The Fight Nerd

November 19, 2014

Bellator 131 ranks as most-watched MMA event of 2014 & Bellator MMA show ever

Filed under: News — The Fight Nerd @ 6:57 PM

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Bellator 131 knocked out the competition on Saturday, November 15 with record ratings for the emerging MMA franchise under new president Scott Coker. The Bellator 131 main event between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar (11:50pm-12:16am) drew 1.8 million viewers, peaking at 2 million, making it the most-watched and highest­rated MMA fight on cable in 2014.

The Ortiz-Bonnar fight ranks as 2nd highest-rated MMA fight telecast in all of television with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49, including broadcast, in 2014. Also, Ortiz-Bonnar ranked #2 in its timeslot in all of cable with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49.

“Bellator 131 was an incredible event that had something for everybody, and I’m thrilled to see our efforts were so well-received by our fans,² said Coker. ³I’m very proud of our entire Bellator and Spike family for all of the hard work they put resulting in these record-breaking ratings. The most exciting thing for me is the knowledge that that we are just getting started, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for the future.”

Bellator 131 ratings breakdown:

Bellator 131 ­ Ortiz vs. Bonnar ­ 11:50p – 1.8 million viewers

Bellator 131 ­ 10:11p – 1.3 million viewers

Bellator 131 ­ 9p – 994,000 viewers

Overall, the entire fight card delivered (9:00-12:16) delivered 1,241,299 viewers, a record for Bellator MMA on Spike TV. Bellator 131 was a knockout with social media as well ­ as it was the most tweeted Bellator event in Spike history.

November 16, 2014

Bellator Announces First-Quarter 2015 Fight Schedule

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

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Bellator is primed to kick off 2015 with a bang as the promotion has announced the first three events of 2015. Bellator 132 will take place on January 16 from Southern California’s Pechanga Resort and Casino and will be headlined by Patricio Pitbull, who defends his Bellator Featherweight World Title against Daniel Straus.

Bellator 133 will take place on February 27 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as the night will feature a full “British Invasion” as Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima puts his title on the line against Paul Daley, while Emanuel Newton will defend his strap against rising light heavyweight star Liam McGeary. Bobby Lashley will face his toughest test to date in the Bellator cage when he meets “The Colossus” James Thompson, while Sokoudjou will battle England’s own Linton Vassell in a light heavyweight affair.

Bellator 134 will emanate from Oklahoma’s Winstar World Casino and Resort and feature the return of “The Baddest Man On The Planet” as Joe Warren battles Marcos Galvao for the Bellator Bantamweight Title.

Tickets for all three events are on sale now and can be purchased on Bellator.com. More information on each fight card will be made available in the coming weeks.

Bellator 132: Friday, January 16, Pechanga Resort and Casino, Temecula, California

Bellator Featherweight Title Fight: Patricio Pitbull (22-2) vs. Daniel Straus (23-5)

Bellator 133: Friday, February 27, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut

Bellator Welterweight Title Fight: Douglas Lima (26-5) vs. Paul Daley (35-13)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Emanuel Newton (25-7) vs. Liam McGeary (9-0)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Sokoudjou (16-12) vs. Linton Vassell (14-4)

Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Bobby Lashley (12-2) vs. James Thompson (20-14)

Bellator 134: Friday, March 27, Winstar World Casino and Resort, Thackerville, Oklahoma

Bellator Bantamweight Title Fight: Joe Warren (12-3) vs. Marcos Galvao (16-6)

November 14, 2014

The ‘Hunt’ for gold: Will Mark Hunt be MMA’s ‘Rocky’ story?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — The Fight Nerd @ 2:25 PM

BY JUANJO DELGADO

It was almost a pipe dream when fans were calling for a potential title shot for Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt after he had knocked out Roy Nelson in Japan. One injury to Cain Velasquez later though and the reality is right on our doorstep. UFC fans around the world rejoice. There are a plethora of reasons that these fans, old and new, are firmly behind Hunt at UFC 180 in Mexico City this weekend.

For some it’s nostalgia; Hunt was a Pride FC regular, defeating Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Cro Cop in their prime, and facing the best heavyweights in the world consistently. For others it’s a tale of becoming a champion against the odds. Not just any champion, but UFC champion. Hunt entered the Octagon at 5-6, losing his debut to the unheralded Sean McCorkle, and has since gone on to pave his way towards the interim championship with some big performances. For many though, it’s just the fact that Hunt seems like that regular dude anybody could know, the everyman, and he just so happens to a violent, crushing 265lb behemoth in the cage.

The chiselled physique of Georges St-Pierre earned him legions of admirers, but people always had a soft spot for the soft-around-the-middle – yet freakishly talented – BJ Penn. He was you, he was me, he was all of us. He was fallible, slightly flabby (and at some points more than slightly), and he was human. That’s part of the attraction of Mark Hunt. He isn’t a glamorised TV persona or an unattainable adonis – he’s a laid-back family man with a penchant for separating some of the best fighters in the world from their senses.

If you’d have presented his current UFC resume to any discerning fight fan back in 2010 they’d have told you to take your delusions elsewhere (probably filed in the ‘Impossible Ideas’ section, along a successful Shine Fights PPV). However, four KO wins against high-level opposition, two Knockout of the Night awards, two Fight of the Night awards, and one new-fangled Performance of the Night award later and you’re genuinely looking at one of the best heavyweights on the planet. This is no longer being endeared to a man who did the ‘atomic butt drop’ because, you know, that’s always awesome. He is beating the best fighters in the world, and usually emphatically.

When he comes up against Fabricio Werdum this weekend, betting lines will have him as a big underdog, but there seems to be an air that this Rocky story hasn’t reached its peak just yet. There’s a feeling that he just might do it. He hasn’t had the time to prepare, but he could just find a way. The rocks he has for fists are a great equaliser, and he sees them as plenty enough to negate the grappling advantages of his opponent. Legitimate one shot KO power will always keep him in the game, long enough for him to nonchalantly walk off with his opponent face down on the canvas at least.

He may not win, and the fact that he is even in contention for the gold is a monumental achievement regardless, but if he did it’d be hard to find a narrative in MMA to rival this one. Let’s do it, Super Samoan. Make history.

November 11, 2014

Domke “Image Maker” Camera Bag Review

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

There is one name that is synonymous with carrying cameras safely as well as stylish, and that name is Domke. My first Domke camera bag was a modest and rugged shoulder bag, and it proved its worth when I went to Japan in 2008 by carrying far more weight than it should have, as well as keeping all the contents of my bag completely dry despite the heavy rain I would walk through. Recently, Domke has relaunched and redesigned their line of carrying bags to add more form to their function with their “Next Generation” line. I was able to get a hold of one of the bags, “The Image Maker”, to see if it worked with what I needed, as well as if their quality has diminished with their new appearances.

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The Image Maker has a stone color (which is a greenish-greyish tone) with black webbing, and stands nearly 16 wide, 10 inches deep, and about seven inches across the top. It comes with two big dividers down the middle interior of the bag, top access with double zipper, a rear slide pocket, front cargo pockets, and an expandable zippered side pocket to increase the holding size of your bag (in other words, the camera bag is like a TARDIS – it’s bigger on the inside).

In terms of how to carry the bag, it uses a luggage strap on top and a key-ring strap to secure the bag down. The bag utilizes a “quiet” system hook and loop silencer, which means you can open and close your bag silently (no annoying clicking noises and extremely easy to use). It also has a padded zippered tablet sleeve that fits up to 11 x 8″ for any tablets, small laptops, or paperwork that you need to carry with you.

This bag also uses the Domke GearProtex Insert System, which allows you to compartmentalize the bag as you see fit for whatever needs you might have or whatever size of equipment you need to hold, as well as the Domke PocketFlex Pocket and Pouch system, that adds additional depth to what your bag can hold with interior and exterior storage additions that can be easily attached to the bag.

So, what is in my Domke “Image Maker” Camera Bag right now? The bag is able to hold 1-2 DSLR bodies with zoom lens along, or 1 DSLR body with a long zoom lens, along with with 2-3 more lenses, flash and accessories plus a tablet. If you use a mirrorless camera, like I am these days, you can fit 5-6 more lenses in the bag along with all of the other accessories mentioned above. As for my contents, I was able to fit two DSLR bodies in the bag, along with a camcorder and an additional lens, plus a bunch of accessories. Since my testing, I decided to just cram as much stuff in the bag as I could to see how it would handle all the extra mass, and this bag is insane! I currently have two-medium sized LED lights with stands in it, a small LED light that attaches to my camera, a camcorder, lens converter, lens magnifier, and a tabletop tripod. This is all in the main compartment, I am not including the side pouches yet!

Aside from the endless black hole that is the interior of the Image Maker bag, the enclosures all work smooth and tightly, including the zelcro pouches and the hook and loop system that is extremely secure, but takes little effort from the wearer to open and close the bag. It’s quite comfortable to wear and carry, and the weight is so evenly distributed thanks to the construction of the bag that it feels like you are carrying nothing at all.

The Domke Image Maker camera bag may be lightweight but it is definitely a heavy-duty storage system. At around $280, this bag does not skimp on functionality as well as form and is among the best – but what else would you expect from Domke? I give it very high recommendations for consumers and professionals, for use on-the-go or for a very safe way to store items you do not use and keep it in your studio. Easy to carry, easy to wear, and easy to use – the Image Maker makes for one great camera bag!

Wanderlei Silva Set To Appear At Dave & Buster’s for Bellator 131 Pre-Party

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:34 PM

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The festivities surrounding Saturday’s #Bellator131 continue to grow as Bellator will host a pre-party kickoff event from San Diego’s Dave & Buster’s on Friday, November 14. After weigh-ins, fans are invited to take pictures and have autographs signed with MMA legends Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, and now MMA icon Wanderlei Silva beginning at 6pm PST. Silva will join the other MMA legends in attendance for #Bellator 131 on Saturday, November 15.

“After we saw just an overwhelming response to our Bellator Fan Fest a few weeks ago, we wanted to once again give our fans a chance to be a part of something special and give everyone the opportunity to spend time with a group of fighters that built the sport we all love,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “We have events taking place all week around the San Diego area as we prepare for the biggest night of fights in company history, and we want everyone to be a part of it.”

#Bellator131 takes place on Saturday, November 15th from Valley View Casino Center. The night will feature one of the biggest grudge matches in the sport as MMA icons Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz and “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar battle at light heavyweight, while San Diego’s own Michael Chandler faces Will Brooks for the Bellator Lightweight Title.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased on Bellator.com, AXS.com, as well as the Valley View Casino Center.

The full list of fight week activities can be found below:

Wednesday, November 12th

Bellator 131 Open Workouts: Workouts begin at 1pm PST and will take place from Dave & Buster’s San Diego, located at 2931 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA 92108.

Fighters Scheduled To Attend: Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar, Michael Chandler, Will Brooks, King Mo and Melvin Manhoef.

Fans and media are welcome to attend beginning at 1pm PST on Wednesday, November 12th.

Thursday, November 13th

Bellator 131 Pre-Fight Press Conference: The Bellator 131 Pre-Fight Press Conference will begin at 2pm PST on Thursday, November 13th from Dave & Buster’s San Diego, inside the Show Room.

Fighters Scheduled To Attend: Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar, Michael Chandler, Will Brooks, King Mo, Joe Vedepo, Melvin Manhoef and Joe Schilling.

The Bellator 131 Pre-Fight Press Conference will only be open for media members.

Friday, November 14th

Cheick Kongo/Everlast Meet & Greet at Mission Valley Sports Chalet.

The Meet & Greet will take place from 3pm PST. Sports Chalet is located at 1640 Camino Del Rio N San Diego, CA 92108.

Bellator 131 Weigh-Ins from San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center, located at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110.

Weigh-Ins begin at 5pm PST and will be streamed on Bellator.com as well as Spike.com.Fans and media are welcome to attend.

Dave & Busters Official Pre-Party Kick Off with Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock and Wanderlei Silva.

Join MMA legends and the Bellator MMA Ring Girls Mercedes and Jade beginning at 6pm PST at Dave & Buster’s San Diego, 2931 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA 92108.

A live raffle for Bellator 131 tickets will also take place.

Saturday, November 15th

Bellator 131 will take place from the Valley View Casino Center. Doors will open at 3pm PST with first fight beginning at 3:45pm PST on Saturday, November 15th. The Main Card will begin at 6pm PST (9pm EST) live on Spike TV.

Enter our contest and win “Queens of the Ring” on DVD

Filed under: Nerd Stuff — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:25 PM

Time to give away some free stuff! Courtesy of Image Entertainment, we have not one, but two DVD’s of their latest pro wrestling comedy movie, “Queens of the Ring” to give away!

In a desperate attempt to reconnect with her estranged son who is a passionate WWE fan, Rose (Berry) grabs his attention by joining a rigorous training program to learn to wrestle like a legitimate WWE Diva. She convinces her bored fellow cashiers at the local supermarket to join her challenging new adventure and together they become the “Queens of the Ring.” Directed by Jean-Marc Rudnicki, the film stars Marilou Berry, Nathalie Baye, André Dussollier, Audrey Fleurot and features cameos by CM Punk, Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, and Eve Torres.

How do you win this movie? Easy, just tweet out how awesome @thefightnerd is. Tweet it as many times as you want, and spread my awesomeoness to the world. A winner will be chosen at random on November 23, 2014, and will be contacted at some point after for final details. So what are you waiting for, go out there and win, win, WIN!

November 9, 2014

Kenny Garner to fight Sergei Kharitonov in M-1 Challenge 53

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 11:22 AM

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Former M-1 Global interim heavyweight champion Kenny “Deuce” Garner(14-7-0, 8 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) has stepped up to fight Russian heavyweight Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov (21-5-0, 11 KO/TKO, 9 SUB) November 25 in a Heavyweight Super Fight, replacing injured Satoshi Ishii (12-3-1, 1 KO/TKO, 4 SUB), in M-1 Challenge 53: Battle in the Celestial Empire, airing on www.M1Global.TV, live from Wukesong Arena in Beijing, China.

M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura (11-0-0, 4 KO/TKO, 5 SUB), of Poland, defends his title against Estonia’s undefeated challenger Denis Smoldarev (8-0-0, 3 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) in the main event.

Veteran knockout specialist Konstantin Gluhov (28-14-0, 21 KO/TKO, 4 SUB), of Latvia, takes on former M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Damian “Polish Pitbull” Grabowski (19-2-0, 6 KO/TKO, 6 SUB), of Poland, in a Special Heavyweight Attraction.

Garner is an experienced American fighting out of Port St. Lucie, Florida. He won the M-1 Challenge interim heavyweight championship Oct. 14, 2011 at M-1 Challenge: 27, by way of a fifth-round submission (strikes) over Maxim Grishin. Garner successfully defended his title June 21, 2012 at M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo, when Guram Gugenishvili was unable to continue fighting in the third round after suffering an injury. Six months later, Gugenishvili won the rematch by fourth-round knockout (strikes). In 2013, Garner lost by second-round submission (choke) to then new champion Grabowski at M-1 Challenge 44.

After suffering his fourth consecutive loss in M-1 Challenge competition, Garner received permission to rehabilitate his career and get back on the winning track in America, where he won his last two fights against Matt Kovacs (arm-bar submission) and Scott Barrett by decision.

Fighting on the main-card is unbeaten Ukrainian featherweight Pavel Vitruk (11-0-0. 2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB) against Jungle Fight champion Rafael Miranda (9-4-0, 2 KO/TKO, 5 SUB), of Brazil, while Chinese fan favorite and 4-times Wushu Sanda champion Muslim “King of Wushi Sanda” Salikhov (5-1-0) has been matched against Brazilian striker Victor Kratos Sckoteski (5-1-0).

In a recently added fight on a loaded card, Russian featherweight Nikita “Piranha” Chistyakov (4-1-0) faces Honggang “The Master” Yao (10-4-0). A winner of a several tournaments, Chistyakov represents the famed Alexander Nevsky club, using his outstanding wrestling techniques to his advantage.

Yao is an experienced fighter who will be a huge favorite fighting at home in China. He has been a multiple champion in Chinese wrestling tournaments (47-8 career record), specializing in traditional Chinese wrestling, Shuaijiao.

November 2, 2014

Can Bernard Hopkins Secure Victory in Atlantic City this Weekend?

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Fight Nerd @ 11:01 AM

This weekend is a pivotal one for fight fans, as light-heavyweight legend and veteran champion Bernard Hopkins compete in a unification bout against Sergey Kovalev. The American WBA and IBF champion Hopkins, who celebrates his 50th birthday in January, is engaging in his 66th fight and searching for a 56th victory. He is also hoping to unify the division against his undefeated Russian opponent, although many bookmakers make him the slight underdog against a man who drove Welshman Nathan Cleverly to the brink of retirement in 2013.

The fight will be held at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City New Jersey, the spiritual home of pugilism, online blackjack and Caesars Casino. It would take a brave gambler to bet against the American Hopkins, however, especially when you consider the level of experience, confidence and ring craft that he brings to the table. This is befitting of a man of defended his world middleweight title on a record twenty occasions during the 1990’s, and since losing it in 2005 he has risen up the divisions and secured titles in each and every one.

Currently the oldest world champion in history, Hopkins would also become the most experienced unified champion of any division. This would be another landmark achievement for the self-assured American to celebrate, although the latest bout may also prove to be his toughest since he was outpointed by Joe Calzaghe in their controversial encounter of 2008. Russian Kovalev boasts genuine power in both hands and has an extremely capable record, while he stunned the majority of onlookers when he ended the unbeaten run of Nathan Cleverly with a fourth round stoppage.

So while it is always difficult to imagine Bernard Hopkins losing, the robust and physical challenge of Kovalev may be too much for the American to withstand.

Baroni tweets possible fight with Wanderlei Silva… in Japan!

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:19 AM

Some beefs never die, they just grow old and moldy like a French cheese. But like most French cheeses, the stinkier and moldier – the better.

Not that Phil Baroni should be compared with an odiferous pile of curds, but the New York Bad Ass was tweeting that he has been offered a fight with former Pride FC Middleweight champion, Wanderlei Silva. Baroni tweeted his recent fight offer, saying, “If this email is legit fuck yeah I’ll fight Wandy Silva NYE in Japan. Let the talks begin. I’ll take it.”

Hardcore fans will remember that Chute Boxe had a beef with Hammer House, going as far back as Pride FC 31, when Mark Coleman defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via a double-leg takedown that broke Rua’s arm. The referee immediately called the fight off, but Coleman continued to swarm the injured Rua, as the entire Chute Boxe camp piled into the ring to pull Coleman off. The Hammer House corner joined in the fight, including Phil Baroni, who can be seen pretty clearly in the brawl with Wanderlei Silva. Check out the video evidence below:

While Coleman apologized backstage, Chute Boxe was not too interested. It seems that the beef has lingered on this long, and years later, Baroni and Silva will settle the score in the country where it all started. This will definitely be an awesome fight to see if it gets signed, even if it might be a few years later than most of us wanted to see. Start placing your bets now, and grab your MMA betting coupons now to save!

Cris Cyborg injured, off Invicta FC 10 card

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:10 AM

Invicta Fighting Championships today announced that Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino (12-1) injured her left ankle, suffering a full thickness rupture of the anterior talofibular ligament, and has been forced to withdraw from her scheduled bantamweight debut in the main event of Invicta FC 10 on Dec. 5.

Justino has not competed in MMA since July of 2013 when she defeated Marloes Coenen (22-6) via fourth-round TKO at Invicta FC 6 to capture the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship.

Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Michelle Waterson (12-3) now headlines Invicta FC 10 when she faces Brazilian challenger Herica Tiburcio (8-2).

Waterson is coming off the first defense of her title, a TKO victory over Yasuko Tamada (15-9) in September. The win marked the champion’s 10th finish in 12 career victories.

Tiburcio, currently riding a three-fight winning streak, was slated to make her promotional debut at Invicta FC 9, but visa issues forced her off the card. Six of the 22-year-old challenger’s career wins have come via submission.

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