Mike Ricci, GSP training partner, set for Bellator's season-two lightweight tourney
With their featherweight and welterweight tournaments quickly filling with notable talent, Bellator Fighting Championships officials today revealed the first competitor for its lightweight tournament: Mike Ricci.Ricci, who trains with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre under the famed Firas Zahabi at Montreal's TriStar gym, owns a 5-0 career mark.Ricci competes in the eight-man lightweight tournament, which commences in April with live Thursday-night events on FOX Sports Net Affiliates.
Jason High vs. Jesse Taylor Head Aggression MMA
Day (17-8), a popular fighter in Alberta, was released by the UFC in 2009 after dropping back-to-back bouts to Michael Bisping and Kendall Grove. He bounced back at RITC 35 with a submission victory over Trevor Stewardson. He is looking to a win over Taylor to help put him back on the UFC’s radar.
Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Falaniko Vitale set for Shine Fights III
A bout between former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua (17-10-1) and Strikeforce veteran and longtime SuperBrawl fighter Falaniko Vitale (26-9) is set for the next Shine Fights card.Company officials today announced the bout, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported as likely in November.
Bellator Adds To Featherweight Roster
Bellator Fighting Championships on Wednesday announced the latest addition to the growing roster for its Season 2 featherweight tournament, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.The 23-year-old Pitbull is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is known throughout his home country for his devastating striking ability. He boasts a perfect 12-0 record with all but two of his fights finishing via KO, TKO or submission. Six of these 10 early finishes occurred in the first round.
Paulo Filho back to the octagon on February
Bitetti Combat already started the preparations to the sixth edition of the event, that will happen on February 27 in Brasília, Brazil. Paulo Filho, Glover Teixeira and Fabio Maldonado and already confirmed by the organization.
MFC 24: Yves Edwards vs Per Eklund booked for Feb. 26 with Hermes Franca retired
Few lightweight mixed martial artists have been where Yves Edwards (36-15-1) has been and are still strapping on four-ounce gloves.
Edwards has fought champions, and been written-off as washed up. He's fought around the world and in most major MMA promotions since 1997. And, now Edwards will ride a two-fight win streak into Maximum Fighting Championship at River Cree Casino February 26.
Edwards TKO'd Kyle Jensen in October and tapped James Warfield in a triangle choke in September, both intense performances for the veteran who has recommitted himself at American Top Team to returning to the top of the lightweight division.
"You know, I think it’s all mental. You hear coming up that so much of this sport is mental and you don’t really understand it until you’ve been around for awhile," Edwards explained Friday. "Now, I’ve been around for awhile and I’ve seen a lot of guys not perform the way they’re capable of. But, I know where I need to be and I’m just ready to fight."
Following UFC release, Houston Alexander joins star-studded Jan. 16 Tulsa card
The Ultimate Fighting Championship officially has released light heavyweight Houston Alexander, his manager, Monte Cox, today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Alexander, 37, suffered his fourth UFC loss in six appearances when Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson out-pointed him at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December.
The fight drew tremendous criticism from fans due to its lack of action, but no one was more vocal in disapproval than UFC president Dana White, who promised to cut Alexander afterward.
It didn't take long, though, for the Nebraskan to find another home.
On Jan. 16, Alexander (9-5), who went 2-4 in the UFC, headlines 5150 Fight League's "The New Year's Revolution" at the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby near Tulsa, Okla., against Total Combat and King of the Cage veteran Joey Beltran (9-3).
Toby Imada vs. Jorge Masvidal Rematch Planned for April
The combatants in the unanimous winner for Submission of the Year in 2009, Toby Imada and Jorge Masvidal will likely square off again in April when Bellator returns for its second season.
Imada told MMAjunkie.com Wednesday that the rematch will happen on April 8 and MMAFighting.com has confirmed with Bellator that the fight is being planned to happen sometime in the first three weeks of the season.
Gary Goodridge denied license for Jan. 9 'New Dawn' after recent TKO loss to Gegard Mousasi
One fight, two losses.
Former PRIDE FC and K-1 star Gary Goodridge was not cleared to fight by the Indiana State Athletic Commission and will no longer face Ron Sparks at the upcoming MMA Big show event "New Dawn" set for the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana, on Saturday, January 9.
The decision to not license Goodridge was made after "Big Daddy" was obliterated by rising star Gegard Mousasi in the first round of their bout at the 2009 FieLDS Dynamite!! event on New Year's Eve in Japan.
Bellator Fighting Championships Sign William Romero
Bellator Fighting Championships announced yet another major offseason addition on Thursday with the signing of undefeated featherweight William Romero.
Romero, 27, one of Canada's most talked-about young mixed martial artists, boasts an unblemished pro MMA record of 5-0. He was recently touted by MMAcanada.net — one of that country’s top MMA news sources — as "the real deal." His most recent fight ended by KO after just 17 seconds.
"Submission of the Year" winner readies for return; Imada vs. Masvidal 2 on tap
Those MMA fans that saw Bellator lightweight Toby Imada (22-13) submit Jorge Masvidal (19-4) via inverted triangle choke knew immediately that they had witnessed 2009's "Submission of the Year."
That belief was substantiated when Imada's slick finish earned that exact title at this past week's Fighters Only 2009 MMA Awards in Las Vegas.
Now those that weren't lucky enough to see the exciting, three-round contest the first time will get a chance to see the two hook up again.
Bellator signs ex-soccer pro Georgi Karakhanyan for season-two featherweight tourney
With its welterweight tournament already attracting top prospects, Bellator Fighting Championships today announced a notable addition to its season-two featherweight tournament.
Former soccer pro Georgi Karakhanyan, one of the world's top 145-pound prospects, signed an exclusive deal with the promotion, which airs its events live on FOX Sports Net affiliate beginning in April, Bellator officials today announced.
Karakhanyan owns a 12-1-1 career mark, and his lone loss came via split decision.
Report: Bellator targeting undefeated Brazilian phenom for featherweight tourney
With the Bellator Fighting Championships scheduled to begin its second season of tournaments on April 8, a great deal of focus has been put on its upcoming welterweight tournament.
To date, upstart Bellator has garnered good press for its 170 lbs. division with former Sengoku standout Dan Hornbuckle, 2008 U.S. Olympian Ben Askren, 6-0 blue chip prospect Jacob McClintock, British star Jim Wallhead, and 10-1 M-1 Challenge veteran Steve Carl all having enlisted for the eight-man tournament.
According to a report on InTheGuard.tv, Bellator is currently pursuing 12-0 “Brazilian phenom” Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for its 145 lbs. tournament that is set to begin on April 8.
Seth Petruzelli to Go Five Rounds With Ken Shamrock in Mexico
Seth Petruzelli and Ken Shamrock are set to face each other in a five-round light heavyweight title fight for the debuting International Unlimited Fighting promotion on March 6 in Cancun, Mexico.
Petruzelli made the announcement Monday on his social media accounts and according to the colorfully-haired fighter, the event will air on pay-per-view and will feature other former K-1, PRIDE and UFC fighters.
Bellator adds notable Steve Carl to season-two welterweight tournament
Add Steve Carl to the star-studded pool of fighters who will compete in Bellator Fighting Championships' season-two, eight-man welterweight tournament.Bellator today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the signing.Carl, a 25-year-old U.S. Army sergeant who served in the Iraq War, owns a 10-1 career record since turning pro in 2006.
King of the Cage Announces First Japanese Show
One of the United States' longest-running and most prolific MMA promotions will head to Japan for the very first time in 2010.
Southern California-based King of the Cage (KOTC) - which celebrated its tenth anniversary in October - announced plans this week for "King of the Cage: Toryumon" at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan, Japan, on January 30th. "Toryumon" is a Japanese word which translates to "gateway to success."
Top British Fighter Jim Wallhead Signed for Bellator's Season 2 WW Tourney
After signing notables Dan Hornbuckle (19-2), Jacob McClintock (6-0) and Ben Askren (3-0) for its upcoming eight-man welterweight tournament, Bellator Fighting Championships has added another star competitor to the field: top British 170-pounder Jim Wallhead (18-5).
Bellator officials today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that "Judo Jim" has signed a multi-fight deal with the organization to compete in the tournament.
Shine Fights Signs Giva Santana
Submission specialist Giva "The Arm Collector" Santana was signed today by Shine Fights, the latest signing in their 2009 signing spree. Santana sports perhaps the most appropriate/relevant fighter nickname in MMA-of his 13 career wins, 11 are by a method fitting for "The Arm Collector"-armbar.
Bellator signs standout Dan Hornbuckle for season-two welterweight tourney
Bellator Fighting Championships added another star to its season-two welterweight tournament with the signing of top free agent Dan Hornbuckle.
Bellator officials today exclusively revealed the signing to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Hornbuckle (19-2), whose 2009 breakout year included knockouts of Akihiro Gono and Nick Thompson in the Japanese-based World Victory Road promotion, has posted stoppages in 18 of his 19 career wins.
Bellator's season-two tournaments, which commence on April 8 with a 12-week season, are held in four different weight classes and determine No. 1 contenders for the champions who were crowned in the organization's debut season. In addition to Hornbuckle, Bellator also recently signed former U.S. Olympic wrestler and two-time NCAA Division I national champion Ben Askren (3-0) and highly touted prospect Jacob "Tick Tock" McClintock (6-0) for the 170-pound tourney.