Bellator 190 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

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 190 event in Florence, Italy, 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.

Check out some of those reactions.

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The defeated

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The victorious

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For complete coverage of Bellator 190, 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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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 190 post-event facts: Rafael Carvalho Bellator's most successful champ – by a long shot

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Rafael Carvalho’s dominance of the Bellator middleweight division continued on Saturday when he beat Alessio Sakara for his third consecutive title defense in Bellator 190’s headliner.

Carvalho (15-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) remained unbeaten in the Bellator cage and tied the record for most consecutive 185-pound title defenses when he scored a 44-second finish of Sakara (19-12 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) in the Spike-televised headliner at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy.

For more on the numbers behind Carvalho’s credentials, check below for 20 post-event facts to come out of Bellator 190.

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General

Betting favorites went 1-3 on the main card.

Betting favorites improved to 16-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 31:50.

Main card

Rafael Carvalho

Carvalho’s three consecutive Bellator title defenses are the most among current champions and as many as all other champions combined. No one else has more than one.

Carvalho’s three consecutive Bellator middleweight title defenses are tied with Alexander Shlemenko for most in history.

Carvalho’s 44-second victory marked the second fastest title-fight stoppage in Bellator history. Only Brandon Halsey’s 35-second win at Bellator 126 was faster.

Carvalho extended his winning streak to 15 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since his MMA debut in December 2011.

Carvalho’s six-fight Bellator winning streak is the longest active streak in the division.

Carvalho has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Carvalho has earned all 12 of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Rafael Carvalho and Alessio Sakara

Sakara fell to 3-1 (with one no-contest) since his UFC tenure ended in October 2013.

Sakara has suffered eight of his 12 career losses by stoppage.

Sakara suffered his first knockout loss since Apr. 14, 2012 – a span of 2,065 days (more than five years) and seven fights.

Brandon Girtz (15-7 MMA, 7-5 BMMA) snapped his three-fight losing skid for his first victory since November 2015.

Girtz has earned 11 of his 15 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his seven Bellator wins.

Brandon Girtz and Luka Jelcic

Luka Jelcic (10-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Alejandra Lara (7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has earned six of her seven career victories by stoppage.

Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) fell to 4-5 (with one no-contest) in her past 10 fights.

Ovchynnikova suffered her first submission loss since Mar. 11, 2012 – a span of 2,099 days (nearly six years) and nine fights.

Mihail Nica (6-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) had his six-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

For complete coverage of Bellator 190, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 190 highlights: A 44-second title fight and uppercuts from hell

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Once Saturday’s Bellator 190 main card got going, the finishes quickly piled up.

In the championship headliner, middleweight titleholder Rafael Carvalho (15-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) needed just 44 seconds to put away challenger and local favorite Alessio Sakara (19-12 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) with elbows and punches.

Check out the highlights above.

Bellator 190 took place at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, and aired via same-day tape delay on Spike.

In the co-headliner, veteran lightweight Brandon Girtz (15-7 MMA, 7-5 BMMA) halted a three-fight skid in a big way after scoring a first-round knockout victory over Luka Jelcic (10-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with some hellacious uppercuts.

Also on the card, flyweight Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) made a successful promotional debut and scored a big upset after submitting veteran Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) via third-round submission. Additionally, lightweight Carlos Leal Miranda (11-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) kicked off the main card and cruised to a lopsided unanimous-decision win over Mihail Nica (6-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

For complete coverage of Bellator 190, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 190

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s Bellator 190 in Italy went with as their backing tracks.

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Rafael Carvalho def. Alessio Sakara via knockout (elbow) – Round 1, 0:44

Rafael Carvalho: “Ja Posso Suportar” by Pregador Luo

Alessio Sakara: “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas

Brandon Girtz def. Luka Jelcic via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:57

Brandon Girtz: “Dead Man Walking” by Cayvs

Luka Jelcic: “Bolt Thrower” by The Killchain

Alejandra Lara def. Lena Ovchynnikova via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:09

Alejandra Lara: “Sonido Bestial” by Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz

Lena Ovchynnikova: “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence

Carlos Leal Miranda def. Mihail Nica via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Carlos Leal Miranda: “Isaias 9” by Rodolfo Abrantes

Mihail Nica: “Sent To Gaja”

For complete coverage of Bellator 190, 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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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Rafael Carvalho's brutal KO of Alessio Sakara in Bellator 190 title defense

Rafael Carvalho dominated again at Bellator 190 when he put Alessio Sakara away in a mere 44 seconds.

Middleweight champ Carvalho (15-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) stayed unbeaten and defended his title for the third time in the Bellator cage when a big elbow led to a violent knockout in the Spike-televised title bout at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Carvalho’s victory over Sakara at Bellator 191.

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For complete coverage of Bellator 191, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

'Bellator 190: Carvalho vs. Sakara' official results (8 p.m. ET)

Bellator 190 takes place today, and you can join us for official results from the tape-delayed event at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).

The event takes place Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, and it airs on Spike.

In the main event, middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) takes on title challenger and Italian vet Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

Official Bellator 190 results include:

  • Champ Rafael Carvalho vs. Alessio Sakara – for middleweight title
  • Brandon Girtz vs. Luka Jelcic
  • Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Alejandra Lara
  • Mihail Nica vs. Carlos Leal Miranda
  • Gregory Babene vs. Tony Zanko

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 190 weigh-in results: Champ Rafael Carvalho, Alessio Sakara official for headliner

The weigh-ins are in the books for Saturday’s Bellator 190 event, and the championship headliners are official for their title fight.

Middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) puts his title on the line against Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in the main event in Italy, Sakara’s home country.

On the scale today, Carvalho was 184.6 pounds. Sakara weighed in at 184.2. The champ is about a 3-1 favorite to retain his title in hostile territory.

All the fighters in the four other bouts on the Spike-televised MMA portion of the card hit their marks to make their fights official.

Bellator 190 takes place Saturday at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay. The event also features a Bellator Kickboxing card.

Complete Bellator 190 weigh-in results included:

  • Champ Rafael Carvalho (184.6) vs. Alessio Sakara (184.2) – for middleweight title
  • Brandon Girtz (156) vs. Luka Jelcic (155.6)
  • Alejandra Lara (125) vs. Lena Ovchynnikova (124.4)
  • Carlos Miranda (156) vs. Mihail Nica (155.6)
  • Gregory Babene (185.2) vs. Tony Zanko (185)

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

5 reasons to watch Bellator 190, including Alessio Sakara's home title shot in Italy

Following a brief stop in America last week, Bellator heads back overseas Saturday for Bellator 190. The event takes place in Florence, Italy.

In the headlining bout, middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho puts his title on the line against Italy’s own Alessio Sakara. If Carvalho is successful in defending his belt, he will tie former champion Alexander Shlemenko for the most title defenses in division history with three. If Sakara wins the belt, he will extend his winning streak to four straight, his longest run of consecutive victories in nearly 15 years.

In the co-main event, Brandon Girtz looks to end his three-fight losing skid against Bellator newcomer Luka Jelcic, who has earned nine of his 10 career victories by first-round stoppage.

Bellator 190 takes place at Nelson Mandela Forum with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

Here are five reasons to watch the event.

1. Stand up

Expect a standup battle in Bellator 190’s main event. Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) has 11 knockout victories on his resume. Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) has stopped 13 of his opponents with strikes. The two middleweights have a combined 51 percent finishing rate.

Sakara’s career appeared to be on the decline after he dropped four straight with the UFC between 2011 and 2013, but the Italian fighter has found a second wind over the past two years. Sakara is 3-0 (with one no-contest) heading into his shot at the 185-pound title. He won each of those three fights by knockout, including his two Bellator bouts – both of which took place in Italy.

Sakara is mostly a boxer, and that could hurt his chances to add another knockout win to his record against Carvalho’s kickboxing style. While Sakara has to get in close, Carvalho can end the fight with a single brutal kick – something he did against Brandon Halsey to win the title and to Melvin Manhoef in his most recent defense of his belt.

2. In need of a confidence boost

Brandon Girtz

Girtz was climbing up the lightweight rankings a few years ago. He had run off three straight wins with two stoppages and looked poised for a breakthrough. Then things went south for the former NCAA Division II All-American wrestler.

A torn ACL put Girtz on the shelf for a year. When he returned, he lost three fights in a row. His most recent defeat was a doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Derek Campos at Bellator 181. The stoppage was due to a ghastly cut on Girtz’s forehead.

In February, Girtz spoke to MMAjunkie about his tough run.

“I don’t think I’m injury prone (as some have called me), just some bad stuff happened and I’ve been unlucky,” Girtz said. “Once I get on a roll, we saw what happened when I beat Melvin (Guillard) and I knocked out Derek (Campos). Once my confidence starts going, I’m going to be a very hard man to deal with. If I can stay healthy for longer than a year, things are going to be looking great for me.”

At Bellator 190, Girtz (14-7 MMA, 5-5 MMA) fights for the third time this year, something he hasn’t done since 2013. It appears he has solved the staying healthy part of the equation. Now Girtz needs a win to regain his confidence. He looks to do that against Bellator newcomer Jelic (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). A Croatian fighter, Jelic has won his past four fights by first-round stoppage.

3. Things are looking up

Lena Ovchynnikova

Former kickboxing champion Lena Ovchynnikova had a fair amount of hype behind her when she joined Bellator last year, but she lost her promotional debut to Rebecca Ruth. Since then, the Ukrainian fighter is 2-0. With a victory in Italy, there is a chance she could set herself up for a shot at recently minted flyweight champion Ilima Macfarlane.

Considering her background, it’s no surprise Ovchynnikova has good striking skills. She’s not exceptionally busy on her feet, but when she does throw, she usually lands. Her combinations are fast and accurate, but not all that powerful. Where she struggles is in close. If her opponent can get in tight, Ovchynnikova lacks the strength to break free from the clinch and can be overpowered and taken to the mat.

Ovchynnikova (12-4-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) faces Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). The Colombian fighter has five stoppage wins in six victories and makes her Bellator debut in Italy. Lara’s most recent bout took place in February 2016. She won that fight via second-round submission.

4. And now for the second act

Mihail Nica made his Bellator debut in April with a 36-second anaconda choke victory over the more experienced Samba Coulibaly.

The win gave the 26-year-old, who fights out of Italy, a perfect 6-0 record. Each of those wins came via stoppage. Only one of his fights has gone to the second round. At Bellator 190, Nica (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) faces the younger but more experienced Carlos Miranda (10-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a lightweight contest. Miranda, a 23-year-old Brazilian fighter, has won his four most recent bouts.

Lightweight is one of the more talented divisions in Bellator and Nica did what he needed to do to get noticed in the crowded weight class. If he can extend his stoppage streak to seven at Bellator 190, he could find himself in a high-pressure matchup in his next outing.

5. A looming presence

Gegard Mousasi

When Gegard Mousasi signed with Bellator, he had several goals in mind.

“I have to beat Shlemenko first, then the title fight, then maybe a matchup against Rory MacDonald, and then maybe light heavyweight,” Mousasi told MMAjunkie. “In light heavyweight, you have ‘King Mo’ (Lawal); you have Ryan Bader, Phil Davis, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, ‘Rampage’ Jackson – all big names. Plenty of names I can fight and make exciting fights.”

He squeezed by Shlemenko but had his orbital bone broken in the process. With that win in his pocket, Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) can now set his sights on the winner of Bellator 190’s main event.

Mousasi’s presence looms large over the card. It will be interesting to see if the victor of the main event calls for Mousasi as his next opponent or if he dismisses the former Strikeforce and DREAM light heavyweight champion since his win over Shlemenko did come with its share of controversy.

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Jimmy Smith: You better not underestimate champ Rafael Carvalho in Bellator 190 headliner

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Just when you want to write Rafael Carvalho off, he reminds you just how good he is.

That’s what Bellator analyst Jimmy Smith is thinking about ahead of this week’s Bellator 190 main event.

Middleweight champ Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) puts his title on the line against Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in the headliner, and he’ll do it in Sakara’s home country of Italy in front of what no doubt will be a hostile crowd.

But Smith thinks the champ has excelled in the past just when everyone thought he might not, and that’s the danger for Sakara at Bellator 190, which takes place Saturday at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

Check out the video above to hear from Smith about Carvalho’s title defense in Italy.

And for more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Will home pressure get to Alessio Sakara in Bellator 190 headliner? Jimmy Smith weighs in

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Is the pressure on for Alessio Sakara when he fights for Bellator in front of his home fans in Italy?

If there’s pressure being a home fan favorite, and being the de facto top guy for a whole country, Sakara hasn’t shown it so far. Both his Bellator fights have taken place in Italy, and both have resulted in TKO wins.

Bellator analyst Jimmy Smith thinks the home momentum being on Sakara’s side this week could play a huge factor when he tries to capture the promotion’s middleweight title.

Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) challenges champ Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) in the Bellator 190 main event, which takes place Saturday at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

Check out the video above to hear from Smith about Sakara’s return to Italy and what it means to the fans there.

And for more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie