Bellator Fighting Championships’ first outdoor event of its fourth season went off without a hitch last night in Luma, Arizona. In the arid 95 degree desert weather, a pair of superfights as well as both 135lbs. tournament semi-final match- ups took place at Bellator 41 to the delight of thousands of MMA fans. Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (6-1) took on Shooto and Ring of Combat veteran Marcos Galvão (9-3) in a catchweight affair at 137lbs., Bellator Bantamweight Champion “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (13-2) went to war with the undefeated “Robo” Chad Robichaux (11-1) in a non-title bout in a pair of hard hitting crowd pleasers with both fights bringing the fans non-stop action. Wilson Reis (12-3) and “Pitbull” Patricio Freire (8-1) went at it for a second time in the featherweight semi-finals and Daniel Straus (16-2) squared off with “The Tooth Fairy” Kenny Foster (9-3) to open the main card on MTV2. Again, Bellator delivered on its promises for an action packed night of mixed martial arts and MMA Gospel is here to break that action down.
The Cocopath Resort and Casino will host Bellator Fighting Championships as it rolls into the copper state of Arizona for Bellator 41 tomorrow night. Two super fights take place on the card as Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (6-1) takes on Ring of Combat and Shooto veteran “Loro” Marcos Galvão (9-3) in a non-title bout and Bellator Bantamweight Champion “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (12-2) faces undefeated “Robo” Chad Robichaux (11-0) who has submitted all of his opponents with the exception of just one. The resilient Daniel Straus (15-2) goes against hard nosed “The Tooth Fairy” Kenny Foster (9-2) and dangerous striker “Pitbull” Patricio Freire (7-1) rematches the first and only Elite XC Bantamweight Champion Wilson Reis (12-2) in the semi-finals of the Season 4 Featherweight Tournament to kick off the evening, with the winners moving on to the finals and vying for a chance to wrestle the title away from outspoken champ Joe Warren. The night undoubtedly has all the makings of a typically exciting Bellator card. Here, MMA Gospel takes a closer look at how the evening may pan out.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the Versus network tonight for another compilation of free fights, this time rocking out the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The main event features “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-4) butting heads with the fighter previously known as “The Nightmare” and now known as “The Dream” Diego Sanchez (22-4) for one of the welterweights to take a big step closer to putting his name in the hat for a top contender spot. Wrestling fans are in for a treat with the co-main event, a match-up between “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-2) and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2) that is likely to turn into a clinic on MMA wrestling between the two Div. I NCAA competitors. Kicking off the main card is the return of former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brain Bowles (8-1) looking to climb back to the top ranks following his March 2010 loss to Dominick Cruz (16-1) by taking on Jackson’s Submission Fighting graduate “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (10-6), preceded by former UFC top lightweight contender “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-11) taking on WEC transplant “Last Call” Danny Castillo (9-3). A bout that is sure to be a contender for “Fight of the Night” honors pits heavy-hitting Italian striker “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-7) against UFC newcomer “The All-American” Chris Weidman (4-0) in a brawl that undoubtedly will end in spectacular fashion. Let’s have a closer look at this highly-anticipated bout.
Saturday, February 12. The night was chilly as usual but even another freezing night could not damper my mood as I drove towards East Rutherford, New Jersey and the start of the unprecedented (in the US at least) Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament being put together by Strikeforce. With so much emphasis put on the UFC, fans really had to be surprised to see the wealth of heavyweight talent amassed for this tournament. That I was witnessing the launch of such an historic MMA event left me quite gleeful. Of course events that unfolded would show that for Strikeforce no good deed goes unpunished. But we’ll get to that.
As I drove toward Lot 26 which is designated for the press and employees I stopped to ask every parking attendant where the lot was located and was instructed to just keep driving. When I finally circled the entire IZOD Center and came to my designated lot I made an ill advised, on-the-fly decision to not stop by the parking person manning this lot and a few seconds later felt like Billy Hayes in Midnight Express as my car was surrounded by several guys who looked as if they were competing in the evening’s Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament or at least a local tough man contest. After the some venting of steam by guys whose mood was not enhanced by the freezing temps, I was finally able to spit out my name and ultimately allowed to proceed and park. So began my first sojourn as a credentialed press dignitary. I almost ended up buried with Jimmy Hoffa and other luminaries in the nearby meadowland swamps courtesy of Mo and the guys.
The MMA world has been ablaze since the end of 2010 when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced the organization’s upcoming eight-man single-elimination tournament, dubbed the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, which was slated to include some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division signed on as competitors. Last night the San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion kicked off that tournament, as the main card of its “Fedor vs. Silva” event, with two Quarter-Finals match-ups and two alternate qualifying bouts. It was an amazing night of fights, culminating with a fight between “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (15-2 ) and “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-3).
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – or at least Elton John thought so when he wrote the hit song. Well, as it turns out, this Saturday night will be a great night for fights as the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva live event in East Rutherford, New Jersey kicks off the Heavyweight Grand Prix with two of its quarter-final bouts, with “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-2) facing “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (13-2) and “The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski (14-8) clashing with Sergei Kharitonov (16-4) in the main and co-main event, respectively. While those fights involve the Strikeforce “elite eight” heavyweights, Saturday night’s card also hosts a pair of reserve bouts for the promotion’s tourney, including Shane del Rosario (8-0) squaring off with “Big” Lavar Johnson (13-3), “The Python” Valentijn Overeem (26-21) taking on fellow striker and former K-1 kickboxer “Sugarfoot” Ray Sefo (2-1), and “The Grave Digger” Chad Griggs (8-1) teeing off against Strikeforce newcomer Gian Villante (7-1). Villante is a veteran of Ring of Combat, having competed there in all of his professional fights and currently representing them as their World Heavyweight Champion. Gian was an All-American football player at Hofstra University and was one of the last men cut from the New York Jets’ roster. After being dismissed by the NFL, he turned to MMA. For Griggs, he made a name for himself on the big stage by beating Bobby Lashley (5-1) via TKO in the third round of their August clash. Both Griggs and Villante prefer to keep the fight standing, and each has earned the majority of his wins via TKO or KO. How will this battle between two strikers play out? Lets take a look.