An explosive middleweight bout has recently been added to the next Bellator Fighting Championships event, come this May.
UFC and Strikeforce veteran Joe Riggs will be making his organizational debut for Bellator at the promotion’s next event dubbed Bellator 43, which will also feature the organization’s welterweight final pitting Jay Hieron against Rex Hawn, where the [...]
* Tyson Kidd defeated Trent Baretta with a Sharpshooter. A solid match and probably the showstealer for this week’s Superstars episode.
* Zack Ryder vs. DH Smith – Ryder wins via pinfall.
* Natalya & Gail Kim vs. Melina & Alicia Fox. Fans were cheering the heels when they came out first, then there was a huge pop for faces. Gail pins Alicia.
Hello once more fans and friends and welcome back to my special twelve-part series entitled ?ufc 129 Complete Collection?. This series aims to take an ultra in-depth look at all twelve scheduled fights of the upcoming UFC 129 card. In a landmark move, the UFC is making all the fights available to fight fans, whether [...]Learn More
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Ben “Smooth” Henderson had his fair share of exciting moments in the UFC’s former sister promotion World Extreme Cagefighting, ending his time in the blue cage in an epic five round title fight with Anthony Pettis in the main event of that organization’s last-ever fight card last December. Now, with the WEC merging into the UFC at the end of last year, Henderson finally gets his opportunity to step into the Octagon when he faces Mark Bocek next week at UFC 129.
Going from headlining a WEC event in front of 6,300 people in Glendale, Arizona to making his UFC debut in front of 55,000 fans in Toronto, Henderson is doing what he can to prepare for the crowd, but at the end of the day he’s simply thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a historic event.
“I’ve been truly blessed by god for all my life, and I consider this a blessing,” Henderson told MMATorch on Wednesday. “It’s a great opportunity for me to go out there and showcase my skills in front of what’s guaranteed to be a record-setting crowd at the Rogers Centre, and what’s [likely] going to be a record-setting [event for] pay-per-view buys, and I’m just thankful to the UFC brass for giving me this chance.”
Henderson says they’ve been doing what they can to prepare for what is sure to be a crazy crowd at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. He’s fought in front of the bright lights before, but never has he experienced anything like what he’ll see on this card and in this venue. For Henderson, the important thing is to not get worried about the distractions and simply focus on the task at hand.
“We’re aware of [the difference in atmosphere for this event],” he said. “John Crouch, my head MMA trainer and jiu jitsu instructor, he’s a really smart guy. We’re going to be well prepared for [the crowd]. It’s hard to emulate that or recreate that, but we’ve tried as much as possible in our training sessions. Turn the volume up on the stereo real loud, have everyone yell as I tried to listen to his voice in particular out of the whole crowd.
“It is new [being in the UFC]. I did [take part] in some pretty big moments, some pretty historic moments in the WEC, [but] this is a whole new level. I think for me the key is to go out and do what I normally do, go out there and fight, do whatever it takes to get my hand raised. I just focus on that, focus on the fight itself. I try not to worry too much about the crowd, about the booing or whatever else is going on. I just worry about the fight, and normally, for the most part, my fights take care of themselves.”
Following a UFC 124 submission win over Dustin Hazelett – his fourth submission win over his last five fights – Mark Bocek declared that he had the best jiu jitsu game in the lightweight division. Henderson himself is a submission specialist, picking up eight of his 12 career wins by form of submission, but he says he’s not after that moniker.
“I think that if Mark Bocek wants to be known as the best jiu jitsu guy in the lightweight division, that’s fine by me. I just want to be known as the best fighter,” Henderson said. “He can be the best jiu jitsu guy, it doesn’t really concern me too much. I’m going to go out there and do what I always do, and that’s whatever it takes.”
Henderson is well aware of the ground threat that Bocek presents, and with a hostile pro-Bocek crowd in Toronto facing him, Henderson knows what he needs to be aware of. At the same time, he says he’s more than willing to go wherever the fight needs to go in order for him to pick up the win.
“I definitely have to be aware of his submissions,” he said. “Not [just that], but his wrestling and his clock-eating abilities. He’s known for getting on top of guys and wearing them down and wearing them down and wearing them down. He’s actively working, he’s trying to do stuff, but it takes him three and a half minutes to do whatever he’s trying to do and then he’s already taken up a large chunk of the clock. So we’re definitely going to stay aware of his jiu jitsu game but also his clock-eating abilities.
“I’m absolutely comfortable wherever this fight goes. If we stay standing, if we’re up against the fence, if we’re on the ground, if we’re doing whatever it doesn’t matter to me. I’m completely comfortable in any position in the Octagon.”
Coming from the WEC, Henderson knows full well the stigma that had been attached to him and his fellow colleagues in the sister promotion’s lightweight division. While he has fond memories of his stint in the WEC, and knows it’s the place that really introduced him to the MMA world for the first time, he’s now ready to see just what he can do against the top tier of the lightweight division in the UFC.
“Overall the whole experience of the WEC was really awesome. I got to go to a bunch of big fights, I got to take part in a bunch of big fights… It was the first place where I got to be known on a national and international level. [Now, coming over to the UFC, the stigma against WEC lightweights is] not the biggest deal to me, but it is something I have taken mental notes on and
I am aware of. I am aware that former WEC fighters against UFC fighters are now 3-3 [inside the Octagon].
“For me it’s been a long time coming, because for a longtime I had to hear about and was questioned by the media, the journalists, the fans and the critics, hearing about how WEC fighters would stack up in the UFC and how we were [supposedly] second-class fighters to the UFC guys. For the longest time my only answer was to say ‘who knows, we’ll see.’ And now we get to find out once we actually get into the UFC and get into the cage, there’s no point in talking about it. Who can predict the future? One way to find out is to actually get in there. And I’m excited because now it’s my chance to get in there. It’s a good question, let’s find out how I stack up against some of those upper tier UFC lightweight guys.”
Henderson is a man of faith, and you won’t hear him speak of his accomplishments and his life in general without a continued acknowledgement of how and why he believes he’s gotten to this point.
“First and foremost, as always, [I give thanks] to my lord god above on high,” said Henderson. “He’s blessed me every day of my life and I want to continue to praise his name and thank him. Not just after you win a world championship fight, not just after you win a Super Bowl, not just after you win an NBA championship, I want to thank him each and every chance I get. Every interview I make it a point to thank god and praise his name.”
Though he’s focused on getting through his first fight in the Octagon, and the tough task at hand in Mark Bocek, Henderson’s ultimate goal is to be the best fighter in the division. For him, that means a willingness to take on any and all comers, and now that he’s in the UFC he feels that option will be available to him.
“[I want to fight] everybody,” he said. “I’m here for everybody. I want to be the best fighter at 155 lbs. I want to be the best fighter on the planet, period. I want to beat everybody, there’s not any one guy in particular… but as a true competitor and a man who loves a challenge, I want to face everybody, I want to beat everybody.”
Henderson and Bocek meet on the pay-per-view card of next week’s UFC 129 event from the Rogers Centre. Follow Ben before and after the fight on Twitter at @SMOOTHone155, as well as his Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/smoothbenhenderson. You can also follow his coach John Crouch’s gym at JCBJJ.com.
Who do you want to see Nick Diaz fight next and why?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Nick Diaz needs to make his way to the UFC, because he’s being wasted fighting against non-UFC welterweights. Penn, Alves, Koscheck, Fitch, Story, Ellenberger, Swick, Johnson… doesn’t matter to me which one.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Nick Diaz has firmly cemented himself as one of the most exciting fighters in MMA, however the question now is whether or not he?s the best. It’s time to fight a wrestler, and Tyron Woodley fits that bill. However, beyond that fight Zuffa would likely have to entertain sending over a few welterweights to challenge Diaz because StrikeForce is fresh out of welterweights, credible or otherwise.
ALVIN CARTER, MMATORCH SPECIALIST
Nick Diaz should defend his title against Tyron Woodley. Woodley is ready, and he is impressive. He is 8-0, a record that includes five submissions in a row (four of which came in the first round) and a TKO stoppage sandwiched between two decisions. Diaz might have to use more of his game with Woodley as both fighters are comfortable standing or on the ground.
MATT PELKEY, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I’d love to see Nick Diaz vs. any top-10 UFC welterweight, but I’m afraid he’s stuck fighting the Tyron Woodley’s of the world until his contract runs out. Fulfilling Strikeforce contracts is the UFC’s number one priority right now because they don’t want any loose ends when its time to fold up the Strikeforce brand just like Affliction, Pride, and the WEC. The last thing the UFC needs is a breach of contract lawsuit mucking things up.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
It’s probably going to end up being Tyron Woodley, but there are so many bigger and better fights for him on the UFC’s welterweight roster. It may not be probable at this point that the UFC would bring him over for a fight in the Octagon, but that doesn’t mean they won’t entertain the idea of sending someone into Strikeforce instead. With that idea on the table, I’d like to see someone the likes of Josh Koscheck be sent over to give him the biggest and best opponent he’s faced in the last five years. This is not meant to disparage the young and talented prospect in Woodley, not in the least; the simple fact of the matter is that, while Woodley is 8-0, Diaz is simply several steps above the opponents he has been fighting. Diaz should be fighting a higher level of competition than he’s relegated himself to over the last several years, and Zuffa’s acquisition of Strikeforce should allow for that to take place.
– Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke were eliminated from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars tonight. They will be on The Jimmy Kimmel Show later tonight on ABC.
– The TNA house shows being held on April 29th in Biloxi, MS and April 30th in Baton Rouge, LA includes the following:
*Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Jarrett
*AJ Styles vs. Matt Hardy
*TNA Tag Team champions Beer Money, Inc. vs. The British Invasion
*Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez
*Velvet Sky vs. Sarita
*Also scheduled to appear are Mick Foley, Bully Ray, Tommy Dreamer, Devon, and more.
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The UFC’s long-awaited return to Brazil continues to fill up, and the UFC on Tuesday announced that Ultimate Fighter season nine winner Ross Pearson will meet Rio de Janeiro native Edson Barboza on the card in a lightweight contest.
The hard-hitting Barboza moved his perfect record to 8-0 in his second appearance in the Octagon last month, as he defeated WEC-import Anthony Njokuani by decision at UFC 128 in that event’s “Fight of the Night.” That win was a follow-up to his successful debut last November, where he destroyed Mike Lullo’s legs with kicks, leading to the stoppage in the third round.
Pearson bounced back from the first loss of his UFC career when he defeated Spencer Fisher by decision in February in Australia. The TUF 9 winner had won his first three fights in the UFC before being submitted by Cole Miller last September, but the win over the longtime UFC vet Fisher has him back on track.
UFC 134 takes place from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 27, headlined by the Middleweight Championship bout between Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami.
Penick’s Analysis: This card is beginning to fill up nicely, and the UFC will continue putting a Brazilian in each fight for the home country crowd. This fight is a really good one in the lightweight division between two very good strikers who are sure to bring a very entertaining fight for the card. It will be Pearson’s boxing against Barboza’s kicks and overall striking game, and that makes for a very interesting fight overall.
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture talks about his fight with Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 and about fighting before 55,000 people at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Get more MMA and UFC news at the World’s top MMA News website http://www.mmaweekly.com.Learn More
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Marcos Galvao put in a valiant effort on Saturday night against Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren, winning the fight in the eyes of most all watching, save for the three that determined the outcome of the fight in the judges.
Though he lost the decision, he has been given a consolation prize with a spot in the next Bellator bantamweight tournament. Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed that consideration in comments made to MMAJunkie.com.
Rebney agreed that the 30-27 score handed down in Warren’s favor was “completely out of line,” but also tried to quell talk of a fix with the assertion made by all promoters in situations like these.
“The commissions and judges that oversee our events are appointed by the state or by the tribal nation that we work with,” he said. “We don’t control them. Sometimes they do an amazing job, and sometimes they don’t. But they’re human beings, and our sport remains comparatively new when you compare it to boxing and other combat sports.”
“We’ve seen it across all promotions. There isn’t a group of highly qualified professional judges in mixed martial arts. It’s not because people don’t want to be good or don’t care but because MMA is relatively new. I’m not the first person to say it, and I don’t think it’s defamatory toward judges. We need to strive to get people who want to judge mixed martial arts better education.”
There’s no definitive word on when the next Bellator bantamweight tournament will take place, though it could come in this year’s fifth season.
Link to Original Source Article
Penick’s Analysis: With him already being under contract with Bellator with taking this fight against Warren, Galvao will at least be guaranteed a number of fights and a chance to make a lot of money during the next bantamweight tourney. All it takes is winning his fights, and hoping he doesn’t again get screwed by poor judging.
by Michael David SmithSaturday night’s Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley card was the first major event on Showtime since the UFC purchased Strikeforce, and it was a good opportunity to see how Showtime would handle its MMA broadcasts now that the premium cable channel is in business with a promotion that had previously been a rival.
Overall, I thought Showtime did a solid job of handling the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce. But once it was time for the fighters to step into the cage, the coverage of Saturday night’s biggest controversy — the Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine draw — left something to be desired.
Let’s start with the good: Showtime handled the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce appropriately by tackling it at the outset. It’s a major story that deserved the upfront treatment it got.Learn More
TORONTO — MMA Fighting spoke to UFC Canada’s Director of Operations Tom Wright about how UFC 129 compares to some of the other big sporting events he’s been a part of, how instrumental he was in getting MMA sanctioned in Ontario and what to expect come Saturday night.
The official recap of April 9th Strikeforce Diaz vs. Daley. Relive the main event between Nick Diaz and Paul Daley, plus Gilbert Melendez, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gegard Mousasi, Keith Jardine, Shinya Aoki, and Lyle Beerbohm.Learn More
With just a week and a half to go before UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre puts his title on the line against Jake Shields at UFC 129, the Official GSP YouTube channel is offering up some inside looks at St. Pierre’s preparation.
Some of the videos, like the one above of St. Pierre working on his striking, are about what you’d expect from any MMA fighter. But a few of the videos show how unique GSP is when it comes to his strength and conditioning work.Learn More
<B>By MATT MOLGAARD<BR>
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer</B><BR><BR>
For those of us still tuning in to Bellator Fighting Championships every weekend on MTV2, last Saturday showcased a fantastic fight card that culminated in one of the worst decisions in recent memory.<BR><BR>
In the Bellator 41 main event, reigning 145 pound champion Joe Warren tested the waters of 135 pounds in a non-title affair. For three rounds the champion battled with WEC veteran, Marcos Galvao; for at least 10 of 15 minutes, Warren found himself on the losing end of just about every exchange and failing nearly every takedown attempt.<BR><BR>
Galvao unleashed solid punishment in the first round, at one point forcing Warren to turtle and absorb some heavy punches. The second round however, was even more convincingly decisive for Galvao, who landed multiple mind numbing knees to the face of Warren, who charged in recklessly.<BR><BR>
Warren offered virtually no effective offense for the first two rounds, yet the judges (who must have all taken a much-needed bathroom break during the fight) all rewarded him the unanimous decision victory (one judge had the audacity to proclaim the fight a clean three round sweep for Warren). The decision was met with a hailstorm of boos from a crowd who?d been insulted by disturbingly incapable judges.<BR><BR>
However, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney was wise enough to acknowledge the travesty, and has now confirmed that Galvao has a guaranteed slot in the next 135 pound tournament. He?s also seemingly aware of how ludicrous the fight?s final judgment was.<BR><BR>
"The commissions and judges that oversee our events are appointed by the state or by the tribal nation that we work with," stated Rebney. "We don't control them. Sometimes they do an amazing job, and sometimes they don't. But they're human beings, and our sport remains comparatively new when you compare it to boxing and other combat sports."<BR><BR>
Human beings or not, judges Henry Gueary, Brooks Mason and Chuck Wolf are not fit to score mixed martial arts fights, of that they proved – without question – on April 16th, 2011.<BR><BR>Learn More
An undisclosed injury has forced Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto out of next month’s UFC 130 event.
His opponent, bantamweight Renan Barao, now is slated to fight replacement Michael McDonald at the Memorial Day weekend event.
UFC officials announced the change overnight.
After his latest performance in the cage, Nick Diaz has left little doubt that he is among the best welterweight fighters in the world. The Stockton native remains to be the only person to have finished striking ace Paul Daley at his own game, dismantling the Brit with a first-round TKO last Saturday.
The win helped [...]
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The fight announcements for UFC on Versus 4 have been coming fast and furious today, and the UFC has added yet another bout to the June 26 card at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Fresh off a win over Sean McCorkle at UFC Fight Night 24, Christian Morecraft will get right back into action in June when he meets former NFL player and Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Matt Mitrione.
Morecraft is now 1-1 in the UFC after the victory over McCorkle. His first fight in the Octagon was going well, as he had battered and bloodied Stefan Struve for five minutes at UFC 117 last August. However, early in the second round he got overzealous in a punching exchange with the 6’11″ Struve, and was knocked out in vicious fashion.
Mitrione, on the other hand, has had nothing but success since entering the UFC. The former New York Giant and Minnesota Viking had never had a pro fight prior to The Ultimate Fighter, but has won four straight fights inside the Octagon since the show finished. His latest win came at UFC Fight for the Troops 2, where he knocked out Tim Hague in the first round of their bout.
Welcome to MMAjunkie.com’s recap for episode No. 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter 13.”
The welterweights-only season of the reality show, which features Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos as coaches, airs each Wednesday (9 p.m. ET/PT) on Spike TV and features 14 UFC hopefuls.
For a full rundown of the latest episode, which featured the third opening-round fight, check out this week’s show summary. (Warning: Episode spoilers are included.)
Weigh-ins took place last night for tonight’s Strikeforce Challengers 15 event, taking place from Stockton, Calif. and airing live on Showtime. The event, headlined by a lightweight bout between Justin Wilcox and Rodrigo Damm. The event was supposed to feature the U.S. debut of Olympic Gold Medalist Judoka Satoshi Ishii, but he was unable to secure a visa to leave Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the country this month. However, Strikeforce does bring five fights to Showtime Friday night, and all fighters made weight for the card. Full weigh-in results are below:
Main Televised Card
* Justin Wilcox (155.2) vs. Rodrigo Damm (155.8)
* Lorenz Larkin (205.8) vs. Scott Lighty (205.3)
* David Douglas (154) vs. Caros Fodor (155.4)
* James Terry (164.2) vs. Josh Thornburg (163.6)
* Damian Douglas (168.6) vs. Wayne Phillips (170.2)
* Anthony Avila (150.2) vs. Rafael Rios (149.4)
* Bobby Escalante (130) vs. Raul Sandoval (130.6)
* Tristan Arenal (156) vs. Tommy Peterson (155.2)
* Adam Antolin (125.4) vs. Ronald Carillo (124.6)
Check out exclusive pictures by Tracy Lee from the UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night 24 in Seattle. You’ll see McCorkle’s beat up face, the Korean Zombie’s twister submission and Phil Davis methodically take his fight from Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.Learn More