PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2012 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards
PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2012 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards
2012 was quite the year for fans of mixed martial arts and combat sports. The UFC saw its chokehold on the sport increase greatly in conjunction with their network deal with FOX. Glory Sports International revived DREAM and with Strikeforce closing it’s doors, Bellator MMA has secured their standing as the number two MMA organization on the planet. Women’s MMA also crashed the party with the emergence of Invicta FC and the first female fighter to join the UFC. Despite many injuries and fight card fuck-ups, mixed martial arts fans were still treated to some amazing fights, knockouts, submissions, and the rise of new fighters both male and female. Below are the best of 2012 Mixed Martial Arts Awards presented by PunchDrunkGamer.
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen Bellator season 7 lightweight tourney final set for March 7
After an unexpected postponement of the originally scheduled season 7 lightweight tournament finale, it has a new date and venue: March 7 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif.
On that night, Dave Jansen and Marcin Held will battle to determine the next challenger for divisional champion Michael Chandler, who successfully defended the belt for the first time last Thursday night with a submission win over Rick Hawn...
Bellator 85 results: Michael Chandler, Pat Curran defend titles
One had a thrilling finish, and the other was 25 minutes of back-and-forth striking. In the end, both lightweight champion Michael Chandler and featherweight champ Pat Curran defended their belts at Bellator 85. Plus, three fighters punched tickets into the semifinals of the Season 8 light heavyweight tournament.
The event, which kicked off Bellator's eighth season and its move to Spike TV, took place at Bren Events Center on the campus of the University of California-Irvine.
When it came down to it, Michael Chandler made it look rather easy...
Bellator 85 Weigh-in Results: Twin Title Fights Set
Pat Curran (144.8) vs. Patricio Pitbull (144.5) - FW Championship fight
Michael Chandler (154.6) vs. Rick Hawn (155) - LW Championship fight
Mikhail Zayats (205.7) vs. Babalu Sobral (205.3)
Seth Petruzelli (204.8) vs. Jacob Noe (205.9)
Emanuel Newton (205.4) vs. Atanas Djambazov (205.6)
Hector Ramirez (204.8) vs. Jason Lambert (205.5)
Aaron Miller (145.8) vs. Joe Camacho (145.8)
Joe Williams (170.7) vs. Jamie Yager (170.8)
Savant Young (155.5) vs. Mike Guymon (155.7)
Brian Warren(165) vs. J.J. Ambrose (164.5)
Mario Navarro(144.8) vs. Cleber Luciano(144.9)
After Losing Vision Briefly, Pat Curran Fully Recovered from Fractured Orbital
It was a scary injury.
Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran was winding down his training camp for a title defense against Patricio Freire in August, and he caught a punch that put him on the sidelines for weeks with a fractured orbital.
“I guess I was sparring with a guy a little bit too big,” Curran told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He was a boxer. I was just boxing down in Chicago. I don’t know, it was just a freak accident. I was sparring with him pretty much the whole camp leading up to the fight. It was my second to last sparring session and he just clipped me with a right hook, and it fractured it.”
If a fractured orbital sounds painful, that’s because it is.
“It was pretty painful,” Curran said. “It was my first time ever fracturing my orbital. When it happened, I really didn’t know what was going on. I was instantly blind. My nose started bleeding on the same side and I pretty much lost vision for about 30 minutes. It was hard for me to see out of that eye for a while, but in time, it healed.”
The injury didn’t require surgery. Instead, Curran went eight weeks without sparring and then switched to thicker headgear before jumping back in the ring to prepare for his defense against Freire, which takes place Thursday at Bellator Fighting Championships 85
Bellator Open to Signing Former Strikeforce Fighters, but Don’t Expect a Massive List
Since its inception, Bellator Fighting Championships has been a promotion that prided itself on building talent from within the organization and not picking up the scraps leftover from the UFC.
Now that’s not to say that Bellator hasn’t signed fighters after being released from the UFC – Ben Saunders, Paul Daley, and Maiquel Falcao are just a few of the former fighters that competed in the Octagon and received their walking papers before Bellator snatched them up.
Bjorn Rebney on dispute over matching Eddie Alvarez's UFC offer: 'We didn't alter a word'
When Bjorn Rebney launched Bellator in 2008, Eddie Alvarez was his first big splash. Rebney gave the lightweight star a $100,000 signing bonus and made him a building block for the organization, and Alvarez took it from there, becoming a champion within it. The relationship between the two thrived to a point where the men built a friendship that transcended the employer-employee dynamic.
Within the last few days though, that bond has been at least partially fractured by a contract dispute that has led to dueling lawsuits and a cloudiness over Alvarez's future.
The issue shortly after Bellator waived its exclusive negotiating period, allowing Alvarez to take his talents to the open market. As expected, the UFC approached Alvarez about a deal that would bring his talents to its octagon, and Alvarez quickly signed an offer sheet. Under the terms of a clause in his Bellator contract, that promotion had a right to match the UFC offer, and that's where things get murky.
Bellator sues 'betrayed' Eddie Alvarez, fight future in limbo pending lawsuit
When Eddie Alvarez fulfilled the final fight on his Bellator contract last October, he did so in impressive fashion by disposing of Patricky Freire in the very first round via knockout.
The performance only raised the lightweight's stock further, making him a very hot commodity Bellator clearly wanted to keep and one Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) obviously wanted on its roster. UFC president Dana White knew obtaining the talents of the former 155-pound champion wouldn't be easy. As a matter of fact, the brash head honcho of the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization hinted last week that it would get downright "ugly."
Apparently, White was on to something.
After Zuffa finally made an official contract offer to "The Silent Assassin," Bellator proceeded to match it, leaving the next move up the Lorenzo Fertitta and White, which has yet to be made.
Bellator announces Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev tournament final February 21
Bellator is full speed ahead on their upcoming debut season on Spike TV, with a constant stream of quality fight announcements. The latest is a bit of unfinished business from the recently completed season 7.
On February 21, Bellator will hold their season 7 Featherweight tournament final of Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev. This fight was originally scheduled for Bellator 83 in December, but had to be scrapped at the last minute due to a Shamhalaev illness.
Notable about this show is that it will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, close to Martinez's Utah home. Bellator is big on taking advantage of hometown crowds, and placing this fight in Utah should mean a very rabid and partisan crowd. Martinez is a pretty amazing story, putting together a 14-2 record (4-0 in Bellator) while also taking care of his paraplegic father. He's shown amazing guts and drive throughout the tournament, and it will be great to see him in front of a hometown crowd.
Bellator 85 set with 11 fights, includes Guymon vs. Young, Williams vs. Yager
The 11-bout lineup for Bellator MMA's first Season 8 event, "Bellator 85: Chandler vs. Hawn," is now complete with a three-fight main card and a seven-fight preliminary card that features MMA notables Mike "Joker" Guymon, Jason Lambert, Seth Petruzelli, Hector Ramirez and Jamie Yager.
Bellator 85 is the promotion's first on Spike TV after moving over from its recent television home at MTV2.
The evening's complete lineup now includes:
Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn - for lightweight title
Renato Sobral vs. Mikhail Zayats - light heavyweight tournament opening round
Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire - for featherweight title
Cleber Luciano vs. Mario Navarro
Jacob Noe vs. Seth Petruzelli - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
Jason Lambert vs. Hector Ramirez
J.J. Ambrose vs. Brian Warren
Atanas Djambazov vs. Emanuel Newton - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
Mike Guymon vs. Savant Young
Joe Williams vs. Jamie Yager
Joe Camacho vs. Aaron Miller