Posts Tagged ‘Liam McGeary’

Bellator 131-33

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Weight can be a finicky burden. Sometimes you don’t realize how heavy something is until you let it go. For the better part of 15 years Tito Ortiz carried a good portion of the load. Weather his former employers are willing to admit that or not, weather his detractors are willing to admit that or not, it is undeniable he was one if not the, torch bearer for a long time.

However that weight started to take its toll. Years of fighting injured, and ‘answering the call’ to duty had left the former Champion adrift in the rankings, injured and without any real love from the house he helped build. So he left. And it appeared the sun was setting on a former UFC Champion and UFC Hall of Famer. However, Tito Ortiz just didn’t feel ready to call it a career yet. And once again, the sun began to peek above the horizon.

So, he signed with Bellator MMA and after an initial fight with Rampage Jackson fizzled out due to an Ortiz neck injury, it seemed Tito would ride out the rest of his days in quasi relevancy appearing from time-to-time. However then they announced his first fight.

Ortiz debuted against former 185 lbs champion Alexander Shlemenko (51-9 MMA) and quickly dispatched him with a head and arm choke. Although the much larger man, Ortiz looked the part putting the smaller striker to sleep before digging his grave in the center of the cage, in classic Ortiz fashion.

Then he went on to systematically beat the tar out of an aging Stephan Bonnar (15-9 MMA). Again although Ortiz’s opponent didn’t look up too snuff, Ortiz certainly did. His wrestling looked as explosive as ever, and his gas tank never emptied. That win, although not against a top contender, led him to this title shot against current champion Liam McGeary (10-0 MMA). In McGeary, Ortiz not only faces the Champion but his toughest test since switching companies.

The champion McGeary on paper presents a ton of challenges, mainly his freakish reach. Ortiz not know for his boxing will somehow have to find a way inside in order to impose his will. If he ends up going backwards, or flailing for a takedown it could be long night, (or a short one) for Ortiz. However if Ortiz can bring the fight into his own neighborhood he certainly has the power and ability to end the fight himself. the one outcome that is assured is greatness! Greatness is bound to happen, either McGeary becomes bonafide, or Ortiz shocks the world, how can you not watch?

Win or loose Ortiz has already said his fighting career will continue, and from the way he has looked in the cage and in training who can argue? His performance against McGeary may steer some opinions one way or the other, but one thing seems certain, the sun may have set on the Huntington Beach Bad Boy, but its only rising for the ‘Peoples Champion’.

dynamite

Tito Ortiz took a second to talk with Aaron Tru from The Brutally Honest Radio Show about his upcoming fight, his journey for another world title, and about cementing his name in history. Plus his lovely girlfriend Amber Nicole also has a few things to say about how the ‘People’s Champion’ prepares. Check out the video below:

Brutally Honest Radio is hosted by Aaron Tru, Adrian Gallegos, and Jonathan King. The podcast is broadcast live each week from an undisclosed studio in Long Beach California. You can subscribe and download each episode on iTunes. Or you can listen on sound cloud.

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By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Many men and woman look the part, and act the part in Mixed Martial Arts. Time however inevitably exposes the hype. Categorizing the serviceable pro from the contenders, and relegating those who never live up to expectation into obscurity. The combat roads are littered with those who dared to believe their own hype, before creating anything more than raw ability. In the fight game toughness and god given ability will get you far, but not far enough.

Liam McGeary (8-0 MMA) is the latest fighter to find himself on that road. Complete with an endearing smile, charming accent, and a very aggressive style; McGeary has all the tools and the early success that could make him the next great light heavyweight. His last fight was supposed to be his toughest test yet. The Bellator brass wanted to see if there protege could stand up against a higher level opponent. His opponent Egidijius Valavicius (27-11 MMA) was far more experienced, and a tough dude who had fought some of the best in the business including Fedor Emelianenko.

The matchmakers at Bellator MMA had there plans thwarted as McGeary dispatched the veteran in just 2:10 into the fight. Utilizing his superior reach McGeary picked his way inside of Valavicius and tore through him with nasty elbows and knees forcing the stoppage. One question however was answered. McGeary ate a few big shots from Valavicius early into the round, and he walked right through them.

In answering those questions, McGeary also punched his ticket to move on in the light heavyweight tournament. His opponent in the finals will be toughest test yet for McGeary as he will face off with American Top Team’s Kelly Anundson (9-2 MMA). Anundson possesses some of the best wrestling in the division and that could be the focus of the fight. Will McGeary, who is primarily known as a striker, be able to withstand the relentless pressure that Anundson brings to every fight.

With a grappler as accomplished as Anundson its not a matter of if he will shoot for the takedown but when? Can McGeary stop them, certainly not all of them. This fight will eventually end up in Anundson’s living room. However if McGeary can get back to his feet, he is deadly in the clinch. So although Anundson has the wrestling advantage, he is going to have to walk through a hell storm of knees and elbows to finish the shot.

The key to victory for either fighter is being able to score in the opponents territory. If McGeary is on his back he has to be active with the strikes, in order to counter the methodical smothering of Anundson. For Anundson, it is imperative for him to score on his feet. He can not allow McGeary to manipulate the distance. If he does, he has a tendency to telegraph his shot, especially as he wears down. If he does, McGeary should be able to avoid, and counter with his superior striking.

In a weekend filled with fights, both Boxing and MMA this is the single most intriguing fight of the weekend, and one that cannot be missed!

The winner of the fight will face the winner of the Joey Beltran vs. Emanuel Newton fight, and vie for the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Prediction: Liam McGeary via TKO RD 2

 

 

 

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?

Videoed and Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix

 

Liam McGeary (8-0 MMA) took another step towards a title shot, with an incredible highlight reel finish over a very well rounded Egidijus Valavicius (27-11 MMA). McGeary ate a few heavy shots early on, but walked right through them to instigate a nasty clinch that delivered heavy knees. Valavicius made it entertaining, by refusing to be outgunned. Although eventually he was.

McGeary bloodied Valavicius with a knuckles-crapping uppercut that painted the canvas red. The clinch assault then continued until Valavicius dropped. Follow up punches forced the referee to stop the fight, leaving McGeary again with his hand raised.

McGeary now brings his perfect record into the light heavyweight finals against American Top Team’s Kelly Anundson. A fighter with a completely different skill set than what McGeary has seen yet. However so far increased competition has only led to more victims for the Renzo Gracie fighter.

Training out of New York, the native Englishman brings a very marketable charisma that coupled with his knockout power will certainly carry him far in this sport!

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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.

 

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 ()