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Tag: Bellator

28-0 Featherweight Phenom Julio Cesar Neves Will Be Cartwheel-Kicking Dudes in Bellator Now


(Finally, we can use the terms “hot prospect” and “Bellator” in the same sentence without being sarcastic. / Photo via Sherdog)

At 19-and-a-half years old, Julio Cesar Neves Junior is off to the fastest start in MMA history. In just two years of professional competition, the Brazilian featherweight prodigy has compiled a 28-0 record, with 25 wins by stoppage. “Morceguinho” has already blown past the career-opening win streaks posted by Megumi Fujii (who won her first 22 fights) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (who’s won 21 and counting), and he’s within arm’s reach of the 32-fight win streak that Igor Vovchanchyn earned from 1996-1999 — to date the longest MMA win streak unbroken by draws or no-contests.

We first introduced you to Neves back in August, when he picked up his 26th win by Capoeira cartwheel-kicking the shit out of Dener Dos Santos. “We have a feeling this one will get him noticed by the big leagues,” we wrote…and indeed it has. MMAFighting informs us that Neves has just signed a contract with Bellator, and will make his promotional debut at an event to be named later.

Alright, so maybe Bellator isn’t the biggest of big leagues, but it’s a hell of an opportunity for a teenager from Santa Catarina. According to MMAFighting, Neves is the younger brother of Rafael “Morcego” Silva, who won Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series Bantamweight Tournament this year, and is riding an impressive 13-fight win streak himself. Can the Morcego/guinho brothers become the next Pitbull brothers? And how much longer will Neves’s win streak last now that he’ll be facing a higher level of competition?

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Bellator 104 Recap: Hawn Decisions Weedman, War Machine Takes a Nap, Notable UFC Vets Grove and Sass Victorious


(Spoiler alert: The guys on the left beat the guys on the right.)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator 104 was one of the promotion’s most stacked cards this season. When Bellator mainstay Karl Amoussou and three UFC vets (Paul Sass, Rob Emerson, and Paul Bradley) are relegated to the prelims, there’s some good or at least decent fights on the main card.

The prelims were exciting and had a few notable happenings.

Cliff Wright vs. Derek Loffer was a thrilling back-and-forth match that saw Wright win via armbar late in the second round.

After that, Brandon Girtz pulled a Chris Leben. No, he didn’t urinate in a bed or fail a drug test. He fought twice in two weeks and won both matches like Leben did back in 2010. Girtz submitted Poppies Martinez and Mike Estus at Bellator 102 and Bellator 104, respectively. And these weren’t Hail Mary submissions; Girtz controlled both guys before torquing their arms.

Then, Rob Emerson—wife stealer and one of a select few men to defeat the next Anderson Silva—heel hooked Jared Downing in under two minutes.

Paul Sass, too, won in short order, this time with a toe hold. His opponent Rod Montoya was seemingly ignorant of the fact that Sass has an amazing guard since he kept taking Sass down. Surprise, surprise, Montoya was submitted.

Unfortunately, Karl Amoussou vs. Paul Bradley couldn’t live up to the exciting standard set by the night’s previous bouts. Bradley won a unanimous decision that saw him lay in a gassed Amoussou’s guard for two out of three rounds.

That ended the prelims and brought us into the main card on Spike, which started with *gulps* a Bellator heavyweight fight between Eric Prindle and Peter Graham. It started out alright enough, with Graham nearly finishing Prindle, but then it quickly descended into the usual Bellator heavyweight routine: Heavy breathing, long periods of inactivity, and looping, exhausted punches. At the last second, Graham hit Prindle with a front kick to the face that floored him. Graham won via unanimous decision.

Read the recap for the Bellator 104 main card after the jump.

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TNA Deathwatch: Viacom’s Pro-Wrestling Brand Might Be F*cked Too, You Guys


(See, Viacom? There ARE some things that are too stupid for pro-wrestling fans to watch.)

Remember when we told you guys on Sunday that Bellator is going through some hard times before its (extremely misguided) inaugural PPV? Well, with a brand new episode of TNA Impact scheduled to air tonight, we decided to look into how Viacom’s other promotion is doing. Try not to act too surprised, but here’s the short version of the story:

Believe it or not, the professional wrestling outfit that’s been repackaged as an infomercial for an MMA PPV that no one cares about is in some pretty dire straights. Over the course of the past year, TNA Impact has been making some drastic budget cuts, which have included firing numerous young prospects and veteran wrestlers alike (leading to some hilarious satirical stories from Kayfabe News). Okay, no problem with trimming the fat, right? Well, once main players in the company start getting cut, it’s not exactly a good sign. Follow us after the jump, and we’ll explain…

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‘Rampage vs. Tito’ Ticket Sales Confirm That Bellator Is Pretty Much F*cked, You Guys


(“Move it, asshole, you’re blocking the box!”)

By Matt Saccaro

The ticket sales for Bellator’s November 2nd pay-per-view debut are bad — basically as bad as they could possibly be less than a month out from the card.

On Friday, MMAJunkie’s John Morgan tweeted that the PPV had sold only approximately 1,700 tickets, with another 2,000 on consignment. Matt Roth of MMAMania noted just how dire the situation really is. He pointed out that the venue can hold over 13,000 people, meaning that Bellator would have to sell in the neighborhood of 10,000 tickets in less than 20 days to secure a sellout. That probably isn’t going to happen — not even if Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson became giants like in the awful trailer for the PPV.

Bjorn Rebney better be prepared to get a job at his dad’s Winnebago dealership; winter is coming for Bellator. Nobody is going to attend their PPV, and it’s probable that, at an expected price between $35-45, nobody is going to purchase their PPV either. Nobody gives a fuck about their product and their titles are considered worthless. If the UFC stacked three title fights on a card, you’d expect success, even if it were the titles for the three lightest weight classes. But with Bellator, which is offering three title fights on its PPV (although one is a dubious interim title), nobody knows or cares. Hell, we’re a site whose fanbase is comprised pretty much of entirely hardcore fans, and judging by the front page poll, a third of you never even watch Bellator. If they can’t get the hardcores, what fucking chance do they have at getting the casual fans to drop money on this PPV?

Even more concerning is a recent report from MMAPayout about Bellator 102, which UFC “star” Cheick Kongo headlined. The show’s gate was only $73,410.43. A paltry 1,482 people attended the show but nearly half of those tickets (604 of them to be precise) were comped. Now, are you ready to be really amazed? Let’s look at the salaries

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Palhares-Gate Update: Bellator Doesn’t Want Him, Palhares Issues Half-Assed Apology


(Rousimar Palhares doing “God’s work.” / Photo via Getty Images)

Remember when we described serial knee-destroyer Rousimar Palhares as a “good-natured idiot-manchild“? Well, apparently Bellator has a similar opinion of the Brazilian.

At least that’s the impression we get from their recent decision not to sign him. Bjorn Rebney told TMZ the following about why he his Viacom puppet master decided to pass on Palhares:

“Risks already exist for the courageous, world class fighters who either enter the Bellator cage; without adding further unnecessary risks into the mix. Fighter safety is paramount to me and my team.”

That eliminates one destination for the recently disgraced Palhares — MMA’s version of Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Maybe he’ll go to World Series of Fighting, although Jon Fitch has already refused a hypothetical fight against him due to safety concerns. But it seems like Bellator missed a good catch here. Palhares is a talented fighter coming off a win. He had tons of heat, so the signing would’ve generated tons of press — for a Bellator signing, anyway — or at least more press than signing a UFC castaway whose career highlight is getting kicked in the face.

Palhares (or his people) sensed that he was becoming damaged goods. Consequently, he issued an explanation/apology yesterday that you can check out after the jump.

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Bellator 103 Recap: Patricio Freire and Wilcox 3:16 Advance to the Featherweight Tournament Finals

Bellator 103 is over — and judging by our front page poll, a significant portion of you don’t really care that much. But we love free MMA so, we watched the card. Here’s our recap:

The first fight of the night pitted old-school Bellator fighter (he fought at Bellator 20) and UFC washout Aaron Rosa against Russian Sambo expert Mikhail Zayats. The bout ended in 47 seconds. Clinch, takedown, kimura, tap. That was the whole fight.

In the second bout on the main card, David Rickels made one of the most innovative entrances in MMA when he drove to the cage in a replica of Fred Flintstone’s car. Thankfully for Rickels, his performance lived up to his entrance. He consistently beat JJ Ambrose to the punch, battering “Superman” throughout the fight, which was stopped in the third round when Ambrose couldn’t defend a tidal wave of body shots.

The third fight of the night, a featherweight tournament semifinal, was the most lackluster. Jesus freak Justin Wilcox took on mullet-wearing Guam native Joe Taimanglo. Wilcox won a ho-hum unanimous decision. The highlight came after the fight when Wilcox referenced John 3:16. If you watched pro wrestling in the late 1990s, you’d know why that was a big deal. But yeah, Wilcox-Taimanglo was mainly takedowns and ineffective ground-and-pound. If you DVR’d the fights, you have our permission to skip this one.

In the night’s main event, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire met Fabricio Guerreiro in the second featherweight tournament semifinal. Freire, known as an aggressive striker, showed off his grappling abilities throughout the fight. He was constantly one step ahead of Guerreiro in the BJJ department, which earned “Pitbull” a unanimous decision victory. With the win, he became the first three-time tournament finalist in Bellator history. He will face Justin Wilcox in the finals.

The complete results for Bellator 103 are after the jump…

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Bellator Signing of the Day: British Wheel-Kick Victim Terry Etim Added to Nov. 2 PPV


(The many faces of Terry Etim. / Photos via Getty)

There was a brief moment in time when Terry Etim was considered a future title contender in the UFC lightweight division. After a shaky 1-2 start in the Octagon, the Liverpool native went on a 4-0 run in 2008-2009 where he was just smoking people. Notably, Etim picked up back-to-back Submission of the Night bonuses for his choke-outs of Justin Buchholz and Shannon Gugerty, which led to horribly premature Anderson Silva comparisons being thrown around.

But these days, most UFC fans associate the name “Terry Etim” with one of the most incredible knockouts in UFC history — a KO that he was on the losing end of, unfortunately. His spectaular loss to Edson Barboza at UFC 142 defined him, and after a follow-up decision loss to Renee Forte in February, Etim was released from the UFC.

Luckily, There’s Always Bellator™. The talent-recyclers at Viacom have just signed Etim to make his Bellator debut at the promotion’s November 2nd “Rampage vs. Tito” pay-per-view event, where he’ll be facing 9-2-1 Floridian Patrick Cenoble. Eight of Cenoble’s nine wins have come by KO/TKO, although his Bellator debut in March resulted in a draw against Tony Fryklund.

Etim vs. Cenoble will be featured on the Spike TV prelims leading up to the 11/2 PPV card. The current lineup is after the jump…

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And Now She’s Retired: Megumi Fujii Loses Final Fight After Eye Injury From Repeated Pokes

Megumi Fujii, perhaps the greatest female mixed martial arts fighter of all time, lost her retirement fight Saturday night at Vale Tudo Japan 3rd against Jessica Aguilar in a second round stoppage. Fujii was twice poked in the eye by Aguilar in the first round and sustained a serious-looking injury because of them.

“Mega Megu” decided to fight on despite the injury but in the second round, Aguilar began to take control of the fight and hurt Fujii more. In between the second and third rounds, a ring side doctor inspected Fujii and decided to stop the fight. The fight between Fujii and Aguilar was a rematch of their 2012 Bellator bout which ended with a controversial decision win for Aguilar.

Fujii finishes her career with a record of 26-3, overall. After the fight, the promotion held a retirement ceremony for the pioneering fighter. Watch the fight and ceremony in the video above.

- Elias Cepeda

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Bellator 102 Aftermath: The End of The Road


(Cheick Kongo relaxing before his fight, presumably listening to high-quality audio of groin shots. / Screen-cap via Chris Nelson)

After nine years in the UFC, Cheick Kongo found himself fighting for another promotion last night. The French heavyweight probably found the experience a little disconcerting, and yet entirely familiar. The cage was there, there was a man inside it, and he was tasked with disposing of him. Yet there is something less about the entire experience for a fighter competing in a lower-tier organization, deprived of the possibility of reaching the glory he once sought. For Kongo and fellow UFC cast-off Lavar Johnson, Friday’s Bellator 102 event in Visalia, California, was the beginning of the end of the road. Both are fighters on the way down, fighting not for what they once strove for, but simply because this is what they know how to do. It’s rarely a road that ends well. All they can hope for is to reclaim the one thing that doesn’t change —  the euphoria of victory. Because if you can’t get that, what’s the point anymore?

Kongo was, at least, able to make the best of his opportunity against Mark “The Hand of” Godbeer. His most formidable challenge on the night came from his pre-fight water bottle. Unfortunately, Godbeer wasn’t capable of offering such a test. If there’s one thing Kongo is known for, it’s probably his knee strikes. If there’s another thing he’s known for, it’s probably that those knee strikes tend to find his opponent’s testicles a little too often. Fortunately for almost everyone involved, Kongo managed to keep himself in Cheick tonight. (I’m so sorry.) He battered Godbeer with knees from the clinch throughout the fight, and finished him in the second round with a monster right knee followed by an uppercut against the fence. Able to stave off the reaper for another few months, Kongo advances into the next round of Bellator’s heavyweight tournament.

The same can’t be said for Lavar “Big” Johnson. Cast aside from the UFC for failing a drug test — to say nothing of possessing one of the least imaginative nicknames in a sport rife with them — Johnson was essentially fed his opponent Vinicius “Spartan” Queiroz in his Bellator debut upon returning from his suspension. The expectation was that Johnson, a one-dimensional heavy-hitter, would have no problem dispatching Queiroz in a spectacularly violent fashion. Queiroz, it was reasoned, could offer trouble on the ground, but the fight wouldn’t last long enough to get there. If you’re familiar with ironic foreshadowing, you’ve probably figured out what happens next.

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Matt Riddle Reconsiders Getting Real Job, Will Unretire at Bellator 109 Next Month


(Riddle’s “odd jobs” included stunt-work for the Dude, You’re Getting a Dell guy. / Screen-cap via mmanytt.se)

Last month, UFC veteran turned Bellator-signee Matt Riddle quit MMA in a fit of anger, vowing to get a normal job rather than put up with the constant frustrations of injuries and unsteady work in the fight game. Since then, Riddle has been sitting on his couch, taking giant bong rips and hearing from his non-fighter friends about what a pain in the ass it is to have a normal job. Unsurprisingly, he’s come to his senses.

MMAJunkie breaks the news that Riddle has unretired — throw a quarter in the jar, buddy — and is now re-scheduled to make his Bellator debut at Bellator 109, November 22nd at the Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Riddle’s home state. An opponent has not been named yet. As the Junkie article explains:

Riddle said “odd jobs” have been bringing some money in since his announcement, and he was prepared to keep earning that way if he stayed retired. But that’s not what he wanted.

“I know how to do stuff, so I was doing handyman stuff and making money that way,” he said. “But I’d rather make money in the cage. I really didn’t want to retire. I’m in my prime – I’m 27.”

And so, Bellator hangs on to one of their hottest prospects, and the world loses another handyman. Bittersweet, really.

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