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.
Megumi Fujii: New Life After A Loss
Before ending up on the losing end of a split decision to Zoila Frausto in the final round of Bellator’s 115-pound women’s tournament, Megumi Fujii was owner to one of the most impressive undefeated records in MMA. While she’ll tell you that she’s dealt with losses in previous athletic pursuits like judo, sambo, and submission grappling, since her August 2004 MMA debut, Fujii had never dealt with a loss in the way that most fighters in our sport inevitably have to.
Megumi Fujii reflects on her first career defeat in MMA, and discusses her return to action at Sengoku "Soul of Fight" on December 30th.
Bellator Officially Announces Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament
As Bellator Fighting Championships get ready to embark on a new relationship with MTV2 starting in 2011, the promotion has officially announced a light heavyweight tournament that will kick off in March.
The tournament was first confirmed in an MMAWeekly.com report regarding the signing of free agent Daniel Gracie to the tournament earlier this month.
The light heavyweight tournament will be the latest edition to the Bellator roster of tournaments, and the first of its kind for the organization.
Jungle Fight Championship on ESPN Deportes Live on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET
ESPN Deportes, ESPN's Spanish-language network in the U.S., will offer LIVE coverage of the Jungle Fight Championship this Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EST. The matchups will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the breeding ground for the best Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) talent.
The coverage will include four bouts, including the main draw, the much anticipated fight between Brazilian natives Edilberto de Oliveira against Luis Sergio da Fonseca Melo.
Bellator champ Joe Warren returning to Greco-Roman roots, eyes Olympic Gold
The self-proclaimed "Baddest Man on the Planet" already has Bellator Fighting Championships gold around his waist.
Now he's looking to put Olympic gold around his neck.
Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren (6-1 MMA, 4-0 BFC) plans on making a return to the international wrestling scene next year in an effort to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren discusses his future plans, including his intentions to compete in the 2012 London Olympic Games
Jussier da Silva vs. Ian McCall lined up for Tachi Palace Fights 8
Fresh off a unanimous decision victory over WEC vet Danny Martinez at Tachi Palace Fights 7, No. 1 ranked flyweight Jussier da Silva (9-0 MMA, 1-0 TPF) will grace the promotion's next event in a bout with another WEC vet.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that Silva is expected to meet Ian McCall (8-2 MMA, 0-0 TPF) at Tachi Palace Fights 8, which takes place in February at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
Verbal agreements are in place for the fight, and contracts are expected to be finalized shortly.
Silva on Thursday made his highly anticipated debut in the U.S., though Martinez did not make it easy on him. The WEC vet fended off multiple submission attempts and even staged a rally in the third round with a series of strikes. But in the end, the Brazilian's strong grappling gave him the edge on judges' scorecards.
Silva remains unbeaten in the 125-pound division. In July 2009, he seized the top spot on rankings with a decision victory over Shooto champion Shinichi Kojima in a non-title bout for the Japanese promotion.
Shine Fights Signs Rolles Gracie
After a one-and-done stint in UFC this year, Rolles Gracie has become the latest acquisition by Shine Fights. Executives today announced that Gracie has signed on with the upstart promotion, and his official debut will be announced at a later date. Gracie is 3-1 career, winning his first 3 fights before losing at UFC 109 to short-notice replacement Joey Beltran.
Shine FIghts Expected To Sign TV Deal Soon
Shine Fights has been looking to make some major moves recently including the signing of former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Efrain Escudero to a contract. Now the upstart organization appears on the verge of signing a deal to bring their brand of MMA to cable television. Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers revealed the news to MMAWeekly in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “For all intensive purposes we’ve come to an agreement,” Chambers said about the new TV deal. “It’s just a matter of dotting the “I”s and crossing the “T”s.” While Chambers stopped short of naming which network would get the rights for Shine Fights, he did say it was a recognizable name that fans of MMA will be able to access with ease. “It’s definitely a network that everyone will be familiar with,” Chambers disclosed. “It’s a network that I think is the right size and the right scope for where we are.” The deal that will see Shine Fights hit free TV will be similar to the current package the UFC runs prior to their pay-per-view offerings. The plan according to Chambers is to have the Shine Fights debut with their new TV deal early next year. “We plan on doing six pay-per-views next year and all of those undercards will be able to be seen live on cable,” said Chambers. There has been no word which network is going to land Shine Fights, but with MMA becoming a viable product as shown by the UFC’s success on Spike TV as well as the WEC on Versus, it could be any number of cable stations looking to add fights to their roster.