Category Archives: Lorenz Larkin

Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin added to Bellator 183 on Sept. 23 in San Jose

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A significant welterweight bout between Paul Daley and Lorenz Larkin is the latest addition to September’s Bellator 183 lineup.

Bellator officials today confirmed the bout to MMAjunkie following an initial report from The Telegraph.

Bellator 183 takes place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The card airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) is coming off a second-round submission loss to Rory MacDonald in the main event of Bellator 179 in May. It was a one-sided loss in what was a No. 1 contender fighter in the welterweight division, but now the British knockout artist looks to rebound against a fighter he apparently doesn’t think very highly of.

“Larkin is overrated,” Daley told The Telegraph. “I think that I gave Douglas Lima more of a fight when we fought. I brought it to him 100 percent. I don’t feel like Larkin did that. Not to mention, I don’t think Lima feared Larkin, and as a result, he underperformed. I think even Rory [MacDonald] feared me standing up. Granted, he has the superior ground skills, but he feared a stand-up exchange with me. Let’s see what Larkin does in San Jose.”

Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), who moved over to Bellator from the UFC earlier this year as a free agent, was granted a 170-pound title shot against champ Douglas Lima in his promotional debut at Bellator NYC in June. He suffered a unanimous-decision loss and said getting a quick opportunity to rebound was essential.

“From the get-go with Scott [Coker], I made it clear that I want to stay active and get right back in there following my fights,” Larkin said. “After Bellator NYC I got a call, and I was chomping at the bit to take another high-level, competitive fight and right now, Paul [Daley] is that guy.”

The latest Bellator 183 card now includes:

  • Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Freire
  • Javy Ayala vs. Roy Nelson
  • Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • Aaron Pico vs. opponent TBA

For more on Bellator 183, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
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

Bellator NYC highlights: Champ Douglas Lima spoils Lorenz Larkin's Bellator debut

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Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima made his first title defense and spoiled the promotional debut of Lorenz Larkin on Saturday’s Bellator NYC pay-per-view main card.

The title fight took place at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) defeated Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) via unanimous decision via 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47 scores.

Check out the highlights 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, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator NYC results: Douglas Lima cruises past Lorenz Larkin to keep welterweight belt

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Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima was more economical in his offense against newcomer Lorenz Larkin. But he made his shots count, and he blocked most of those that came his way.

Over five rounds, Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) shut down Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with patient technique and denied the UFC defector the pleasure of an upset in his promotional debut.

The welterweight title bout opened up the main card of today’s Bellator NYC event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It aired on pay-per-view following the Bellator 180 card on Spike with prelims on MMAjunkie.

The final scores were 50-45 and 48-47 twice for Lima, who made his first title defense after taking the title from Andrey Koreshkov this past November. Larkin, granted an immediate title shot after signing with Bellator, saw a two-fight streak snapped.

The fight’s latter two scores mirrored the close fight seen by the stats. According to Compustrike, Larkin had a brief edge in effective offense, landing 32 percent of his strikes compared to Lima’s 32.

What those numbers failed to reflect, however, was the difference in effectiveness. When Lima landed a shot, Larkin felt it, no more so than in the second round, when he was dropped by a counter left hook as he attempted to pound out a finish.

Larkin had landed a big overhand right and closed in with a swarm of punches, only to find himself fighting to stay conscious as Lima stood overhead. Rather than look for a ground and pound finish, the champ elected to let him back to his feet and slug it out. But given the comfortable lead he held in striking, it perhaps wasn’t such a surprise.

Over the rest of the fight, Lima thwacked Larkin’s legs with kicks. He followed with straight right that frequently found its mark. Larkin managed to avoid getting rattled by Lima’s offensive conclusions, but nevertheless found himself hitting a lot of glove as his strikes were intercepted. When he got too close, Lima tripped him to the mat and reset.

It was a dominant performance from Lima, who invited No. 1 contender Rory MacDonald to “come get it.”

MacDonald, for his part, was unimpressed by what he saw

“I was really underwhelmed,” he told Bellator broadcasters. – If these guys think they’re keeping the belt fighting like that, they’re just going to be another body in the grave.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator NYC results include:

  • Douglas Lima def. Lorenz Larkin via unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47) – to retain welterweight title
  • Ryan Bader def. Phil Davis via split decision (49-46, 47-48, 49-46) – to win light heavyweight title
  • James Gallagher def. Chinzo Machida via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:22
  • Heather Hardy def. Alice Yauger via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:47
  • Ryan Couture def. Haim Gozali via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Bradley Desir def. Nate Grebb via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:54
  • Anthony Giacchina def. Jerome Mickle via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:40
  • Matt Rizzo def. Sergio da Silva via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:48
  • Hugh McKenna def. John Salgado via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 4:06

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

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in New York.)

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

Bellator NYC staff picks: Anyone picking Wanderlei or Fedor in their Bellator debuts?

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Sonnen
vs.
Silva
Emelianenko
vs.
Mitrione
Lima
vs.
Larkin
Chandler
vs.
Primus
Freeman
vs.
Pico
Davis
vs.
Bader
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 53-40
sonnen2017
Sonnen
(54%)
mitrione2017
Mitrione
(52%)
larkin2017
Larkin
(65%)
chandler2017
Chandler
(92%)
pico2017
Pico
(56%)
pdavis2017
Davis
(53%)
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 63-30
wsilva2017
Silva
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
bader2017
Bader
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 62-31
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
bader2017
Bader
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 58-35
trophy copy 2015 Champion
wsilva2017
Silva
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
pdavis2017
Davis
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 58-35
trophy copy 2016 Champion
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
pdavis2017
Davis
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 56-37
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
douglaslima2017
Lima
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
bader2017
Bader
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 55-38
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
pdavis2017
Davis
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 55-38
trophy copy 2014 Champion
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
bader2017
Bader
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 54-39
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
douglaslima2017
Lima
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
pdavis2017
Davis
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 53-40
wsilva2017
Silva
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
bader2017
Bader
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 49-44
sonnen2017
Sonnen
mitrione2017
Mitrione
larkin2017
Larkin
chandler2017
Chandler
pico2017
Pico
bader2017
Bader

For just the second time in its history, Bellator is headed to pay-per-view this weekend – and it will do it at the world’s most famous arena.

Bellator NYC takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following Bellator 180, which has a main card on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) finally have a chance to settle their years-old grudge, which started when both were in the UFC. The light heavyweights meet in the headliner, which has Sonnen a modest -150 favorite. He’s a bigger pick with our MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts, though, who are giving him a 7-3 advantage in the picks.

In the co-main event, heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) meets Matt Mitrione (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in a fight that was delayed from February, when the two were supposed to meet before Mitrione suffered from kidney stones on fight day and was pulled from the bout. The oddsmakers have the fight as a virtual pick’em with Mitrione at -120 to Emelianenko’s -110 – but our staff members are calling it as unanimous for Mitrione, 10-0.

The blockbuster card has a trio of title fights, two of which take place on the main card. Welterweight champion Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) puts his belt on the line against promotional newcomer Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who will make his Bellator debut after defecting from the UFC. The challenger is a 2-1 favorite, and eight of our 10 pickers are going with him to take Lima’s belt.

Lightweight champ Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) is an 8-1 favorite over Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA). To little surprise, he’s also a unanimous pick to retain his belt.

And in the Bellator 180 portion of the event on Spike, just ahead of the pay-per-view, light heavyweight champ Phil Davis (17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) meets Ryan Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a rematch – and Bader’s Bellator debut after moving over from the UFC, like Larkin. Bader has a 6-4 edge in the picks, even though it’s Davis who is the slightest of favorites from the oddsmakers.

Also on the card, wrestling standout Aaron Pico (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) makes his pro MMA debut against Zach Freeman (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). Like Mitrione and Chandler, Pico is a unanimous choice at 10-0.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Sonnen, Mitrione, Larkin, Chandler, Pico and Bader are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Lorenz Larkin: Bellator already has promoted me more for 1 fight than UFC ever did

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NEW YORK – Lorenz Larkin couldn’t be happier with his decision to sign with Bellator as his promotional debut approaches on Saturday at Bellator NYC.

Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) felt underutilized and under-promoted over the course of his 10-fight UFC tenure. However, with Bellator, he was immediately placed in a welterweight championship fight with Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA), which takes place on the Bellator NYC pay-per-view lineup at Madison Square Garden following the Bellator 180 card on Spike.

Larkin said the push he’s received from Bellator is a complete 180 from his time with the UFC, and as a result “The Monsoon” is in a happy and comfortable place ahead of his first major championship bout.

“I have no complaints (about Bellator),” Larkin told MMAjunkie. “I feel like I probably got promoted out of this card more than my whole career with (the UFC). It’s kind of bittersweet, but it’s a great position I’m at right now, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world right now.”

Larkin, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, also said he appreciates the fact he’s free to dress how he pleases ahead of Bellator NYC, something which was not the case when he was forced to adhere to the UFC’s Athlete Outfitting Policy deal with Reebok.

“It just allows me to be myself,” Larkin said. “It allows me to wear what I want to wear. It allows me to be me. I’m not up here wearing a private school uniform. So, I can’t complain.”

Larkin believes his happiness is going to transition into a stellar performance against Lima. Getting a title shot right off the bat against No. 13-ranked Lima can be a pressure-filled moment, but Larkin doesn’t see it that way. He believes he has considerable advantages over the 170-pound champ, who he says has not faced an opponent with his abilities.

“A lot of the guys I’ve fought are strikers,” Larkin said. “He’s a great fighter, but there’s nothing in his repertoire that I’ve not seen before or strikes me as something I really, really need to train for. I felt like I’ve seen it before at one weight class or another. There’s nothing that’s surprised me. If anything, my style is going to frustrate him. From the fights I’ve seen, he’s never fought a guy like me.”

Should Larkin capture the belt at Bellator NYC, his first challenger will come in the form of fellow former UFC fighter Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who made a successful Bellator debut with a second-round submission of Paul Daley in May. In the lead-up to the fight Lima has been asked about a fight with MacDonald, but Larkin hasn’t been approached with the same questions.

Larkin said he looks forward to an eventual showdown with “The Red King,” but he’s not particularly impressed by what he did against Daley.

“His performance was good, but his opponent’s performance was horrible,” Larkin said. “So I can’t really judge his performance. Yeah, he went in there and killed the dude, but I didn’t even feel like the guy was training. It didn’t look like he was trying or anything like that. I can’t judge that. The guy didn’t fight back to me. But when I hear things, and they talk about Lima and his thoughts on Rory, just keep them coming. It’s just going to feel that much better when they start asking me after the fight.”

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator's Scott Coker: Champ Douglas Lima is 'the best welterweight in the world right now'

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Sorry, Tyron Woodley. But for Bellator CEO Scott Coker, the 170-pound division has another undisputed king across the board.

Douglas Lima is a killer,” Coker said in a promotional video leading up to Saturday’s Bellator NYC pay-per-view affair at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I’ll say here, he is the best welterweight in the world right now.”

OK, so Coker may be a little biased. But a look at champ Lima’s record show the claims are not completely without merit. Since his Bellator debut in 2011, Lima has only two losses. The most recent, a title-costing one to Andrey Koreshkov, was later avenged – with Lima re-claiming the belt in the process. Of his 28 career wins, a whopping 24 were finishes.

Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA), who’s also No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, puts his belt on the line against No. 7 Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) – a former 205-pounder who makes his Bellator debut on the heels of major UFC wins over contenders Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal.

Of course, the 170-pound crown is not the only one up for grabs at Saturday’s event. Lightweight champ Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) also tries to keep his majesty when he meets undefeated Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA).

Dubbed the “Mike Tyson of Bellator” by Coker, the champ is clearly feeling up to the task.

“Brent Primus is young, tough guy,” Chandler said. “I’m excited for him. But I’m as close to unbeatable as I’m ever going to be in this sport.”

Primus, however, has some high-caliber support speaking on his behalf. Chael Sonnen, who headlines the card in a long-awaited meeting with longtime foe and MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, is encouraged by what he saw in training with the up-and-comer.

“As fighters, we all know who the best is,” Sonnen said. “We all know who’s where in that weight class. I’ll tell you right now: Michael Chandler, he’s got problems with Brent Primus. Primus is the right guy for this job.”

To hear more from the people involved in Bellator NYC, check out the video above.

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

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

Never beat anybody good? Douglas Lima says he'll answer those critics at Bellator NYC

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima currently sits at No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, and he knows what it will take to move up that list. That’s why he’s happy Lorenz Larkin signed with Bellator.

“It’s what I wanted – an opponent like Lorenz Larkin,” Lima told MMAjunkie. “He’s coming off important victories over Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal, and he’s beat a lot of other tough, high-profile fighters. It’s what I need in my career.”

Of course, Lima is on a pretty respectable run, as well. After all, his last two wins have come over the likes of former champ Andrey Koreshkov and British slugger Paul Daley. The Koreshkov win was especially satisfying, since it not only meant earning back the Bellator title but also avenging a loss to the durable Russian.

“This last fight against Andrey Koreshkov was great,” Lima said. “He’s one of the toughest fighters in our weight class. He’s not only fast, but also strong. He’s big and strong. I knew it’d be a tough fight, but … it went well. I think my low kicks defined the fight from the start. I was landing and hurting him. I think that’s why he rushed me on the third round. He was hurt and probably wouldn’t be able to stand in the fourth or fifth round like that, so he tried to finish me in the third, and that’s how I found the opening for the knockout.

“I was really happy with that win, especially since it was a KO. People had been praising Koreshkov since he was coming off a win over Benson Henderson. He ran Henderson over, so we were very happy with the fact that I beat Koreshkov the way I did, and when I did.”

Now Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 UFC) puts his belt on the line against Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who sits at No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie list and makes his Bellator debut at Saturday’s Bellator NYC pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Lima said it’s an opportunity to prove to the world exactly what he’s capable of as a fighter – and a moment he’s been anticipating for quite some time.

“I’ve been following Lorenz for some time now,” Lima said. “I really enjoy his fighting style. He always looks for a finish. I think that matches up well with my game. I always envisioned us fighting. I knew his style would make for a great fight with me.

“I’m really happy, especially since this is Bellator’s first time at Madison Square Garden. It’s an honor. I think our fight could have been the main event. It’s going to be explosive. I’m getting ready. I’m in a great moment in my career. I’m training more intelligently as I get older. We learn with age. I’m almost 30. I want to give everything I have in there. I want to deliver another exciting fight. I’ll look for a knockout or submission.”

A victory would certainly up Lima’s stock, and the Bellator champion is well aware of that reality. While the UFC still holds the majority of the world’s top welterweights, Bellator is constantly looking to add talent to its roster, and Lima wants to take advantage of every opportunity he’s given against top-tier competition.

“This is another chance to prove that we (at Bellator) deserve to be regarded as top fighters,” Lima said. “Sometimes people like to claim that a certain fighter never beat anyone good. That’s been said about Koreshkov and Paul Daley. This is just another chance to show what I can do against one of the best in the world. I’m very excited for this fight.

“I’d like to thank those fans who’ve been with me since the start. And as far as the doubters, I’m here to prove again that I deserve to be at the top and hold this belt. I’m going to defend my belt in spectacular fashion.”

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

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden

We want your predictions for this week’s Bellator NYC event in New York City.

In late 2015, we expanded upon our traditional staff picks to include the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the Bellator NYC staff picks we release on Friday ahead of the event. Bellator NYC takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following the Bellator 180 portion on Spike and MMAjunkie.

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Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva

Records: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Sonnen 1-4, Silva 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None

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Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione

Records: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), Matt Mitrione (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA)
Past five: Emelianenko 5-0, Mitrione 3-2
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: Mitrione No. 14

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Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin

Records: Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA), Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Lima 4-1, Larkin 4-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Larkin No. 8, Lima No. 12

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Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus

Records: Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA), Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA)
Past five: Chandler 4-1, Primus 5-0
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Chandler No. 11

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Aaron Pico vs. Zach Freeman

Records: Aaron Pico (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), Zach Freeman (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Pico 0-0, Freeman 3-2
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None

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Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader

Records: Phil Davis (17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), Ryan Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Davis 4-1, Bader 4-1
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: Davis No. 3, Bader No. 4

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For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator champ Douglas Lima's pick to win would-be welterweight tourney might surprise you

If Bellator eventually assembles a welterweight tournament, champ Douglas Lima has his picks for the fighters to meet him in the final – and his next opponent is not among them.

“I’d say either Koreshkov or MacDonald,” Lima told MMAjunkie Radio.

The Viacom-owned promotion’s PR team teased a possible tournament this past week, putting Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) beside other standouts at welterweight including Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who challenges him for the title on June 24 at Bellator NYC, which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and airs live on pay-per-view.

Lima doesn’t object to Larkin’s immediate title shot after defecting from the UFC earlier this year to sign with Bellator. He notes Larkin, the No. 8 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, was the next-highest ranked fighter after an injury kept him from accepting a bout with No. 4 Rory MacDonald, another high-profile free agent targeted for an immediate title opportunity.

But when it comes to overall competitiveness, Lima likes Andrey Koreshkov (19-2 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) and MacDonald’s (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) chances compared to Larkin, whom he compares to Bellator veteran Paul Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) in his favor of the striking game.

“Out of all the challengers, I think those two are the toughest, because they mix everything up pretty good,” Lima said. “They’re both long. I think either one of them will be in the final.”

Lima relishes the idea of a one-night tournament, which evokes the old Vale Tudo gatherings of his native Brazil. He is enough of a veteran to have experienced tournaments under Bellator’s previous promotional leadership, though they typically were contested over three months. It appears the new leadership is more bullish on one-night contests, with the promotion holding a four-man tournament in 2015 to determine a light heavyweight title challenger.

Lima needs to focus on holding on to his strap against Larkin, a fighter he respects as an accomplished competitor inside the cage. But if he’s called to defend it against a field of Bellator’s best welterweights, he’s down for the challenge.

“Man, that would be fantastic if they were to make that happen,” he said. “I would love to do a one-night tournament, like the old days of Vale Tudo.”

For more on Bellator NYC, 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.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie