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Tag: Ron Sparks

Exclusive: Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Talks Women’s MMA, Fighter Insurance, Impact Wrestling and More

I managed to catch up with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney after Bellator 69 at the L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Friday night. Bjorn touched on issues such as fighters who stuck out on the undercard, why the Asplund vs. Sparks fight didn’t happen, MMA in New York and much more. Come inside after the jump for the full interview, as well as fight videos from the fighters that Bjorn Rebney mentions.


Sickness Forces Eric Prindle to Withdraw From Bellator 61 Rematch With Thiago Santos

(When you gotta go, you gotta go.) 

An apparent case of influenza has forced Bellator season 5 finalist Eric Prindle out from his rematch with fellow finalist Thiago Santos. After their first contest ended in the most brutal form of No Contest possible back at Bellator 59 in November, the pair was set to give things another go at Bellator 61, which goes down tomorrow from the River Dome in Boisser City, LA.

Prindle’s record stands at 9-1 with the aforementioned 1 no-contest, with three of those wins coming under the Bellator banner. In his promotional debut, Prindle scored a second round TKO due to doctor stoppage victory over Josh Burns at Bellator 40 in April of 2011, then cruised past TUF 10 vet Abe Wagner by UD the following October in their season five heavyweight tournament quarterfinal match. In the semi’s, Prindle demolished fellow power puncher Ron Sparks in just forty seconds at Bellator 56 via one punch knockout, earning his spot in the finals alongside Thiago Santos, who had racked up two straight rear-naked choke finishes in his preliminary matches.

Videos of both the Sparks and Santos fights, along with the full lineup for Bellator 61, are after the jump. 


Bellator 56 Recap: Askren Survives Hieron, Prindle and Santos Advance

Askren vs. Hieron, part one. All videos in this post via

Bellator returned to action last night in Kansas City with action from the heavyweight tournament and a welterweight title fight between current champion Ben Askren and Season Four tournament winner Jay Hieron. Earlier this week, Ben Askren promised to “maul Jay Hieron”, as our more astute readers may remember. Well, that didn’t exactly happen. We’ll discuss that more in a minute.

The night kicked off with heavyweight tournament semifinals action. To say these fights delivered quick, exciting finishes puts it mildly- It’ll take some of you longer to read this sentence than it’ll take you to actually watch the fights. In the first matchup, Eric Prindle countered a leg kick from Ron Sparks with a brutal straight right forty seconds into their fight. Not to be outdone, Thiago Santos quickly dropped Bellator Season Three heavyweight tournament finalist Neil Grove and sunk in a rear naked choke. The total amount of time it took Santos to do this? Thirty eight seconds. Don’t blink when Eric Prindle meets Thiago Santos at Bellator 59.


Bellator 52 Video Highlights: Ron Sparks Crushes Mark Holata, Neil Grove Bumped Out of Tourney

(Props: BellatorMMA)

For those of you who had better things to do on Saturday, Bellator put together this helpful video recap of their Season Five heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. And for a card full of relatively obscure big-men, the show wasn’t half bad.

Ron Sparks (8-0) continued his rise towards relevancy with an 84-second knockout of Mark Holata. Sparks also happens to be one of those dudes with his own last name tattooed on his stomach, but we won’t hold it against him. Speaking of stoppages, Blagoi Ivanov (5-0, 1 no contest) also kept his unbeaten record, smashing Zak Jensen standing then putting him to a sleep in the second round with a guillotine choke.


Everything You Need to Know About Tomorrow’s Bellator 52 Heavyweight Tournament

(Ron Sparks: All about the peace and love. / Photo via TheFightNerd.)

Bellator 52 goes down tomorrow night at the L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana, featuring the quarterfinals of the promotion’s second heavyweight tournament. We’ll be honest — the eight-man bracket isn’t exactly overflowing with star-power, and watching 265-pounders slug it out is always a mixed bag. But if Cruz vs. Johnson isn’t enough to satisfy your hunger for combat this weekend, you might as well DVR the MTV2 broadcast. (Do it right now, before you forget.) Here’s how the HW quarters shake out:

Neil Grove vs. Mike Hayes
Blagoi Ivanov vs. Zak Jensen
Eric Prindle vs. Abe Wagner
Mark Holata vs. Ron Sparks

Now, some fun facts:

- Blagoi Ivanov is that dude who outpointed Fedor Emelianenko in combat sambo in 2008, back when beating Fedor at anything seemed like a very big deal. He’s now 4-0 with 1 no-contest in his MMA career, and won his Bellator debut in March by TKO’ing William Penn in one round.


Bellator Season 5 Preview: Once More, With Feeling

Remember: *this* is the guy that the middleweights are competing to fight. Hector Lombard knocked Vitale down twice with one punch. VidProps: BellatorMMA/YouTube

So anybody notice that I mentioned Bellator yesterday?  You did?   And you didn’t comment about how splendiferous Bellator is, and how much you like watching the fights, and in general how witty and good looking we are here at CagePotato?
Well that’s just rude.  I’m inclined to not even bother running down the other two tourneys planned for this season.  Really, it’s like you don’t care.

Oh, alright.  Come on in and we’ll have coffee and talk.  But no staying over.


Bryan Baker Puts a Ring On It at Bellator 43, Continues to Make the Rest of Us Look Bad

“No word yet on who startled the witch.”  (VidProps: Bellator)

Bellator action returned to Newkirk, Oklahoma, last night, and Byran Baker continued his campaign to steal the hearts and minds of pretty much everyone.  The welterweight final was the main event for the evening, matching up Olympic judoka Rick Hawn and Jay “The Brooklyn-Born Thoroughbred Long Islander” Hieron (still nothing on Horwich).  A bantamweight season five qualifier featuring Chase Beebe and Jose Vega was also on the menu, which illustrates the depth that Bellator is developing at 135.  Follow us in past the jump for spoilers, and before we forget – your mom said for you to call her.


Bobby Lashley, Strikeforce Finally Find an Opponent Both Can Agree On …

Bobby Lashley, Little Kid
(Negotiations seemed to be going fine, until Lashley abruptly announced he wasn’t ready to face the champ.)

… and it’s Ron Sparks. The two undefeated heavyweight prospects have verbally agreed to fight on the undercard of Strikeforce’s planned June 16 show, which will feature Robbie Lawler vs. Babalu Sobral as its main event.

Given that Sparks is 5-0 in MMA, isn’t a totally unskilled freak show, a fat light heavyweight or formerly homeless, it looks like a small step in the right direction for Lashley. However, considering that Sparks is basically a kickboxer (albeit a giant one at 6-5, 285) and hasn’t fought anybody of note in his MMA career, the cynics among us will argue that he’s another opponent tailor-made for defeat at the hands of the two-time NAIA national wrestling champion and former Olympic hopeful. From what we already know about him, that probably suits Bobby Lashley just fine.


Ray Mercer Returning to MMA Next Month Against Undefeated Ron Sparks

Ray Mercer MMA
(The beginning of the boxers-in-MMA epidemic. Thanks again, Tim. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

After he humiliated Tim Sylvia last June, we were worried that former boxing champ Ray Mercer would ride off into the sunset for good, having proved himself a master at two different combat sports. But you have to give the dude credit — he hasn’t given up on MMA competition, and he won’t be fighting scrubs just to collect a paycheck. passes along the news that Mercer will be appearing at a King of the Cage event on April 16th in Detroit, against Ron "The Monster" Sparks, a 6’5", 300-pound bruiser with a 5-0 record. Granted, Sparks’s first four opponents were making their pro debuts, and his last one has a losing record. Still, considering that Mercer is just 1-0 himself (not including his exhibition bout against Kimbo Slice in 2007), it’s a matchup that makes sense. Will Mercer continue to find success as a mixed martial artist? How long will it take until he’s ready for a UFC heavyweight title shot against James Toney? KOTC’s 4/16 show will be headlined by Jeremy Horn vs. Jake Rosholt, and will be broadcast live on HDNet.

Speaking of boxers crossing over into MMA, Shine Fights has signed undefeated NABO cruiserweight champion B.J. Flores (24-0-1, 15 KOs) to a non-exclusive fight contract. Shine Fights previously drew attention with their signing of former junior middleweight boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga — who will face Din Thomas on May 15th — but their new acquisition is even more notable because Flores is a current boxing champion who’s basically in his prime. Flores’s debut-date and first opponent have not yet been named.