With road paved for MMA in New York, Bellator looking at Barclays Center for possible event
With today’s passage of a bill legalizing MMA in New York, it’s not just the UFC ready to head to the “Empire State.”
The Viacom-owned Bellator, the UFC’s biggest competitor, today said it already has been in touch with arenas in the state and is planning to hold events there once the bill is passed into law.
“The New York Assembly’s vote to legalize MMA is a watershed moment for this incredible sport,” Bellator President Scott Coker stated. “As someone who has been promoting combat sports for more than 30 years, this is a very exciting time for mixed martial arts. We at Bellator MMA are very much looking forward to hosting an event in the ‘Crown Jewel of America,’ New York.
“… We’ve already been in contact with the great people at the Barclays Center and several other incredible venues, and we can’t wait bring our world-class athletes and action-packed shows to an arena in the ‘Empire State’ soon.”
Khabib's father: Benson Henderson wants to come train in Dagestan
It looks as though former UFC champ Benson Henderson is looking for a new training camp to go along with his newfound organization.
According to Khabib Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap, 'Smooth' is interested in working with him temporarily in Dagestan. The two met at UFC London several weeks ago, where they discussed the potential union.
"I talked for about an hour with Ben Henderson through an interpreter, discussing his fights," Abdulmanap told allfight.ru. "He wants to come to us to get ready and to test his skills with my guys."
Kimbo Slice, Ken Shamrock both test positive for steroids at Bellator 149
Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock both tested positive for steroids.
Slice and Shamrock failed drug tests in relation to Bellator 149 last month in Houston, as originally reported by MMA Fighting. Now we know for what substances.
Slice tested positive for the steroid nandrolone and also had an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. Shamrock tested positive for nandrolone and methadone, an opioid used to treat pain or detoxify in people with a drug dependency. Shamrock also had an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio.
Marcos Galvao vs. Eduardo Dantas headlines Bellator 156
After two cancellations, Marcos Galvao and Eduardo Dantas are once again slated to rematch for the bantamweight crown in the main event of Bellator 156 on June 17, the promotion announced Monday.
Bellator 156 takes place at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and airs lives on Spike.
Dantas and Galvao fought for the first time back in 2013, when "Dudu" defended the 135-pound title with a second-round knockout. Galvao bounced back and eventually won the belt, submitting Joe Warren with a kneebar. "Loro" was then scheduled to rematch Dantas at Bellator 144 and Bellator 150, but both fights were cancelled due to injuries.
Bellator to apply MMA weight class guidelines to new kickboxing promotion
Bellator President Scott Coker’s recent announcement that Bellator was getting into the kickboxing business marked an expansion in focus for the promotion. However, the promotion has taken the first step to sync up the two combat sports with the announcement that Bellator Kickboxing would feature weight classes that match the standard in MMA.
The information was announced in a Bellator press release.
With fighters such as Melvin Manhoef and Joe Schilling who have enjoyed a period of hopping back and forth between the sports, the alignment may make weight management easier for fighters interested in participating in both.
Matt Mittrione signs with bellator
For the first time in his professional MMA career, Matt Mitrione will fight for an organization other than the UFC.
Mitrione (9-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who first joined the UFC in 2009 after a quarterfinal-round finish on “The Ultimate Fighter 10,” has signed an exclusive four-fight contract with Bellator.
Chris Leben offers details of physical condition: 'Basically, my heart is failing'
In February, former UFC middleweight Chris Leben and Bellator MMA announced 'The Crippler' would return to mixed martial arts under the auspices of Scott Coker's circular cage. Yet, less than a month later, it was revealed Leben's return to the sport would be shortlived. In pre-fight medical exams, doctors found Leben had a debilitating and dangerous heart condition, prompting Bellator to pass on bringing Leben back.
On Friday, Leben appeared on The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM to detail the nature of his physical condition, the struggle to end his physical dependency on prescription medication and more.
Matt Mitrione has 'very nice' Bellator offer, but 'unfinished business in UFC'
Matt Mitrione is at a career crossroads, but not a desperate one. Despite dropping his last two fights in the UFC (albeit the last one against Travis Browne ending on controversial terms), Mitrione is not begging for work or desperate for attention. In fact, he has a lot of options. The only question is which path he'll take, not so much which path is better.
"I'm in a good spot, man," Mitrione said on Monday's The MMA Hour.
According to Mitrione, who fought out his UFC contract to seek free agency, he's received an offer from Bellator. While specifics were not detailed, Mitrione was quick to note the deal Bellator offered is quite alright by him.
Ken Shamrock, Kimbo Slice Test Positive for Banned Substances at Bellator 149
Both Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice have failed drug tests ahead of their bouts at Bellator 149 in Houston on Feb. 19.
Sherdog.com learned of Shamrock’s positive test from a source close to the situation. MMAFighting.com reports that Slice also tested positive for a banned substance prior to the event. It is currently unknown for which substances the fighters tested positive.
Sherdog.com recently filed a records request with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for drug tests results from the event. However, the results for Shamrock and Slice were redacted due to pending litigation. According to MMAFighting.com, both fighters have been received an administrative suspension from TDLR. Competitors on the card had their urine tested prior to the event.
With Bellator 152 card set, Derek Campos set to meet Patricky Freire in main event
The MMA portion of Bellator 152, a card which features both MMA and kickboxing action, is now finalized with a lightweight bout between Patricky Freire and Derek Campos lined up to serve as the night’s headliner.
The event takes place April 16 at Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie. It marks the promotion’s first international event.
With the additions, the Bellator 152 card includes:
Derek Campos vs. Patricky Freire
Brian Rogers vs. Alessio Sakara
Danilo Belluardo vs. A.J. McKee
Anjela Pink vs. Anastasia Yankova
Daniele Miceli vs. Daniele Scatizzi
Severe heart condition scratches UFC vet Chris Leben’s Bellator comeback
Chris Leben is no longer coming out of retirement to fight for Bellator after doctors found a severe medical condition that left him with just 18 percent of normal blood flow to his heart.
MMAjunkie was today forwarded a statement from Leben’s management team. Swedish news site MMANytt first reported the news.
In a separate statement, Bellator President Scott Coker said, “We are saddened to hear of Chris Leben’s current health situation and would have loved to see him compete inside the Bellator cage.
“A fighter’s health and safety is of the utmost importance to us as an organization. We wish Chris the best in his future endeavors and we are happy to provide a platform for him to share his story with people around the world.”
'The Axe Murderer' comes out of retirement: Wanderlei Silva signs with Bellator
The next phase of the career of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva began today with the announcement that “The Axe Murderer” has signed with Bellator.
The 39-year-old Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC), the promotion today announced, has signed an exclusive multi-fight, multi-year deal. The signing appeared to be an inevitability after Bellator President Scott Coker said recently that the promotion was having serious talks with the former UFC standout and PRIDE champion about coming out of retirement.
Several Fights Added to Bellator 153 in Support of Benson Henderson’s Promotional Debut
The co-main event for Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson is set, with the news that Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (24-3) will compete against John “Macapa” Teixeira (19-1-2) in featherweight action on April 22 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
In addition, Connecticut’s own “Irish” Brennan Ward (13-3) returns to action in his home state fresh off an impressive victory in Japan, when he welcomes Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (20-16) into the Bellator MMA fray at 170-pounds.
Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson Updated Fight Card:
Welterweight World Title Bout: Andrey Koreshkov (18-1) vs. Benson Henderson (23-5)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: Patricio Freire (24-3) vs. John Teixeira (19-1-2)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Brennan Ward (13-3) vs. Evangelista Santos (20-16)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Sam Watford (1-0) vs. Dean Hancock (2-0)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Foster (8-4) vs. Felipe Lavandoski (5-0)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jason Bakanowski (3-2) vs. T.J. Hepburn (4-2)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Pete Rogers (2-3) vs. Mike Mangan (0-3)
With free agency forthcoming, Kendall Grove heading into biggest fight of career
Kendall Grove has been on the open market before. Except that time, he didn't expect it.
In 2011, Grove dropped a unanimous decision to Tim Boetsch at UFC 130 and he was released by the promotion. Yes, the Ultimate Fighter 3 winner had lost two in a row, but the first defeat came against Demian Maia and Boetsch is a perennial top-15 fighter at middleweight.
"The UFC didn't want me and I only lost two decisions to two tough guys and they let me go for some reason," Grove said. "But that's the business. I'm not mad over it. I'm a little disappointed, but it's their company."
Joe Schilling feels like the 'cards are stacked' against him as GLORY deal winds down
Joe Schilling doesn't think he'll have many friends at the Sears Centre Arena this weekend.
It's not often that a fighter will compete for an organization when he is already set to bolt after his contract is up and everyone knows it. But that's exactly the case for Schilling when he meets Michael Lemaire at GLORY 27 on Friday night.
Schilling, the most well-known American kickboxer and fan favorite, has already inked a deal with Bellator Kickboxing and was introduced at the new promotion's introductory press conference last Friday in Houston. That contract just won't begin until he fulfills two more fights with GLORY. This particular one will come on the Superfight Series in Chicago and will air on UFC Fight Pass.
On eve of Bellator 150, Marcos Galvao vs. Eduardo Dantas title fight pulled from card
Here’s some bad news for those of you looking forward to Friday’s Bellator 150 championship headliner.
Officials today announced bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao (17-6-1 MMA, 7-3 BMMA) has been sidelined with an illness, and his headlining title fight and rematch against Eduardo Dantas (17-4 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) has been pulled from the card.
The full Bellator 150 card now includes:
MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)
Cheick Kongo vs. Vinicius Queiroz
Bobby Cooper vs. David Rickels
Gaston Reyno vs. Chuka Willis
Francisco France vs. Kendall Grove
Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Rebecca Ruth
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)
Gregory Babene vs. Brandon Farran
David Hammons vs. Kyle Noblitt
Chris Harris vs. Julian Marquez
Henry Lindsay vs. Marcio Navarro
Thai Clark vs. Deron Carlis
Andre Fialho vs. Manuel Meraz
Jonathan Gary vs. Jason Witt
Justin Wren vs. Kimbo Slice next?
We all fight for a reason. But Bellator MMA heavyweight Justin Wren has a best one imaginable. His fights to promote his efforts to Fight for the Forgotten.
FFTF is a non-profit making life-altering impact in the remote parts of the Congo jungle. They are working to free the Mbuti Pygmy people from slavery, and then develop sustainability. Jesus said to love another. Wren really does that.