Posts Tagged ‘Bellator 122’

By: Jonathan M. King

Videoed and Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

The cliche rings true that creativity is the mother of all invention. Instances, examples of, and lessons learned form patterns that if you examine them creatively enough, they will offer you the solutions you seek.

Dean Lassiter may be familiar to fight fans as the guy on Spike TV that stops the bleeding in between rounds of Bellator MMA fights. However the man is not only a ‘cut-man’ but he is also the Bellator MMA Operations Manager. You could also paint him with another two brushes, Inventor and Fighter advocate.

Many fans will know that one of the most common injuries in mixed martial arts are broken hands. Some fighters like Douglas Lima almost schedule hand surgery when they sign to fight, because it happens so epidemically. So, Lassiter noticing the trend began to analyze the situation. He started by examining the human hand, taking a look at what fractures were the most frequent.

After examining “what the good lord gave us” Lassiter next focused his attention on the layer between the hand and the glove known as the wrap. Noticing that wraps varied (depending on type, and who wrapped the hand), the gloves rarely fit perfectly over the top. The final step was teaming with a major glove manufacturer to come up with potential solutions.

Everlast Worldwide Inc. decided to pick up the torch Lassiter had lit, and together they developed what is now known as the Everlast Powerlock MMA glove.everlast-gloves

The glove has led to what Lassiter claims is over a 90% reduction in hand injuries, which was the primary function. However other injuries became less frequent as well. The forced curvature of the glove reduces the chance of eye poke, because the glove restricts a fighter’s ability to extend his fingers flat.

The padding configuration of the glove has also been changed, moving most of the ‘meat’ up front on top of the knuckled and metacarpals. This has also lead to less orbital injuries, however the research hasn’t been conducted to back that fact up yet. The gloves will soon be available for the public to purchase, however for now they will remain Bellator MMA’s unkept secret.

This technology will lead to less fighter injuries. With the average mixed martial artist fighting only 3 times a year, losing a paycheck because of a broken hand, or crushed orbital could be devastating financially. Especially to the lower level fighters who count on sponsorship money and loose that when an injury occurs.

So, basically as Lassiter puts it this technology is literally “feeding” fighters. Keeping fighters healthier was the goal, and the gloves are being offered to other promotions so they can benefit from the innovation as well.

Lassiter himself, is rewarded only with the knowledge that he did his part to help keep the guys he admires in the cage. He is a true fan of the sport, and as a cut-man he always has the health of his fighters as his first priority. Its refreshing to see that fighter-first mentality carry over into the board room. Its nice to know that as long as Lassiter is there, fighters will have an advocate always looking to keep them in good form.

 

Interviewed By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Video shot and edited by Bob Fisher from www.Pugilpix.com

Mark Coleman is a UFC Hall of Famer, a pioneer in the sport, and an innovator of one of the most dominate techniques in mixed martial arts. ‘The Godfather of Ground and Pound’ Coleman transitioned to the burgeoning sport of mixed martial arts after a collegiate wrestling career that saw him win a National Championship, that lead to an appearance as an Olympian during the 1992 games.

Coleman began his career with two UFC tournament wins, and punctuated that run with winning the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 12 when he defeated Dan Severn via neck crank in the very first round. ‘The Hammer’ as he became known went on to win The Pride FC Grand Prix Tournament defeating 3 fighters (Igor Vovchanchyn, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Akira Shiji) in one night.

While his career flourished Coleman also began training other fighters under his Hammer House banner. One of those fighters Phil Baroni was the reason Coleman was in town. Baroni and Coleman have been friends for over 15 years now, and was corner Baroni for the event.

Although now retired as a fighter, Coleman continues to carve a name for himself in this sport, but now as a coach.He was featured this season on The Ultimate Fighter, as BJ Penn’s wrestling coach. The contestants really took to his teaching, and who better to learn from than ‘The Hammer’. The man has fought all over the world, won championships on two continents, competed at the 1992 Olympics, and is recognized in the UFC Hall of fame.

For fans of the sport who remember the beginning, Mark Coleman is a legend, MMA Royalty. For newer fans that are not in the ‘know’. Watch his brutal landscapes on Fight Pass or Youtube if you can, it will most certainly be worth your time.

You can find Mark Coleman via Social Media on twitter at HammerHouseMMA

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Article By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Video By: Bob Fisher www.pugilpix.com

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

 

Brandon Halsey (7-0 MMA) won the Bellator MMA 185 lbs tournament in impressive fashion. Halsey was able to bring a very tough Brett Cooper (20-10 MMA) to the mat early in the opening round. Once established in side control, Halsey quickly trapped the arm and began working for the submission. Cooper defended at first, but once Halsey rolled belly-down the arm came free and the tap followed.

The win earns the 27 year old Halsey a hefty 100,000 dollar check, and more importantly a shot at Alexander Shlemenko and his 185 lbs crown. Shlemenko is coming off an out of division loss to Tito Ortiz, and Halsey will certainly look to utilize the same game plan. “Tito already showed where the holes in his game are, I’m going to pretty much do the same thing!” Halsey said.

Andrey Koreshkov (17-1 MMA) also earned a 6 figure check tied to a title shot when he systematically dismantled Adam McDonough (11-1 MMA) for three rounds and cruised to a unanimous decision win. Koreshkov was able to thwart almost all of McDonough’s grappling attempts and maintained the distance utilizing an array of kicks and punches.

McDonough was never able to get into rhythm and ate a few big shots from Koreshkov, including a spinning heel kick that landed flush on his jaw. However he was able to survive, but lost by unanimous decision. Koreshkov earns his second tournament win, and will now face off with welterweight champion Douglas Lima at a place and time yet to be determined.

In the Light Heavyweight Tournament Semi Finals, Liam McGeary (8-0 MMA) tore through Egidijus Valavicius with vicious strikes (27-11 MMA) earning a spot in the finals against Kelly Anundson (9-2 MMA) who also advanced earlier in the evening when his opponent Philipe Lins (9-1 MMA) injured his knee in the first round of their semi final bout. Lins’s knee appeared to buckle as he attempted to throw the right hand off his jab. As he moved forward he crumbled, and referee Big John McCarthy recognized the injury right away, and stopped the contest.

Karo Parisyan (23-10 MMA) scored his second consecutive KO win when he removed perennial pro Phil Baroni (15-18 MMA) from consciousness early in the first round of their fight. Both fighters came out throwing heavy leather, but it was Parisyan was able to land first. With Baroni hurt, Parisyan swarmed and continued the assault on the ground after Baroni fell, prompting referee John McCarthy to stop the fight.

The win propels Parisyan into the welterweight rankings and with 2 consecutive wins, he will certainly be on new CEO Scott Coker’s radar. Baroni has already made plans to drop in weight to 155 lbs where he hopes to reignite his career.

Also victorious were Bubba Jenkins (7-1 MMA) who dominated Poppies Martinez (29-10 MMA) en route to a first round TKO win. Fernando Gonzalez (21-12 MMA) provided the evenings biggest upset when he cruised to a unanimous decision win over Karl Amoussou (17-7-2 MMA). Saad Awad (16-6 MMA) was able to withstand an early flurry from Joe Duarte (10-4 MMA) to secure the fight via TKO due to unanswered elbow strikes.

Brazilian heavyweight Augusto Sakai (7-0 MMA) remained unbeaten when he was able to comeback against Matt Frembling (9-3 MMA) and TKO him late in the third round with some nasty knees. Sergio Rios (8-0 MMA) removed Stephen Martinez (10-3MMA) from his senses with a head kick and follow up ground in pound. And in the evenings final swing bout Linton Vassel (14-3 MMA) defeated Virgil Swicker (12-4 MMA) via rear naked choke submission.

 

Video by: Bob Fisher www.pugilpix.com

Chuck Zito flew into town just to walk his friend Phil Baroni out to the cage for Bellator 122. As an actor Zito has starred in some of the most recognized television dramas of our time. Recently he played Frankie Diamonds on Kurt Sutter’s ‘Son’s of Anarchy’, and of course as the ruthless mob boss Chuckie Pancamo on the HBO series ‘Oz’.

We talked briefly after the fights about his career, his upcoming film ‘The Martial Arts Kid’, and about the sport of MMA.

 

Bellator WI 122-17
Fight 1:
Stephen Martinez (11-2 MMA) vs. Sergio Rios (7-0 MMA) 155 lbs
Rd1: Rios controls the early part of the round with his grappling nearly finishing with an armbar, but Martinez was able to break free and land some blood inducing elbows that swayed the round in his favor. 10-9 Martinez
Rd2: Martinez gets caught in the first exchange of the second frame. Big head kick catches Martinez moving forward. Follow up hammer fists remove all doubt.
Winner via TKO :20 Rd 2 Sergio Rios
 
Fight 2:
Saad Awad (15-6 MMA) vs. Joe Duarte (10-3 MMA) 155 lbs
Rd1: Saad Awad eats a big right hand from Duarte and is rocked. On the mat now, Awad locks up a triangle, but Duarte stacks well to counter. Big elbows from Awad, find Duarte’s head.. More follow Duarte cannot defend, and the referee stops the fight!
Winner: Saad Awad via TKO (Unanswered Strikes)  1:28 Rd 1 
Fight 3:
Karl Amoussou (17-6-2 MMA) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (20-12 MMA) 170 Lbs
Rd1:  Amoussou looked comfortable until he got hit. Gonzalez able to surprise Amoussou with his constant pressure and excellent ground and pound. Late leg lock attempt from Amoussou thwarted easily at the bell. 10-9 Martinez
Rd2: Amoussou was able to take some momentum back early with sheer volume of strikes. But Gonzalez still landing the more damaging shots, but he took too much time between spurts of action. 10-9 Amoussou
Rd3: Great fight. third round both fighter stand and bang for the entire round, until Amoussou slipped and Gonzalez pounced into side control Unable to mount much offense before the round and the fight come to an end. 10-9 Amoussou but it could go either way!
Winner: Via UD 29-28 Fernando Gonzalez 
Fight 4:
Kelly Anundson (8-2 MMA)vs. Philipe Lins (9-0 MMA) 205 lbs
Rd1: Both fighters trade, Anundson looking for a takedown, but Lins defends well. Lins throwing the jab, goes down unmolested, clutching his knee. And that is the end of the fight. Replay shows Lins knee buckled as he moved forward.
Winner: Kelly Anundson VIA TKO (injury) 1:40 Rd1
Fight 5:
Bubba Jenkins (6-1 MMA)vs. Poppies Martinez (29-9 MMA)
Rd1: Jenkins takes down Martinez right away. Martinez able to get back to his feet but Jenkins landing with the jab and the right at will. Martnez is bleeding already. Another takedown from Jenkins has Mrtinez looking for an arm. However Jenkins stacks well, and gets free. Big shots from Jenkins as Martinez covers up. More unanswered shots end the night for Poppies Martinez.
Winner: Bubba Jenkins via TKO 4:28 Rd1
Fight 6:
Matt Frembling (9-2 MMA) vs. Augusto Sakai (6-0 MMA) 265lbs
Rd1: Frembling able to land a big shot after some stalking that plants Sakai on his backside. Ground and pound from Frembling but not much landing. Sakai back to his feet lands some nice knees, including one after the bell. 10-9 Frembling
Rd2: Neither fighter looking to engage.  Both seem content to throw singel shots. Frembling lands a big left hand with a matching right that dropped Sakai with seconds left in the round. Enough to give him the advantage. 10-9 Frembling
Rd3: Sakai appears to be the crisper of the two fighter. A low blow prompts a quick stoppage. Sakai lands a big knee on the restart and another. Head kick lands on Frembling’s jaw and he goes down. Hammer fists from Sakai greet him on the mat. One then another and referee Jason Herzog has seen enough.
Winner: Augusto Sakai via TKO 3:32 Rd3
Live on Spike TV
Fight 7:
Phil Baroni (15-17 MMA) vs. Karo Parisyan (23-10 MMA) 170 lbs
Rd1: Baroni with good movement but he can’t seem to let his hands go. Parisyan with a sneay right hand, and again it lands. Baroni with his back to the cage gets dropped to one knee from another big right from Parisyan. Parisyan turns Baroni around and lands a few lefts that force Big John to stop the fight.
Winner:  Karo Parisyan via KO 2:06 Rd 1
Fight 8:
Liam McGeary (7-0 MMA) vs. Egidijus Valavicius (27-10 MMA)
Rd1: McGeary eats a few big shots from Valavicius, but walks right through them. McGeary instigates the clinch, and lands some vicious knees and and upper cut that appears to have Valavicius leaking. The seperate and again McGeary gets off first and lands with nice left and right hands. Valavicius is in trouble he is covering up, and the referee calls a stop to the fight.
Winner: Liam McGeary via TKO 2:10 Rd 1
Fight 9:
Brandon Halsey (6-0 MMA) vs. Brett Cooper (20-9 MMA) 185 lbs Middleweight Final
Rd1: Halsey immediately gets a take down and lands in side control. Halsey with some short elbows, but he appears to have the arm bar secured. Cooper trying to keep his elbow tight, is unable to defend for long. Halsey pivots belly down, uncrosses his legs and secures the tap.
Winner: Brandon Halsey via Submission 2:09 (Armbar)  Rd 1
Fight 10: Andrey Koreshkov (16-1 MMA) defeats  Adam McDonough (11-0 MMA) via UD
Brett Cooper (20-9 MMA) vs. Brandon Halsey (6-0 MMA)
Season 10 middleweight tournament final
Andrey Koreshkov (16-1 MMA) vs. Adam McDonough (11-0 MMA)
Season 10 welterweight tournament final
Phil Baroni (15-17 MMA)vs. Karo Parisyan (23-10 MMA)
Summer Series light heavyweight tournament semifinal
PRELIMINARY CARD
Spike.com, 7 p.m. ET
Kelly Anundson (8-2 MMA)vs. Philipe Lins (9-0 MMA)
Summer Series light heavyweight tournament semifinal
Manny Lara (4-4 MMA) vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy (8-0 MMA)
Stephen Martinez () vs. Sergio Rios ()
Linton Vassell ()vs. Virgil Zwicker ()

 

 

By Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

When Phil Baroni started fighting the sport of MMA was known as a somewhat ‘brainless tough man competition’, where the brutal usually trumped the tactician. However, Baroni was one of the first to bring a blend of disciplines together to win with regularity. His tremendous hand speed, and stiff wrestling pedigree made him one of the first all-around fighters in MMA.

Once he made it to television,Baroni’s career took off. As the UFC was starting to grow into a major sport, Baroni’s brash character, and aggressive style made him an instant draw. People paid to see him win, and they also paid to see him loose. His polarizing persona forced you to make it a decision. You either loved him or you hated him, but either way you wanted to see him fight.

His fight against Dave Menne at UFC 39, and rivalries with Matt Lindland and the late Evan Tanner will always be considered as all-time UFC classics.

Since then “The New York Bad Ass” has fought in every major organization around the world (Several stints with the UFC, Strikeforce, Pride, Dream, Elite XC, ONE FC, Titan FC and  others), and is now set to make his promotional debut for Bellator MMA against Karo Parisyan (23-10 MMA) on July 25. On paper the fight seems like a “cross roads” bout, as both fighters are trying to right their once promising careers. However for Baroni, its just another fight!

“I still have the fire!” Baroni said. “I love to train. I’m happy and I have a lot left to prove. I feel my career has been a letdown, and maybe a bust.” Baroni said. Those of us who watched him fight however would disagree. “I’m looking to this fight to set the record straight.”

That record has seen him fight everyone from Frank Shamrock to Ryo Chonan. Adding Parisyan’s name to the win column would certainly pave the way for more big name fights. “Karo is coming off a big win over Ron Keslar, who was a sparring  partner of mine at AKA, and Keslar beat War Machine who is another friend, so its a big fight me.”, Baroni chuckled. “I need to show these young guys I’m still the big dog!”

Currently still under contract with One FC, “The New York Bad Ass” was able to secure a fight with Bellator while still under contract with the Asian promotion in part due to the negotiations of former CEO Bjorn Rebney. With Rebney no longer in charge, Baroni is excited to fight for his former Strikeforce boss Scott Coker; who is now running the Bellator operations.

“When I was coming out of Pride I met Scott Coker; He came up to me and told me ‘I want to be in the Phil Baroni’ business.” Baroni said. “He promotes fighters.” Coker unlike his predecessor at Bellator, and unlike Dana White prefered to remain behind the curtain. A trait that left a lasting impression with Baroni. “You see these guys like Dana White and Bob Arum, become big stars as promoters, doing media scrums, and its like ‘who cares?’ they are just promoters! I just don’t understand it.” Baroni said.

As a promoter, Coker prefered to see his fighters in the limelight. The fact that Scott Coker prefers to stand behind his fighters motivates Baroni more.

“If you look at the Strikeforce fights, it was Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni, or it was Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le. It wasn’t Strikeforce a hundred and whatever, it was about the fighters, not the promotion!” Baroni said. “When Coker came to me after Pride, it meant something, it motivated me, ‘Now I want to repay that faith and make him[Coker] happy he is in the ‘Phil Baroni’ business.”

A good showing in his promotional debut would certainly secure that faith. However, win or loose “The New York Bad Ass” already has plans to drop in weight and fight at 155 lbs. Baroni claims he could have made the weight for his debut with Bellator, however he “could’t say no to a big name like Karo.” A fighter he not only respects, but recognizes as a legitimate threat. “Karo is coming off a big win, he is a real tough dude, the guy was one of the best in the UFC for a long time.” Baroni said. “I know he had some personal issues in the past, but he seems past all that now, and looked strong in his last fight.”

This fight will also be the first test for Baroni’s surgically repaired ankle. The long recovery from the injury has tested him mentally and physically. A test he would have never passed without the help of his loving wife Angela. “She didn’t give up on me, and she held it down while i was recovering!” With her support he has been able to continue fighting, and again looking to regain his former form.

A return to OKG Gym in Las Vegas is another reason for the drop to 155. “Nick told me if I wanted to come back to OKG I had to prove to him I was serious.” With his injures healed, and his weight in check it appears Baroni has passed all of the test he needed, now he needs to parlay that confidence into a great performance.

Although confident about his chances again, Baroni understands he may have to win over the pundits. “I’m not stupid, I know what the critics say” Baroni lamented. “They think I’m washed up, especially coming off the injury, but the public didn’t really see my fights in One FC, and the critics don’t see me training hard everyday. That is why this is also an opportunity for me to reintroduce myself to the American MMA fan.” Baroni said.

A win over Parisyan on national television would certainly go a long way to regain that notoriety. A loss however, would not define him. Guys like Phil Baroni are cut from a different cloth. His interests carry outside the world of fighting, and he currently owns his own business along with partner boxer Paulie Malignaggi (Future Legend), and also spends a lot of his time helping charities raise money.

“Recently I started volunteering for the One Step Closer Foundation that works with families of and individuals with, cerebral palsy.” Baroni’s nephew Christopher is one of the children who receives assistance from the charity. “I see first hand how hard it can be financially on families, it breaks my heart to see people like my sister struggle to afford things they need.” Baroni said. The charity utilizes the fighters loyal fan base to help raise money through events like their charity poker event which raised $63,000 that directly helped those in need, those like Christopher.

Baroni wears a green armband in support of the charity, and if you would like to make a donation please visit their site at: http://www.onestepcloserfoundation.org

The future for Phil Baroni will be defined by Phil Baroni, not by the critics. His legacy is secured in the concrete memories of the true fan, alongside the Chuck Liddells and Randy Coutures. He may not have won a title (Yet!), but his popularity can never be questioned. Despite what anyone may say, he is and always will be “The Best Eva!”

Make sure you watch Phil Baroni at Bellator 122 on July 25th, when he takes on Karo Parisyan. The fight will be live on SPIKE TV Check you local listings or log on to Bellator MMA.

 

You can follow: Phil Baroni on Twitter: https://twitter.com/philbaroni

Phil Baroni is Sponsored By: Future Legend http://www.futurelegend.co/ a company he owns with Boxer Paulie Malignaggi.

He Trains out of One Kick Gym in Las Vegas http://onekickgym.com/index.html

Phil Baroni would also like to thank the following:

Havoc Boxing for making “The best boxing robe in the business” Phil is their First MMA Sponsored Fighter Following the Likes of Diego Corrales and Sugar Shane Mosley

Tracy from Affliction Clothing,

Garden of Life Raw Meals

Lana’s Egg Whites

Special Thanks: to Chiat Sityodtong from Evolve Singapore.