Anastasia Yankova meets Veta Arteaga at Bellator 161 in Texas
A women’s flyweight bout bout between Anastasia Yankova and Veta Arteaga is the latest addition to September’s Bellator 161 lineup.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the bout with a Bellator official.
Bellator 161 takes place Sept. 16 at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas. The main card, which includes the 125-pound bout between Yankova (3-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) and Arteaga (2-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.
'Baby Slice' Kevin Ferguson Jr., Joey Davis get opponents for Bellator 160
Kevin Ferguson Jr. -- a.k.a. "Baby Slice" in homage to his late father "Kimbo Slice" -- will make his Bellator debut on Aug. 26 at Bellator 160.
And he'll be facing MMA newcomer, Johnny Tomasian. It confirmed through Bellator officials by MMA Fighting. MMA Junkie was the first to report the fight.
Ferguson Jr. made his amateur debut in Massachusetts in Warrior Nation: XFA XII, defeating Tom Brink via a first-round knock out in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Since that time Ferguson Jr. has relocated from Hartford, Conn., to Long Beach, California, to train at Team Bodyshop.
A.J. McKee-Henry Corrales Featherweight Battle Booked for Bellator 160 on Aug. 26
Fast-rising featherweight prospect A.J. McKee will put his perfect professional record on the line against Henry Corrales at Bellator 160 on Aug. 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Bellator MMA officials on Monday announced the pairing.
McKee -- the 21-year-old son of Ultimate Fighting Championship, International Fight League and Dream veteran Antonio McKee -- has finished each of his first four opponents inside one round. He last fought at Bellator 152 in April, when he needed just 2:44 to dispose of Danilo Belluardo with punches in Torino, Italy. Corrales, 29, will enter the cage on a three-fight losing streak, having dropped consecutive bouts to Patricio Freire, Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Straus. He started his career 12-0, winning a King of the Cage championship in the process.
Bellator 159 weigh-in results: What are the odds Melvin Guillard missed weight again?
The weigh-ins are in the books for Friday’s Bellator 159 event, and there was a familiar refrain for one of the fighters on the main card.
For the fourth time in five fights, lightweight Melvin Guillard (32-16-2 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) missed his mark on the scale, this time for his bout against hometown favorite David Rickels (17-4 MMA, 11-4 BMMA).
Guillard came in at 157.9 pounds for the co-main event. Rickels was 155.8. In Febraury, Guillard missed weight for his fight against Derek Campos at Bellator 149. He was knocked out in the second round. In two fights for WSOF before he signed with Bellator, he missed weight on both occasions. In the second, he was supposed to challenge champion Justin Gaethje for his lightweight title – but the fight was no longer a title bout after Guillard missed weight.
The complete Bellator 159 weigh-in results included:
MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)
Darrion Caldwell (136) vs. Joe Taimanglo (138)
Melvin Guillard (157.9) vs. Dave Rickels (155.8)
Emily Ducote (125.3) vs. Bruna Vargas (125.1)
Emmanuel Sanchez (146) vs. Daniel Weichel (145.2)
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)
Philipe Lins (204.6) vs. Guilherme Viana (205.1)
Bruna Ellen (125) vs. Jessica Middleton (125.4)
L.J. Hermreck (144.5) vs. Gaston Reyno (146)
Manny Meraz (170.8) vs. Trey Ogden (166.8)
Matt Foster (188.9) vs. Chris Harris (184.8)
Fernando Martinez (155.8) vs. Marcio Navarro (155.3)
Johnny Marigo (134.7) vs. Andy Riley (135.3)
Henry Lindsay (155.9) vs. Josh Pfeifer (155.5)
Brandon Phillips (145.8) vs. Chuka Willis (146.8)
Alexander Shlemenko’s drug suspension to be lifted after court ruling
Alexander Shlemenko will be able to fight again in the United States much sooner than expected.
The former Bellator middleweight champion had his three-year suspension and $10,000 fine from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) reduced in a court decision Wednesday, per court documents. Shlemenko tested positive for steroids in February 2015 and was levied the sanctions by a unanimous commission vote in June 2015.
The California Superior Court ruled that CSAC was only able to suspend Shlemenko until his license expired back on Feb. 28.. Shlemenko will also have to pay only a $5,000 fine. The Russian fighter's suspension will be lifted as soon as he pays the fine. Shlemenko is still under contract with Bellator, per promotion spokesperson Danny Brener.
Insanity behind MMA and WWE
While the dangers associated with playing professional football and other contact sports are well-documented, the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA,) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) continue operate somewhat under the radar as their athletes enter the cage or ring and fight until what seems like an inevitably early death.
GoFundMe set up for Evangelista Cyborg
Bellator welterweight Michael Page has a sport karate based style that makes him a one-man highlight reel. At Bellator 158 in London, he met the durable Evangelista 'Cyborg' Santos, and dispatched him with a jumping knee.
There is another side to the highlight reel that only fighters, coaches, and teams ordinarily get to see. Just as a highlight finish makes we asses in seats scream "HOLY F@$%ING $#!^" the losing side ordinarily suffers, dramatically.
However, there is little to prepare you for what happened to Cyborg Santos on Saturday night.
His ex-wife, the best female fighter in MMA, Cris 'Cyborg' Santos, just posted a GoFundMe request on the UG, and a horrific image on Instagram.
Klinger in for injured Vassell, Grove vs. Mulheron added to Bellator 158
Linton Vassell has been knocked out of his bout with Francis Carmont at Bellator 158.
Vassell (16-5 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) was scheduled to compete in front of his fellow countrymen at the event, but will instead be replaced by Lukasz Klinger (7-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).
Bellator 158 takes place July 16 at The O2 in London. The main card airs on Spike at 9 p.m. ET via tape delay. Untelevised prelims stream at 1 p.m. ET on MMAjunkie.
In addition to Klinger taking on Carmont (24-11 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) at light heavyweight, British heavyweight veteran Neil Grove (12-7-1 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) will take on James Mulheron (8-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) on the preliminary portion of the card.
'Rampage' Jackson interested in fights with Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione
Quinton Jackson likes Fedor Emelianenko a lot. "Rampage" has called the Russian legend an idol and a friend. That, however, does not mean a fight between the two is off the table.
Jackson told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he'd be willing to fight Emelianenko, because the timing is right for them both.
"Fedor is one of the most gentlest giants you ever want to meet," Jackson said. "I've got the utmost respect for him. But sometimes the fans probably need to see fights like that. Me and him, we're both past our prime, I'm gonna be honest. We're older and stuff like that. Those are the types of fights that maybe Bellator wants to put on, when guys get over a certain age, maybe we should fight each other."
Jackson, 38, is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and a huge star in PRIDE, where Emelianenko, 39, also made his name. The two have a warm relationship, going back years, "Rampage" said.
Matt Mitrione clears medicals, meets Oli Thompson in Bellator 158 co-main event in London
After Bellator 157 a week ago, promotion President Scott Coker admitted he and his crew may have put the cart before the horse by announcing Matt Mitrione for a Bellator 158 fight against Oli Thompson.
After all, the announcement came mere minutes after Mitrione (10-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was floored by a punch from Carl Seumanutafa (10-7 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) (watch the video highlights here) in the first round. Likely seconds away from having the fight stopped, Mitrione survived and went on to recover for a knockout win a couple minutes later.
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Weichel showdown highlights Bellator 159 additions
The card for Bellator 159 is complete and a featherweight showdown is one of the biggest additions.
Bellator today announced a bout between Emmanuel Sanchez(13-2 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) and Daniel Weichel (36-9 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) along with several other additions to the event, which takes place July 22 from Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kan. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Sanchez is riding a three-fight winning streak, including a split decision victory over Daniel Pineda at Bellator 149 in his most recent bout. In fact, all three of his victories in his current run have come by way of split decision.
Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 averages 601,000 viewers
Rampage Jackson's drawing power took a turn for the worst, as Friday night's Bellator show built around his return to the promotion averaged 601,000 viewers. The number was well below even the company's usual numbers of 650,000 for a secondary show.
But Friday's show was Dynamite, with the idea of it being Bellator's big event of the year. Nobody expected it to touch the kind of numbers they did in February when a double headliner of Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie and the late Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000 drew a record 1,964,000 viewer average over three hours. But this show, which also had a bout for the vacant lightweight title where Michael Chandler, Bellator's biggest homegrown star, beat Patricky "Pitbull" Freire, drew less than one-third of that total.
If anything it shows a combination of just how big Slice, Shamrock and Gracie were as draws, and that Jackson, at least when it come to a fight with Ishii, was not in their league when it came to garnering interest in his fight.
Michael Chandler clears up what he said to Patricio Freire after knocking out his brother Patricky
ST. LOUIS – It was a banner night for Missouri's own Michael Chandler on Friday.
Not only did he make the roof come off of the Scottrade Center with his clean knockout of Patricky Freire, but Chandler regained Bellator's lightweight title.
And afterwards, as he sat perched on the fence celebrating his big moment, he had an encounter with Patricky's brother Patricio, who was cageside.
What was that all about?
"Uh, it was interesting," Chandler said at the Bellator 157 post-fight presser conference. "I commend [Patricio], I take my hat off to him for getting emotional for his brother. I mean, if my brother had just got knocked out, I would've...I don't think I'd have done the same thing because I thought what he did was pretty disrespectful, but you've got to stick up for your brother.
Scott Coker says free agent Rory MacDonald is 'somebody we'd definitely be interested in when he's free'
ST. LOUIS – On a night when former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione made his Bellator debut, and former UFC champion Benson Henderson was cageside at the Scottrade Center to see him do it, the idea of free agency loomed in the air at Bellator 157: Dynamite 2.
And as of last weekend, there's one notable free agent that could ignite a little bidding war.
Rory MacDonald, who trains at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, fought out his contract in Ottawa against Stephen Thompson. Though he lost to "Wonderboy" it what was thought to be a No. 1 contender's bout, MacDonald is only 26 years old and has gone 9-4 in the Octagon. Two of his losses — against Carlos Condit in 2010 and against current welterweight champion Robby Lawler in 2015 — he found himself winning heading into the final round.
It doesn't hurt that he's a key to the Canadian market.
Matt Mitrione vs. Oli Thompson Targeted for Bellator 158 in London on July 16
Matt Mitrione could make a quick turnaround following his victory over Carl Seumanutafa on Friday night, as “The Ultimate Fighter 10” veteran has already been booked against Oli Thompson at Bellator 158 on July 16.
The heavyweight matchup was announced following Mitrione’s first-round knockout over Seumanutafa at Bellator 157. “Meathead” rallied from an early knockdown to put his foe away with a big standing-to-ground right hand 3:22 into the period. The triumph ended a two-fight skid for Mitrione, who signed a multi-bout deal with the California-based promotion earlier this year.
While the bout was announced in the cage following Mitrione's victory on Friday night, Bellator officials confirmed that his participation in the event is contingent upon receiving medical clearance to compete on July 16. For now, the matchup is not official. During a post-fight interview, Mitrione admitted that he did not remember being knocked down by Seumanutafa.
Bellator 160 targeted for Aug. 26 in Memphis
Bellator could be headed down south for a late summer event on Spike.
Bellator 160 is targeted for Aug. 26, and Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., is a heavy favorite to host, multiple sources told MMAjunkie on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the news publicly.
Landers Center previously hosted Bellator 120, which featured a light heavyweight grudge match between Quinton Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal that ended in a controversial decision for Jackson and a raucous post-fight press conference.