Primus rematch? Sure, but Michael Chandler also eyes 170 with MacDonald and Daley

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_NnbFerKb_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/NnbFerKb.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Michael Chandler hasn’t really held back when discussing the controversial ending to a title-costing affair with Brent Primus. And when another 155-pound fighter tried to crash Bellator’s title scene, the ex-champ made sure to reinsert himself in the chatter.

So you’d figure that Bellator President Scott Coker’s reassurance that a rematch with Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) is the next logical step for champ Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) would be met with at least some enthusiasm by the former titleholder, right?

Well, not quite.

“Honestly, I couldn’t care less at this point,” Chandler told MMAjunkie Radio. “I just – I want big fights. I’m not necessarily wanting to fight Brent Primus next. At this point, I’ve already sat out for a little while. And they’ve let (Primus) act like he can actually call some shots and decide when he wants to fight.

“I know Scott Coker said something about February, March. That’s out of the question. Because I need to fight. And I want to fight. I’ve been teasing that I would love to go up a weight class and take some challengers there. I’ve got some options.”

This is, of course, not Chandler’s first time talking about a different weight class. After the leg injury that ended his recent Bellator NYC meeting with Primus proved to be less serious than it looked, the hungry ex-champ quickly resumed his training while eyeing a return.

Seeing that welterweight Rory MacDonald was dealing with a similar case of cage itch, Chandler even issued a challenge to the former UFC title challenger (via Twitter):

Chandler may have been fighting at 155 pounds for “99 percent” of his career, but he doesn’t really see himself as a small lightweight. Nor is he intimidated by the thought of meeting long-time 170-pounders. So, though MacDonald specifically is now scheduled to meet champ Douglas Lima, Chandler said now would be as good a time as any to start taking on these challenges.

“I’m not just looking to fight; I’m looking to get big fights,” Chandler said. “You only get a small window of opportunity in this sport. Someday I’m going to look back and wonder how many fights kind of flew under the radar for me.

Paul Daley had a nice, big impressive win this past weekend (over Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183). That’s a fight that I would like, eventually. The Rory MacDonald fight is a fight that I would like eventually.”

That is not to say that Chandler doesn’t want a chance to reclaim the 155-pound belt. But he also believes that opportunity is “always going to be there.” So with Primus’ focus currently geared toward tending to his newborn, and Chandler’s desire to get back in there soon, he simply doesn’t see a title match as his only option.

“For me, my happiness is not tied to a belt,” Chandler said. “My happiness is not tied to that gold. They’re sitting in my house, and they’re collecting dust. And they will tarnish, and they will rust, and they will kind of deteriorate.

“But my career and the big fights and the people I impacted, and the people that watch me and the people that were inspired and motivated by a guy who wasn’t afraid to take on all comers, a guy who wasn’t afraid to get outside of his comfort zone and call out bigger guys, and call out big fights – that’s really what’s going to be painted in ink on my legacy forever, after I’m done. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Having shown a a lot less than he’d like at Madison Square Garden in June against Primus, Chandler is eager to create some new cage memories. But while he’s obviously had some trouble digesting the freakish way that title meeting ended, Chandler said it only hurt Primus’ own case as the division’s legitimate champion.

Chandler says he can’t really pin his own dissatisfaction with the “unfortunate set of consequences” that led to the doctor stoppage on Primus. But at the same time, he said the “part-time fighter” champ should be the one most invested in the rematch.

“If anything, he should be chomping at the bit to beat me and legitimize himself as the champion,” Chandler said. “I would think, if you have a competitive bone in your body, I would think that’s how your brain would work.”

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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/AL7ThTk8Mg3iohryXbwYNG/275455”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Primus def. Chandler”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Sorry 'Pitbull': Scott Coker says Michael Chandler first for champ Brent Primus

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_n71dgGP8_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/n71dgGP8.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Although Patricky Freire and Brent Primus apparently have signed off on a fight, Bellator chief Scott Coker hasn’t forgotten about Michael Chandler.

Coker indicated the ex-lightweight champ is likely first in line to face champ Primus after their bizarre meeting in June.

“We’ve been waiting for Chandler to fight Primus again,” Coker told MMAjunkie after this past Saturday’s Bellator 183 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) suffered a freak ankle injury and ceded the belt at Bellator 180. He anticipated a rematch with Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) after he healed up. As it turned out, the injury didn’t turn out to be as severe as it looked.

So what’s the holdup? According to Coker, it isn’t the ex-champ, but the current one.

“(Primus’) wife is having a baby, and we’re very respectful of that,” Coker said. “We’re waiting for him, and when he’s ready to re-engage, I think Chandler should be the first one.”

Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA), of course, disagrees. After adding an ex-UFC champ to his list of wins this past Saturday, he accused Primus of ducking previous bookings and said he should get a title shot.

To his delight, Primus agreed.

“@PatrickyPitbull congrats on the fight tonight man! You say I ran from you twice? I’ve signed the only contact I got to fight you. #ready,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Thanks! I have to promote the fight,” Freire replied. “Let’s do this! Good luck with your baby.”

Chandler was none too happy about the turn of events, sliding into the conversation to mock the two.

“You two can fight it out for title of ‘never heard of that guy’ and ‘chokes under pressure,’” he wrote.

Predictably, Freire was not amused.

“You were lucky last time,” he replied. “I can’t wait to shut your big mouth. I’ll deliver the beating of a lifetime before knocking you out.”

Freire then challenged Chandler to a fight – 11 days away at Bellator 184.

Bellator’s lightweight division is such that the trio will probably all end up fighting each other again at some point – the only question is in what order. But from the looks of it, that is already set.

To hear more from Coker, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/EwuuQpGv9fNNqmVMRDqzoJ/274812”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Freire def. Henderson”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

 

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

Bizarre Bellator title triangle: Michael Chandler, Patricky Freire, Brent Primus battle on social media

Bellator’s lightweight title picture is a little complicated right now. But it’s been amusing to watch its main players trying to figure it out.

After a weird injury put an anti-climatic end to their Bellator NYC title encounter, a rematch seemed inevitable for champ Brent Primus and ex-champ Michael Chandler. But then Bellator 183 happened – and, with a win over former UFC champion and Bellator title challenger Benson Henderson, Patricky Freire crashed the party.

And then they all started airing some grievances on social media.

Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) thinks he deserves a shot before Chandler – with whom he also welcome a rematch. Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA), who actually has his eye on another Bellator division, apparently thinks both Primus and Freire are lame. And Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA), who doesn’t think the Earth is flat but does like puppies, would be OK with fighting either.

Confusing, we know, but we’ll walk you through it.

Before the meeting with Henderson even took place, Freire told MMAjunkie that he’d already had two appointments with Primus agreed to – and that the now-champ had avoided him twice.

Primus, however, politely disputed that account later – not without first congratulating Freire on his win. To which an equally polite Freire replied, leading Primus to gush about being a parent while at the same time sort of agreeing to hit another man in the face.

The atypically nice exchange wasn’t lost on Chandler, who wasn’t about to let this unfold without making his presence known. But, you know, in a somewhat less friendly manner than the two.

First, he talked to them directly.

And then Chandler made a separate post to air his feelings on the way the other two lightweights handled their business.

Instagram Photo

Freire wasn’t about to extend Chandler, who knocked him out in a Bellator 157 co-headliner for the vacant 155-pound title, the same courtesy directed toward Primus. So he challenged the “pathetic” former champion to a rematch –  date suggestion included.

Primus also went out of his way to issue Chandler a response. After some shade about the former titleholder and the controversial leg injury (which, by the way, is a whole separate conversation) that put an end to their recent title match, the champ went on to clarify his stances on relevant matters such as: The shape of our planet, respect in martial arts and, most importantly, puppies.

Instagram Photo

That particular three-way beef seems to be on hold for now, but not before some unsuspicious victims got caught in the cross-fire.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/EwuuQpGv9fNNqmVMRDqzoJ/274709”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Freire def. Henderson”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

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

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News, Videos

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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/f7LEYiidSBPvU6Adi4xNQF/261827”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hardy def. Yauger”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

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

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5516021625001
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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/AL7ThTk8Mg3iohryXbwYNG/261285”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Primus def. Chandler”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/f7LEYiidSBPvU6Adi4xNQF/256187”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hardy def. Yauger”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, 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'

brightcove.createExperiences();
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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/AL7ThTk8Mg3iohryXbwYNG/255768”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Primus def. Chandler”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

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

brightcove.createExperiences();
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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WZHF6K7DJurzpQRHaLaVP3/255526”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mitrione def. Emelianenko”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

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

brightcove.createExperiences();
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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/xaqMxtT2yuF9vtbVHUws8h/255503”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Bader def. Davis”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator NYC post-event facts: Michael Chandler sets dubious title-fight record

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: Bellator, News

Chael Sonnen concluded his long journey back to the win column on Saturday when the three-time UFC title challenger was victorious against Wanderlei Silva in the Bellator NYC main event.

Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) capped off the organization’s return to pay-per-view with a unanimous-decision win over Silva (35-13-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) at Madison Square Garden in New York, making for what was one of many notable results from the event.

Bellator NYC followed the Bellator 180 lineup, which aired on Spike (after early prelims on MMAjunkie). The nine televised fights provided much in the way in the post-fight fallout, and for more on the numbers, check out 35 post-event facts to come out of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

* * * *

General

Bellator at Madison Square Garden

Debuting fighters went 3-6 at Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

Betting favorites went 5-3 on the card. There were no odds available for one fight.

Betting favorites improved to 8-3 in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the nine-bout Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 lineup was 1:33:36.

* * * *

Bellator NYC

Chael Sonnen

Sonnen snapped his two-fight losing skid for his first victory since August 2013. He earned just his second victory in his past six fights.

Sonnen earned his first decision victory since Jan. 28, 2012 – a span of 1,974 days (more than four years) and six fights.

Silva was unsuccessful in his return to competition after a more than four-year layoff. He hasn’t earned a victory since March 2013.

Silva has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights.

Matt Mitrione

Matt Mitrione’s (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) three-fight Bellator winning streak in heavyweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind Cheick Kongo (five).

Mitrione has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Mitrione has earned all three of his Bellator victories by knockout.

Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) fell to 2-1 since he returned from retirement in December 2015.

Fedor Emelianenko

Emelianenko had his five-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since July 2011.

Emelianenko has suffered all five of his career losses by stoppage.

Emelianenko suffered his first knockout loss since July 30, 2011 – a span of 2,156 days (nearly six years) and six fights

Brent Primus’ (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) six-fight Bellator winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Michael Chandler and Brent Primus

Primus has earned four of his six Bellator victories by stoppage.

Michael Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) lost the Bellator lightweight title for the second time.

Chandler fell to 5-4 in Bellator championship fights.

Chandler’s four Bellator title-fight losses are most in company history.

Zach Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has earned six of his seven career stoppage victories by submission.

Zach Freeman

Aaron Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) was unsuccessful in his pro debut.

Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) earned his first successful Bellator welterweight title defense. He failed to defend in his previous reign.

Lima’s 10 victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied with Andrey Koreshkov for most in divisional history.

Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin

Lorenz Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) fell to 4-2 since he dropped to the welterweight division in January.

Larkin fell to 5-4 in his past nine fights.

Larkin has suffered five of his six career losses by decision.

Bellator 180

Ryan Bader

Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) improved to 8-1 in his past nine fights.

Bader improved to 2-0 in rematches.

Phil Davis (17-4 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) has suffered all four of his career losses by decision.

Neiman Gracie (6-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) has earned five of his six career victories by stoppage.

Dave Marfone (5-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

James Gallagher

James Gallagher (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) has earned six of his seven career victories by stoppage.

Chinzo Machida (5-3 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) had his four-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since December 2010.

Machida suffered his first submission loss since Apr. 29, 2006 – a span of 4,074 days (more than 11 years) and six fights.

Heather Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), a pro boxing champion, was successful in her MMA debut.

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

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/f7LEYiidSBPvU6Adi4xNQF/255478”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hardy def. Yauger”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie