Posts Tagged ‘Scott Coker’

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 King The Clinch Report

Since Scott Coker has taken over Bellator MMA has survived a lame-duck transitional period of uncertainty only to emerge in a more tenable situation than ever before. The new regime has not only updated the drab promotional image by polishing the broadcast with elaborate entrances, but they have also updated an antiquated roster as well. Coker and has team have signed a diverse group of veteran fighters with name recognition to go along with some of the sports top prospects. The move ensures the future, while staying current with relevant big name fighters headlining televised events.

Two of those prospects are Michael Page (7-0 MMA 3-0 Bellator MMA) and Curtis Millender (7-0 MMA Bellator MMA Debut) who are set to square off in January as part of the promotions series of fights titled ‘The British Invasion’. Page has been highly touted as one of the best young fighters in the welterweight division, while Millender has remained under the radar for the most part. A trend the man they call ‘Courteous Curtis’ plans to reverse with an explosive debut.

In Page, Millender finds his toughest opponent too date. Essentially he will be fighting his mirror image. Both fighters are exactly the same size, at 6’3 they tower over the rest of the division, and both are known for their electric striking. However if the fight were to find its way to the ground, Millender would be comfortable as well. “Let’s just say I am more than comfortable on the ground, and if it does end up there, he is in trouble!”, Millender said.

The fight will be Millender’s first bout outside of the confines of ‘The OC Fight Club Hangar’, a place he has called home for all of his 7 professional fights. A trend that is a direct result of his ability. Once promoter Roy Englebrecht and manager Mel Valenzuela saw ‘Curtious’ in action they knew they had discovered a gem. They locked him up to a contract and then they realized Millender’s main problem. No one wanted to fight him!

Much like Pat Cummins who also trains at Reign MMA, Millender presents a nightmare for most fighters to match up against. His reach and striking prowess make him almost impossible to hit, and even harder to avoid! With opponents heading for the hills, Englebrecht and Valenzuela had to fly in opponents with well known pedigrees to test Millender. The only problem was, he walked through them too!

So now here we are set to witness two of the sports best young welterweights fight each other in the Bellator MMA cage. Even though Millender predicts a victory, he realizes he may see Page again, as this may be an emerging rivalry. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to beat him again!”, Millender said. However he doesn’t see a need for a third! “We are both young and I could see myself having to beat him again, but I don’t think a third time will be necessary!”

The problem facing a prospect is that at some point he has to shed that moniker in order to take on that of a contender. For Millender this journey started long ago. The countless hours of preparation are starting to pay off. However the hard work is just beginning. Although Bellator MMA currently only has 23 current welterweights on the roster, the depth of talent makes it one of the toughest divisions in the promotion. With current champion Douglas Lima scheduled to fight British slugger Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley, the winner of this bout could find himself on a short list of contenders for the 170 lbs title.

Curtis Millender (7-0 MMA) is signed to Bellator MMA and  is represented by Mel Valenzuela. Millender would like to thank his family, and friends, and coaches for supporting his career, but especially wants to thank anyone who “ever gave [him] a ride to the gym”. He would also like to personally recognize Roy Englebrecht and his manager Mel for supporting his efforts.

Curtis Millender is currently sponsored by: Everlast,  Via Diamond Termite, Nu Image Marketing, Kolor Splash of Anaheim, and JP 23 BBQ , and Grand Casino Bakery of Culver City.

Millender trains out of UFC Gym Fullerton and Reign Training Center

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.

 

Bellator 131-8

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

If you have watched a Joe Schilling fight once your hooked. As a fight fanatic I find him to be the combat sports equivalent of heroine. Each fight leaves you craving another. His Glory days always satisfied my voracious habit, because I knew he was fighting at least three times that night! Schilling possesses tremendous skill but there is something else about the man that makes you love the fighter.

Making his transition back to mixed martial arts from kick boxing, Shilling changes his venue as well, from the ring to the cage. Welcoming him in his transition was Melvin Manhoef. A man who has made a career out of switching back and forth between disciplines. Manhoef came out hot and landed right away. Schilling appeared tentative at first, but weathered the first barrages from Manhoef.

Manhoef somehow brought the fight to the ground where he looked to drop some heavy fists. Schilling was very close to being stopped as several blows prompted the referee to move in close. However, Schilling survived by rolling through and closed his guard around Manhoef who could not seem to break posture.

The second frame began with both fighters trading back and forth. Then as if a switch were thrown, the lights went out and the fight was over. Schilling after eating a few punches appeared to tense up before unloading a IQ changing right hook that removed Manhoef from consciousness as he fell prone to the ground. Referee Mike Beltran dove in to prevent further damage but Schilling had already walked off, himself a witness too the big KO.

The win not only reestablishes Schilling as a mixed martial artist, it also comes at a very difficult time for the young father of two. Leading up to the fight, Schilling lost his father to cancer. A fighter to the end, Joe’s father found redemption in his son and pride in his forgiveness. The loss echoed Schillings thoughts leading up to the fight. As if that grief was not enough, Schillings cousin also passed away tragically before the fight.

Joe Schilling has a long way to go before establishing himself as a mixed martial artist. However he showcased in this fight a competent guard, and an understanding of how to neutralize his opponents attacks from the bottom. Granted Melvin Manhoef is not know for his grappling pedigree, still Schilling’s instincts got him out of a very tough situation.

In a night where many fighters put on their best efforts, Schilling’s star shined brighter than them all! He may be in the early stages of development but his star power is undeniable.

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.

 

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Once again the sights and sounds of Bellator MMA did not disappoint. Local fighters such as David Duran, Saad Awad, Keith Berry, Ray Sloan, and Fernando Gonzalez were all victorious while other fighters Karo Parisyan and Johnny Cisneros came up short on the Bellator 127 card.

Lesson 1.) In case anyone thought Daniel Straus was a pretender, they learned a valuable lesson! Straus solidified himself as the promotions #1 contender when he blitzed through Justin Wilcox as if he was standing still. The American Top Team product needed only :50 seconds to obliterate Wilcox, who at least on paper seemed like a good match up! The win catapults Straus into a showdown with current champion Patricio Pitbull.

Lesson 2.) Keith Berry showcased superior technique in his win over Joe Pacheco, however the bout was declared a split decision in what should have been a clear victory for Berry. Pacheco may have landed the heavier shots, but they were few and far between. Berry relentlessly pressured Pacheco and peppered him with his jab, sometime tripling up with success. Once again the judges who already screwed up one fight almost screwed up this one as well! (Note of interest Berry was 10 strikes away from the Bellator Record for strikes landed!)

Lesson 3.) Building off of lesson #2: I wonder how many more years have to pass before the CSAC realizes that one of their judging cures is right in front of their faces! Head inspector Chris Crail is probably one of the most qualified people in the entire state to judge a fight, however in CSAC’s infinite wisdom they have decided he would be better suited as a glorified valet. Maybe the inspector position should be reserved for people who can’t score a fight, lord knows there are plenty of them, some of them call themselves judges!

Lesson 4.) Stephan Bonnar and Tito Ortiz do not like each other. In case you were wondering. And just in case you forgot, Bonnar is a really charismatic guy who can work a stick almost as well as Chael Sonnen. Tito however, cannot! He can however shoot a double and pound out the best in the world. Hopefully the fight  cashes the checks these two are writing. Even if you think the hype is completely ridiculous you have to at least be slightly intrigued by this fight.

Lesson 5.) Rafael Silva is a beast, that eventually a champion will have to contend with.

Lesson 6.)  Shawn Bunch ( See lesson #5, same lesson)

Lesson 7.) Since Scott Coker has taken over the look and feel of the events have improved tremendously. Gone are the delays, and in their place a smooth machine that operates efficiently and fires on all cylinders. Coker and his team are building an incredible roster of talent that fuses the well known veterans, to the little known up and comers with pedigree, solidifying the future while entertaining the hell out of the present.

KOTC 10.31-14

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

The Bellator MMA promotion once again returns to The Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula CA. The main card will be headlined by two of the promotions top featherweight contenders. Coming off a loss to Pat Curran in which he lost his title, Daniel Straus is looking to return to his winning ways at the expense of Justin Wilcox. Wilcox flirted with the tournament championship when he lost in the finals last year to Patricio Pitbull, who is now the current strap hanger. After the loss, Wilcox rebounded with a win over Jason Fischer. Whoever wins this fight will certainly be flirting with Scott Coker as the next date for champion Patricio Pitbull.

Also fighting on the undercard are some of Southern California’s favorite sons. Johnny ‘The Tattooed Terror’ Cisneros will be taking on Rickey Rainey, and making his promotional debut is David Duran. Duran will be facing a very tough Shawn Bunch in the evening first preliminary bout. Cisneros made a name for himself fighting for the King of The Cage promotion, while Duran cut his teeth in the amateur circuit, before turning pro with the regional powerhouse that is BAMMA USA.

Make sure to tune in Live on Spike TV for the main card, and you can watch the preliminary fights on http://www.Bellator.com

The Main Card:
Featherweight Feature Fight: Daniel Straus (145.6) vs. Justin Wilcox (145.7)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Fernando Gonzalez (172.3) vs. Karo Parisyan (169.1) ^4
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Rafael Silva (137.6) vs. Rob Emerson (134.9) ^3
Middleweight Feature Fight: Kendall Grove (186) vs. Christian M’Pumbu (184.6)

Preliminary Card:

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (205) vs. Malik Merad (203.6)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Justin Baesman (171) vs. John Mercurio (170.7)
Catchweight (177) Feature Fight: Johnny Cisneros (176.8) vs. Ricky Rainey (177)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Sergio Rios (155.6) vs. Saad Awad (156.3) ^2
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Nick Moghaddam (205.8) vs. Ray Sloan (202.4)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Keith Berry (185.8) vs. Joe Pacheco (186.2) ^1
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Shawn Bunch (135.7) vs. David Duran (135.3)

Your new UPC Unlimited Middleweight Champion

Your new UPC Unlimited Middleweight Champion

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

One of the most exciting aspects of covering mixed martial arts is watching a fighter develop. Watching young men and women transition past pedigree into the realm of contendership is very satisfying. At times it seems like you are on the ride with them.

So tonight make sure you tune in to the preliminary fights on http://www.Bellator.com, before the Spike TV broadcast takes over at 8pm ET. One of the sports top prospects Chris ‘The Cutt’ Honeycutt (4-0 MMA) will be making his promotional debut against Aaron ‘The Daywalker’ Wilkinson (11-6  MMA). Honeycutt is a former two-time NCAA finalist in wrestling out of the powerhouse that is Edinboro College.

Now training in Fresno CA with former collegiate teammate Josh Koscheck’s Dethrone Base Camp, Honeycutt burst on the scene as a series regular on “Fight Factory”, a show which showcased the lives of several fighters including Koscheck, Honeycutt, Phil Baroni, Ron Keslar, UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, and many other of the fighters who train at either AKA or Dethrone.

Currently undefeated as a mixed martial artist, Honeycutt seems to be ready for the step up in competition. Wilkinson a former finalist on the Ultimate Fighter is certainly no stepping stool. ‘The Daywalker’ is 5-2 in his last 7 fights since his loss to Cody McKenzie at the Ultimate Fighter finale, and a win over the surging Honeycutt will certainly put his name on the Bellator MMA contender list.

Wilkinson should have a clear advantage in the technical striking area. However Honeycutt’s power, and smothering wrestling based attack should dictate the pace and location of the fight. If Wilkinson is unable to defend the takedown, he will be in for a very long night! Once Honeycutt is in a dominant position his power really shows. Like a new-age Mark Kerr, Honeycutt is a finisher. He is a shark, he can sense blood in the water, and his finishing instinct is scary. Scott Coker may not recognize the gem he is sitting on, but he will tonight!Crazy B

Prediction: Honeycutt via TKO Rd 1. When tomorrow comes, the MMA world will know his name!

Note: The fight will also be Honeycutt’s first at 170 lbs… Previously he fought at 185 lbs.

 

Bellator-125-Fight-PosterBy: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Kickboxing legend and Mixed Martial Arts veteran Melvin Manhoef (28-11 MMA) is set to make his Bellator MMA debut against Doug ‘The Rhino’ Marshall at Bellator 125. Both men can end the fight with one shot, and both would prefer to stand and strike. A fight that has most MMA fans frothing at the mouth. Not because there is anything at stake, but simply because this is  a powder keg of a fight.

The well travelled Manhoef finds his way to Bellator MMA after successful stints in well known promotions such as Dream, Cage Rage, K-1, and most recently One FC. Now fighting in the United States, Manhoef hopes to make a big impression. “I want to show America who Melvin Manhoef is and I think Bellator is the perfect organization to let the fans enjoy my skills.” Manhoef said.

Manhoef transitioned from kickboxing to MMA years ago, and continues to fight in both disciplines today.  Although he has other kickboxing engagements already booked, make no mistake this is not a ‘one and done’ scenario for Manhoef. He has one goal in mind, and that is securing the Bellator MMA World Title. “I want to be Champion. This is my goal!” Manhoef said.

His first step towards achieving that goal is an extremely dangerous one. Doug Marshall may not be as technical as Manhoef in the striking department, but make no mistake he is just as dangerous. Marshall generates tremendous power in his punches, and can just as easily end this fight with one punch. Just ask Brett Cooper, who is known for having a granite chin. Marshall is that strong, and coming off of his suspension for PED’s he will be looking to make a statement.

With both fighters eager to stake their claims in a wide open division, its best to take Manhoef’s advice. “Don’t Blink!”

Prediction: Manhoef via TKO Rd 2 in one of the most entertaining fights of the year!

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!