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Let the "legends ass kicking tour" commence.
Fight fans have been waiting for an announced opponent ever since Chael Sonnen ended his retirement by signing with Bellator MMA. The self-proclaimed "Bad Guy" wasted no time calling out the "Bad Boy" himself in Tito Ortiz.
Luckily for fight fans, the legendary mixed martial arts (MMA) trashtalkers will square off early next year, per a news break by Ortiz himself on AXS TV's Inside MMA.
At a location yet to be determined, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" and the "American Gangster" will throw down next January in what will presumably be the main event of a "tent pole" Bellator event.
Jose Aldo wants to leave the UFC, and another Brazilian star supports his battle against the promotion.
Wanderlei Silva, who returns to action on Dec. 29 against Mirko Cro Cop at Rizin Fighting Federation, asked the current UFC interim featherweight champion to sign with the Japanese promotion.
"The American Gangster" promised to wreck anyone and everyone willing to compete this November. That includes former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Unfortunately for Sonnen, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" did not share his grand vision.
From Submission Radio:
"Chael calling me out on November 2nd? I'm the one who calls the shots, not him! We'll fight in January. We're not going to fight in November. I'm gonna give him some time to get used to being at his weight, off of steroids, so he can train through that time. November 17th is not happening. I'm calling the shots, not Chael Sonnen. Yeah he talks well, yeah he does his thing, but no, this is my weight class. I'm the one who calls the shots. Tito Ortiz is gonna call the shots."
Bellator 162 in Memphis is starting to take shape, and Kimbo Slice's son — Kevin Ferguson Jr. — is slated to make his professional MMA debut.
On Sunday, Bellator officials informed MMA Fighting that 'Baby Slice" will take on the 24-year old Rick Bing, who is also making his pro debut in the MMA cage. The fight will take place on the prelims of Bellator 162.
The trilogy fight between former PRIDE FC champions Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva is scheduled to happen at Rizin FF 2016 World Grand Prix quarter finals. The news was announced on the broadcast of the tournament's opening round on Sunday.
The Rizin FF Grand Prix quarter finals are scheduled to take place on Dec. 29 in Saitama, Japan.
One of the best prospects in women's MMA is going to be out for a while.
Mizuki Inoue tore her ACL recently and will require surgery, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp confirmed the information and said Inoue was on the short list of potential next challengers for Angela Hill's strawweight title.
Typically, an athlete will need around one year to recover from ACL surgery. It's unclear if there's any kind of loose timetable for Inoue's return.
The decision to strip Barb Honchak of the Invicta flyweight title wasn’t a bad one. How the promotion decided to go about it, on the other hand, was pretty poor.
Honchak herself confirmed that she had only seen the news online, and had not been informed by the promotion. In a statement delivered through Squor.com, Honchak gave her thoughts on no longer being the flyweight champion:
“I understand that Invicta would want to take the "interm" off the title since I have been out for an extended amount of time. But, I would have like the opportunity to relinquish and I would have like to have known by means other than Twitter.”
In the meantime, tonight’s interim title fight between Jennifer Maia and Roxanne Modafferi will now be for the undisputed Invicta flyweight championship. That fight headlines the promotion’s September 23rd card, along with an atomweight title defense for Ayaka Hamasaki against Jinh Yu Frey, in Kansas City, Missouri. The full event will be broadcast live on Fight Pass.
Liam McGreary has a date and place for his second light heavyweight title defense. The Bellator light heavyweight champion is scheduled to fight Phil Davis in the main event of Bellator 163.
The news was announced by the promotion on Friday.
Additionally, a welterweight battle between Saad Awad and Brennan Ward has also been added to the main card, along with a women's featherweight bout pitting Marloes Coenen and Talita Nogueira, which was previously reported by MMA Fighting.
Marloes Coenen will make her return to the Bellator cage in November against promotional newcomer Talita Nogueira, MMA Fighting confirmed with sources close to the situation following a report by Graciemag.
Bellator 163 is scheduled for Nov. 4 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. Paul Daley and Brennan Ward are also expected to compete on the card.
Heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov will headline the WSOF’s early-December event.
Officials today announced Ivanov (14-1) will fight the winner of WSOF 33’s matchup between fellow heavyweights Shawn Jordan (18-7) and Ashley Gooch (10-4), who fight on Oct. 7.
WSOF 35 takes place Dec. 3 at XFINITY Arena in Everett, Wash. The main card airs on NBCSN following prelims on MMAjunkie.
The Bellator cage is set to land in Italy for a second time this December when Bellator 167 takes place at Mandela Forum in Florence.
The promotion announced the Dec. 10 event via a press release. The card features both MMA and kickboxing bouts and will air on Spike, though exact broadcast details have not been revealed. Bellator first traveled to Italy for Bellator 152, which was held April 16 at Pala Alpitour in Turin.
A light heavyweight bout between Joey Beltran (17-13 MMA, 3-4 BMMA) and Alessio Sakara (18-11 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) will serve as the headline bout for the MMA portion of the event.
The card for Bellator 162 continues to come together with the addition of three bouts, two scheduled for the main card.
In a press release today, the promotion announced a middleweight bout between Hisaki Kato (6-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and A.J. Matthews (8-5 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) and a lightweight bout featuring Ryan Couture (10-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) and Goiti Yamauchi (19-3 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) scheduled for the main card. In addition, Ricky Rainey (11-4 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) and Gilbert Smith (12-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) meet in a welterweight preliminary bout.
The future is now, at least for the springboard promotions for upcoming talent in MMA
On Monday, Resurrection Fighting Alliance president and longtime fight manager Ed Soares broke the news on The MMA Hour that two prominent second-tier promotions are merging into one.
"Well, I'm here to tell you that the RFA and Legacy Fighting Championship has merged," Soares said during his appearance on the show. "We merged into one organization, and we just signed a five-year deal with AXS TV. Starting in 2017, we're going to be doing 30 shows a year on AXS TV, and it'll be called the Legacy Fighting Alliance. LFA is the name of the new company."
The press release from Bellator announcing Sonnen's signing stated that he wanted to fight in three different weight classes (which he dubbed gangster weight), and one of the specific names he called out was the aforementioned MacDonald. That's a bit strange, since Rory has always been a welterweight. But Chael said he'd take him on at 185, and for his part, it looks like Rory is down with it. He responded to a tweet about the fight by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani:
As far as Vitaly Minakov is concerned, he would already be fighting for the UFC had Bellator not interfered.
BloodyElbow's Karim Zidan confirmed that Minakov will likely transition to the UFC in 2017. Speaking to Russian outlet izvestia.ru, the former heavyweight champion revealed that this was indeed likely to be the case, though he was uncertain when the move would occur because of Bellator's "strange" behaviour.
"I had signed a contract with [Bellator], not on the number of matches, but for a certain period of three years," said Minakov. "The three years have elapsed but the conditions if you are the champions of the organization, and I was to them, is that they have the right to extend twice or three times more for six months. And they did.
"My agreement with Bellator will expire in a few months. But now there is strange behavior on their part. They insist that I have to perform a few more fights under their banner, although the contract does not have a word about the number of fights. Now this issue is being studied by my lawyer."
The opening-round matchups are set for the RIZIN World Grand Prix 2016.
Six bouts have been announced for the single elimination, openweight tournament, which kicks off on Sept. 25 in Saitama, Japan.
Of biggest note is the return of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, the winner of the PRIDE 2006 open weight tourney. Filipovic (31-11-2) will meet fellow heavyweight Hyun Man Myung (3-2) of South Korea in Filipovic's first bout since 2014.
The remainder of the evening's tourney bouts:
LHW Theodorus Aukstuolis (Lithuania, 9-3) vs. HW Szymon Bajor (Poland, 15-6)
HW Amir Aliakbari (Iran/2-0) 2-0 vs. HW Joao Almeida (Brazil, 4-1)
Super HW Kaito "Baruto" Hoovelson (Estonia, 1-0) vs. HW Kazuyuki Fujita (Japan, 15-11)
LHW Karl Albrektsson (Sweden, 5-0) vs. LHW Valentin Moldavsky (Russia, 3-0)
LWH Jiri Prochazka (Czech, Republic, 17-3-1) vs. HW Mark Tanios (Lebanon, 4-1)
First-round fights are scheduled for two, five-minute rounds. If the bout is ruled a draw, there will be a winner-takes-all third round.
Yushin Okami will be back competing in the states.
After two bouts in his native Japan, the UFC veteran will take on Paul Bradley at World Series of Fighting 34 on Nov. 12 in Loveland, Colo., the promotion announced Tuesday. Also added to the card was a heavyweight bout between Josh Copeland and Smealinho Rama.
Former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion and one-time WAMMA punchline Fedor Emelianenko is gearing up for his next mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, targeted for late 2016 or early 2017, depending on negotiations.
Where he fights, as of now, is a mystery.
"Fedor has gathered in Stary Oskol with the team," Coach Vladimir Voronov told TASS.ru (via Bloody Elbow). "It is not only for physical fitness, but also to complete a camp. He is negotiating with all international organizations about the future of his career."
Cage Warriors returns on Saturday for its first event in two months. But ahead of that card, the promotion has announced its next offering.
Cage Warriors 79 will take place Oct. 15 at Newport Centre in Newport, Wales. The card will stream on UFC Fight Pass and is set to feature a middleweight title fight in the main event.
185-pound champion Jack Marshman (20-5) will put his title on the line for the first time when he meets Andreas Michailidis (7-2). Promotion officials today announced the card and its first six bookings.
In addition, Lewis Long (12-4) will meet UFC vet Che Mills (16-8) at welterweight; Martin Svensson (14-6) is back to Cage Warriors after a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” and one UFC bout and will meet Scott Clist (11-2) at lightweight; Eddi Pobivanez (3-1) vs. Jack Shore (2-0) and Nad Narimani (9-2) vs. Arnold Quero (13-4) are booked at featherweight; and Josh Reed (5-0) takes on Martin Sheridan (8-6) at bantamweight.