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Tag: Bellator 98

[EXCLUSIVE] Bellator’s Joe Warren Talks Bellator 98 Health Scare, Getting Back to Fighting, and the Return of Olympic Wrestling


(Photo via Bellator)

By Elias Cepeda

Former Bellator champion Joe Warren was set to face Nick Kirk earlier this month at Bellator 98 in Connecticut before the state’s commission refused to allow him to fight. The exact reason was not given at the time but speculation from fans and members of the media as to why Warren was barred from fighting abounded.

Some wondered if Warren had tested positive for marijuana as he had during his competitive wrestling days. Even Bellator’s CEO Bjorn Rebney volunteered a theory – that Warren had been knocked out during his training camp and so was not being allowed to fight because of brain damage. Just two fights ago, of course, Warren was hurt badly in a KO loss to Pat Curran. That was his second straight KO loss.

Warren has since been cleared to fight in tonight’s Bellator event and he and Kirk will square off in this season’s bantamweight tournament. CagePotato visited with Warren as he cut weight Wednesday.

Not knowing how else to get into the matter with Warren as he stepped out of the sauna we simply had to ask, “What the heck happened?”

“A big mess happened,” Warren said.

“The Connecticut commission is stricter than most and I had a CT scan and MRI done leading up to the fight. I had three different doctors telling me different things. They didn’t read the images correctly and thought I had an abnormality on the image of my brain. One was telling me I had had a stroke, one was telling me I’d never fight again. Crazy stuff. Another said that I was fine. I was running around for weeks getting different tests done out of my own pocket, my family was scared. It was a huge ordeal.”

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Counterpoint: Signing UFC Washouts Has Significantly Boosted Bellator’s Ratings (Sort Of) (Maybe)


(If you think Bellator’s main carders are old, you obviously haven’t checked out their prelims in a while…)

After months of rolling our eyes while trying to make sense of Bellator’s new “sign pretty much anyone the UFC cuts and pray that it boosts our ratings” business model, the ratings for Bellator 99 – the promotion’s first show as The MMA Senior Circuit – are finally in.

The show drew in 660,000 viewers, which is fairly impressive on its own, but even more so next to the 437,000 viewers that Bellator 98 drew in. Also significant, Bellator 99′s main event featuring Patricio Pitbull and UFC also-ran Diego Nunes hit a high point of 809,000 viewers, as opposed to the 595,000 viewers that Fight of the Year candidate Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper managed to attract.

Now, how you chose to interpret these numbers depends entirely on who you feel like being cynical towards this afternoon.

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[VIDEO] Fight of the Day: Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper from Bellator 98


(Enjoy it while it lasts.)

Say what you will about Bellator’s recent free agent acquisitions, but let’s not deny that the promotion can provide some great scraps. Exhibit A: Last night’s card was headlined by a middleweight title fight between Alexander Shlemenko and Brett Cooper – an injury replacement for the resurgent Doug Marshall who previously fought Shlemenko at Bellator 44.

But while their initial fight was forgettable, their rematch last night provided a legitimate Fight of the Year candidate. Both fighters landed hard shots early and often, and continued this trend for the duration of the five round bout. It was a close, bloody fight, but in the end, Shlemenko retained his title with a unanimous decision victory.

Elsewhere on the card, “The Arm Collector” retired after being knocked out by Jason Butcher, Mikkel Parlo beat Brian Rogers and Derek Anderson upset Patricky Pitbull, if that’s what you’re into.

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Joe Warren Deemed “Medically Unfit” for Bellator 98 Tomorrow, So Let’s Speculate Why


(Joe Warren: Former Bellator champion, Fight Master Coach, Unconscious Nazi.)

I know, I know, we already agreed to stop caring about Bellator, but hear us out for a second. For reasons that have not yet been divulged, Joe Warren has been deemed medically unfit to compete at tomorrow’s Bellator 98 event. Said Bjorn Rebney:

I’ve been fortunate to work with one of the best commissioners in the sport in Mike Mazzulli, and after carefully reviewing Joe’s medical documents, everyone agreed to err on the side of caution with the goal of ensuring our fighters safety.

It was determined Joe would be unable to compete this Saturday at Mohegan Sun. Joe’s been with us  since the beginning and as is the case with every fighter here, it’s incumbent on me to ensure Joe is 100% healthy and medically cleared to fight before he steps into the Bellator cage.

While this is an interesting development in and of itself, it only becomes more intriguing when you consider that Warren was deemed unfit by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation. As Old Dad said, “It’s not a good sign if an Indian casino won’t clear you to fight,” so let’s use this time to speculate as to why Warren wasn’t cleared to fight, shall we?

Conspiracy Theory #1: Obviously, this is just a transparent ploy by Bellator to move one of their more popular fighters (and the only Fight Master coach currently competing in MMA) to their pay-per-view card in November. Obviously.

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Bellator Signs UFC Vet Houston Alexander to Fight Vladimir Matyushenko at Bellator 99


(Future Bellator title fight? Photo via Sherdog)

September 13th’s Bellator 99 card was supposed to feature Vladmir Matyushenko’s promotional debut against former Bellator light-heavyweight champ Christian M’Pumbu, but a hand injury has forced M’Pumbu off the card. Stepping in to replace him against the Janitor is Houston Alexander, the ex-UFC brawler whose brief stint in the Octagon ended in one of the saddest fights of all time.

If this match was booked in 2007, it would be awesome. Back then, Matyushenko was dominating everybody in his path while competing for the IFL, while Alexander was establishing himself as a dangerous force in the UFC, knocking out Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara in short order, before suffering his first loss to Thiago Silva.

Six years later, they’re both struggling to remain somewhat relevant. Matyushenko recently bounced out of the UFC after suffering back-to-back first-round losses against Alexander Gustafsson and Ryan Bader, while Houston Alexander has been rebuilding himself in the Nebraska-based Victory Fighting Championship, where he won two fights this year and became the promotion’s light-heavyweight champion last month with a knockout of Chuck Grigsby. Alexander’s post-UFC record is 6-4 with one no-contest.

As a short-notice replacement, Bellator could have done worse than Houston Alexander. But BloodyElbow passes along an alarming trend…

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