Bellator season eight finale set with featherweight title fight between Pat Curran and Daniel Straus
Newport Beach, CA. (February 6, 2013) - After nearly five years in the making, Bellator MMA made its long awaited debut on Spike TV in January as Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran opened the night with a dominant win over star Brazilian striker Patricio Pitbull, reaching over 1.2 million viewers in the process. On April 4th, Bellator will close out its eighth season from Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, NJ as Curran once again puts his Bellator Featherweight Title on the line against relentless Daniel Straus live on Spike TV. The night will also feature the return of Tiger Schulmann products Lyman Good and Munah Holland, as well as the Bellator debut of New Jersey fan favorite Tom DeBlass.
Tickets go on sale Friday, February 8th at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling 800-745-3000. The Main Card will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, with doors to event opening at 6:30pm EST.
Widely regarded as one of the top two featherweights in the world, Curran brings a dominating 18-4 record into his latest title defense, including victories over Marlon Sandro, Roger Huerta, Mike Ricci, and Straus himself, as Curran collected a knock out win over Straus early in both of their careers. Even with the victory over Straus in his back pocket, Curran is well aware both fighters have grown tremendously over the last four years.
"This may end up being the most challenging fight I've faced up this point," Curran said. "Daniel is going to make for a very tough challenge, but I know what I'm capable of. I feel like I'm always growing as a fighter, and the sky is really the limit for me. I've got the belt, and I'm not letting anyone take it away from me."
Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena
Terry Etim has warned Renee Forte that February 16 is going to be a very bad night for him when the pair meet at UFC London.
Etim will return to action in front of his home crowd at Wembley Arena fuelled by frustration after spending a year on the sidelines due to injury.
His opponent Forte enters the bout potentially fighting for his UFC career following an opening loss to Sergio Moraes. Etim admits he has limited information on the Brazilian, but that will not matter come February 16.
"I've only seen a couple of his fights so it's hard to make too much of him, but come fight night, he's going to be in deep water - he's definitely in for a long night," Etim told ESPN.
White tells Edgar: Don't go back to 155lbs
UFC president Dana White has urged Frankie Edgar to give up on any hopes he has of regaining the lightweight title after his latest defeat at featherweight at UFC 156.
Edgar claimed a unanimous decision over BJ Penn in 2010 to take his lightweight championship belt before losing it to Ben Henderson two years later at UFC 144. Henderson defeated Edgar once more at UFC 150, prompting 'The Answer' to step down to featherweight division.
But after his points defeat to reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo in Las Vegas, White insisted Edgar would not be stepping back up to the 155lb flyweight division.
UFC 156 prelims score all-time best ratings for FX with almost 1.9 viewers
Dave Meltzer at MMA Fighting is reporting some more good news for the UFC:
Saturday's UFC 156 prelims drew 1,897,000 viewers, topping the previous UFC on FX record of 1,860,000 viewers set two weeks earlier for the Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping card from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The number was a huge increase from the prelims on FX on Jan. 26 before the FOX network special from Chicago's United Center which did 1,208,000 viewers.
The largest previous audience on FX for prelims before a big show came on July 7 when the UFC 148 prelims did 1.8 million viewers. But that was to be expected, since there was more interest in UFC on that day with the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title rematch than any day over the past two years.
UFC Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez eyes summer return, won't fight teammate Daniel Cormier
Cain Velasquez shocked most of the MMA world at UFC 155 when he dominated Junior dos Santos for 25 minutes to reclaim the UFC Heavyweight title. After rocking dos Santos with a big right hand in the first round, Velasquez never relented and took back the belt he lost over a year before.
Saturday night at UFC 156, Antonio Silva followed Velasquez's lead by pulling off a huge upset over Alistair Overeem. After giving up the first two rounds to the former K-1 HW GP champion, Bigfoot teed off on The Reem with a series of brutal blows that even had referee Herb Dean cringing before he stopped the fight. At the same time he put down Overeem, Silva squashed the UFC's plans for the next Heavyweight contender.
With his next contender in question, Cain talked to UFC Tonight about when he wants to return and who he definitely won't fight:
I was thinking this summer. But I would not fight [Daniel Cormier]. He's my coach, teammate and my friend.
Thiago Tavares fails UFC On FX 7 post fight drug test, suspended 9 months
Last week rumors abound that UFC On FX 7 headliner Vitor Belfort had failed his post fight drug test. Belfort had impressed in his fight against Michael Bisping with a second round knock out. However, shortly after the rumors began UFC president Dana White assured that, while someone had failed their test, it was not Belfort.
Wednesday morning, Tatame reported that it was Thiago Tavares that popped:
After many rumors, the results of doping tests UFC Sao Paulo left. According TATAME found, the name of the athlete is caught Thiago Tavares. Our sources, however, need not know the substance used for light weight. His suspension will be nine months.
UFC 157 Official Fight Card & Video Preview
After four straight weeks of shows for Strikeforce and the UFC, Zuffa relaxes this week before returning next week in London.
But after that, get ready for a strong assault leading up to the hotly anticipated start of the women's era in the UFC.
"UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche" takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 23. The main event is the first women's fight in UFC history as Ronda Rousey (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) puts her new UFC women's bantamweight title on the line against Liz Carmouche (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC). In the co-main event, Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) meets Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC). Also on the card, "The California Kid," Urijah Faber (26-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC), will feel the home-state love against Ivan Menjivar (25-9 MMA, 4-1 UFC).
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche - for women's bantamweight title
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
Manny Gamburyan vs. Chad Mendes
Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)
Lavar Johnson vs. Brendan Schaub
Mike Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen
Court McGee vs. Josh Neer
Caros Fodor vs. Sam Stout
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice
Brock Jardine vs. Kenny Robertson
Neil Magny vs. Jon Manley
Randy Couture to Star in ‘MMA Rescue’ Series on Spike TV
In addition to serving as one of four coaches on Bellator’s upcoming reality show, the UFC Hall of Famer has also been cast as the central character in another Spike TV reality program called “MMA Rescue.”
Ostensibly modeled after Spike’s “Bar Rescue” and “Tattoo Rescue,” the series will feature Couture traveling to fledgling gyms around the country to provide the proprietors with advice on how to make their businesses thrive. Spike will pilot the show with three one-hour episodes with the opportunity to do more. Kinetic Content will produce the show, and Couture and his manager, Sam Spira, have signed on as executive producers alongside Kinetic founder Chris Coelen.
Sean Pierson out at UFC 158, Rick Story now meets Quinn Mulhern
Canadian welterweight Sean Pierson (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has been forced out a planned UFC 158 matchup with Rick Story (14-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), and Quinn Mulhern (18-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been tapped as a replacement.
UFC officials today announced the change.
UFC 158 takes place March 16 at Montreal's Bell Centre. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook. Pierson vs. Story was slated for the evening's FX broadcast, but it's unknown if the new fight will keep that same slot.
Mulhern makes his UFC debut after four appearances under the Strikeforce banner. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt debuted in June 2011 with a decision loss to Jason High but then bounced back with victories over Yuri Villefort, David Hulett and Danny Davis.
Manuwa: Diabate not easy, but I'll end it
Jimi Manuwa does not expect an easy night when he takes on Cyrille Diabate at UFC London, but he does predict he will become the first man in the UFC to knock the Frenchman out.
Diabate has fought six times in the UFC, winning four and losing two. Those two defeats both came via submission to Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Perosh, the latter of which took place during his last visit to the UK.
Phil Davis On Magalhaes: He Doesn’t Deserve To Fight Me
“You know, If I say it simply, he is out of my level, he doesn’t deserve to be fighting me, I feel like that sounds worse than it actually is and it almost sounds like I am talking about his character a person rather than his fighting skills. So let’s say, what he’s done in the UFC which is one win, and I guess if you count his old two losses, it doesn’t really warrant him a fight with me. But, you know, it’s fine. Listen, I don’t do matchmaking, Joe Silva is a genius and I am just going to go with what he says, I don’t question him, the man knows what he’s doing.”
Bellator Reality Show Coaches Include Couture, Shamrock, Warren and Greg Jackson
Bellator and Spike TV are pulling out all the stops for their new reality show titled Fight Master: Bellator MMA that debuts later this year.
It was first announced last week that UFC Hall of Famer and two-weight class champion Randy Couture had signed on to be a coach on the new Bellator reality show.
He was the first confirmed coach, but now three more very well known names in the MMA industry have been announced to join Couture on the new reality show.
MMA legend and former UFC and Strikeforce champion Frank Shamrock, MMA coach and guru Greg Jackson and former Bellator champion Joe Warren will serve as the other three coaches working with a group of 32 up and coming athletes hoping to make their way to the Bellator cage later this year.
Dana White: 'They’ve got some work to do down there at Blackzilians'
f"Blackzilians didn’t represent [at UFC 156]," White stated following Saturday’s press conference. "It was a bad night for them. In the first round, [Overeem] was running into a clinch. He wasn’t throwing anything. Running into a clinch, his hands were down by his knees. Yeah, it was a weird fight.
"I don’t know if he thought he could out-slick him and … I don’t know what he thought. He looked terrible. Both of them looked out of shape. Rashad did nothing but this all night (mimics catching jabs with hand). They had a bad night. They probably got to reevaluate some things in their camp."
"I think [Overeem] looked terrible [Saturday]. Rashad’s a great fighter, Rashad looked terrible, [too]. Yeah, I agree [Melvin Guillard wasn't good in his loss to Jamie Varner]," White said in closing. "They’ve got some work to do down there at Blackzilians. They’ve got some work to do. Vitor [looked good against Michael Bisping], but they didn’t look good."
Cage Warriors 54 adds Taylor-Phillips 185 title fight; McGregor defends 155 belt
A pair of titles will be on the line in May at Cage Warriors 54.
Middleweight champion Jesse Taylor (24-9) will put his belt up against John Phillips (16-5), and two-division champ Conor McGregor will defend his lightweight title against an opponent to be named.
Cage Warriors 54 takes place May 4 at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. Broadcast plans for the event are expected to be finalized soon.
Zoila Gurgel signs multi-fight deal with Invicta FC for April debut
Zoila Gurgel (12-2) apparently is moving on from Bellator.
The 115-pound women's champ recently signed a multi-fight agreement with Invicta FC, sources close to the event confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Gurgel will face a to-be-announced opponent at the all-female promotion's fifth event, which takes place April 6. Though a venue and location have not been announced, and prevoius reports indicated the promotion's hope to expand its horizons, potentially for an event in California, the plan is for Invicta FC 5 to take place in Kansas City, Mo.
Bellator and Invicta officials could not be reached Monday evening for comment on the move. Gurgel most recently competed at flyweight for the tournament-based promotion at Bellator 83, where she was choked unconscious in 58 seconds by Jessica Eye.
ONE FC 8 set for April 5; Kotetsu Boku defends lightweight title vs. Shinya Aoki
Following this past Saturday's event in Malaysia, ONE FC will return to Singapore in April for a lightweight title fight.
"ONE FC 8: Kings and Champions" will take place April 5 at Singapore Indoor Stadium and will be headlined by a 155-pound title fight between champion Kotetsu Boku (20-7-2) and Shinya Aoki (32-6).
ONE FC officials recently announced the card and headlining fight, which will be broadcast on Star Sports in Asia. Elsewhere, the main card is available as an online pay-per-view ($9.99) following free prelims at onefc.tv.
WSOF 2 takes shape with Branch-Filho, Burkman-LaFlare, Cavalcante-Gaethje
World Series of Fighting's second event is starting to take shape a day after the announcement of an extended TV deal with NBC Sports Network.
Several new fights for the card have been revealed by participants and by promotion officials.
WSOF 2 will take place March 23 at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., with a heavyweight headliner between former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski (19-9) and former welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight Anthony Johnson (14-4). In addition, the promotion's first bantamweight title will be on the line as Marlon Moraes takes on Tyson Nam.
New fights for the card include David Branch (11-3) vs. Paulo Filho (23-4), Josh Burkman (24-9) vs. Ryan LaFlare (7-0), Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante (17-6) vs. Justin Gaethje (7-0) and Igor Gracie (5-3) against an as-yet unnamed opponent.
Tyron Woodley More Interested in Fighting Rory MacDonald Than Demian Maia
Fresh off a vicious knockout of Jay Hieron in his UFC debut on Saturday, Tyron Woodley is hoping for a busy year in the Octagon.
In fact, he’s already told UFC President Dana White that he’ll be available if someone drops out of the March 16 showdown between Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald. It’s MacDonald in particular that Woodley has his eye on.
“I want to fight him,” Woodley told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “If anything happens with Carlos Condit, God forbid, or something happens with that fight, I already told Dana White.”