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Tag: Paul Sass

Bellator 104 Recap: Hawn Decisions Weedman, War Machine Takes a Nap, Notable UFC Vets Grove and Sass Victorious


(Spoiler alert: The guys on the left beat the guys on the right.)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator 104 was one of the promotion’s most stacked cards this season. When Bellator mainstay Karl Amoussou and three UFC vets (Paul Sass, Rob Emerson, and Paul Bradley) are relegated to the prelims, there’s some good or at least decent fights on the main card.

The prelims were exciting and had a few notable happenings.

Cliff Wright vs. Derek Loffer was a thrilling back-and-forth match that saw Wright win via armbar late in the second round.

After that, Brandon Girtz pulled a Chris Leben. No, he didn’t urinate in a bed or fail a drug test. He fought twice in two weeks and won both matches like Leben did back in 2010. Girtz submitted Poppies Martinez and Mike Estus at Bellator 102 and Bellator 104, respectively. And these weren’t Hail Mary submissions; Girtz controlled both guys before torquing their arms.

Then, Rob Emerson—wife stealer and one of a select few men to defeat the next Anderson Silva—heel hooked Jared Downing in under two minutes.

Paul Sass, too, won in short order, this time with a toe hold. His opponent Rod Montoya was seemingly ignorant of the fact that Sass has an amazing guard since he kept taking Sass down. Surprise, surprise, Montoya was submitted.

Unfortunately, Karl Amoussou vs. Paul Bradley couldn’t live up to the exciting standard set by the night’s previous bouts. Bradley won a unanimous decision that saw him lay in a gassed Amoussou’s guard for two out of three rounds.

That ended the prelims and brought us into the main card on Spike, which started with *gulps* a Bellator heavyweight fight between Eric Prindle and Peter Graham. It started out alright enough, with Graham nearly finishing Prindle, but then it quickly descended into the usual Bellator heavyweight routine: Heavy breathing, long periods of inactivity, and looping, exhausted punches. At the last second, Graham hit Prindle with a front kick to the face that floored him. Graham won via unanimous decision.

Read the recap for the Bellator 104 main card after the jump.

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Bellator’s Nine Hottest New Prospects for Season Nine


(Hey, if BJ Penn can be the UFC’s first three-title champion, then a middle-aged kickboxer can be the future of the heavyweight division. / Photo via crucifixusa.com)

By Adam Martin

Bellator’s ninth season recently commenced, and if last week’s opener is any indication, it’s going to be a fun and action-packed couple of months in the world of “Viacom MMA.”

During the summer, Bellator signed a number of new fighters that will make their promotional debuts during season nine, and we wanted to highlight a few of these hungry young prospects that fans should keep an eye on starting with tonight’s event in Temecula, California.

So, without further ado, here are nine Bellator prospects to watch out for during this coming season of fights.

9. John Alessio

(Photo via Getty)

The first fighter to keep an eye on this season is veteran John Alessio, who has been fighting professionally since 1998. After making his name as a top prospect fighting for SuperBrawl in Hawaii, the UFC fed Alessio to the sharks when, at just 20 years of age, he fought Pat Miletich for the UFC welterweight title. And while Alessio would get tapped out in just 1:43 and leave the UFC immediately afterwards, he returned in 2006 and fought both Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves, losing to both and losing his spot on the roster again. Never perturbed, Alessio then carved out a solid run in the WEC, MFC, Dream, and a few other promotions to get yet another crack in the Octagon in 2012, but after losing to Mark Bocek and Shane Roller — becoming the only fighter in UFC history to go 0-5 — he was cut for good. Bellator then picked him up and he’s been installed as a participant in the season nine lightweight tournament. Winning it, he says, is his destiny.

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Bellator Signs Top British Talents Paul Sass, Rob Sinclair, and Martin Stapleton; Promotion Gunning for U.K. TV Deal


(Danny Castillo comes dangerously close to being Sass’d at UFC on FUEL 7 in February. / Photo via Getty Images)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Sassangle is back in business. After recently losing his UFC contract following back-to-back losses, British lightweight submission specialist Paul Sass (13-2) has been picked up by Bellator; his debut date and opponent are TBA. The promotion announced the signing yesterday, in addition to pickups of two other top British 155-pounders:

- Martin Stapleton (12-1), who you may remember from his stint on TUF 9. After picking up two more wins in his home country following the reality show, Stapleton took nearly three years off due to a commitment with the Royal Marines. He returned in 2012 and went 5-0 that year, including three wins in one night at an eight-man Cage Contender tournament last December, where he out-pointed Tommy Maguire in the finals.

- Rob Sinclair (12-2), the reigning BAMMA lightweight champion who is riding a five-fight win streak, with four of those wins by KO/TKO. Fun fact: Sinclair lost a split decision to Paul Sass in October 2009, becoming the first man to go three rounds against Sass without tapping.

So, will Bellator throw all these guys at each other in an upcoming Bellator: U.K. lightweight tournament? We can’t say for sure, but the latest crop of Brit-signings is no coincidence. As CEO Bjorn Rebney explains:

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And Now They’re Fired: Jon Fitch, Paul Sass, and 14 Other Fighters Axed by the UFC


(You think it would be damn near impossible to sum up an 18-fight UFC career in one image, yet here we are.) 

Wow.

When we announced just hours ago that Jacob Volkmann had been cut from the UFC as part of a vast, government-led ploy to disarm the public following a 1-2 run in his last 3 fights, little did we know that his termination was just the precursor for one of the largest mass firings in UFC history. But that appears to be the case, as it was recently made public that Volkmann was but one of 16 fighters to be cut from the UFC today.

Among the dead are a few guys you probably wont recognize (C.J. Keith, Motonobu Tezuka (?), Simeon Thoresen), a few guys who probably had it coming (Vladimir Matyushenko, Mike Russow, Mike Stumpf) and a couple of guys who couldn’t find a win in the UFC if they sold their souls to Dana White Satan (the continuously underwhelming Jorge Santiago and poor, poor Jay Hieron).

However, if you were to continue looking over said list, you would find a couple inclusions that would not only make you scratch your head, but possibly shave your head, eyebrows, body hair, and nipples off in a hallucinogenic stupor. After the jump, we’ve compiled our own list of the most shocking entries.

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Barao vs. McDonald to Headline UFC’s Return to London on Feb. 16; Five More Fights Added to Card


(Barao puts one upside Faber’s head at UFC 149. Photo via Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

The interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and challenger Michael McDonald will go down at UFC on FUEL 7, February 16th at London’s Wembley Arena. UFC UK confirmed the news earlier today, and revealed a crop of supporting fights. They are…

- Paul Sass vs. Danny Castillo (LW): The British two-trick pony took his first career loss against Matt Wiman in September, while Team Alpha Male member Castillo had a three-fight win streak snapped in October when he was KO’d by Michael Johnson.

- Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte (LW): Inactive since becoming a permanent part of Edson Barboza’s highlight reel in January, Etim returns from injuries to face TUF Brazil castmember Renee Forte, who just suffered his first official UFC loss when he was submitted by Sergio Moraes at UFC 153.

- Andy Ogle vs. Josh Grispi (FW): Grispi is on a three-fight losing streak, while TUF: Live castmember Ogle lost his official UFC debut in a decision against Akira Corassani in September. Oh, you bet your ass it’s “win or go home” time.

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UFC on FUEL 5 Aftermath: The Future Has (Possibly) Arrived

When the UFC first announced that Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic would be the main event of yesterday’s UFC on FUEL 5, most of us assumed that the fight would serve as a coming out party for Stipe Miocic. Even though he hadn’t faced any big names in his UFC career, the heavy-handed prospect certainly looked like he was Cleveland’s next best hope for a champion. Putting Stipe in the cage with a fighter that (arguably) has a weak chin could produce a highlight reel knockout and put Miocic “in the mix” at the heavyweight division.

Except that didn’t happen. Miocic managed to land some heavy shots throughout the fight, but in the end Struve proved to be too much, earning the TKO in the second round. While Miocic outworked Struve throughout the first round, Stipe Miocic had no answers for the lanky heavyweight’s offense once Struve actually started using his jab. Sorry, Cleveland, but you really should have seen this one coming.

This isn’t meant to take anything away from Stefan Struve, as he looked pretty impressive with his victory. Any questions about his chin seemed to be answered yesterday, as he weathered some heavy punches on his way to earning the TKO. And forgive us if we’re harping on this, but when Struve actually uses his jab, he’s a completely different fighter. His lanky attack creates problems for everyone in the heavyweight division, warranting a post-fight comparison to Jon Jones from Chael Sonnen (except Chael added that Struve has twice the courage of Jon Jones, naturally). The twenty four year old fighter improves to 9-3 in the UFC, and is currently riding a four fight win streak.

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UFC on FUEL 5: Struve vs. Miocic — Live Results & Commentary


(Just remember, Stipe: The bigger they are, the funnier they lawn-chair. / Photo via MMAJunkie.com)

The UFC makes its first (and only!) U.K. stop of 2012 today, with a card that’s low on star power but high on potential fireworks. If you’re reading this right now, it means you’re at least sort-of interested, and that’s good enough for us. So which heavyweight main-eventer is about to put himself “in the mix”? Can Dan Hardy string together his first back-to-back wins since 2009? Will Matt Wiman be just another notch on Paul “Sassangle” Sass‘s sassbelt? And WTF is wrong with Kyle Kingsbury, anyway? The answers to most of those questions will be revealed shortly.

Handling liveblog business for the UFC on FUEL 5 main card broadcast is George Shunick, who will be stacking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m PT. Let us know how you feel in the comments section, and refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest. And as always, thanks for spending part of your weekend with us.

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Five Reasons to Be Sort-Of Interested in ‘UFC on FUEL 5: Struve vs. Miocic’


(Reason #6: Impromptu limbo competitions!) 

The UFC will be making it’s return to jolly old England this weekend and go figure, the card is of the mid to low interest range and will be broadcast for free here in the States (unless you don’t have FUEL, of course. What’s that? NO ONE has Fuel?!). Not that we’re complaining about a night of free fights, but the buzz surrounding this event could best be described as tumbleweeds. Fortunately for you, there are at least five good reasons to tune in Saturday afternoon, which we’ve laid out in a convenient list format with bold titles and everything. Aren’t we just the best?

1. A Main Event That Definitely Ain’t Going the Distance 

As BG explained earlier, a fight with Stefan Struve ends in one of three ways; Struve via submission, Struve via (T)KO, or Struve’s opponent via uber-violent KO. His fights are like the Paranormal Activity movies; you know from the start how badly things will end for the parties involved, but it’s the path to that ending that you’re interested in. The same can be said for the undefeated Stipe Miocic, minus the uber-violent losses of course. Miocic has been on an absolute tear since entering the UFC and has finished 2 of his 3 opponents in brutal fashion. In fact, in a combined 38 fights, the two main event players have only seen the judges scorecards twice. And Saturday night will be no different; Struve will either take this fight to the ground and try to pull off a sub or throw caution to the wind and get savaged. In either case, it will make for one incredibly entertaining fight.

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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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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 146 Edition

Unfortunately, last Tuesday’s UFC on FUEL: Zombie vs. Poirier card all but completely derailed our recent run of luck with the Gambling Enabler (aside from the decision to purchase some Bud Light Platinums to celebrate another beautiful McKenzietine bet), but hopefully this weekend’s UFC 146 event, which features an all heavyweight main card for the first time in UFC history will help get things back on track. So without further adieu, may we present to you the tasty betting lines, brought to you courtesy of BestFightOdds, along with our brilliant/equally insane advice below.

Main Card
Frank Mir (+425) vs. Junior dos Santos (-550)
Cain Velasquez (-400) vs. Antonio Silva (+325)
Roy Nelson (-225) vs. Dave Herman (+185)
Shane del Rosario (+135) vs. Stipe Miocic (-155)
Lavar Johnson (+105) vs. Stefan Struve (-125)

Preliminary Card (FX)
Diego Brandao (-265) vs. Darren Elkins (+205)
Edson Barboza (-550) vs. Jamie Varner (+425)
Jason Miller (-145) vs. C.B. Dollaway (+115)
Dan Hardy (-130) vs. Duane Ludwig (+100)

Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Paul Sass (+170) vs. Jacob Volkmann (-215)
Glover Teixeira (-240) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (+180)
Mike Brown (-160) vs. Daniel Pineda (+130)

Thoughts…

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