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

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Filed under: Bellator, News

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.

* * * *

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.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

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

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

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.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
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.

* * * *

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.

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

Bellator 190 pre-event facts: Champ Rafael Carvalho goes for title-defense record

Bellator heads back overseas this week for Bellator 190, which takes place Friday at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, with a main card that airs on Spike.

A middleweight title fight takes center stage as the main event when reigning titleholder Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) looks to match the division’s all-time title-defense record when he meets Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

For more on the numbers behind the 185-pound title fight, as well as the other bouts scheduled for the main card, check out 17 pre-event facts about Bellator 190.

* * * *

Main event

Rafael Carvalho and Scott Coker

Carvalho’s two consecutive Bellator title defenses are the most among current Bellator champions.

Carvalho’s two consecutive Bellator middleweight title defenses are second most in history behind Alexander Shlemenko (three).

Carvalho enters the event on a 14-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since his MMA debut in December 2011.

Carvalho’s five-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Carvalho has earned 11 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Carvalho has earned all 11 of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Alessio Sakara

Sakara, 36, is the oldest of the eight scheduled main-card fighters.

Sakara is 3-0 (with one no-contest) since his UFC tenure ended in October 2013 with four consecutive losses.

Sakara has earned both of his Bellator victories by knockout.

Remaining main card

Brandon Girtz

Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2015.

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

Luka Jelcic (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has earned nine of his 10 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished nine of those wins in Round 1.

Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) is 4-4 (with one no-contest) in her past nine fights after starting her career with an 8-0 record.

Ovchynnikova’s two-fight winning streak in Bellator flyweight competition is tied for the second longest active streak in the division behind champ Ilima Macfarlane (six).

Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), 23, is the youngest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

Mihail Nica (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has earned all six of his career victories by stoppage.

Nica’s 36-second submission of Samba Coulibaly at Bellator 176 is the second fastest submission in Bellator lightweight history behind Zach Freeman’s 24-second win at Bellator 180.

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors 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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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 190 lineup set for Italy return; event to air on Spike via tape-delay

The card for Bellator’s return to Florence, Italy, is set.

Bellator 180 takes place Dec. 9 at Nelson Mandela Forum with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

The main event between middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho and Alessio Sakara was announced last month, and now the rest of the lineup is set.

In the co-main event, Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA, 5-5 MMA) takes on Bellator newcomer Luka Jelcic (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a lightweight bout. Girtz, a Bellator competitor since 2013, will be looking to snap a three-fight losing streak against Jelcic, who brings a four-fight winning streak into the cage.

The other two main-card bouts feature Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) vs. Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at flyweight and Mihail Nica (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) vs. Carlos Miranda (10-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at lightweight.

The unbeaten Lara and Miranda, who’s on a four-fight winning streak, will be making their Bellator debuts.

With the additions, Bellator 180’s card includes:

MAIN CARD (8 p.m. ET, SPIKE)

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

PRELIMINARY BOUT

  • Gregory Babene vs. Tony Zanko

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

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for July: A long-awaited debut meets expectations

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

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

* * * *

The nominees

Justin Gaethje def. Michael Johnson at TUF 25 Finale

Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) promised a big splash in his UFC debut, and the former WSOF champ delivered when he defeated lightweight contender Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC).

Gaethje added yet another victory to his undefeated record when he beat Johnson by second-round TKO in a “Fight of the Year” contender, putting himself on the map in the loaded 155-pound weight class.

Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero at UFC 213

Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) came into his UFC interim middleweight title fight against Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) with a bum left knee, but he didn’t expect it to give him any trouble.

That all changed in the first round, though, when Romero hit Whittaker with a side kick. Whittaker felt the pain that would stick with him for the remainder of the bout. It didn’t hinder him completely, and he pushed through with his game plan and seemingly came back from an 0-2 hole to win a unanimous decision.

Instagram Photo

Derek Campos def Brandon Girtz at Bellator 181

Derek Campos (19-6 MMA, 8-4 BMMA) and Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) have met three times under the Bellator banner, and their trilogy proved an instant classic.

The two lightweights came to bang in the catchweight contest. Ultimately, Campos took home a TKO at the close of the second round when doctors determined a nasty gash on Girtz’s forehead was bad enough to end the fight.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5508776133001

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Lyman Good at UFC on FOX 25

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (17-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Lyman Good (19-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) threw down for 15 minutes, but dos Santos brought a few more weapons and a little more energy.

Although one judge dissented for Good, Brazilian vet dos Santos picked up two scorecards to take home the split-decision call in the entertaining welterweight affair.

Instagram Photo

Brian Ortega def. Renato Moicano at UFC 214

Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Renato Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) were nearly two-and-a-half rounds into a striking war that fans at cageside could hear as well as they could see. Then Moicano made the questionable decision to take down Ortega.

It played right into Ortega’s submission strengths as Moicano inadvertently stuck his neck into a guillotine choke that Ortega squeezed for the finish, forcing the tap at the 2:59 mark of Round 3.

* * * *

The winner: Gaethje vs. Johnson

Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje

The contempt between Gaethje and Johnson finally came to a head inside the octagon, and it was a sight to behold.

Gaethje overcame nearly being finished twice to storm back for a finish of his own, defeating Johnson via second-round TKO in one of the most memorable UFC debuts in history.

“You cannot break me,” Gaethje said. “I promise you. You better put me to sleep.”

It appeared that came close to happening on two occasions during this slugfest. Gaethje was getting the better of some spectacular exchanges for most of the first round, but Johnson connected flush with a right hook that badly wobbled the newcomer. Johnson went for the finish, and he might’ve gotten it, but the bell sounded.

Both fighters came out swinging again in the second round, and again Johnson landed a right hand that wobbled Gaethje but didn’t drop him. Although Johnson failed to finish, he settled in and found holes in Gaethje’s defense, allowing him to land the better shots.

That is, until Gaethje hit an uppercut in the final 90 seconds that discombobulated Johnson. From there, Gaethje continued to pour it on with more uppercuts, busting up Johnson’s face until a knee signaled the end when “Big” John McCarthy stepped in at the 4:42 mark.

“Where is my equal at?” he asked the crowd. “I’m 18-0 with 15 knockouts. Who is my equal? That’s who I want.”

Take Our Poll
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Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Brandon Girtz still wishes his Air Jordan cut hadn't led to 'baffling' stoppage at Bellator 181

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Derek Campos might have been the official winner of Bellator 181’s headlining trilogy with Brandon Girtz, but there were certainly two stars emerging from that instant classic.

Well, three if you count the infamous cut on Girtz’s forehead.

Girtz suffered the cut within the first frame of the main event. Spectators got their first good glance of it as he returned to the stool and the blood was wiped away. Late in the second round, referee John McCarthy called the doctor to assess the gash, but the fight was allowed to continue. Girtz, who even scored a late knockdown, went back to his stool as normal. From there, he awaited what he believed would be a third round.

Instead, the fight was called off.

The cut wasn’t exactly pretty. And the fact that it ended up requiring 33 stitches shows it wasn’t shallow, either. But Girtz is still not OK with how it brought Friday’s main event to a halt. More than the stoppage, itself, his problem seems to be with the process that led to it.

“I thought we were going into a third round,” Girtz told MMAjunkie Radio a few days after Friday’s event at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. “All they kept telling me is, ‘We’re not going to stop it if it doesn’t get worse.’ All I could hear is, ‘It hasn’t gotten worse.’ I’m hearing all the right things. And then third round’s about to start and they’re like, ‘Nope, there’s no third round.’

Brandon Girtz

“It was just baffling. I was feeling good and they were telling me there was no change in the cut from the minute it happened to then. I didn’t feel like I was really taking damage into the cut. So it hurt, man. I was ready for a third round. I thought I was doing what I had to do.

“(The) doctor never said, ‘I’m stopping it’ or anything like that. I think he got out of the ring and then said ‘It’s done,’ because he didn’t want me to plead with him or something. I don’t know. That’s why it was pretty painful. In my heart, I was already going into a third round. And to have it just scrapped like that, it felt really awkward.”

Speaking of awkward: Girtz’s gash was later tended to by the same doctor that made the call. In fact, he suspects the 33 stitches might have included some extra care to make him “look pretty.” Girtz says that the doctor did explain his decision, citing safety concerns. But the fighter thought it would be wise not to press the issue too much.

“I wanted to, but the dude was back there working on my head,” Girzt said. “I didn’t really want to get into an argument. I wanted to say I strongly disagree, but the dude was back there stitching up my skull. I kind of just held in. At the end I told him I wish he wouldn’t have stopped it, but that’s all I could say at the time.”

General dissatisfaction aside, Girtz takes some solace on the fact that the battle was quickly praised as one for the ages. And as for the gash’s own rise to fame due to its likeness to the “Jumpman” logo Nike uses to promote Air Jordan?

“I chuckled at that,” Girtz said. “I can see it. It’s nothing that I need to get upset about. It’s definitely one of the biggest scars I’ve ever had, that’s for sure. I represent my scars, man. I’m out here doing stuff.”

Campos (19-6 MMA, 8-4 BMMA) was ultimately declared the winner via TKO. And, with the catchweight battle holding scorecards of 19-19, 20-18 and 18-20 up until the stoppage, it probably doesn’t help Girtz’s (14-7 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) heartbreak that he felt he had momentum on his side heading into the third frame.

“I thought I was the one pushing the pace and landing the strikes,” Girtz said. “I was watching Derek’s face, and it definitely wasn’t of happiness. I thought the third round was going to be mine. I really felt like I was the one coming forward and I was the one really hurting somebody.”

Which is not to say Girtz is in any way discounting his opponent. Quite the contrary – he’s all praise for Campos and the fact he was able to come back from shots that, from where Girtz was standing, should’ve been more than enough to put him away.

“And that man freaking came back,” Girtz said. “I saw him go away for a second. And he came back. There’s only ups to Derek. He’s a tough dude.”

With Campos now 2-1 in their trilogy, how does Girtz feel about evening out the score? Well, we’re not so sure ourselves.

“I definitely feel like there’s unfinished business,” Girtz said. “Am I yelling out, ‘I want to fight Derek’? I like Derek a lot. We got out there – he’s definitely one of the guys I like the most I’ve ever fought. So it’s hard to say I want another fight. Definitely, I do feel like there’s a lot of unfinished business. I wanted to do that third round. I felt great. It hurts, how it ended.”

For more on Bellator 181, check out the MMA Events 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.

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2487 with Boston Salmon, Brandon Girtz and Dan Tom

Stream or download Monday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Boston Salmon, Brandon Girtz and Dan Tom.

Salmon is fresh off a victory at “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 1,” where he also netted himself a UFC contract. Girtz headlined Bellator 181 on Friday and suffered a loss to Derek Campos via cut in a Fight of the Year contender. MMA analyst Tom was our in-studio guest host.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Brandon Girtz, Boston Salmon and Dan Tom

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Brandon Girtz, Boston Salmon and Dan Tom.

Girtz came up short after suffering a cut in Friday’s Bellator 181 headliner with Derek Campos. Salmon won a UFC contract this past week after a win at “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 1.” MMA analyst Tom is our in-studio guest host.

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: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch the bloody Bellator 181 main event between Derek Campos and Brandon Girtz in full

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

On Friday night, Derek Campos took the lead in his rivalry with Brandon Girtz, but it took all kinds of blood to get it done.

In the Bellator 181 headliner on Spike at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., lightweight Campos (19-6 MMA, 8-4 BMMA) got a TKO win over Girtz (14-7 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) in the second round thanks to a brutal cut … a cut that looked like the Nike Air Jordan “Jumpman” logo.

If you missed Friday’s main event, or just want to see the thriller again, check out the video above. And don’t miss our exclusive photo gallery below.

And for more on Bellator 181, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie