Posts Tagged ‘Renato Babalu Sobral’

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Bellator made its debut on Spike TV, and did so in tremendous style. The partnerships first joint venture featured two title fights, and two light heavyweight tournament quarter final fights. Early results in show that just under 1 million people tuned in to watch the inaugural event. A huge increase from the numbers they had been seeing on MTV2.

Once all the pieces were in place and the lights heated up, it was out of the promoters hands. The fighters themselves would dictate the success or failure of this event. The gladiators made their intentions known from the onset, as several hotly contested preliminary fights got the crowd juiced, and more importantly the fighters waiting to perform. The under card was featured on Savant Young provided the spark with a tremendous one punch knock out of heavily favored Mike ‘The Joker’ Guymon. After being behind in the fight, Young countered an advancing Guymon with a well time left hand that floored the former UFC vet. A thunderous shot, on the ground was purely academic as the ref leaped in too stop any further damage.

The live portion of the Spike TV card began with an incredible back and forth scrap between featherweight title holder Pat Curran and aggressive challenger Patricio Pitbull. The crowd and the audience may have been expecting fireworks, however instead they were treated to a back and forth battle of attrition, that left both fighter swollen, battered, and bleeding. Curran narrowly eked out a split decision, holding on to his coveted featherweight crown.

Not may people gave a young unknown fighter from Russia a chance against a former UFC title contender, but Mikhail Zayats could care less about being an underdog. He only cares about winning, and he proved that after he over came huge odds, and a lopsided crowd to destroy UFC and Strikeforce veteran Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral. A vicious spinning back fist, was the beginning of the end. Zayats left the crowd stunned, and the tournament with a new favorite!

The main event of the evening made several points clear. First of all after defeating a very game Rick Hawn, Michael Chandler’s name certainly has to be mentioned in the pound for pound category. His striking, and dominating wrestling made the fight look easy, although i am sure it was not. Chandler never looked to be out of control, and his pedigree as a champion has been solidified.

Thoughts on Bellator: Bellator provides an extremely exciting format with their tournament based champions. The roster of fighters has always been an exciting fusion of homegrown young talent, mixed with savvy veterans who have fought in several organizations. Bjorn Rebney and his partners have created a juggernaut of a promotion that seems to be creating its own path. For years, many companies have tried to follow the UFC business model and have failed miserably, simply because they were not the UFC. Bellator seems content to succeed in areas that UFC is either no longer interested in (fighters), or in avenues the UFC has no interest in such as: Pro wrestling. As long as the fights are exciting, and the product is not watered down the promotions success appears to be a guarantee at this point. 2013 could be the year Bellator becomes a true rival for the UFC, although it appears they don’t seem to care either way. Bellator seems only concerned with Bellator, and in the combat sports world, that is a refreshing take!

All Photos are provided by: John Walsh

Savant Young and Mike Guymon begin their tango!

Savant Young and Mike Guymon begin their tango!

Pat Curran delivers a liver kick to Patricio Pitbull

Pat Curran delivers a liver kick to Patricio Pitbull

Chandler yanks the title hopes, and the neck of a very game Rick Hawn to retain the Lightweight Championship

Chandler yanks the title hopes, and the neck of a very game Rick Hawn to retain the Lightweight Championship

by: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Patricio Pitbull v Pat Curran

Round1: Feeling out process immediately eats up the first minute.  Pitbull circling, not much for the first 3 minutes both fighters very wary of the others power. Curran using his range to land with the jab and cross. Not much action in the first round both fighters are obviously preparing for a long bout. I give it to Curran in a close 10-9

Round2: Pitbull beginning to land in bunches and finishing with the leg kick. Pitbull bleeding from the nose, after a long right hand from Curran. The champion tosses Pitbull to the mat, but Pitbull bounces back up! Curran landing with the jab, Pitbull landing with the kicks. another close round could go either way but we have Curran winning another 10-9 close round.

Round3: Pitbull starting to pen up with dynamic strikes. Flying knees, and combinations beginning to land, and still landing leg kicks. Curran landing now to the body of Pitbull. Curran backing up as Pitbull stalks. Flying knee by Curran misses, round ends. we are calling a 10-9 round for Pitbull but again very close could go either way!

Round4: Curran backing up as Pitbull flurries, a right hand lands to the back of the head and the ref seperates. A touch of the gloves, and Curran opens up with a 4 punch combination. Now Curran stalking. Pitbull shoots he has a single but a opposite flying knee, breaks the clinch. Curran again lands a hard one two combination. The round ends again, very close, but I have Curran  10-9

Round5: Both fighters trading ones and twos, as Pitbull shoots, Curran lands a big right hand stopping the take down attempt. Curran lands a liver kick that is caught, and breaks free with a straight right to the head.  Curran shoots but to no avail. Both fighters standing in the center of the cage, as Pitbull stalks. Pitbull is hurt by a big left hand. Curran cautiously closes in with a few straight punches that find there mark. Pitbull is gassed. Elbow by Curran lands in the clinch. Pitbull flurries with the last 20 seconds. Both fighters are landing as the bell sounds. Again very close but have to give Curran the nod 10-9 Have him wining the fight 4 rounds to 1.

Pat Curran wins by Split Decision.

Mikhail Zayats v Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral

round1: Babalu starts out pawing with the jab, pushing Zayats backwards. Up against the cage Babaluu begins to land with the dirty boxing and the elbows.  Big John separates the fighters. Zayats lands a big right,  but lands low on Babalu. Big John gives Sobral a minute to recover but he doesnt need it!  now there back in the center of the cage. Back up against the fence, Babalu controls the clinch. Again big John separates the fighters.  Zayats lands big spinning backfist Babalu is in trouble. Zayats landing as Babalu gets on his bicycle. Left hands drops Babalu,  Zayats swarms Babalu on the ground with vicious hammer fists. And that is it!  Big John steps in. Mikhail Zayats wins by TKO Big upset, moves Zayats on to the semi finals of the light heavyweight division

Rick Hawn v Michael Chandler

round1: Both fighters are feeling each other out, as the circle Chandler lands an uppercut but Hawn counters with a leg kick. Big take down by the champion. Hawn working from guard, looking to secure an arm. Hawn very busy from his closed guard. Chandler very busy, but cannot seem to posture up. Hawn is controlling with a body lock from guard. Both fighters stand and Hawn lands a big left hand. But Chandler still coming forward. Round ends, with Chandler seemingly ahead 10-9 with his wrestling.

round2: Round two begins with Chandler taking Hawn down after a quick clinch. Hawn able to regain his feet, but immediately taken down again by Chandler. This time Hawn is on is his side, and Chandler quickly transitions. to the back, where he secures the choke yanking Hawn backwards before securing the tap. Winner Michael Chandler by submission Rear Naked Choke

Photo by John Walsh

Photo by John Walsh

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

With a mere 48 hours before Bellator is set to make their historic debut on Spike TV, an obviously anxious Bjorn Rebney walked thru the Huntington Beach training center to see the fighters warm up, wish them well, and of course speak with the press. With an absolutely stacked fight card featuring two world title fights, and also the opening round of the light heavyweight tournament; the promotion is set to hit the ground running with what on paper seems to be the most exciting card in their distinguished history.

Rebney spoke eagerly about the new venture on Spike Television. With this contract in place, the company seems destined to demand a larger sare of the MMA universe. Spike has always done really well in the world of  MMA, with both live events, and highlight shows. Also in the future are possible pay per view deals, that are being discussed. With the partnership with Viacom, and now with companies like TNA, Bellator seems to be gathering up a pretty sizable partnerships that will market the product to the highest level.

Recently Bellator was in the news as word broke that former title holder and fan favorite Eddie Alvarez was contesting the contract matching offer that kept him in Bellator and away from the competing UFC.  Rebney, however seemed optimistic that the former title holder would again be in the Bellator family. “Yes, I do see Eddie fighting in Bellator again.” Rebeney said. “We have had a really good relationship in the past, and hopefully we will again!”

The competitive under card  features UFC veteran Mike Guymon vs crafty veteran Savant Young. Guymon is making his Bellator debut after returning from a recent retirement from the sport, the hometown favorite is 2-0 since returning to the cage, and is looking to make one last run at a world title in the 155 lbs division.

The premiere of Bellator on Spike TV will air three live bouts. The first will be the third of the light heavyweight quarterfinal fights, as former UFC and Strikeforce title contender Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral faces off against heavy handed Mikhail Zayats. ‘Babalu’ was present for the open workouts, shadow boxing lightly. After a quick bout with the media, he was looking to make an exit.

Other combatants such as the two fighters who will be putting their belts on the line, Michael Chandler and Pat Curran took there time answering questions, and working out. Chandler even admitted to appreciating the added attention “The fact that  you guys want to take pictures of me, still gets me!” Chandler humbly said. “Its something athletes take for granted.” 

Also present were Mike ‘The Joker’ Guymon, featherweight contender Patricio Pitbull Friere, lightweight title challenger and Rick Hawn.

Interviews will be up soon!


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Mike 'Joker' Guymon checking in.

Mike ‘Joker’ Guymon checking in.