AMA Fight Club owner steps behind the curtains for New Jersey-based fight promotion
Usually, you see Mike Constantino in the locker rooms holding a pair of Thai pads, following his fighters to the cage, or yelling at them at AMA Fight Club.
Next time you see him, he'll probably be all dressed up.
Constantino told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's accepted a new advisor position with the New Jersey-based Urban Conflict Championships for an event April 22 featuring the return of UFC vet Rolles Gracie.
The event, dubbed "UCC 4: Supremacy," takes place at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, N.J., and streams live on the promotion's website. Headlining the card is a bout between "The Ultimate Fighter 11" cast member Andy Main (5-1) and Felipe Arantes (13-3). IFL veteran Jamal Patterson (5-3) is also featured.
Constantino will continue to train fighters such as UFC standouts and brothers Jim and Dan Miller, but he's now adding his expertise to the promotion side of the business.
That's allowed him to take what he's learned from the fighter's side of the game and apply it to the production side. He hopes that expertise will make both better.
"I've been a manager/trainer/fighter at every level, from your local rinky-dink show to the UFC," he said. "I see all angles of the game, and I feel like I'm in a unique position.
"There's trainers like Greg Jackson that are great trainers, there are guys like Malki Kawa, who's a great manager. Very few and far between are great trainers and managers. I eventually want to create my own category."
There is, of course, some crossover between those roles when it comes to shows on the regional scene. Gyms and trainers often hold events which feature fighters under their banner, and there are managers who employ fighters they represent in shows they promote.
Constantino is aware of the potential conflict of interest and said he is not a promoter of the April 22 event. Although AMA fighters are competing at the event, he will not corner them.
"Anybody that I spoke to knows I own AMA and that I'm a trainer, so they know the deal going into it," he said. "My guys are not getting any favorable matchups.
"Andy Main is the main event, and he's my guy, but he's fighting Felipe Arantes, who has seven victories in a row. So it's not like it's like, 'Hey, it's a lopsided fight and [the promoter] is training him to beat me.' Everybody knows who everybody is."
Gracie returns to the cage for the first time since an unsuccessful outing in the UFC. The grappling ace took on Joey Beltran at UFC 109 and was stopped with strikes in the second frame.
Main most recently picked up a submission win this past January in regional competition.
This time, Constantino won't be waiting for Main between rounds with a spit-bucket.
Imada-Freire Semifinal Joins Bellator 39, Completes 9-Fight Bill
The bill for Bellator Fighting Championships 39 is now set, as the promotion Tuesday announced the full nine-bout lineup for Saturday’s show.
While the majority of the card shaped up as expected, there was one late addition. Previously thought to go down at next week’s Bellator 40, a lightweight tournament semifinal between two-time runner-up Toby Imada and heavy-handed Brazilian Patricky “Pitbull” Freire has been shifted to this Saturday’s main draw.
Bellator 39 goes down April 2 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and will be headlined by a lightweight title bout between champion Eddie Alvarez and second-season tournament winner Pat Curran. Also featured will be a welterweight tournament semifinal pitting unbeaten Olympic judoka Rick Hawn against former titleholder Lyman Good. Additionally, UFC veteran Ben Saunders will make his Bellator debut against Massachusetts-based veteran Matt Lee.
Highlighting the undercard will be a pair of lightweight tilts showcasing former Zuffa talent, as WEC veteran Dave Jansen meets Team Alpha Male product Scott McAfee, and one-time UFC competitor Matt Veach will lock horns with the undefeated Rene Nazare.
A product of the Philadelphia Fight Factory, Alvarez ranks among the best in the world at 155 pounds. A veteran of BodogFight, EliteXC and Dream competition, Alvarez has won six straight fights since succumbing to a Shinya Aoki heel hook on New Year’s Eve 2008.
“I need to live up to my own expectations. More than any fight in my career, I just want to completely dominate,” said Alvarez in a release. “It has nothing to do with Pat; it’s just what I feel like I have to do, regardless of whom I’m fighting, in order to earn my rank of No. 1 in the world. I won’t be happy with anything less than complete and total domination.”
Curran rides a four-fight win streak of his own into his confrontation with the champion. The 23-year-old has finished half of his career victims and owns notable victories over Roger Huerta and the aforementioned Imada.
“I’ve been dreaming every night about this Bellator world championship fight with Eddie Alvarez. I think about it in the morning, all day, when I go to bed, and in my dreams,” said Curran. “I’m coming out there to shock the world. I’m going to stand right in front of Eddie, and I’m going to let my hands fly. I have all the confidence in the world that I can beat Eddie Alvarez, so now it’s up to me to go out there and do it.”
Bellator 38 ratings dip again, event averages 150,000 MTV2 viewers
Bellator ratings dipped for a second week, and this past weekend's Bellator 38 event drew a season-low 150,000 viewers on MTV2.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the ratings information with an event source.
The March 26 event, which took place at Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica Resorts, Miss., aired at a special start time of 7 p.m. ET/PT to avoid overlapping with Spike TV's broadcast of UFC Fight Night 24.
Report: 205-Pound Tournament Semifinals Booked for Bellator 42
Richard Hale will reportedly take on D.J. Linderman, while Tim Carpenter will meet Christian M'Pumbu in the semifinals of Bellator Fighting Championships’ first-ever light heavyweight tournament.
Hale (Pictured) reported the pairings to MMAJunkie.com on Monday, along with the fact that both semifinals will take place April 23 at Bellator 42. The event airs live on MTV2 from the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Okla.
The winners of the 205-pound matchups will square off later in Bellator’s ongoing fourth season for $100,000 in total pay and the mantle of inaugural Bellator light heavyweight titleholder.
All four competitors advanced to the semifinals with wins at last Saturday’s Bellator 38 at Harrah’s Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica, Miss.
Hale, 25, made the biggest splash in his Bellator debut with a stunning inverted triangle-choking of previously unbeaten Nik Fekete. On Monday afternoon, an official YouTube video of the technical submission had been viewed over 80,000 times.
Linderman also caused an upset in his first outing at 205 pounds, stopping tournament favorite Raphael Davis on third-round punches. The 27-year-old former SportFight heavyweight champ improved to 9-1 with his fourth consecutive victory.
Carpenter, a 30-year-old product of Philadelphia’s Balance Studios, upped his unbeaten record to 7-0 with a split decision over Daniel Gracie. It was Carpenter’s second win under the Bellator banner, his first coming last October against former International Fight League standout Jamal Patterson.
M’Pumbu punched out Chris Davis in the third round of their hard-fought quarterfinal scrap. It was the first fight for 33-year-old “Tonton” since his semifinal elimination from Deep’s light heavyweight grand prix in April 2010.
Rebney: MTV2 ‘Very Happy’ with Bellator
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney (Pictured) joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” on March 25 to talk about his promotion’s current season.
Other topics of discussion included how Bellator’s television deal with MTV2 is working out, pay-per-view possibilities and the role of Bellator in the MMA marketplace after the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce.
Rebney on MTV2’s reaction to Bellator’s ratings: “They were real happy with the first and second weeks. Last week of course we battled ‘March Madness’ and an earlier start time, so the numbers dipped a little bit, but that’s to be expected. … That’s just the nature of the game. Saturday nights have some great advantages to them, but there’s a lot of action going on Saturday nights, specifically during the March timeframe.
On the relationship with MTV2: “They’ve been great. They’re very excited about the programming. … They know the space. The MTV network guys have been in charge of and running Spike since its infancy. They get MMA better than anybody in television. They know how to shoot it, they know how to produce it, they know how to promo it. … They’re an awesome partner.”
On the importance of MTV2 and weekly shows for building Bellator: “That’s the catalyst. If you look at where the UFC was and where the UFC has gone, you can argue back and forth, but the single greatest catalyst they’ve had is ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ on Spike. … That week-in week-out same-time same-place channel development and partnership is the key to building a mixed martial arts organization.”
On how the Bellator-MTV2 partnership differs from UFC-SpikeTV: “We’re drawing a much different demographic on MTV2 than what the UFC is drawing both to the pay-per-views and to their Spike programming. And it’s a very attractive demo. It’s a socioeconomically impressive young male demographic that skews younger than the demographic watching ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and tuning into pay-per-views.”
On whether Bellator can succeed in the UFC-dominated market: “When you have content, you have a show that can week-in and week-out deliver hundreds of thousands of young male consumers -- which is kind of your key, key, key consumer that advertisers are trying to reach in this country and across the world -- there’s not reason to believe that we couldn’t live in great harmony, leveraging the expertise of the people at MTV networks, who have helped build the UFC out to where it is, and build this brand out under the same corporate umbrella.”
On the status of Bellator: “We are in a spectacular position right now as a company, as a corporate entity because we’re not bleeding. We had great investors behind us when I launched this company in 2009. Those investors believed in the business model I put in front of them in terms of how long it would take to get to a cash flow break-even position where we wouldn’t require any more capital to continue putting on shows and putting on events. We got there. We actually got there literally about 60 days before I had projected we would get there.”
British Promotion Cage Warriors Inks Deal For Free TV in the UK
British fight promotion Cage Warriors Fighting Championship recently announced that it his inked a new television deal with Premier Sports in the U.K.
The deal means Cage Warriors will be available on a free-to-view and delayed basis on the channel following each of the eight events it has planned for the rest of 2011. Cage Warriors 41, which will be held on April 24, will become the first event to be broadcast free-to-view on Premier Sports that operates on the Sky platform, channel 433. Live streaming will continue to be available free through the Cage Warriors website.
This announcement follows the successful broadcast and worldwide live streaming of the Cage Warriors 40 show on the Cage Warriors website. That event comprised of six televised CWFC bouts, which included a successful CWFC bantamweight title defense by Paul McVeigh. The show was headlined by a women’s super-flyweight showdown between Bellator, EliteXC, and BodogFIGHT veteran Rosi Sexton and Japan-based American Strikeforce veteran Roxanne Modafferi.
“This is a great partnership for Cage Warriors Fighting Championship and a great opportunity for fighters worldwide to get the exposure they deserve as professional athletes,” commented Cage Warriors Director Graham Boylan. “The fighters put so much time and effort into this sport they deserve this exposure. I’m very excited for them.”
Premier Sports operates on the Sky platform, channel 433 and features NRL, NASCAR, South American Football and regular boxing from around the world.
Emmanuel Newton Out, Zak Cummings In Against Ryan Jimmo at MFC 29
The “Hardcore Kid” is broken.
Maximum Fighting Championship officials announced the news Tuesday morning.
Strikeforce veteran Zak Cummings (13-2) has agreed to take his place against Jimmo at MFC 29: Conquer on April 8 at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
It doesn’t leave Cummings much time to prepare, but he doesn’t care. He wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity.
“I’m a gamer. I don’t pick and choose easy fights. It would be amazing to come into the MFC and win the title,” said Cummings.
“I’m going to get in there and do my thing. I’m excited to be on HDNet and to get the opportunity to show the fans what I can do.”
Cummings enters the bout on a three-fight winning streak, including a one-fight stint for Bellator, where he defeated Rudy Bears.
Jimmo (14-1) won the belt in his last fight, against Dwayne Lewis at MFC 28 in February. His current streak sits at 14 straight, his only loss being his professional debut in early 2007.
The fight is the co-main event of MFC 29, where the promotion’s welterweight champion, Douglas Lima, will defend his belt against UFC veteran Terry Martin.
Bellator 38's Inverted Triangle Courtesy Rich Hale
I'm late to the party on this in terms of posting this, but at Bellator 38 over the weekend lightning appeared to strike twice. First there was lightweight Toby Imada landing an inverted triangle on favorite Jorge Masvidal. Now there's light heavyweight Rich Hale doing the same to favorite Nik Fekete. To wit:
Windy vs. Yamaguchi Set for First Female Pancrase Headliner
For the first time in its 17-year history, Pancrase will offer up a female main event at its April 3 “Impressive Tour” stop in Tokyo’s Differ Ariake.
Set to square off in the 115-pound “Athena division” headliner are longtime Pancrasist “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba and promotional newcomer Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi.
Sunaba, 34, is one of the best-established names in women’s mixed martial arts, having competed against some of the toughest female competitors in more than 10 different promotions during her nine-year career. The karate stylist has experienced a career resurgence of late, busting a five-fight winless slump from 2008-2009 with four straight wins in 2010. Sunaba’s current streak includes decisions over former boxing champ Monica Lovato and fellow Japanese vet Masako Yoshida.
Formerly known as “V-Hajime,” Yamaguchi is the current 115-pound champion of Greatest Common Multiple-run women’s league Valkyrie. The 28-year-old claimed gold in February 2010 by defeating Yuka Tsuji via first-round rear-naked choke, simultaneously avenging her 2008 loss to the women’s MMA pioneer. In fact, Yamaguchi has reclaimed both defeats on her 6-2-1 ledger, having also bested former Smackgirl standout Emi Fujino in April 2009.
Bellator 38 results
Tim Carpenter def. Daniel Gracie via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
D.J. Linderman def. Raphael Davis via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 2:44 (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
Richard Hale def. Nik Fekete via submission (inverted-triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:55 (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
Christian M'Pumbu def. Chris Davis via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 3:34 (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
Austin Lyons def. Jimmy Van Horn via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 2:10
Jake Underwood def. Tim Galluzzi via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:04
Cody Donovan def. Brian Albin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Blagoi Ivanov def. William Penn via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 2:58
Amaechi Oselukwue def. Abe Wilson via unanimous decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Titan Fighting Championships 17 results: Lashley, Baroni visibly tire, take decision wins
You can be certain that no one will ever question the heart of John Ott (8-8).
Bobby Lashley's (6-1) cardio may be an entirely different situation.
Lashley used his world-class wrestling skills to earn a unanimous-decision win over an undersized Ott in the main event of Friday's HDNet-broadcast Titan Fighting Championships 17 event, which took place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. But after looking tired in the second round and absolutely exhausted in the third, Ott nearly pulled off one of the most miraculous comebacks in recent memory.
The bout started as expected, as the heavily-favored Lashley dumped Ott to the floor just 30 seconds into the opening round. Working from inside of Ott's guard, Lashley unleashed a barrage of increasingly powerful punches, elbows and forearms. Dozens of strikes found their mark, and Ott's face became a bloody, swollen mess over the opening five minutes.
But he survived.
In the second, Ott was visibly slower than the first frame. The wrestling ace appeared to have punched himself out with the opening-round salvo. Nevertheless, it took just one minute for Ott to be shoved on his back yet again, trying desperately to hold his opponent tight, only for Lashley to pour on the damage.
But he survived.
In the final frame, Ott briefly turned the tide. Lashley had little left in the tank, and his primary strategies were to retreat and fire occasional punches. Ott appeared energized as the crowd chanted his name. Bobbing and weaving, Ott found a home for his hands on Lashley's chin. But just when it seemed the impossible was possible, Lashley earned a final takedown. The crowd was silenced, and the Ott's fate was sealed.
But he survived.
In the end, Lashley netted a unanimous-decision win, 29-27, 30-27 and 29-27. But it was Ott that left the cage with his head held high. A light heavyweight who has competed in the 185-pound division, as well, Ott survived underneath the monster.
Despite the disappointing victory, Lashley remained positive when he spoke with HDNet broadcaster Ron Kruck.
"I was looking for something that wasn't there," Lashley said. "But it felt good. I needed it. I needed to spend some time out there.
"(I didn't look) as good as I wanted to, but it was victory. A win is a win. We've got stuff to work on, but I felt good out there."
Lashley rebounds from an August loss to Chad Griggs and said he's open to fighting for either Strikeforce or Titan Fighting Championships in his next outing, which he'd like to take place as soon as April. Meanwhile, Ott falls to 1-2 in his past three contests, though he'll unquestionably earn a more favorable matchup in is next outing.
Strikeforce and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Aaron Rosa (16-3) earned his fourth-straight win with an impressive finish of former "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member Abe Wagner (8-4).
After a slower-than-expected first round, Rosa came out swinging in the second. A left hook clipped Wagner on the chin, and "Hurricane" crashed to the floor. Rosa was a touch slow advancing for the finish, and it gave Wagner a brief opportunity to recover.
It didn't matter.
Unable to land any flush ground-and-pound blows, Rosa transitioned to the back while simultaneously using his leg to trap Wagner's right arm. Unable to properly defend the choke, Wagner had no choice but to tap just 35 seconds into the second frame.
Rosa runs his current win streak to four fights, while Wagner sees a three-fight win streak snapped.
Leading up to Saturday night, UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni (14-13) admitted his back was against the wall in his main-card fight with Nick Nolte (3-3). "The New York Bad Ass" claimed a much-needed victory via decision, but he didn't make many new fans in the process.
Nolte opened the fight with a flurry of strikes from the clinch, and Baroni appeared to be affected from the shots. But Baroni returned to his wrestling roots and took the fight to the floor each time he felt in danger on the feet.
As the fight wore on both fighters tired badly. Broni walked forward with his hands down, but Nolte could only attack in short spurts. And when Baroni could muster enough energy to work the action to the ground, Nolte couldn't escape from underneath. Baroni didn't land significant damage from the top, but his dominant positioning was enough to earn a unanimous-decision nod, 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
Following the win, Baroni admitted he was exhausted, but he insisted the issue was the early damage he received n the clinch and not a lack of proper conditioning.
"I was really tired in the third round," Baroni said. "I was really tired in the second. I took some good knees to the body."
As he was greeted with a chorus of boos from the pro-Nolte crowd, Baroni said he would grant his opponent an rematch if Titan Fighting Championships deemed it necessary.
The win was Baroni's first since September 2008, while Nolte has alternated wins and losses in the first six fights of his career.
In a moderately-paced 15-minute contest, three-time Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Eric Marriott (20-5) claimed a lopsided win over submission stylist Willian de Souza (1-1). Overmatched from the opening bell, de Souza offered little competition to Marriott, who now owns a two-fight win streak and is 2-0 under the Titan Fighting Championships banner.
In a rousing three-round affair, eight-year veteran Alonzo Martinez (29-14-1) was awarded a razor-thin majority decision over Missouri's Aaron Derrow (10-3).
After "Zo Daddy" dominated the opening two frame, "Daddy Long Legs" fought back valiantly in the third and appeared to have potentially salvaged a draw. However, only one of three ringside judges felt Derrow had done enough in the final round to earn a 10-8, and Martinez walked away with the majority decision.
Two-time WEC veteran James Krause (12-3) needed just 41 seconds to notch an impressive viceroy over submission ace Nathan Schut (11-6).
Krause stalked his opponent in the early going before landing a high kick to the chin that sent Schut directly to the canvas. Krause swarmed with pinpoint follow up blows, and the bout was quickly waved off.
The evening's first televised contest saw two-time Titan Fighting Championships veteran Anthony Gutierrez (2-0) worked from his back to secure a triangle-choke victory over Jon Hollis (1-2). The victory was the second-straight win for "Shark Bait" in his young career.
OFFICIAL MAIN CARD RESULTS
•Bobby Lashley def. John Ott via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-27)
•Aaron Rosa def. Abe Wagner via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 2, 0:35
•Phil Baroni def. Nick Nolte via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
•Eric Marriott def. Willian de Souza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
•Alonzo Martinez def. Aaron Derrow via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
•James Krause def. Nathan Schut via TKO (high kick and punches) - Round 1, 0:41
•Anthony Gutierrez def. Jon Hollis via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 4:20
Horn-Leites Added to April 30 Superior Challenge Bill
Following today’s announcement that Rich Clementi will face Reza Madadi for the vacant lightweight title at Superior Challenge 7, another championship bout has been added to the Swedish promotion’s April 30 card.
UFC veterans Jeremy Horn and Thales Leites have agreed to square off for the vacant Superior Challenge middleweight belt at the event, which goes down at the Hovet arena in Stockholm. Sherdog.com learned of the matchup Tuesday and confirmed the bout with a source close to the event.
Frank Shamrock: I Did Not Offer to Take a Dive Against Kimbo Slice
Frank Shamrock says former EliteXC matchmaker Jared Shaw's recent claim of Shamrock offering to take a dive against Kimbo Slice in the main event of EliteXC-CBS on Oct. 4, 2008 was fabricated.
"No, absolutely not," Shamrock said Monday on The MMA Hour, when asked by host Ariel Helwani about Shaw's claim. "That's some movie b.s. right there."
With pairings set, Bellator 38 hosts Light Heavyweight quarterfinals
The pairings are set for Bellator Fighting Championships' first-ever light-heavyweight tournament quarterfinals.
Bellator brass announced late Saturday night that next week's Bellator 38 event features Tim Carpenter vs. Daniel Gracie, Raphael Davis vs. D.J. Linderman, Nik Fekete vs. Richard Hale, and Chris Davis vs. Chrisitian M'Pumbu.
Bellator 38 takes place March 16 at Harrah's Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica Resorts, Miss., and airs on MTV2.
The winner of Bellator's inaugural 205-pound tournament earns $100,000 in total pay and becomes the organization's first-ever 205-pound champion.
Bobby Lashley re-booked to face John Ott on March 25
The finalized lineup just announced by Titan Fighting includes a late change to the night's main event, which will feature former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley. Kansas City-based heavyweight James Jack (6-2) had been scheduled to fight Lashley but has been pulled from the show and replaced by John Ott (9-7).
Jack's departure from the card comes under questionable circumstances.
Tom "Kong" Watson to face Murilo "Ninja" Rua at BAMMA 6
Europe's leading MMA promotion, BAMMA, and Syfy are proud to announce BAMMA 6 will take place on Saturday 21st May at Wembley Arena.
The headline bout features a BAMMA Middleweight title bout between defending champion Tom "Kong" Watson and former Elite XC Middleweight Champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua.
Oh hell yeah! I am getting tickets now!
Bellator 36 debut scores 230,000 viewers; replay lands 241,000
Bellator's second season-four event, Bellator 36, netted 230,000 viewers for MTV2's live broadcast, and the immediate replay actually outdrew the live airing with 241,000 fans tuning in.
The live airing earned a 16 percent increase from this season's debut episode, and the immediate replay earned an astounding 90 percent increase over the previous week's replay broadcast...
Inside Shooto’s Scandal, Legacy and Future
Recently, former Shooto world champion Noboru Asahi has led the charge in shaking up the Shooto regime. A recent petition from Asahi -- signed and supported by various Shooto fighters and gym leaders -- inquires into the financial operations of the Japanese Shooto Association, the International Shooto Commission and the role of one of its principal members, Taro Wakabayashi, in those affairs. According to Asahi, the necessity of this petition arose over concerns of Wakabayashi’s unofficial autocratic control over the association and its non-public finances.
p.s. IMHO, this is the real reason behind the death of mma in Japan..way too many scandals..
Eddie Alvarez is f---ing worried about Pat Curran
"When I think about it, the anxiety in me increases, and when that happens, I can't stand still, I can't get out of the gym. I'm up early, I'm home late. My anxiety increases because I can't have a guy that is not well known take my name, take my spot. It sounds weird. People think you don't have to be worried about this guy. No, on the contrary, you better be f------ worried for this guy because this is the guy who can completely erase you from the rankings and take your name in the blink of an eye and in one fight. That fire's there. That fear is there like it's never been against guys like this."