Although Bellator’s current bidding war with Eddie Alvarez has snagged all of the headlines, the promotion actually does have a card worth discussing at the end of the month in Bellator 86. Including King Mo’s promotional debut and a headlining welterweight title fight between Ben Askren and…WAIT, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? DON’T YOU DARE LOOK AWAY FROM ME. Askren will be fighting Karl Amoussou, who stands a better chance at ending the most uneventful title reign in MMA history than most of Askren’s challengers so far. I’M SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS.
In news you might define as “exciting,” elsewhere on the card will be the first round of action in Bellator’s next welterweight tournament, which features such former tournament participants as Ben Saunders, Douglas Lima, and Raul Amaya taking on Koffi Adzisto, Michail Tsarev, and Jose Reyes respectively. Also booked for the tourney is cursed in America fighter and recipient of truly the worst beating of 2012, Marius Zaromskis, who will be squaring off against Brent Weedman. Nearly half of these participants have faced one another before (Saunders has fought Amaya and Lima, who has fought Weedman) and six of the eight men have been knocked out of a Bellator welterweight tournament before. I’m not sure what to do with that information, but there it is.
As we know, both War Machine and Paul Daley were pulled from the tourney following a knee injury and a pub brawl, respectively. And in the twisted nightmare this universe has truly become, War Machine was not responsible for the latter. Bellator 86 goes down from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma on January 23rd.
And in UFC fight booking news…
After having his brains literally squeezed through his nose by Demian Maia at UFC 153, Rick Story has been booked in a likely win or GTFO match against Canadian brawler Sean Pierson at UFC 158. After compiling an incredible 6-1 run to start his UFC career, Story has seemingly fallen apart at the wheels since being upset by Charlie Brenneman at UFC Live 4. He’s now dropped 3 of his last 4, with his lone victory coming against UFC newcomer Brock Jardine last June. Pierson, on the other hand, has had a slight career turnaround as of late, following up a pair of tough losses to Jake Ellenberger and Dong Hyun Kim in 2011 with a two-fight streak of his own in 2012.
UFC 158 transpires at the Bell Centre in Montreal on March 16th.
UFC newcomer Isaac Vallie-Flagg is set for the toughest test of his career at UFC 156, where he will take on 60 fight veteran Yves Edwards. The “Thugjitsu Master” most recently did what no man has been able to do when he knocked out Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 5. While it’s quite a feat considering who Stephens has faced, Edwards will have a hell of a fight on his hands in Vallie-Flagg, a Jackson’s MMA product who has not dropped a fight since October of 2007.
Now here’s a supercut of “Pre-Mortem One Liners” I stumbled across earlier today, for those of you who cared enough to read all the way to the bottom of this article.