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Tag: Bellator

Bellator Re-Launches Women’s Division, Announces Signing of Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd


(Photos by Esther Lin)

The rumors of Bellator signing Gina Carano may have been premature — or totally invented — but the promotion will indeed begin holding women’s fights again, as part of a brand-new featherweight division. According to a press release distributed today, Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd have signed contracts with Bellator, and will fight on a live Spike TV broadcast later this year.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring in two of the best athletes competing in our sport today,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “We are making a commitment to bring back the female division to Bellator, and feature some of the world’s best in the Bellator cage.”

Bellator began running women’s matches early in its history, with fighters like Jessica Penne, Leslie Smith, Kerry Vera, and Rosi Sexton featured during the promotion’s first season in 2009. The next year, Bellator hosted a women’s strawweight tournament, which saw Zoila Gurgel outpoint Penne, Jessica Aguilar, and WMMA legend Megumi Fujii. But in light of increasing competition from Invicta FC and the UFC, Bellator formally shut down its women’s divisions in August 2013.

Of course, that was during the Bjorn Rebney era. Now that Scott Coker is runnin’ thangs, Bellator will attempt to re-capture some of the success that Strikeforce previously had in promoting female stars Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg. (By the way, the fact that Coker is pushing a new 145-pound division theoretically makes Bellator a more attractive environment for Carano and Cyborg than the UFC, as they wouldn’t have to squeeze into the bantamweight division to compete.)

But back to Coenen and Budd…

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Scott Coker Denies Rumors That Gina Carano Has Signed With Bellator [UPDATED]


(No man has ever escaped Gina’s mount. Of course, no man has ever *tried* to escape it, but still, that’s an impressive stat. / Photo via Collider)

Yesterday, Bellator middleweight Brian Rogers alerted his friends, fans, and haters that Bellator would be making a “major fight announcement” today. This came on the heels of a rumor-tweet from Hector Castro suggesting that Gina Carano and Marloes Coenen had signed with Bellator. Naturally, we freaked out.

Sadly, the official line from Bellator is that Carano has not signed with the organization. Via Ariel:

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Ben Saunders Welcomes Chris “Stump” Heatherly to the Octagon For UFC Return at Fight Night 49


(Best caption by the end of the day wins a T-shirt. Via Saunders’ Twitter.)

Less than a week ago, Ben Saunders was universally declared by one CagePotato writer with a history of making hyperbolic statements to be one of the greatest UFC washouts still competing on the professional circuit. Two days later, it was announced that “Killa B” had re-signed with the UFC. Coincidence? No, no it is not. The UFC has been blatantly using us to play matchmaker for years now and I demand satisfaction.

In any case, Saunders has received a date and opponent for his UFC return earlier today, and you’re never going to guess who it is, probably because you have never heard of his opponent before. The TUF 6 alum will welcome 8-1 Chris “Stump” Heatherly to the octagon at Fight Night 49 on August 23rd (that’s the one headlined by Ben Henderson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos, BTW).

The fight will mark Saunders first UFC contest in over four years, where he was last outgrappled by Dennis Hallman in a unanimous decision loss at UFC 117. While “Killa B” might be on the heels of a head kick knockout loss to Douglas Lima (his second such loss to Lima in as many fights), he has gone 4-2 in Bellator since 2012 and 7-3 overall.

Heatherly, on the other hand, holds notable wins over Dakota Cochrane (heh) and no one else, and last scored a victory via second round guillotine over Josh Cavan at RFA 16 (you can check out a video of the finish here). Prior to that, he was stretchered out of the cage after eating an illegal elbow to the spine in his RFA debut against Chidi Njokuani. Thankfully for Heatherly, he will only have to worry about protecting his forehead against Saunders.

So…Saunders by submission or KO? Or Heatherly via whatever a stump’s primary method of attack is?

-J. Jones

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And Now He’s Fired: Bellator Fires War Machine Over Domestic Abuse Allegations [UPDATED]


(War Machine in 2007 / Photo via Getty)

Bellator has fired War Machine after a report from TMZ claimed he was involved in a domestic violence investigation.

TMZ’s report claimed the domestic dispute involved three people at War Machine’s Las Vegas home. Two people were reportedly injured so bad they had to go to the hospital. The report claimed one victim was War Machine’s “significant other.”

A tweet from Christy Mack, War Machine’s sort of girlfriend (the “it’s complicated” relationship status was made for them), seems to confirm the report:

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TMZ Releases Photos of Joe Riggs’ Gunshot Wound. They’re Extremely Graphic


(via TMZ)

Joe Riggs shot himself in the leg last week? In case you forgot, Riggs was cleaning his gun when it discharged. The gunshot wounded his hand and leg.

TMZ just released pictures of Riggs’ wounded leg, and they’re brutal. We’d make a “that’s even worse than Marvin Eastman’s cut!” joke but this is a pretty serious matter. CagePotato doesn’t like to joke and ball-bust about life threatening things.

A video is embedded above which shows the images and provides footage of Riggs discussing the injury. If you don’t feel like watching that, here are the photos (via TMZ). Be warned, they are EXTREMELY graphic. Don’t look at them if you’re squeamish.

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Report: Donald Cerrone to Welcome Eddie Alvarez to the Octagon at UFC 178


(You know, I was a little concerned about the idea of standard fighter uniforms in the UFC…until this very moment. Photo via Eddie’s Instagram.)

We don’t mean to jump the gun here, but multiple sources are confirming that Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is in talks to face Donald Cerrone at the already stacked UFC 178 card in September. To repeat: UFC 178. Eddie Alvarez. Donald f*cking Cer-ro-ne.

This potential meeting of top lightweights is heavily dependent, of course, on whether or not the UFC is able to acquire Alvarez from Bellator, as he is still under contract with his much maligned promotion. But Scott Coker is no Bjorn Rebney, and Alvarez is no Gina Carano, so expect to hear the official word of Alvarez’s signing any day now.

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The (Reported) Death of TNA Impact, And How Its Cancellation Could Affect Pro Wrestling and MMA


(*single tear* [via @SoDuTw])

By Seth Falvo

The inevitable has finally occurred: TMZ is reporting that Spike TV has cancelled TNA Impact Wrestling after nine less than spectacular years. It is unclear when the final edition of Impact will air, but TMZ says that TNA’s deal with Spike runs through October. Neither Spike TV nor TNA have released official statements at this time.

So why are we covering the death of a minor-league professional wrestling outfit that did everything it possibly could to run itself out of business on CagePotato.com? Because this is the same promotion that partnered with Bellator to bring us King Mo’s (unintentionally hilarious) wrestling career and Tito Ortiz slugging Rampage Jackson with a hammer. It goes without saying that the Bellator/TNA partnership is about to dissolve, but what can we expect Spike TV to replace TNA Impact with? Will this bring more MMA to Spike TV, or will Spike just find another indie wrestling organization to fill in TNA’s shoes? Your guess is as good as anyone’s at this point, so let’s recklessly speculate for a while.

Isn’t it a little premature to write that TNA Impact Wrestling has been cancelled, considering that TNA could still renew with Spike TV/find a different network?

Sure, Spike TV could still renew TNA Impact, just like someone hypothetically could hold the UFC flyweight and heavyweight titles simultaneously. Not that it matters, but rumor has it that Spike TV executives cancelled Impact because they learned that TNA president Dixie Carter hired Vince Russo as a consultant, even though Spike specifically told her not to give him a job. If that’s true, that’s an oddly appropriate note for a company so hellbent on running itself into the ground to go out on.

As for another network picking up TNA Impact? Take it away, Razor…

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Bellator 122 Results: Koreshkov Batters McDonough, Halsey Submits Cooper, Parisyan Obliterates Baroni

Bellator’s first event under Scott Coker’s reign is over. Andrey Koreshkov blasted Adam McDonough en  route to a unanimous decision victory and Brandon Halsey dominated Brett Cooper with a first round submission win.

The event was one of Bellator’s better ones. We’ve recapped the entire card for you (and threw in some GIFs–which are all courtesy of Zombie Prophet/Fansided):

The Bellator 122 prelims were packed with action. Saad Awad pulled off one of the best TKOs from the bottom in recent memory against Joe Duarte. After getting blasted with a right hand, Awad crumbled to the mat. However, Duarte got over aggressive and Awad snagged him in a triangle. The ref called the fight about a billion elbows to Duarte’s temple later. Check out the GIF.

Other significant prelim happenings: The unheralded Fernando Gonzalez upset Bellator mainstay Karl Amoussou via unanimous decision. Gonzalez was simply quicker and better conditioned. One has to wonder about Amoussou’s future in Bellator.

Bellator put a light heavyweight tournament semifinal on the prelims. Kelly Anundson took on Luiz Philipe Lins, but the fight didn’t last long. Lins collapsed to the canvas a few minutes into the first round with a knee injury. Anundson was therefore awarded with a TKO victory.

More prelim action: Wrestling standout Bubba Jenkins steamrolled over Poppies Martinez, taking him down and scoring a TKO via ground and pound (GIF) in the first frame.

Get the rundown of the main card–plus the precious GIFs–after the jump.

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Our Prediction…Pain: Bellator Signs Melvin Manhoef (!) and Re-Signs Paul Daley


(Nope. Still terrified. Photo via Dorian Szücs/Groundandpound)

Now that Scott Coker is runnings things over at Bellator, it was only a matter of time before he started recruiting some of his old Strikeforce cronies over to help bolster the promotion’s somewhat lacking roster, and his first two signings are sure to deliver in the excitement department.

Today brings news that Bellator has signed kickboxer/MMA fighter/eater of worlds Melvin Manhoef and resigned Paul Daley to their roster. Presumably *not* to fight each other, for that would most certainly result in a black hole being ripped in the universe once their fists collided. In MMA competition alone, these two hard hitters have amassed over 50 knockouts between them, including particularly devastating KOs of Mark Hunt, Scott Smith, Dustin Hazelett, and Ian Freeman. Manhoef and Daley are fresh off knockout victories over Evangelista Santos and Romario Manoel da Silva, respectively.

As you might recall, Daley was axed from Bellator last July as a result of ongoing legal troubles and visa issues.”Semtex”, however, has assured us that both of those issues are now behind him, for the most part:

I don’t have the visa yet. But the charges that were against me and the problems I had with obtaining the visa, they weren’t major things. So I’ve spoken with the guys at Bellator, told them what was what, and they’re confident, the legal team is confident that this visa issue is not going to be a problem.

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Is MMA About to Enter a New Golden Age?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

“It’s always darkest before it’s totally black.”-Mao Zedong (supposedly).

This quote aptly described MMA’s immediate future, or at least it seemed to until very recently. Card quality, fan interest, and–most importantly–numbers were all declining; 2014′s PPV buy ceiling of 350,000 was 2009′s floor. MMA was headed for a perplexing time when it was simultaneously bigger than ever but smaller than ever, when the fighters were more talented than ever but less popular than ever.

A series of fortunate events and new found circumstances can change all that. To make a Back to the Future reference, the horrific, Biff Tannen-owned Hill Valley that represented MMA’s future may well become the nice, stable Hill Valley in which George McFly is a successful fiction author and Marty McFly bangs his girlfriend in the back of a pickup truck. That is to say, MMA might be approaching a level of popularity, constancy and quality that many (including myself) didn’t think it was capable of reaching in the current climate.

What’s the reason for this cautious optimism?

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