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Tag: Alexander Volkov

What the Hell Do We Make of Bellator 120?


(Because Getty had no images from last night. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney didn’t give out the gate numbers at the post-fight presser, even when asked (which probably means they were bad). And it’s still too early to know how Bellator 120 performed at the box office. So, financially, Bellator’s first PPV can’t definitively be called a success or a failure.

Regarding entertainment value, however, Bellator 120 was a success. There were some pacing issues, yes, but overall the card delivered.

In the first fight, Michael Page did his best Anderson Silva impression, knocking out Ricky Rainey (who’s name was hilariously spelled wrong at the post-fight presser) after taunting him mercilessly. In the next bout, former Bellator heavyweight champ Alexander Volkov scored an upset submission win over Blagoi Ivanov.

Then came Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko. Ortiz was the laughing stock of this card, without a doubt. He was a relic from a bygone era who hadn’t won a fight in three years. His ridiculous pre-fight promos (he promised to make Shlemenko “literally shit himself”) only made him look worse. Shlemenko, on the other hand, was Bellator’s middleweight champ and a stern Russian killer. He’d have no problem with Ortiz despite the considerable size difference, or so the world thought. But Ortiz won the fight. He submitted Shlemenko with an arm-triangle choke in the very first round. Then he gave the worst post-fight interview of all time; he pretended to be Hulk Hogan.

As crazy as Ortiz-Shlemenko was, it wasn’t the emotional high point of the PPV, nor was Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks. Chandler-Brooks was not a particularly anticipated match. In fact, the entire Bellator PPV was centered around the rubber match between Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. When Alvarez withdrew due to a concussion, many thought it meant death for Bellator 120. Will Brooks was thrown in against Chandler, but it was a squash match—or at least that’s what conventional wisdom held. But Brooks upended fans and pundits, beating Chandler via split decision. He was made of sterner stuff than we all gave him credit for.

Then we had the main event, Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo. The fight itself was banal. Mo dominated Rampage with wrestling while Rampage landed a couple of decent shots throughout the fight. It seemed like a pretty easy decision win for King Mo, but the judges didn’t see it that way; they awarded Rampage with a unanimous decision. What happened after the fight was the real draw though. King Mo and Rampage started jaw-jacking. During the Spike TV portion of the broadcast, King Mo accused Bjorn Rebney of “dick riding” Rampage. He didn’t hold in such feelings in his post-fight speech, nor did he silence himself at the post-fight presser. Him and Rampage yelled at each other while the presser stream intermittently died possibly due to the sheer volume of viewers.

So what’s the fallout?

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Bellator 120: Rampage Edges King Mo, Will Brooks Out-Points Michael Chandler

Tonight, Bellator will make its first foray into the PPV market after a botched attempt last year. Bellator 120 was originally scheduled to be main-evented by the rubber match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, but Alvarez recently withdrew due to a concussion. Bellator matched up Chandler with Will Brooks, and bumped King Mo vs. Rampage Jackson into the card’s main event. We’ve also got Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko, Blagoi Ivanov vs. Alexander Volkov, and Michael Page vs. Ricky Rainey.

In this liveblog of Bellator’s first-ever PPV, CagePotato social media kosmonaut and weekend editor Matt Saccaro will be giving you the results for the PPV portion of the fight card, in case you’re too cheap to buy it or don’t have access to it for some reason. He’ll also be posting quick results from the rest of the event, as well as his typical analysis of commercials on the Spike TV portion of the broadcast.

The PPV begins at 10:00 pm EST. The Spike TV preliminaries start at 8:00 pm EST. We’ll start posting results after the jump shortly thereafter. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.

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Ranking All Nine Fights on the Bellator PPV Card, By My Interest Level

By Seth Falvo

To surprisingly little reaction this weekend, Bellator announced that the lineup for Bellator 120: Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 — also known as the promotion’s first pay-per-view event — has been set. (Bellator 120 goes down Saturday, May 17th, at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.) Don’t worry, Bellator has clearly learned from their whole “plan a pay-per-view around two old guys and some fading UFC castoffs” phase. But are there enough intriguing, quality fights on this lineup to justify paying for a Bellator event? Let’s look over the fight card and determine for ourselves.

All nine of the fights for Bellator 120 — four Spike preliminaries, five main card contests — have been ranked solely by my interest in watching them. If you disagree, feel free to write some terrible things about me in the comments section. I look forward to ignoring them.

(Main Card) Lightweight Championship Bout: Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. Michael Chandler

I don’t think either fighter is even capable of a boring match, much less a boring match against each other. I could type paragraph after paragraph on how their first two encounters resulted in two of the greatest fights in our sport’s history, and how…oh why am I even trying to pretend that I’m not going to insert an Al Bundy GIF and move along to the next fight:

(Preliminary Card) Lightweight Tournament Final: Marcin Held vs. Patricky Pitbull

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Bellator 116 Results: Ivanov Submits Johnson, Volkov Scores KO of the Year Candidate [GIF]

There were no title fights at Bellator 116, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth watching. The heavyweight tournament semifinals took place on the card, as well as a single welterweight tournament semifinal.

How was it? Read the recap and find out!

Alexander Volkov vs. Mighty Mo

Mighty Mo shot for a single leg right out of the gate. Mo couldn’t get Volkov down, but managed to keep him pressed against the cage for the first half of the round. Volkov landed a knee to the body in the clinch, which caused Mo to back off. Then, Volkov hit a tremendous round kick to Mo’s face and knocked him out cold. He hit Mo so hard that the shockwaves made Mo’s belly fat jiggle. Easily one of the best head kick knockouts of the year so far, if not ever. Holy crap. Here’s a GIF (via @ZProphet_MMA)

Volkov, Bellator’s former heavyweight champ, will now be going to the season 10 tournament finals.

Read on to see a GIF of the most amazing, pro-wrestling inspired guillotine choke escape we’ve ever seen.

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Bellator 111 Results: Dantas Submits Leone With Incredible Choke, Johnson, Mo, Volkov, and Ivanov All Advance


(Note: The heavyweights are never photographed below the shoulders.)

Bellator 111 being able to build off Bellator 110‘s momentum was questionable. After all, three fourths of 111′s main card was comprised of heavyweights with questionable cardiovascular conditioning. What could’ve turned into a disaster instead turned into a decent night of fights (though some were not so decent), with the Bellator bantamweight title up for grabs between champion Eduardo Dantas and challenger Anthony Leone.

On the prelims: Up-and-comers Brent Primus and Abdul Razak both looked impressive. We will watch their next fights with interest. However, we can’t say that we’ll do the same for Eric Prindle, a mainstay in Bellator’s heavyweight division. In his loss to Javy Alaya, he displayed a ground game so awful it made James Toney look like Marcelo Garcia.

Also of note on the prelims: The first heavyweight tournament quarterfinal took place. Blagoi Ivanov bested Rich Hale in a tepid decision with not a whole lot of action.

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Bellator 108 Recap: Rampage Finishes Beltran at the Bell, Minakov Becomes Bellator Heavyweight Champ


(Rampage intimidates Beltran while Bjorn Rebney continues to do his best Dana White impression. / Image via Sherdog)

Bellator 108 had the potential to be a disaster for the perennial runner-up promotion, but it wasn’t. All of the main card fights were exciting, first-round finishes. And, most importantly, the right guy won the main event.

Here’s the event recap, from bottom to top:

On the prelims, Bellator’s 6’6″ English light heavyweight prospect Liam McGeary advanced to 6-0. He’s raw but, from what we’ve seen so far, also quite talented and diverse. If he were in the UFC, there’d be dozens of “Is Liam McGeary the man to beat Jones in 2014?” articles written by now.

UFC and strikeforce veteran Nah-Shon Burrell won a forgettable unanimous decision against a guy named Jesus Martinez who also had a Jesus tattoo. Awesome.

Two other UFC vets were featured on the prelims: Tom DeBlass and Jason Lambert. The fight between them was short. DeBlass scored a walk-off KO with a devastating hook early in the first round.

The main card started with the featherweight tournament final between Bellator mainstray Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Justin Wilcox. Pitbull finished Wilcox in the first round in largely uncompetitive fight. Every one of Freire’s frequently-landed punches seemed to rock Wilcox, who eventually succumbed to the Brazilian’s flurries. This was the second time Freire has won the Bellator featherweight tournament.

Read on to learn about the specifics of Rampage’s victory as well as of the Bellator heavyweight title fight.

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Bellator Was Just Kidding About Giving Rampage vs. Beltran Top Billing Over Shlemenko vs. Marshall


(Two unrelated Bellator stories on the same day? Tell us how you feel, Mugatu.)

When Quinton Jackson vs. Joey Beltran was announced as the main event of Bellator 108 (November 15th, Atlantic City), we couldn’t help but roll our eyes. Not only does Jackson/Beltran have the potential to be a sloppy, gassy brawl, it’s kind of a slap in the face to Alexander Shlemenko and Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, who were scheduled to face off in a middleweight title fight that same night. Keep in mind, Shlemenko is one of the most exciting and successful competitors in Bellator’s history, and Marshall has “Comeback MMA Fighter of 2013″ locked up if he manages to win this one — and yet they’ll be playing second fiddle to a couple of one-dimensional UFC refugees? Doesn’t seem fair to us.

Luckily, Bellator seems to have heard these complaints, because they just did a little flip-flopping with their event schedule. As confirmed by the promotion today, Shlemenko vs. Marshall will be pushed back one week so it can headline Bellator 109 (November 22nd; Bethlehem, PA), while the heavyweight title fight between Alexander Volkov and Vitaly Minakov has now been moved up from the main event of Bellator 109 to the co-main event of Bellator 108.

In other words, Rampage vs. Beltran will still be main-eventing over a title fight, but now it’s a title fight between two Russian dudes who you probably don’t care about. Plus, Rampage will likely be pulling out of his fight with an injury next week anyway. So good work, Bellator, you guys are on a roll lately. The full fight lineups for Bellator 108 and 109 are after the jump…

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Bellator 84 Recap: Volkov Is New Heavyweight Champion, Lightweight Tournament Postponed

This season, Bellator’s heavyweight tournament ended in the same place where it began – The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana – but with far less fireworks than anticipated.

With Bellator fixture Richard Hale facing off against Alexander Volkov, a twenty-four year old Russian prospect who used to train with Fedor Emelianenko, fans anticipated a wild brawl would ensue for the heavyweight championship Cole Konrad vacated through his retirement. Hale would bring the fight to Volkov early, dropping the Russian with a right hook in the first round. However, that hook would end up being the only significant strike that Hale would land for the rest of the fight.

For the rest of the bout, the 6’7” Volkov was content to jab his way to a unanimous decision victory. It certainly wasn’t pretty, as the boos from those in attendance demonstrated, but it was enough for Volkov to take home $100,000 and the promotion’s heavyweight championship.

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Once Again, A Bellator Event Has Shined a Light on the Incompetency of MMA Refereeing


(A full replay of Quieroz vs. Volkov. For those of you who don’t have time for the whole thing, the relevant bits are after the jump.)

Although it’s a given that fight promotions have no control over which referees are assigned to their events/fights — because if they did, Dana White would have permanently relegated Steve Mazaggati to the UFC’s super secret “AIDS-ridden Lion Fights” division — it has become apparent that Bellator is clearly getting the shit end of the stick when it comes to acquiring a decent referee. Just a couple weeks ago at Bellator 78, referee Jerry Poe allowed Andrey Koreshkov to savage Maruis Zaromskis’ unconscious body so badly that it would have been considered necrophilia in some states. And just two events later at Bellator 80, referee James Warring displayed a similar, albeit less dangerous, incompetency during the Vinicius Queiroz/Alexander Volkov fight.

Our friends over at Fightlinker were able to find a compilation of Warring’s missteps during the fight, which we’ve placed below, and my God do they redefine the phrase “interesting interpretation of the rules.” Amidst a barrage of ridiuclously quick stand-ups, Warring appeared as if he were making up rules out of thin air, warning Queiroz that he could not “lead with the forehead” while he was on the ground, nor could he strike the top or the “Mohawk area” of his opponent’s head. While the first rule is an outright fabrication, the criteria for the “Mohawk area” head strikes can be found in the unified rules of MMA. That being said, Warring’s belief that a Mohawk typically starts in the middle of one’s forehead highlights the growing problems in MMA refereeing when it comes to interpreting the rules.

After the jump: The aforementioned lowlight reel of Warring’s Bellator 80 performance set to an oddly poignant soundtrack and the official complaint from Quieroz’s camp.

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In Case You Missed It – Warren, Volkov & Martinez Win at Bellator 80

There’s a reason that two bantamweights with two-fight losing streaks headlined Bellator 80 – one of them is Joe Warren. Though the thirty six year old headed into Friday’s fight against Owen Evinger having lost his last two by brutal KO, his outspoken personality and world class wrestling pedigree still bring a certain degree of cache with him every time he fights.

There was a great degree of excitement over the former wrestling world champion’s decision to get into MMA nearly four years ago. When he beat two former MMA world champs in his first two fights Warren showed that the hype was warranted.

Observers had to wonder how much longer the aging fighter would be able to compete safely in MMA at a high level, however, when he was hurt badly in 2011 by Alexis Villa and then again last March by Pat Curran. On Friday night Warren won a unanimous decision over Evinger on the strength of his ground and pound attack.

Though his win over Evinger, who now has lost three in a row, doesn’t prove that Warren is once more ready for title fights, at least he didn’t take undue damage to his brain again this time out. He may have bought himself more time in MMA.

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