Ex-Bellator champ Liam McGeary 'broke my bloody thumb,' calls out top 205ers

Dann StuppRemember that injury that knocked Liam McGeary out of next week’s Bellator 185 event? We now have an X-ray of it.

As MMAjunkie reported this past week, McGeary (12-2 MMA, 9-2 BMMA), a replacement for Muhammad Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA), was slated to fight Bubba McDaniel (28-10 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) at the event, which takes place Oct. 20 and airs on Spike from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. However, an injury knocked him out of the bout.

The nature of McGeary’s injury wasn’t immediately known, but the former Bellator light-heavyweight champion recently revealed a “bloody thumb” he broke.

Here’s a pic (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

In a lengthy caption that accompanied the X-ray, McGeary said he still wants to fight “King Mo” – like, really wants to fight him:

“Tell you what tho bubba, you lucky bastard! You got away from a fuckin hiding there!! I was gunna prove a point on you!! I bet I could have even done that 1 handed. But the doc wouldn’t let me!
@kingmofh , I’m gunna be out for a little while longer, heal up fast mate, let’s get this fight sorted! I want to fight you man”

McGeary, who was hoping to rebound from a submission loss to Linton Vassell in May, didn’t stop there, though. The 35-year-old English striker also called out Phil Davis (17-4 MMA, 4-1 BMMA), who took the title from McGeary in 2016. He also gave out a shoutout (and callout) to Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA), who meets current champ Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) in Bellator 186’s main event next month.

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors 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

Ryan Bader defends title vs. Linton Vassell at Bellator 186; Penn State alums Phil Davis, Ed Ruth also on card

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For the first time, Bellator will touch down at Penn State University this fall, and the light heavyweight title will be on the line.

Newly crowned champ Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) will put his 205-pound belt up against Linton Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) in the Bellator 186 main event, promotion officials confirmed to PennLive.com‘s Brian Linder. Also on the card will be a pair of Penn State wrestling alums, former champ Phil Davis (17-4 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) and Ed Ruth (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), though their opponents will be announced later.

Bellator 186 will take place Nov. 3 at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card will air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Bryce Jordan Center, which opened in 1996, can seat upwards of 16,000 people, depending on its configuration. It is the home of Penn State’s basketball teams and regularly hosts top-shelf musical acts, as well, including Pearl Jam, Aerosmith and Garth Brooks.

Bader made his promotional debut in June in the main event of the Bellator 180 portion of Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden in New York. In a split decision, he took the light heavyweight title from Davis in a rematch from when they previously met under the UFC banner in 2015 – when he also won a split call.

The win was Bader’s third straight and eighth in nine outings. Seven of those eight came for the UFC, the promotion he spent the bulk of his career fighting for, and where he won Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” But earlier this year, he left the promotion as a free agent, signed with Bellator, promptly got a title shot, and took home the belt.

Linton Vassell

England’s Vassell now gets the title shot he has been asking for. He brings three straight wins into the fight, including a third-round submission of ex-champ Liam McGeary at Bellator 179 in May in London. Prior to that, he avanged a loss to Emanuel Newton with a unanimous decision at Bellator 149 and outpointed Francis Carmont at Bellator 165, both in 2016.

Phil Davis

Davis, a Pennsylvania native, won a national wrestling title at 197 pounds for the Nittany Lions in 2008. He finished his college career with a 116-15 mark on the mats and was a four-time D-I All-American. He’ll attempt to get back in the win column after losing his light heavyweight title to Bader, which snapped a perfect 4-0 start to his Bellator tenure after coming to the promotion after years with the UFC.

Ed Ruth

Ruth was a three-time national champion for Penn State in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and a four-time D-I All-American. In May 2015, he signed with Bellator – though he also announced his intention to focus on the 2016 Summer Olympics before wading into the MMA waters. When he failed to make the U.S. team, he turned his attention to MMA and made his promotional and pro debut at Bellator 163, where he picked up a first-round TKO of Dustin Collins-Miles. At Bellator 168, he stopped Emanuele Palombi in the first round. And at Bellator 178 in April, he stopped David Mundell in the second after a knee to the body.

For more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Linton Vassell feels disrespected over apparent Bellator title snub: 'They're not being consistent'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Linton Vassell is not pleased with the apparent direction of the Bellator light heavyweight division after Ryan Bader claimed gold in the weight class at Bellator 180 this past weekend.

Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) believes he is the No. 1 contender to the belt, which Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) took from Phil Davis by split decision at Bellator 180 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He said his Bellator 179 win against Liam McGeary (see highlights from that fight in the video above) in May was promoted as a fight that would determine the next title challenger, but since then the organization has changed its tune.

Following Bader’s win, Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie he was interested in booking “Darth” against Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) for his first title defense. That news didn’t sit well with Vassell.

“They’re not being consistent,” Vassell told MMAjunkie. “It just seems like no matter what you do, you win fights and you’re not going to get a title fight. I’m not a big name, but I’m winning the fights. I’m beating the people they put in front of me. I’m stopping former world champions. I’m finishing people who haven’t been finished in their lives. And on paper, it seems to make sense.”

Vassell is riding a three-fight winning streak and has won four of his past five overall. He beat former Bellator 205-pound champions McGeary and Emanuel Newton during that stretch, but the lone blemish came in a fight with Lawal.

The bout with Lawal was nearly two years ago, though, and Vassell doesn’t think that should determine the order of who gets to fight Bader next. He’s rattled off three consecutive wins since the setback, while “King Mo” has gone 5-2, including a December knockout loss to Mirko Filipovic.

Vassell said he understands Lawal is the more prominent name in the sport, but said there should be some order in how decisions are made. He said his fight with McGeary was promoted as a No. 1 contenders match, and because of that, Bellator should deliver on its word to both himself and fans.

“I do feel disrespected,” Vassell said. “I feel like what I’ve done is not enough. Beating former world champions is not enough. If you’ve got a bigger name, then you’re going to get the fight – win or lose. No disrespect for Mo, but his recent record is win, loss, win, loss.

“When Scott was asked the question (about who was next), he didn’t even mention my name. He just said, ‘Yeah, Mo will be next in line.’”

The Bellator 180 title fight between Bader and Davis was a competitive affair that was narrowly decided on the scorecards. Vassell said he had Davis winning the fight, but doesn’t have many complaints about Bader’s position as champion.

One thing Vassell said he’s very confident in is his ability to produce an exciting fight. He believes his arsenal is more diverse than wrestling-based fighters like Bader, Davis and Lawal, and when it comes to the champion specifically, he views himself as a significant problem.

“I finish people – I’ve got a very high percentage in finishing fights,” Vassell said. “I’m a horrible matchup for Bader. I don’t think he can handle what I’ve got. I’m not your normal submission grappler. I’m an interesting striker. What I do works for me and people can’t stop me from doing it.”

Vassell described his current attitude toward Bellator as “not happy at all,” and more than anything he just wants answers. Fortunately, he hasn’t been on the sidelines long. His win over McGeary came a little more than a month prior to Bellator 180, but he said he would like the organization to be definitive about what comes next.

He said he hopes his comments serve as a reminder of the assurances made and Bellator will do right by him. However, he said it is difficult to do much beyond that. Vassell said he’s not in the position to sit on the sidelines out of protest until he gets what he wants, but unless Bellator wants a disgruntled athlete, thinks his next fight should be for the gold.

“If I’m passed up; I need to fight, I need to earn money,” Vassell said. “I can’t just sit on the sidelines while all these other guys are fighting and earning money. I need to fight and I want to fight. That’s why I’m gunning for this world title fight so much. I’ve earned it. If I get passed over, then yeah, I need to be fighting.”

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

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