Bellator News - Page 16
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Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki Rematch Booked For February, Sort Of
There have been rumors for months about Bellator staging a rematch between their lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and the Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. Today, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the rumors and said the bout was signed for February - on one condition (via MMA Weekly): The only hurdle left to go before the fight happens is Alvarez defending his Bellator lightweight title against tournament winner Mike Chandler in just over a week. That by no means is a gimmee. Rebney understands that and so does Alvarez. "To be completely honest, Ed has got his hands full against Mike Chandler. Mike Chandler is an absolute freak of nature in terms of his wrestling. His stand-up has really come around. Chandler’s a beast," said Rebney.
With Zoila Gurgel hurt, Carina Damm scratched from Bellator 57
Carina Damm (17-8 MMA, 0-0 BFC) will not compete at next week's Bellator 57 event. The Brazilian contender was expected to face Bellator Fighting Championships female champion Zoila Gurgel (11-1 MMA, 5-0 BFC) in a non-title affair, but with Gurgel forced to withdraw in favor of surgery, Damm has been pulled as well. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the fighter that Damm will likely be re-booked for an as-yet-undetermined December event. Bellator 57 takes place Nov. 12 at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada. Gurgel vs. Damm was expected to air on the evening's MTV2-televised main card.
Bellator signs UFC vet Brian Foster for welterweight division
Brian Foster is headed to Bellator Fighting Championships' competitive welterweight division. Officials today announced the signing, thought terms of the deal were not disclosed. "I'm getting that belt," Foster stated. "I want to fight the best. I want to fight (champ) Ben Askren and take home that belt. I ran through my last two opponents, and I'm better than I've ever been."
Eddie Alvarez Tried To Purchase Stake In Bellator Last Year
Loretta Hunt of Sports Illustrated recently interviewed Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to discuss a slew of topics. One that definitely sticks out is the champion's view on the current state of the MMA market domestically. It seems that with the UFC purchasing organizations left and right, the champion got a bit antsy. So much so that he approached Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney about potentially buying into the company. It wasn't for any reason other than an investment opportunity, one that could pay off had a buy out occured. Now, a year late, the champion revisited his reasoning with Loretta saying: Originally, when the UFC purchased Strikeforce (last March), I got very on edge. I called (Bellator owner) Bjorn Rebney to ask him if there was any possible way that I could buy stake in Bellator. The way (the UFC) was buying up promotions like that, I didn't want them to come in on Bellator without me being able to capitalize on it.
Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos heavyweight-tourney finale set for Bellator 59
Bellator Fighting Championships' season-five heavyweight-tourney finale between Eric Prindle (9-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC) and Thiago Santos (10-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) is set for Bellator 59. Bellator officials announced the news on the MTV2 live broadcast of Saturday's Bellator 56 event. Bellator 59 takes place Nov. 26 at Caesars Atlantic City in New Jersey. The main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX) while the prelims stream on Spike.com. The latest Bellator 59 card includes: Eduardo Dantas vs. Alexis Vila (bantamweight-tourney finale) Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos (heavyweight-tourney finale) Patricky "Pitbull" Freire vs. Kurt Pellegrino Marcin Held vs. Phillipe Nover Michael Costa vs. Lyman Good
Bellator 56 weigh-in results: Champ Askren (169.6), Hieron (169.8) on weight
Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren and challenger Jay Hieron both today made weight for their long-awaited title fight. The two notables today weighed in for their five-round Bellator 56 championship headliner, which airs Saturday on MTV2 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. At an official ceremony at Argosy Casino in Riverside, Mo., Askren weighed 169.6 pounds. Hieron was a few ticks heavier at 169.8 pounds. The full Bellator 56 weigh-in results included: MAIN CARD (MTV2) Champ Ben Askren (169.6) vs. Jay Hieron (169.8) Neil Grove (264.6) vs. Thiago Santos (264.6) Eric Prindle (264.2) vs. Ron Sparks (264.4) PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com) Daniel Gallemore (247) vs. Derrick Ruffin (242.6) Rudy Bears (169.6) vs. Marcio Navarro (169.8) Adam Schindler (145.8) vs. Jeremy Spoon (145.4) Dan Spohn (205.6) vs. Kelvin Tiller (206.4) Emanuel "E.J." Brooks (157) vs. Willian de Souza (155.8) Jacob Aiken (131.4) vs. Jeimeson Saudino (136.8) Aaron Ely (140.4) vs. Owen Evinger (135)
Viacom buys Bellator, plans 2013 start on Spike
MTV Networks' Spike TV channel is getting out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's business, but the broadcaster has increased its ties to mixed martial arts. Viacom, parent of MTV Networks, bought a majority stake in Bellator Fighting Championships and will start airing the promotion's bouts on Spike in 2013, the companies told USA TODAY this week. They've had ongoing talks for about a year as they finished up various deals, and over the past month finally reached the point where they could announce the news, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said. Selling to Viacom's entertainment conglomerate guarantees a stable future for Bellator, said Rebney, who will remain in charge of the MMA organization. "It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us," he said. "Which is something that's been so seriously lacking in the MMA space with so many different companies, including Strikeforce and the IFL and Affliction and all the different failures that have occurred. … It alleviates those issues." Bellator is the No. 2 promotion in mixed martial arts behind market leader Zuffa, owner of UFC and Strikeforce...
Despite close Bellator 55 loss, Marcos Galvao gets 'win' bonus
Despite a controversial loss in the headliner of Saturday's Bellator 55 event, Marcos Galvao isn't going home empty handed. Following a close split-decision loss to Alexis Villa in the semifinal round of Bellator's season-five bantamweight tournament, Galvao received his "win" bonus. Bellator officials confirmed the decision with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the event. Bellator 55 took place outside Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz. The night's main card, including the Galvao (10-5-1 MMA, 1-2 BFC) vs. Villa (11-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC) headliner, aired on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX). Although salary figures aren't immediately available, a fighter's "win" bonus typically enters his "show" (base) pay.
Blagoi Ivanov out, Neil Grove back in heavyweight tourney at Bellator 56
Bellator's heavyweight-tournament shuffle continues. The latest change comes as a result of an injury to semifinalist Blagoi Ivanov (5-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC). Taking his place in the final four is opening-round loser Neil Grove (11-4-1 MMA, 3-2 BFC), who now gets a second life and meets Thiago Santos (9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC) in a semifinal matchup at Bellator 56. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the change with a source close to the fighter. Bellator 56 takes place Oct. 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX), and the prelims stream on Spike.com.
Efrain Escudero vs. Cesar Avila added to Saturday's Bellator 55 event
A notable name has been added to Saturday's Bellator 55 event. "The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner and recent regional-show regular Efrain Escudero (17-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) meets fellow lightweight Ceasar Avila (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) on the event's preliminary card. The official Bellator 55 card includes: MAIN CARD (MTV2) Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila (bantamweight tourney semifinal) Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West (bantamweight tourney semifinal) Champ Christian M'Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff (non-title light-heavyweight fight) Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com) Cesar Avila vs. Efrain Escudero Carlos Flores vs. Richard Hale Edgar Garcia vs. Jacob Ortiz Erin Beach vs. Roscoe Jackson Nick Piedmont vs. Jade Porter Dano Moore vs. Steve Steinbeiss
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says events could move to new night in sixth season
With Bellator Fighting Championships' fifth season in full swing, many things are going right for the promotion. Bellator's tournament format continues to produce intrigue, some major title fights are just weeks away, and the organization is reaching more viewers thanks to broadcast/streaming deals with the high-definition EPIX channel and Spike.com. But as CEO and chairman Bjorn Rebney recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), those Saturday-night time slots remain a constant source of discussion. Bellator, which has promoted 54 shows since its 2009 debut, now airs on MTV2 on Saturday nights. But those events frequently face competition from the UFC, Strikeforce and other weekend-loving promotions. And though it's hard to determine if it's solely that competition that's affecting ratings – season-five Bellator events have peaked with up to 269,000 viewers and recently bottomed out with 103,000 – MMA fans often are forced to make a choice. Rebney, of course, knows that.
Bjorn Rebney: Anderson Silva is the only man on Earth that could beat Hector Lombard
"We have an incredibly dominant champion. It's not easy. I think, right now, when you look at Vitor Vianna and Alexander Shlemenko, we could provide a good test for Hector Lombard. I think he's one of the best two middleweights on earth. I think Hector is an absolute monster. I think there's one guy on earth right now that I would look at and say to myself, ‘He could beat Hector.' His name is Anderson Silva. I don't know that I would pick Anderson to beat Hector, but it would be one heck of a fight. We'll see what happens with Alexander and Vitor, and one of those guys is going to come out with a big win." - Bjorn Rebney
Bellator ring girl Mercedes Terrell making name for herself in ascending promotion
Chances are if you've ever seen a Bellator Fighting Championships event you know who Mercedes Terrell is. The striking 27-year-old is a cageside fixture as one of the promotion's ring girls and never seems to be too far out of frame each Saturday night for MTV2 television producers. With the ascension of Bellator into the de facto No. 2 MMA promotion in the world (behind the UFC) over the past year, Terrell's own brand has grown considerably along with it over said span. She's become synonymous with the Chicago-based promotion and one of a small handful of their public faces. No longer is she Jane Doe, cookie cutter ring girl like when she started prior to season two. More than a year and a half later in season five, she's known and addressed by the mononym "Mercedes."
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Vitor Vianna meet in tourney final at Bellator 58
An already impressive Bellator 58 just got a little more stacked as the promotion's season-five middleweight tournament bout will also be contested on the card. Bellator officials announced that Bellator 54 semifinal bout winners Alexander Shlemenko (42-7 MMA, 6-1 BFC) and Vitor Vianna (12-1-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) will meet at the Nov. 19 event. Already featuring a lightweight title fight between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, as well as a non-title fight with champ Hector Lombard and Trevor Prangley, Bellator 58 takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The evening's main card airs on MTV2 while the prelims stream on Spike.com.
Bellator announces signing of UFC veteran Maiquel Falcao
"Big Rig" is apparently trucking on back to the U.S. Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney today announced that Brazilian middleweight slugger Maiquel Falcao will soon make his debut for the promotion. Rebney made the announcement during the Spike.com-streamed prelims of Saturday's Bellator 54 event. Falcao and his management weren't immediately available for comment.
After surviving Iron Ring debacle, Bellator 54's Brian Rogers happy in new role
It only takes one Iron Ring to make you appreciate a Bellator. Middleweight Brian Rogers (8-2 MMA, 1-0 BFC) passed the quarterfinals of the promotion's season-five tournament with flying colors, knocking out Victor O'Donnell to earn a spot in the semis opposite season-two champ Alexander Shlemenko (41-7 MMA, 5-1 BFC) at Saturday's Bellator 54, which takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Sure, fighting three times in three months is a daunting task, as anyone competing in the promotion can attest. But at least you know what you're getting into, which is more than Rogers can say about the hip-hop flavored MMA reality show that aired in 2009 and almost immediately fizzled. Then a grad student and part-time MMA fighter, Rogers was enticed by the $2,500 show/win purses offered to Iron Ring contestants. He got the feeling something was askew, though, when he showed up to UFC vet Roan Carneiro's gym in Atlanta, and the audition was an actual fight. A one-round fight, but still, there was no pay. Plus, the producers wanted him to fight at heavyweight. He was at 215 pounds, but only because he'd been given three days' notice and they didn't tell him to cut weight. "I'm not fighting at heavyweight for no money in the middle of Atlanta," he told the show's producers. Rogers got the call anyway to be on the show, which was taped on a Monday night in New Orleans. The dressing rooms were right next to the VIP rooms, and the smell of marijuana smoke wafted in as he warmed up. Referee Herb Dean oversaw his fight, in which he represented rapper Lil' Jon's team of fighters against a rep of Jim Jones' Dipset team. "It was like a dogfight or something," Rogers said. "Everyone was standing around the ring. People were sticking their arms in the ring and yelling and screaming. My coach lost his voice, and he was yelling to Little Jon to footsweep him. Lil' Jon's like, 'Footsweep that mother[expletive]!'"
Brazilian Shooto champ Carlos Alexandre Pereira signs with Bellator
Brazilian prospect Carlos Alexandre Pereira, who has scored 22 of his 33 career wins via knockout, is heading to Bellator Fighting Championships. MMAjunkie.com today confirmed that verbal agreements are in place between the Brazilian Shooto champ and Bellator brass. The signing was first reported by Sherdog, who also suggested Pereira will make his promotional debut at November's Bellator 58 event against a yet-unnamed opponent.
Gable vs. Tirloni promoted to Bellator 55 main card, Steinbeiss among prelim additions
Two-time EliteXC fighter Steve Gable (5-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Brazilian lightweight prospect Ricardo Tirloni (13-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) have been elevated to main-card status at next week's Bellator 55 event. Bellator brass recently announced the change while also releasing a few changes to the evening's current nine-fight lineup. With the changes, Bellator 55 now includes: MAIN CARD (MTV2) Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila (bantamweight tourney semifinal) Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West (bantamweight tourney semifinal) Champ Christian M'Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff (non-title light-heavyweight fight) Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com) Carlos Flores vs. Richard Hale Edgar Garcia vs. Jacob Ortiz Erin Beach vs. Roscoe Jackson Nick Piedmont vs. Jade Porter Dano Moore vs. Steve Steinbeiss
Champ Eddie Alvarez meets Michael Chandler at November's Bellator 58
While injury forced a short delay in Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez's planned title defense with season-four tournament winner Michael Chandler (8-0 MMA, 5-0 BFC), fans won't have to wait long for the contest. Originally scheduled to take place at this weekend's Bellator 54 event, company brass recently announced the matchup has been moved back just five weeks and will take place at November's Bellator 58 card. Already featuring middleweight champion Hector Lombard in a 195-pound non-title fight with Trevor Prangley, Bellator 58 takes place Nov. 19 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Thiago Santos replaces injured Mike Hayes in tourney semifinals at Bellator 56
As officials feared, a broken orbital bone has forced Mike Hayes (16-4-1 MMA, 2-1 BFC) out of Bellator's current season-five heavyweight tournament. In his place steps replacement Thiago Santos (9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who now meets Blagoi Ivanov (5-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC) in a semifinal matchup later this month at Bellator 56, officials today announced. Bellator 56 takes place Oct. 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The night's main card, including tourney fights of Santos vs. Ivanov and Eric Prindle (8-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) vs. Ron Sparks (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BFC), airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX). The prelims stream on Spike.com.