Scott Coker: Held-Jensen better fight for Bellator 155 digital stream than Coenen-Dufresne
When news came out that Julia Budd would face former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen for the inaugural featherweight title on the Bellator prelims, there was a fair amount of public consternation. A lot of people disagreed with Bellator’s decision to put a title fight on a digital stream, regardless of the logic behind it.
The logic behind it, of course, was to draw more attention to Bellator’s streaming presence, which in a roundabout way it did.
UFC slightly outrates Bellator head-to-head on Saturday night
Bellator and UFC dueled somewhat evenly in going head-to-head on a Saturday night where nearly 1.5 million fans watched MMA between 8 and 10 p.m. on cable television.
The UFC aired the prelims for UFC 198, doing 786,000 viewers, headlined by Demian Maia vs. Matt Brown, a stronger than usual FS 1 main event. It was the lowest prelim number before a pay-per-view so far this year. The head-to-head competition with Bellator was probably at least partially responsible. The prelims for UFC 197 did 835,000 viewers.
The Brown vs. Maia main event peaked at 985,000 viewers for the final rounds.
Bellator, which ran from 8 p.m. to 10:22 p.m., headlined by Phil Davis vs. King Mo Lawal, did 709,000 viewers, slightly above what Bellator usually does, a number fairly impressive given it was not on the regular night, started an hour earlier than usual and had the UFC competition.
In the key 18-49 demo, UFC had an edge in viewers by 399,000 to 346,000.
Spike, which airs Bellator, is available in about nine million more homes than FS 1.
Bellator 154 salaries: Phil Davis gets $60K, and 'King Mo' gets $30K
Bellator light heavyweight Phil Davis not only earned a shot at champ Liam McGeary, but the highest disclosed payday at this past Saturday’s Bellator 154 event.
Davis (16-3 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) took home $60,000 for his unanimous-decision win over Muhammed Lawal (19-5 MMA, 8-4 BMMA), who earned $30,000, in the Spike-televised headliner of this past Saturday’s event at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
Heavyweights Godbeer, Mulheron to Clash at Bellator 158 in London on July 16
United Kingdom-based heavyweights Mark Godbeer and James Mulheron will square off for bragging rights of the region in a featured bout at Bellator 158, promotion officials announced Tuesday.
Godbeer is fresh off a second-round TKO win over Stuart Austin at BAMMA 25 last weekend and looks to keep his three-fight winning streak in full effect against his rival. He last appeared for the California-based promotion at Bellator 152, when he was knocked out by UFC veteran Cheick Kongo.
Marloes Coenen vs. Alexis Dufresne elevated to Friday's Bellator 155 main card
Although the fight lost its title status, it’s been elevated to Friday’s Bellator 155 main card.
Officials today announced a women’s featherweight bout between former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen (23-6 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) and Alexis Dufresne (5-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has been elevated from the preliminary card to the televised main card.
The full Bellator 155 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)
Champ Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef – for middleweight title
Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai
Julia Budd vs. Marloes Coenen
Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen
Tyler Freeland vs. Joe Hamilton
Veta Arteaga vs. Jackie Vandenburgh
Hamilton Ash vs. Vince Morales
Casey Johnson vs. Brendon Raftery
Scott Thometz vs. Josh Tyler
Will Noland vs. Sean Powers
Erick Cronkhite vs. Ricky Steele
Olly Bradstreet vs. Jesse Brock
Darrion Caldwell signs seven-fight contract extension with Bellator
Bellator is hanging onto one of its top homegrown talents.
Darrion Caldwell announced Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he has signed a long-term contract extension with Bellator MMA. The deal spans seven fights. Caldwell said he had one fight remaining on his previous contract with the promotion.
"Just believing in what they had in mind and their plan for me, that's the biggest thing," Caldwell said. "It's bigger than me. I know they have a vision. Even though I have a vision as well -- my vision is to be the world champ -- they have a vision on how to put me in a position to make sure I maximize everything outside of the cage. And so, I feel like we touched on a lot of subjects there. I think we've got a star in the making."
Bellator to honor Jordan Parsons with memorial scholarship fund
Bellator MMA has started the Jordan Parsons Scholarship Fund to honor the late fighter, the promotion announced Saturday.
As a result, Bellator will annually send a young wrestler to "The J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp," a favorite of Parsons'.
Parsons, a member of the Blackzilians fight team, died on May 4, three days after being struck by a driver while crossing the street in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 25 years old.
Chandler vs. Pitbull vacant lightweight title bout set for Bellator: Dynamite 2
Michael Chandler and Patricky Pitbull are scheduled to fight for the vacant lightweight championship at Bellator: Dynamite 2 next month.
Bellator MMA lightweight contenders Michael Chandler and Patricky Freire are set to fight for the vacant lightweight championship at Bellator: Dynamite 2 later this year, officials announced during the Bellator 154 broadcast on Saturday evening.
Current champion Will Brooks vacated the belt when he was granted a release from the organization on Saturday.
Chandler (14-3) is riding a two-fight winning streak with stoppage wins over David Rickels and Derek Campos since back-to-back losses to Brooks in title fights. The 30-year-old was supposed to fight Josh Thomson at Bellator 154 on Saturday in one of the most anticipated Bellator fights of the year, but UFC veteran Thomson pulled out with an injury. Chandler did not receive a replacement fight for the card.
Freire (16-7) is also riding a two-fight winning streak with a recent decision win over UFC veteran Kevin Souza in the main event of Bellator 152 last month. Prior to that, he knocked out Ryan Couture in impressive fashion. Pitbull's last loss came to the hands of Derek Anderson late last year. Pitbull lost to Chandler by unanimous decision in a 2011 lightweight tournament final.
Bellator cuts lightweight champ Will Brooks, strips heavyweight champ Vitaly Minakov
Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks (17-1 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) has been released from the California-based promotion and is now a free agent. Additionally, heavyweight champ Vitaly Minakov (17-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) has been stripped of his title due to inactivity but will remain under contract with the company.
Bellator President Scott Coker today confirmed the moves with MMAjunkie.
In the case of lightweight champ Brooks, who’s ranked No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, Coker said the promotion has elected to terminate the fighter’s deal and waive all negotiation rights so that “Ill Will” can pursue his free-agency options.
“It was very simple,” Coker told MMAjunkie. “Will Brooks’ contract is ending, and we made a decision not to renew it. We’re going to give him a full release, so we’re not going to be in the Will Brooks business any longer.”
Sergei Kharitonov out of Bellator 154 due to illness
Another fight has been pulled from Bellator 154.
Sergei Kharitonov is out of his fight with Josh Appelt due to an illness, Bellator spokesperson Danny Brener confirmed with MMA Fighting on Tuesday. ESPN's Brett Okamoto was the first to report the news. The event is scheduled for Saturday night in San Jose.
Julia Budd Injured; Marloes Coenen to Face Alexis Dufresne in Non-Title Bout at Bellator 155
Bellator MMA will no longer crown a women’s featherweight champion at this month’s Bellator 155.
The organization on Tuesday announced that an injury has forced Julia Budd to withdraw from her clash with Marloes Coenen, which would have seen one woman walk away as Bellator’s inaugural 145-pound female titleholder. The nature of Budd’s injury was not specified.
Coenen will instead meet former UFC competitor Alexis Dufresne on the undercard of Bellator 155, which takes place May 20 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The matchup will be contested at 145 pounds, though the title will no longer be up for grabs.
Scott Coker rules out Dada 5000's Bellator return: 'I think we should just be friends'
Bellator FC president Scott Coker does not see any reason for Dada 5000 to be back fighting under his organization.
Last February 19, heavyweight fighter Dhafir Harris, more popularly known as "Dada 5000" suffered a major health scare following his fight against Kimbo Slice at Bellator 149.
The 38-year old fighter suffered two heart attacks and renal failure during the fight that was officially ruled as a third round TKO victory in favor of Slice. In his appearance at the Dan LeBatard show in mid-April, Harris attributed his near-death experience to being a mere "part-time fighter".
Delray police arrest Dennis Wright in connection to death of Jordan Parsons
After a six-day search, the Delray Beach Police Department (DBPD) in Florida have arrested Dennis Wright, 28, in connection to the death of Jordan Parsons. According to a news release obtained by MMA Fighting, "Wright, whose license has been suspended six times, is facing multiple charges, including leaving the scene of a crash causing death. Investigators have recovered the damaged 2013 Range Rover Sport involved in the crash."
Veteran Fighter Blas Avena Found Dead, Police Suspect Suicide
Thirty-two-year-old mixed martial artist Blas Avena was found deceased in his Las Vegas apartment on Wednesday. Las Vegas Metro Police are investigating his passing as a possible suicide.
“Arriving police and medical personnel located an adult male who was pronounced deceased at the scene. As of now, the death is being investigated as a suicide,” a LVMPD spokesperson told TMZ.
Awad vs. Santos, Piccolotti vs. Wood complete Bellator 154 main card
Bellator 154’s main card is once again complete after the promotion’s announcement of two more bouts for the event.
A Bellator press release announced the additions of a welterweight bout between Saad Awad (18-7 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) and Evangelista Santos (21-16 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) and a lightweight bout between Adam Piccolotti (7-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) and Ray Wood (7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).
After Josh Thomson fight scrapped, Michael Chandler expects return at Bellator 157
Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler expects to get back in the cage at Bellator 157 after a highly anticipated bout with Josh Thomson was scrapped for Bellator 154.
Chandler on Tuesday told MMAjunkie Radio he is interested in keeping the matchup with the UFC veteran, or perhaps squaring off with another high-profile Bellator signee – ex-UFC champ Benson Henderson – when he returns to action.
Chandler (14-3 MMA, 11-3 BMMA) had just completed a strength and conditioning session this past Friday when he heard the news that Thomson (22-8 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) was forced to withdraw from Bellator 154, set for May 14 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., due to an undisclosed injury.
Bellator fighter Jordan Parsons dies after hit-and-run accident
Jordan “Pretty Boy” Parsons, a 25-year-old contender in Bellator’s featherweight division, died Wednesday of injuries he sustained in a hit-and-run auto accident Sunday in Delray Beach, Fla.
Parsons was struck by a gray or silver 2012 or 2013 Range Rover while crossing the street shortly after midnight on May 1. He was taken to Delray Medical Center, where a portion of his right leg was amputated.
On Wednesday, Bellator MMA president Scott Coker confirmed the news in a statement.
"It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a dear member of the Bellator family, Jordan Parsons,” Coker said. “Jordan was an exceptional athlete and a rising star in the sport. But more importantly, he was an exceptional young man. Jordan was hard-working, dedicated, intelligent, and a pleasure to be around. He represented all the reasons we love this sport. It is a terribly tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and teammates."
Kimbo Slice-Dada 5000 Result Overturned to No Contest by Texas Commission
The result of the Bellator 149 clash between Kimbo Slice and Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris has officially been overturned to a no-contest following Slice’s failed drug test.
The change was noted on Monday by MMAJunkie.com, reporting that Slice -- whose real name is Kevin Ferguson -- has reached a settlement with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation over his recent suspension.
3-Time NCAA Wrestling All-American Jarod Trice Signs with Bellator MMA
Decorated collegiate wrestler Jarod Trice is set to embark on a mixed martial arts career with Bellator MMA.
Bellator officials on Monday announced that the organization has signed Trice to “an exclusive, multi-fight contract.” Specifics of the deal were not revealed.
Trice, a three-time NCAA Div. I All-American at Iowa State University, wrestled as a heavyweight in college but is expected to make his MMA debut at 205 pounds. In addition to his freestyle accolades, Trice is also an accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler. According to Bellator, the 27-year-old Michigan native is currently training alongside fellow wrestlers-turned-fighters Darrion Caldwell and Bubba Jenkins.
With Chandler-Thomson scrapped, Bellator 154 adds Sergei Kharitonov vs. Josh Appelt
After losing one high-profile bout, officials today added some new fights to this month’s Bellator 154 lineup.
With an injury forcing Josh Thomson (22-8 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) out of a planned bout with former lightweight champion Michael Chandler (14-3 MMA, 11-3 BMMA), the organization has scrapped the matchup altogether.
The latest Bellator 154 card now includes:
MAIN CARD (Spike, 8 p.m. ET)
Phil Davis vs. Muhammed Lawal
Josh Appelt vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Andre Fialho vs. Rick Reger
TBA vs. TBA
TBA vs. TBA
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Jorge Acosta vs. Joshua Hardwick
Victor Jones vs. Anthony Taylor
Danasabe Mohammed vs. Martin Sano
Steve Gruber vs. Josh Paiva
Doyle Childs vs. Sam Spengler
Jeremiah Labiano vs. Josh San Diego
Alvin Cacdac vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Thomas Diagne vs. Mark Dickman
Stephanie Frausto vs. Jamielene Nievara
Brandon Hester vs. Nick Pica
James Chapman vs. Sean Tucker