(Jared Hamman attempts to pull a fast one on us all at UFC 150. AS IF we couldn’t tell that his leg was clearly photoshopped.)
Perhaps two-time Bellator middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko is just a little bitter that rival Hector Lombard vacated his former promotion (and a long-awaited rematch with Shlemenko) to compete in the UFC, or maybe “Storm” is just as tired of seeing all of the UFC cards he is ordering turn to shit as the rest of us. Whatever his end game may be, Shlemenko recently stated in an interview with ValeTudo.ru that he believed many of the injuries that have been plaguing the UFC as of late were more than likely faked by the fighters in order to get out of a fight that was not a good matchup for them. His primary example was Brian Stann:
I can tell you for sure, 100%, I know why there are so many injuries. I personally find UFC fights not as exciting because of all those injuries. There are a lot of background tactics around who’s fighting who; fighters are trying really hard to have a good record in the UFC. If you’ve been offered to fight someone who’s considered a bad match-up, then it’s pretty easy to say ‘hey, I’m injured’.
For example, they offered Brian Stann to fight Hector Lombard. He got injured, and then the next thing you know – he’s fighting Michael Bisping. I can see the logic – for Brian Stann it makes more sense to fight Bisping, he’s simply more popular in the UFC than Hector Lombard. That’s why beating Bisping means more than beating Lombard, who’s a risky opponent.
You can fake every injury. Just tell [UFC doctors] about the symptoms and that’s it.
God Damn it, Alex. Your love of centrifugal forces and general badassery made you one of our favorite fighters, but NO ONE accuses “All American” of ducking a fight. And considering the bullshit-laden excuse your boy Lombard gave usthree weeks after putting on one of the worst performances of the year, we’d say it’s a little presumptuous to start calling out other organizations fighters for sparing us a fifteen minute wet fart in advance.
After the jump: Stann’s response, as well as a video of Shlemenko’s most recent fight, which ends with an injury that is physically impossible to fake.
(Who the hell just asked me if I want to be a f*cking fighter?!)
Talk about a great way to start of your day. Confirmed by none other than “Lightning” himself via his Twitter, it appears that Hector Lombard has officially signed with the UFC. After being offered a contract a little over a week ago, Lombard gave the Bellator brass a chance to match the UFC’s bid. But Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney must have come to the same realization that nearly every sappy rom-com protagonist has; if you love something, let it go. Here’s what he told MMAFighting, who first broke the news:
We have a business model where we make decisions based on analyzing data. Since the first day we came into being, we made decisions based on real models, not hypotheticals. The UFC model is largely based on pay-per-view, and the offer they made to Hector is going to be monetized via pay-per-view. While pay-per-view could play a role in our future, today it doesn’t. So, we did our due diligence to review the UFC contract, analyzed it in terms of charging our audience to see Hector vs. putting him on free TV, and we decided to allow the UFC to sign Hector, where I am extremely confident he will win the UFC middleweight title on pay-per-view.
Currently 31-2-1 in MMA competition, Lombard finds himself on a ridiculous 25-fight unbeaten streak, including victories over TUF 7′s Jesse Taylor, UFC veterans Brian Ebersole and Joe Doerksen, and arch-nemesis Alexander Shlemenko, who, barring a sudden signing with the UFC, will not be receiving his well-earned rematch with Lombard anytime soon. Lombard has not lost a fight since 2006, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Gegard Mousasi at Pride Bushido 13.
So I ask unto you, Potato Nation, who should Lombard face in his octagon debut? And how will he cope with fighting in a ring smaller than your average soccer arena?
Join us after the jump as we bid adieu to Hector’s Bellator run with a look back at his greatest hits.
At the minimum, last night’s Super Fight League 2 card was a small, albeit significant, improvement over the upstart promotion’s first card. The fact that Bob Sapp was not participating already ensured this. Yes, it was still riddled with the goofy, often laughably bad commentary of Phil Baroni and some other guy who I don’t really care to look up at the moment, but overall, it was able to deliver more action and dramatic finishes than this weekend’s Bellator card could account for, and considering it was free, who are we to complain? If only they could get rid of those awkward crowd shots.
But before we get to the most exciting finish, perhaps we could focus on the oddest one– Alexander Shlemenko’s first round TKO of Ikuhisa Minowa. Minowa continued his rough streak against recognizable-named opponents this morning, and it looks like he could be on the shelve for a little longer than usual this time around. For the first couple of minutes, the fight was vintage Shlemenko, featuring more spinning death attacks than a tornado in an axe factory. Minowa simply had no answer for “The Storm” on the feet, and was stalked around the cage until around the two minute mark, when Shlemenko was able to land a well timed knee to Minowa’s skull that sent him reeling backward.
Minowa seemed to be alright, reaching for a leg log in the moments afterward, but when Shlemenko was able to pull out from danger, Minowa suddenly curled up in the fetal position with an apparent rib injury. No word yet on exactly how bad he is hurt, but we’re going to guess that the injury was more, you know, real, than the quad injury that felled Sapp in his main event clash against James Thompson at SFL 1. The announcer not named Phil Baroni was kind enough to inform us that Shlemenko has now fought 13 times in the past two years. That is fucking insane. And speaking of insane, Shlemenko’s thirst for his well deserved rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard might just be driving him a bit loony. After defeating Minowa, Shlemenko gave what was perhaps the greatest post fighting interview of all time, calmly stating, ”Hey India. Hector, I kill you.” If only Lombard could come to an agreement with the Bellator brass, perhaps we could watch these two throw down again.
The Duffee/Grove video, along with the full results are after the jump.
(Contrary to what this painting implies, Minowa will not be taking on Gabe “Godzilla” Rudiger. Seems like a wasted opportunity to us.)
India-based promotion Super Fight League is quickly making waves in the MMA landscape. Aside from being the first promotion to sign an exclusive broadcast deal with Youtube, they’ve managed to sign UFC veterans Todd Duffee and Trevor Prangley and held a mildly successful first event earlier this month. Sure, Bob Sapp was there, a sentiment we are getting sicker and sicker of typing, but just listen to SFL’s theme song and tell us that these gentlemen are not on the short path to success. Go ahead. We’ll be right here. Haaaaangin out.
But if you weren’t convinced by Super Fight League’s first event, then you will be more than happy to learn that they’ve decided to move on from the undisputed queen of freak show fights in Sapp to the undisputed king of freak show fights in Ikuhisa Minowa for their next event. Oh yes, one of the greatest fighters to never hold a major title will be taking on two time Bellator middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko at SFL 2, which goes down on April 7th from Chandigarh, India.
We last saw Minowaman in action at the “meh” ProElite 3 event, where he was outpointed by TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. True to form, Minowa rebounded from the loss by picking up a first round submission over a 1-6 fighter that I am not going to bother looking up again because I already closed the tab. The Super Hulk Champion could be in for a long night against Shlemenko, a 44-7 kickboxing expert who showcased an improved submission game in his Bellator 50 guillotine joke victory over Zelg Galesic. If this fight features anything less than ten spinning backfists and a dropkick we will eat our hats.
(And YOU get an unnecessarily long beatdown, and YOU get an unnecessarily long beatdown!)
Bellator recently announced the lineup and first round match-ups for its 6th season middleweight tournament, and it features more than its fair share of familiar faces. First off, after reportedly suffering a heart attack during training back in November, former UFC middleweight Maiquel Falcao will be returning to action against 10-1-1 Norman Paraisy. Paraisy, a Paris, France native, previously fell to a first round rear-naked choke at the hands of inaugural UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne in his last Bellator appearance, which took place back in April of 2009. Paraisy has gone 5-0-1 since the loss, picking up wins over Paulo Filho and Jack Mason among others. True to his fighting style, Falcao last picked up a first round TKO victory over Douglas Del Rio, a video of which is below.
(Falcao also strayed from his usual fighting style, however, as he actually managed to stop punching his opponent when the ref intervened.)
There are two kinds of fighters in this world; those who take their sweet time in between fights, either to mend their wounds or simply because everyone is afraid to fight them, and then there are those like Alexander Shlemenko, who, after handling Vitor Vianna just a month ago at Bellator Fighting Championships 57 and earning a rematch with Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard, decided not to wait around for our puny brained American system to determine a rematch date. Instead, Alex risked life and limb to take on UFC vet Julio Paulino last night in Mother Russia under possibly the longest named promotion of all time, Far Eastern Federation of Modern Pankration, the result of which we can only spoil if you join us after the jump…
While every fight fan in North America turned to FOX to catch the UFC’s broadcast debut, then made their way to pay-per-view to witness boxing’s continued fall from legitimacy, the family members of Bellator’s fighters and people hoping to catch reruns of “Daria” headed over to MTV 2 for the conclusion of their Season 5 welterweight and middleweight tournaments.
Ben Saunders opened his match by trying to take Douglas Lima’s head off with a series of kicks, but when those failed to meet their mark the two fighters clinched and headed for the cage where they’d jockey for position and trade a few obligatory knees and punches. Thrice referee Yves Lavigne separated the pair only to see them return to the fence and grind the fight to a halt. With under a minute left, Lima caught a kick and slammed Saunders to the mat but was instantly swept and mounted. “Killa B” closed out the round in control and dropping a score of hard, short elbows on Lima’s skull. Saunders drove in for the clinch at the onset of round two, but yet another break by Lavigne gave Lima the space he needed to work. “The Phenom” slipped a Saunders right and countered with one of his own. That one punch would be enough. Saunders crumbled to the mat and Lima followed up with hammerfists until shoved away. Lima’s effort earned him the tournament championship, $100 G’s, and a shot at Welterweight Champion Ben Askren.
(Props to our buddies over at IronForgesIron. Skip to 4:00 for the beginning of the fight.)
If Scott Jorgensen hadn’t convinced you back at WEC 47 that the guillotine choke could get much, much worse, then Morgan Bracken sure will. The 4-3 lightweight fighter managed to pull off this beaut of a throw/submission last weekend at an unknown event in Topeka, Kansas. We literally know nothing else about the fight, and frankly we don’t care to find out. Because a move like this is kind of like trolls in Norway, legend has it that they exist but you until you actually see one, you never believe. In fact, one of the only other people to see both a guillotine suplex and a troll is Bas Rutten. Go figure.
Check out a few of our favorite attempts after the jump.
Shlemenko vs. Rogers from last night’s Bellator 54
If last night’s Bellator 54 in Atlantic City, New Jersey was a preview of things to come, then under no condition should you skip the finale of this season’s middleweight tournament. Unless you don’t like watching exciting brawls and devastating knockouts. In that case, I really don’t know why you’re here in the first place.
Alexander Shlemenko and Brian Rogers both promised a knockout before the fight, and it quickly became apparent that neither man planned on breaking that promise. A back and forth battle from the opening seconds, the fight saw each fighter land hard shots to his opponent. In the second round, however, Shlemenko’s superior clinch game helped him get the better of Rogers, as Shlemenko rocked Rogers with knees to the head before the referee stopped the fight. Alexander Shlemenko is now 42-7 in his MMA career, and 6-1 in Bellator.
The evening’s co-main event, Vitor Vianna took home a quick TKO over Bryan Baker. From the start of the fight, Baker showed little respect for Vianna’s striking. Bryan Baker chose to throw bombs at Vianna in hopes of getting a quick finish. Bryan Baker chose poorly.