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Tag: Marius Zaromskis

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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Bellator 86 Recap: Askren Finishes (!) Amoussou, King Mo Squashes Other Dude, Fancy Flips Can’t Save Zaromskis


(Sorry Ben, I don’t think we can count those as “significant strikes.” GIF via ZombieProphet/BloodyElbow)

For the first time since his controversial technical submission of Ryan Thomas during his Bellator debut three years ago, Ben Askren has finished an opponent. Sure, it was one of those sort-of-assisted finishes where the doctor steps in between rounds to wave the fight off, but let’s not take anything anything away from Funky Ben, here: The undefeated Bellator welterweight champion smashed the living dog-poop out of Karl Amoussou for three full rounds last night, and might have permanently injured him had the fight gone on any longer.

It was a prototypical performance from Askren, who spent most of the fight on top of Amoussou, throwing down punches and elbows. Still, there seemed to be a greater sense of urgency from the champ in this fight, a little more intention with his strikes. He slashed open a cut above Amoussou’s eye with an elbow in the first round, and by the end of round three, Amoussou’s left eye was swollen shut and his face was a wet canvas of blood. The fight was mercifully stopped before the fourth round could begin, giving Askren a well-deserved TKO victory.

“I told you guys that it was just a matter of time before my hands got some power in them,” Askren said after the fight. “I dominate positionally, and my hands [have] power too. Welterweights anywhere in the world better watch out, I’m coming.” Askren’s next challenge will likely be the winner of this season’s welterweight tournament, which produced four semifinalists last night…

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Ohio Athletic Commission to Review Horrifyingly Late Stoppage of Zaromskis/Koreshkov at Bellator 78


(More frightening than anything you’ll see this Halloween. Gif courtesy of Zombie Prophet.) 

Although it was marginally overlooked in our weekend wrap-up of the event, you guys might have heard that Marius Zaromskis was nearly ground into a fine white powder by the fists of Andrey Koreshkov in their co-main event matchup at Bellator 78 this past weekend. Despite the fact that referee Jerry Poe was literally watching the action from the perfect angle, he apparently suffered a case of sudden onset blindness at the worst possible moment, allowing Koreshkov to reign down some 11 unanswered blows — which were each fight-ending power strikes in and of themselves — before calling a stop the fight. It made Josh Rosenthal’s stoppage of Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz look like Rick Fike’s stoppage of Aaron Riley vs. Shane Nelson 1. Word has it that even Steve Mazzagatti started screaming “Wake the fuck up ref!” at his television during the fight. Needless to say, people were pissed.

But we can rest assured for the time being, because Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato recently told BloodyElbow that the fight was “under review.” While we truly appreciate that notion on behalf of the fighters, we’re not exactly sure what potential punishments could arise from a review (although an attempted manslaughter charge for Poe seems appropriate) or how they could be carried out.

The problem is, we’ve seen these kinds of referee blunders go unpunished before — as will likely be the case in this instance — so it almost begs one to ask what exactly a referee has to do (or not do) in order to be held accountable for their decisions.

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Bellator 78 Results: Good, Koreshkov Advance to Welterweight Finals

When I managed to speak to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney after Bellator 69 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he spoke very highly of welterweight prospect Andrey Koreshkov, who had just improved to 10-0 that evening.  The twenty-two year old Russian fighter earned a spot in this season’s welterweight tournament, where he would quietly improve to 11-0 at Bellator 74 with a unanimous decision over Jordan Smith. At last night’s Bellator 78, Koreshkov looked to make a name for himself against Marius Zaromskis in the tournament semifinals.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about the main event of the evening. Former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good took the next step towards earning the title back with a second round TKO over Michail Tsarev, although he arguably could not have picked up a more unimpressive victory. This isn’t to say that Good looked bad up until that point -he didn’t – but because the stoppage was, frankly, cheap. Good accidentally poked Tsarev in the eye in the middle of the second round, causing Tsarev to turn to the referee looking for time out. It looked like the referee was about to call for a break in the action, but Lyman Good pounced on “The Lonely Wolf.” The TKO victory was awarded to Good shortly afterwards.

Video of the main event, as well as Koreshkov’s victory, is after the jump

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Knockout of the Day: The Somersault Axe Kick Has Finally Been Mastered


(When Bruno Carvalho told Marius Zaromskis about his secret foot fetish as a child, he never expected that it would be used against him some twenty years later.)

When you’ve followed MMA for as long as we have, you can’t help but often feel as if you’ve seen it all in terms of striking techniques in the ring. Sure, every now again some dude will nearly cartwheel kick some other dude’s face off, or springboard off the cage and almost kick some dude’s face off, but for the most part, it’s your standard display of roundhouse kicks, knees, and punches that do most of the damage come fight night (not that we’re complaining).

Until you come upon the somersault kick, that is, as demonstrated by Marius Zaromskis in the above video. You see, the somersault kick is a move so dangerous, so batshit insane, that you’d have to be high on bath salts to even consider attempting to pull it off. Hence why it was first popularized by Harold Howard and has been responsible for over 453 deaths worldwide since 1998.

So you’ll forgive us for acting a bit hysterical while delivering this news, but it appears as if someone out there was not only crazy enough to attempt this maneuver in competition on two separate occasions over the course of a month, but successfully landed the kick both times, knocking out both of his opponents in the process.

Those knockouts are after the jump.

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Bellator 74 On-the-Scene Report: MMA’s Scrappy #2 Tries Its Luck in Atlantic City


(Bellator 74 video highlights, via YouTube.com/BellatorMMA)

By Sean Cunningham

Pride Fighting Championships. International Fight League. Affliction. M-1 Global. As each rival organization has been gobbled up or at least driven from American shores, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has inched closer to ensuring that in this land, “MMA” means “UFC.” The only thing standing between them and total North American domination is Bellator Fighting Championships. Bellator currently airs fights on MTV2 and in 2013 will shift to Spike TV, the cable network where the UFC dwelled before leaving for plush new Fox Network accommodations. With the UFC going through some growing pains — witness the cancellation of UFC 151 and UFC President Dana White calling his most promising star’s trainer a “sport killer” — it seems a perfect time to check in on the competition.

My girlfriend Maggie and I attended Bellator 74 at Caesars in Atlantic City. In general, Bellator treads a less-glamorous path than their rival, with upcoming events at Hammond, Indiana; Windsor, Ontario; Reading, Pennsylvania; Dayton, Ohio; and Rama, Ontario, while the UFC journeys to Minneapolis, Seattle, and Montreal and leaves the continent entirely for Rio de Janeiro and Macau. Atlantic City is common ground for both promotions, with Bellator holding multiple events there yearly and the UFC having returned in June after a seven-year absence. (Incidentally, with the rise of gambling in neighboring states causing local gaming revenue to plummet from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $3.3 billion in 2011, A.C. needs every MMA event possible.)

Growing up in Nevada and New Jersey, I attended a good number of casino fights. (It was a deeply wholesome childhood, filled with apple picking, fireflies, and demanding that the cocktail waitress bring me a Long Island iced tea while the dice were still hot.) The fights were divided into two categories: mega-bouts and ballroom events. Bellator 74 was a ballroom event, meaning a ring was assembled in the middle of a ballroom, chairs were put around the ring, and there you are.

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Bellator 72 Recap: Amoussou Takes Tournament, Zaromskis vs. Spiritwolf Finally Ends Without Controversy

Yes, the headline is 100% accurate. Perhaps the third time really is a charm, as Marius Zaromskis and Wachiim Spiritwolf finally had a fight last night that didn’t end with an eye poke just seconds into the fight or a highly questionable stoppage. We know, we’re just as excited as you are.

But first, let’s go over the tournament bouts. In the evening’s main event, judo black belt Karl Amoussou made quick work of Jackson MMA’s Bryan “The Beast” Baker. After an early accidental eye poke from Baker, the two traded blows throughout the opening frame. Then, after a failed Super KickTM from Baker, Amoussou locked in a nasty heel hook that earned the submission just fifty six seconds into the bout. Seriously, that’s how this one ended. Take a look:

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Video Tribute: The Eight Most Insane Moments in DREAM History


(“You’ll never get me Lucky Charms!”)

For nearly four years, the Japanese MMA promotion DREAM did its best to carry the mantle of PRIDE, presenting the same mix of top international talent and freak-show comic relief, all inside of a traditional ring, rather than a filthy American cage. But we were hit with some sad news this weekend as multiple sources reported that DREAM has ceased day-to-day operations, and will no longer be producing events. So as we like to do when great MMA traditions die, let’s take a look back at some of the fights that made this promotion so unique, so entertaining, and so balls-out insane…

#8: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef
DREAM.4, 6/15/08 

Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s fame was partly based on his willingness to absorb damage from larger fighters, the level of savagery that Melvin Manhoef inflicted on him during their meeting at the Yokohama Arena probably should have convinced Saku to walk away from the sport. The moment when Manhoef drags Saku away from the ropes by his leg so he can dive in to continue the assault (see the 2:43 mark above) remains one of DREAM’s most indelible and brutal moments.

#7: Shinya Aoki vs. dumb-ass gaijin
DREAM.7, 3/8/09

Another tradition that DREAM inherited from PRIDE? Absurd mismatches. At the time of this fight, Aoki was widely considered to be a top-3 lightweight, while Gardner was an obscure 13-7 journeyman who was coming off a loss to Brian Cobb. Aoki’s domination on the mat was no surprise, but the fight became legendary for how it ended. Stuck with Aoki on his back, Gardner took advantage of a brief pause in the action — and the near-silence in the Saitama Super Arena — to wave to the crowd and shout “Hello Japan!” Aoki immediately wrapped up Gardner’s neck and choked him out, causing the crowd to break out in laughter and Bas Rutten to cry “Oh my God it is so dumb! So dumb! Why?!” Some things just can’t be explained, Bas.

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Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis Scheduled for a Third Inconclusive Bout at Bellator 72

Just look at these two–like a couple of wild dogs you can’t keep apart.

With two bouts and two unsatisfying stoppages already under their belts, Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis are slated to once more climb into a cage and go through the motions of fighting before a freak injury leaves the viewing audience with a massive case of blue balls.

The pair first locked horns at Strikeforce Challengers 12, where an inadvertent eyepoke just seconds into the fight left Spiritwolf unable to continue. The duo reloaded and clashed once more a few weeks back at Bellator 68, where cageside doctors would call a halt to the bout between the second and third frames due to a cut between Spiritwolf’s eyebrows.

With one ‘No Contest’ and one questionable tally in the win column for Zaromskis, Spiritwolf will have his chance to settle the score on July 20th at Bellator 72.

After the jump, season six Welterweight tournament finalists will tie up loose ends as well…

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Bellator 68: Fight Vids & Recap


seven by JMMANow

Spiritwolf vs Zaromskis (courtesy of IronForgesIron.com)

The fighters in Bellator may not get the same respect and acclaim as their Zuffa-based brethren, but at least they have video evidence to back up their wild fight stories. Season six of our favorite Friday night fights marched on last night, and here’s how it all went down.

The rematch between Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis was far more eventful than their initial clash, though the ending was just as unsatisfying. After spending the opening minutes pressed against the cage, Zaromskis took advantage of the space created by a ‘Tan’ Dan Miragliotta break to land a backward elbow that opened a small vertical cut between Spiritwolf’s brows. The Native American responded with a slam, but Zaromskis was immediately back to his feet. The pair spent the remainder of the round tightly clinched with Spiritwolf working very hard for short-lived takedowns. Round two looked less promising for Waachiim, who had missed weight the day before. He showed signs of fatigue early on and had trouble finding the clinch at the end of his lunging punches. Zaromskis backed him up with a series of knees and kicks to the head, but a bloodied Spiritwolf responded with a torrent of heavy hands that forced the wobbled Lithuanian to retreat. Spritwolf downed him with another punch and closed out the final two minutes of the frame on top, trying to land finishing blows through Zaromskis tight defense.

Unfortunately, the battle would end on the stools and not the canvas…

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