Honolulu Mayor Declares Sept. 17 ‘Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day’ in Honor of Bellator Champ

Hawaii native Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will help Bellator MMA break ground in her home state when she defends her flyweight crown against Valerie Letourneau on Dec. 15.
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‘Kid’ Yamamoto Has Lost His Battle With Cancer

Japanese legend Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, who at one point was one of the best fighters to come out of the Land of the Rising Sun, has lost his battle with cancer.

Yamamoto announced over the summer that he was fighting the disease.

Although newer fans might only know Kid Yamamoto from his more recent less-than-stellar UFC run, older fans will undoubtedly recall his years-long stretch of dominance in Japan. He took out the likes of Royler Gracie, Caol Uno and Genki Sudo with shocking violence, and even once scored a 4-second knockout via flying knee.

Pour one out for one of the lost greats. Because Kid was definitely great.

Rest in peace.

 

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RIP…. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto ”</p

Honolulu Mayor Declares Sept. 17 ‘Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day’ in Honor of Bellator Champ

Hawaii native Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will help Bellator MMA break ground in her home state when she defends her flyweight crown against Valerie Letourneau on Dec. 15.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Lovato Jr. ‘Ready For Anything’ BJJ Rival Brings At Bellator 205

Bellator 205: “McKee vs. Macapa” comes to CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, this Friday night (Sept. 21, 2018), featuring undefeated Featherweight “Mercenary” A.J. McKee (11-0) looking to put on a show against “Macapa” John Teixeira (21-3-2) in Paramount Network’s main event of the evening. In the co-main event, a fight anticipated since Bellator 198 should finally come to fruition.

John Salter (15-3) is on a seven-fight win streak with two knockouts and five decisions. He’s not only looked like the man to beat at Middleweight, he’s almost certainly ready for a title shot with an eighth straight win. Rafael Lovato Jr. (8-0) was more than ready to face him in Illinois in April, but a medical issue forced Salter to withdraw, leading Lovato to notch his eighth straight win by submitting the previously retired Gerald Harris. Respect was due to Harris for stepping up to take the bout, but it was not the battle of submission aces the fans came to see.

Lovato recently spoke with MMAmania.com about seeing so many submissions at Bellator 198 in April and whether that could happen again in Boise — particularly in his fight with Salter.

“I doubt you’re going to see that many finishes in one night, especially on the main card. As far as my fight (though), you know it’s hard to say. I try not to put any one specific thing in my mind as to, ‘This is how it’s going to go.’ I’m just going to be ready for everything.”

In fact, Lovato sees the very real possibility that a clash of similar styles in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and ground game could result in a fight without a submission.

“You know both Salter and I are ground specialists, so he’s not going to fall into any silly traps or anything like that, and you know neither am I. It could be that our ground skills sort of cancel each other out, and the fight has to take place in other areas more. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m ready for everything, and I would love to get another beautiful submission for you guys.”

Salter and Lovato were on a collision course in April, but the issue that forced Salter out and caused this fight to move to Boise may actually put more pressure on Lovato’s opponent.

“We’ve basically been training for each other all year, you know he’s been on my mind all year. I still got to fight last time around (in Chicago) so if anybody has more of a weight on their chest it’s probably him (rather) than me being that he’s been sidelined the whole year.”

At this point Lovato is just ready to go out there, prove himself in Idaho, and take that next step toward achieving his Bellator goals.

“It’ll just be, ‘Okay, let’s check this off, let’s do it.’ You know the gameplan, preparing for this one guy basically the whole year, it’ll just be nice to finally play it out and have fun in there, and test myself against him and challenge myself against him. You know, get that victory and show everyone that I’m the No. 1 contender.”

That naturally leads to the question of “Mousasi vs. MacDonald” little more than one week later. And make no mistake about it: Lovato wants to be fighting for that world title.

“Yeah, I mean that’s my dream! In jiu-jitsu, my goal was to be a world champion, and solidify myself as one of the best of my generation. Now I’m doing my best to do the same in MMA. It’s my dream to be the Bellator world champion and get that world title in MMA, and hold that belt as well for as long as possible. Every fight I’ve consistently stepped up in level of competition. I’m not trying to have easy fights or anything like that. I want to evolve, get better, learn, grow, test myself, and climb my way to that title as quickly and cleanly as possible.”

There’s no clean road to the top, though, as Lyoto Machida just made it more bumpy. Does Lovato believe that if they both win they’d have to face off for that No. 1 spot?

“You know we’ve gotta just see how it plays out. I think another great finish, another solid victory (for me), especially over someone like Salter who’s ARGUABLY been deserving of a title shot longer than me, like longer than anybody in the division, that would really solidify myself. I mean Machida has the name (but) he still has to get past Carvalho, which is I think is going to be a very tough fight for him. We’ll just have to see how that goes. It could be a boring decision, and in that case neither one of them will get that title shot.”

That’s a good argument for whoever has the more exciting fight being next, but what if Lovato and Salter are so evenly matched that they wind up having the boring fight?

“I mean we’re all human, we all have our weaknesses, it’s just who is going to bite into the other person’s weaknesses first? Who’s going to make the first mistake and (their foe) be able to capitalize? I’m not saying I’m going to win this way or that way, I’m prepared for war. Salter’s been in there with some of the best in the world, he’s on a killer win streak right now, he’s finishing everybody. It’s not going to be easy, you know? I do think that I’m going to present some problems for him that he maybe hasn’t experience because he’s definitely had the jiu-jitsu advantage on everybody he’s fought thus far, and I’m not going to be easy to submit. He’s not going to just take me down and submit me. He might take me down, but he’s not going to just submit me easy.”

There you have it. “Lovato vs. Salter” will be the ultimate human chess match for Bellator 205 at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, this weekend.

Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “McKee vs. Macapa” resides here at MMA Mania all week long.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Honolulu Mayor Declares Sept. 17 ‘Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day’ in Honor of Bellator Champ

Hawaii native Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will help Bellator MMA break ground in her home state when she defends her flyweight crown against Valerie Letourneau on Dec. 15.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Honolulu Mayor Declares Sept. 17 ‘Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day’ in Honor of Bellator Champ

Hawaii native Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will help Bellator MMA break ground in her home state when she defends her flyweight crown against Valerie Letourneau on Dec. 15.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

‘Kid’ Yamamoto Has Lost His Battle With Cancer

Japanese legend Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, who at one point was one of the best fighters to come out of the Land of the Rising Sun, has lost his battle with cancer.

Yamamoto announced over the summer that he was fighting the disease.

Although newer fans might only know Kid Yamamoto from his more recent less-than-stellar UFC run, older fans will undoubtedly recall his years-long stretch of dominance in Japan. He took out the likes of Royler Gracie, Caol Uno and Genki Sudo with shocking violence, and even once scored a 4-second knockout via flying knee.

Pour one out for one of the lost greats. Because Kid was definitely great.

Rest in peace.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

RIP…. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto ”</p

Fallout: Chokes, Referees, and Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson Talking Major Trash

UFC Fight Night 112 saw some major controversy in the main event. The fight between Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee was anticipated to be a high stakes game between two fighters hoping to enter title contention with a win Sunday night. But instead of everyone speaking on how great the main event was, everyone is talking about Mario Yamasaki’s supposed “flub.”

Watch the fight the first time around, it appeared that Michael Chiesa was still conscious and willing to continue his grudge match again Kevin Lee. Yamasaki intervened and called the fight which seemed to many observers to be an early stoppage. Here’s the thing about being a ref: it’s an absolutely thankless job. No one appreciates what these refs have to go through with each and every fight they have to call. The thing about this fight was that it was apparent in multiple viewings that Michael Chiesa was on his way to blacking out completely.

The choke was locked in tight, there was thirty plus seconds left, Lee was cranking his choke and Chiesa’s arms went limp, eyes fading and rolling back into his head, a clear response from a blood choke rather than a wind choke. With Yamasaki on top of the action he had the best view out of anyone present. Rather than letting Chiesa go out like a “warrior” Yamasaki instead stopped the match. Sure, we want fighters to be given a chance at victory, at accomplishing the goals they’ve been obsessed with for weeks of training. Problem is that their ego can get in the way of their health at times and that’s what the refs are there for. As a result we have an angry fighter, angry fans, and people cursing the ref for his utter stupidity. Funny thing is, while the tough call may not be the most popular, Yamasaki had a job to do, did what he thought was right and shouldn’t be demonized for it.

On a side note, I never knew I wanted a Kevin Lee versus Tony Ferguson fight before last night. Ferguson congratulated Lee like a true class act, but the brash Detroit native took things a different way. In true McGregor form, Lee wasted no time in his additional time on television as he relegated the rest of the lightweight division as chumps and potentially set up a match between himself and Ferguson.

It was entertaining as hell and is just the kind of thing you want to see if you’re the UFC. Two personalities clashing making for a potentially exciting grudge match in the cage. It’ll sell and at the end of the day this sport is a business. Dollars and cents rule the day and Kevin Lee is setting himself up nicely to start making a nice profit.

What are your biggest takeaways from UFC Fight Night 112?


Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

The post Fallout: Chokes, Referees, and Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson Talking Major Trash appeared first on Cagepotato.

Cagepotato

Manuwa ‘Gutted’ Over UFC Sao Paulo Withdrawal

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was forced to rework its upcoming UFC Fight Night 137 main event, thanks to a hamstring injury suffered by former headliner Jimi Manuwa. Replacing “Poster Boy” in this Sat. night’s (Sept. 22, 2018) FOX Sports 1 extravaganza is light heavyweight slugger Eryk Anders.

More on how that came to be right here.

The decision to withdraw left Manuwa “gutted,” according to his latest Instagram post, but the British brawler promised to get back into the cage just as soon as his leg is all patched up and ready to go.

“They told me it will be a minimum of six weeks recovery time,” he said. “I’ll be working hard everyday to get back so I can continue to put on great fights for everyone to watch. I can’t wait to come back and put on a show for you all. Lions eat first.”

The promotion will be issuing refunds for all the fans who don’t want to stick around, which is understandable, since Glover Teixeira was also yanked from the Sao Paulo main event. Don’t be surprised to see Teixeira-Manuwa rebooked for later this year, or early 2019.

To see the rest of the UFC Fight Night 137 line up click here.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Erik Perez vs. John Castaneda to Headline Combate Americas ‘Mexico vs. USA’ on Oct. 13

A bantamweight No. 1 contender clash pitting Erik Perez against John Castaneda will headline Combate Americas “Mexico vs. USA” on Oct. 13.
Recent News on Sherdog.com