Bellator signs undefeated heavyweight prospect Blagoi Ivanov
The man best-known for defeating Fedor Emelianenko in a combat sambo match is coming to Bellator Fighting Championships.
Bellator officials today announced that Blagoi Ivanov has signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion and will soon fight for the first time in the U.S.
"Blagoi is a great signing for us at heavyweight," Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's official release. "He brings an incredible sambo background to the cage and is developing his hands with some of the best in the business."
NY MMA bill overwhelmingly passes committee vote
New York Senate Bill 1707A, i.e. the bill to authorize mixed martial arts in New York, overwhelmingly passed the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, by a vote of 13-1 this morning.
If last year is any indication, the bill will now go straight to the full Senate for a vote.
The overwhelming support for the bill is a good sign and so is the fact that the bill is through the Tourism Committee this early in the legislative session, i.e. approximately three (3) months before the bill was referred out of the Tourism Committee last year.
Source: Kheder Allegedly Bolts from Bellator Weigh-Ins; Shockley In
According to a source close to the promotion, Kheder checked in at the Bellator 36 weigh-ins on Friday and then left while the undercard competitors were hitting the scales. Sherdog.com confirmed news of alleged Kheder's departure after MMA Junkie initially reported on the matter.
When it came time for the lightweight tournament competitor to stand and deliver, he was allegedly nowhere to be found. The official announcement during the live stream of the weigh-in was that the fighter was talking with commission officials and would step on the scale after the stream went off the air.
That plan apparently went out the window, as one member of the Bellator staff actually chased after Kheder when it was realized that he had exited the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Calls from the promotion to the lightweight's phone allegedly went unanswered.
Despite suspension, James Irvin meets Mamed Khalidov in KSW 15 headliner
Despite a failed drug test and one-year suspension, James Irvin is heading overseas to fight light-heavyweight champion Mamed Khalidov in the headliner of next week's KSW 15 event.
Officials today announced the title fight, which takes place March 19 in Warsaw, Poland.
Irvin recently was pulled from a Shark Fights 14 co-headliner and rematch with Houston Alexander due to his alleged used of the steroid epitrenbolone at December's Tachi Palace Fights 7 event.
Alexander hopes Irvin available for May Shark Fights show, will settle for "Kimbo"
Light heavyweight Houston Alexander hopes James Irvin gets a recent suspension for performance-enhancing drugs reduced from one year to six months, if only for one selfish reason.
So he can put his hands on "The Sandman."
But if Irvin doesn't get cleared to fight Alexander in May, as the Texas-based Shark Fights is now targeting, "The Assassin" has someone else in mind for his next fight: Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson.
Former WWE Superstar Dave Batista May Make MMA Debut in UK
MMAWeekly.com has learned through independent sources that the rumored MMA debut of former WWE wrestler David Batista looks likely to take place in May… but not on U.S. soil.
It has come to light that the main delay in his debut has been aligning his desire to make a professional MMA debut ahead of September, which is when the aspirational heavyweight fighter will begin shooting an undisclosed film project.
Alvarez vs. Curran official as Bellator 39 headliner, Saunders vs. Lee added
A title fight between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and season-two tourney winner Pat Curran will headline Bellator 39 on April 2.
Bellator Fighting Championships brass today officially announced the matchup, which was previously reported by MMAjunkie.com, as well as a non-tournament bout between Ben Saunders and Matt Lee.
Bellator 39 takes place April 2 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and airs on MTV2. The fight card will also feature two semifinal contests in Bellator's season-four welterweight tournament.
NSAC budget cuts eliminate out-of-competition drug testing; Kizer seeks alternatives
A budget crunch has left the Nevada State Athletic Commission unable to employ one of the most significant deterrents to the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional competition.
Two years after the influential regulatory body announced it would conduct out-of-competition drug testing, legislators completely withdrew funding for the program.
The NSAC will soon decide whether to press legislators on a proposal to reinstate testing, possibly by diverting funds within the commission's budget.
"What we're trying to do is find alternative sources of revenue," NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The NSAC began out-of-competition in the summer of 2008 after successfully petitioning the legislature to set aside money from the state's general fund. The commission received $18,000 for the 2008-2009 fiscal year (July 2008 to June 2009) and conducted between 40 and 50 tests, according to Kizer.
UFC 84 main-event fighters B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk, as well as co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz, were among the first to be tested in the new program. Machida and Rashad Evans were the last MMA headliners to be tested out of competition at UFC 98. None of the out-of-competition tests came back positive for performance enhancers or drugs of abuse.
With state governments around the country tightening their belts amid a widening recession, the NSAC's budget for out-of-competition testing was reduced to $12,000 in fiscal year 2009-2010. Regulators then asked the commission to give back all of the money before the year's end, Kizer said.
Alan Jouban vs. Jamie Yager set for Tachi Palace Fights 9 on May 6
After a stunning 15-second knockout in his professional debut over prospect Kyle Griffin, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu disciple Alan Jouban (1-0) now meets "The Ultimate Fighter 11" cast member Jamie Yager (3-2) in a welterweight contest.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from Tachi Palace Fights officials that Jouban and Yager have agreed to meet at Tachi Palace Fights 9.
Featuring a lightweight matchup between UFC veterans Fabricio Camoes and Efrain Escudero, Tachi Palace Fights 9 takes place May 6 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Doerr in the works for M-1 Challenge on Showtime
Two-time UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes has already been announced as a participant at March's "M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa," and now his opponent is all but official.
MMAjunkie.com has learned from sources close to the organization that Magalhaes and undefeated Wisconsin native Jake Doerr have verbally agreed to meet in the evening's co-main event, though bout agreements have yet to be finalized.
Shark Fights Partners with HDNet, Debuts March 11
Texas-based MMA promotion Shark Fights has signed a broadcast deal with HDNet and will make its network debut on March 11. The network confirmed rumors of the HDNet-Shark Fights partnership via Twitter on Friday. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
Alexander-Irvin Rematch Ticketed for Shark Fights 14
Their first encounter lasted all of eight seconds.
UFC exiles Houston Alexander and James Irvin will meet for a second time in a featured light heavyweight tilt at Shark Fights 14 on March 11 at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas. Alexander on Thursday announced the rematch via Twitter. Irvin knocked out “The Assassin” with a Superman punch at UFC Fight Night 13 in April 2008.
Alexander (Pictured), who turns 39 next month, will carry a two-fight winning streak into the rematch. He last appeared at Shark Fights 13 in September, when he stopped Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on second-round punches at the Amarillo Civic Center in Amarillo, Texas. An East St. Louis, Ill., native, Alexander burst on the scene in 2007 with consecutive first-round finishes over Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Keith Jardine and American Top Team’s Alessio Sakara. However, he lost each of his next four UFC fights and was cut by the promotion following his unanimous decision defeat to Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale in December 2009.
URCC Promoter Alvin Aguilar Chokes Out Fighter for Attacking Referee
The URCC, the Philippines' top MMA promotion, hosted URCC Baguio 3: "Invasion" this past weekend. It had a good line-up of fights, but as you can see pictured above, most of the attention was stolen by a scuffle.
Razi Jabbari was already banned from competing in the Rizal Sports Complex in Manila for getting in a fight against a sports official a while back. The Iranian was still given another chance to put that all in the past, as the URCC gave him a shot against undefeated lightweight prospect, Honorio Banario of Team Lakay Wushu. Things didn't go his way though, as the Wushu expert had him mounted early, making him tap to strikes a minute and a half into their bout. The referee, Joey Lapiten, stopped the bout, and when he asked the fighters to shake hands after the bout, Jabbari lived up to his reputation and started cursing at him. Things escalated from there. Jabarri assaulted the referee, then a few moments later, Alvin Aguilar, the URCC founder and promoter who also happens to be a BJJ black belt, stepped into the ring and choked out Jabbari to end all the chaos.
Efrain Escudero vs. Fabricio Camoes slotted for Tachi Palace Fights 9 in May
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Efrain Escudero looks for his third consecutive post-UFC win when he meets fellow UFC vet Fabricio Camoes at May's Tachi Palace Fights 9 event.
Soon after Camoes defeated Steve Lopez at this past weekend's Tachi Palace Fights 8 event, Escudero left the broadcast booth and entered the cage.
Officials then announced the Escudero vs. Camoes bout.
Alleged Theft Forces Cancellation of Immortal MMA Event in Hawaii
WAHIAWA, Hawaii -- Originally supposed to host a night a mixed martial arts fights, the Martinez Gym at Schofield Army Barracks was instead the scene of an alleged crime.
The event, which was being promoted by Immortal MMA and was to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Jason Guida and Tasi Edwards, was canceled on Saturday just moments before it was set to begin.
“I was notified that the purse money for the fighters had been stolen out of one of the inspector’s vehicles, so, obviously, we had to take the legal route and get the Military Police and [Honolulu Police Department] and all that involved,” said Jeremy Varney, the event’s promoter. “I brought all the fighters and their managers into the room and explained to them the situation; the state explained to them the situation. And then we gave them the option [that] if they wanted to fight, they could fight and I would pay them at a later date, or they could just walk if they wanted to.
“Ultimately, I made the decision [to cancel the event] because there were only six fighters that agreed to fight out of nine bouts,” he added. “The rest of them were just, you know, it was more ‘I want to get paid’ than it was a fight for the troops, which is completely understandable. You know, [the fighters] train their asses off and they want to get paid and I completely understand. That’s business.”