It’s the final curtain call for the Season 6 Tournaments as Bellator arrives in the Big Easy for Bellator 70 where Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will host the Bellator cage and its fighters. Bellator Heavyweight Champion “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (8-0) will face Season 5 Tournament winner “The American Soldier” Eric Prindle (7-1). Season 6 Lightweight Tournament finalists Rick Hawn (13-1) and Brent Weedman (20-7) will face off for the right to take on champion Michael Chandler (10-0) in the fall. Bantamweights Luis Alberto Nogueira (13-2) and DEEP veteran “Iron” Hiroshi Nakamura (15-5) will face off with the winner meeting WEC and Bellator veteran “Loro” Marcos Galvao (12-5) in the 135lbs. finale. UFC veteran and New Orleans native “No Love” Rich Clementi (42-21) will look not only to bounce back from a recent loss but also to score his first Bellator win as he faces Francisco Derek Campos (9-2) in the lightweight division.
On Friday, April 6 Bellator Fighting Championships makes the trek North to Windsor, Ontario, Canada to present Bellator 64 live on MTV2 from The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor. Undefeated Bellator Welterweight Champion and former Olympic wrestler “Funky” Ben Askren (9-0) takes on his most dangerous opponent to date in former MFC king and Season 5 welterweight tourney champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (21-4) with the 170lbs. title on the line. Season 6 Featherweight Tournament semi-final match-up number one pits former Sengoku 145lbs. champion Marlon Sandro (21-3) against a close friend in “Popo” Alexandre Bezerra (13-1) to determine who will take one of two spots in the finals. Two bouts in the latest bantamweight tournament’s quarter-finals open up the main card as “T-Train” Travis Marx (18-3) takes on Shooto veteran Masakatsu Ueda (15-1) and undefeated WOCS veteran “Ratinho” Rodrigo Lima (10-0) fights DEEP and Shooto journeyman “Iron” Hiroshi Nakamura (14-5).
The Fourth of July weekend gets lit up early when fireworks are presented in the form of MMA action as UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber takes place in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night. German kickboxer Dennis Siver (18-7) hopes to keep his own mean streak alive when he meets fellow lightweight prospect “Handsome” Matt Wiman (13-5). “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-1) hopes to get back to his winning ways but “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) does not intend on being that stepping stone on his way back to the top. In what could be a true battle to remember, “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-8) is granted his request from UFC 116 when he meets beloved fellow brawler “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-10-1). The bantamweights make themselves known when “The Dominator” Dominick Cruz (16-1) puts his belt on the line against former WEC Featherweight Champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4). In the middle of all the action though, “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (26-5) and “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim prepare to go tooth-and-nail in a welterweight battle where a heavy shift in title contention can happen for the victor. Condit has tasted the gold before in his WEC days and would like to do so again by adding Kim to his list of victims. The South Korean Kim though has torn through the welterweight ranks with his unforgiving Judo. Now standing as two valid contenders to “Rush” Georges St. Pierre’s (22-2) belt, only one of them can advance further to eventually challenge for the gold.
Tonight, Bellator Fighting Championships debuts its inaugural Light Heavyweight Tournament in the state of Mississippi in Tunica at the Harrah’s Tunica Hotel and Casino. Starting off the night is MMA Gospel Young Gun “The Professional” Chris Davis (10-2), who brings his destructive power into the Bellator cage against French import Christian M’Pumbu (1-1, 15-3 NSF). Rage In The Cage veteran Richard Hale (10-3-1) goes against Nik Fekete (3-0) who owns a victory over Strikeforce rising force Ovince St. Preux (9-4). Bellator veteran Raphael Davis (10-1) will look to continue a nine-fight win streak as he goes against D.J. Linderman (8-1), a former heavyweight who dropped down to compete in the first ever 205lbs. tournament. Then in the main event, returning to MMA competition after five years, is a member of the legendary Gracie family and PRIDE and International Fight League (IFL) veteran, Daniel Gracie (4-2). The submission specialist will go against undefeated Bellator veteran Tim Carpenter (6-0) who sees this as a way to earn bragging rights by defeating a member of the Gracie family.
Yet another installment of UFC Fight Night slams the Pacific Northwest and hits hard in the Key Arena of Seattle, Washington this Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. The main event has veteran of the game “Lil’ Nog” Antônio Rogério Nogueira (18-4) taking on uprising star, “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (7-0). “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (8-3) steps back in the cage after a lengthy lay-off with the hopes of making former top welterweight contender “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-8) another victim of his knockout power. In a welterweight showcase, fan favorites and The Ultimate Fighter alumni meet when “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-8) and Amir Sadollah (4-2) step into the Octagon. In a repeat of 2010’s “Fight of the Year”, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (10-3) steps up on short notice, replacing Nam Phan (18-9), to challenge WEC transplant “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-6-1) in a featherweight match-up. With Garcia getting the Split Decision victory in the first duel, will the “Zombie” rise from the dead to even the score or will Garcia prove he has Jung figured out? Come March 26, any doubts of their first fight will be answered only to have new questions asked. With the card free on Spike TV, there is no excuse to not tune in.
For the fifth time in “Semtex” Paul Daley’s (23-10-2) past 11 fights, the British slugger has missed weight. And this time, not even an extra hour made a difference.
Daley was slated to take on DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8) in the main event tomorrow night for the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts’ (BAMMA) currently vacant welterweight title at BAMMA 5 in Manchester, England. But during today’s event weigh-ins, Daley came in at 172lbs. – two pounds over the limit – reportedly due to his hotel’s malfunctioning sauna. He was given an hour to drop the additional weight, during which he reportedly traveled to another location in attempt to shed the extra pounds in a working sauna. His second attempt on the scale rendered a reading of 170.4lbs., which still exceeds the limit for a title fight. Consequently what was scheduled to be a five-round title fight is now reduced to a non-title three-round affair. Shirai on the other hand made weight, coming in at 169.6lbs.
The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) steps away from its usual stomping grounds of London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom to bring MMA fans in the City of Manchester a blistering card with BAMMA 5: Daley vs. Shirai this Saturday night.
BAMMA 5 is highlighted with bouts between some of the UK’s well known top prospects and local fan favorites, while its main event and co-main event feature names the American audience may find more familiar. Recent UFC castaway and The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “The Hammer” James McSweeney (4-6) takes on a seasoned veteran and former UFC Heavyweight Champion in “Suave” Ricco Rodriguez (44-11) in the evening’s co-main event heavyweight tilt. The main event pits UFC veteran and heavy-handed British slugger “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) against Pancrase and M-1 veteran and DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8), where the winner will earn the title of BAMMA’s very first welterweight king. The stakes of Saturday night’s championship bout are particularly high for Daley, who was recently dubbed the top contender to challenge Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) for the UFC-rival promotion’s 170lbs. belt. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has stated that should Daley come out on the winning end of his BAMMA 5 bout, he gets the title shot – if not, “the deck gets reshuffled”, according to MMA Junkie.
The MGM Grand Garden will host the UFC’s annual New Year’s card, UFC 125: Resolution. The marquis bout between “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0) and “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1) is the fight perhaps most prominent on the fans’ minds but there are several rather notable matches on the card as well. Thiago Silva (15-2), “The Truth” Brandon Vera (11-5), “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (29-7), “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (27-11), “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-7), and Brian Stann (9-3) help round out the card, but one of the more interesting Pay-Per-View bouts features welterweight warriors Nate Diaz (12-6) and “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (10-4). The Stockton, California native and brother of Strikeforce champion “El Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-7) takes on the tough and well rounded Korean-born Hyun Kim, who is unbeaten in the UFC, in a race for a chance at welterweight king “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (21-2). Both men are dynamic ground fighters with contrasting clinch fighting styles that will make for a very interesting battle to the mat.