Bellator hasn't forgotten West Coast, but Eastern markets to host 2010 shows
Hang tight, West Coast fans. Bellator Fighting Championships hasn't forgotten about you.
The promotion, which kicks off its second season next month with live shows on FOX Sports Net, is skipping West Coast markets for its 12-week run due to its 8 p.m. ET start times.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that logistics forced the promotion to focus on Eastern markets for season two (and season three later this year) but that the West Coast markets could get some love beginning with season four in January 2011.
Quote of the Day: Gabriel Gonzaga - "I'm Not Afraid of Trading Strikes"
Gabriel Gonzaga - "My victory would be the ideal move towards what I want, the title shot. Getting close to it pumps me up. I've been training since 2001 and I'm not afraid of trading strikes with anyone on this planet. Although I have much more experience on the ground, I don't underestimate him there. Man, let's play and see who hits harder and has the best submissions."
Pat Curran completes Bellator's season-two lightweight tourney field, debuts at Bellator 14
Chicago-area fighter Pat Curran (9-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is the eighth and final competitor booked for Bellator Fighting Championships' upcoming season-two lightweight tournament.
Bellator officials today announced the signing.
Curran competes in an opening-round tournament matchup on April 15 at Bellator 14, though his opponent and other tourney pairings – including recent signee Roger Huerta's promotional debut – won't be unveiled until later this week.
Nick Catone vs. John Salter on tap for UFC 113 prelims in Montreal
May's UFC 113 event will get a late addition with a middleweight fight pitting Nick Catone (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. John Salter (4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com bout agreements have been distributed and signed by at least one fighter.
UFC 113 takes place on May 8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main card, which includes a main event and rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and challenger Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, airs live on pay-per-view.
UFC 111's Shane Carwin juggles duties as fighter, engineer, husband and father
The notion of "spare time" has always been a relative term for heavyweight contender Shane Carwin.
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound father of two juggles a fulltime job as a mechanical engineer at the North Weld County Water District in Lucerne, Colo., with another as a professional mixed martial artist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Today, while discussing his interim title fight with fellow heavyweight Frank Mir at UFC 111, Carwin said he's been given time off from his day job to prepare for the March 27 fight. But he'll keep the office gig as long as possible – or until other opportunities arise
Martial Arts Is About Going To War, Not Wearing Pajamas
That's the latest, and perhaps funniest yet, trash talk from Dan Hardy directed at UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. He says among other things, "As far as saying I’m not a martial artist… Because he walks out in the Octagon in his pajamas he’s a martial artist and I’m not? He knows nothing about me…"
Mir Buying in Bulk Against Carwin
Much was made about Frank Mir’s decision to add some 20 pounds of muscle to his frame in advance of his UFC 107 matchup with Cheick Kongo. However, the brief bout with the chiseled French kickboxer lasted barely more than a minute and shed little light on whether or not a bulkier Mir was a better Mir.
That figures to change when he takes on the hulking Shane Carwin in the UFC 111 “St. Pierre vs. Hardy” co-main event on March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
“Carwin’s been an athlete his size a lot longer than I’ve been at mine,” Mir said during a Tuesday teleconference to promote the interim heavyweight title bout. “The greatest indication of whether [adding more weight has] been beneficial will be whether or not I can negate some of his strength.”
MMA Quick Quote: World's Strongest Man not afraid of Tim Sylvia -- or a 15-minute fight
"I know what it means to fight three five-minute rounds. I get another new opponent every minute when I spar and I handle that. So if I can deal with five foes in one round, there won't be any problem with only one. Obviously there's a possibility that I will break a leg or pull a tendon. It's occupational hazard, but I don't take it under consideration. I'm not concerned at all. I have a clause in my contract that once I sign it, within 24-hours I will receive certain percent of my purse for this bout. If it's not there, I'm not going anywhere. Listen, I'm not afraid of anyone. I have my next fight on May 7th and another two weeks later, if everything goes as planned I'll face Pawel (Nastula) in September. I do it step by step."
Tim Sylvia Is Just Another Rung on Mariusz Pudzianowski's Ladder
Insulting Quote of the Day comes to us courtesy of Mariusz Pudzianowski, who just signed a contract to fight Tim Sylvia at a May 21st event in Worcester, Massachusetts, which is being put on by a shadowy Korean promoter called "Moosin":
The five-time World’s Strongest Man winner also revealed that he should be fighting former Olympic judoka Pawel Nastula in September this year. “Listen, I’m not afraid of anyone. I have my next fight on May 7th and another two weeks later, if everything goes as planned I’ll face Pawel in September. I do it step by step.”
New Camp Breathes New Life for Paul Buentello
Paul Buentello waited nearly four years for a return to the UFC, but less than a month before his UFC 107 fight, he was suspended from his longtime team, the American Kickboxing Academy.
For now, Buentello has been training under the guidance of Trevor Wittman and Mike Van Arsdale at Grudge MMA in Denver, Colo. alongside fellow UFC heavyweights Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub for this Sunday's fight against Cheick Kongo at UFC on Versus 1.
In this exclusive interview with MMA Fighting, Buentello talks about learning from the loss last December to Stefan Struve and pushing himself to improve under a new camp.
WEC 47 draws $401,000 live gate
This month's WEC 47 event at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, drew an official live gate of $401,000.
Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato today confirmed the total with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The March 6 event, which drew an initially estimated attendance of 8,345, had extremely affordable ticket prices that started at just $25 and topped off at a surprisingly low $125 for floor seats.
Profato said an official attendance figure isn't really known since the arena's "lodge seats" aren't figured into attendance totals. Approximately 8,700 traditional seats were used, and with lodge seats, the attendance could have reached nearly 9,500, he said.
WEC 47 drug tests come back clean
All six fighters who underwent drug testing at this month's WEC 47 event tested clean for drugs of abuse and performance-enhancing drugs.
Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato today confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Those fighters tested at the March 6 event included newly crowned WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, fellow headliner Brian Bowles, and main-card winners Joseph Benavidez, Javier Vazquez, L.C. Davis and Bart Palaszewski.
The event took place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with the Arnold Sports Festival, a three-day sports and fitness exhibition that takes place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and other sites around the city. The WEC's sister promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, first ventured to Columbus to host a show with "the Arnolds" in 2007 and hosted an event each year through 2009.
COKER: With proper training camp, Jose Canseco could get a fight.
Have the floodgates opened?
Mere weeks after former Jose Canseco's potential foray into U.S. mixed martial arts appeared to be a dead issue, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he's not entirely opposed to the former baseball star entering the cage.
That's not to say Coker is actively campaigning to sign Canseco, a former MLB All-Star. But as Coker said – half-jokingly – after the Ultimate Fighting Championship's recent signing of 41-year-old boxer James Toney, all bets are off.
"I can tell you this: If Cesar Gracie says to me, 'Jose's training with me, I'm going to get him ready, and I'm going to do it in four or five months,' and Cesar's telling me this? That will have a lot of weight on what we decide," Coker recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Enson Inoue Returns On 4/25 In Japan, Takimoto Retires
Next month's ASTRA event in Japan, which is expected to feature the retirement fight of Japanese star Hidehiko Yoshida, today had a couple significant changes. For the first time since April 2004, Enson Inoue, an early Shooto champion who owns a 1998 victory over Randy Couture, enters MMA and meets New Zealand kickboxer Antz Nansen. Also, PRIDE and World Victory Road veteran Makoto Takimoto, expected to compete on 4/25, instead retired and will not compete, completing his career with a 6-5 mark.