Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Tag: Bellator

Here’s What to Make of CM Punk in the UFC

By Matt Saccaro

When CM Punk signed with the UFC last night MMA fans, pundits and every pseudo-journalist in between lost their minds either with glee, bemusement, or disgust.

There’s not necessarily one “right” way to look at the issue of the UFC signing CM Punk (whose real name is Phil Brooks). Is he killing MMA’s credibility? Yes. Is he going to be a big draw and help the UFC out of a rut? Yes.

There’s a lot going on here. Let’s look at CM Punk’s UFC signing in depth…

CM Punk is killing the UFC’s credibility

Oh, undeniably. The argument here is signing CM Punk turns the UFC from legitimate athletic endeavor [Ed's note: LMAO] into celebrity boxing.

Proponents of this theory are, well, kind of accurate. During the Reebok sponsorship press conference last week, the UFC boasted about the Reebok deal bringing them in line with the NFL and other major sports organizations. While the realities of that statement are dubious, it’s clear the UFC wanted viewers to leave with that “fact” as a key takeaway.

But would an NFL team sign CM Punk as a QB just because he might draw ratings and sell tickets? Hell, NFL teams wouldn’t even sign perennial attention-getter Tim Tebow who’s an actual football player. And as Bleacher Report‘s Jonathan Snowden pointed out, even Michael Jordan had to start in the minor leagues when he wanted to play baseball.

The NFL, NBA, or any other big league would never sign a 36-year-old with zero sports background just for attention and a bit of quick cash. These organizations care about legitimacy or at least the illusion of legitimacy. They want to convey class and prestige. They’re athletic contests, not Dancing with the Stars.

By signing CM Punk, the UFC admitted they are an entertainment company first and a sport second. While this has arguably been true since day one, they’ve never gone out of their way to make it so apparent before.

More takes after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

Not This Again: Matt Hamill Wants Out of Retirement and a Rematch With Rampage Jackson in Bellator


(“F*ck yeah I’ll watch this again!” — Nobody, ever. Photo via Getty.)

We have lamented at length about Matt Hamill‘s decision to unretire the *first* time and the uninspiring results it garnered, but alas, it appears the TUF 3 alum simply refuses to listen.

That sounded wrong. What I meant to say was that our words have fallen on…goddammit, this was a terrible analogy to use.

Matt Hamill is un-retiring, again, despite recently retiring from MMA (again) due to “a nagging injury” that forced him out of his expected WSOF debut in May. And not only that, but now he’s calling for a rematch with Rampage Jackson in Bellator over Twitter.

“@scottcoker I want a fight with @rampage4real. The Hammer is coming back and want to come to @bellator,” tweeted Hamill last night.

Eesh. Where do we begin…

Read More DIGG THIS

Bellator Middleweight Joe Vedepo Arrested Following Drunken Bar Brawl With Police [UPDATED]

I’ve got a dilemma on my hands, Nation. I’m trying to think of the most hacky, Holland-esque series of puns to inform you that Bellator fighter Joe “The Doctor” Vedepo was arrested over the weekend for his eleventh alcohol-related offense, and I’m not sure which option to choose. Should it be Joe Vedepo Fills Iowa Officer’s Prescription for Head-Butts, or maybe something with more alliteration, like Buzzed Bellator Brawler Beats Bobby in Bloody Bar Battle? So many choices, but I think I’ll go with my original idea: “The Doctor” Is In, And He’s F*cking Sh*tfaced.

I should’ve gone with the second one. Aaaaaanyway, former UFC fighter turned Bellator fighter Joe “The Doctor” Vedepo has something you might call “an alcohol problem”, in that he’s been “arrested” “ten times” for “public intoxication” in his native Iowa and been deemed a “habitual line-stepper offender of the state intoxication law.” This all culminated last weekend when Vedepo, likely drinking off the sorrows of his third round TKO loss to King Mo Lawal at Bellator 131, decided to get into a drunken brawl with police outside an Iowa bar that left one officer hospitalized. The Gazette reports:

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, officers responded to the Sports Column at 2:22 p.m. Friday for a report of a man inside who refused to leave. Responding officers encountered Jody “Joe” Vedepo, 31, of Columbus Junction.

Police said Vedepo told officers he “knew his rights” and was going back into the bar. Vedepo resisted the officers and head butted one officer in the chest, sending him to the hospital with injuries to his back. Officers took Vedepo to the ground and attempted to handcuff him, but he rolled his body and kicked his legs. Officers deployed a Taser in an attempt to subdue Vedepo, but it was ineffective, police said.

Ah, Vedepo went with the old “I know my rights” defense. Classic mistake.

Read More DIGG THIS

Rampage Jackson Begins to Regret Torrid Love Affair With Bellator

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson sent the above tweet on Monday night, once again reminding the world that he has had a falling out with every single person or corporate entity he has ever had a relationship with. Jackson’s association with Bellator began with the usual declarations of love. Here’s what he told CagePotato back in June 2013:

Me and Bellator, we tongue kissing right now, baby…Ever since I did that ‘A-Team’ movie it like — it’s like I cheated on [the UFC]. And so, you know what I’m saying, like over here I don’t see any way I can cheat on Bellator, because it seems like, you know what I’m saying, they’re with Viacom. They got me all set up. It’s all in-house and stuff like that…I see me being happy with these guys for the rest of my career. Because, you know what I’m saying, I can just feel it…I’ve done a lot of favors for the UFC, and sometimes, I didn’t get my favors back to me.”

Bellator saved him from a disgruntled existence with the UFC, just like the UFC saved him from a disgruntled existence with PRIDE. And for a while, Rampage and the Bjorn Rebney-led Bellator were in the thrall of new romance, just tongue-kissing their brains out. ‘Page dutifully played along with Spike TV’s awkward pro-wrestling crossover storylines, and he was successful in the cage, going 3-0 under the Bellator banner with first-round knockouts of Joey Beltran and Christian M’Pumbu. (He also beat King Mo in a dubious decision that nevertheless produced one of the best soundbites of the year.)

But the infatuation phase wears off, as it always does, and the person you thought you were sleeping with looks a lot different in the light of day.

Read More DIGG THIS

“The Next Jon Jones”: Bellator Signs 18-Year-Old Prospect Aaron Pico to Long-Term Contract


(Photo via Dave Mandel/ Sherdog)

He’s been called “The Greatest MMA Prospect” by Bob Cook. He’s been called “The Next Jon Jones” by The MMA Corner. At just 18 years of age, he’s already inked a sponsorship deal with Nike. He’s a FILA national championship winner in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling and a Junior Golden Gloves national champion. His name is Aaron Pico, and he just inked a “long-term contract” with Bellator.

The announcement was made by the promotion during Bellator 131 on Saturday, who insisted that their contract with Pico (the terms of which have yet to be disclosed) would not interfere with his upcoming bid for the 2016 Olympics. Said Bellator President Scott Coker:

Simply put, Aaron has all the makings of MMA’s next great superstar, and to have him here at Bellator is something special. Like many of us in the MMA community, Aaron is someone we’ve been watching closely over the last few years, and after sitting down with Bob Cook and his team, getting a chance to meet Aaron, and hearing his long-term aspirations, the fit became very obvious.

Brush up on Pico’s incredible list of accomplishments after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

WSOF 15 Results: Branch Shocks Okami With TKO Win, Gaethje Decisions Guillard

With UFC 180 and Bellator 131 taking the majority of the spotlight this past Saturday night, MMA enthusiasts sort of forgot to pay attention to the stacked WSOF 15, which took place at USF Sundome in Tampa, Fla.

The main event saw David Branch successfully defend his 185-pound title against former UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami, stopping the Japanese veteran in the fourth round with punches.

“Thunder” had the grappling advantage, yet the Renzo Gracie-trained combatant kept finding a home for his right hand. After three close rounds, Branch drilled his opponent with a solid right hand, dropping the challenger and continued to pounce on him until being awarded the stoppage victory. See the GIF after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

Bellator 131 Results and GIFs: Ortiz Decisions Bonnar, Brooks Weirdly KOs Chandler, Manhoef Gets KTFO


(Photo via Getty)

Bellator 131, the first of Bellator’s BIG events under Scott Coker was pretty god damn awesome.

Look, we know you’re busy and just want the GIFs, so we won’t burden your minds by making you read a painstaking punch-by-punch recap.

BUT FIRST, Bellator debuted a wicked new entrance ramp. Look at King Mo and Jo Vedepo’s entrance:

Check out the GIFs (via Zombie Prophet) from Bellator 131 below, and the card’s full results are written at the bottom of the post:

Read More DIGG THIS

Damn, Scott Coker & Co. Are Really Pulling Out All the Stops to Promote Bellator 131

In the MMA marketing game, the list of tactics used to promote a fight card goes something like this:

1. Bring in a recently disgraced legend from your more popular rival promotion to play skeeball/sign autographs.

2. Everything else.

Unfortunately for Bellator, option 1 is no longer on the table, as Wanderlei Silva has been contractually cock-blocked from appearing at their Dave & Busters party this Friday. So with their backs against the wall, Scott Coker’s crack team of ad execs have been forced to reach deep into their idea banks to promote this weekend’s Bellator 131 card. The results have been nothing short of hilarious — like something Jackie Moon would come up with if he was stuck in a creative slump.

Bellator kicked things off in style last night with (what I can only assume was) their first “Taco Tuesday” event, hosted at Dave & Busters and MC’ed by Bellator colorman Jimmy Smith — who I absolutely refuse to talk trash about because he seems awesome. If you hadn’t guessed, “Taco Tuesday” pitted 10 or so diehard MMA fans against one another in a taco-eating competition, with the winner earning a ticket to Bellator 131. And right now, AS WE SPEAK, the promotion is hosting a scavenger hunt across San Diego for, you guessed it, tickets to Bellator 131.

After the jump: Play-by-play analysis of said scavenger hunt (not really), and a few of our ideas about how Bellator can promote themselves in the future.

Read More DIGG THIS

Update: Wanderlei Silva Contractually Cock-Blocked From Appearing at Dave & Buster’s Bellator Party


(Damn. Bellator spent $14.99 on those generic-ass MMA gloves for nothing? / Props: @zprophet_mma)

I know, I know — you were really looking forward to sharing some chicken tenders with MMA legend Wanderlei Silva at the San Diego Dave & Buster’s this Friday, and nod your head in agreement/confusion as he rants about the playboy promoters in business class. Well that’s not going to happen. Bellator announced yesterday that Silva will not be a part of the Dave & Buster’s fan event or any of the Bellator 131 pre-promotion festivities, “due to prior contractual obligations.” MMAJunkie adds:

According to a source close to the promotion, who spoke to MMAjunkie on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, Bellator agreed to not utilize the former PRIDE champ and recently retired fighter when informed that he was still under contract with the UFC…

Late this past month, a UFC official told MMAjunkie that Silva remains under contract despite a rumored fight with Phil Baroni in Japan on New Year’s Eve. Typically, a fighter’s contract with the industry-leader is frozen, but not dissolved, in the event they retire.”

Read More DIGG THIS

Wanderlei Silva Defects to Bellator — Disgruntled UFC Star to Appear at Dave & Buster’s Party on Friday


(There ain’t no party like a Wanderlei party ’cause a Wanderlei party COMES WITH JALAPENO POPPERS AND A FREE $5 POWER CARD. Photo via Vegas News.)

Scott Coker & Co. continue to snatch up disgruntled former Zuffa employees like hot cakes, Nation, as Bellator has just announced that former UFC/Pride star Wanderlei Silva will be making an appearance at the Bellator 131 kickoff party inside Dave & Buster’s this Friday to take pictures and sign autographs.

The announcement comes a month after the #2 promotion in MMA managed to scoop up Royce Gracie as a “brand ambassador” in what could only be considered a triumphant middle finger to the UFC. From a Bellator press release sent out earlier today:

“The Axe Murder” Joins #Bellator131 Pre-Party Kickoff As Wanderlei Silva Set To Appear At Dave & Buster’s On Friday, November 14

Silva Joins Royce Gracie, Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock In Preparation for #Bellator131 on Saturday, November 15
Newport Beach, Calif. (November 10, 2014) – The festivities surrounding Saturday’s #Bellator131 continue to grow as Bellator will host a pre-party kickoff event from San Diego’s Dave & Buster’s on Friday, November 14. After weigh-ins, fans are invited to take pictures and have autographs signed with MMA legends Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, and now MMA icon Wanderlei Silva beginning at 6pm PST. Silva will join the other MMA legends in attendance for #Bellator 131 on Saturday, November 15.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA