Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Halsey’

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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.

 

Blagoi Ivanov

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

 

Bellator MMA’s roster of fighters is a diverse group of young talent, coupled with a few older lions who are looking for to either return to form, win a world title, or too  prove to themselves that they can still mix it up with the best. Three fighters that we will focus on tonight are Blagoi Ivanov, Karo Parisyan, and Vladimir Matyushenko.

On the Cusp of Immortality

Two years ago, Blagoi Ivanov was at the start of a very promising Bellator MMA career. He came to the company on the heels of defeating MMA Legend Fedor Emelianenko in the World Sambo Championships. Everything was going according to plan. Until armed thugs confronted Ivanov and a group of friends in his homeland of Bulgaria, at a nightclub. During the melee, Ivanov was stabbed under the armpit with a 12 inch blade. The wound pierced his heart, and lungs. Emergency surgery was performed to save the young fighters life, but then infections set in. Ivanov was placed into a medically induced coma, where he lay near death for over 80 days, in the dark.

When he awoke, he was a shell of his former self. The once strapping heavyweight was closer to a welterweight in size, and walking and breathing became his new hurdles. His career was effectively over as a fighter, however someone forgot to tell him. He spoke with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebeney and promised that he would return. After one year of intense training, Ivanov began to put on the weight he slept off, and slowly but surely began regaining his facilities.

Since his return, Ivanov appeared to not have missed a step. He has remained undefeated. His latest win at Bellator 116 over former UFC fighter Lavar Johnson, came via a slick Americana late in the first round that forced ‘Big’ to tap. The win has earned Ivanov a place in the Heavyweight Tournament Finals where he will face former Title holder Alexander Volkov for a shot at the World Title. In two years Ivanov has been in places not many have gone before. He keeps defying the odds at every turn, he is a champion in life, and soon may have the belt to match.

Return to Form

From 2002-2008 Karo Parisyan was one of the worlds top welterweight fighters. He was fighting all over the world, and was on the verge of a title shot. During this run, the young judoka was considered one of the sports most talented fighters. With wins over Nick Diaz, Josh Burkman, Ryo Chonan, Former Champion Matt Serra, and Chris Lytle, Parisyan seemed set to have a long successful career. Then the wheels fell off!

Parisyan spoke with us before his fight with Rick Hawn, and told us how his life spun out of control. Substances that initially were designed to heal the nagging injuries a fighter must deal with, became part of his every-day routine. He was cut from the UFC, and seemed to be another case of wasted talent.

Like a real champion, Parisyan woke up one day and realized what he was losing. He sought help and slowly began to find himself again. He also started to feel that fire in his belly, that once labeled him ‘The Heat’. Taking some fights on the regional circuit may be difficult for a fighter who once fought at the top, however it was that same humility that led Parisyan back into the light.

After a few fights with mixed results, ‘The Heat’ began to churn into an inferno again. With his weight in check, and his problems in his rear view mirror, Parisyan was given a second chance with Bellator. His first fight against Rick Hawn was a difficult task, however Parisyan attacked from the opening bell. His hands looked up to speed, his movement was working and then he got caught. Hawn won the fight but it was obvious to everyone in attendance that Parisyan was on his way back.

His next fight was equally difficult. At Bellator 116 Parisyan was paired with AKA’s Ron Kesslar who is coming off a big win over War Machine. On paper the match pitted judoka v wrestler. However its was Parisyan’s hands that made the difference. late in the second round, Parisyan dropped Kesslar with a series of punches and was able to finish with impressive ground and pound.

The win solidified Parisyan’s chances for being selected in the next welterweight tournament. Parisyan, at one time could have been one of the best in the world. In fact he was one of the best. However real champions are not made they are built. In Parisyan’s case he is rebuilt. This version, the 2.0 version is much more humble and intelligent. Like the phoenix before him, ‘The Heat’ has risen from the fire and the future looks very bright!

Farewell to A Legend

Vladimir Matyushenko has fought everywhere, and in every major organization. ‘The Janitor’ has long been one of the top light heavyweight fighters in the world. The former IFL Champion, fought in the UFC, Bellator, IFL, IFC, and Affliction and many other organizations around the world. With a record of  27-8, Matyushenko has shared the cage with a ‘who’s who’ of the MMA elite.

At Bellator 116, Matyushenko lost to Joey Beltran via North South choke late in the 3rd round. The legend left his gloves in the cage signifying his retirement. Like a wrestler leaving his shoes on the mat, ‘The Janitor’ said goodbye to the world of fighting but will remain relevant in MMA as one of the best wrestling coaches alive. Vladimir is living the American dream. He came to this country speaking only the language of a wrestler, now he is revered as legend. Matyushenko will continue as the head wrestling coach at Dynamix MMA in Santa Monica where he will be an amazing influence on all fighters young and old for many years to come.

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?