Things are starting to get interesting as Bellator begins to further prove their status as the clear cut number two MMA promotion in the world. Ever since WME-IMG acquiring the UFC last summer, it’s become very evident that things have changed within the organization. On the surface things have remained relatively similar to the shows we’ve seen in the past. But behind the scenes it seems that things have taken a major dip.
Remember the days of the prominent Gracie family in mixed martial arts? Of course you do because they’re influence is still around to this day. But that’s not even entirely the truth. It seems that these days even more fighters from the Gracie family tree are actively competing in MMA. From Royce Gracie, the man who introduced the proficiency of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the first ever UFC event, to Neiman Gracie who most recently competed at Bellator 163 back in November 2016, the Gracie family is still very much active on the scene. But an interesting pattern is beginning to arise. Frankly, it seems like Bellator is becoming a breeding ground for members of the Gracie family looking to excel in the sport.
Yes I’m a little late with this one but nevertheless, it’s still a topic that should be touched upon. These days it seems that judging mixed martial arts matches are getting more and more difficult. While one judge may focus on damage inflicted, others will focus on the technical aspects of the fight while yet another may be focused on how much control one fighter established over another. No matter how you slice it, things are as confusing as ever, even with the revamped judging criteria. The match up between Michael Chandler and Ben Henderson demonstrates that point perfectly.
It’s been a long time coming for “Ill Will” Brooks.
Back in May, it was revealed that Brooks had been released from his Bellator contract despite holding the promotion’s lightweight title at the time. While not exactly a shock given Brooks’ very public clashes with the promotion in recent months, it was still surprising to see that Bellator would be willing to let their champion and a man on an 8-fight win streak go in favor of, I dunno, guys like this.
According to Bellator President Scott Coker, however, “It was very simple.”
“Will Brooks’ contract is ending, and we made a decision not to renew it. We’re going to give him a full release, so we’re not going to be in the Will Brooks business any longer,” said Coker to MMAjunkie.
Insightful stuff. Anyways, many of us imagined that it’d only be a matter of time until Brooks signed with the UFC, and last night, it was announced that he’d done just that.
(Father. Fighter. Undercover cowboy. Legend. via Getty.)
There are a dozen or more ways I could describe my feelings as I write this post, but I think “heartbroken” says it best. Kimbo Slice is dead, and I’m honest-to-God heartbroken to be delivering this news to you.
It may sound overly dramatic considering how tangential of a connection we shared with the guy, but to hear that the street fighting legend has passed away at just 42 years of age and just three months after his last appearance in the cage is so sudden, so bewildering, that it seems to hit with a greater weight than many of the unfortunate deaths we’ve reported on over the years.
If you were one of the almost everyone who thought that nothing good could come of Chris Leben’s unretirement, then boy do we have some good news for you. And by good news, we of course mean “somehow even more terrible news.”
(You see, Dana? All you had to do was occassionally buy the man a cake and EVERYTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE BETWEEN YOU TO.)
The past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions for Wanderlei Silva, to put it simply. In his last octagon appearance, the former PRIDE middleweight champion engaged in an all out barnburner with Brian Stann at UFC on FUEL 8, dusting the Marine with a hellacious combination in the third round of their ”Fight of the Year” contender. Then…he got booked opposite Chael Sonnen as a coach on the third season of TUF Brazil and everythingwenttosh*t.
Things began to pick up for Silva back in May, more or less, when a Nevada District Judge reversed the lifetime ban the NSAC had slapped him with for skipping out on his UFC 175 drug test. Last month, Wanderlei (or at least, his lawyer) was given a second hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, resulting in the ban being reduced to three years retroactive to the time of his infraction.
Now a (relatively) free man who also happened to be released from his UFC contract contract in January, there was really only one career option left for “The Axe Murderer” to make up for lost time: Immediately un-retiring and signing with Bellator.
Well, he has been, and the falling out has been vicious — like, “Rampage vs. the UFC” vicious – with both parties claiming breach of contract against the other and preliminary injunctions being upheld and overturned seemingly at random. Today however, it looks like Rampage has squashed yet another of his many beefs, and will be heading back to one of his many former promotions as a result.
(McCrory channels Mark Hunt with a walk-off knockout of Brennan Ward at Bellator 123. Bonus points go to whoever decided on Jumanji drums as the background music.)
Following a six year absence from the octagon, Tamdan McCrory has returned, babayyy!!! All hail #TeamBarnCat!!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with McCrory’s story, it’s perhaps one of the best in recent memory. McCrory first entered the UFC back in 2007, where his unusual, “nerdy” look and 6′ 4″ frame immediately singled him out as a unique fighter in the promotion’s welterweight division. Of course, putting away a veteran of the game like Pete Spratt via triangle choke in his promotional debut was also a surefire way to get noticed.
McCrory would pick up wins over Luke Cummo and Ryan Madigan during his two-year UFC tenure, but losses to Akihiro Gono, Dustin Hazelett, and finally John Howard would see him released from the promotion in August of 2009. McCrory would not be seen nor heard from again for the nextfive years, which, according to his recent interview with MMAFighting, was never really a part of his plan:
Ken Shamrock is a busy man these days. 2015 finds the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” involved in a Bellator main event against Kimbo Slice, a professional bare knuckle fight, a ministry for God, stock trading, and at least four other business and professional ventures. He is busier than ever building a future for himself off of 30 years of hard work, and lucky for us, we managed to get a few minutes with Shamrock to discuss a variety of topics.
CagePotato: You were supposed to fight Kimbo Slice a long time back until a last-minute cut over your eye forced you to bow out. Tell us about that experience.