Tag Archive for Bellator’s

Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero

Other than a lot of recycled fighters, Bellator has few homegrown stars. In fact, they really only have one, and his name is Michael Chandler.

A fluke injury saw him lose the lightweight belt last year to Brent Primus last year, but while Primus has been languishing in injury limbo since then, Chandler has been busy kicking dudes’ asses. Like on Friday, at Bellator 197.

Chandler took out Brandon Girtz in under a round, totally smoking him on the ground like he was a toppled hookah pipe. The former – and likely future – champ stuck around when others were jumping ship to the UFC, and he now bleeds Bellator-colored blood (whatever that means).

Elsewhere on the Bellator 197 card, AJ McKee dominated Justin Lawrence for three rounds, and Kimbo Slice’s kid, “Baby Slice”, at Devon Brock for dinner.

Baby Slice Bellator 197

But at the end of the night it was all about Chandler, Bellator’s last action hero.

The post Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero

Other than a lot of recycled fighters, Bellator has few homegrown stars. In fact, they really only have one, and his name is Michael Chandler.

A fluke injury saw him lose the lightweight belt last year to Brent Primus last year, but while Primus has been languishing in injury limbo since then, Chandler has been busy kicking dudes’ asses. Like on Friday, at Bellator 197.

Chandler took out Brandon Girtz in under a round, totally smoking him on the ground like he was a toppled hookah pipe. The former – and likely future – champ stuck around when others were jumping ship to the UFC, and he now bleeds Bellator-colored blood (whatever that means).

Elsewhere on the Bellator 197 card, AJ McKee dominated Justin Lawrence for three rounds, and Kimbo Slice’s kid, “Baby Slice”, at Devon Brock for dinner.

Baby Slice Bellator 197

But at the end of the night it was all about Chandler, Bellator’s last action hero.

The post Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero

Other than a lot of recycled fighters, Bellator has few homegrown stars. In fact, they really only have one, and his name is Michael Chandler.

A fluke injury saw him lose the lightweight belt last year to Brent Primus last year, but while Primus has been languishing in injury limbo since then, Chandler has been busy kicking dudes’ asses. Like on Friday, at Bellator 197.

Chandler took out Brandon Girtz in under a round, totally smoking him on the ground like he was a toppled hookah pipe. The former – and likely future – champ stuck around when others were jumping ship to the UFC, and he now bleeds Bellator-colored blood (whatever that means).

Elsewhere on the Bellator 197 card, AJ McKee dominated Justin Lawrence for three rounds, and Kimbo Slice’s kid, “Baby Slice”, at Devon Brock for dinner.

Baby Slice Bellator 197

But at the end of the night it was all about Chandler, Bellator’s last action hero.

The post Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero

Other than a lot of recycled fighters, Bellator has few homegrown stars. In fact, they really only have one, and his name is Michael Chandler.

A fluke injury saw him lose the lightweight belt last year to Brent Primus last year, but while Primus has been languishing in injury limbo since then, Chandler has been busy kicking dudes’ asses. Like on Friday, at Bellator 197.

Chandler took out Brandon Girtz in under a round, totally smoking him on the ground like he was a toppled hookah pipe. The former – and likely future – champ stuck around when others were jumping ship to the UFC, and he now bleeds Bellator-colored blood (whatever that means).

Elsewhere on the Bellator 197 card, AJ McKee dominated Justin Lawrence for three rounds, and Kimbo Slice’s kid, “Baby Slice”, at Devon Brock for dinner.

Baby Slice Bellator 197

But at the end of the night it was all about Chandler, Bellator’s last action hero.

The post Bellator 197 Results: Michael Chandler Is Bellator’s Last Action Hero appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Benson Henderson: Bellator’s Big Waste of Money?

When you buy junk at a yard sale, the prevailing hope is that the junk you’re buying is secretly something of great value.

That’s the underlying theme with all the acquisitions of UFC veterans by Bellator in recent years. Sure, these fighters are often being discarded because their contracts are up and their best days are behind them and there’s little chance of sufficient return on investment, but still…

…Why pass up on a TUF winner like Ryan Bader? He’s potentially got some good fights left in him.

…Why not sign Phil Davis, who carved out a little niche for himself as the gatekeeper to the elite class of the Octagon’s light-heavyweights?

…Why ignore Chael Sonnen, whose physical decline will always be out-weighed by the outrageous trash he talks?

Sometimes these items purchased at the grand MMA yard sale do have value.

And sometimes, like in the case of former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson, they end up being a big waste of money.

These are the facts:

  • After the WEC was gobbled up by the UFC, it wasn’t long before “Bendo” became champ. But he could never quite handle the heat Anthony Pettis brought in the WEC cage, and he couldn’t handle it in the Octagon, either.
  • Subsequent losses to Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone had Henderson seeking solace at welterweight. Which is fine, there’s no shame in losing to those guys. And at welterweight, Henderson notched wins against the likes of Brandon Thatch and Jorge Masvidal. But his contract was up, and the UFC didn’t like the math involved in a Benson Henderson equation, so it was on to Bellator…
  • …Where Bendo has laid a gigantic egg.

In his first outing in the Bellator cage, Henderson was given a title shot against welterweight champ Andrey Koreshkov. The former UFC champ looked like total crap, and lost handily.

Henderson beat Patricio Freire after that, when the Brazilian suffered a leg injury, but then came decision losses to Michael Chandler and Patricky Freire.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Chandler and Freire are among the organization’s best, but an elite Henderson would’ve smoked them. Bellator didn’t purchase the elite version of Henderson, though. They got the discarded, yard-sale version.

You have to think their return on investment is going to be nothing more than a whole lot of disappointment.

Anyway, Henderson is fighting Roger Huerta at Bellator 196 in Budapest, because why not. Here’s a little hype reel they put together for him.

The post Benson Henderson: Bellator’s Big Waste of Money? appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

With Rory MacDonald’s arrival, Bellator’s welterweight scene a hot one

It was good to see Rory MacDonald back in the cage, even if it was a new one not limited to just eight sides. It was cool to watch him shut out a partisan London crowd for his Bellator debut, to cast that loveable “playing with your organs makes me feel nothing” gaze on Paul Daley. And it was downright refreshing to see MacDonald take care of business the way he did. MacDonald didn’t waste too much time trading with the power broker Daley, who was fresh off his KOTY nomination over Brennan Ward. He just wiped the canvas with him, working more guards than you can find at Buckingham Palace, before finally tapping him with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

MacDonald came out in mint condition. He was back in the same neatly pressed psychosuit he arrived in with nary a nick, in time for last call at the Lamb & Flag.

That’s one hell of a debut.

And it was a sight better than the last couple of times we saw MacDonald, who had his nose shattered in one of the greatest, most harrowing fights on record against Robbie Lawler back at UFC 189. MacDonald refractured that nose against Stephen Thompson in what was his final UFC fight last June, and his time of convalescence served as a segue for him to greener pastures. That came in the form of Bellator. MacDonald took nearly a year to resurface, but it was well worth it. The MacDonald that just rolled right through Daley was a reminder of the one that beat the likes of Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia and Tarec Saffiedine — and dropped Lawler off at death’s door.

It was also a reminder that, don’t look now, but Bellator’s got a good-looking welterweight division. MacDonald now awaits the winner of the big June 24 show at Madison Square Garden, when current champion Douglas Lima will defend against another Bellator newcomer, Lorenz Larkin. That fight takes on additional gravity with the presence of MacDonald hovering over it. It’s very unBellatorian to have an obvious horizon. This is how it should work.

What’s even better is that the periphery is filling in, as well. Michael Page, a kind of asterisked sensation who is waiting his first “real challenge,” was cageside for the MacDonald-Daley fight. He was supposed to face Derek Anderson on the card, but fell out with a knee injury. Yet that fight is all but forgotten now that Daley and Page nearly came to blows after Friday’s main event. In some ways, Daley stole the headlines by setting the table for a clash with “MVP.”

(Daley’s one of those feisty cats you’ve got to keep an eye on after a fight — the man is full of extracurriculars).

It’s a healthy division that Bellator has up and running, especially as you remember that Andrei Koreshkov is looming out there, too. It looks all the more healthy with Woodley and Maia — two MacDonald victims — are getting ready to fight for the UFC’s welterweight title at some point in the near future. What made MacDonald a prized free agent? Exactly that. His resume is a document of butchery. His casualty list can stand up to anybody’s.

And really, that was the best thing that came out of his debut in Bellator. MacDonald bucked a kind of disturbing trend. Benson Henderson, who was the best free agent acquisition before MacDonald, found himself rag dolled against the bigger Koreshkov in his debut. Matt Mitrione got clubbed by Carl Seumanutafa before snapping back to consciousness and winning his debut. Koscheck’s Bellator debut against Mauricio Alonso was lamentable, and Josh Thomson hasn’t exactly been a fire starter in his reunion with Scott Coker.

MacDonald is different. At 27 years old, he is still in his prime. He’s never been a champion, which gives him motivation. He’s splitting his training at his childhood home of Kelowna, which has (apparently) given him a sense of revival. He’s the same dead-eyed killer that made a name for himself, and it was in evidence in that fight with Paul Daley. One key addition opens up a realm of possibility.

MacDonald was that addition, and business just picked up in Bellator’s welterweight division.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Bellator’s Neiman Gracie says Dillon Danis backed out of fight against him at MSG

A Bellator prospect with a famous name thought he had a fight set with Dillon Danis in June. But Danis backed out after initially accepting, according to the undefeated Neiman Gracie.

Gracie told MMA Fighting that Bellator came to him about a fight with Danis at Madison Square Garden on June 24 and he accepted. Danis agreed and then changed his mind, Gracie said.

“They offered me the fight,” Gracie said. “I accepted the fight, he accepted the fight and now he said no. I never asked for the fight, but I say yes. But I understand. I know I’m a bad matchup for him. I know he’s just starting fighting and nobody wants to start their career 0-1. I wouldn’t take the fight neither.”

The matchup made sense on a few levels. Both Danis and Gracie are high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists and they come from prestigious gyms in New York. Danis trains at Marcelo Garcia’s academy and Gracie calls Renzo Gracie Academy home. The facilities are just four blocks apart in Manhattan and the jiu-jitsu athletes at the gyms have a rivalry.

“I respect the guys from Marcelo’s gym,” Neiman Gracie said. “They are great guys. Some of them are my friends. But it’s just because it pisses me off. I accepted the fight and now it’s not happening anymore. He says that he’s really tough, but when it’s time for him to fight, he’s not gonna fight?”

Gracie, 28, added that he and Danis were supposed to meet in the IBJJF Pans jiu-jitsu tournament in 2015, but Danis didn’t show up for the match and Gracie ended up getting a bye in the tournament. Gracie said he’s not sure why that happened, but possibly points to the issues Danis has had with other Renzo Gracie jiu-jitsu competitors like Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan.

“Dillon has a history with those guys,” said Neiman Gracie, who is 5-0 as a pro MMA fighter between Bellator and World Series of Fighting. “The guys want to fight him all the time and he doesn’t want to. But then he goes on the internet and says that he wants to. When it’s time for him to sign something, he doesn’t do it.”

Danis, 23, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that a tweet from Neiman Gracie on Monday morning was the first time he has heard of Gracie.

In response to Gracie’s claim, Danis said that Bellator offered him a fight on the MSG card, but he was only interested in fighting on pay per view, otherwise he was going to focus on two BJJ tournaments this year, IBJJF worlds and ADCC.

Danis, who has yet to have a pro or amateur MMA fight, said Bellator offered Gracie the bout without getting a confirmation from him. Bellator wanted the fight on the Spike TV portion of the event.

“I’m not taking that,” Danis said he told matchmaker Rich Chou. “I told you, I’m only missing the worlds for pay per view.”

Danis, who has become a well-known name in MMA circles as the grappling training partner for Conor McGregor, said he thinks he knows why Gracie is bringing this up publicly.

“They’re just trying to get a name off me,” Danis said. “It’s understandable.”

Gracie said that isn’t the reason why. He said he just wanted to get his story out about what happened before Danis could spin it on social media, like he has in the past with others.

“I don’t like that sh*t,” Gracie said. “If you’re gonna fight, you fight. If you’re not gonna fight, don’t say nothing. If you talk sh*t, you’ve gotta back it up.”

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Bellator’s Neiman Gracie says Dillon Danis backed out of fight against him at MSG

A Bellator prospect with a famous name thought he had a fight set with Dillon Danis in June. But Danis backed out after initially accepting, according to the undefeated Neiman Gracie.

Gracie told MMA Fighting that Bellator came to him about a fight with Danis at Madison Square Garden on June 24 and he accepted. Danis agreed and then changed his mind, Gracie said.

“They offered me the fight,” Gracie said. “I accepted the fight, he accepted the fight and now he said no. I never asked for the fight, but I say yes. But I understand. I know I’m a bad matchup for him. I know he’s just starting fighting and nobody wants to start their career 0-1. I wouldn’t take the fight neither.”

The matchup made sense on a few levels. Both Danis and Gracie are high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists and they come from prestigious gyms in New York. Danis trains at Marcelo Garcia’s academy and Gracie calls Renzo Gracie Academy home. The facilities are just four blocks apart in Manhattan and the jiu-jitsu athletes at the gyms have a rivalry.

“I respect the guys from Marcelo’s gym,” Neiman Gracie said. “They are great guys. Some of them are my friends. But it’s just because it pisses me off. I accepted the fight and now it’s not happening anymore. He says that he’s really tough, but when it’s time for him to fight, he’s not gonna fight?”

Gracie, 28, added that he and Danis were supposed to meet in the IBJJF Pans jiu-jitsu tournament in 2015, but Danis didn’t show up for the match and Gracie ended up getting a bye in the tournament. Gracie said he’s not sure why that happened, but possibly points to the issues Danis has had with other Renzo Gracie jiu-jitsu competitors like Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan.

“Dillon has a history with those guys,” said Neiman Gracie, who is 5-0 as a pro MMA fighter between Bellator and World Series of Fighting. “The guys want to fight him all the time and he doesn’t want to. But then he goes on the internet and says that he wants to. When it’s time for him to sign something, he doesn’t do it.”

Danis, 23, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that a tweet from Neiman Gracie on Monday morning was the first time he has heard of Gracie.

In response to Gracie’s claim, Danis said that Bellator offered him a fight on the MSG card, but he was only interested in fighting on pay per view, otherwise he was going to focus on two BJJ tournaments this year, IBJJF worlds and ADCC.

Danis, who has yet to have a pro or amateur MMA fight, said Bellator offered Gracie the bout without getting a confirmation from him. Bellator wanted the fight on the Spike TV portion of the event.

“I’m not taking that,” Danis said he told matchmaker Rich Chou. “I told you, I’m only missing the worlds for pay per view.”

Danis, who has become a well-known name in MMA circles as the grappling training partner for Conor McGregor, said he thinks he knows why Gracie is bringing this up publicly.

“They’re just trying to get a name off me,” Danis said. “It’s understandable.”

Gracie said that isn’t the reason why. He said he just wanted to get his story out about what happened before Danis could spin it on social media, like he has in the past with others.

“I don’t like that sh*t,” Gracie said. “If you’re gonna fight, you fight. If you’re not gonna fight, don’t say nothing. If you talk sh*t, you’ve gotta back it up.”

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Is Bellator’s second PPV good weird fun, or a kind of weird normal with a price tag? (The answer: Yes)

When Bellator first tried a pay-per-view event, back at Bellator 120 while still under the steely frills-free eye of Bjorn Rebney, there was a healthy amount of harrumphing to be heard if one only cared to listen. Muhammad Lawal and Quinton Jackson, the headliners for that show, had a beef that went back to van ride they took together in 2009. You might remember the other passenger, poor Bobby Lashley, left grinning in between.

The fight took place in Jackson’s native city of Memphis. Or rather, across the river from Memphis in Southaven, Miss., which isn’t exactly the fight capital of the world.

Did any of it feel arbitrary? Oh yes. Arbitrary as hell.

For a product that people had long been used to getting for free (and even then, at times reluctantly), it was a hard sell to the public. Jackson and Lawal was an old grudge in want of resolution, but not necessarily in need of our disposable income. The hook for Bellator 120 was really the lightweight title bout between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez, who were trilogizing an epic series that was MMA’s version of Gatti-Ward. The bang-for-the-buck element fell to Tito Ortiz, a behemoth brand name welcoming the 185-pound champion, Alexander Shlemenko, to his density field. The bonus appearance was Michael Page, the balloon man in the wind tunnel, who fought Ricky Rainey.

It didn’t help matters that Alvarez fell out and was replaced by Will Brooks, but that show did somewhere in the vicinity of 100,000 buys. That low number might have signaled an end of pay-per-view delusions for some brands, but not Bellator.

Three years later the promotion will attempt its second PPV, and this time there are a few key differences. Instead of the Landers Center in the crooked letter state, it will be held on June 24, at none other than historic Madison Square Garden — the fight world Mecca. And instead of Rebney getting called a “d*ck rider” by Lawal on the way out, it’ll be Scott Coker and his merry band of relics on the way in.

If there’s one familiar special guest in this second PPV it’s this: The Old Grudge.

Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, who brawled visibly (though technically off-the-record) during a taping of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3, are going to finally meet. For patient people who’ve been dying to know how this all plays out, come June there will be resolution. This has been a fight well over three years in the making. It feels much longer.

The UFC tried to make that match at UFC 173, then the TUF Brazil 3 Finale, then again at UFC 175, but…I mean, how else to say it? UFC 175 in retrospect played out like a drug sting. Wanderlei ran from sample collectors beforehand, was plucked from the card and replaced by Vitor Belfort, and was then subjected to Sonnen’s mockery. Then Sonnen popped for a scroll of illegal substances, was plucked from the card, and made the mockery of the sport itself. The fact that Belfort — who was embroiled in the great TRT/TUE ethical quandary of that year — carried the least red tape into the situation tells you all you need to know about Wandy-Sonnen.

Anyway, the grudge.

The thing is Sonnen and Silva don’t like each other, and that’s your premise for Bellator 180. General dislike. Never mind that Sonnen only returned from the two-year suspension (refashioned his “retirement” through that stretch) with a thud against Tito Ortiz in January, or that Silva last fought a month before Conor McGregor’s UFC debut — the grudge has no shelf life. Pending the New York commission throwing cold water on things, Sonnen and Silva will finally get to the bottom of this feud that has suffered so many detours along the way, gone through so much regulatory intervention, been so largely forgotten by the passage of time that it feels new again. This here is a faculty fight for the satisfaction of seeing one or the other get their ass handed to them. Those right there are the extent of the stakes. Belfort’s vision of a “legend’s division” is already alive and well in Bellator.

The addition of Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione in the co-main is fine, but a little odd given that we already had our minds around it in a different way. The fight was going to be broadcast on Spike TV in February, but was cancelled at the eleventh hour when Mitrione was forced out due to kidney stones. So what does it say that a fight that was destined for free television shows up again behind a pay wall? That the bluest balls you never asked for can turn back to normal for a tidy sum.

Good thing for Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin. The UFC was foolish to let the 30-year old Larkin walk, given that he just completely annihilated Neil Magny, scored a win over Jorge Masvidal, and once upon a time took out Robbie Lawler. His only loss in his last five fights was a split decision against Albert Tumenov. Larkin is at the top of his career, facing the 170-pound titleholder Lima, who has compiled a highlight reel of KOs (Koreshkov, Hawn, Saunders, Baker, et al). That’s a damn fine fight.

And the great thing is that Bellator’s 170-pound division is full of spry, momentous match-ups beyond Lima and Larkin, especially with Paul Daley or Rory MacDonald happening in May. In the traditional sense of fights within divisions being towards something, Lima-Larkin is towards something beyond just a title. So is Michael Chandler’s title defense against Brent Primus. The sidelines are active for that bout, as evidenced by Patricky Pitbull’s fleeting sanity. Sometimes it’s not just the fight that’s are fun, but the erupting volcanoes around it.

Still, Chandler fights are can’t miss.

If Coker and Co. are able to score a devil’s lure of a fifth bout — a Gina Carano would certainly be nice, but perhaps a Tito versus Ryan Bader (there, I said it), or Michael McDonald against Joe Warren, or even if Aaron Pico is bumped to the main card — Bellator’s second PPV has a chance to achieve one of Coker’s favorite words.

Fun.

Bellator 180, with its oddities and old grudges, its future-rich stirrings and pyrotechnics is shaping up to be a fun card. It’s a hell of a lot more substantive on whole than UFC 208, and more ridiculous fun than UFC 210. Think the main players are washed up? The night after, on June 25, the UFC will run a fight night from Oklahoma City featuring B.J. Penn. Heading into that, it’ll be like MMA just left Mardi Gras.

It remains to be seen if people are willing to buy into Bellator’s idea of fun, though, if for no other reason than they’re the ones selling it.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Bellator’s Anastasia Yankova returns to action in April

Bellator prospect Anastasia Yankova is gearing up for a return.

The Russian-born Yankova is scheduled to fight Elina Kallionidou at Bellator 176 in Torino, Italy on April 8, MMA Fighting recently confirmed with Bellator officials. The fight will take place at a 130-pound catchweight.

The undefeated Yankova (4-0) is 2-0 under the Bellator banner, most recently defeating Veta Arteaga via split decision in September.

Kallionidou (5-1) suffered the first loss of her young career in December when she dropped a unanimous decision to Sinead Kavanagh in her Bellator debut.

Yankova was recently featured in the Russian-edition of Vogue Magazine after signing a deal with Nike Russia.

The event, currently headlined by Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef 2 for the Bellator middleweight title, will mark the promotion’s second card at the Pala Alpitour in Torino.

MMA Fighting – All Posts