MMA fans, Bellator season 2 starts tonight

8 04 2010


The second season of Bellator Fighting Championships starts tonight, with the debut of UFC Veteran and Sports illustrated cover boy Roger Huerta. Tonight’s main card features two lightweight and two featherweight first round fights:

  • Roger Huerta vs. Chad Hinton (lightweight tourney first round)
  • Eric Marriott vs. Joe Warren (featherweight tourney first round)
  • Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Bao Quach (featherweight tourney first round)
  • Joe Duarte vs. Carey Vanier (lightweight tourney first round)

The pay scale for this tournament is

  • 1st round:$10000 for showing/ $10000 for winning
  • 2nd round:$15000 for showing/ $15000 for winning
  • final round: $25000 for showing/ $25000 for winning

It’s this pay bracket, and the exposure on fox sports net that lured Roger Huerta away from the UFC. I think the fact that he was on a two fight losing streak might have had something to do with that as well. Bellator will be a step down in competition and will allow him to use his refined kickboxing skills he learnt in Thailand earlier this year. The winner of the Tournament will earn $100000 in total as well as a title shot against the division champion.


UFC 115 update, Tito Ortiz out?

7 04 2010


Sherdog are now stating on their website that it will indeed be Rich Franklin to face Chuck Liddell at UFC 115 this June. Dana White is still adamant that Tito is fighting Chuck, but after checking the UFC website, the Liddell vs. Ortiz fight has been taken off the lineup. It remains to be seen whats going to happen. Ortiz was scheduled to face Chuck Liddell for the third time this coming June. Ortiz though, was struck down with a serious case of man flu halfway through the filming of this season’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ (bless him, he thought he had swine flu) and was replaced by Rich Franklin. Fighter’s only magazine were first to report that Franklin would be taking Ortiz’ place at UFC 115. Dana White and Tito were quick to squash these rumours, saying he would still be fighting, but with Sherdog changing their UFC 115 lineup, and the Liddell vs. Ortiz fight taken off the UFC’s website, it may appear that Ortiz is struggling to return to full health. Fan’s have been divided on whether they want to see a third encounter between the two UFC legends, with Chuck winning both the previous fights. I myself was looking forward to seeing Chuck back in the Octagon, but a third win over Ortiz wouldn’t really prove to anyone whether he still has what it takes to make another run for the title. But then again would a win over a former Middleweight Champion who’s coming off a loss to Vitor Belfort, whom Chuck beat back at UFC 37.5 prove any more credible for ‘The Iceman’. If Chuck is serious about working towards a Title Shot, then maybe the fight that really makes sense is to pull Thiago Silva from his UFC 116 fight against Ryan Bader, and move him up to fight Liddell at UFC 115. Chuck wants to be Lightheavyweight Champion within 3 fights, and a win over Silva, who’s coming off a decision loss to Rashad Evans would put him straight in the mix.

Update: are now reporting that the UFC are considering Liddell vs. Couture 4. Liddell is 2-1 against Randy Couture, and a fourth fight makes little sense. If Couture was to win, then surely it would be 2-2 between them, meaning the UFC would have no choice but to drag out a 5th encounter between the two ageing fighters. While both fighters are two of the UFC’s biggest draws and would probably do decent numbers, lets hope this isn’t the fight UFC decide on.

Update 7/4/10: Dana White has just confirmed today to that the Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz fight scheduled for UFC 115 taking place at the GM Arena in Vancouver. ‘The definite main event is Tito vs. Chuck Liddell. That’s definitely the main event.’ UFC, as of now, have yet to update the UFC 115 lineup on their website.

Update 12/4/10: Just minutes after annoucing that UFC 115 had sold out in record time in just 30 mins, the UFC also announces that Tito Ortiz is indeed out of his scheduled third encounter with ‘The Iceman’ Chuck Liddell. Rich Franklin will step in for his first Octagon appearance since his first round knockout loss to Vitor Belfort last September at UFC 103.

News round up

5 04 2010

UFC Fight Night 21

Gomi’s UFC debut played out how most people believed it would thanks to ‘Ken Flo’ sticking to a tight game plan of constantly using a stiff jab, and changing levels, but not getting into any exchanges keeping the ‘Fireball Kid’ at a distance. In the third round Kenny got into a punching exchange with Gomi, and Gomi landed beautifully. Florian took notice, took Gomi down and submitted him with ease with a rear naked choke. Gomi is an extremely exciting fighter, he’s a counter puncher, who excels when people stand in front and trade with him. Florian took Gomi’s game away by sticking to his jab, and not allowing Gomi to get inside his reach. Next for Florian will be Gray Maynard, next for Gomi, will be a fight on the prelims. I’ve been saying for so long now that Roy Nelson is a legit contender in the Heavyweight Division. His best weapon is his Jiu Jitsu, which we’ve yet to really see. Trained under UFC legend ken Shamrock, and a Black Belt under Renzo Gracie, Nelson was the first and only IFL Heavyweight Champion, defending his title twice, and he even beat Frank Mir back at Grapplers’ Quest in 2003 by points, (he was quite a bit slimmer then as well.) Nelson uses his size well, and gets all of his weight behind his punches, and he completely destroyed Stefan Struve. Nelson is calling for quality opponents stating that, he’s 33 now, and doesn’t want to be like Randy Couture and be fighting into his 40’s.

Match Winner Loser Method Round Time
1 Charlie Brenneman Jason High Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
2 Gerald Harris Mario Miranda TKO (Punches) 1 4:49
3 Yushin Okami Lucio Linhares TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 2 2:47
4 Gleison Tibau Caol Uno TKO (Punches) 1 4:13
5 Nik Lentz Robert Emerson Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
6 Jacob Volkmann Ronys Torres Decision (Split) 3 5:00
7 Andre Winner Rafaello Oliveira Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
8 Ross Pearson Dennis Siver Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
9 Jorge Rivera Nate Quarry TKO (Punches) 2 0:29
10 Roy Nelson Stefan Struve TKO (Punches) 1 0:39
11 Kenny Florian Takanori Gomi Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 3 2:52

Other News

  • Dana White has now stated that team mates will fight each other should the match up be necessary. AKA fighters have insisted that they wont fight each other, unless perhaps it’s for a title. AKA have 3 of the top Welterweight’s in the world, with Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Mike Swick.
  • Fitch vs. Alves 2 has now been re-booked for UFC 115 in June, following Alves’ successful brain surgery. Should Fitch beat Alves, and Koscheck beat Daley, then we could see the two AKA Welterweights fight for the number 1 contenders spot for GSP
  • Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia, is set to fight 5-time world’s strongest man Marius Pudzianowski, in May for the ‘Moosin: God of Martials Arts’ PPV event. Sylvia is looking to rebound from his last 2 losses against Fedor Emelianenko, and Boxer turned MMA Pro Ray Mercer. Pudzianowski, whos been training Kyokushin Karate most of his adult life, made his successful MMA debut last December.

Ultimate Fighter 11 Episode 1 Round up

Not much to say about the first episode really. The UFC unveiled a new and improved training facility, perhaps to coincide with all the new UFC Gyms opening up around America. Tito and Chuck were relatively civil with each other, but expect that to change. 14 fighters have made it through to the house, the line-up includes:

  • Jamie Yager defeated Ben Stark by knockout (head kick) at 0:26 of round 1
  • Brad Tavares defeated Jordan Smith by knockout (strikes) at 0:37 of round 1
  • Kris McCray defeated Cleburn Walker by TKO (shoulder injury) at 0:15 of round 1
  • James Hammortree defeated Norman Paraisy by TKO (could not answer bell) at the end of round 1
  • Nick Ring defeated Woody Wetherby by TKO (punches) at 2:42 of round 1
  • Kyle Noke defeated Warren Thompson by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
  • Court McGee defeated Seth Baczynski by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Chris Camozzi defeated Victor O’Donnell by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Kyacey Uscola defeated Brent Cooper by knockout (punches) at 0:25 of round 1
  • Joseph Henle defeated Constantinos Philippou by submission (armbar) at 2:17 of round 2
  • Rich Attonito defeated Lyle Steffens by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
  • Josh Bryant defeated Greg Rebello by majority decision (20-18, 19-19, 20-18)
  • Charles Blanchard defeated Jacen Flynn by TKO (referee stoppage) at the end of round 1
  • Clayton McKinney defeated Charley Lynch by TKO (punches) at 4:07 of round 1
  • Notables include Kyle Noke, who was the late Steve ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Iwrin’s bodyguard. Jamie Yager looked impressive with his head kicks, although he must make sure he has impressive conditioning otherwise throwing kicks like that over and over in the first round will leave him drained should a fighter avoid the kicks. Couldn’t believe Norman Paraisy’s lack of heart. The fighter quit on his stool at the end of the first round, he wasn’t hurt, just extremely overwhelmed, and lacked confidence to go back out and fight. Not really the spirit of a fighter, maybe he should look towards a new career.

     Not sure when, but during this season, Tito Ortiz falls ill, thinking he has swine flu, and has to leave, and is replaced by Rich Franklin. Turns out Ortiz just has man flu, and will still face Chuck Liddell at UFC 115 in June.

    Introducing the ‘Fireball Kid’

    30 03 2010


    The king of the Pide ‘Bushido’ series, former Shooto Welterweight Champion, Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix winner, and Pride Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi makes his UFC debut this wednesday against Kenny Florian. While I’m super excited to see the UFC debut of the ‘Fireball Kid’ I wish he had been given a warm up match. Instead he’s been thrown into the lion’s den so to speak against ‘Ken Flo’. Gomi, disciplined in freestyle and ‘catch as catch can’ wrestling, began his career in Shooto back in 1997. Shooto is one of the oldest MMA organisations, holding its first pro fights back in 1989. Many of todays top Japanese stars made their name known in Shooto, including World number 2 Lightweight Shinya Aoki, Rumina Sato, Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai, Caol Uno and of course Takanori Gomi. Gomi went on to defeat Rumina Sato (check out Rumina Sato’s flying armbar on youtube) by decision for the Lightweight Title in 2001, and held onto that title until 2003 losing to, at the time a relatively unknown Norwegian fighter Joachim Hansen. Hansen obviously went on to become the 2008 Dream Grand Prix Winner and the first Dream Lightweight Champion. That was Gomi’s last fight in Shooto, until returning in 2009. Gomi left Shooto and went on to get choked out in the third round by BJ Penn at Rumble on the Rock 4 in Hawaii, before debuting for Pride in Pride ‘Bushido 2’.

     It was during this time fighting at Pride, that Gomi went on to be recognised as the Number 1 Lightweight fighter in the world, beating the likes of Ralph Gracie, Charles ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennett, Jens Pulver, and then beating Tatsuya Kawajiri, Luiz Azeredo, and the Hayato Sakurai to win the 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix and be named the first and only person to hold the Pride Lightweight Title. Takanori’s last fight in Pride, was against Nick Diaz at Pride 33. Gomi was expected to walkthrough the UFC veteren and current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion. Instead when Gomi took Diaz down, in the second round he landed straight into a picture perfect Gogoplata, and had no choice but to tap out. The Nevada State Athletic Commission later over-turned the win for Diaz into a No Contest, when Marijuana was detected in his pre-fight Drug’s test, even though Diaz has a prescription for Marijuana for his ADHD. Regardless of the outcome, both fighters put on one of the most exciting fights in Pride’s ten years history. Since then Diaz’s career has continually been on the rise, where as Gomi’s has been somewhat up and down.

     After Pride closed its doors in 2007, Gomi went onto fight for World Victory Road’s ‘Sengoku’, beating Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig at the inaugural event. He fought three more times for the company, but not in very impressive fashion. Winning a decision over unknown fighter Sueng Hwang Bang, and then losing to Sergey Golyaev. After the upset loss to Golyaev, World Victory Road still granted Gomi a shoot at the Lightweight Title against Satoru Kitaoka. Many were hoping that Gomi’s last fight was just a ‘hiccup’ in his career and that he’d rise to his former self and become the first Sengoku Lightweight Champion, instead, he tapped out to an Achilles lock in the first round. After this loss, it seemed that Gomi’s best days were behind him, not even considered a top 10 Lightweight. Gomi then returned to Shooto in 2009 and broke his two fight losing streak beating Takashi Nakakura by K.O. Even though it was a win, Nakakura was a ‘can’ and was presented to Gomi to be an easy fight, to get the former number 1 Lightweight back on the winning track. Gomi’s last fight was last october at the reform of Vale Tudo Japan beating American unknown Tony Hervey. Gomi is 2-2 in his last 4 fights, and while he hasn’t looked like the Gomi of old, he definitely has the talent to get back on top of the world. Getting a UFC contract after his recent performances is somewhat of a ‘God send’, but if he’s to keep hold of that contract, he’s going to have to put on the sort of performances that made him a superstar five years ago. If the old Gomi shows up, expect to see the fight of the night against Kenny Florian, and the re-birth of the ‘Fireball Kid’

    UFC 111 Round up

    29 03 2010

    After a night filled with blog worthy stories, its hard to determine who came out of UFC 111 the most victorious. Even in defeat Dan Hardy may well have won over a lot of casual fans. UFC granted Hardy a title shot against the pound for pound king Georges St-Pierre, not because he was the number 1 contender, but because he would draw great interest from the British media and potentially increase the viewership in the U.K. Hardy was never expected to beat GSP, instead, he would be a ‘can’ that would draw great ratings, and showcase the talents of GSP, thus raising the  French Canadian’s stock. The UFC Hype machine even had me half believing that Hardy might actually be a viable contender to GSP after episode 3 of primetime. While Hardy was completely dominated, he showed great heart by not tapping to St-Pierres Armbar and Kimura attempts, and while that may be enough to win over casual fans, hardcore fans will be pissed that Hardy came into his match with GSP ill-prepared, with no wrestling or takedown defence against the best wrestler in the UFC. Shane Carwin proved he is for real by disposing of Frank Mir in the first round. Carwins now 12-0 in his MMA career, with 12 first round KO’s. With his knockout over Mir, Carwin was awarded his ‘make believe’ (interim) Heavyweight Title and a shot at Brock Lesnar expected to take place this July to unify the Heavyweight Titles. Lesnar says he’s back to full health, and he looked HUGE, stood next to Joe Rogan and Shane Carwin.

    Match Winner Loser Method Round Time
    1 Matt Riddle Greg Soto DQ (Illegal Upkick) 3 1:30
    2 Jared Hamman Rodney Wallace Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
    3 Rousimar Palhares Tomasz Drwal Submission (Heel Hook) 1 0:45
    4 Ricardo Almeida Matt Brown Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 2 3:30
    5 Nate Diaz Rory Markham TKO (Punches) 1 2:47
    6 Jim Miller Mark Bocek Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
    7 Jon Fitch Ben Saunders Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
    8 Kurt Pellegrino Fabricio Camoes Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 2 4:20
    9 Shane Carwin Frank Mir KO (Punches) 1 3:48
    10 Georges St. Pierre Dan Hardy Decision (Unanimous) 5 5:00

    MMA Oracle’s Fight Awards

    Fight of the night: Kurt Pellegrino vs. Fabricio Camoes

    K.O of the night: Shane Carwin

    Submission of the night: Rousimar Palhares

    Biggest stock rise: Kurt Pellegrino

    Can of the night: Dan Hardy

    I can’t believe you neck isn’t broken award: Fabricio Camoes

    ESPN MMA Live Pick ’em

    27 03 2010

    You can now follow my fight picks and interact with me on ESPN MMA Live Pick ’em

    MMA Oracle @ ESPN MMA Live Pick ’em

    MMA Oracle @ ESPN Fan Profiles

    The first round begins with UFC 111 St-Pierre vs. Hardy

    UFC 111 St-Pierre vs. Hardy

    27 03 2010

    Fight predictions with the best recommended betting lines, for UFC 111, have now been posted under the ‘Fight Predictions’ page. I’ll also be linking to my ESPN MMA Live Fantasy Picks page, for those that are playing along.