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

Tag: Marcin Held

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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Bellator 117 Results: Lima Batters Hawn’s Leg to Become Bellator Welterweight Champion

Bellator crowned a new welterweight champion at Bellator 117, and also determined who’d fight in the finals of the season 10 lightweight tournament. In case you missed the fisticuffs, here’s our recap:

Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Derek Campos

This lightweight tournament semifinal started with some feeling out. A flying knee from Pitbull missed its mark, as did a spinning back kick from Campos. Midway through the round, Pitbull landed a sick hook to the liver followed up by a hook to the head–easily the best combo of the round at that point. Shortly after this, a brawl ensued against the cage. Campos landed some jabs, Freire landed a knee and a right hand. They reset, but then Campos pressured Freire again, landing quite a few shots. Campos’ success continued until the end of the first round; he started to get the better of every exchange while Pitbull looked slow and uninterested.

Campos’ luck ran out in the second round. Pitbull tagged him with a nasty right hand that floored him. Campos managed to rise to his feet only to be floored yet again. Pitbull mounted him and finished him with ground and pound when Campos rolled over onto his stomach and covered up. What a comeback.

Freire will be fighting the winner of Marcin Held vs. Derek Anderson in the lightweight tournament finals.

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Bellator 113 Results: Newton Edges Vegh, “Pitbull” Freire Buries “Caveman” Rickels

Much to Bellator’s dismay, their light heavyweight title belongs to someone not named Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal; Emanuel Newton bested Attila Vegh in a lackluster decision at Bellator 113 to unify the light heavyweight strap. The first round of Bellator’s season 10 lightweight tournament took place at Bellator 113 too.

But the first notable event of the night happened on the prelims. A bout between journeymen Daniel Gallemore and Fredrick Brown ended with one of the worst stoppages in MMA history. Gallemore elbowed Brown, putting him out on his feet. After a few punches from Gallemore, Brown faceplanted. At this point, Brown was clearly “done” but referee Chuck Wolfe allowed about a dozen more blows to land before he had seen enough. It was despicable, to say the least. See for yourself (GIF via @ZProphet_MMA)

Other preliminary card events of importance: Derek Anderson kneed Brandon Girtz’s head into the rafters in the night’s first lightweight tournament quarterfinal. Former WEC standout LC Davis was scheduled to fight on the prelims, but his fight was moved to after the main card. At the time of writing, the results of this fight aren’t available. We’ll update the article when they are.

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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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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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Bellator 93 Recap: Dave Jansen and Michael Page Earn Victories in Night of Quick Stoppages, Controversy


(Michael Page vs. Ryan Sanders — strong front-runner for Phantom Punch of 2013. Props: videosei.)

Despite losing some of its star power due to injuries, last night’s Bellator 93 event in Lewiston, Maine, turned out to be a mostly-satisfying affair, with eight of the ten scheduled matches ending within the first-round, and three ending within the first 20 seconds. But two unfortunate moments cast a shadow on the event.

First off, Michael Page‘s hotly-anticipated Bellator debut ended with a 10-second KO victory over Ryan Sanders, as the flashy British striker caught Sanders with a straight right as his victim was charging in…or so it seemed. Upon closer inspection, there was something a little fishy about the stoppage. Watch the replays in the video above, and you’ll see that Page either barely touched Sanders, or didn’t touch him at all. At any rate, the strike didn’t seem to justify the reaction of Sanders, who immediately flopped to the mat, clutching his head in agony. He was back on his feet moments later, looking somewhat disappointed. We’re not going to accuse Bellator of some vast conspiracy; it’s more likely that Sanders simply didn’t want to be there. And unfortunately, he may have robbed us of the opportunity to see Page produce another classic no-walk-off knockout.

Speaking of let-downs, the guaranteed barnburner between Marcus Davis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf ended in a no-contest in the first round, after Davis nailed Spiritwolf with a knee to the groin; Spiritwolf couldn’t continue after the foul. (Sound familiar?) Though the Lewiston crowd chanted “Bullshit!” and booed Spiritwolf in an apparent indictment of his bitchassness, there was nothing fake about that low-blow. Check out the GIF below, via BloodyElbow

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Four Reasons to Be Moderately Excited for Tonight’s Bellator 93 Event

Since switching to the “Thursday Night Fights” format, Bellator has been consistently cranking out high quality fight cards that often compensate for their lack of name value with exciting finishes and entertaining brawls to boot. Then again, with all of their biggest starts consistently underperforming, Bellator’s cards often live and die by the performances of their lesser known fighters. Tonight’s Bellator 93 card is no different, featuring a slew of relative unknowns and up-and-comers that are all but guaranteed to deliver in terms of entertainment. Here’s why you should be watching when they do…

1. Michael. F’in. Page. 

Despite his short time in the sport, Michael “Venom” Page might just be the most hyped fighter currently outside of the UFC. At just 3-0, the British phenom has already drawn comparisons to Jimi Manuwa and even Anderson Silva for his flashy yet devastating style of striking. Just check out the above video of Page clowning Ben Dishman in his professional debut (fight starts at the 3 minute mark) and tell us that the sky isn’t the limit for this kid. On the heels of a doctor stoppage TKO victory at Super Fight League 7, Page will be taking on relative unknown Ryan Sanders, who has dropped three of his past four fights. Yeah, this is not going to end well for him. But it probably will for fans of horrifying knockouts.

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‘No Love’ No More: Rich Clementi Retires From MMA Due to Injuries Suffered in Bellator Loss


(Clementi tangles with Melvin Guillard at UFC 79, a fight that concluded with an infamous rear-naked teabagging. Photo via CombatLifestyle.com)

After a 13-year, 68-fight professional MMA career, lightweight grappling specialist Rich “No Love” Clementi announced on Monday that he has retired from competition. Best known for his ten-fight stint in the UFC and appearance on TUF 4, Clementi most recently competed in Bellator’s Season 7 Lightweight Tournament, where he lost a toe-hold war to Marcin Held in the semis last Friday. And according to this Sherdog report, the aftermath of Clementi’s loss to Held was the biggest motivating factor in his decision to walk away from the sport:

Clementi told Sherdog.com that his left ankle had been injured for about two years before Held cranked on it in both the first and second rounds, with the final submission attempt also damaging his knee. Clementi recently underwent an MRI and says he will need to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

“My tendons are ripped on the outside of my foot, and because they have been stretched for so long, my socket is pitted and will have to be filled and repaired, as well,” Clementi told Sherdog. “I didn’t know, but I also found out I had ACL failure on the knee I had surgery on a few years back. [I will have a] 12- to 14-month recovery.”

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In Case You Missed It: Marcin Held Tapped Rich Clementi With a Toe Hold at Bellator 81 [VIDEO]


(The Simpsons Imanari did it!) 

Catch it while it’s still up, Taters.

Although most of us were too busy watching the resurgence of one Georges St. Pierre last weekend to even realize that a Bellator event was happening, well, a Bellator event totally happened last weekend. In the evening’s main event, UFC veteran Rich Clementi squared off against rising prospect Marcin Held in the lightweight tournament semifinals.

The match was rife with the kind of grappling exchanges that could make a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fan out of Seth Davis (although ironically, the amount of heel hook attempts alone in this fight would have given Rousimar Palhares an erection so strong that he would have had to hate-fuck your Mom’s cankles like a dog in heat to quell it), but it was the finishing toe hold that really caught people’s attention. It was undoubtedly the most effective use of the technique we’ve seen since Frank Mir fought Tank Abbott, so check it out before it gets taken down.

With his fifth straight win (fourth in Bellator) under his belt, Held will now face Dave Jansen for the right to meet lightweight champ Michael Chandler — who defeated Held by arm-triangle in Held’s Bellator debut — next.

After the jump: A gif of yet another Bellator referee sleeping on the job and allowing a fighter to absorb way more punishment than necessary, because that’s kind of their thing these days.

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Bellator 77 Recap: Clementi Ruins Sarnavskiy’s Bellator Debut, Advances to Lightweight Semifinals


Highlights from Clementi vs. Sarnavskiy

With no competition from the UFC last night (well, no real competition, at least), Bellator took to the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania to make a statement with Bellator 77. The main card played host to the quarterfinals of this season’s lightweight tournament.

In the evening’s main event, 20-0 Russian lightweight Alexander Sarnavskiy made his Bellator debut against UFC veteran Rich Clementi. Despite his creative, diverse offense, Sarnavskiy struggled early against Clementi, almost succumbing to a rear-naked choke at the end of the first round. Although he would adjust to end up making the fight very close, in the end Clementi won by split-decision. With the victory, Rich Clementi improves to 45-21-1.

In the co-main event, WEC veteran Dave Jansen finished a very game Magomed Saadulaev with a standing arm-in guillotine forty-one seconds into the third round. After a close first round, Jansen spent the second round breaking down Saadulaev with his ground and pound. Video of the entire fight is available after the jump.

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