Posts Tagged ‘Michael Chandler’

Bellator 131-38

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Scott Coker has been around for a while. Very few have a greater understanding of the ins and outs of MMA. So his hiring by Viacom to replace Bjorn Rebney as the head of Bellator MMA  seemed like the best choice. As the last of the tournaments under the old regime wouned down, a lame duck period ensued which showed very little difference. The look and feel had not changed, the faces were the same, and the results reflected the lack of interest.

That lame duck period came to an end with Bellator 131, In fact that period came to a screeching halt! Bonnar vs. Ortiz provided the perfect stage for Scott Coker and Viacom to unveil there re-branded image. The fighters now entered the cage via a long walk way, reminiscent of the old Japanese promotions. Some fighters like King Mo, Joe Vedepo, Tito Ortiz, and Stephan Bonnar came complete with entourages to escort them to the cage. The added pomp may not add to the excitement of the fight, but it certainly does improve the image of a promotion that was in desperate need of one!

The fight card itself may not have had title implications for anyone outside of Michael Chandler and Will Brooks, but it was very well matched as even the preliminary bouts provided a good show. The fights simply made sense. King Mo and Joe Vedepo faced off in the curtain jerker that opened the Spike broadcast. King Mo overwhelmed Vedepo from the opening round in what proved to be a one sided match although an entertaining one.

In perhaps the best fight of the evening, Glory alums Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef engaged in a back and forth war that saw both fighters nearly finished before a short right hook from Schilling ended the affair. Half way through the second frame Manhoef appeared to have to edge on the scorecards. In the first round Manhoef had Schilling on his back and in trouble as the ground and pound rained down. However Schilling was able to roll out of trouble, establish his guard, and ride out the round before ending the fight with one punch.

Mike Richman made perhaps the loudest statement of the night when he knocked out Nam Phan in under a minute. He then proceeded to challenge title holder Joe Warren who was cage side providing commentary for the fight. ‘The Marine’ has looked extremely impressive since he dropped down in weight, and with the win he finds himself on a short list of fighters who deserve a shot at the title.

When Michael Chandler and Will Brooks entered the cage to battle for the then interim lightweight title, everyone expected a war. The first round was a back and forth battle for position, similar to their last engagement. Brooks and Chandler battled for 3 rounds with Brooks appearing to get the better of Chandler.

Then in the fourth round Brooks cracked Chandler with a right hand that left the former champion struggling to find his senses. He appeared to ask for a stoppage, at first it appeared as if Chandler was poked in the eye, however replays confirm that he was on queer street and the punch’s effects had him essentially saying ‘No Mas’! The win for Brooks solidifies his claim as the legitimate world champion, while Chandler must find a way to rebound from his third consecutive loss.

Skepticism is fickle. Once the cage door is closed the hype disappears and performances are defined. I like most at first, felt like watching through interlaced fingers, the fear of having to witness a fraud unfold motivating me to vaguely hide my eyes. Fortunately both Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar removed that fear just seconds into their entertaining 3 round fight.

Both guys played to their strengths, as Tito Ortiz looked to ground the superior striking of  Stephan Bonnar. Early on Ortiz stalked the ‘American Psycho’ and blasted through his legs with quick single leg take downs, and later a power double that kept Bonnar grounded for most of the fight. The fight appeared to be a 30-27 clear cut win for Tito Ortiz, however one judge saw the fight 29-28 for Bonnar, awarding Ortiz with the split decision win.

The evening ended up being a return of sorts. After speaking with Scott Coker  it is obvious that Bellator MMA is heading in the right direction. The open minded leader referred to the possibility of tournaments in the future, they make sense as long as you are not beholden to them. The idea is to create an environment where fighters want to fight, to create an experience that the fans feel a part of and not just witness too. Last night an old idea forged in the spirit of martial arts was unveiled to an audience that wants to be a part of something.

The idea to return to the once a month format seems to make sense. The sport is currently over saturated, causing the growth rate of the sport to slow. With Coker on board the Viacom-Bellator MMA conglomerate seems destined to succeed. Hopefully the symphony created as a result  between Coker and Viacom carries a tune we can all dance to for a while. In a world where the UFC is practically rammed down our throats it will be nice to have a viable alternative.

 

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Hall of Fame Fighter and Mixed Martial Arts Pioneer Royce Gracie

Hall of Fame Fighter and Mixed Martial Arts Pioneer Royce Gracie

One way to make sure people show up for a fan fest is to fill the stage with UFC Hall of Famers. Of the 11 living enshrined fighters, five of them were signing autographs on Tuesday for Bellator MMA. The panel brought together by Scott Coker, was held at Dave and Busters in San Diego.

The event was not without an agenda as the November 15th PPV card headlined by Stephan Bonnar and Tito Ortiz was the obvious backdrop. Bonnar and Ortiz were joined by fellow UFC Hall of Famers Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, and Ken Shamrock.  King Mo Lawal and Michael Chandler were also on hand to sign autographs for fans and to provide sound bites for the press.

The trash talk between Bonnar and Ortiz continued albeit tame in nature. Bonnar referring to Ortiz as a “douche-bag” drew a few smiles, and a particular finger from Ortiz in response. Other than that the event went without incident as Coker intelligently put the onus on the fans.

Unlike the UFC, Bellator is lacking the loyal fan base that can sustain a PPV schedule. Allowing fans access through events like this offers them the emotional attachment to fighters that will lead to that fan base.

With Coker at the helm, Bellator MMA appears to be blazing a new path, one that refuses to be a little brother to anyone, and maybe that is what the sport needs. The landscape is littered with the graves of those who tried to be second. With Coker’s leadership and Viacom’s support this tank will keep rolling along slowly picking up steam.

 

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?

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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Champions Smile

A Champions Smile

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bellator MMA The Toughest Tournament in Sports, hosted open workouts for the upcoming event on Saturday evening.

The main card features three world title fights, headlined by the rematch of Chandler v Alvarez II. Eddie Alvarez makes his much anticipated return to the Bellator cage since having over a year off due to contractual disputes. With those issues in the rear view mirror (for now), Alvarez is attempting to regain the title he lost to a much improved Michael Chandler.

Pat Curran will also put his 145 title on the line against tournament winner Daniel Straus. Now known as one of the top 145 lbs fighters in the world, Curran will look to solidify those rankings, while Daniel Straus will attempt to end that discussion.

Also on the main card are 205 lbs heavy hitters Emanuel Newton and King Mo Lawal who will face off for the second time, this time with the interim title on the line. The last meeting ended with a surprising spinning back fist KO, that left Lawal prone, and Newton on top of the world. However, each fight is different and whoever wins, it certainly going to be worth watching.

Other notable match-ups worth watching on SpikeTV.com are Michael ‘Joker’ Guymon v Aaron ‘Blood Spiller’ Miller; and Akop Stepanyan v Mike Richman.

The preliminary bouts can be viewed on SpikeTV.com while the main card will air live on Spike TV. Make sure you tune in to what should be one hell of a night of MMA action.

All photos and created content are the property of The Clinch Report, LLC  . Any unauthorized use of video, content, images, or likeness is prohibited. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. Please contact news@theclinchreport.com for any further information.

by: Jonathan King

Video by: John Walsh

To be great at anything one must spend quite a bit of time practicing. The strategy is simple, and yet extremely difficult. The “10,000” hour rule according to Malcolm Gladwell is the key to being great. In order for anyone, to be great in any field, they must simply perform that task for 10,000 hours.

Well over 10,000 hours ago Michael Chandler began walking this path in Missouri as a high school wrestler. Even now years later, this desire is still what fuels him. For many the title is the goal, to become a champion. What makes Chandler different is that he doesn’t measure himself by the gold around his waist,

For Michael Chandler, its about another page, another chapter, each one consisting of another 10,000 hours of discipline. For Michael Chandler its not about who you fight for, but how you do it, that defines greatness. Its about a consistent effort that rewards not only himself, but everything he represents.

This ‘blue-collar’, humble, work ethic, and wholesome attitude is as genuine as the ass-whooping he dishes out, so don’t be fooled. Michael Chandler is a fighter first, and as a champion, he plans on becoming one of the best ever!

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Interviewed by Karisa Winett The Clinch Report

Contributions by Jonathan King and John Walsh

The fire of competition is built on years of training, and is fueled by many motivations. For many fighters, these motivations change. They become infected with injury, or influenced by family and friends. Often the pure love of competition is lost in the search for a paycheck, or for recognition. Talent alone is not enough to counter life’s heavy hands, but it does serve for a starting point, should the fire begin to burn again. For Karo ‘The Heat’ Parisyan, the furnace is once again stoked, fueled, and ‘The Heat’ is back on!

UFC 154 GSP Walkout Shirts and Gear

At one time, Karo Parisyan was one of the most talented fighters on the UFC roster. His judo pedigree coupled with his brazilian jujitsu back-round made him one of the deadliest ground fighters in the game. With notable wins over Josh Thompson, Nick Diaz, Matt Serra, and Chris Lytle, Parisyan earned himself a shot for the #1 contender position against Diego Sanchez. Although losing the fight via decision in a back and forth affair, Parisyan solidified his reputation as the fight earned a Fight of the Year nod.

Everything seemed to be going great, but then slowly the fire began to go out. Injuries mounted, that led to poor performances and an addiction pain killers arose in attempt to keep himself fighting. After being cut from the UFC, Parisyan continued fighting injured, and soon found himself a memory in terms of relevance in the MMA world.

Then in 2012 Parisyan began the slow process of rebuilding the fire that once fueled him. Slowly under the watchful eye of Team Hayastan leader Gokor Chivichyan, ‘The Heat’ began feeling healthy again, and with two wins in less than two months, he appeared to be in great form.

With the return to form, Parisyan was able to secure a deal with Bellator. His first fight however, would not be a tune up, he would be fighting former Judo rival Rick Hawn at Bellator 95 April 4th at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey. The fight will air live on Spike TV. Hawn, is returning to the 170 lbs division after his loss to Michael Chandler in a 155 lbs title fight. Although the two have never fought in MMA before, they have competed against each other in Judo, and have built quite a rivalry.

“I don’t like Rick Hawn” Parisyan said. “He has said alot of bad things about me, saying he didn’t want to be compared to me!” [in reference a statement Rick Hawn made before transitioning to MMA when he was compared to Karo for his Judo back-round by a reporter Hawn Responded :”“I wouldn’t want to compare myself to him, kind of just because I can’t stand the guy,” said Hawn. “I’ll be better than he was. He had a base with judo but he wasn’t as good. My judo is a little more advanced.”] “He should be happy to compared to me, I helped put Judo on the map for guys like him.” Parisyan said

Although Parisyan does not like Hawn, he does respect his ability. “His right hand is really good, he has been knocking guys out with that, and he is a really strong athlete.” Parisyan said. “But I’m walking around heavier, and have built more strength I used to walk around at 172 and fight at 170, but now I’m closer to 190.” The new strength has shown in the gym, as he is now sparring with bigger guys, and pushing them around.

For Parisyan the future is uncertain, but his focus is clearly placed on his April 4th fight. “I have a three fight deal with Bellator, maybe I will enter a tournament, we will see what they say after this fight.” Parisyan said. For now, the fire will continue to grow. Fueled solely by the motivation too “Shut a few people up…and to kick Rick Hawns ass!”  Parisyan said.


TUF 17 - Wear What the Fighters Wear

Marlon Sandro is a warrior!

Marlon Sandro is a warrior!

The Clinch Report by Jonathan King Photos by: John Walsh

Bellator MMA Championship tournaments have been on an exciting run of late showcasing some of the best MMA fights ever to be seen on live television. Since the company has moved over to Spike TV, the organization has seen a revolving door of exciting fights, and stunning upsets, most of which have ended in highlight real KO’s. Can this trend continue?  The Bellator matchmakers seem to think so, but maybe that is because they are sitting on a “Golden Goose” so to speak.

Since Bellator joined the foray on SpikeTV, filling the vacancy left by the UFC, it seems almost ever single fight has been an exciting one. One reason for that is the matchmakers at Bellator seem to have discovered a hidden vault of  vicious unheard of fighters from the “New Brazil” as Bjorn Rebeny said. Where is the “New Brazil”? It very well could be Russia.

For years the Heavyweight division in MMA was dominated by one man. Fedor Emelianenko may be the most popular Russian mixed martial artist of all time, but following him are a cadre of talented fighters, with varying styles. Most of these fighters seem to be ending up in Bellator.

With Bellator’s debut on SpikeTV the world became exposed to this Russian invasion for the first time, and many including most ring side reporters were shocked. Heading into that night MMA legend Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral was the favorite to win the light heavyweight tournament. That night he was supposed to run through his unknown opponent, however Mikhail Zayats had other plans. The heavy handed Russian dispatched ‘Babalu’ with vicious strikes that left the legend in a crumpled heap, and the fans with their mouths agape. The only people who were not surprised, were the Bellator match makers who all week were lauding the power and skill of the underdog Zayats.

Last nights Bellator 92 featherweight and Middleweight tournament Semi finals featured more of the same. Akop Stepanyan started the Russians contingent off on the right foot, by laying heavy hands on Chris Saunders early and often. Eventually finishing the fight with a liver splitting kick that Saunders complained caught him low. After the ref said fight on, Stepanyan dropped some academic ground strikes that forced the stoppage, but the highlight reel kick is what finished the fight.

Sultan Aliev was next set to face Doug Marshall in a battle for the Middleweight Tournament Finals. Aliev used his impressive wrestling and sambo skill, to smother the explosive Marshall. With the crowd booing and Marshall complaining to the Ref, Aliev seemed content to grind out a decision against the heavy handed striker. However, he stopped advancing positions, and began to receive warnings from referee Herb Dean.  As the second round wore on, several times the ref stopped the action to restart the fighters standing. On the restarts, Marshall showed his explosive power often landing heavy hands before again being dragged to the mat. The third round saw a much more aggressive Marshall swinging for the fences. As the round came to an end, Marshall dropped some heavy hands on Aliev as he pulled guard. Once the split decision was read in favor of Marshall he seemed more surprised than anyone. Aliev, although dominant like his fellow Russians, fell short on the judges score cards, but most who saw thought he won the fight.

The headline fight of the evening featured Marlon Sandro vs ‘Frodo’ Khasbulaev. The winner of the fight would move on to the featherweight semi finals. For Sandro, this is a familiar position. In the past he had come up one fight short, in tournaments past. His return to the finals, was being blocked by a relatively unknown fighter, once again from Russia. Both fighters were extremely strategic, with their positioning, and soon it became clear that a Sambo v BJJ clinic would ensue. An inadvertent early low blow by Sandro almost stopped the fight, as Khasbulaev rolled in agony for several minutes. But after 5 minutes he was able to continue.

Both fighters used effective sweeps to gain control, Khasbulaev at one point used a kimura sweep to put Sandro in deep trouble as he cranked the arm. Sandro however used his own sweeps to attack a triangle that ‘Frodo’ escaped quickly. The second round saw more take downs by Khasbulaev but again Sandro seemed to escape every precarious situation including a crucifix position, that saw multiple right hands bounce off of his forehead. The third round was more of the same, but now Sandro seemed to be tired. Khasbulaev controlled the Brazilian on the ground, and again secured an arm that left Sandro defenseless against several right hands, prompting Referee John McCarthy to stop the fight.

With the win, Khasbulaev secures his spot in the featherweight finals, and for a chance at the 100,000 dollar prize for winning the most exciting tournament in all of Mixed Martial Arts. With Khasbulaev, and Zayats in the finals of their tournaments, and with Alexander Shlemenko as a champion, Bellator may have found the new Brazil buried in the arctic landscape of Russia.