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.
Bellator Fighting Championship (BFC), founded in 2008, is still in its infancy as an MMA promotion. Despite its youth the organization is affixed with deepening talent pools and world class prospects, from the fresh blooded young guns to the veterans that were released from larger promotions for one reason or another. Questions have arisen about what organizations would be best suited for Bellator’s elite when they move up in the MMA rankings and find a new promotion to call home. How would they fare in, say, Strikeforce or the UFC’s talent filled divisions? Could they compete against top level challengers? Take “The Warrior Princess” Zoila Frausto (8-1), Dan Hornbuckle (18-3), Ben Askren (7-0), Cole Konrad (7-0), and Neil Grove (10-3) – how would they fare against the rest of the MMA world? What about Eddie Alvarez (19-2) and “Shango” Hector Lombard (26-2)? These two warriors are the reigning champions of Bellator and are also considered two of the best fighters in the world, both in their weight classes and the pound-for-pound rankings. MMA Gospel explores what life after Bellator will be like for these fighters.
Back when I was a little boy, I dreamed that one day I’d make jokes on the Internet that would make many hundreds of people somewhat amused. Of course, the Internet didn’t exist then so that just proves what a visionary I was. Needless to say, I have made that dream come true. First it was the KOS’d phenomenon. Which you can read up on here if you somehow missed it. Now, I invented TEAM MEATBERRY. I remember it like it was only a couple of days ago…
So, the biggest MMA news of the week is the merger between the UFC and the WEC. People seemed a lot more shocked by this than I was. After all, both companies are owned by Zuffa, LLC. This merger was inevitable. Dana White has said in the past that the main reason for keeping the two separate was the fact that Spike TV had a deal with the UFC and Versus had a deal with the WEC. I’m not sure what was worked out to make this no longer an issue. But the signs were there when UFC began having Fight Nights on Versus. It makes sense for Versus since the UFC is a much bigger name but Spike’s motivation isn’t so clear. My theory is that since the WEC and some of its star fighters like Urijah Faber, Jose Aldo, Miguel Torres, Ben Henderson and, more recently, Anthony Pettis have become bankable names, Spike feels it’s worth it to have those fighters on their network. Basically, Spike gets to showcase those fighters and Versus gets the UFC brand recognition. The question is whether it is good for the fighters and MMA fans. The overwhelming consensus is yes. The fighters get more money and more exposure -which also equals more money in endorsements. The merger of the overlapping 155lb. divisions makes for more potential match-ups and fighters at 155 in the UFC who may be more suited for 145 can now move down to that weight class without losing the bigger pay day and exposure that fighting in the UFC offers. Former WEC fighters will now be entitled to UFC Pay-Per-View pay scale. So for the fighters it seems almost entirely good – aside from some of the weaker of the merged 155lb. division being cut, but I think most of those fighters are probably the aforementioned ones who would be better suited for 145 and will likely make the cut and fight there. Most fans seem to see it as a positive thing. Overall I do as well. I will miss the WEC. They almost always had amazing cards – for free, no less! However, it stands to reason that drawing from a bigger talent pool will make the UFC cards higher quality overall. Sorry, I have no jokes about this… But hey, keep reading, I’m giving away a DVD you entitled bastards!
The final event of Bellator’s third season concluded at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida with two title fights. Bellator champion (27-2) “Shango” Hector Lombard took on Russian knockout artist “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (29-4) for the middleweight belt, and the world’s pound-for-pound best female fighter “Mega Megu” Megumi Fujii (22-1) went up against striking sensation “The Warrior Princess” Zoila Frausto (10-1) to crown the first Women’s 115lb. Champion. The dangerous striker and multiple-time Cuban Judo Champion Hector Lombard was expected by many to don his usual style of vicious striking and finish his opponent within the first round, whereas Fujii/Frausto was anticipated to be a showcase in the war of disciplines: striker vs. grappler. Both Fujii and Lombard were favorites in the title fights. However, only Lombard would deliver, but not with the expected results. “Mega Megu” put on a world class performance but in the end became just another name on the list of Japanese superstars to fall in the American MMA arena.
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.