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Tag: Eddie Alvarez

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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Friday Link Dump: Why the UFC’s 205-Pound Division Is in Trouble, Why Giorgio Petrosyan Is the Best, Bacon Recipes + More


(Eddie Alvarez drops some truth about “The Knockout Game.” / Props: Jamie Alvarez via Reddit)

The UFC’s Light Heavyweight Division Is in Disarray and Showing Little Sign of Improvement (BloodyElbow)

Ricardo Lamas Betrays All New Yorkers, Claims Sbarro Has The Best Pizza (Fightlinker)

What Does MMA Do to the Human Brain? One Study Searches for Answers (MMAJunkie)

The Finest Striker on the Planet: Giorgio Petrosyan (BleacherReport)

Holy crap. This is the most hardcore loss-prevention policy I’ve ever seen. (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

UFC President Dana White Returns to Boxing With ‘The Fighters’ (MMAFighting)

The 20 Best Bacon Recipes Ever (HiConsumption)

Heisman Horrors: 10 Sketchy Winners (MadeMan)

NBA Coaches and Their Hip-Hop Producer Equivalents (Complex)

20 Ghetto Fabulous Glamour Shots (WorldWideInterweb)

Norman Reedus: The Walking Man (MensFitness)

Hotties in the Wild (DoubleViking)

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CagePotato Roundtable #28: What Is the Most Underrated Fight of All Time?


(McCullough vs. Cerrone: a great fight overshadowed by the shitstorm that was Filho vs. Sonnen II. / Photo via Getty)

In today’s CagePotato Roundtable we’re talking underrated fights — fights that deserve to be remembered as some of the best our sport has to offer, yet are rarely even brought up during the discussion. Obviously, Fight of the Year winners are disqualified from this list, and UFC Fight of the Night winners have been strongly discouraged from inclusion. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Jared Jones

Until their recent rematch truly helped bring to light how incredible their first encounter was, I would argue that Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler at Bellator 58 was the most criminally underrated fight in MMA History. It wasn’t difficult to see why; the fight just happened to transpire on the same night that Dan Henderson defeated Mauricio Rua in a “Because PRIDE” classic at UFC 139, and being that Bellator plays Wes Mantooth to the UFC’s Ron Burgundy, Alvarez vs. Chandler was sadly overshadowed by its manlier, more mustachioed counterpart.

Contrary to popular opinion, however, I would additionally argue that Alvarez vs. Chandler surpasses Hendo vs. Rua in terms of pure excitement, and I say that as a guy who dug PRIDE more than Seth digs TNA Impact. For one, there was more than pride on the line for Chandler and Alvarez, there was a lightweight title. Sure, it was a Bellator lightweight title, but that’s worth like three MFC titles, dudes. And while Hendo vs. Rua was a goddamn barnburner in its own right, it never quite reached the fever pitch of the first round of Chandler vs. Alvarez.

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[VIDEO] The ‘Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez’ of Amateur MMA Fights

I’m not sure where or how I stumbled across this video last night, because the life of a drunkblogger is one filled with empty memories (also: shame), but I’ll be damned if it isn’t the greatest amatuer fight I have ever seen. That it takes place in one of those smaller weight classes where nothing exciting ever happens is just the icing on the cake.

What you need to know: Our fighters are Ashley Reece and Martin Chester. The event is Full Contact Contender 8. Chester is the guy that looks “more British.” He is also the promotion’s lightweight champion. Ashley is a girl’s name.

There’s something in the water at 155 pounds, you guys. Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler fight like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Rustam Khabilov be throwing spinning shit, and now this happens. Next thing you know, these crazy lightweight fuckers will be jumping off the cage and ninja-kicking other dudes in the face.

-J. Jones

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‘Chandler vs. Alvarez 2′ Pulls 1.1 Million Viewers For Largest Audience in Bellator History


(The shot of the year, from a different angle. Photo via Facebook.com/mstracylee)

It’s official: Bellator’s canceled pay-per-view was the greatest thing that ever happened to the promotion. (Called it!) According to a press release distributed today by Spike TV, Bellator 106: Chandler vs. Alvarez 2 delivered 1.1 million average viewers during the Spike telecast, which made it the most-watched event in Bellator history and the most watched mixed martial arts show on television this fall. As the release goes on to explain:

The “Chandler-Alvarez II” fight card peaked at 1.4 million viewers at 11:17pm and reached its high mark with Men 18-49 with a 1.1 rating for the Alvarez-Chandler bout. The telecast also ranked #2 in cable in its timeslot with Men 18-49.

For fans who missed the fight, or who recorded it but the end was cut off due to the extraordinary length of the event, Spike TV will replay the Chandler-Alvarez II main event bout on Friday, November 8 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The replay will lead into a live Bellator event featuring heavyweights Cheick Kongo vs. Peter Graham and a co-feature with lightweight contenders Joe Warren and Travis Marx.

Note to Bellator: Don’t brag about the “extraordinary length” of your event. That shit was nearly four hours long, and people almost died out here. (It’s worth noting that the audience peaked well before the main event had even begun.) On the plus side, it must feel amazing for Bellator to clown the UFC with that “most watched mixed martial arts show on television this fall” line, especially at a time when the UFC is probably kind of sensitive about that sort of thing.

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Caption Contest: Win an Official Kazushi Sakuraba T-Shirt From Scramble!


(Image courtesy of Scramble. Buy the shirt for $44.99 right here, or £29.99 for our Euro-homies.)

Even today, the name “Saku” can induce feelings of euphoria in old-school MMA fans. Arguably the most important Japanese fighter in the sport’s history, Kazushi Sakuraba‘s fight career embodied the twin virtues of virtuosic creativity and never-say-die gameness. He is, was, and forever will be a legend. And now, you can buy his t-shirt.

Our friends at Scramble have kicked off an official collaboration with Sakuraba, beginning with the t-shirt you see above. Made with Saku’s full cooperation and blessing, the super soft 100% washed cotton shirts feature his stylized “KS” logo on the front — which he’s been rocking on his shorts since his PRIDE days — and the back of the shirt also sports several references to Sakuraba’s nicknames, including IQ Wrestler, Gracie Hunter, and 39. It’s pretty frickin’ sweet to be honest. If you want one for yourself, buy it here…or, take your chances with this week’s caption contest.

After the jump is a Photo of the Year candidate from this weekend’s Alvarez/Chandler rematch that reminded me of Saku just for its sheer bloodiness. Come up with a clever caption and submit it to the comments section of this post by Thursday night at midnight PT. The three best captions will all win a Sakuraba t-shirt, courtesy of Scramble. We’ll announce the results on Friday. Let us know if you have any questions, and good luck!

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Report: “Crusher” Kawajiri to Make UFC Debut Against Hacran Dias in Singapore


(Photo by Anton Tabuena/BloodyElbow)

If a new report from FightSport Asia is accurate, Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri will indeed make his Octagon debut at the UFC’s January 4th card in Singapore (aka UFC Fight Night 34). Carrying a 4-0 record since dropping to featherweight in 2011, the 35-year-old “Crusher” will face off against Hacran Dias, the Nova Uniao product who has gone 1-1 in the UFC’s 145-pound division. The fight will mark Kawajiri’s second fight in Singapore, following his first-round submission of Donald Sanchez at ONE FC: War of the Lions in March.

Kawajiri has been inactive for all of 2013, but longtime MMA fans will surely remember his appearances in PRIDE and Dream, including the classic wars he had against Eddie Alvarez and Takanori Gomi. We’ve placed both those fights after the jump for your enjoyment. UFC Fight Night 34 is slated to go down at the Marina Bay Sands in Marina Bay, Singapore, and will likely be headlined by Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine.

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Post-Bellator 106 News Roundup: Bjorn Rebney Plans Another PPV, Alvarez Tweets Picture of F*cked Up Eye, and More


(The purple hue really brings out the chestnut color of Alvarez’s eyebrows. / via twitter)

The best Sundays are post-event Sundays. There’s tons of great articles to read about the valiant, violent displays of physical fortitude that occurred the night before.

Usually, there’s not enough interest in a Bellator card to warrant a slew of interesting sound bites and pictures. But Bellator 106 was different. Bellator 106 was the canceled PPV that became one of the most important free, non-UFC televised cards in MMA history. Let’s look at some of the fallout, the crucial and the just plain cool.

Dana White, predictably, had nothing positive to say about Bellator 106 (but that’s not just because he’s a jerk; the show really wasn’t that great). Bjorn Rebney responded to Dana’s comments about karmic justice like a shady Winnebago salesman, saying “If karma is that we just put on the best mixed martial arts fight I’ve ever seen, that’s karma I’ll take big boatloads of.”

Rebney had some other important statements. He pessimistically dismissed the future of Bellator’s “Ultimate Fighter” knockoff “Fight Master.” Typical of post-Viacom buyout Bellator, Rebney didn’t do this without taking a shot at the UFC.

“Reality fight TV is having its difficulties now. You can see it in the UFC’s ratings, they’re having the lowerst-rated TUF they’ve had in the history of the show,” he said (he was right, by the way).

Read about Bellator’s next PPV, King Mo’s surprising salary, and more after the jump.

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Bellator 106 Recap: Alvarez Edges Chandler, Newton Picks Apart King Mo, Riggs Becomes The “Fight Master”


(Photo via Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

Bellator should be thankful that this card never made it to PPV; the main event was incredible but paying $45 for the rest of the card would’ve turned people off to Bellator for life.

The night started off promising. Mike “The Marine” Richman met Akop Stepanyan and won via TKO in the first round. The match was well fought and exciting.

The same couldn’t be said for the next fight on the card: Joe Riggs vs. Mike Bronzoulis. The two men fought for the honor of being Bellator’s first “Fight Master” winner, a title as dubious as being the first XFL champion. Riggs won a wrestling-heavy decision that sedated the crowd and likely had television audience flipping channels.

Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus, the first of three title fights on the card, followed Riggs-Bronzoulis. This fight didn’t wow viewers either. There were a few spurts of action — as well as a point-deduction for an illegal knee that essentially KO’d Straus in the third round — but it was a generally lackluster affair that saw Straus take Curran’s featherweight title and in doing so avenge his 2009 loss to Curran.

But Straus wasn’t the only fighter looking to avenge a loss at Bellator 106. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal sought victory over Emanuel Newton, who humiliated Lawal with a spinning backfist knockout back at Bellator 90. Lawal failed in this task.

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