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Tag: Bellator

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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Weekend Round-up: Aldo Accuses Mendes of Steroid Use, A Fighter is Out of UFC on FOX 12, and More


(Angry Jose Aldo looks identical to Happy Jose Aldo)

It’s been a rare, event-less weekend. Despite the lack of fisticuffs, Saturday and Sunday have been packed with quite a bit of mid-level news and fight booking house-keeping matters.

The biggest recent news has been a spat between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. As you’ve likely heard, an Aldo injury forced “postponement” [Ed's note: LOL] of UFC 176.

Mendes took Aldo to task over this on the MMA Hour, saying:

If Aldo can’t stay healthy and is too fragile to go through a training camp, then I think it is time to step aside and let guys who are able to do that and able to push through all that stuff, to be a champ.

To put it bluntly, Aldo was fucking pissed. He told Combate (translation via MMA Fighting):

Maybe I have so many injuries because I’m not taking the same ‘supplements’ you take. I have injuries because I train a lot to beat you like I did last time, and I think you remember that and still have nightmares about it. I did all the medical exams I had to do, but if you’re a doctor now, I can send them so you can take a look. Maybe you can prescript one of your supplements so I can heal faster.

The one who gets beat up usually runs away from another beating, but you can’t run forever because I’m going after you. Before the cage is closed you can say whatever you want, because once they close it you won’t be able to open your mouth, so keep talking while you have a mouth. And who are you to say where we are going to fight? I don’t think Dana White would be happy to see someone making his decisions.

You’re the one who seems to only fight at your home, who desperately doesn’t want to fight in Brazil. I got injured before and my fight with Frankie Edgar was moved from Brazil to Las Vegas. I fought your coach in your home, fought at Mark Hominick’s home in front of 55,000 fans, I fought in Japan and Europe. And now you tell me you want to be the champion? A champion doesn’t choose opponents or where the fight is going to be. And now I ask you, who’s the real pussy?

Harsh words from a harsh man.

In other UFC news…

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UFC 175 Proves the UFC Can Still Be the “Super Bowl of MMA” When It Wants To Be


(Two of the best fighters on earth about to enter unarmed combat. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Oversaturation. Lack of stars. Declining interest. Record-low numbers. An ephemeral casual fanbase. A hardcore fanbase that doesn’t care anymore. A resurgent competitor with a new, well-liked, adept president backed by a financial titan.

Those topics have all been under substantial discussion in the past few months–as they should be. Those are the very real, very pressing problems the UFC faces as we enter the second half of 2014.

But last night at UFC 175, the MMA world was able to forget all that–specifically because of the PPV’s main and co-main events.

The co-main event featured UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey taking on challenger Alexis Davis. As Rousey headed to the cage, I took to CagePotato’s Twitter and presciently stated Rousey-Davis would be the most one-sided fight we see all year. That’s exactly what it turned out to be. Rousey vs. Davis made Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie seem well-booked and competitive.

I know what you’re saying, “Why is the UFC-sponsored cash cow Ronda Rousey winning a squash match something to get pumped up about?”

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Shots Fired, Sort Of: Scott Coker Releases First Public Statement on Bellator’s Future


(She might move on to rappers and ballplayers, but we all know I [promoted] it first.” Photo via Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

A week after being named the new president of Bellator MMA, Scott Coker released an open letter to fans yesterday, laying out his vision for the promotion’s future in broad strokes. Check it out below, followed by some brief analysis…

Dear Bellator Nation*,

I wanted to take a moment and tell you all how excited I am to be a part of the Bellator family. I’ve been working closely with the incredible team here along with our partners at Spike to see how we are going to bring this great company to new heights.

My first order of business is to take a look at the Bellator roster and determine all the exciting possibilities that are in store for the future. Our goal is to make every Bellator event feel BIG and special** which is a huge win for fighters, advertisers, and of course — and most importantly — you, the fans. I’ve been on the phone with dozens of fighters and to hear the excitement in their voices has been incredibly encouraging.***

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BELLATOR BLOODBATH 2014: Promotion Cuts 19 Fighters to Make Room for Tito vs. Kimbo (Allegedly)


(The referee isn’t mad at Eric Prindle. He’s just disappointed. / Photo via Sherdog.)

Hey everybody, thanks for joining me on such short notice. The reason I called you all to the conference room today is because, well, you know with every change in leadership there’s going to be some growing pains. I don’t want to use the word “redundancies,” because I don’t see a single person in this room who I’d call “redundant.” You’re all unique, valuable — we hired you for a reason. And we appreciate what you’ve done to help Bellator grow. By the way, the bagels and cream cheese are for everybody, feel free to dig in. I think there are some plastic knives in that bag over there.

The reality of the situation, however, is this: The current budgetary climate has forced us to get lean and mean. Maybe it’s just temporary, maybe it’s the new normal. But the fact is that we’re trying to stay competitive in the post-Bjorn era, and that means trimming some fat. Well, again, “fat” is a word I don’t like to use because it implies something unwanted that has grown on the body due to excess consumption, or a general lack of movement. So yes, maybe “trimming some fat” is actually the perfect metaphor to use here.

At any rate, the partners have gotten together and pored over every contract, and — look, I’m just going to say it — 19 of you have been fired. The following people will no longer be working here, effective immediately…

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Bellator Parts Ways With Bjorn Rebney, Scott Coker to Replace Him [UPDATED]


(Kimbo, it’s Bjorn. Listen…do you think Reality Kings needs any more security guards?” / Photo via MMAFighting)

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney — the man who built the MMA promotion from a scrappy underdog on ESPN Deportes to a major player on Spike TV and pay-per-view — has left the building. Viacom officially announced today that Rebney as well as Bellator president and Chief Operating Officer Tim Danaher have left the organization, effective immediately.

As MMAFighting reported last night, it wasn’t exactly an amicable split; Rebney was forced out due to his ongoing conflicts with Viacom regarding the direction of the promotion. [Ed. note: Whoever wanted to turn Bellator into a home of freak-show/throwback MMA and surreal promos, CagePotato is on your side.] Considering that Viacom bought a majority stake in Bellator back in October 2011, the media monolith certainly had the power to kick Bellator’s founder out of his own operation.

But it gets crazier: Rebney’s replacement is expected to be none other than Scott Coker, the former Strikeforce founder and CEO who has kept a very low profile since Zuffa bought his promotion in 2011. From MMAFighting: “Once Coker’s contract and non-compete clause with Zuffa…expired in March, the wheels were in motion to bring him on board.”

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