games.
“UFC’s threats are taken seriously by fighters because they know that a UFC ban will substantially diminish, if not end, their ability to earn a living at their chosen profession,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Joseph Saveri of Saveri Law Firm, Inc. “These MMA professionals deserve the right to take back their careers.”
The plaintiffs are represented by nationally respected antitrust litigation firmsCohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC, Berger & Montague, P.C.,Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc. and Warner Angle Hallam Jackson &Formanek PLC.
For more information about Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC,visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com/news.php?NewsID=742
- Info Via Press Release, Photo courtesy of Sherdog Twitter
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