Category Archives: Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen responds to Tito Ortiz's callout on Twitter just how you'd expect

UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz recently provided an update this week on his post-neck surgery condition, posting an Instagram video in which he specifies details the procedure and how he’s feeling while also thanking friends, family and Bellator for their support.

Ortiz, who retired more than six months ago, closed out the video with this:

“I’m alive. I’m fixed. Now it’s time to get ready because, Chael, I’m kicking your ass.”

That obviously was Ortiz (19-12-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) hinting at un-retiring for a rematch with Chael Sonnen (30-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), who tapped out to a rear-naked choke in their fight earlier this year at Bellator 170. You know Sonnen wouldn’t let that go without a response, which he issued on Twitter.

That’s a classic Chael Sonnen response, ladies and gentlemen, especially the part about “I’m glad I beat you.” Because, you know, he is “still undefeated and still undisputed” no matter what any of us think.

For more on the upcoming Bellator schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos
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.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News, Videos
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

MMA coach Ryan Parsons talks about writing 'Four-Pack Revolution' with Chael Sonnen

Longtime MMA coach and manager Ryan Parsons and Bellator star Chael Sonnen have written an ode to the underachievers of dieting.

Rather than target those who want to get shredded in mere weeks, they assembled advice for the folks who struggle to stick to anything.

“We said, screw a six-pack – it’s for teenagers and drug addicts,” Parsons told MMAjunkie Radio. “Aim for a four-pack. That’s reasonable for a lot of people.”

The result – “The Four-Pack Revolution: How You Can Aim Lower, Cheat on Your Diet, and Still Lose Weight & Keep It Off” – offers a version of having one’s cake and eating it, too. Set for a December release, the book doesn’t tell you to stop eating junk food, and it doesn’t give you an exercise routine more suited for an active UFC fighter than an office worker.

The way Parsons sees things, it’s better to offer realism than promise a physical transformation that is largely fantasy.

“A lot of (books), especially in the fitness modeling world, (the models are) all in the genetic prime of their life,” Parsons said. “While you’re at work, they’re in the gym. By the time that picture gets taken, they’ve been dieting for weeks or months. They’ve got an awesome photographer with great lighting, they’ve been retouched and photoshopped, and they’re taking steroids. So you want to lose weight and feel great about yourself, and this is the expectation. That’s bull(expletive).”

Without great genetics, Parsons said, it doesn’t much matter the diet and workout plan you choose. So you might as well resolve to shooting for the middle when it comes to changing your life habits.

“If coaching and diet matters, then Greg Jackson would turn everybody into Jon Jones,” Parsons said. “It can’t happen like that. It’s a very small percentage of people who are blessed with a specific genetic, especially when it comes to fat on your lower abs.”

One good thing about testing Parson and Sonnen’s theory? One of its authors needed a turnaround. Parsons said when Sonnen started contemplating a comeback, he was a shell of the athlete that thrice challenged for a UFC title and admittedly used chemical shortcuts to give himself an advantage.

“When he stopped fighting, he got really out of shape,” Parsons said. “He was up to almost 260 pounds, and it wasn’t pretty. He set a 12-month clock in his head and said, ‘OK, if it starts, it’s got to start now. I’m not going to wait until three months.’ He had to go through the same process that many people who get out of shape do, and that’s start back to basics and get going again. We chronicled it all in this book, and it’s pretty cool.”

After a disastrous outing in his Bellator debut in January, Sonnen (30-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) got back in the win column this past month with a decision over rival Wanderlei Silva in the pay-per-view headliner of Bellator NYC. Next, the “American Gangster” hopes to face off with former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

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
Source: MMA Junkie

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

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the full video above.

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

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

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

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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.

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Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

So, when is Bellator returning to pay-per-view? Scott Coker has a plan

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Filed under: Bellator, News

(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

NEW YORK – Bellator still has a future on pay-per-view, though it differs from MMA’s other top promotion.

Bellator’s second PPV event took place Saturday and featured a mix of familiar names and top prospects. The fight promotion, widely considered the No. 2 MMA organization behind the UFC, offered Bellator NYC, which took place at iconic Madison Square Garden.

Despite some unexpected results, it set up big fights for the future. It also underscored the different PPV strategies for Bellator and the UFC.

The Viacom-owned Bellator is not trying to replicate the UFC’s formula, which includes approximately a dozen major PPV shows per year, with 30 or so smaller events carried by its cable partners and UFC Fight Pass, its digital streaming service.

Bellator, instead, will air 20 or so annual events on Spike, but PPV is still in the plans, according to Bellator President Scott Coker. However, he tells USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie the next PPV show probably won’t come until the first quarter of 2018, and they will remain infrequent offerings. However, he said he was encouraged by Bellator NYC’s success.

“This was the biggest event in the company’s history,” he says. “We’ve got great fighters here, and I think people are seeing the talent on this roster. … This is a worthy (organization), and we’re right there at the top too.”

He says Bellator is focused on being a fan- and fighter-friendly organization with its own matchmaking style and production elements. Its biggest event to date wasn’t perfect, but it had some stunning outcomes and viral moments, both of which help justify a $50 price tag for a product otherwise available for free on basic cable.

Bellator NYC, though, had a stacked lineup, which helped draw an announced attendance of 12,133. Fight-hype specialist Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) earned a decision win over longtime rival Wanderlei Silva (35-13-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in the headliner, and heavy-handed Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) scored a 74-second win over famed heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in a co-headliner that featured a rare double knockdown. Two new champs were crowned in three title fights, and unheralded Zach Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) submitted highly touted lightweight prospect Aaron Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in just 24 seconds.

They weren’t all the best outcomes for Bellator’s matchmakers or marketing team, but the unexpected results created buzz and garnered fans’ attention.

“It’s such an exciting time to be a fan of MMA,” Sonnen says. “I thought the card as a whole was outstanding. … We did some pretty good business.”

Although Bellator debuted in 2009, the product has taken its current form only recently under the helm of Coker, who was hired as president in June 2014. The longtime combat-sports promoter knows how to put on an extravagant event, as his company roster attests.

“There’s more of it to come,” says Mitrione, whose bout with Emelianenko quickly became a viral hit. “They know what they’re doing. We’re leading the industry now, so now it’s (a matter of) what they can do to lead from the front, not chase from the back.”

The UFC comparisons are likely to remain, but Coker says he’s focused on Bellator’s own progress.

“People can compare us to whoever,” Coker says. “At the end of the day, we are an organization that’s come a long way in three years. We have record ratings, record sponsors, record international distribution. It’s owned by Viacom. That’s one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world. It’s one of the most powerful. It’s a good day when you have that kind of support.”

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

Chael Sonnen surprised by Wanderlei Silva's shove, says Tito Ortiz's heckling was 'low class'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

NEW YORK – Chael Sonnen isn’t pleased with how Tito Ortiz conducted himself cageside during Saturday’s Bellator NYC main event.

Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), who earned a unanimous-decision win over Wanderlei Silva (35-13-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York, was a target of Ortiz’s (19-12-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) throughout the light-heavyweight headliner.

Ortiz heckled Sonnen the entire fight, screaming obscenities and making crude gestures. Their rivalry recently came to a head with Sonnen’s first-round submission loss to Ortiz at Bellator 170 in January.

Although Ortiz has always been emotional fighter, Sonnen said his antics at Bellator NYC were out of line.

“Tito is a drunk, and he’s a drug addict,” Sonnen told MMAjunkie after Bellator NYC, while lobbing a number of accusations. “Tito is broke. He borrows those suits. I have no idea why they even invite him out here. That’s as low class as it gets. I’m not a guy who is a prude about this stuff. I’m not a prude about someone attacking another guy or building up a fight at all. Of all the things I’ve ever said or done to somebody else, I will sign that contract and step into that cage and answer for it every single time without exception. Tito Ortiz will never get in there. Tito Ortiz sucks.

“He was high tonight. He was drinking tonight. He got booed tonight. I could give a damn less about Tito Ortiz, but it’s very low brow. He’s going to behave like that when I’m on one side of the fence and he’s on the other? It’s like Tito, man, you’re messing with the wrong guy. I will come through here and whip your ass.”

Here’s a look at Ortiz cageside (via Twitter):

Ortiz wasn’t the only person Sonnen had to deal with at Bellator NYC. He also had Silva, who he finally met in a grudge match seven years in the making. As Sonnen was conducting his post-fight interview with Jimmy Smith, Silva shoved him on his way out of the cage and was clearly frustrated by the fact he was outworked in the heated grudge match.

“I was surprised,” Sonnen said of Silva’s shove. “Generally in a sport like this you bury the hatchet, you shake hands. Whether you mean it or not, procedure says you shake hands. You come to the press conference, you give the other guy his due. He shoved me and then he shoved me again afterwards. It surprised me. I didn’t really know how to handle it. Do I go after this guy when we just fought? I just really didn’t know how to handle it.”

Despite sharing the cage with “The Axe Murderer” for three rounds, Sonnen said his feelings toward the Brazilian haven’t necessarily changed. However, Sonnen gave Silva credit for hanging tough through three rounds. However, he wasn’t happy that Silva shoved him while Sonnen was doing a post-fight interview.

Regardless, the victory marked Sonnen’s first since his August 2013 submission of Mauricio Rua under the UFC banner. He’s spent most of that time inactive from competition, in part due to failed drug tests and a short-lived retirement, and said he was simply happy to get his hand raised.

“It’s the second time I’ve fought in four years,” Sonnen said. “I’ve been in the principal’s office for a little bit of time. I want to get my hand raised. Everything else that comes in between, it doesn’t make a difference to me. I’ll take a win by disqualification and hold my head up high.

“There’s plenty of ways to skin a cat in this business. Wanderlei is a tough guy. That’s the reality. I don’t like Wanderlei Silva. I’m not going to compliment him, but I’m also not going to lie. He’s a tough guy. He held on tight. He’s a strong guy and there you go.”

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, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie