Bellator Champ Ben Askren Draws UFC Vet Nick Thompson
Unbeaten Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has his next test, and it will be against his most seasoned opponent yet.
Askren, who won the promotion's Season 2 welterweight tournament to earn a date with champ Lyman Good, whom he beat to win the title in October, will face UFC veteran Nick Thompson at Bellator 40 in April. Bellator made the fight official on Wednesday – though it will be a non-title fight.
Featherweight Ronnie Mann Signs With Bellator
Highly touted featherweight Ronnie Mann has signed an exclusive contract with Bellator, CEO Bjorn Rebney informed MMA Fighting on Wednesday. The 18-2-1 fighter has been released from his Sengoku Raiden Championship contract and will compete in Bellator's upcoming fourth season in a televised non-tournament bout. He will then be a part of the following season's 145-pound tournament.
Mann, the current Shark Fights featherweight champion is 7-1 in his last 8 fights. He lost to Hatsu Hioki via submission in the second round of SRC's featherweight grand prix in May 2009.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran Back On, Headlines Bellator 39
A title fight between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and season-two tourney winner Pat Curran will headline Bellator 39 on April 2. Bellator Chairman and CEO confirmed the once-canceled title fight with MMA Fighting on Wednesday. After Alvarez won the season-one tournament and Curran the season-two tourney, they were scheduled for a title fight in season three. But Curran was forced out of the bout due to a shoulder injury, and Alvarez instead fought and defeated eliminated tourney fighter Roger Huerta in a non-title fight.
Phil Collins Off Tachi Palace Fights 9 Event
"Against All Odds," Phil Collins has decided a pending matchup with Waachiim Spiritwolf just isn't "In the Air Tonight." Obligatory Collins jokes aside, he's withdrawn from the May fight at Tachi Place Fights 9, citing personal reasons. Wand Fight Team product Jorge Lopez is the replacement.
Phil Baroni vs. Nick Nolte (Not The Actor) Added To Titan FC 17
After a recent UFC release, veteran Phil Baroni returns to the cage on March 25 to take on Nick Nolte at Titan Fighting Championships 17. Officials today announced the middleweight fight. The event, which airs live on HDNet, takes place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., the usual home for Titan events. Baroni, whom the UFC release following a Jan. 1 loss to Brad Tavares, is stuck in a three-fight losing skid and his lost six of his past nine fights, which included stints with Strikeforce, EliteXC and Cage Rage. But in early January, Titan officials announced they had signed the notable to a multi-fight deal. Nolte (not the actor), a Kansas City-area fighter, went 7-3 as an amateur before making his pro MMA debut in early 2009. The one-time Strikeforce and Bellator fighter recently scored a second-round submission victory over Lee Werr at a regional event in Kansas.
Bellator Adds Nazareno Malegarie, Featherweight With MMA's Best Record
The fighter with the best record in mixed martial arts is heading to Bellator and ready to enter the promotion's Season 4 featherweight tournament.
Nazareno Malegarie, who has built up a 19-0 record while fighting for Brazilian promotions, is now ready to fight in the United States, Bellator announced Monday.
"I'm just very excited to finally have the chance to show fans in the United States what I'm capable of," Malegarie said in a statement. "Signing with Bellator was very important for me, and I'm ready to prove myself."
Titan Fighting Championships 16 results
The win streak is over.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, who had put together a respectable four-fight run heading into Friday's Titan Fighting Championship 16 event, lasted just 32 seconds against "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member Abe Wagner.
The super heavyweight matchup served as the main event of Friday night's HDNet-broadcast event, which took place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
Wagner's speed advantage was evident in the opening seconds, and he looked to pepper Sylvia with strikes on multiple levels as he retreated and stayed away from his opponent's length. Then a right hand brought about the beginning of the end.
Ricco Rodriguez to Face James McSweeney at BAMMA 5
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez will meet The Ultimate Fighter 10 contestant James McSweeney at BAMMA 5 on Feb. 26 in Manchester, England, the promotion announced Wednesday.
Rodriguez will look to extend his 10-fight win streak at the UK-based event, which will be headlined by Strikeforce contender Paul Daley vs. DEEP champion Yuya Shirai for the vacant BAMMA welterweight strap.
Jens Pulver Out to 'Rebuild' After Ending Six-Fight Losing Streak
There's still some fight left in "Lil' Evil."
Former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver (23-14-1) this past Saturday submitted Mike Lindquist with a first-round rear-naked choke at an XFO event in Woodstock, Ill., snapping a six-fight losing streak.
It was Pulver's first win in over three years and would have retired had he fallen short against the unheralded fighter (6-20), Pulver said Monday on MMAFighting.com's The MMA Hour.
Cote draws Kalib Starnes for Ringside MMA debut in April
After a recent announcement regarding Patrick Cote signing with Ringside MMA it appears the former UFC middleweight title-contender now has an opponent and date attached to his forthcoming debut in the Canadian company. According to an official press release, Cote will fight TUF 3 alum Kalib Starnes on April 9 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Questions Linger For Bellator Heading Into Fourth Season
Last month, Bellator announced a 3-year TV deal with MTV2 TV, claiming the event as a turning point for the promotion. As they head into their 4th season, there are still a few aspects of the deal that weren’t clear, mainly pertaining to time-slot, production, profitability, and future sustainability.
One aspect that was still not finalized when the deal was announced was Bellator’s broadcast team for next season. Many claim their two man booth, consisting of Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock, has been one of the best around MMA for the past few seasons, which made it seem like a pretty sure bet both men were coming back, but in this interview performed by MMATorch, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney expressed some doubt about the situation back in December...
Hieron and Carl complete Bellator's Welterweight tourney, meet on March 5th
As expected, Bellator Fighting Championships signee Jay Hieron (19-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) has will take part in the promotion's upcoming season-four welterweight tournament.
So will three-time Bellator veteran Steve Carl (11-2 MMA, 2-1 BFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to both fighters that Hieron and Carl will fill the final two spots of Bellator's 170-pound tournament and will face each other on March 5 at an event yet to be announced.
Jens Pulver wants to give it one more shot so he can 'retire the right way'
The sad tale of once great UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver will continue when he fights at XFO 38 on Jan. 22 against Mike Lindquist in Woodstock, Illinois. When looking at the current state of affairs for the longtime veteran, one can't help but wonder -- why continue? Why keep fighting after eight losses in his last nine fights and six in a row? Well, Pulver tells MMAFighting.com that he's not okay with ending his once proud career with that many consecutive losses.
Jens Pulver in main event of XFO 38, Jan. 22
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver (22-14-1) will whet his appetite for an expected March fight with another booking later this month just outside of Chicago.
Now-featherweight Pulver is set to headline XFO 38 opposite Mike Lindquist (6-19) on Jan. 22 at the Woodstock Harley Davidson in Woodstock, Ill.
It's the former champ's second fight since being released from the now-defunct WEC following a stretch of five losses.
Undefeated Nazareno Malegarie signs with Bellator Fighting Championships
Bellator Fighting Championships has signed top featherweight prospects Nazareno Malegarie (19-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with sources close to the fighter that Malegarie has signed with the Chicago-based promotion. The signing was first reported by Sherdog.com.
Sources indicated Malegarie is targeted for a featherweight tournament to be held this year, though it is currently unclear if the undefeated Ataque Dupio product will compete in a season-four bracket or a potential season-five tournament to be held later this year.
2 Shine Fights Executives Step Down
The burgeoning Shine Fights promotion has lost two of its top officials. COO Jason Chambers and matchmaker Santino DeFranco have resigned from the organization. Chambers joined the promotion soon after the collapse of "Shine Fights: Worlds Collide" and a Din Thomas vs. Ricardo Mayorga headliner. The May show was canceled on the day of the event because of numerous regulatory issues and a contract dispute that halted boxer Mayorga from making his MMA debut. The organization recently announced the signings of fighters such as Rolles Gracie, Mike Ciesnolevicz and Efrain Escudero, but no upcoming shows have been set. The organization is run by Devin Price, a businessman who's the brother of former UFC fighter Dorian Price.
Gerald Harris and John Dodson among Tachi Palace Fights 9 additions
The UFC isn't the only organization planning ahead.
Tachi Palace Fights has two added two key bouts to a planned May 5 event.
Tachi Palace Fights 9 features UFC vet Gerald Harris (17-3 MMA, 0-0 TPF) vs. longtime Strikeforce fighter Anthony Ruiz (25-15 MMA, 2-1 TPF) and top-10 featherweights John Dodson (11-5 MMA, 0-0 TPF) vs. Alexis Vila (8-0 MMA, 1-0 PFC) are both scheduled for the card, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with the organization.
Tim Sylvia Replaces Todd Duffee In Titan Fighting 16 Main Event
Tim Sylvia officially has replaced fellow UFC vet Todd Duffee and now meets "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member Abe Wagner in the headliner of next month's Titan Fighting Championships 16 event. TFC 16 takes place Jan. 28 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. It's the first Titan event slated for an HDNet broadcast. Duffee surrendered the spot after he stepped in as a late addition to Friday's DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" event, where he meets Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in a non-title bout. Since his embarrassing 9 second KO loss to Ray Mercer in 2009, Sylvia has won 4 straight.
Jens Pulver back in action at XFO 38 in January
UFC castoff Jens Pulver (22-14-1) will return to action against an unknown opponent at Xtreme Fighting Organization (XFO) 38 on Jan. 22, 2011. The former lightweight champion hasn't won a fight since Dec. of 2007 and has lost eight of his last nine contests.