GLORY, Spike TV and the divide between sports and entertainment
Kimbo Slice, GLORY kickboxer. That was almost a thing last year.
GLORY CEO Jon Franklin told MMA Fighting this week that he and his staff discussed the possibility of bringing the wildly popular former streetfighter in for a bout. Slice had competed in boxing before and, obviously, had a history in MMA. At the time, Slice was already on the Bellator MMA roster and GLORY and Bellator shared a television network, Spike TV.
Talks ceased pretty quickly, though. Nothing personal against Slice, but GLORY execs didn't want to compromise the promotion's identity as the top kickboxing organization in the world by putting forth a subpar product.
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.
Seven months after giving birth, Stephanie Eggink taking wait-and-see approach to MMA comeback
Stephanie Eggink was just a few months removed from almost becoming the Invicta women's strawweight champion when she got life-altering news: She was pregnant.
Despite her standing as one of the top 115-pound fighters in the world, Eggink considered hanging up the gloves when she found out she was having a son.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do," she told MMA Fighting. "Your priorities instantly change the second you find out you're pregnant. But I'm a fighter. I'm still a fighter."
And she will be that again Friday night when she makes her return against Angela Hill at Invicta FC 16 at Trinidad Pavilion at the Tropicana Las Vegas. Eggink's son Ronan was born just seven months ago and her training didn't miss a beat.
"A lot of people said there was no way I was gonna get back in there within the year and in seven months here I am," Eggink said. "That's a big hurdle for me. I have a 12-pack again and I just had a kid."
WSOF champ Justin Gaethje: I won't take a pay cut to go to the UFC
At 15-0, World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje opens up about his serendipitous entry into MMA and about his upcoming title fight against tournament winner Brian Foster.
Eddie Mercado: You are the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion. Why MMA?
Justin Gaethje: I'm not sure. I started wrestling at 4 years old. It was never a dream of mine but I knew I always wanted to compete in something. When I was wrestling in college I took 7 amateur fights without ever being in a street fight, without sparring, without even training MMA. I won those and then decided to find a gym and turn pro and haven't lost yet. Now I'm making good money and I love it!
Mauro Ranallo Reunited with Bas Rutten as New Inside MMA Host
AXS TV FIGHTS on Wednesday announced renowned combat sports personality and broadcaster Mauro Ranallo will be the new host of INSIDE MMA, the longest running and only independent MMA news series on television, beginning Friday, March 25.
A veteran broadcaster with over 30 years’ experience, Ranallo will bring his energetic broadcasting style and opinionated views on the world of combat sports to INSIDE MMA alongside UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten and correspondent Ron Kruck Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. PT/12:30 a.m. ET following AXS TV FIGHTS’ weekly live MMA and Muay Thai broadcasts.
Ranallo is best known for his play-by-play commentary for prestigious organizations such as Pride Fighting Championships, which he called alongside his new co-host Rutten for several years; Showtime Boxing, where he recently called the international feed of the historic Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight; and Strikeforce, which was home to MMA superstars like Ronda Rousey, Daniel Cormier and Luke Rockhold. In 2015, Ranallo helped AXS TV launch its hit pro wrestling series NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING calling matches alongside former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett, before signing with WWE as the new voice of Smackdown.
Khalidov vs. Karaoglu and Pudzianowski vs. Rozalski announced for KSW 35
Following a successful start to 2016 in Warsaw last week with three title fights at KSW 34, the promotion announced a series of entertaining fights for their upcoming show in May.
During the live broadcast, the Polish promotion confirmed that middleweight champion Mamed Khalidov will defend his title against Germany's Aziz Karaoglu. The event will also feature a co-main event heavyweight bout between Mariusz Pudzianowski and Polish legend Marcin Rozalski. The event will also include a rematch between Kendall Grove and former middleweight title holder Michal Materla.
CES MMA 35 heads to Massachusetts on April 16 with Gonzalez vs. Jeudi headliner
CES MMA will makes it Massachusetts debut on April 16, officials recently announced.
CES MMA 35 takes place at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass., and the main card airs on AXS TV.
The featherweight headliner features Pedro Gonzalez (10-5) vs. Andres Jeudi, two local products.
Gonzalez is riding a three-fight winning streak with three submission victories, including ones over Josh Lange and onetime Strikeforce fighter Billy Vaughan. In fact, he has nine submissions in 10 career wins. He now meets Jeudi (7-5), a longtime CES MMA fighter and Team Sityodtong member who looks to break out of a recent 1-3 skid.
RFA 37 heads to South Dakota on April 15 with pair of title fights
The top bouts are set for next month’s RFA 37 event, which features a pair of title fights as the organization heads to South Dakota.
The event takes place April 15 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The main card airs on AXS TV.
In the headliner, the organization will crown its inaugural light-heavyweight champion. Undefeated South Dakotan Devin Clark (5-0), an NJCAA wrestling champion and Golden Gloves champion who’s 3-0 under the RFA banner, looks to win a title when he takes on Brazilian Rafael Viana (6-0), a promotional newcomer and Shooto Brazil champ who’s earned five stoppages in six career wins since his 2011 pro debut.
In the co-headliner, the organization crowns its third 135-pound champion after past titleholders Pedro Munhoz and Luke Sanders both moved on to the UFC. The title hopefuls include Joey Miolla (8-1), a 31-year-old American riding an eight-fight winning streak, vs. 27-year-old Brazilian Leandro Higo (15-2), who’s won six straight and has nine submissions in 15 career wins.
Ben Askren to Defend Welterweight Title at ONE: Global Rivals
Ben Askren returns to the cage next month to face Nikolay Aleksakhin in the main event of ONE: Global Rivals. The American will be looking to make the first successful defense of his welterweight title after two scheduled match-ups with Luis Santos last year failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Askren (14-0-0-1) is a former Bellator champion, a two-time NCAA Division One wrestling champion, and a U.S. Olympian. He won the ONE belt in 2014, but saw his first defense against Santos end in a controversial no contest after the Brazilian was unable to continue due to an eye poke.
Middleweight belt on line for Marcelo Nunes vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. at Legacy FC 54
Legacy FC returns to Oklahoma this spring, and the middleweight title will be on the line.
In the main event of Legacy FC 54, Marcelo Nunes (5-0) meets Rafael Lovato Jr. (2-0) for the promotion’s 185-pound belt. Promotion President Mick Maynard recently confirmed the headliner to MMAjunkie.
Legacy 54 will take place April 22 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, Okla., near Tulsa. The main card will air on AXS TV.
In the co-main event, Andrew Todhunter (7-0) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Evan Thompson (5-2) in a middleweight bout. In addition, Charles Byrd (7-4) takes on Trey Houston (12-3) at welterweight; Bilal Williams (4-2) meets Ed Cline Jr. (8-5-1) in a 170-pound bout; Derrick Adkins (5-2) takes on Darryl Wilson (2-0) at lightweight; and Aaron Robinson (0-1) meets Justin Rader (3-2) in a featherweight bout.
Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) is For Sale
The Maximum Fighting Championship, one of the eminently exciting brands of mixed martial arts to ever be at the forefront of the sport, is formally announcing it is for sale.
Mark Pavelich, Owner & President of the MFC, put more than 15 years into the business and grew it from a Canadian original on the MMA scene to a frontrunner in North America and ultimately into one of the most prominent shows in the world.
“The Maximum Fighting Championship was my passion and my labor of love. It was not just an MMA show. It was a professional sports organization,” said Pavelich.
The Maximum Fighting Championship brought top-level attention and profile to its athletes. Every one of the MFC’s champions progressed to the UFC, and more than 50 of its fighters competed at the highest levels of the sport. Included in the MFC’s extensive list of notable athletes are Patrick Cote, Jason MacDonald, Benson Henderson, Sam Alvey, Paul Daley, Anthony Birchak, Ryan McGillivray, Tom Watson, Roger Hollett, Antonio McKee, Thales Leites, Emmanuel Newton, and Douglas Lima.
M-1 Challenge 64 Weigh-in Results: US-Suspended Shlemenko, Vaselevsky Cleared
Russia’s leading MMA promotion M-1 Global is officially set for its next event, which takes place Friday night at Olympic Stadium in Moscow. M-1 Challenge 64 boasts an intriguing double feature, with one of the bouts for the organization’s vacant heavyweight title.
Alexander Shlemenko, who is serving a three-year suspension in the U.S., and Vyacheslav Vaselevsky will square off in the marquee’s main event. The bout, which is a semifinal of M-1 Challenge’s Middleweight Grand Prix, will go down as scheduled because both men were on point at Thursday’s weigh-ins. As it turned out, both combatants tipped the scale at 184.5 pounds.
M-1 Challenge 64 Weigh-in Results:
Alexander Shlemenko (184.5) vs. Vyacheslav Vaselevsky (184.5)
Alexander Volkov (236.5) vs. Denis Smoldaraev (269.5)
Pavel Vitruk (135) vs. Sergey Morozov (134)
Antun Racic (134) vs. Vitaly Branchuk (134)
Ray Joe (184) vs. Vladimir Katyhin (183.5)
Kurban Ibragimov (230) vs. Dmitriy Mikutsa (239.5)
Magomed Mutaev (185) vs. Vadim Orischak (184)
Valery Myasnikov (185) vs. Vyacheslav Bogomol (183)
Stefan Larisch (168.5) vs. Maksin Grabovich (168)
Andrey Lezhnev (145) vs. Timur Nagibin (145)
Zach Juusola out, Thiago Moises now meets David Castillo for 155 title at RFA 35
Just a few days before the fight, RFA 35 has a new championship headliner.
Zach Juusola (11-3) has pulled out of his vacant lightweight title fight against David Castillo (19-7) with an injury. Stepping up to take Juusola’s place will be Thiago Moises (6-1), who moves up from a co-main event fight against David Putvin.
Putvin (7-1) now will face Thiago Alves Cavalcante Rodrigues (9-3) in the new co-main event, which will take place at a 160-pound catchweight. RFA officials confirmed the changes to MMAjunkie today.
RFA 35 takes place Friday at UCCU Center in Orem, Utah. The main card airs on AXS TV.
ONE Championship 40 set for March with Mohamed Ali vs. Aung La N Sang headliner
ONE Championship 40 is set for a March return to Myanmar, and a home country fan favorite is booked for the main event.
Myanmar’s own Aung La N Sang (16-9-1) will take on Egypt’s Mohamed Ali (10-7) in the main event of “ONE Championship 40: Union of Warriors.” The promotion announced the card and headliner today.
ONE Championship 40 will take place March 18 at Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. The card will stream as an online pay-per-view in North America.
Atomweight title fight, return of Jessamyn Duke highlight Invicta FC 16
Invicta is bringing a loaded card to Las Vegas.
An atomweight title fight between champion Ayaka Hamasaki and Amber Brown will headline Invicta FC 16 on March 11 at Tropicana Las Vegas, sources told MMA Fighting on Tuesday. In the co-main event, Vanessa Porto and Jennifer Maia will fight for the interim flyweight title with champion Barb Honchack still out. The event will air live on UFC Fight Pass.
Also on the card will be the return to Invicta of UFC veteran Jessamyn Duke and rising strawweight star Alexa Grasso.