MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Bellator

Daniel Straus Had to Cut His Damn Dreads Off to Make 145 Pounds at Yesterday’s Bellator Weigh-Ins


(Well that’s a shame. / Photo via Anthony Mazzuca)

Tonight in Hammond, Indiana, Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus will make his first title-defense in a rubber-match against Pat Curran, the guy he won the title from in November. But just making weight for the fight turned into a harrowing test of Straus’s character. Expecting to come in a little over the 145-pound limit, Straus chopped his own dreads off backstage to help shed some ounces. The raggedy aftermath is what you see above.

At weigh-ins, Straus immediately stripped down and got behind a towel — and he was still a half-pound over. Luckily, Straus was able to shed the extra weight with some additional time, and tonight’s title fight will proceed as scheduled. But between Straus’s new hairstyle and the sudden removals of War Machine and Joe Riggs, the Bellator 112 poster has become one of the most outdated and inaccurate posters in MMA history. It’s a crazy world, man. Everything is subject to change.

The official Bellator 112 weigh-in results are after the jump…

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Phil Baroni Announces May 2nd Bellator Debut Via Instagram Hashtags

phil baroni best eva bellator instagram robe
(Props: Webstagram/@philbaroninhb)

Let me translate the above Instagram photo, for those of who you aren’t fluent in hashtag: Beloved UFC/PRIDE/Strikeforce veteran Phil “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni will be competing for Bellator on May 2nd, on a Spike TV-televised fight in Atlantic City, the same city that hosted his first-ever UFC fight back in February 2001. Baroni would like you to know that he’s back, he’s still the man, and what you see is what you get, etc. Indeed, Phil Baroni is all the hashtags.

Assuming that Baroni isn’t just making shit up, the 5/2 date means he’ll be fighting at Bellator 118, supporting a bantamweight title fight between Eduardo Dantas and Joe Warren. According to MMAJunkie’s sources, “[Baroni's] deal is expected to be a short-term one, possibly just a single fight. The promotion also has no current plan to enter Baroni in any upcoming tournaments.” The 37-year-old slugger’s opponent hasn’t been announced yet.

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Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo Booked as Co-Main Event for Bellator’s May 17th PPV


(Look, unless somebody’s getting hit in the head with a hammer, I’m just not interested.)

In case you missed the announcement a couple weeks back, Bellator is going to attempt to put on a pay-per-view event once again, with a May 17th card headlined by the rubber-match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler. Today, Bellator sent out a press release confirming the venue — the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, just a short drive from Memphis — and the co-main event, which will be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal in the finals of the Season 10 Light Heavyweight Tournament.

In terms of fake heat, Rampage vs. King Mo might even rank above Chael vs. Wandy on the bullshit scale. Then again, this is arguably the biggest fight that Bellator can throw together right now in terms of star power, and booking it for the promotion’s (fingers crossed) first PPV show only seems logical. No other fights for the May 17th card have been announced yet; we’ll keep you posted. Some notable quotes/exaggerations from Bellator’s latest press release are below…

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Bellator 111 Results: Dantas Submits Leone With Incredible Choke, Johnson, Mo, Volkov, and Ivanov All Advance


(Note: The heavyweights are never photographed below the shoulders.)

Bellator 111 being able to build off Bellator 110‘s momentum was questionable. After all, three fourths of 111′s main card was comprised of heavyweights with questionable cardiovascular conditioning. What could’ve turned into a disaster instead turned into a decent night of fights (though some were not so decent), with the Bellator bantamweight title up for grabs between champion Eduardo Dantas and challenger Anthony Leone.

On the prelims: Up-and-comers Brent Primus and Abdul Razak both looked impressive. We will watch their next fights with interest. However, we can’t say that we’ll do the same for Eric Prindle, a mainstay in Bellator’s heavyweight division. In his loss to Javy Alaya, he displayed a ground game so awful it made James Toney look like Marcelo Garcia.

Also of note on the prelims: The first heavyweight tournament quarterfinal took place. Blagoi Ivanov bested Rich Hale in a tepid decision with not a whole lot of action.

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Bellator 110 Recap: Rampage KOs M’Pumbu, King Mo Edges Zayats, Rebney Announces Next PPV


(Photo via Getty)

Bellator is back, but not necessarily in a big way. Bellator 110 saw the more marketable Rampage Jackson and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal prevail, but neither man looked stellar.

What about the rest of the card? The event started off rocky. The first two preliminary bouts ended in unsatisfying no contests—the first due to an accidental illegal knee. The second was the result of an accidental eye poke.

Of note: Daniel Weichel defeated Scott Cleve in the quarterfinal round of Bellator’s season 10 featherweight tournament. He won via submission, though the rear-naked choke was set up by a gorgeous straight right. When Cleve was on the mat, his brains were far too scrambled to adequately prevent Weichel from taking his back and working for the choke. In another prelim quarterfinal bout, Will Martinez upset the highly touted, 21-year-old prospect, Goiti Yamauchi via unanimous decision. Martinez was stronger and fought a smarter fight. He bullied and smothered Yamauchi, who was stymied by Martinez’s aggression.

The main card kicked off with the third featherweight tournament quarterfinal.

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There’s a Bellator Event Tomorrow, So Rampage Jackson Is Talking Nonsense Again [VIDEO]

As someone who recently told Dana White to “keep my name out of your mouth,” Rampage Jackson sure seems to have a problem granting the UFC the same courtesy. In a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, Jackson previewed his Season 10 LHW tournament semifinal fight with Christian M’Pumbu headlining tomorrow night’s Bellator 110, citing a few changes in his training camp as the keys to beating the former Bellator champ.

It was going, so well. Jackson was calm, reasonable, and had managed to go almost four minutes in a row without dry-humping something. But us MMA reporters being the shit-stirring type, the conversation inevitably shifted toward towards “Bellator vs. UFC,” prompting Jackson to go completely off the reservation.

At the end of the day it’s all about what you’re looking for. If you want longevity, I would go with a company like Bellator that you can grow with. And here’s a secret that the UFC won’t tell you, and will never tell you, but right now Bellator is getting more ratings than the UFC. And sponsors understand stuff like that. So a lot of sponsors are going to come over and jump to Bellator and UFC sponsorships are going to go down because if you don’t have the ratings you don’t have the commercial money and the people to watch the commercials and you don’t have the endorsement dollars. 

(*puts on Madea costume*) Oh Rampage, you so crazy!

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UFC Fight Night 36 Results: Does Bellator Have a Better Product Than the UFC?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Fans didn’t think it could get worse than UFC 169. Then they watched UFC Fight Night 36—a night of fights so horrid even the technical artistry in the main event bout between Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi couldn’t save it.

The negativity ran deeper than the amount of decisions on the card—which was the most common criticism. A decision doesn’t necessarily equate to a bad fight. But a decision that lacks action and is fought between C and D level fighters who aren’t even known by everyone at their respective gyms, let alone the fans, does equate to a bad fight.

I discussed the recent plague of decisions at length after UFC 169. I concluded that the UFC faced three issues:

1. Fighters that are so evenly matched they negate one another.

2. Fighters have become risk-averse—fearful that one loss will send their contract to the paper shredder. Removing submission and knockout of the night bonuses probably didn’t help spur such fighters on to accomplish great in-cage feats.

3. The baseline quality of the average UFC fighter is far lower than it used to be. The days of elite athletes fighting in the “Super Bowl of MMA” are long gone. Welcome to the age of lowered standards; The UFC needs warm bodies to fill out a Fight Pass card in Djibouti. The term “UFC caliber” means nothing.

For the time being, the UFC seems content to ignore these problems to focus on “World Fucking Domination.” They don’t realize marketing what amounts to UFC-branded regional shows in other countries is losing them their fans in the United States. Just look at TUF’s most recent ratings. Fans simply don’t care about the UFC like they did in the halcyon days days of SpikeTV, Brock Lesnar, and PPVs that didn’t hearken to boxing’s age-old strategy of a good main event preceded by an army of no-names. Fans don’t care because what’s there to care about? The product is, to put it simply, lacking. The few remaining big names are islands in a sea of wiki-less, generic UFC fighters™.

This is the situation Bellator finds the MMA landscape in as the Viacom-0wned promotion starts its 10th season…

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Gilbert Melendez (Sorta) Signs With Bellator—But UFC Can Still Match Offer


(Photo via Getty)

Bellator has reached terms with top UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez, in what would be the Viacom-owned promotion’s highest profile signing to date if they can wrest “El Niño” from Zuffa.

Notice the word, “if.”

Find out what the deal is after the jump.

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Why Does MMA Care About CM Punk?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Did you hear? CM Punk might be headed to MMA.

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard until just now, it’s not as if MMA news outlets have been talking about it at all recently.

So, in case you missed it, here’s what happened:

In an interview with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, famed straight edge pro wrestler and former WWE champ CM Punk expressed an interest in taking an MMA fight, as well as thoughts about his doubtful future with the WWE. Punk left the WWE not long after this interview.

To MMA fans and pundits, the urge to connect the dots was too great. Punk departed the WWE shortly after he mentioned MMA. Therefore, he MUST have left the WWE to start fighting.

Cue the insanity.

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Video: John McCain, Lorenzo Fertitta, Jon Jones, Bernard Hopkins, and More Boxing/MMA Figures Unite to Support the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study


(Props: Senator Reid)

There are few occasions where you could get executives from the UFC, Bellator, Golden Boy, and Top Rank in the same room without a full-scale brawl breaking out. But today in Washington, DC, an unprecedented congregation of combat-sports power players joined forces to support a common cause — the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, which is being conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

According to a press release distributed today, the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study was launched in April 2011, and is “focused on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in those exposed to head trauma, as well as determining which individuals may be more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders.” You can read a little more about the Cleveland Clinic’s work here.

Senators and lifelong boxing-lovers Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) were keynote speakers at today’s press-conference, which you can watch above in its entirety. The list of speakers also included UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Spike TV President Kevin Kay, Bellator lightweight star Michael Chandler, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Top Rank President Todd duBoef, and boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Collectively, the combat sports promotions in attendance pledged $600,000 to help the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study continue its research for another year. As the press-release explains:

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