Category Archives: Bellator 180

Go inside new ESPN The Magazine 'Fighting Issue': More than just Mayweather-McGregor

A new edition of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands on Friday. It’s “The Fighting Issue,” and it features Conor McGregor on the cover.

But it’s more than just coverage of McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) inside ahead of his blockbuster boxing match against Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) , which is set for Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view event is expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time.

Naturally, there is plenty of MayMac content inside. But the issue goes beyond that megafight.

Included in the issue, courtesy of ESPN:

  • And the Fighter Still Remains: Through the eyes of part-time boxer Jose Haro, senior writer Tom Junod uncovers the driving forces that compel so many boxers to compete in a sport that takes so much from them and seemingly gives so little. Junod highlights Haro’s love-hate relationship with boxing, chronicling the fighter’s June title victory over featherweight Daniel “Twitch” Franco that nearly killed Franco.
  • Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino: Cristiane Justino, also known as “Cyborg” Justino, is the most fearsome women’s MMA fighter on the planet—but these days, she often wonders whether the weight cutting that could push her body to severe dehydration, heatstroke or even heart failure has been worth it. Justino’s body, a sculpted 5-foot-8, 170-pound weapon, is her greatest asset. It is also her most formidable obstacle—at once the root of her successes—and failures. At age 32, the 12-year veteran has finally found a stage to match the talent her team insists is unrivaled. In July, she competed in and won her first UFC belt in UFC 214. (Read the story online now here.)
  • Portrait of a Mixed Martial Artist: In a gritty two-page photo spread, the post-fight faces of several mixed martial artists who competed in June’s Bellator 180 at New York’s Madison Square Garden show the euphoria of victory and the bitterness of defeat in every cut and bruise.

Of course, if it’s MayMac content you want, the issue obviously will have plenty of it, as well:

  • What Makes Mayweather Money: Floyd Mayweather’s former sparring partners, among them current IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr., DeMarcus Corley and Zab Judah, discuss the many offensive, defensive and mental weapons that have helped Mayweather get to 49–0 – all the things Conor McGregor will have to be prepared for when he steps into the ring.
  • Why We Watch: Real, Not Pretty: Award-winning author and boxing fan Walter Mosley offers his take on why people watch boxing and are drawn to the Mayweather-McGregor fight. He writes that boxing, both beautiful and brutal, reveals parts of ourselves we need to see, describing it as “the poetry of the working class.” Mosley also examines the reasons sports fans continue to support Mayweather despite the fighter’s violent dark side.
  • Why We Won’t Watch: No Good Guys Here: The Undefeated senior writer and commentator LZ Granderson provides a different take—why some people won’t watch the matchup. Between McGregor’s racist barbs and Mayweather’s homophobic jabs, Granderson says there is little to root for and no good reason to tune in.
  • Tale of the Tape: Will the boxer or the brawler come out on top? Insiders Dan Rafael and Brett Okamoto go toe to toe with their predictions. The bottom line: It will be a long night for McGregor.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Check out Mauro Ranallo's classic reaction – on virtual reality video – to Mitrione-Fedor at Bellator NYC

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos

There were many memorable moments at Bellator’s second foray into the pay-per-view world in June.

One of the best featured a rare double knockdown, and one of the promotion’s new play-by-play voices, Mauro Ranallo, responded appropriately in vintage fashion.

In the Bellator NYC co-headliner, Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) survived a double knockdown, then pounced to force a first-round stoppage win over famed heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

In Bellator’s newly released 360 virtual reality footage, you can check out the finish from multiple angles. Simply drag the video screen to see the knockdown and finish itself, the crowd reaction – or best of all, the reactions of Ranallo and Jimmy Smith from their cageside broadcast booth at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Check out the video above.

For complete coverage of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Replay of Bellator NYC, with Silva-Sonnen and Fedor-Mitrione, airs tonight on Spike

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We’re a month removed from Bellator’s second foray into the world of pay-per-view.

Did you miss it, but would love the opportunity to see it, or see it all over again? Spike will broadcast a replay of Bellator NYC tonight.

The two and a half hour broadcast airs on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

And regardless of what you thought of the matchups and results, there’s little denying Bellator NYC was historic for the promotion, given it was its return to the pay-per-view stage, as well as its first trip to the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Bellator NYC took place June 24 at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card aired on pay-per-view following a Bellator 180 card on Spike.

On the pay-per-view card, there was no shortness of oddities. After Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) cruised past Lorenz Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to retain his welterweight title, Aaron Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) was upset by heavy underdog Zach Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). And Michael Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) lost the lightweight title to Brent Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) in odd circumstances.

In a double headliner, Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) beat Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) by knockout – after the two of them knocked each other down at the same time. And in the main event, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) settled his grudge with Wanderlei Silva (35-13-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

For complete coverage of “Bellator: NYC” and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for June: A slugfest in Singapore

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from June. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for June.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Paulo Borrachinha def. Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC 212

For the first few minutes of their fight, Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) struggled just to keep up with the frenetic violence of Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC).

Once the storm subsided and Bamgbose slowed after the opening round, though, that’s when Borrachinha took over the middleweight fight. The Brazilian overwhelmed his exhausted opponent with a vast striking arsenal, earning the TKO early in the second round.

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Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110

A heavyweight fight between Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) and Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) that on paper looked like a slugfest turned into a battle of cardiovascular strength.

Hunt took Lewis’ best shots and dragged him into deep waters. “The Super Samoan” chased “The Black Beast” around the octagon, doling out repeated shots to the body and legs until Lewis tired and slumped in exhaustion for the TKO late in the fourth round.

Li Jingliang def. Frank Camacho at UFC Fight Night 111

Li Jingliang’s (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) leg kick game was on point in his welterweight fight with UFC newcomer Frank Camacho (20-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), and in the end it helped reward him with a unanimous decision victory.

Jingliang absorbed some hard shots from Camacho in the opening round, but his durability and grit helped him get back into the fight in the latter rounds and take the victory on the scorecards.

Heather Hardy def. Alice Yauger at Bellator 180

The transition from pro boxing to MMA couldn’t have gone much better for Heather Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who picked up a sensational third-round TKO of Alice Yauger (4-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA).

Hardy, who said she “fell in love” with MMA following the fight, had to overcome some early adversity and a nasty cut before she swarmed Yauger with strikes to earn the TKO late in the third round of the women’s flyweight affair.

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Tony Martin def. Johnny Case at UFC Fight Night 112

If you didn’t know it was something of a grudge match before, all you had to do was listen to Tony Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in the second round, informing Johnny Case (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) that he wasn’t going anywhere in between counter right hands to the face.

The result was a unanimous decision win for Martin, who outstruck a game Case and seized control of the lightweight fight down the stretch before claiming the win with scores of 29-28 across the board.

* * * *

The Winner: Li Jingling vs. Frank Camacho

Camacho clearly has power, as he displayed in the opening moments of his UFC debut, but Jingliang seemed to have the better conditioning and all-around game.

It ultimately led Jingliang to a come-from-behind win over late replacement Camacho.

Camacho displayed his big power with the first significant punch of the fight.

He followed with a few more punches that found their mark, and Jingliang was quickly on wobbly legs. Jingliang, though, survived, and he then peppered Camacho with low kicks and took his back late in the round.

In the second round, Jingliang immediately looked for takedowns. Camacho fought it off, so “The Leech” went back to low kicks. Camacho’s energy level took a noticeable dip, though, and then Jingliang found openings to land some power punches of his own. Although the strikes were sometimes wild, they were effective, and Jingliang seemed to even up the score heading into the final frame.

In the pivotal third round, Jingliang’s low kicks were taking a toll, and his counters were on point. As Camacho sucked in wind, Jingliang used the low kicks to set up punches and take control of the fight. Camacho’s durability was on display, but not much else was.

In the end, Jingliang got the victory via 29-27, 28-27 and 29-27 scores.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for June: The return of a signature move

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from June. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for June.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Dominick Reyes def. Jordan Powell at LFA 13

Jordan Powell’s (8-7) timing could not have been any worse. Dominick Reyes’ (7-0), meanwhile, was picture-perfect.

In the first round of their light heavyweight bout, Reyes was on the attack, pelting Powell with punches. Powell mostly fended off the onslaught and in the moment shook his head as if to say, “That was nothing.” Not one second later, Reyes starched Powell with a vicious head kick that instantly made him crash to the canvas just 53 seconds in.

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Dan Hooker def. Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 110

Dan Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) made Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) wade through dozens of jabs and leg-kicks, and just as “The Real Deal” started getting inside, he met the advance with a fight-ending shot.

Hooker sneaked in a lunging knee straight up the middle that landed square on the chin of the Brit. The blow sent Pearson’s mouthpiece flying, giving Hooker a highlight-reel knockout in the second round of the lightweight affair.

Holly Holm def. Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 111

After a three-fight skid that marked the low point of an otherwise prestigious combat sports career, Holly Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) got back in the win column against Bethe Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) courtesy of her signature move.

Holm won for the first time since her memorable knockout of Ronda Rousey in November 2015 when she used the same head kick technique to drop Correia before finishing the women’s bantamweight bout with one additional brutal blow.

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Matt Mitrione def. Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator NYC

Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) and Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) knocked each other down to set up the beginning of the end in their heavyweight fight nearly a year in the making.

Mitrione recovered first, though, and pounced on Emelianenko with a flurry of vicious right hands. The former PRIDE champion went out cold, giving “Meathead” the biggest victory of his career in a mere 74 seconds.

Instagram Photo

Tha Pyay Nyo def. Htet Aung Oo at ONE Championship 56

Tha Pyay Nyo (4-0) remained undefeated in MMA competition with his most impressive victory yet, finishing Htet Aung Oo (0-1) with a perfectly placed punch just 16 seconds into their bantamweight fight.

Nyo set his opponent up with the jab, waited a beat for Aung Oo to throw a shot in return, then came over the op with a massive right hand to the chin. Aung Oo crumpled to the canvas immediately and Nyo put the exclamation point on the performance with an extra shot to his downed opponent before the referee stepped in.

* * * *

The Winner: Holly Holm

The kick that ex-champ Holm used to knock out Rousey came back with a vengeance, though it took her a while to use it.

Holm’s cautious approach over two rounds suddenly gave way to a head kick that felled onetime title challenger Correia at the 1:09 mark of the third round.

Referee Marc Goddard stepped in to save Correia after Holm followed her concussive kick with a punch to the chops that knocked the Brazilian flat on the canvas.

Just moments earlier, Correia had taunted Holm to engage – and the answer left her unconscious.

The knockout was an emphatic ending to an otherwise tentative fight. After the fighters circled endlessly, drawing a warning for timidity from Goddard in the second, boos showed the crowd’s patience was wearing thin.

Holm, ever the counter-fighter, mostly stayed at range and used her kicks to snipe at Correia, who came into the fight with a height and reach disadvantage. Despite those long limbs, Correia managed to find her way inside, connecting late in the opening frame with a combination that got Holm’s attention. Mostly, though, the fighters danced around the octagon.

Correia apparently got tired of the pace, too. With her taunts, she invited a scrap that might get the audience back on her side. But that turned out to be her undoing, as she walked straight into a kick that put Holm’s shin straight to her face.

It was Holm’s first win in the octagon since she did the same to ex-champion Rousey, upending the MMA world in November 2015 with a shocking upset knockout.

“Amazing,” Holm said of snapping a three-fight skid. “There’s so many things I want to say, but this fight, I know she could make messy, and I heard a lot of boos from the first round. But what I wanted to do was make it look as clean as I could.”

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Go behind the scenes of historic Bellator: NYC at Madison Square Garden

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

We’re a week removed from Bellator’s second foray into the world of pay-per-view.

And regardless of what you thought of the matchups and results, there’s little denying Bellator: NYC was historic for the promotion, given it was its return to the pay-per-view stage, as well as its first trip to the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Now you can relive the event, which included a Bellator 180 card on Spike, through Bellator’s “Backstage” behind-the-scenes video.

“Bellator NYC: Backstage” includes footage from boxer Heather Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who made her pro MMA debut with a win, and Conor McGregor teammate James Gallagher (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), who stayed unbeaten. Plus, in the Bellator 180 headliner, Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) beat Phil Davis (17-4 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) to become Bellator’s light heavyweight champion.

On the pay-per-view card, there was no shortness of oddities. After Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) cruised past Lorenz Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to retain his welterweight title, Aaron Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) was upset by heavy underdog Zach Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). And Michael Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) lost the lightweight title to Brent Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) in odd circumstances.

Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) beat Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) by knockout – after the two of them knocked each other down at the same time. And in the main event, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) settled his grudge with Wanderlei Silva (35-13-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

Check out the full video above.

For complete coverage of “Bellator: NYC” and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Linton Vassell feels disrespected over apparent Bellator title snub: 'They're not being consistent'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Linton Vassell is not pleased with the apparent direction of the Bellator light heavyweight division after Ryan Bader claimed gold in the weight class at Bellator 180 this past weekend.

Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) believes he is the No. 1 contender to the belt, which Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) took from Phil Davis by split decision at Bellator 180 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He said his Bellator 179 win against Liam McGeary (see highlights from that fight in the video above) in May was promoted as a fight that would determine the next title challenger, but since then the organization has changed its tune.

Following Bader’s win, Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie he was interested in booking “Darth” against Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) for his first title defense. That news didn’t sit well with Vassell.

“They’re not being consistent,” Vassell told MMAjunkie. “It just seems like no matter what you do, you win fights and you’re not going to get a title fight. I’m not a big name, but I’m winning the fights. I’m beating the people they put in front of me. I’m stopping former world champions. I’m finishing people who haven’t been finished in their lives. And on paper, it seems to make sense.”

Vassell is riding a three-fight winning streak and has won four of his past five overall. He beat former Bellator 205-pound champions McGeary and Emanuel Newton during that stretch, but the lone blemish came in a fight with Lawal.

The bout with Lawal was nearly two years ago, though, and Vassell doesn’t think that should determine the order of who gets to fight Bader next. He’s rattled off three consecutive wins since the setback, while “King Mo” has gone 5-2, including a December knockout loss to Mirko Filipovic.

Vassell said he understands Lawal is the more prominent name in the sport, but said there should be some order in how decisions are made. He said his fight with McGeary was promoted as a No. 1 contenders match, and because of that, Bellator should deliver on its word to both himself and fans.

“I do feel disrespected,” Vassell said. “I feel like what I’ve done is not enough. Beating former world champions is not enough. If you’ve got a bigger name, then you’re going to get the fight – win or lose. No disrespect for Mo, but his recent record is win, loss, win, loss.

“When Scott was asked the question (about who was next), he didn’t even mention my name. He just said, ‘Yeah, Mo will be next in line.’”

The Bellator 180 title fight between Bader and Davis was a competitive affair that was narrowly decided on the scorecards. Vassell said he had Davis winning the fight, but doesn’t have many complaints about Bader’s position as champion.

One thing Vassell said he’s very confident in is his ability to produce an exciting fight. He believes his arsenal is more diverse than wrestling-based fighters like Bader, Davis and Lawal, and when it comes to the champion specifically, he views himself as a significant problem.

“I finish people – I’ve got a very high percentage in finishing fights,” Vassell said. “I’m a horrible matchup for Bader. I don’t think he can handle what I’ve got. I’m not your normal submission grappler. I’m an interesting striker. What I do works for me and people can’t stop me from doing it.”

Vassell described his current attitude toward Bellator as “not happy at all,” and more than anything he just wants answers. Fortunately, he hasn’t been on the sidelines long. His win over McGeary came a little more than a month prior to Bellator 180, but he said he would like the organization to be definitive about what comes next.

He said he hopes his comments serve as a reminder of the assurances made and Bellator will do right by him. However, he said it is difficult to do much beyond that. Vassell said he’s not in the position to sit on the sidelines out of protest until he gets what he wants, but unless Bellator wants a disgruntled athlete, thinks his next fight should be for the gold.

“If I’m passed up; I need to fight, I need to earn money,” Vassell said. “I can’t just sit on the sidelines while all these other guys are fighting and earning money. I need to fight and I want to fight. That’s why I’m gunning for this world title fight so much. I’ve earned it. If I get passed over, then yeah, I need to be fighting.”

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

What did we get for our money at Bellator NYC, and would we spend it all over again?

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Filed under: Bellator, News

A double knockdown. A “legends” fight between two 40-year-olds. A title fight that ended with a floppy foot and a “Three Stooges” gag. A hype train derailed the instant it left the station.

This is just some of what we got for our $50 when Bellator returned to pay-per-view on Saturday night. Whether or not you think it was worth the money, you have to admit it was memorable. Weird might be the better term for it, but weird is a type of entertainment.

Considering what Bellator has to work with, it might be a type that the Viacom-owned promotion has to get used to. Of the six fights featured on the pay-per-view portion of Bellator NYC, two were legitimate title fights, two were nostalgia-based old-timers affairs, one was essentially a local shoutout to the Gracie clan, and one was a coming out party for a blue-chip recruit.

So how did it all work out?

The welterweight title fight between champion Douglas Lima and UFC import Lorenz Larkinwas “underwhelming,” according to the not inaccurate assessment of potential future Bellator welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald. The lightweight title scrap ended in a controversial upset victory for Brent Primus after a strange injury to Michael Chandler gave way to unintentional slapstick comedy.

The old-timers? Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko raced each other to the mat before Emelianenko once again lost his tenuous grip on consciousness, and then Chael Sonnen out-wrestled Wanderlei Silva before lapsing back into self-parody just in time for his post-fight interview.

That Gracie Jiu-Jitsu commercial? It went about like you’d expect, even if it was wedged bafflingly into the latter half of the broadcast to stifle momentum before the main event. The coming out party for Aaron Pico got spoiled by Zach Freeman, who reminded us that having experience matters more than having a Wikipedia page.

But when all was said and done, were you not entertained? Didn’t you feel like you came away with plenty to talk (and laugh and shake your head) at?

If the goal was to give us an event that we didn’t feel like we could miss, yet also one that didn’t feel like a weak knockoff of the UFC, it’s hard not to call this a success.

But coming out of Bellator NYC, it does feel like we’ve seen the glimpses of a workable strategy. Bellator has legitimate, relevant talents on its roster, but they don’t draw the masses. It also has fighters who were talented and relevant a decade ago, but who still put butts in seats, and the best of those realize that with less and less steak to sell, they need to focus more on the sizzle these days.

When combined with the inherent tendency toward the bizarre that exists in a sport like MMA, you have yourself a recipe for some memorable nights. You can get people talking, which is the first step to getting them interested. The appeal of a big Bellator event might never come with the exact same sales proposition as a UFC PPV, but that can be a feature instead of a bug.

What remains to be seen is whether or not it’s a viable way to make money over the long term. A few Bellator PPVs a year, when sprinkled with just the right blend of weirdness and seriousness? Sure, the hardcores will watch that. But are there enough hardcores buying enough events? Will we still want to see this plan in action a few years down the road, or does it only work as a bridge to something more traditional?

These are the questions Bellator is going to have to answer eventually. For now, all it has to ask itself is if we had enough fun – of one kind or another – to consider coming back for more.

And I admit it, I did. Even if I’m still not totally sure how or why.

For complete coverage of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Scott Coker likes Primus vs. Chandler 2, Bader vs. 'King Mo' title fights after Bellator NYC

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Perhaps the greatest benefit to Bellator’s recent pay-per-view event was the fact it set up some notable matchups for the future.

Bellator NYC took place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following the Bellator 180 prelims on Spike and MMAjunkie.

Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) won the main event while Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) scored a big knockout victory in the co-headliner. Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) defended his welterweight strap while Brent Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) and Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) claimed gold.

Although the plans aren’t concrete, Bellator President Scott Coker has some ideas for future fights, and he discussed with MMAjunkie following the event.

One of the big questions after Bellator NYC was whether Michael Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA), who dropped the Bellator lightweight title with a first-round injury TKO loss to Primus, will get an immediate rematch for the gold.

The extent of the Chandler’s ankle injury is unknown, but as long as Chandler isn’t out for an extended period, Coker said the two-time titleholder will get a rematch.

“We’ll do (the rematch) as long as Chandler can do it,” Coker said. “If he has to get surgery and he’s out for a year or six months or eight months, we’ll have to wait, I guess.”

As for new light heavyweight champion Bader, Coker said he has options. A third fight between “Darth” and Phil Davis (17-4 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) after their first two fights ended in split decisions is not the most appealing, especially with other notable fighters available.

Bader was originally supposed to fight Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) at Bellator 180, but “King Mo” suffered an injury and was replaced by Davis. Coker said he likes the original booking with Lawal, especially with Bader now the champ.

“Bader won, and we’ll see what happens,” Coker said. “‘King Mo’ comes to my mind right away (as his first challenger). For Phil, maybe he can fight Linton Vassell. We’ll find some fights for him.”

Another future title fight Coker expects is between 170-pound king Lima, who shut down promotional newcomer Lorenz Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) over five rounds. “Phenom” has been the most successful welterweight in Bellator history, but his biggest test could come next with Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA)

As far as Sonnen, who earned his first victory in nearly four years with a unanimous-decision win over Wanderlei Silva (35-13-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in their long-awaited main-event grudge match, Coker said he doesn’t know exactly what’s next.

Sonnen mentioned potential fights with Fedor Emelianenko, Tito Ortiz and even Bader after Bellator NYC. Coker said it’s hard to go wrong when booking Sonnen, and regardless of the opponent, he expects one of his most sellable athletes to headline again.

“Chael’s got four of five great fights ahead of him,” Coker said. “We’ll find an opponent that will be another big blockbuster event like this. I think he could main event for us again.”

For complete coverage of “Bellator: NYC” and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Saturday’s Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 events in New York, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

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The defeated

The victorious

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For complete coverage of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie