Friday night The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the fifth annual Fighters Only MMA Awards. The awards focused on the best the world of mixed martial arts had to offer during the entire 2012 calendar year, with the 21 categories honoring fighters, media organizations, apparel companies, technical equipment, and much more. The winners though were determined by fan votes. Check out the full list of 2012 World MMA Awards below, and tune in to Fox Sports Net on January 20 to catch the ceremony broadcast.
Friday night marked the conclusion of another star studded tournament in Lake Charles, Louisiana as “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (31-4) faced “Sweet Swede” Andreas Spang (8-2) for the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament Finals and the right to face Season 5 185lbs. tourney winner and former title challanger “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (45-7) for the now-vacant middleweight belt. “Pyscho” Karl Amoussou (15-4) and “The Caveman” David Rickels (10-1) brought the fight in their semi-finals bout to determine who would move on to face “The Beast” Bryan Baker (19-3) in the welterweight tournament championship finale. A special attraction fight in the Bellator women’s division featured top 115lbs. star ”Mega Megu” Megumi Fujii (25-2) taking on another of the division’s best in “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (13-4) with one to earn the coveted title of best female fighter in the world. A heavyweight bout between “The Monster” Ron Sparks (8-1) and “Concrete” Kevin Asplund (15-1) was cancelled after Sparks was not granted medical clearance to fight, however, Bellator 69 still delivered in a big way despite its shortened main card on MTV2.
—MAIN CARD (on MTV2)—
Season 6 Middleweight Tournament Final Fight
Maiquel Falcao vs. Andreas Spang: Falcao via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27), Round 3, 5:00
Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
David Rickels vs. Karl Amoussou: Amoussou via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Women’s Feature Fight
Megumi Fujii vs. Jessica Aguilar: Aguilar via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Heavyweight Feature Fight
Ron Sparks vs. Kevin Asplund: Bout cancelled due to Sparks reportedly being denied medical clearance
It’s back to Cajun country as Bellator returns to the L’Auberge du Lac Casino and Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana with a loaded card featuring heavy hitters and dynamic finishing artists. Season 6 Middleweight Tournament finalist and owner of 23 first-round (T)KOs “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (30-4) will face submission specialist “Sweet Swede” Andreas Spang (8-1). Lightning fast French import “Psycho” Karl Amoussou (14-4) takes on “The Caveman” David Rickels (10-0) in a welterweight semi-final match-up that will determine who will face “The Beast” Bryan Baker (19-3) later this season. Former female tournament finalist and long-time top female fighter in the world “Mega Megu” Megumi Fujii (25-1) steps back into the Bellator cage after a lengthy hiatus to face the recharged and surging “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (13-4). Kentucky countryboy “The Monster” Ron Sparks (8-1) hopes to make a successful return to the bayou as he welcomes Brutaal fight veteran “Concrete” Kevin Asplund (15-1) and his 15-fight win streak to the Bellator cage.
Perhaps one of the greatest nights of MMA history was witnessed on Saturday, November 19. Among the historic events was Bellator 58 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, featuring the long awaited title defense of top-ranked Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-3) against relentless challenger Michael Chandler (9-0). With the title fight as the event’s main attraction there was more star power to support the 155lbs. title bout. Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (29-2) met UFC and Strikeforce veteran Trevor Prangley (23-8) in a non-title catchweight bout of 195lbs. Two of the top five in Women’s MMA went to war in a rematch that had been five years in the making as “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (12-4) and Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-6) faced off in the cage. Starting off the action was former Sengoku featherweight king Marlon Sandro (20-3) and WEC veteran Rafael Dias (15-5) in a 145lbs. match-up with the hopes of the winner earning his way into the next featherweight tournament.
Lightweight Championship Fight
Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler: Chandler via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 4, 3:06
Catchweight (195lbs.) Feature Fight
Hector Lombard vs. Trevor Prangley: Lombard via KO (Punches), Round 2, 1:06
Women’s Feature Fight
Lisa Ellis vs. Jessica Aguilar: Aguilar via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Featherweight Feature Fight
Marlon Sandro vs. Rafael Dias: Sandro via Submission (Standing Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:56
After an injury left Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2) sitting on the sidelines rather than defending his belt against Michael Chandler (8-0) at Bellator 54, the Chicago-based promotion’s inaugural 155lbs. champ is now ready to spring back into action. Alvarez is slated to take on Chandler in a rescheduled championship bout scheduled for November 19 at Bellator 58.
The undefeated Missouri native Chandler earned his title shot by bullying his way through the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament in which he claimed victories over Marcin Held (11-1), “Cupcake” Llyod Woodard (11-1), and “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-1). Chandler showed excellent wrestling and an unrelenting pace that broke his opponents down as the fight wore on. The champion Alvarez hasn’t seen cage time since his first title defense against Pat Curran (15-4) at Bellator 39 in April. The five-round affair showcased the same signature slick boxing and counter wrestling that have punished and given opponents fits throughout his career.
Luis Palomino vs. Pat Curran: Curran via Submission (Peruvian Necktie), Round 1, 3:49
Genair da Silva vs. Marlon Sandro: Sandro via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Jacob Devree vs. Nazareno Malegarie: Nazareno via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 1:25
Adam Schindler vs. Ronnie Mann: Mann via KO (Punch), Round 1, 4:14
Bellator’s season-ending fight takes place in Hollywood, Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino with two world title fights to cap off the night. The first title fight of the evening is to crown the Bellator 115lb. Women’s Championship, when the world’s top pound-for-pound female fighter “Mega Megu” Megumi Fujii (22-0) squares off against knockout artist “Warrior Princess” Zoila Frausto (9-1). Fujii and Frausto are the cream of the crop of the Season Three Women’s Tournament, having torn through fellow competitors Jessica Pene (7-1), Lisa Ward (14-4), Aisling Daly (5-1), Carla Esparza (3-1), “Jag” Jessica Aguilar (9-4), and Lynn Alvarez (5-2), respectively. Bellator 34′s main event sees the multiple-time Cuban National Judo Champion and Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2) defend his belt against Season Two Middleweight Tournament winner “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (29-3) in a bout that will certainly end with a knockout. Shlemenko claims the belt will belong to the “true striker”, and that he will return to his homeland of Russia with the belt after knocking out the champion. Lombard promises to finish his opponent quickly and keep the belt tightly clinched around his waist. The champion, who tipped the scales at 183.25lbs of solid muscle, broke out of his usual silence when he spoke out at the weigh-ins. “Shango” said he plans on ending the fight with a submission, whether by strikes or his Judo-based grappling, leaving his fans and others to speculate until he takes on “The Storm” tonight in defense of his beloved belt.
Bellator made its debut appearance at the L’Auberge du Lac Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Thursday for Bellator 31. In addition to the Local Feature Fights where local fighters were given the opportunity to showcase their skills in a nationally-broadcast event, the card featured the Women’s Tournament Semi-Finals and Welterweight Season Four Tournament Qualifier as its main events.
The women’s 115lb championship tournament boasted #1 ranked pound-for-pound female fighter in the world “Mega Megu” Megumi Fujii (16-0) taking on dangerous veteran Lisa Ward (14-4), and explosive striker “The Warrior Princess” Zoila Frausto (7-1) facing submission specialist “Jag” Jessica Aguilar (9-4). The welterweight tournament highlighted a match-up between MMA Gospel Young Gun “The Assassin” Chris Lozano (5-0,) and UFC veteran “Zenko” Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-6,) both making their Bellator Fighting Championship debuts in a main event fight.