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Tag: Michael Chandler

Bellator 97 Videos + Results: Chandler Destroys Rickels, Askren Dominates Koreshkov in Far Less Entertaining Fashion


(Video via MMAJunkie)

Maybe one day there will be a Bellator lightweight contender who’s talented enough to defeat champion Michael Chandler — but it ain’t gonna be the dinosaur guy. (No offense.)  Season 8 lightweight tournament winner David Rickels had a good head of steam going into his title challenge against Chandler last night at Bellator 97, with four straight wins including a TKO of Saad Awad back in March. But against a truly world-class lightweight, the Caveman was in way over his head.

As you can see in the video above, Rickels didn’t even have a chance to get started. Chandler swarmed as soon as he staggered Rickels with a right straight, landing more follow-up power shots and diving after Rickels when the challenger hit the mat. In just 44 seconds, Rickels was unconscious and Michael Chandler (now 12-0 overall) had made his second title defense with another fearsome display of killer instinct.

Chandler’s next fight will likely come against Dave Jansen, the Season 7 lightweight tournament winner who hasn’t been able to face Chandler yet due to injury. Jansen is 6-0 in Bellator, and is clearly the most qualified man for the job. And yet, we can’t help but wonder how Chandler would stack up against some of the top 155′ers in the UFC — not like that would ever happen.

Speaking of dominant Bellator champions who could use a higher level of competition…

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FYI: Bellator 97 Goes Down Tonight Featuring Two Title Fights, King Mo

Just a heads up to you non Zuffa-zombies out there: Bellator 97′s preliminary card is already underway on Spike.com (“Come for the fights, stay to watch some drunk, gay club owner order his bartender to play Janet Jackson”). And at 7 p.m. EST, the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque will play host to one hell of a free card to cap off Bellator’s Summer Series. Featuring two title fights in Ben Askren (LET ME FINISH) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (welterweight) and Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels (lightweight) as well as the heavyweight and light heavyweight tournament finals, Bellator 97 is all but guaranteed to deliver its usual blend of carnage and controversy. It is truly the Grand Theft Auto of MMA promotions.

Of course, the main spotlight will be on that of King Mo Lawal, who faces Jacob Noe in the aforementioned LHW finals. On the heels of a brutal, retirement-inducing KO of Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 95, Mo is only a couple wins away from become the first ever light heavyweight and tag team champion in MMA/professional wrestling history. The time of legitimacy and mainstream acceptance is truly upon us, nation.

Bellator 97′s full lineup is after the jump.

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Michael Chandler vs. Dave Jansen Lightweight Title Fight Officially Booked for Bellator 96 in June


(“Don’t worry, Mo, we’re pretty sure your belt just got lost in the mail.”)

On the heels of his first successful title defense over Rick Hawn at Bellator 85, Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler has officially been booked to take on his next challenger at Bellator 96, which goes down from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma on June 19th.

Chandler will face grappling savant Dave “The Fugitive” Jansen, a 19-2 (6-0 Bellator) product out of Oregon who earned his shot at Chandler with a unanimous decision victory over Marcin Held at Bellator 93 in March.

Undefeated in his mixed martial arts career, Chandler has won eight straight fights under the Bellator banner, including victories over Akihiro Gono, Patricky Freire, and a 4th round submission over Eddie Alvarez in an absolute war back in November of 2011 that secured him the title.

Also set for the June 19th card will be a clash between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and UFC/EliteXC veteran Seth Petruzelli that will in no way draw comparisons to Petruzelli’s infamous knockout of Kimbo Slice, we assure you (ROCKY! ROCKY IS HERE!! THE MOST INCREDIBLE…VICTORY…IN THE HISTORY OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS!).

And barring any arrests, War Machine will be there too. Should be fun.

-J. Jones

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Bellator 85 Results: Chandler Dominates Hawn, Curran Sneaks by Pitbull, Babalu and Petruzelli Wash Out of LHW Tournament


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

If we needed any more proof that Michael Chandler deserves to be mentioned among the world’s best 155′ers, we got it last night at Bellator 85 in Irvine, California, when the reigning Bellator lightweight champion made decorated judoka Rick Hawn look like it was his first time on the mats. Chandler completed his takedowns with impressive ease, and when he saw an opportunity to take Hawn’s neck during a scramble in round two, he seized on it, sinking a rear-naked choke and showcasing the killer instinct that has now become a hallmark of Chandler’s game. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a fight, and this season’s lightweight tournament field doesn’t suggest that his next challenger will make things any harder for him. On the bright side, Chandler may have just established himself as Bellator’s greatest home-grown fighter — a budding superstar for the promotion’s new Spike TV era.

While Michael Chandler made his title defense with little resistance, reigning featherweight champion Pat Curran faced a much trickier test in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Their title fight (which led off the Spike TV broadcast) played out as a 25-minute kickboxing match, which started slow but built into an entertaining and evenly-pitched battle. Curran’s striking was just a little more active and accurate, however, and if you were judging on facial damage through the fight, Pitbull’s swollen-shut right eye and bloodied mouth didn’t exactly scream “winner.” When the scores were announced, “Judo” Gene LeBell saw it for the challenger, but the other two judges made the right call in awarding the win to the defending champ.

In addition to the two title fights, Bellator 85′s main card also featured a pair of light-heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. Unfortunately, those UFC castoffs we mentioned yesterday are well on their way to becoming Bellator castoffs as well, as Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Seth Petruzelli were steamrolled by their lesser-known competitors. Russian M-1 Challenge vet Mikhail Zayats stunned Sobral with a spinning-backfist near the end of the first round of their fight, then swarmed him to the canvas and fired down punches until the fight was stopped. (Eddie Alvarez’s wife called that shit, you guys.)

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Four Reasons Why You Should Watch Bellator’s Spike TV Debut Tonight


(Pat Curran, King Mo, and Michael Chandler — co-nominees in the “Best Kiss” category. / Photo via Getty Images)

Bellator’s eighth season kicks off tonight on Spike TV (10/9c), and now that the promotion has left Friday nights, you might even be thinking about watching the show. Here’s why that’s a good idea…

1. Michael Chandler is the second-greatest undefeated fighter in the world. Since winning Bellator’s lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in November 2011, Chandler has competed exactly once — a 56-second TKO of Akihiro Gono in a non-title mismatch last May. Now carrying a perfect record of 10-0, Chandler is once again facing a legit challenge in the form of Rick Hawn, the former Olympic judoka and Bellator mainstay who dropped down from welterweight last year and swept the Season 6 Lightweight Tournament.

2. Pat Curran is also an entertaining son-of-a-bitch. Undefeated at 145 pounds, Curran also competed just once last year, when he very nearly ended Joe Warren’s life to win Bellator’s featherweight title. We’ve been itching to see him back in the game, and he’ll be leading off tonight’s Spike broadcast with a belt-defense against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Speaking of guys who have been sidelined for a while, Pitbull hasn’t been in the cage since he won the Season Four Featherweight Tournament in 2011, partly due to a broken hand suffered in training last year.

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Contracts & Lawsuits – Eddie Alvarez, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Go Public With Conflicting Stories on Fighter’s Deal


(“Keep laughing, Eddie, because as soon as you lose that belt, your ass is mine.”) 

Former President Clinton once made infamous the phrase, “It depends on what your definition of the word ’is’ is,” while answering questions from the Independent Counsel’s office on the all-important subject of Monica Lewinsky. With former Bellator lightweight champion/UFC hopeful Eddie Alvarez and his boss, Bjorn Rebney, the discrepancy appears to depend on what one’s definition of the word “matched” is.

It has been no secret that the UFC wants Alvarez under their banner. The top lightweight fought the last fight under his Bellator contract last October but the promotion has the right to match any contract offered to Alvarez and thus keep him with them.

The UFC did indeed recently make an offer to Alvarez, but it is here where the stories from the former champ and the Bellator CEO begin to differ.

First, Alvarez sat down with The MMA Hour and claimed that Bellator had not matched the UFC’s proposed terms. Rebney then went on MMA Weekly Radio and said that his organization had, in fact, matched the UFC’s contract offer to Alvarez, point for point.

And then things got really awkward.

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Bellator Confirms Stacked Lineup for Jan. 17 Spike TV Premiere, Debut Date for King Mo and ‘Babalu’

Bellator’s first event on Spike TV will take place Thursday, January 17th, at the University of California’s Bren Center in Irvine, California, and will be headlined by a pair of title fights. The promotion confirmed the news today, revealing that undefeated phenom Michael Chandler will make his first official lightweight title defense at the event (aka Bellator 85) against Rick Hawn, the 14-1 Olympic judoka who won the Season 5 lightweight tournament earlier this year.

Also on the card, featherweight champion Pat Curran — who’s 4-0 since dropping to 145 and is coming off his near-murder of Joe Warren — will be putting his belt on the line against explosive contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Though Freire won all three of his fights in 2011, winning the Season 4 featherweight tournament, he wasn’t able to compete in 2012, partly due to injuries.

And that’s not all. During a Bellator/Spike TV conference call held earlier today, many more details about Bellator 85 and the promotion’s upcoming eighth season were announced. For instance…

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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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The 10 Greatest Undefeated Fighters in MMA: 2012 Edition

In June 2010, we posted a list of the ten greatest fighters who had yet to take a loss. By November 2011, none of their perfect records were still intact, proving once again what a cruel bitch this sport is. Half of the fighters on our original list — Shane Carwin (#1), Megumi Fujii (#2), Ryan Bader (#6), Evan Dunham (#7), and Lyle Beerbohm (#10) — have even lost *twice* since then. So we decided to start over from scratch and come up with a new ranking of undefeated MMA fighters. Check it out, and let us know who you think will hold onto their ’0′ the longest. -BG

#1: DANIEL CORMIER (10-0, six wins by first-round stoppage)

Notable victories: Jeff Monson at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum (UD), Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov (KO R1), Josh Barnett at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier (UD)

Next fight: TBA

The former collegiate wrestling star and Olympic competitor went through hell to get to where he is today. Less than three years after kicking off his MMA career, Cormier battled his way to a career-defining matchup against ex-UFC champ Josh Barnett — a catch-wrestling savant with four times as many fights on his pro record as Cormier — in the finals of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. But Dan didn’t need to turn the meeting into a grappling match. As he also demonstrated against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in his previous outing, Cormier packs enough speed and punching-power to win fights with his striking alone. It’s only a matter of time before he enters the UFC to take on the best in the world, and we have a feeling he’ll make an immediate impact.

#2: MICHAEL CHANDLER (10-0, eight wins by stoppage)

Notable victories: Patricky Freire at Bellator 44 (UD), Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 (sub R4), Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67 (TKO R1)

Next fight: TBA

Michael Chandler is the perfect example of how a tournament can transform a fighter from unheralded prospect to breakout star. After winning his first two Bellator appearances by swift first-round stoppage in 2010, Chandler was invited to participate in the promotion’s season four lightweight tournament. The Xtreme Couture product sliced through it, starting with a first-round submission of Polish prodigy Marcin Held, and ending with a decision win over knockout artist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the finals. Then, Chandler did the unthinkable — he took the lightweight belt from Eddie Alvarez, choking out the formerly untouchable Bellator champ in the fourth round of an insane Fight of the Year candidate last November. (A follow-up non-title match against Akihiro Gono was little more than a one-minute showcase of his killer instinct.) In eight months, Chandler went from 5-0 up-and-comer to newly-minted champion with a win over a top-ten ranked opponent. Is it okay if we use the “meteoric rise” cliché, just this once?

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Bellator 67 Recap: Gono Retires, Baker Upsets Saunders

To put it mildly, I’ve been skeptical about Bellator’s non-title fights in the past. They’ve all been total squash fights, and light-heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu actually managed to lose his against Travis Wiuff back at Bellator 55. Last night didn’t exactly make me a believer in non-title fights, but I won’t act like I wasn’t impressed with lightweight champion Michael Chandler after his performance against Akihiro Gono.

Chandler followed up his brilliant fourth round rear-naked choke over Eddie Alvarez back at Bellator 58 with a quick TKO over Akihiro Gono. After catching Gono early with a straight right, Chandler pounced on a stunned Gono and rained down punches until he earned the stoppage. Michael Chandler improves to 10-0 overall, with six fights ending in the first round.

At the post-fight press conference, Akihiro Gono announced his retirement from MMA. Gono has lost three fights in a row, and his record now stands at 32-18-7. His most recent victory was a unanimous decision over Diego Gonzalez at Sengoku 12 in March 2010. While it’s never easy to watch an icon of the sport retire, it’s even harder to watch him continue to lose. Thanks for the memories, Magic Man.

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