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Tag: Mark Godbeer

Bellator 102 Aftermath: The End of The Road


(Cheick Kongo relaxing before his fight, presumably listening to high-quality audio of groin shots. / Screen-cap via Chris Nelson)

After nine years in the UFC, Cheick Kongo found himself fighting for another promotion last night. The French heavyweight probably found the experience a little disconcerting, and yet entirely familiar. The cage was there, there was a man inside it, and he was tasked with disposing of him. Yet there is something less about the entire experience for a fighter competing in a lower-tier organization, deprived of the possibility of reaching the glory he once sought. For Kongo and fellow UFC cast-off Lavar Johnson, Friday’s Bellator 102 event in Visalia, California, was the beginning of the end of the road. Both are fighters on the way down, fighting not for what they once strove for, but simply because this is what they know how to do. It’s rarely a road that ends well. All they can hope for is to reclaim the one thing that doesn’t change —  the euphoria of victory. Because if you can’t get that, what’s the point anymore?

Kongo was, at least, able to make the best of his opportunity against Mark “The Hand of” Godbeer. His most formidable challenge on the night came from his pre-fight water bottle. Unfortunately, Godbeer wasn’t capable of offering such a test. If there’s one thing Kongo is known for, it’s probably his knee strikes. If there’s another thing he’s known for, it’s probably that those knee strikes tend to find his opponent’s testicles a little too often. Fortunately for almost everyone involved, Kongo managed to keep himself in Cheick tonight. (I’m so sorry.) He battered Godbeer with knees from the clinch throughout the fight, and finished him in the second round with a monster right knee followed by an uppercut against the fence. Able to stave off the reaper for another few months, Kongo advances into the next round of Bellator’s heavyweight tournament.

The same can’t be said for Lavar “Big” Johnson. Cast aside from the UFC for failing a drug test — to say nothing of possessing one of the least imaginative nicknames in a sport rife with them — Johnson was essentially fed his opponent Vinicius “Spartan” Queiroz in his Bellator debut upon returning from his suspension. The expectation was that Johnson, a one-dimensional heavy-hitter, would have no problem dispatching Queiroz in a spectacularly violent fashion. Queiroz, it was reasoned, could offer trouble on the ground, but the fight wouldn’t last long enough to get there. If you’re familiar with ironic foreshadowing, you’ve probably figured out what happens next.

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Bellator News Roundup: Cheick Kongo’s Debut Opponent Announced, Why Joe Warren Was Medically Ineligible for Saturday’s Card, And The Arm Collector Retires


(Step 1: Pretend that you’ve suddenly gone blind. Step 2: Hope that Cheick Kongo takes pity on you. Step 3: ???. Step 4: Profit. / Mark Godbeer photo via Sherdog)

I’m sure Jared won’t be reading this post, but for those of you who still care about Bellator, listen up:

New Bellator heavyweight/recent UFC castoff Cheick Kongo has gotten his first booking in the circular cage. Bellator has confirmed that Kongo will meet Mark Godbeer at Bellator 101, September 27th in Portland. Yes, “Mark Godbeer” sounds like a made-up name. But apparently he’s a real guy with a punny nickname and an 8-1 record earned on the UK circuit.

The 6’4″ 29-year-old last competed at BAMMA 9 in March 2012, where he scored a corner-stoppage TKO victory against Catalin Zmarandescu. Godbeer was scheduled to make his Bellator debut against Ron Sparks last October, but a back injury put him out of action. None of Godbeer’s fights have lasted past the second round. Alright, so he’s not world-class, but Bellator could have done worse for Kongo’s first victim Bellator. Then again, those 18 months of ring rust won’t be doing the Brit any favors.

— We now have an actual explanation for Joe Warren being declared medically unfit to compete at Saturday’s Bellator 98 card against Nick Kirk. According to an MMAFighting report, Warren was recently knocked out during sparring, and Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulations commissioner Mike Mazzulli canceled the bout after seeing the medical report. Though Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney wouldn’t confirm the reason behind Warren’s withdrawal from this weekend’s event, he did say that the Fight Master coach could be off suspension within 2-3 weeks.

Knockouts during MMA training sessions are an unfortunately common occurrence — especially when puppies are on the line — but the fact that this happened so close to the event should raise concerns. Was this just a freak accident? Considering the brutal KO’s that Warren has previously suffered against Alexis Vila and Pat Curran, you have to wonder if his chin (and brain) are starting to deteriorate to the point where he can’t even make it through a friendly sparring session without getting shut off.

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