The Fight Nerd

June 24, 2014

Hendricks wants Weidman in UFC Super fight, Dana says no!

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:43 PM

Fans were hoping to get Anderson Silva and GSP into the octagon down the line for an epic superfight, but with GSP taking an indefinite leave of absence and Silva still recovering from his horrific leg injury, it looks like we might have a new multi-division super fight on our hands.

UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks appeared on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” last week, alongside UFC President Dana White, who was there to discuss the recent signing of Scott Coker to take helm over at Bellator MMA, as well as other recent UFC news stories and upcoming events (including UFC Fight Night 43, for which you can view odds here ).

Hendricks asked, “Realistically, if I won three or four fights, and so does Chris Weidman, three or four fights, do you think we could have that [super fight] happen? 185?” White responded in typical fashion, “Well I don’t know about three or four fights. First of all, champ, you are in a very nasty division that is packed with talent from one through thirteen. You got a lot of housework to do before you start talking about Chris Weidman. So hypothetically, if five through thirteen quit in the next two years, yeah, maybe we can do you and Chris Weidman.”

Hendricks seemed to be put on the spot by host Kenny Rice or a producer in the studio, as his response to Dana was just to reiterate it was hypothetical and that he is focused on his division. In the end, all the talk of a super fight will probably not happen, although if it did, it would be a tremendous match to see.

Weidman will be fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 175, with the champ postponing his last fight due to surgery on his knees. Hendricks is currently recovering from an injury still that he suffered in his last fight, and has just recently begun training again, with no new challenger to his belt named at this time.

June 18, 2014

Scott Coker announced as new President of Bellator MMA

Filed under: Lead Story,News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 3:28 PM

Veteran combat sports promoter Scott Coker has been named President, Bellator MMA, effective immediately, thus replacing former CEO Bjorn Rebney. The announcement was made today by Kevin Kay, Spike TV President, to whom he will report. In his new position, Coker, will oversee the day-to-day management of the emerging mixed martial arts franchise. Coker was Founder and former CEO of Strikeforce, which began in 1985 as a kickboxing league and developed into an MMA league in 2006.

“We are excited to have Scott Coker lead us in a new direction as we evolve the league format from a tournament-based organization to a more traditional model with big fights,” said Kay

Coker will be introduced on a conference call on Wednesday, June 18 at 6pm ET/3pm PT. Expect more coverage later today with updates.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney parts ways with Bellator MMA

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 3:14 PM

Spike TV and Bjorn Rebney, Founder, Chairman & CEO, and Tim Danaher, President & COO, announced today that Rebney and Danaher are leaving their positions at Bellator MMA effective immediately.

“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded. I have great pride in having turned my vision into reality, a thriving business with television distribution to over 140 countries around the world, a partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment giants and wide array of sponsors, partners and strategic allies all over the globe. This has been a wonderful eight plus years of creation, development and success. I will miss the courageous, strong and dedicated fighters I have had the pleasure of promoting, and equally, I will miss the incredibly hard working, remarkable team that has become a family for me over the years. Viacom and Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator, but Tim and I both wish them well,” said Bjorn Rebney.

“I feel very privileged and honored to have been one of the guiding forces for developing Bellator into the largest MMA tournament based organization in the World. I’ve made tremendous life-long friends and feel blessed to have worked with such talented and dedicated people”, said Tim Danaher.

“I would like to thank Bjorn and Tim on behalf of Spike and Viacom for their dedication and hard work building Bellator from the ground up. They worked tirelessly in getting Bellator to where it is today. They were great partners to work with and we wish them all the best,” said Kevin Kay, Spike TV President.

June 12, 2014

All Bellator Tournament Winners Now In World Title Shot Pool … FOREVER!

Filed under: News — Tags: — The Fight Nerd @ 1:22 PM

With Bellator’s 2014 Summer Series having just begun last Friday, Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney announced today that the promotion has made an addition to its real sport, tournament based format that allows former Bellator Tournament winners the potential to be granted a World Title fight without going back into The Toughest Tournament in Sports.

“Just like we’ve done since day one, any fighter who wins The Toughest Tournament in Sports will still be guaranteed a World Title fight,” Rebney said. “The addition I’m making here, that I’m really excited about, is if you’ve won a tournament, you’ll join an elite group of athletes who we can grant a world title fight to at any time.”

“For example, if you win a tournament, fight for the World Title and lose, you forever remain in that elite group of fighters who can be awarded another shot at the title. We will place some fighters back into tournaments, while others may lose a world title fight, win some non-tournament fights and be awarded another shot at the title. We won’t be implementing any hard and fast rule as to when a fighter will go back into a tournament and when he’ll fight non-tournament fights and potentially be granted another title shot. What’s great about this addition is that it allows us to stay true to our core format, where title shots can only be earned through a tournament win, while also providing us tremendous flexibility to make the great fights fans want to see. And, we can do all this while keeping our fighters busy and battling in meaningful fights on a re-occurring basis. This is another step in our constant evolution and most importantly it’s a win for the fighters and the fans.”

“When I heard about this change, I instantly fell in love with it,” Bellator Interim Lightweight Champion Will Brooks said. “This is a way to keep guys active after they have proven themselves in a tournament. You always want to stay in the mix as a fighter, and it’s really exciting to me that Bellator is taking the fighters and fans opinions to heart and making decisions to put on the best fights possible. It’s refreshing to see and be a part of, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

“At the end of the day, everyone wants to see guys they know stay busy and active,” Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima said. “As fighters we want to stay busy and keep fighting, and this new change helps keep the talent pool fresh and creates new challengers for us. I know the tournament isn’t going anywhere, it’s how we all came up and got our titles, but now we have a chance to keep staying busy and keep defending our titles.”

The current pool of fighters eligible to be chosen to fight for the world title includes:

Bantamweight: Eduardo Dantas*, Joe Warren*, Marcos Galvao, Rafael Silva

Featherweight: Pat Curran*, Patricio Pitbull, Daniel Straus, Shahbulat Shamhalaev, “Frodo” Khasbulaev, Daniel Weichel, Joe Warren.

Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez*, Will Brooks*, Michael Chandler, Pat Curran, Rick Hawn, Dave Jansen, David Rickels

Welterweight: Douglas Lima*, Karl Amoussou, Andrey Koreshkov, Rick Hawn

Middleweight: Alexander Shlemenko*, Brennan Ward, Doug Marshall

Light Heavyweight: Emanuel Newton*, Rampage Jackson, King Mo, Christian M’Pumbu, Atilla Vegh,

Heavyweight: Vitaly Minakov*, Alexander Volkov, Cheick Kongo

* Denotes Current Bellator Champion or Interim Champion

June 10, 2014

WSOF 11 to be NBC’s first televised MMA event, with Gaethje VS Newell for lightweight title

Just last week, World Series of Fighting made headlines when promotion officials announced a major partnership renewal with NBC that will see the organization air live events on the major network twice this year – and many more times in years to follow. The promotion’s inaugural NBC-broadcast event, “World Series of Fighting 11: Gaethje vs. Newell” now takes place July 5 at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.

World Series of Fighting 11 is headlined by a lightweight championship bout with the exciting Justin Gaethje (11-0) putting his belt on the line against the extremely tough and talented “Notorious” Nick Newell (11-0). Also on the card, a highly anticipated welterweight rubber match takes place as we see Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jon Fitch (25-6-1, 1 NC) take on Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman (27-10). Both Fitch and Burkman boast a win over each other, so this bout is for bragging rights.

Additionally, newly signed lightweight Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (31-13-2) debuts against Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (18-7-1) and Cody “Bam Bam” Bollinger (15-2, 1 NC) faces a dangerous 14-year veteran in Pablo Alfonso (9-5) in an intriguing bantamweight contest.

“We’ve been talking about it for some time now, and we’re thrilled to see all of the pieces falling perfectly into place for our first show on NBC,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo. “With World Series of Fighting 11 taking place over the holiday weekend in Daytona, the world’s most famous beach, we are anticipating fireworks from the Fourth to continue in the cage. I know that it will be another great night of fights for all of our fans.”

Lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is a member of Colorado’s Grudge Training Center and has already earned World Series of Fighting wins over Rich Patishnock, Dan Lauzon, Brian Cobb and Gesias Cavalcante. Fighting professionally since 2011, the 25-year-old is undefeated in his first 11 career fights, and 10 of those have ended via stoppage, including nine by knockout.

“Notorious” Nick Newell will be challenging Gaethje for his lightweight championship when the cage doors close. The inspirational Newell, who shares an identical record (11-0) with his opponent, last defeated Sabah Fadai at World Series of Fighting 7. It was his second submission victory in as many fights under the World Series of Fighting banner, having previously dispatched of Keon Caldwell at World Series of Fighting 4 with a modified guillotine choke that earned him a top play on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

When Jon Fitch (25-6-1, 1 NC) and Josh Burkman (27-10) met for the second time in their careers at World Series of Fighting 3 event Las Vegas, Burkman was determined to return the favor from when Fitch submitted him with a rear-naked choke seven years earlier. Despite being the underdog going into the fight, Burkman succeeded in a victory that earned him a “Submission of the Year” nomination at the World MMA Awards. Both fighters have earned victories since World Series of Fighting 3, with Burkman scoring an impressive first-round knockout over Tyler Stinson on March 9 and Fitch beating Marcelo Alfaya at World Series of Fighting 6.

Melvin Guillard is well-known as one of the most explosive and dangerous knockout artists in all of combat sports. Fighting professionally since he was just a teenager, Guillard is one of the most athletically gifted strikers in the sport today and is capable of ending any fight in a single punch. Meanwhile, Gesias Cavalcante is a well-respected veteran of the sport who has fought previously for Strikeforce and DREAM and now competes for the fourth time under the World Series of Fighting banner. The 31-year-old Brazilian is 2-1 with the promotion with stoppage victories over T.J. O’Brien and Tyson Griffin, and his only loss in that span came due to a cut against current champ Gaethje.

Bollinger made his promotional debut at World Series of Fighting 8 in January and took a unanimous decision against Tyson Nam, giving him back-to-back wins. Alfonso brings a three-fight winning streak to the bout, including a first-round submission of former WEC champ Miguel Torres at World Series of Fighting 6 this past October.

June 3, 2014

FIRST 8-MAN TOURNAMENT MATCH-UP ANNOUNCED FOR “GLORY: LAST MAN STANDING”

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:34 AM

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GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced the first match-up in the one-night, 8-man tournament for its inaugural Pay-Per-View (PPV) event, GLORY: LAST MAN STANDING, to air live from The Forum, Presented by Chase, in Inglewood, California on Saturday, June 21st.

Power puncher Melvin ‘No Mercy’ Manhoef (47-11-0, 37 KO) makes his GLORY debut when he takes on technician Filip ‘The Belgian Bull’ Verlinden (42-11-1, 16 KO) in the tournament’s opening round. The winner will advance to the semi-final round and remain in contention to be crowned GLORY Middleweight World Champion.

The following video is a pre-fight interview with Melvin Manhoef, previewing the event.

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Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef is one of the most exciting names in combat sports, from kickboxing to MMA and back. Melvin trains with the legendary Mike Passenier, and he’s promised his friends and family that he will be the Last Man Standing in Los Angeles.

His opponent, Filip Verlinden’s pre-fight interview can be found below.

Filip “The Belgian Bull” Verlinden is the only fighter in GLORY to have competed in Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, and now Middleweight. Filip is a very technical, intelligent fighter, and he’s hung with some of the most powerful men in the fight game.

June 2, 2014

Randy Couture & Frank Shamrock team up for Spike TV’s “Gym Rescue”

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 4:31 PM

Spike TV is getting in shape for summer with “Gym Rescue” hosted by MMA legends Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock. The 3-episode series premieres Sunday, August 10 at 9:00pm ET/PT. 
 
More and more Americans every year are joining gyms to stay in shape and live healthier and more productive lives. However, running a successful gym is fraught with economic peril as many end up closing due to grievous mismanagement.
 
MMA legends Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock use their years of expertise in the business of mixed martial arts to help turn struggling gyms into thriving enterprises.  Couture currently owns a successful chain of gyms, Xtreme Couture MMA while Shamrock runs the acclaimed Shamrock MMA.  Together this dynamic duo has the know-how and track record to help take a failing gym on the ropes and turn it into a champion. 
 
From traditional gyms to military-style boot-camps to yoga studios, Couture and Shamrock will do whatever it takes to whip the failing gyms into shape. From re-defining the gym’s identity, to renovating the outdated workout equipment to revising their marketing strategies, no problem is too big for this team of heavyweights. The hosts will also confront the gym owners with their assessment and plan of attack. No detail will go unnoticed as they scour the facility’s procedures from top to bottom. At the end of every episode, the new gym is revealed and it’s determined if the once failing gym has become a winning success.
 
The series was shot on location in Florida and Colorado.
 
“Gym Rescue” is produced by Kinetic Content with Chris Coelen, Couture and Samuel Spira as Executive Producers.
 

May 12, 2014

GSP and WWE’s Batista to star in remake of JCVD’s “Kickboxer”

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 3:14 PM

Brian O’Shea, CEO of The Exchange, has announced a deal to sell the big budget reboot of the 1989 classic KICKBOXER. The Exchange will begin selling this action packed remake at this year Cannes market.

KICKBOXER will be directed by Chinese phenomenon Stephen Fung (TAI CHI ZERO, TAI CHI HERO) and produced hit maker Ted Field of Radar Pictures (RIDDICK Series, THE LAST SAMURAI). KICKBOXER will star UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER), and WWE superstar Dave Bautista (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.) The film will also be introducing Alain Moussi as its lead. Mr. Moussi is a world-renowned stunt man / martial artists, performing in such films as X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, IMMORTALS, PACIFIC RIM, and WHITEHOUSE DOWN.”Alain is a star and will be an amazing leading man,” said Filed “Like Vin in RIDDICK, Alain will make this movie very special and this KICKBOXER reboot will be the start of an amazing franchise”.

Additional cast will be announced shortly.

David and Kurt Sloan are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California dynasty of champions. Both are top-notch fighters and athletes in the prime of their lives. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite Kurt’s protests that the man is a crook. Not soon after, Kurt receives a letter from David and heads to Thailand to meet him. When he arrives, he discovers his brother is dead. The man responsible is the viscous Tong Po. Desperate to seek revenge, Kurt turns to Xian Chow, his brother’s former mentor. To defeat the man who killed his brother, Kurt must look within himself to find the strength and courage of a champion.

The film is also produced by Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will executive produce as well as Brian O’Shea, Jeff Bowler and Nat McCormick for the Exchange.

“I am very excited about KICKBOXER being in Cannes” said O’Shea, “we have a visionary director, a strong Hollywood producer, great cast and an action packed script based on a well known property – what more can you ask for?”

May 11, 2014

Eddie Alvarez Removed From Bellator PPV due to concussion, but the show must go on

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Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez has suffered a head injury before his scheduled May 17th Lightweight Title fight with Michael Chandler and has been removed from the fight card. In his place, Lightweight Tournament winner Will Brooks will now face Chandler for the Interim Lightweight World Title. The nights headlined by the Light Heavyweight Tournament Final between MMA icon Rampage Jackson and King Mo, along with Tito Ortiz battling Middleweight World Champion Alexander Shlemenko, all on Pay-Per-View.

“Injuries are part of MMA, but so are great opportunities, as we move forward with an incredible, must see night of fights this Saturday on Pay-Per-View,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “This is a great card for MMA fans with huge value highlighted as Rampage Jackson is finally getting the opportunity to battle King Mo for a shot at the World Title, one of the most exciting young phenoms in MMA, Will Brooks getting a title shot against Michael Chandler, and of course Tito Ortiz in a crazy fight against Alexander Shlemenko. I can’t wait for this night of fights on May 17th.”

“This has been a crazy few days with a wide range of emotion, but with Will now in the picture, I know we are going to have fireworks on May 17th,” Chandler said. “I wish Eddie the best, and I’m looking forward to finishing our trilogy, but now I’m focused on the task at hand.”

“I’ve always said I’m ready to fight anyone with hesitation, and now this is my chance to back that up,” Brooks said. “I want that belt around my waist more than anyone, and I’m ready. This is just a great opportunity that I’m ready for. I’m ready to jump into the fire.”

The full fight card for the Bellator Pay-Per-View on May 17th is below:

Bellator Pay-Per-View Fight Card:

Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: Rampage Jackson (34-11) vs. King Mo (12-3)

Bellator Interim Lightweight World Title Fight: Michael Chandler (12-1) vs. Will Brooks (13-1)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Fight: Alexander Shlemenko (50-7) vs. Tito Ortiz (16-11-1)
Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final: Blagoi Ivanov (11-0) vs. Alexander Volkov (20-4)

Bellator Welterweight Fight: Rickey Rainey (7-2) vs. Michael Page (5-0)

Bellator Spike TV Fight Card:

Bellator Heavyweight Fight: Cheick Kongo (20-9) vs. Eric Smith (6-1-1)
Bellator Featherweight Fight: Shahbulat Shamhalaev (12-2) vs. Fabricio Guerreiro (19-3)
Bellator Featherweight Fight: Goiti Yamauchi (16-2) vs. Mike Richman (16-4)

Bellator Spike.com Fight Card:

Bellator Featherweight Fight: Zach Underwood (12-5) vs. Austin Lyons (10-3)

Bellator Heavyweight Fight: Justin Frazier (6-1) vs. Mike Wessel (13-7)

Bellator Welterweight Fight: Ben Brewer (6-1) vs. Andy Uhrich (8-4)

Bellator Welterweight Fight: Anthony Lemon (2-3) vs. Codie Shuffield (4-0)

Bellator Bantamweight Fight: Cortez Phelia (2-0) vs. Brain Hall (7-2)

April 28, 2014

Team USA takes on the world at “Beat the Streets 2014″ Times Square Wrestling Meet

Filed under: News — Tags: , — The Fight Nerd @ 2:28 PM

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In what has become a rite of spring in New York, Beat the Streets Wrestling, Inc. and USA Wrestling today announced details of this year’s international competition, which returns to Times Square on Wednesday, May 7, this time at a new location, between 42nd and 43rd Streets in Manhattan. Competitors for Team USA and a World All-Star team featuring select wrestlers from across the world will be announced shortly.

“We are excited to be back in Times Square, the center of the universe,” said Jim Fallis, Executive Director of Beat the Streets. “We are very excited about the concept of the USA vs. the World. We are pleased that many of the best wrestlers in the world will be coming to face our American team. Where else should it be than in Times Square?”

Top Beat the Streets wrestlers will showcase their skills in exhibition matches beginning at 4 p.m. Then it’s Team USA vs. the World at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Beat the Streets Award Gala at 7:30 p.m. at Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway).

The USA vs. the World dual requires a ticket for reserved seating in Times Square, but is an outdoor event. Pedestrians and non-ticket holders are encouraged to watch. Admission tickets may be bought in advance at www.btsny.org or 212.245.6570. A ticket is required for the Gala. More details are available at http://www.btsny.org/gala/2014-gala.

The world-class competition has twice before been held in Times Square. Last year the event moved to historic Grand Central Terminal, where it was also a huge success. Dubbed “The Rumble on the Rails,” it featured dual meets between Team USA, Russia and Iran and was an important part of the international Keep Olympic Wrestling effort, which resulted in wrestling retaining its status on the Olympic Games program.

This will be the fifth straight year in which a major international-style wrestling competition will be hosted as part of the Beat the Streets Gala activities. In 2010, an all-star challenge featuring top U.S. wrestlers was held on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. In 2011, the United States defeated World champion Russia, 5-2, the first sports event ever held in historic Times Square. In 2012, another U.S. vs. Russia dual meet was held in Times Square, along with the U.S. Olympic Team Wrestle-off for the 60 kg/132 lbs. position on the U.S. Olympic Team in men’s freestyle. All of these events have been great showcases for international wrestling and have received major media coverage.

Tentative Beat The Streets Wrestling Schedule
At New York, May 7, 2014

4:00 p.m. – Beat the Streets Exhibition Matches in Times Square at 43rd Street
5:30 p.m. – World Class Wrestling: Team USA vs. The World in Times Square at 43rd Street
7:30 p.m. – Gala Celebration at Best Buy Theater at 1515 Broadway

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