The Fight Nerd

July 31, 2014

King Mo: “I would not work for Bjorn Rebney again”, plus Rampage, Coker, & TNA Wrestling

The Fight Nerd got some time with “King Mo”, Muhammed Lawal, at a recent Bellator MMA Press event, where we discussed his thoughts on his next fight at Bellator 123 against Tom Deblass in Connecticut. Of course, you can not have an interview with King Mo these days without rehashing his thoughts on the fight against Quinton Jackson from Bellator 120, if he still wants a rematch with “Rampage” and what it will take to finally end their feud. Plus, does King Mo have any interest in fighting Tito Ortiz?

We also talk about the recent power change in Bellator MMA, which saw Bjorn Rebney suddenly leave the company and former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker come in to replace him. King Mo gives his less than positive thoughts on Bjorn (not quite as harshly worded as his diatribe after the events of Bellator 120, but still pretty strong against the guy) and what he wants to see happen with Coker in charge, and we also discuss his current role in TNA Wrestling, and what the future for the company will be if Spike does not renew their TV contract.

Quinton Jackson “saw the writing on the wall for TNA Wrestling”

The Fight Nerd had a chance to talk with Quinton Jackson at a recent Bellator MMA press event at Dave & Buster’s in New York City, and he had plenty to say in typical Rampage fashion.

In the second part of this interview, we discuss Rampage’s short-lived career in TNA Wrestling and why we did not see much of him there (or ever see him actually wrestle). A very sleepy Jackson also talks about his continuing plans to get in the ring and pro wrestle, what happened with his “Street Soldier” comic and what he wants to do with it, how he feels about his portrayal on his Spike TV reality show “#Rampage4Real”, and the general multi-platform plan that Viacom had for Rampage when he first signed the deal with the company and how it has not panned out much since then.

If you want to check out Rampage’s comic, you can get the special edition of Street Soldier (with the first four issues of the book) at this link here for $6.

Tito Ortiz on critics of Shlemenko fight & why he doesn’t want to fight King Mo

The Fight Nerd spoke with Tito Ortiz at a Bellator MMA Press Event in NYC, and gave us his thoughts on a variety of topics in the fight world.

In part one of this two-part interview, “The People’s Champ” gives us a little insight on his lawsuit with John Ibarra (as much as he is allowed to tell us without getting himself into any trouble), and talks about his comeback fight against Alexander Shlemenko and the negative criticism he took while fighting a natural middleweight in a light-heavyweight bout.

Ortiz also tells us that he still wants to fight Rampage and that he thinks Rampage definitively beat King Mo in their match at Bellator 120, and why he has zero interest in fighting King Mo. Plus, Tito talks about Bjorn Rebney’s departure from the promotion and what he hopes Scott Coker will do to make Bellator a better place for fans and fighters alike, and who he would like to see Bellator pick up to add to their growing roster.

Quinton Jackson: “Bellator didn’t pay for my knee surgery, I did”, + King Mo & Tito Ortiz

Filed under: Interviews,Lead Story,Videos — Tags: , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 8:28 PM

The Fight Nerd caught up with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at a recent Bellator MMA event, and he had plenty to say about current events in the combat sports world. In the first part of this interview,we talked a bit about his fight with King Mo and if he wants a rematch, as well as if the two could ever bury the hatchet once and for all. We also discuss whether a fight with Tito Ortiz is still in the cards for Bellator fans, and if he has his eyes set on any other opponents in the promotion.

Rampage also talks about how he heard about the news that Bjorn Rebney was done with Bellator and was replaced with former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, and reveals that Bjorn did not live up to his end of the bargain when it came to certain big things, and what Rampage hopes Coker can accomplish in his new role in the company.

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)

March 11, 2014

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson VS King Mo added to “Alvarez VS Chandler 3″ Bellator PPV

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 1:50 PM

MMA’s greatest trilogy is set for Saturday, May 17th as Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez will defend his title against Michael Chandler in the most highly anticipated fight of 2014, live on Pay-Per-View. The night also features the Memphis return of MMA superstar Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who will square off against King Mo Lawal in one of MMA’s most heated rivalries. The event will take place from The Landers Center, located just outside Memphis on Saturday, May 17th. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, March 14th at 10am CST on Ticketmaster.com, Bellator.com and The Landers Center Box Office.

The main event is the third installment in this epic MMA trilogy that has featured a spectacular submission victory for Chandler at Bellator 58 and a dramatic 5-round split decision victory for Alvarez at Bellator 106 this past November. Both of their previous fights were considered for “Fight of The Year” by the MMA media and fans.

A native of South Memphis, Rampage returns to The River City for the first time in fifteen years to battle King Mo in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Finals. Since joining Bellator in 2013, Rampage has delivered two highlight reel knockouts, and will face his toughest test in Bellator to date when he battles King Mo from The Landers Center on Saturday, May 17th live on Pay-Per-View.

“I’ve been wanting to come back to Memphis for the last decade, and I’m finally getting that chance to fight in one of the biggest fights of my career for Bellator,” Jackson said. “After being part of the Bellator family for a while now, I feel like the old Rampage, and that’s not a good thing for Mo. I’m back, I’m a monster, and I’m looking to put on another entertaining fight for all my fans on May 17th.”

“When it comes down to it, this is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time, and I’m going to be able to beat his ass in his hometown, and everyone is going to respect me,” Lawal said. “Rampage is just a stepping stone in my way to get that title shot again and get that belt. It’s all I want, and after I beat Rampage, I’m going for that belt, simple as that.”

“We now have two fights on this card that are absolute fireworks,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Like I said before, we have Alvarez and Chandler headlining a card that will end the best trilogy ever in MMA, and now we’ve added two more superstars to the mix with Rampage and King Mo. May 17th is going to be an absolutely huge night for Bellator, live on Pay-Per-View.”

January 20, 2014

“Rampage” VS M’Pumbu & “King Mo” VS Zayats in Season 10 Bellator Light Heavyweight Tourney Opening Rounds

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 6:14 PM

Bellator MMA returns to Spike TV with a bang as the promotion kicks off its tenth season Friday, February 28 at 9pm ET/PT. The star-studded card includes the tournament debut of MMA superstar Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Emanating from Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun, the night features Rampage in a Light Heavyweight opening round battle with former Champion Christian M’Pumbu, while King Mo Lawal returns to face Russian submission ace Mikhail Zayats. The night will also feature the start of the Season 10 Featherweight Tournament. The official sponsors of Spike TV’s Bellator MMA Season 10 are Miller Lite and Dave & Buster’s.

The event will broadcast live at 9 p.m. EST/ 8 p.m. CST on Spike TV. The preliminary card will be streamed live and free on Spike.com beginning at 7 p.m. EST/ 6 p.m. CST. Tickets for the event are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com or by visiting the Mohegan Sun Box Office.

After making his mark with his first round knockout victory over Joey Beltran, Rampage is ready to put himself through The Toughest Tournament In Sports and earn a Bellator title shot.

“This is what Bellator is all about,” Rampage said. “I’ve never felt better, and now it’s about getting the belt. Bellator is all about the tournaments, and if that’s what you need to do to get that belt, that’s what I’m going to do. M’Pumbu is up first, and when I finish him, it’s King Mo or Zayats, and then it’s onto the belt, simple as that.”

For Lawal, the former title contender has heard the critics and is looking for vengeance after suffering his second loss to Emanuel Newton. As the tournament moves closer, King Mo only has one thing on his mind. Getting the Bellator Light Heavyweight Title.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m changing up my whole game plan, and you are going to see a new fighter,” Mo said. “That’s just not me. I know what I do, I know who I am, and that’s who you are going to see on February 28th, plain and simple. Me. It’s all about getting that belt.”

Bellator MMA, which features The Toughest Tournament in Sports, will showcase five tournaments this season in different weight classes including featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. The 12-week season, airing on Fridays at 9pm on Spike TV, will showcase many of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters from around the world in venues spanning across North America.

“Since we first partnered with Quinton, I’ve been working with him to get everything set for his inclusion in a Bellator tournament,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Working together, we’ve now made that a reality. This is without question the deepest Light Heavyweight Tournament we’ve ever done. Rampage, M’Pumbu, Zayats and Mo are all monsters and I can’t think of a better way to kick off our tenth season on Spike.”

Additional fight card information for Bellator 110 will be made available in the coming weeks.

November 18, 2013

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on first win in Bellator MMA, Tito Ortiz & what’s next

Filed under: Interviews,Lead Story,Videos — Tags: , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 1:26 PM

After his company debut and first knockout victory in five years at Bellator MMA 108, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson conducted a media scrum where he answered questions about his comeback fight against Joey Beltran, Tito Ortiz, his treatment at Bellator as opposed to the UFC, what is next for his career, and more. It looks like the old Rampage is back with a new pair of knees, so listen to what his plans are for the near-future and why he is enjoying MMA and fighting again.

Bellator MMA 108 Post-fight Press Conference

All main card fighters were in attendance for the Bellator MMA 108 Post-fight Press Conference, along with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. Fighters like Quinton Jackson, Joey Beltran, Patricio Pitbull, and the newly-crowned heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov answered questions from the press about the fights that evening, as well as looked ahead to future challenges. Plus, plenty of Tito Ortiz bashing!

“Rampage” was glad to be back, and discussed his journey from a knee injury that crippled his career to his successful rebirth in Bellator MMA, while Rebney discussed what is next for Jackson, as well as informing us of a pending featherweight tournament and the plans in terms of who fights champion Daniel Straus next – either Magomedrasul Khasbulaev or Patricio Pitbull.

When asked about what some were calling early stoppages that evening, Rebney was happy with Dan Miragliotta’s performance, although the former champion, Alexander Volkov (who was off camera while this was being said), was shifting his body language and clearly disagreed with what happened to him that night.

If there is one key thing to take away from this press conference, it’s that both Joey Beltran and Rampage guffawed a bit at the mention of Tito’s neck injury. Beltran is ready to fight Tito Ortiz immediately, and while he was grateful that Ortiz withdrew from the card, he is ready to jump back in and fight “The People’s Champion” at a moment’s notice.

Pleny more tidbits and info in the video (and tons of laughs since it’s a press conference with a happy Rampage), so sit back and enjoy the show!

November 17, 2013

Bjorn Rebney talks Quinton Jackson’s Bellator debut, Chandler VS Alvarez 3 & Dana White

After one of the most exciting Bellator events that New Jersey has seen, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney sat down with The Fight Nerd to discuss the night and a whole mess of questions.

Rebney talked about what the plans are for Quinton Jackson after his big win over Joey Beltran, as well as what to do with Tito Ortiz after his neck injury, the potential for Chandler VS Alvarez 3 (which will headline their next attempt at a pay-per-view), the pending next season of “Fight Master” on Spike TV, and more.

I also poked the bear a bit with Bjorn about his relationship with UFC President Dana White. Way back when Bellator first started, I interviewed Bjorn at one of their earliest shows where he claimed that he was not in competition with the UFC. Fast forward to a few years later where Rebney is now tweeting with Dana White, it only makes sense to see what has changed. Perhaps it was in my sleep-deprivated state that I was not able to clearly ask what I wanted to ask, but Rebney gave me a response that answers some of the question and opens up some others.

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