Posts Tagged ‘Bjorn Rebney’

Photo By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

When word broke last, I like most chalked it up to rumors fueled by the Alvarez release. Then for a few days it disappeared. Waking this morning to the news that former TUF 1 Finalist and UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar came out of retirement to sign a multi-fight deal with the UFC’s rival Bellator MMA was not shocking, but it does seem intriguing.

‘The American Psycho” released a statement with regards to the signing, and hinted as to why..

I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz. We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.” Stephan Bonnar

Earlier this week the UFC signed Bellator MMA’s 155 lbs champion Eddie Alvarez setting him up for his promotional debut against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Now with the Bonnar signing; although much less relevant, Bellator has shown they mean business. Even if they are past their primes, Bonnar v Ortiz is a fight that is guaranteed to entertain. Bonnar’s chin down head first style, and Ortiz’s traditional ground and pound make this a chess match on paper that should not be missed.

Does Stephan Bonnar v Tito Ortiz matter in the MMA world? Sure it does. The fight matters as long as it is promoted properly. If its a grudge match pitting two guys who clearly dont like each other, then its a fun fight. If this ends up being a setup for a 205 lbs contender, then its a joke. A joke that may end up costing the promotion credibility.

Is Bonnar the same guy he was when he carried the sport on his shoulders in his first fight with Forrest Griffin? No, but that doesn’t mean he still cant entertain in the cage.

Setting either one of these guys up for a title run, will only solidify the companies position as a UFC pretender. However, if they utilize both of these guys the way the UFC uses fighters like Cung Le and Rich Franklin, it could be a pretty smart move. Bonnar is also a polished broadcaster, so he will probably see double duty when he is not fighting.

The move will certainly illicit some sort of response from his former employer. Dana White has always been a huge supporter of Bonnar, and even went to great lengths to defend his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. So it will be interesting to hear his response.

Quelled as a rumor when first reported a week or so ago, the signing may be a sign that the two promotions have put to rest the animosity. Under Bjorn Rebney’s control Bellator MMA was consistently the target for well placed jabs by Dana White, who referred to his counterpart “Bjork”. Now with Rebney out, and Scott Coker in, maybe the two promotions have decided to co exist.

If so it would be a decision that could benefit both companies and the sport as a whole. Perhaps a united front from both Viacom and Zuffa would present a hurdle that even Sheldon Silver could not jleap over, paving the way for the sport to be legalized in New York State. If these two giants could unite if only for that purpose…..Oh the humanity that would result!

 

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Battle tested, champion approved!

Battle tested, champion approved!

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

A new day in Bellator MMA has dawned, and the cracking sun shines on a new undisputed champion. The second Eddie Alvarez was released, Will Brooks became the promotions 155 lbs torch bearer. His first title defense is pretty obvious. Michael Chandler will most likely get the first shot at the newly minted undisputed champion. After losing a controversial decision to Brooks, it appeared that a unification bout with Alvarez put Chandler in limbo. It didn’t seem right for him to have to go through another tournament though. Thankfully now he won’t have to!

The Alvarez release makes sense for Bellator MMA. It allows the company to build with fighters that intend on being there for a while. Once the promotions and Alvarez engaged legally, the relationship was fractured. After signing an offer sheet with the UFC, Bellator under Bjorn Rebney exercised their matching rights, and claimed they matched the offer, and a nasty battle outside the cage ensued.

The parting also makes sense for Alvarez who has for years been at the top of the divisional rankings, without having to step foot in the octagon. Alvarez now has the opportunity test himself against the best 155 lbs fighters in the world. His first fight will be against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. It will be Alvarez’s first fight since defeating Chandler nearly 10 months ago.

Now that Alvarez has moved on and with Scott Coker at the helm, the promotion can finally cut its own path, again! With Coker’s pedigree in MMA and with his new team of matchmakers it seems their only hurdle is the companies past transgressions. However with a group of solid young fighters that includes Chandler, Brooks, 205 lbs contender Liam McGeary, 170 lbs title holder Douglas Lima, 145 lbs champion Pat Curran, Daniel Straus and many others a bright future maybe only be a few roster tweaks away.

With Coker looking to book more big name fights, the Bellator PPV dream may once again become a viable option.

Odd Man Out: Ben Askren ‘Bad timing’

When Ben Askren was released CEO Bjorn Rebney based the decision on Askren’s “one dimensional’ style. Even though he was undefeated and the 170 lbs champion, he was cast aside. Happily Askren accepted the release, expecting his entrance into the UFC. However, Dana White had no intention in legitimizing the Bellator promotion by allowing Askren to continue his domination. So,he was told to sign elsewhere.

Now with One FC, Askren remains undefeated and is slowly becoming the poster child for the dominant Asian promotion.

Now that the regime has changed. It appears tensions have as well. Yes, Alvarez is more exciting to watch, but if the UFC claims to have the best fighters in the world, then you have to include the undefeated Askren. Especially when you consider the UFC even signed Jay Hieron following his loss to Askren.

Maybe Askren wanted too much money, or guarantees the UFC couldn’t grant. However with Alvarez being swallowed up right away, its begs the question. Why Alvarez and not Askren?

Bamma BB12-7

The Champ spends a moment with his Grandmother.

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bamma USA is known for putting on some of the best Mixed Martial Arts fights in California. Last night reinforced that recognition with some well balanced match-ups, and fighters who left all of their efforts in the cage.

Early on in the event, The Commerce Casino was rocked with a earthquake that registered 5.1 on the Richter scale. The after shocks, were hardly noticed as the crowd spent most of the night on their feet cheering loudly.

With the ground vibrating, the night was highlighted with spectacular efforts from a few fighters, one of which was former TUF contestant Chris Beal; who looked extremely comfortable as he dispatched a very game Keith Carson. Beal utilized his superior striking skills to take out the jittery Carson, who never seemed to get comfortable.

Beal utilized his superior counter striking and kept Carson guessing and flailing with random strikes that never seemed to threaten Beal. Beal maintained his composure, and showed excellent growth as he patiently waited for the opening instead of forcing the finish.

Comebacks are always entertaining, and Kevin Bostick’s comeback KO had the Casino shaking again. Bostick was able to absorb a vicious head kick from Chris Pena late in the first round. Moments later he countered a knee attempt with a huge uppercut that connected with Pena’s chin, immediately turning off the lights. Pena fell supine as the arena erupted with excitement.

The ladies also made a huge impression as Melanie Lacroix and Brooksie Baynard put on a back and forth battle that left both fighters battered. Baynard pressed the action the entire fight, utilizing her brute strength to her advantage, tossing Lacroix at first. However, Lacroix quickly changed her game plan, and was able to land countless knees in the clinch to Baynard’s face. Lacroix cruised to a close unanimous decision win. The fight was clearly a fan favorite, as the crowd stood for the entire second and third rounds.

Terrion Ware is quickly becoming the name you want to know, before everyone else in the world of MMA does. Last night, he proved why he should be the next guy on the UFC’s radar. Ware outlasted Eric Winston in a very tough 5 round war that netted ‘The Flash’ his first Bamma USA Title at 135 lbs. Winston proved to be a very tough opponent as advertised, and he was able to take down Ware on multiple occasions. However, outside of a near choke in the first round, he was never able to mount much offense with his dominant position. Ware was able to get out of that situation and never seemed in trouble on the mat after that round.

The fight came down to Ware’s superior counter punching. On multiple occasions he changed levels and countered with body shots and finished upstairs with the hook. Winston’s chin held up, and he was even able to clip Ware late in the fourth round. However, Ware came out for the start of the fifth with renewed vigor. Although, Winston was able to score another take down, Ware was able to get up after Referee Mike Beltran stood the fighters up, due too lack of action. Once standing Ware lit Winston up with body shots, and even attempted a few flying knees late that missed their mark.

Terrion Ware dedicated the win, and the title to the memory of his grandmother who passed away earlier in the week.

Once again the promoter Brett Roberts and his team created an atmosphere where the fighters decide the success of the event, and once again the fighters delivered. Bamma USA offers some of the most competitive fights available, and for the die hard fan, the pay per availability should be “must watch TV”. The fighters are hungry, aggressive, and the match-ups break the mold of the one sided regional promotions.

 

Notes: Also winning were Lateef Williams who dispatched Paul Karsky quickly with a slam and following choke; Kyra Batara impressively beat Misha Nassiri via Armbar; Benji Gomez outlasted David Duran, Christian Aguilera defeated Kory Kelly; Greg Parker defeated Paul Song; Justin Jones submitted Paul Gemmati; and Steve Kozola TKO’d Tommy Gavin.

All photos, and images are owned by The Clinch Report, LLC. Any unauthorized use or distribution is expressly prohibited, Please contact us at news@theclinchreport.com for information about obtaining the rights.

Bjorn Rebney bellator Owner and CEO

Bjorn Rebney bellator Owner and CEO

 

 

 

 

 

Bellator MMA CEO and Founder Bjorn Rebeny has announced that welterweight champion Ben Askren will not be resigning with the company. The CEO’s Twitter account posted “We’ve relinquished any right to match and Ben can sign with whoever he chooses to sign with. I wish Ben the best wherever he goes.”

For the undefeated Askren, the next step is an obvious one. Dana White and the UFC have already expressed interest in signing the now former Bellator Champion. Earlier Rebney had quipped that a guaranteed title shot at St.Pierre immediately would be the only way he would refuse matching rights, however something obviously changed his tune.

Askren a former National Champion and Olympic wrestler has been criticized for his ground based style, that for some fans consider boring. Askren has been dominant in all of his title defenses, and has not shown any cracks in his game since entering the Bellator cage.

 

Two battered Champions!

Two battered Champions!

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Very rarely in the world of MMA do things go ‘according to plan’! This cliche extends from the fighters, to the judges and referee’s, and certainly reaches beyond even the promoters. Originally, and eventually are usually defined by the gulf between. If in that gap you find integrity, than there is a chance at success.

Bellator 106 was designed to be a Pay Per View. Although the scripted headline of Rampage vs Ortiz fell off due too Ortiz’s neck injury, the actual main event, was always going to be Eddie Alvarez vs Michael Chandler. No longer a PPV card the chasm of doubt in many circles began to grow. Executives at Bellator and their partners at Spike TV however, recognize opportunity where others saw disaster.

By offering the fight for free, on live television they allowed the world a glimpse at the absolute very best of Bellator MMA. Faith was placed in the fighters, and they did not disappoint.

The Pat Curran vs Daniel Straus fight was a clinical example of one fighter effectively executing a game plan throughout a fight. For 5 rounds, Daniel Straus blanketed the Champion, with his superior wrestling, and seemed to be the crisper of the two fighters, even after eating an illegal knee to the head, while grounded.

Curran, who is known to have some of the best hands in all of MMA, just couldn’t seem to get started. The challengers athleticism seemed to keep the champion in a mire, leaving him plodding instead of gliding, which Curran usually does. Unable to commit to combinations, Curran was effectively neutralized by Straus.

With the win Daniel Straus moves his name up the latter of 145 lbs fighter in the world rankings, and also picks up a nice shiny piece of hardware for the mantle piece. For Bellator, they can now legitimately claim have 2 of the top 145 lbs fighters in the world on their roster.

The one fight on the main card that was rather slow, was the King Mo vs Emanuel Newton fight. Newton, although he threw a sack load of strikes, most of them were moving backwards, and not many landed with any sauce on them. Mo, spent the night looking to counter with his wrestling, and inside game ended up on the short end of a unanimous decision. Despite landing the more damaging strikes, and the fights only take downs, the judges obviously scored for the busier fighter.

The Main Event may have been quite possibly Bellator MMA’s most spectacular moment. Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler collided at full speed, and the second fight seemed more like round 5 than it did a new fight. For 5 rounds, both fighters led all who watched on a violent elevator ride. Each appeared to be on the verge of defeat on numerous occasions, only to surge back with a flurry.

When two of the most skilled fighters in the world refuse too loose, we all win. Eddie Alvarez ended up on the sunny side of a split decision and returned the lightweight strap to his waist. For Chandler, an immediate rematch would certainly be justified. Its only a matter of time before the epic third contest is scheduled.

In the end, it is the result that more often than not matters most. The path across the divide may not be recognizable once you pass, but does it really matter? When you look back at that amazing fight, are you going to remember the two warriors that stood toe to toe, for 5 rounds, neither willing to relent? Or will you remember the two that didn’t even fight?

Michael Chandler v Eddie Alvarez for the Bellator MMA 155 lbs World Title

Michael Chandler v Eddie Alvarez for the Bellator MMA 155 lbs World Title

Bellator MMA Live from The Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA.

First fight is at 3:00 p.m. PST(6:00 pm EST) and the prelims will be streaming online at http://www.Spiketv.com

The main card will be shown live on SpikeTV. The card will feature three world title bouts.

Preliminary Card:

Fight #1: Josh Smith (8-5) vs Darren Smith (4-3) 155 lbs    3 X 5 Rounds:

Results: First fight end 29-28 on all cards Josh Smith via UD

Fight #2 Cleber Luciano (8-5) s Joe Camacho (16-18-3)

Rd 1: Camacho defends the early shot from Luciano, but is pressed back against hthe fence. Luciano with a nice roll, ends up in side control. Nice elbows from Luciano soften up Camacho, who is trying to pull his opponent close. Camacho able to close half guard, but Luciano is still landing with short elbows and punches. Luciano achieves mount, but is bucked back to side control. Both fighters trading from the mat, Luciano digs to the body. More short elbows from Luciano. Luciano landing several punches before the bell. 10-9 Luciano

Rd 2: Good movement from Cleber, as he immediately brings the fight to the mat. Camacho closes his guard, as Luciano postures. Now back in side control, Camacho doing a much better job controlling the body this round. Elbow from Camacho staves off the stand up. Luciano able to achieve mount. Quickly he transitions to the back, but he is unable to get the choke as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Luciano

Rd 3: Luciano again able to get the take down, Nice elbows from the top by Cleber. More ground strikes to Camacho’s head. Now in north south position, Cleber still landing at will. Camacho can’t get any significant damage. More strikes from top position as the fight come to a close. 10-9 Luciano

Winner: Via Decision Unanimous Cleber Luciano 

Fight #3 Michael ‘The Joker’ Guymon (14-6-1) vs Aaron ‘Blood Spiller’ Miller (14-8)

Rd 1: Long feeling out process from the two veterans. High kick from Guymon misses. Miller doubles up on the jab, and lands the second softly. Nice one two from Guymon before he instigates the clinch. Miller being pressed into the fence, reverses and takes Guymon down. Guymon back to his feet eats a knee and then circles out and presses Miller against the cage. Low knee from Miller catches the stones of Guymon who will have 5 minutes to recover. Action restarts and Guymon lands a nice right, before eating a kick. Guymon goes for the clinch, but Miller takes him down.  Miller looking to pass, and he takes Guymons back. Miller looking for the choke, but Guymon defends well. Guymon able to stand but Miller is draped all over him. Another takedown from Miller, Guymon flirts with the triangle, and stands. Nice knee to  the head from Guymon as the round ends. 10-9 Miller

Rd 2: Guymon able to grab a hold of the clinch, but Miller reverses briefly only to be taken down by Guymon. Mller back to his feet, but still in the Jokers grasp. Nice body shots from Guymon find a home. Guymon again with the take down, now has his back. Miller fights back to his feet, and is able to grab a leg that he parlays into a take down of his own. Miller working out Guymons guard. Guymon looking for the triangle, but Miller spins out. Miller back on top working out of side control, then back to north south. Miller looks for a kimura, which he sweeps to his back. Guymon looking for an armbar, swithces to a triangle, readjust and it is deep. Miller forced to Tap.

Winner: Via Submission Triangle Choke Michael Guymon (4:20) rd 2

Fight #4

Brandon Halsey v Hector Ramirez

Rd 1: Halsey with the take-down, immediately reigning blows down from the back mount. Ramirez in trouble, and Big John McCarthy calls a stop to the action.

Winner: Via TKO Rd 1 Brandon Halsey

Fight #5  Alejandro Garcia (14-5) vs Cristiano Souza (6-0)

Rd 1: Souza utilizing some heavy hands, but Garcia is countering well. Both fighters are swinging for the fences. Every strike is a commitment. Nice take down from Souza as he ducked under a jab nicely to secure position. Souza working in Garcia’s guard/ Both fighters back up and Garcia lands a nice elbow before eating a low knee at the bell. Souza landed several strikes before the low blow.  10-9 Souza with the late take down.

Rd 2: Souza flirts with the liver kick, but Garcia circle out. Leg Kick from Souza. Garcia is stalking Souza. Souza again lands to the leg. Souza misses with lead left, but able to get a hold of Garcia, apparently something landed low, Garcia is down. Action starts back up. Now Souza is the one stalking forward. Garcia ducks under the right hand and gets the body lock. Nice knee from Souza in the clinch, and again. Garcia grounds himself with a hand to avoid further knees. Garcia able to get away, but Souza again gets a hold of him. More knees from the clinch as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Souza

Rd 3: Flying knee from Souza, but he heats a big right hand counter from Garcia. Garcia backs him up, momentarily. Souza able to get the take down. Souza transitions to Gracia’s back and is looking for the choke. Garcia fighting the hands well enough to survive for now. Souza trying to soften him up with strikes. The choke looks tighter now, and Garcia taps.

Winner: Cristiano Souza Via submission rear naked choke. rd

Live on Spike TV:

Main Card Fight 1: Akop Stepanyan vs Mike Richman

Mike Richman wins via TKO (strikes) Rd 2

Daniel Straus vs Pat Curran for the 145 lbs World Title

Rd 1: Straus was able to take down Curran a couple of times and controlled position throughout the round ! Curran was able to land sporadically but 10 -9 Straus.

Rd 2: very close round, but Curran was striking with more urgency. Straus was able to secure a late take down, but Curran had him rocked on more than one occasion. 10-9 Curran

Rd 3: Curran in control of the clinch, He takes Straus down with a throw, but lands an illegal knee to the grounded Straus. Straus is hurt badly, this will cost Curran a point, and Straus will have 5 minutes to recover. He looks to be ok, but now the doctor is in the cage to take a look. Dr seems satisfied and we are going to continue. Pat Curran will be deducted 1 point. Nice show of sportsmanship as Curran apologizes. Straus takes him down immediately on the restart. Straus in side control. 10-8 Straus as he rides out the round on top. 10-8 Straus

Rd 4: Again Straus in charge as he has Curran pressed against the cage. Straus has hip control and slams Curran to the mat. Now looking for the back, Straus is in complete control up too this point. Straus is smothering Curran who can’t seem to get any offense going. Another take down for Straus, as Curran attacks the neck. Curran looking for a guillotine pulls guard, it looks tight, but Straus holding tight. Straus gets his head out, and is back in the open guard. Body head from Straus. Nice elbow from the challenger. Curran busted open, and Straus with a standing guillotine but the round comes to a close. 10-9 Straus

Rd 5: Nice body kick from Straus starts the frame. Curran looking to counter but can’t seem to get off. Straus is beating him to the punch every time. Flying knee from Straus finds the solar plexus of Curran, Big flurry from Straus, knees an punches have the champion on his bicycle. Curran now looking to do damage against the cage, but time is running out. Curran looks for a last minute sub, as he pulls guard, but Straus gets free and should be the new champion!

Winner: Via Decision and New Featherweight Champion of the World Daniel Straus 

King Mo vs Emanuel Newton for interim 205 lbs title.

Rd 1: King Mo is busting up Newton after a clinch. Newton lands a low blow, and Herb Dean halts the action for a moment. Newton lands with a right, goes for the back fist, as Mo shot and ends up on his back again. Mo working in the open guard of Newton. Newton gets back to his feet and flirts with a high kick that flails. Mo starts clowning an Manny lands a head kick before the round ends 10-9 King Mo

Rd 2: Both fighters cautious as the second frame begins. Newton charging forward with a single leg kick, Mo walks through it. Mo looks for the single leg, then lets it go. Knees against the cage from Mo find Newtons body. Another take down scores for Lawal. Newton lands a head kick after he stands and Mo is rocked. Knee from Newton lands. Mo on his bicycle. Lazy shot from Mo is stuffed by Newton. Mo back to moving forward, the cobwebs appear to have cleared. Newton now in the center of the cage, lands a nice over hand right. 10-9 Newton

Rd 3: Newton starts the round with range effective kicks, that keep Mo at bay. Newton lands a nice right, and eats the counter from Lawal. King Mo appears to be looking to land one big shot. Nice exchange as both fighters land. Mo may have got the better of the exchange. Nice kick to the thigh for Newton. Newton landing the cleaner shots, as both fighters are looking to explode. Kin Mo moving forward, backs Newton against the cage again. Nice right from King Mo, after a brief clinch, but Newton also lands. 10-9 Mo in a razor close round.

Rd 4: Emanuel again looking for the spinning strike, but Mo backs off then returns fire. Nice kick from Newton lands. Lead left from Mo lands on the temple of Newton. Punch and Kick from Newton find Mo’s face. 3 punch combo for Mo lands, but Newton fires back to the lead leg. Lawal ducks under a right and attempts the take down, but Newton breaks free. Lawal with a double leg, secures the take down. Newton back to his feet, but Lawal is blanketing him against the cage. Knees to thethgh of Newton before both fighters separate. Spinning back fist from Newton misses again, body shot from Lawal doesn’t! Starching jab from Lawal snaps Newtons head back. Front kick from Newton finds Lawal’s mid section as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Lawal in a close round

Rd 5: Nice right hand from Newton glances of the temple of Lawal. Newton moving forward eats a left from Lawal then circles off. Lawal showing some urgency now. Newton lands with a nice over hand right, and a loud cracking left on the exit. Lawal now has Newton’s back, but is unable to take him down. Newton misses with a kick and a flailing left. Mo circling to his right. Nice combination from Lawal, followed by a kick from Newton. Nice right hands from Lawal have Newton leaking some awesomeness. IQ changing right hand from Lawal has Newtons attention. Big breath from Newton. Lawal again with the single leg, and he is able to take Newton down. Spinning back fist from Newton lands with seconds remaining he shoots in and Mo stuffs him. 10-9 Lawal

Winner: Via Unanimous Decision Emanuel Newton is the New Interim 205 lbs World Champion 

MAIN EVENT:

Michael Chandler (Champion) vs Eddie Alvarez (challenger) 5 X 5 rounds for the 155 lbs Bellator World Title

Rd 1: Nice punches from both fighters start. Chandler lands with a heavy left, Alvarez with the right. Chanders right eye already has a small mouse growing. Alvarez searching for a leg, but Chandler gets away easily. Nice jab from Alvarez. Nice jab from the champion. Nice right hand from Chandler lands, Alvarez on his bicycle. Alvarez with a nice counter right hand. Big right hand from Chandler sends Alvarez in search of a leg. The champion is starting to land now. Nice counter from Alvarez. Chadler misses with a big left hook. Big take down from Chadler, he almost has the choke, but Alvarez gets free. Great scramble.  Chandler bullying Alvarez as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Chandler.

Rd 2: Nice jab from the Champion starts us off. Big 2 punch combo from Chandler lands, as does the counter from Alvarez. Nice combination from the Alvarez gets away from the take down, and lands a right and a left to the head. Nice kick from Chandler, sets up the take down. Alvarez back up, and goes for a ride. Another take down for Chandler. Belly to back Suplex by Chandler. Alvarez back to his feet against the cage, but again dragged down by the champion. Alvarez trying to fight the body lock, is able to escape. Alvarez rocks Chandler for a second with a big left hand. Chandler again able to score the take down. Chandler trying to posture up as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Chandler Very close round.

Rd 3: Both fighters trade in the center of the cage, with Alvarez getting the best of the exchange. Chandler looks for the take down, but Alvarez effectively sprawls away. Both fighter reset, nice leg kick from the champion. Alvarez now pressing the action. Alvarez trying his best to get away from another take down, but Chandler is still very deep on the legs. Alvarez slips away. Leg kick from Alvarez. The challenger now landing with jabs and right hands. Chandler again looking for the take down. Alvarez has his back, and is now piecing up the champion with his hands. Alvarez now looking for the take down. But Chandler gets away only to eat a big right hand. Nice take down from Chandler and he gets to Alvarez’s back. Chandler able to secure the take down. Alvarez trying to elbow from the bottom, but the round comes to a close. Alvarez get his first round 10-9 Alvarez.

Rd 4: Chandler starches Alvarez with the jab as we start the fourth round. Alvarez with  feigns with the level change, then presses chandler against he cage. Chandler with a nice knee, and a right hand. Chandler again scores with the take down, Nice ground and pound from the champion. Big right hands from Chandler, and 3 more. Alvarez in trouble on his back, nice elbow from Chandler. Alvarez getting worked by the champion on the ground. Chandler smothering Alvarez. seat-belt from the champion has Alvarez’s arm pinned behind his back. Short elbows from the champ. Alvarez is busted up. Big right hands form Chandler go unanswered, Alvarez trying to survive the round. Chandler finishes a dominant round in top position 10-9 Chandler

Rd 5: Final Round. Alvarez with a lot of urgency to start throws a few punches that miss, but he is charging forward. Chandler looks for a take down, that Alvarez sprawls away from. Chandler lands a nice right hand, and gets Alvarez down, Quick tansition to the back, and the choke is close. Alvarez fights the hands, and gets back to his feet. Now Alvarez pressing Chandler against the cage. Roll from Chandler to get free doesnt work, but he gets up anyway. Chandler lets go of a single leg, as Alvarez lands a big left. Another shot from Chandler misses and Alvarez capitalizing with strikes against the cage. Alvarez now has Chandler’s back, both hooks are in the choke is deep, but Chandler gets out, Again the choke is tight, but Chandler again gets free. He is not out of trouble, as Alvarez still has control. Chandler turns free, and is back on top. Now mounted, Alvarez bucks free, but Chandler still able to take him down. The fight ends with Chandler on top. What a great rematch! 10-9 Alvarez.

Winner: Via Split Decision And New 155 lbs World Champion Eddie Alvarez. WOW

 

Bellator MMA is all set, and the fighters are all on weight for three title fights. Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez, Pat Curran, Daniel Straus , King Mo, and Emanuel Newton are all set for their championship matches, in what promises to be Bellator’s best card ever.

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

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DSC_5291

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Can you remember the last time 45 minutes made a difference? What could you do in less than an hour, that would matter on a grand scale? When it comes to children, 45 minutes can make a lifetime of difference. For a child who has spent his life in constant pain, 45 minutes can inspire a smile. For his parents, that relief although temporary, is priceless!

Houston Alexander is a 41 year old Mixed Martial Artist, known to the masses for his tenure with the UFC, where he fought the likes of Keith Jardine, Kimbo Slice, Thiago Silva, Alessio Sakara and James Irvin. Alexander is known for his devastating punching power, his lighting fast hands, and his ominous demeanor.

Donny Caffey Jr, is a young gladiator from Babylon NY. I know his family well, both his uncle and his father are physical specimens, and were always gifted athletes. Donny, however is tougher than both of them. Without getting into too much detail, Donny has lived most of his young life in pain due to chronic hip ailment that has required multiple surgeries. Living in constant agony, Donny has approached this adversity, like the fighters he watches. He takes his lumps, has small victories, and always keeps moving forward.

Knowing he was coming off yet another surgery, we asked the fighters at Bellator 99 to sign the fight card for him. Anything to inspire a smile. Everyone was more than eager to do so, Main Event winner Patricio Pitbull signed a glove, however Houston Alexander had other plans.

“Look man, Autographs are nice, but what do you say we give Donny a call!” Said Alexander. “Calling Donny, that is how we can make a difference!”Alexander, knows better than most about making a difference, being a single father of six children, he has learned to juggle his primary obligations with his training regimen.

With that we exchanged information, and I contacted Donny’s family.

True to his word Houston Alexander made that phone call. For 45 minutes the two spoke. What they spoke about exactly, matters, but its not important to anyone but Donny and Houston. Even his father seemed surprised. ” I don’t know what he said, but right now my son is on his crutches, punching the speed bag!” Don Caffey Sr said.

Houston Alexander may be known for his I.Q. changing right hand, but he is defined by his actions outside of the cage. In a world of questionable role models, Alexander sets the bar petty high. Mr Alexander is a Father first, and an ambassador of good will, that also happens to knock people out!

Authors Note: Thank you to Houston Alexander and his management team for organizing the call. Also, Thank you to Anthony Mazzuca and Bjorn Rebney for allowing us access to the extremely generous Bellator MMA Fighters. Any other fighters wishing to send Donny best wishes can email us at news@theclinchreport.com

 

 

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bellator 99 delivered some key opportunities for featherweights in the opening round of the tournament. First up, Justin Wilcox survived an early and dynamic battering from Akop Stepanyan, only to secure a submission victory. Wilcox, who took the fight on just 7 days notice, could barely stand after Stepanyan dismantled his lead leg with snapping kicks. However, he could not finish him.

Late in the second round, Wilcox was able to bring Stepanyan down and once he did, the transition to the back and subsequent choke, was lightning fast. Stepanyan did his best to escape, but eventually went to sleep after refusing to tap. With the win Wilcox moves on to the next round where he will face ‘Baby’ Joe Taimanglo.

Taimanglo was able to secure his spot in the next round with a win over Andrew Fisher. Utilizing excellent movement, Taimanglo was able to close the distance well, effectively neutralizing Fisher’s reach advantage. At times the fight lacked action, but that was because both fighters were utilizing their game plans. Fisher flurried late in the third round, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges.

Also fighting in the opening round of the featherweight tournament were two of the promotions youngest prospects. Former #1 155 lbs prospect Fabricio Guerreiro was able to out point a very dynamic Desmond Green. Guerreiro was able to control the pace of the fight, and aside from a few take downs from Green clearly won the fight.

With the win Guerreiro now is faced with the daunting task of going up against Patricio Pitbull in the next round. Pitbull needed just 1:19 to move on, after he blasted Diego Nunes with an incredible hook to the ear that dropped the former UFC standout. Follow up punches removed all doubt.

Also on the card, Vladimir Matyushenko utilized an effective striking game plan to keep heavy handed Houston Alexander at bay for most of the fight. When Alexander did land, ‘The Janitor’ smothered him with a combination of dominating wrestling and grappling skills. Both fighters refuse to look or act their age (41) and the result was one hell of a fight.

With the win, Matyushenko should be on a short list of names for the next 205 lbs tournament.

More pictures will be added later today!

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By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Video by: John Walsh The Clinch Report

In the world of mixed martial arts, few names are more recognizable than Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture. He is the only 3x Light Heavyweight and 3x Heavyweight champion in the sports history, and has also transitioned outside the sport into main stream media better than almost any other fighter. His fights are legendary and so are the training camps that he founded.

Team Quest and Xtreme Couture are two of the sports most recognizable camps, and both were founded in part by Couture. We have seen his coaching skill first hand on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter, so he is the perfect fit for Bellator and for the show.

Couture has endured a media backlash from the UFC since signing with the rival promotions new endeavor. Dana White has said publicly that Couture is now persona non grata at all UFC events including ones where Randy’s son, Ryan( who is on the UFC roster) is fighting. The elder Couture was in the UFC employ up until recently, but decided to sign elsewhere when he felt his status with the company was left in limbo.

Now with “Fight Masters”, Couture is looking forward to the shows reception. Which should be well received. The show itself on the surface may seem like a ‘TUF’ retread, however after watching the premier episode it is evident that this is not the case. The show offers a completely fresh look at the reality concept with regard to fighters.

Each fighter gets to choose his coach for the season. After a short interview process each fighter decides between Frank Shamrock, Joe Warren, Greg Jackson, or Couture.  Each coach evaluates the fighters, and in some cases, even lobby to be chosen. The show somewhat represents what a real fighter would do, by choosing his own path.

With a diverse mix of talent and incredible coaching; the show is all about pure mixed martial arts. However the coaches add a dynamic of competition between themselves that is not only genuine, but at times it is hysterical. The added entertainment value is a refreshing change to the buffoonery we have become use to on the other reality shows.

The show debuts  Wednesday, June 19 at 10 PM / 9 PM Central on SPIKE TV, and offers a mid week MMA fix for both the avid and casual fight fan alike. With the network having previous success with this reality show format in the past, and with Bellator’s current growth ‘Fight Master’s’ success is all but guaranteed.