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Tag: Eddie Alvarez

Bellator Grants Eddie Alvarez Unconditional Release, Alvarez vs. Cerrone Booked for UFC 178 [UPDATED]


(Photo via Ryan Loco)

Eddie Alvarez is a free man. According to a press release sent out by Bellator this afternoon, the promotion has granted the lightweight star his unconditional release, after a rocky history of contract disputes, lawsuits and reconciliations dating back to late 2012. In the end, Bellator president Scott Coker didn’t want to keep Eddie around if he didn’t want to be there. Check out the official statement below:

Newport Beach, Calif. (August 19, 2014)Bellator President Scott Coker has released a statement regarding Eddie Alvarez:

“We’ve granted Eddie his unconditional release. Eddie is free to explore the free agent market, we hold no matching rights, and we wish him the best in the future. We sat down with Eddie and his team a few times, and it became pretty clear early on that he just wasn’t interested in fighting for Bellator in the future. We want guys in this organization that want to be here, and after the history Eddie and the former regime had here at Bellator, we decided to move on. We wish Eddie the absolute best of luck with whatever is next for him. It’s a new chapter for everyone involved.”

Eddie Alvarez has also released a statement:

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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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What the Hell Do We Make of Bellator 120?


(Because Getty had no images from last night. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney didn’t give out the gate numbers at the post-fight presser, even when asked (which probably means they were bad). And it’s still too early to know how Bellator 120 performed at the box office. So, financially, Bellator’s first PPV can’t definitively be called a success or a failure.

Regarding entertainment value, however, Bellator 120 was a success. There were some pacing issues, yes, but overall the card delivered.

In the first fight, Michael Page did his best Anderson Silva impression, knocking out Ricky Rainey (who’s name was hilariously spelled wrong at the post-fight presser) after taunting him mercilessly. In the next bout, former Bellator heavyweight champ Alexander Volkov scored an upset submission win over Blagoi Ivanov.

Then came Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko. Ortiz was the laughing stock of this card, without a doubt. He was a relic from a bygone era who hadn’t won a fight in three years. His ridiculous pre-fight promos (he promised to make Shlemenko “literally shit himself”) only made him look worse. Shlemenko, on the other hand, was Bellator’s middleweight champ and a stern Russian killer. He’d have no problem with Ortiz despite the considerable size difference, or so the world thought. But Ortiz won the fight. He submitted Shlemenko with an arm-triangle choke in the very first round. Then he gave the worst post-fight interview of all time; he pretended to be Hulk Hogan.

As crazy as Ortiz-Shlemenko was, it wasn’t the emotional high point of the PPV, nor was Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks. Chandler-Brooks was not a particularly anticipated match. In fact, the entire Bellator PPV was centered around the rubber match between Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. When Alvarez withdrew due to a concussion, many thought it meant death for Bellator 120. Will Brooks was thrown in against Chandler, but it was a squash match—or at least that’s what conventional wisdom held. But Brooks upended fans and pundits, beating Chandler via split decision. He was made of sterner stuff than we all gave him credit for.

Then we had the main event, Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo. The fight itself was banal. Mo dominated Rampage with wrestling while Rampage landed a couple of decent shots throughout the fight. It seemed like a pretty easy decision win for King Mo, but the judges didn’t see it that way; they awarded Rampage with a unanimous decision. What happened after the fight was the real draw though. King Mo and Rampage started jaw-jacking. During the Spike TV portion of the broadcast, King Mo accused Bjorn Rebney of “dick riding” Rampage. He didn’t hold in such feelings in his post-fight speech, nor did he silence himself at the post-fight presser. Him and Rampage yelled at each other while the presser stream intermittently died possibly due to the sheer volume of viewers.

So what’s the fallout?

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Bellator 120: Rampage Edges King Mo, Will Brooks Out-Points Michael Chandler

Tonight, Bellator will make its first foray into the PPV market after a botched attempt last year. Bellator 120 was originally scheduled to be main-evented by the rubber match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, but Alvarez recently withdrew due to a concussion. Bellator matched up Chandler with Will Brooks, and bumped King Mo vs. Rampage Jackson into the card’s main event. We’ve also got Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko, Blagoi Ivanov vs. Alexander Volkov, and Michael Page vs. Ricky Rainey.

In this liveblog of Bellator’s first-ever PPV, CagePotato social media kosmonaut and weekend editor Matt Saccaro will be giving you the results for the PPV portion of the fight card, in case you’re too cheap to buy it or don’t have access to it for some reason. He’ll also be posting quick results from the rest of the event, as well as his typical analysis of commercials on the Spike TV portion of the broadcast.

The PPV begins at 10:00 pm EST. The Spike TV preliminaries start at 8:00 pm EST. We’ll start posting results after the jump shortly thereafter. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.

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Eddie Alvarez Discusses His Concussion: “It Feels Like a Squeezing of My Brain” [SCARY]


(A career’s worth of Fight of the Year candidates might be taking their toll on the lightweight veteran. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

Amid all the chaos and gallows humor surrounding Bellator’s wounded pay-per-view offering this coming weekend, one important point is being overlooked — Eddie Alvarez got hit in the head so hard that he had to pull out of a fight. Concussions are a common job-hazard for professional fighters, who take much more cumulative abuse during training than they do in their actual fights. But it’s still relatively rare for a concussion to be so debilitating that it forces a fighter to the sidelines.

On Monday, Alvarez went on MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour to explain exactly what caused the concussion — which he sustained a couple weeks ago while training at the Blackzilians gym in Boca Raton, Florida — and what it feels like to deal with such a serious injury:

“It was during one of [coach] Kenny Monday’s wrestling practices. Me and Abel Trujillo were wrestling. I shot in, he defended like with a hip check, sort of hit me, and I just remember feeling like it was a significant blow. Well, we just kept wrestling and kept going, and there was a couple of exchanges later, I had a separate partner. I had a single-leg, and they pulled out of the single-leg and their heel hit me underneath my chin, and that was only about two or three minutes later after I shot on Abel. So, it was a series of significant hits that I took…

Kenny Monday’s wrestling practice is pretty intense. You normally feel exhausted and dizzy after regardless, so I didn’t know whether just to take it that I was feeling the symptoms because I took a hard shot or I was just tired and exhausted from practice.

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Bellator 119 a Success but Storm Clouds Gather for PPV Prospects


(Via Brian J. D’Souza)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Last night, Bellator 119 was held at Casino Rama in Orillia, a sleepy town about two hours north of Toronto. By some standards, the show was a success—it featured performances by a talented, well-matched card punctuated with Daniel Weichel (33-8) finishing Desmond Green (11-2) via rear naked choke in the second round of the featherweight tournament finale. It was the type of mid-level show that has proved financially sustainable in the gritty dog-eat-dog world of MMA promotions. Regardless of sweeping reports from Sherdog.com and MMAFighting.com that Eddie Alvarez is pulling out of the inaugural Bellator pay-per-view show next week (reports that Bjorn Rebney denied at the post-fight presser), the promotion’soverall prospects for expansion are limited.

On the undercard of Bellator 119, Brazilian featherweight Marlon Sandro faced London, Ontario native Chris Horodecki. Sandro controlled the pace, committing to his strikes and dominating Horodecki to earn the judge’s decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27). At the post-fight presser, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney explained reasons why the bout was intentionally hidden among the untelevised preliminary bouts:

“Ran into some difficult contract situations that came to light in the last 24-48 hours before the fight…we all felt it was a better decision to keep the [Sandro-Horodecki] fight off TV and not exacerbate a bad situation,” said Rebney. “We got a lot of claims coming in from other camps that were claiming an interest in Chris Horodecki. We didn’t want to put him in a horrible spot of receiving a big lawsuit.”

Chris Horodecki has fought in three separate promotions since his last three-fight Bellator stint. If he is still under contract to another promotion, Horodecki needs to question his management for placing him in the precarious lose-lose position of limited exposure and shortchanging Bellator’s TV product.

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Concussion Forces Eddie Alvarez Out of Bellator PPV

Did Dana White study voodoo from Michael Jackson or something? Because Bellator has had worse luck than than nearly any promotion in the history of MMA when it comes to launching a successful PPV.

In case the headline didn’t tip you off, Eddie Alvarez is out of Bellator 120—the promotion’s second attempt to break into the PPV market. His rubber match with Michael Chandler will have to wait.

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Ranking All Nine Fights on the Bellator PPV Card, By My Interest Level

By Seth Falvo

To surprisingly little reaction this weekend, Bellator announced that the lineup for Bellator 120: Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 — also known as the promotion’s first pay-per-view event — has been set. (Bellator 120 goes down Saturday, May 17th, at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.) Don’t worry, Bellator has clearly learned from their whole “plan a pay-per-view around two old guys and some fading UFC castoffs” phase. But are there enough intriguing, quality fights on this lineup to justify paying for a Bellator event? Let’s look over the fight card and determine for ourselves.

All nine of the fights for Bellator 120 — four Spike preliminaries, five main card contests — have been ranked solely by my interest in watching them. If you disagree, feel free to write some terrible things about me in the comments section. I look forward to ignoring them.

(Main Card) Lightweight Championship Bout: Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. Michael Chandler

I don’t think either fighter is even capable of a boring match, much less a boring match against each other. I could type paragraph after paragraph on how their first two encounters resulted in two of the greatest fights in our sport’s history, and how…oh why am I even trying to pretend that I’m not going to insert an Al Bundy GIF and move along to the next fight:

(Preliminary Card) Lightweight Tournament Final: Marcin Held vs. Patricky Pitbull

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Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 Is Happening, And It May Headline a Bellator Pay Per View


(Photo via Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

The rivalry between Bellator lightweights Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler has already produced a 2011 Fight of the Year candidate and Bellator’s most-watched broadcast of all time. It would be insane if the promotion didn’t try to pair these two up for a rubber-match in 2014. So yeah, that’s happening.

On Friday, Bellator revealed that Alvarez and Chandler are already filming promos for the fight, which doesn’t have an official date or venue at this point. Shortly afterwards, MMAFighting published a video interview with Alvarez, in which the Bellator 155-pound champ told Ariel Helwani that he believed the fight would headline a pay-per-view card:

We weren’t able to do the first one on pay-per-view, and I definitely want to headline a pay-per-view card, and we get an opportunity to do that. What better way to do that than to have one of the best trilogies in MMA history? Why not fight the guy three times, four times, five times? Who cares? It’s a hell of a fight every time.”

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Bellator Faces a Pivotal Crossroad Heading Into the Next Season


(The high point for Bellator. Photo via Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

By Matt Saccaro

The ninth season of Bellator demonstrated what the Viacom-owned promotion is capable of when it’s given a platform on a stable, popular network—but can what season nine showed us elevate Bellator to the top while simultaneously revitalizing the stagnating MMA market in the United States?

It’s tough to tell, though we can glean a semblance of an answer when we look at an event that was simultaneously the high point and low point for Bellator during its ninth season: Bellator 106, the PPV that wasn’t. The card encapsulated everything that was right and wrong with Bellator.

What was wrong:

-Focusing on well-past-their-prime talent—Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz—and the “these guys used to be in the UFC” marketing line in order to sell a PPV. The cancellation of the PPV because Ortiz suffered yet another injury.

-The conclusion of the knock-off Ultimate Fighter, “Fight Master,” being won by Joe Riggs, another peaked-in-the-mid-2000s, ex-UFC fighter.

-The dubious interim title fight between King Mo and Emanuel Newton that defied the “title shots are earned and not given” mantra that made Bellator special.

What was right:

-Bellator’s homegrown talent like Michael Chandler, Daniel Straus, and Pat Curran being proudly put on display for the MMA world to see.

-Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez was one of the best fights of the year.

-The card being free on Spike TV meant it was the most-viewed in the promotion’s history with 1.1 million viewers.

These takeaways from Bellator 106 can be applied to the promotion’s efforts as a whole.

Bellator’s reliance on ex-UFC fighters in concerning. Rampage drew the second-highest ratings in Bellator history with 793,000 viewers in his fight against Joey Beltran, but banking on older, expensive fighters isn’t sustainable. At 35 years old, Rampage has a limited time left in the sport. The same goes for 38-year-old Tito Ortiz, who hasn’t even fought for Bellator yet since he can’t stay healthy. Placing the weight of a promotion’s future on surgically reconstructed knees and necks is a terrible idea.

Bellator apologists might argue that Rampage and Tito were brought in to garner the casual fan’s attention and in doing so promote the lesser-known, Bellator-made fighters…

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