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Tag: Mikhail Zayats

Bellator 110 Recap: Rampage KOs M’Pumbu, King Mo Edges Zayats, Rebney Announces Next PPV


(Photo via Getty)

Bellator is back, but not necessarily in a big way. Bellator 110 saw the more marketable Rampage Jackson and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal prevail, but neither man looked stellar.

What about the rest of the card? The event started off rocky. The first two preliminary bouts ended in unsatisfying no contests—the first due to an accidental illegal knee. The second was the result of an accidental eye poke.

Of note: Daniel Weichel defeated Scott Cleve in the quarterfinal round of Bellator’s season 10 featherweight tournament. He won via submission, though the rear-naked choke was set up by a gorgeous straight right. When Cleve was on the mat, his brains were far too scrambled to adequately prevent Weichel from taking his back and working for the choke. In another prelim quarterfinal bout, Will Martinez upset the highly touted, 21-year-old prospect, Goiti Yamauchi via unanimous decision. Martinez was stronger and fought a smarter fight. He bullied and smothered Yamauchi, who was stymied by Martinez’s aggression.

The main card kicked off with the third featherweight tournament quarterfinal.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: TUF China Finale, Bellator 110 and Titan FC 27 Edition

By Seth Falvo

I have a feeling that most of you degenerate gamblers are going to take this weekend off. And hey, that’s a very logical decision. The TUF: China Finale is packed to the brim with squash matches and unknown prospects, and if you’re the type of person who doesn’t normally watch Bellator or Titan FC, it would be an incredibly stupid risk to throw money down on fighters you barely recognize.

Which is exactly what makes a “Gambling Addiction Enabler” for this weekend’s fights so appropriate. With the UFC hosting an obscure Fight Pass card — and Bellator and Titan FC featuring guys you’ve heard of but aren’t necessarily invested in — only the most hardcore MMA fans and the most hopeless gambling addicts are going to be risking their money on this weekend’s fights. If you fall into either category, we’d be letting you down if we decided not to share our rock-solid (*tries to stop laughing*) gambling advice with you.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys drinking Camo 24, betting on professional wrestling, getting a PhD in English, and other reckless, high-risk activities, then read on for my picks and suggested parlays, which are based on the odds at 5Dimes. May the winnings be yours.

The Main Events

TUF: China Finale: Dong Hyun Kim (-360) vs. John Hathaway (+300)

It’s hard to disagree with the odds here. Kim has not only faced tougher competition, but he also has the advantage of fighting on his home continent; not exactly a frivolous observation, as Kim himself would be quick to point out. A straight bet on Kim won’t yield an impressive return, but it does make for a low-risk parlay addition.

Bellator 110: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (-450) vs. Christian M’Pumbu (+360)

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Rampage Jackson and King Mo Lawal Entered in Bellator’s Completely Unbiased 10th Season LHW Tournament


(Ah, memories.) 

As part of their ongoing effort to forcibly establish a marketable champion introduce new contenders to their LHW division repeatedly cycle through their apparently limited stable of noteworthy fighters (while making sure to book as many rematches in the process as possible), Bellator unveiled their season 10 light heavyweight tournament last night, and surprise surprise, all of the fighters competing in said tournament have either a) already lost a previous tournament b) recently lost the LHW title or c) are Rampage Jackson. Although in the case of King Mo Lawal, who is also entered in the tournament, it’s a little bit of a and b.

The four-man tournament* will kick off at Bellator 110 on Feb. 28 from the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, and will feature Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Christian M’Pumbu on one side of the “bracket” and  Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Mikhail Zayats on the other. What, you didn’t think King Mo and Rampage would actually be paired against one another in the opening round, did you? Anyway, Rampage spoke with select members of the media during a conference call yesterday and brought his usual mix of faux-enthusiasm and borderline incomprehensible syntax to the proceedings, stating:

I’m very excited to do my first tournament in years. I’m in it, and I’m in it to win it. I’m going to win this tournament by everybody going to sleep.

Ah, the Ben Askren strategy. Interesting to see Rampage switching up game plans this late in his career.

Seriously though, who does Bellator think they’re fooling with this tournament? It’s become increasingly obvious as of late that the organization is willing to do whatever it must to fast-track its marketable faces to title shots (see: Mo Lawal, King or Curran, Pat) at the expense of its actual champions. Look no further than their treatment of Attila Vegh if you don’t believe me. While the UFC may be struggling to create new stars, Bellator seems content to betray its own mission statement in order to force the few stars they have into power. Call me crazy, but the latter strategy seems a lot more risky to one’s credibility than the former.

Let’s look at the facts here:

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Bellator 103 Recap: Patricio Freire and Wilcox 3:16 Advance to the Featherweight Tournament Finals

Bellator 103 is over — and judging by our front page poll, a significant portion of you don’t really care that much. But we love free MMA so, we watched the card. Here’s our recap:

The first fight of the night pitted old-school Bellator fighter (he fought at Bellator 20) and UFC washout Aaron Rosa against Russian Sambo expert Mikhail Zayats. The bout ended in 47 seconds. Clinch, takedown, kimura, tap. That was the whole fight.

In the second bout on the main card, David Rickels made one of the most innovative entrances in MMA when he drove to the cage in a replica of Fred Flintstone’s car. Thankfully for Rickels, his performance lived up to his entrance. He consistently beat JJ Ambrose to the punch, battering “Superman” throughout the fight, which was stopped in the third round when Ambrose couldn’t defend a tidal wave of body shots.

The third fight of the night, a featherweight tournament semifinal, was the most lackluster. Jesus freak Justin Wilcox took on mullet-wearing Guam native Joe Taimanglo. Wilcox won a ho-hum unanimous decision. The highlight came after the fight when Wilcox referenced John 3:16. If you watched pro wrestling in the late 1990s, you’d know why that was a big deal. But yeah, Wilcox-Taimanglo was mainly takedowns and ineffective ground-and-pound. If you DVR’d the fights, you have our permission to skip this one.

In the night’s main event, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire met Fabricio Guerreiro in the second featherweight tournament semifinal. Freire, known as an aggressive striker, showed off his grappling abilities throughout the fight. He was constantly one step ahead of Guerreiro in the BJJ department, which earned “Pitbull” a unanimous decision victory. With the win, he became the first three-time tournament finalist in Bellator history. He will face Justin Wilcox in the finals.

The complete results for Bellator 103 are after the jump…

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Bellator 94 Recap: Rickels Scores “Controversial” Win in Lightweight Finals, Emanuel Newton’s Cinderella Story Continues


(David Rickels enlists the help of Steven Spielberg to secure the Potato Award for Greatest Walkout of 2013. They’re filling up fast, people. All gifs via ZombieProphet/BloodyElbow.) 

As has become the standard for a Bellator event, last night’s Bellator 94 was packed to the brim with exciting stoppages, grueling decisions, and a fair share of controversy thrown in for good measure.

The main card kicked off with a Season 9 bantamweight tournament qualifier bout between Rodrigo Lima and Ronnie Mann, the latter of which was making his bantamweight debut. As noted by the Bellator broadcast team, the characteristic speed that led Mann to the featherweight tourney semifinals in Season 6 was all but negated against Lima, who outgunned, outgrappled, and plain outworked Mann in every aspect of the fight en route to a unanimous decision victory.

The evening’s next bout was also a season 9 qualifier, this time at welterweight, and pitted Trey “That Just Happened?” Houston (Seriously, that’s his nickname. Do we have a Worst Nickname category for this year’s Potato Awards? Because I think we have found yet another front-runner.) against Luis Melo. In what turned out to be a rather entertaining affair, Houston attempted to turn things into a brawl while Melo opted to take things to the ground as often as possible. After getting rocked and nearly submitted in the second round, Melo was able to turn the tides on a fading Houston in the third and secured an arm-triangle finish just over a minute into the round.

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Fresh Off His Knockout Of ‘King Mo’, Emanuel Newton Believes Bellator LHW Title Will Be His


(Photo via Bellator.com)

By Elias Cepeda

Last month, former Strikeforce champion Muhammad Lawal was scheduled to take his next academic step towards the Bellator light-heavyweight tournament title. Sure, he had to fight someone, but no one seemed to give much credit to his opponent, Emanuel Newton.

The two had traveled and trained in the same circles, even together, but their careers couldn’t have been more different. Lawal was a former top international wrestler that entered high-level MMA with great fanfare and quickly became one of the most dangerous 205-pound fighters in the world.

Newton, instead, had toiled on mostly the regional circuits for nearly ten years. He had fought, and sometimes beaten, guys who would go on to fight and win in the UFC, but Newton’s own shot at the big time had yet to come.

Fighting in the Bellator tournament, however, gave him his chance. Both Newton and Lawal won their first-round fights in January and advanced to face one another. All the attention, including from this writer and site, was on Lawal.

With his pedigree, brash public persona, and world class skills, “King Mo” was the story. The world took for granted that he had taken a step down to fight in Bellator after being fired by Zuffa (the parent company of Strikeforce and the UFC) and that Lawal would easily stomp through every one of his opponents in the tournament, Newton included.

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Bellator 90 Recap: ‘King Mo’ Dethroned Via Spinning Backfist, Ben Saunders Adds Head Kick KO to Highlight Reel


(The Emanuel Newton vs. King Mo spinning-backfist falling-tree knockout, via RockOwnsPunk.)

When you’re watching a Bellator event, you can only hope that a memorable finish or two will make up for the general lack of star power compared to those other guys. And oh man, did last night’s Bellator 90 event in West Valley City, Utah, deliver the goods, with all four fights on the Spike TV main card ending within the first two rounds, and three more stoppages featured on the prelims.

But the card’s generous helping of violence was a mixed blessing, since the list of victims included Bellator’s light-heavyweight marquee attraction, and their marketable featherweight inspirational figure. If you didn’t tune in last night, here’s what you missed:

Season 8 Welterweight Semi-Finals: Ben Saunders faced Raul Amaya for the second time in his Bellator stint, and while Killa B completely dominated their first meeting en route to a unanimous decision win, he didn’t even let Amaya out of the first round this time. Amaya was aggressive from the opening bell, but wasn’t able to find his range against the lanky Saunders, who landed counter-punches and body-kicks at will, before putting Amaya’s lights out with a left high kick. (GIF here, via ZombieProphet/BloodyElbow)

The fight on the other side of the 170-bracket was just as quick and one-sided. Douglas Lima didn’t give Bryan Baker a chance to get in the fight, abusing Baker’s legs with low kicks for a couple minutes, then firing a devastating right hand that crumpled “The Beast” to the mat. Lima will now face Saunders in the Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Final at Bellator 93, in a rematch of their Season 5 Welterweight Tournament Final in November 2011, which Lima won by knockout.

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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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M-1 Challenge 27 Recap: Magalhaes Retains Title, Garner Becomes Interim Heavyweight Champion


Magalhaes’ finish of Zayats. Props: MiddleEasy

There may be nothing worse for an MMA promotion than a lackluster title fight. If you’re promoting two fighters as the best fighters your promotion has to offer at their respective weight class and they fail to deliver an entertaining fight, everyone looks bad. The promotion looks foolish for claiming that a sub-par fighter is the best it has to offer, all of the other fighters in that weight class look laughably incompetent by default (after all, they weren’t skilled enough to challenge for the title), and fans in attendance feel cheated. Just in case you can’t figure out where this is going: Kenny Garner vs. Maxim Grishin as an interim heavyweight championship fight all but canceled out the rest M-1 Challenge 27.

This isn’t to say that last night’s M-1 event didn’t deliver the exciting finishes we’ve come to expect from them. In fact, none of the fights from the main card went the distance. The night started off with three first round submissions from Daniel Madrid, Yasubey Enomoto and Arthur Guseinov, respectively. The combined amount of time it took these three to submit their opponents? Two minutes and forty five seconds. Very nice, gentlemen.

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