Watch ex-Bellator champ Michael Chandler train hard for comeback in powerful mini-doc

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

Michael Chandler is a man on a mission.

Certainly you haven’t forgotten the gruesome ankle injury Chandler suffered in the first round of his title defense with Brent Primus that cost him the lightweight championship in June at Bellator NYC.

It was an unfortunate thing to happen to Chandler, who showed a warrior spirit by continuing to fight through until the referee stepped to have him examined by the cageside doctor. The decision was obvious: Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) couldn’t continue, so he lost his belt via injury TKO to Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA).

Now some four-plus months later, Chandler, who spoke to MMAjunkie Radio in September about future plans, is training for a comeback. You can see him hard at work in the wonderfully produced mini-documentary “The Mind of the Obsessed.” And in it, Chandler also has a message for Primus.

“He was praying to God that I didn’t get up off that stool and come back out to fight him. Because he knew I was going to finish him. He had a man completely debiliated, literally on one leg, and he didn’t even land a punch. He was afraid to take it. He was afraid to win. He was afraid to be the champion.

“When I rematch him, and I step back into that cage, I’m going to finish him in the first round.”

Check out the full mini-doc from the folks at Absolute Motivation in the video above.

Ans for complete coverage of Bellator NYC, 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: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Michael Chandler: Bellator champ Brent Primus 'butt-hurt' he gets no credit for title win

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

When it comes to what really caused the injury that put an end to Bellator NYC’s 155-pound title fight, it seems Brent Primus and Michael Chandler are just going to have to agree to disagree.

Primus left the cage on June 24 with a TKO win and Bellator’s lightweight title, but his reign is off to a controversial start. At the root of it stood a mystery leg injury that caused the doctor to deem ex-champ Chandler unfit to continue. If what occurred was, as some said, a freak accident, then what had Primus legitimately done to deserve his title?

Considering the play-by-play account the champ gave MMAjunkie Radio detailing just how he thinks his low kicks caused what was later found to be nerve damage on Chandler’s (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) leg, Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) believes he did plenty.

But Chandler does not agree. Now healed, he maintains nerve damage incurred came from him rolling his own ankle.

“Sorry if Brent feels that way,” Chandler told MMAjunkie Radio. “But all I can say is I don’t remember any kind of floppy food syndrome. I didn’t notice any of that until I rolled the ankle. The doctors I spoke to said that makes complete sense. So that’s what I’m going with, and that’s where I’m at. Obviously, Brent thinks it’s from kicks. I think he literally only threw one leg – I mean, the fight was 2 minutes and 22 seconds long.

“The injury happened within 30 seconds of the fight. I don’t know if you guys remember how many kicks were thrown, but how do you do nerve damage, or shut down a nerve, or kill a nerve with two kicks? I don’t even think it’s humanly possible. I’ve been kicked in my leg 70 (thousand) times in my career and way harder than that. So I just don’t see a correlation.”

At the time, the unbeaten Primus said that he was so upset by other people contesting the legitimacy of his conquest that he even had a hard time putting on his new belt. But, the way Chandler sees it, Primus knew from the start that he hadn’t earned it.

“That’s how he’s trying to prove to himself that he is the champion,” Chandler said. “You can tell by his antics after the fight. You can tell by how he acted out of character, how he wouldn’t even look over in my direction, wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. Didn’t even have the class to come over to a man who was sitting on a stool with a possible broken leg and say, ‘Hey, I’m sorry it happened like this, I’ll see you in the rematch.’

“It was almost as if he knew he didn’t deserve that win. He knew that he didn’t deserve to have that belt around his waist. I think he’s a little bit sad. A little bit butt-hurt that his ‘championship run’ has been taken away from him, and he has zero credit. He’s gotten zero credit for beating me – which he should. Whatever, it was an injury.”

That is not all they disagree on when it comes to that night. Even after Chandler was visibly hurt, he managed to land a hard right hand that knocked down Primus. The new champ said that the blow – which he called “a last desperation punch” – didn’t really faze him. Chandler, however, tells a different story.

“Let’s be honest: The ref really screwed up the situation,” Chandler said. “You can’t just stop a fight and call a timeout. I was going to beat Brent Primus on one leg. I had already proven that, that the only substantial damage done in that fight – besides me rolling my own ankle – was when I dropped him and had him rocked and almost knocked him out on one leg.

“So if this was a 13th Century, Me vs. Him, standing in a field, as vikings, and I’m on one leg: I still win that fight to the death, 10 times out of 10. And that’s why Brent Primus is trying to make this big campaign for, ‘Oh, the leg kicks caused this, I’m the champion.’”

The good news is that the recovery process was remarkably fast. The following day, Chandler says he was – albeit carefully – already walking around New York City with his wife. Ten days ago, he was already documenting five-mile runs on his social media. (via Instagram)

Instagram Photo

As ugly as the injury looked three weeks ago, Chandler says he is now good to go.

“It’s crazy when I say my leg is literally back to normal,” Chandler said.

As far as Chandler’s return goes, it seems both the champ and ex-champ – as well as Bellator CEO Scott Coker – are in agreement that a rematch is imminent. And, with all this back-and-forth, they might’ve hyped the rest of us up in the process.

“There is no scenario or universe in which Brent Primus has the ability to even come close to beating me,” Chandler said. “And I don’t say that disrespectfully. I just say that he’s a part-time fighter.

“Everybody keeps saying he’s a young, hungry guy; he’s 32 years old. He has eight fights. He started fighting in the same year that I did. I’m on my 20th fight, he’s on his eighth fight. He’s a part-time fighter, who just literally tripped into a championship.”

To hear Chandler talk in detail about his injury and recovery, check out the video above.

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Michael Chandler, Miles Hunsinger, Jo Nattawut

Filed under: Bellator, WSOF

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Michael Chandler, Miles Hunsinger, Jo Nattawut.

Former Bellator lightweight champion Chandler calls in to give an update on the leg injury he sustained at Bellator NYC. Hunsinger competes against Andy Nigretto on July 29 at “PFL: Everett.” Nattawut defends his Lion Fight super welterweight title on July 28 vs. Petchtanong Banchamek at Lion Fight 37.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, WSOF
Source: MMA Junkie

Virtual reality: Behind the scenes of long-awaited Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva fight

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

(usatoday.com first published this story.)

According to legendary mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen, the most painful punches aren’t the soft ones or the hard ones. It’s the in between punches that hurt the most.

He should know. Sonnen has been fighting for the past two decades. VRtually There joined him at his home gym, Gracie Barra Portland, where he was putting in long hours to prepare for a match that was three years in the making. His fight with Wanderlei Silva was arguably the biggest event of his career.

Follow Sonnen’s gripping journey to face rival Silva, known as “The Axe Murderer,” in the cage at Madison Square Garden in the video above.

40-year-old Sonnen first entered the MMA world as a fan in 1993. Four years later, he had his first fight. As a boy, Sonnen developed a strong sense of discipline from witnessing his dad work as a plumber through rain, snow, weekends, and evenings. It’s this relentless work ethic that has kept him competitive, when so many of his peers have retired.

“I’ve never missed a competition in my life due to illness and injury, and it’s not because I haven’t been sick and it’s not because I haven’t been hurt,” says Sonnen.

Leading up to the Silva fight, Sonnen’s training regimen included eight intense workouts a week. He spent most of his days boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and sparring. Some people assume Sonnen is fearless for choosing such a demanding profession. He adamantly claims that’s not the case. He feels fear all the time, and knows that with each match he’s putting his dreams and goals on the line. But giving up is foreign territory for the light heavyweight champion.

A bully will pick his opponent. A bully will only go out there and fight guys he knows he can win. I would never be a part of that. I would fight them all. Some go your way and some don’t go your way. But I will strap up, put my mouthpiece in and make that walk every single time.”

When the three rounds came to a close, it was Sonnen that had his hand raised. Watch the grueling preparation that went into the win and go cageside for the match itself in the video above.

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

For the ideal experience, view in 360 degrees on your mobile phone or in VR headsets such as Google cardboard or Daydream. Subscribe to VRtually There on YouTube, browse the “Virtual Reality” section of the USA TODAY app (iOS | Android), or download our VR Stories Daydream app to catch three new episodes every week.

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

Brent Primus talks backlash from injury TKO of Michael Chandler: 'I didn't even want to put the belt on'

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

After the biggest conquest of his MMA career, newly crowned Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus saw himself in the unfortunate position of having to justify it to the world.

Primus was declared the winner of his Bellator NYC encounter with Michael Chandler on Saturday after a then-unspecified injury with Chandler’s leg rendered Chandler medically unfit to continue in the first round. Although Primus walked away with the TKO – and, of course, the 155-pound belt – his achievement was somewhat obfuscated by what at the time looked like a freak accident.

From Primus’ immediate viewpoint, what had happened was simple: He’d just become a world champion after successfully implementing a strategy that happened to involve some gnarly low kicks.

The excitement, however, didn’t last long.

“I literally just thought I broke his leg, or I did something to his nerve, and that I won because of the kicks,” Primus told MMAjunkie Radio. “I couldn’t hear the commentating. I couldn’t hear all that bad stuff. I didn’t know that people thought he’d hurt himself until afterward. So I was excited, I was like, ‘I kicked the crap out of this guy, and our game plan worked to a tee.’

“As soon as I went in the back and got on social media, and I posted a picture of me with the belt, I literally had hundreds of people saying that I don’t deserve that belt. (That) he hurt himself, (that) he rolled his own ankle. And that’s when, man, I was so sad. I literally didn’t even want to put the belt on and walk around with it. Because I felt like everybody thought that I didn’t deserve it.”

Neither Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) nor Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) immediately knew the exact nature of the injury. The ex-champ, who protested the stoppage at the time, later revealed that nothing was broken –  he’d suffered a nerve issue instead. But even at the post-fight press conference, Primus was clear about his own merit in the situation.

“I tried telling people that my leg kicks hurt him,” Primus said. “Just the first one hurt him. His leg was already messed up before he rolled his ankle. And everybody just didn’t believe me at all. But I knew that deep down. I could see it in his eyes. I literally saw the will – I just saw him break.

“As soon as that happened. I think he didn’t know what was going on either. He was worried, I think. Man, it was hard for me to – it’s just weird, man. I look at the belt right now, right by me. And I didn’t even want to put it on, because I just felt like everybody thought I didn’t deserve it.”

While both Bellator President Scott Coker and Chandler would go on to publicly address that a nerve issue had occurred, the ex-champ still treated it more like an accident than merit by Primus, and even questioned the validity of the new champ’s title.

“My ankle is something I’ve struggled with the last couple years,” Chandler told ESPN.com. “This was a freak thing, it blowing out. But ankle injuries are nothing new to me.”

For Primus, what happened was simply the result of kicks that he’d been hit with himself in training , and he knew they could cause the type of incapacitating effect. And the champ says that, as he landed, both men in that cage knew Chandler was in trouble.

“The kick is below the knee and above the ankle,” Primus said. “I’m aiming for that spot right there. And I kick him by the calf, and there’s a nerve that goes right there. I kicked that nerve and I swear, as soon as I kicked him, the change went from kill mode to worried.

“I could see it in his eyes. He was stalking me down until I threw that second kick.”

Even though he was hurt early, Chandler did bring some offense of his own when he sent Primus flying to the mat with a hard right hand. Primus, however, maintains he wasn’t fazed by the blow.

“I really think that was his last desperation punch,” Primus said. “Like, ‘Oh my God something’s wrong with my leg, I’m going to lose this fight if I don’t knock him out right now.’ But, at the same time, I was 100 percent there. The punch did not rock my brain at all.”

That’s not to say Primus wasn’t dealing with some type of adversity. More specifically, he says he headed into the cage with a separated rib and torn cartilage in his rib – which kept him from grappling, wrestling and sparring for three weeks. In fact, he says he couldn’t even do specific grappling drills in the locker room 10 minutes before the fight.

Between that and a child who will be born in six or seven weeks, Primus may need a little time. But once they’re both ready to go, he has no problem acquiescing to both Chandler’s and Coker’s wish for an immediate rematch.

“I’ll fight anybody they want me to fight,” Primus said. “I’ll fight Chandler, I’ll fight anybody. I’m 100 percent excited to defend my belt. I cannot wait.”

To hear Primus’ breakdown of the title-winning match, check out the video above.

And 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, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Zach Freeman: Win vs. Aaron Pico shows why you can't count out McGregor vs. Mayweather

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Zach Freeman was a massive underdog heading into Saturday’s Bellator NYC scrap with mega-prospect Aaron Pico.

Still, Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) needed only 24 seconds to finish Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and spoil one of MMA’s most highly anticipated pro debuts. That took, first, the courage to accept a fight that Freeman says many of his peers thought wouldn’t pay off. Then, it took the perfect pairing of an uppercut and a D’Arce choke.

After making the best of the situation, Freeman wants others to understand just how unpredictable a fight of any nature – and magnitude – can be.

“I think there’s a lot to learn from this (Floyd Mayweather) and (Conor McGregor) fight,” Freeman told MMAjunkie Radio. “People want to count McGregor out. It’s a fight. It takes one punch to change everything. Just like my uppercut. It changed everything.

“Whether that was the 50th punch I threw in the fight or it was the second one: It’s a fight between two men. No one’s a super human. We all go in that cage, and we all bleed. So, at the end of the day, anybody can win. To count somebody out is absolutely ridiculous.”

Freeman and Pico met in a pay-per-view lightweight bout, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York. Boxing legend Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion McGregor are set to meet in a much-anticipated boxing showdown Aug. 26 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

The 33-year-old Freeman, who came into his Bellator debut off a five-round title loss to Thiago Moises at last September’s RFA 44, understands how the fight business works. Therefore, at no point was he oblivious to the heavy promotional push that was behind 20-year-old wrestling phenom and former Golden Gloves champ Pico.

In fact, even at the press-conference that followed his massive win, he got another reminder of that.

“My first question was why was he in there,” Freeman said. “That was my moment. He lost. Why was he in there for the press conference? That, to me, just shows they have a lot invested in him.

“I still have a lot of work to do before I earn the respect of Bellator and some other fighters. But anyone who’s trained with me, they know I have just as much potential. I’m just as much of a prospect. I can easily be holding the belt in an year or two.”

Freeman is also aware that, having been the first man to beat Pico in a professional MMA bout, there’s a chance the prospect might seek that revenge in the future. And, as long as his needs are met, he’s absolutely fine with that.

“I’m for sure going to do that, but that’s going to be after I renegotiate my contract,” Freeman said. “It’s going to be for a lot more money than I did fight Aaron Pico for. It’s going to make for a great main event down the future for Bellator MMA.”

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

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2476 with Brett Primus and Zach Freeman

Stream or download Monday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Brett Primus and Zach Freeman.

Both fighters claimed victories at Bellator NYC this past Saturday, with Primus defeating Michael Chandler for the lightweight title and Freeman upsetting super prospect Aaron Pico.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio
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