The Speed Bag: The lunacy of Bellator's heavyweight grand prix – and why that's a great thing

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

At long last, Bellator will have a new heavyweight champion. It’s just that, you’re going to have to wait more than a year from now, it appears, to know who it is.

And when the new champ’s name gets called, there’s a chance it could be a fighter many MMA fans would’ve otherwise considered to be washed up. There’s also a chance it could be a fighter who’s not a heavyweight at all, but instead a 205-pounder.

Is it a little bit crazy that Bellator has put together a yearlong eight-man grand prix featuring four heavyweights (Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Mir, Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson) and four guys who are normally light heavyweights (current champ Ryan Bader, plus Quinton Jackson, Muhammad Lawal and Chael Sonnen)? Yeah, of course it is.

But in the latest edition of The Speed Bag, our own Ben Fowlkes says that’s just what makes it, well … kinda awesome.

For Ben’s take on the heavyweight grand prix, check out the video above.

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

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with 'King Mo,' Nina Ansaroff and Chazz Walton

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Muhammad Lawal, Nina Ansaroff and Chazz Walton.

“King Mo” was announced as one of eight participants in the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018. Ansaroff defeated Angela Hill this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120. Walton co-headlines Friday’s Titan FC 46 event against Raush Manfio.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
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  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Ryan Bader starting to feel at home in Bellator, and thinks 'King Mo' should be his next test

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Now that he has a couple Bellator title fights under his belt, Ryan Bader says the promotion really is starting to feel like home.

And there might be no better indication of that for the light heavyweight champion than the fact he’s willing to do some work for President Scott Coker and matchmaker Rich Chou and pick his next title defense.

After taking out Linton Vassell (18-6 MMA, 7-3 BMMA) with a second-round TKO on Friday night in the Bellator 186 main event, Bader (24-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) thinks the next man on his list ought to be former Strikeforce champion Muhammad Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA).

Bellator 186 took place Friday at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

“There’s always ‘King Mo’ out there,” Bader said after his win. “We’d been scheduled to fight before when I first came over. I think he’s deserving – the next in line, really. So I’d probably say him.”

Bader’s finish of Vassell in the Bellator 186 headliner came with him as a heavy favorite in what was just his second fight for the promotion. In his debut in June, he took the 205-pound title from fellow ex-UFC standout Phil Davis with a split decision.

Then he and Lawal were matched up to meet at Bellator 180, but when “King Mo” pulled out with an injury, Bader instead got a title shot against Davis and made the most of it.

He admitted to some first-fight jitters against Davis, but gradually with performances like the one against Vassell, he knows those are going to go away.

“I just feel like this is home,” Bader told MMAjunkie. “You see a lot of UFC guys come over and they don’t do too well, and I don’t know what it is. … I’ve wrestled all over the world. In the UFC, I fought all over the world. Coming over here, never stepping foot in a Bellator cage until 30 seconds right before a title fight, I just follow my routine and I know I’m going to perform. … For me, getting my feet wet, feeling comfortable, it definitely feels like home already.”

For more from Bader, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

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