Archive for the ‘Fighter Features’ Category

“In The Blood” featuring Gina Carano slated for theaters on April 4

Anchor Bay Films, in a joint distribution with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, will unleash IN THE BLOOD simultaneously in theaters, On Demand and on iTunes on April 4th, 2014. IN THE BLOOD stars former MMA Fighter/Action Star Gina Carano (Fast and the Furious 6, Haywire) along with an ensemble cast, Cam Gigandet (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), Luis Guzmán (We’re the Millers, The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3), Amaury Nolasco (Rum Diaries, TV’s “Prison Break”), Ismael Cruz Cordoba (TV’s “The Good Wife”), Treat Williams (TV’s “Chicago Fire”), Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Danny Trejo (Machete).  The film was directed by John Stockwell (Blue Crush, Into the Blue) and was written by Bennett Yellin and James Robert Johnston.

Gina Carano stars as Ava, a trained fighter with a dark past. When her new husband (Cam Gigandet) vanishes during their Caribbean honeymoon, Ava uncovers a violent underworld of conspiracy in the middle of an island paradise. Armed with a deadly set of skills, Ava sets out to discover the truth – and to take down the men she thinks are responsible for his abduction, one by one.

IN THE BLOOD was produced by Raymond Mansfield and Shaun Redick, of Movie Package Co., and Cash Warren, and executive produced by Lee Portnoi, David R. Arnold, Nicola Horlick, Andrew Mann, Glenn M Stewart, Stefan Sonnenfeld, Luillo Ruiz, James Gibb and Belly Torres.  The film was financed by The Way We Roll Productions and MICA Entertainment

Three bouts added to MFC 40


The Maximum Fighting Championship has added three action-packed bouts to the lineup for MFC 40: Crowned Kings including a pair of pivotal matchups in the lightweight division.

With the MFC lightweight crown on the line in the rematch between Kurt Southern and Tom Gallicchio, these two top-contender bouts will go long way in determining the next challenger for the new champion. The lightweight championship encounter is one of three title fights slated for MFC 40 which takes place on Friday, May 9 live on AXS TV Fights emanating from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

In one of the lightweight tilts, world champion jiu-jitsu ace Jonatas “Peixe Frito” Novaes (11-5) aims to get back in the title picture against rising star and fellow jiu-jitsu practitioner Andrew “Andrewconda” McInnes (4-1). The other bout in the 155-pound division will see a pair of highly explosive strikers do battle as Marcus “Bad Intentions” Edwards (6-2) meets MFC record-holder Aaron “Gorilla” Gallant (6-5).

“These two fights are tremendous. All four of them have a burning desire to get a shot at the title and I expect them to leave it all on the line,” said Mark Pavelich, the Owner/President of the Maximum Fighting Championship.

“There is no point to holding back anything when there’s a title opportunity at stake. These fighters know that, and I sense they’ll dig deep within themselves to find an extra gear. That can only mean great things for the fans in the seats and those watching live on AXS TV Fights.”

Novaes vs. McInnes

Originally from Conceicao de Barra, Brazil, Novaes (Twitter: @jonatasnovaes) has an incredible resume in jiu-jitsu and has parlayed those submission skills into mixed martial arts with eight of his 11 wins coming via tapout. Novaes has won six of his last eight fights including the lone knockout win of his career coming against former MFC contender Drew Fickett. Under the Maximum Fighting Championship banner, Novaes, who now lives in Chicago, Illinois, scored a third-round submission win over Southern at MFC 36, but then suffered a first-round TKO against in the rematch against Southern at MFC 38.

With hometown crowd support fighting in Edmonton, McInnes (Twitter: @andrewconda) made his hotly anticipated organizational debut at MFC 39 and earned Submission of the Night honors with a standing rear-naked choke finish in the second round against Dan Ring. All four of McInnes’s wins have come via submission and three of those have ended inside the opening round.

Edwards vs. Gallant

Edwards (Twitter: @BadIntentions91) also made his organizational debut at MFC 39 and dominated Sean Powers with striking and ground-and-pound en route to a rear-naked choke submission at 4:50 of the first round. The Littleton, Colorado, product has won six of his last seven with five finishes coming inside the first round.

Gallant’s foray into MFC 40 (Twitter: @gallantgorilla) marks the return of the MFC record-holder for fastest knockout – an accomplishment the Calgary, Alberta, product set at MFC 38. Gallant executed a devastating three-punch combination that floored Matt Jelly a mere seven seconds into their bout back in October. The electrifying finish earned Gallant his fourth straight win.

O’Connell vs. Valimaki back on schedule

The other bout announced for MFC 40 is the previously scheduled matchup pitting Sean “The Real OC” O’Connell (15-4) against Victor “The Matrix” Valimaki (17-8). The light-heavyweight contest was pulled from MFC 39 when Valimaki came up ill, though O’Connell stayed on the card and earned a quick submission victory over late replacement Markhaile Wedderburn.

Valimaki, who will have the home-town advantage of fighting in Edmonton, became one of the original MFC stars when he upset legendary veteran Dan “The Beast” Severn at MFC 8 in September 2005. After claiming the MFC title with a win over Jason Day one year later, Valimaki (Twitter: @V2MMA) defended the belt in February 2007 with a startling, come-from-behind knockout win over Jared Kilkenny at MFC 11. But in August 2007 at MFC 13, Valimaki had the title snatched away from him in a TKO loss to Roger Hollett.

Fighting out of Walnut Creek, California, O’Connell (Twitter: @realOCsports) has won eight of his last nine bouts and notched seven victories via knockout.

A final main-card matchup along with a roster of preliminary fights will be announced shortly.

UFC Ultimate Fight Night 36 recap

Lyoto Machida (L) vs. Gegard Mousasi (R) at UFN 36. (Photo courtesy of

UFC Ultimate Fight Night 36 took place Saturday at the Arena Jaraguá in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil, and extended a record the UFC did not have in their crosshairs.

In the evening’s main event former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida took on career journeyman Gegard Mousasi, and even though it was not the most spectacular bout in UFC history, they managed to breathe a bit of life in the lackluster event.

Machida’s quickness and elusiveness were the deciding factors that earned him a unanimous decision victory with score of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46.  “The Dragon” utilized odd angles, which allowed him to land punches and kicks more often than his counterpart, and left Mousasi puzzled and frustrated.  Machida also showed glimpses of his grappling abilities as he attempted two takedowns – completing one- and avoided suffering any damage  tussling with Mousasi on the ground.

Mousasi abandoned his kicks, but found success with a few boxing combinations and an exceptional reversal when Machida was in the Dutchman’s guard.  However, losing in his sophomore Octagon effort after winning an uneventful decision in his UFC debut raises the question of how far can Mousasi go in the middleweight or light heavyweight divisions.

The bout between Machida and Mousasi was basically an unofficial No. 1 contender match, as UFC president Dana White said Machida could receive a title shot with a win.  But seeing as 185-pound champion Chris Weidman won’t defend his title against Vitor Belfort until UFC 173 on May 24, and other Top 5 middleweight Ronaldo Souza was victorious at UFN 36, plus No. 5 ranked Michael Bisping competing in April, Machida may not have quite secured the next title shot.

“Jacare” Souza and Francis Carmont held down the co-main event slot at Ultimate Fight Night 36.

As expected, “Jacare’s” grappling was entirely too much for Carmont.  A large portion of the match saw Souza tightly latched on to the French Canadian’s back, with the Brazilian controlling just over eight minutes of the bout.

Carmont can take away somewhat of a moral victory, seeing as he didn’t get submitted by the two-time ADCC gold medalist.

The victory marks Souza’s sixth consecutive win and only fifth decision triumph in his 24-fight career.

Erick Silva had the most impressive feat of the night in his knockout win against Takenori Sato.

Silva landed a body kick, which forced Sato to exhibit facial expressions indicating he was in pain and shoot for a takedown.  With one leg in tied up in Sato’s grip, Silva riffled off punches until the Japanese combatant’s grasp loosened due to being unconscious.

It took Silva 51 seconds to take Sato out and win the UFC’s “performance of the night” bonus.

In a drawn out match, Nicholas Musoke picked up a decision victory against Viscardi Andrade.

It wasn’t pretty, but Musoke outworked Viscardi on the feet and the ground.  There were no moments in the match that got the crowd on their feet, nor any technical displays that a coach would point out to a student, but it fell in suit with the majority of the night’s monotonous fights.

The cageside officials scored the bout 29-28 across the board in favor of Musoke.

Charles Oliveira manhandled Andy Ogle en route to winning via submission.

Ogle had no answer for the BJJ black belt in Round 1.  Oliveira sunk in a body triangle and worked for a rear-naked choke whether Ogle was on the ground or standing.  The opening frame could very well have been scored 10-8 for Oliveira.

The rest of the match looked similar to Round 1, until Oliveira finally secured a triangle choke midway through the third stanza.  Ogle was forced to tap and Oliveira earned the first ever “performance of the night” award, as well as got back in the win column after losing his last two bouts.

The preliminary portion of the event offered seven matches that all lacked a finish.  That makes for 14 consecutive UFC preliminary bouts that have went to the judges’ scorecards.  A record that is not something the UFC intentionally aimed for.

Full results for UFC Ultimate Fight Night 36 can be found here.

Join Alex Gasson on Feb. 14, help save Ontario MMA and get a kiss

As a diehard MMA fan – no pun intended- you’d rather contribute to MMA instead of having a romantic lunch on Valentine’s Day, so go see Alex Gasson for a kiss and to keep fighting in the ring.

Gasson (Twitter: @Pecker17), owner of Pecker’d Promotions, is an advocate of Ontario martial arts.  Along with creating combat sports events of his own, the Team Tompkins product does everything in his power to better the amateur martial arts scene in the province.

Gasson has been encouraging fans to sign the “Fix Bill S209 amendment of Section 83 of the Criminal Code” petition, but is now taking it to the street.  At 11 a.m. ET on Friday Feb. 14 at 777 Bay St. in Toronto, Ontario, Gasson is inviting everyone to come down and bring attention to an issue that is attempting to prevent amateur martial arts from taking place.

“We’re asking everyone to have a heart,” Gasson told Jason Kelly and Trevor Airdrie on MMA Cypher Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “We’re asking everyone to look at the petition, sign the petition if you can.  And if you can’t, we’ve filed for a notice of demonstration at the Ministry building in downtown Toronto.  We’re asking for people to come down, hard copy sign the petition if they can, I have a bunch of chocolates and I’ll hook people up with a kiss for helping us out.”

Though, Gasson is leading the way on this cause, a team of people with him have a similar interest in the topic.  This opportunity can only unite the martial arts population and help eliminate the possibility of losing the chance to compete in martial arts, as well as provide the chance to get a smooch from Gasson.

“There are so many people out here that are putting their heart and soul into the progression.  I know with my group and with the teachings that Shawn (Tompkins) passed on to me, which  I’ve been able to do that as well, passing on a positive influence in society and direction.  This is what combative sports really does (that).

“We’re asking people to have a heart.  We’re asking everybody to come, come. If you can make it, awesome.  I’m going to be there trying to shake hands and smiling.  I’m not hiding.  I’m want to be out there and I want to put this out there.  We want to be able to continue doing our sport, we want to be able to communicate with the community and heck, you’ll even get a chocolate kiss out of it.”

MFC 40: Anthony Birchak to defend bantamweight title against Kevin Croom

MFC bantamweight champion Anthony Birchak. (Photo courtesy of

One of the hottest fighters in the world today will get his shot at the Maximum Fighting Championship’s bantamweight title at MFC 40: Crowned Kings.

“The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly” Kevin Croom (14-4) has signed a multi-fight deal with the MFC and will challenge reigning bantamweight champion Anthony Birchak (11-1) in a co-headliner of three title fights at MFC 40 on Friday, May 9 live on AXS TV Fights from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

Croom (Twitter: @hhhillbillyKC) is on an outstanding tear of late, winning an astounding eight fights in 2013 highlighted by seven first-round finishes. Those efforts have vaulted the Columbia, Missouri, native to #37 in the Fight Matrix world rankings. Meanwhile, Birchak (Twitter: @abirchakMMA), who is ranked #55 in the world by Fight Matrix, will mark his first title defense riding a five-fight winning streak.

“I’m just a guy from a lower-middle class family from Missouri so being the MFC champion would mean the world to me. It would be the coolest thing to ever happen in my life,” said Croom, who expressed no reservation about jumping into MFC fray to face the champ.

“I feel unbreakable. The biggest thing is I know is that I won’t beat myself. At this level in this sport, everyone is a gifted athlete so it really becomes more of a mental game. Right now, I have my mental game plan at 100%.”

Croom’s run of success in 2013 included fights in Mexico and Kazakhstan, and will certainly go down as one of the most remarkable achievement in mixed martial arts history. The 26-year-old, who now fights out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, chalked up the incredible streak to finally establishing what works best for him.

“I’ve been fighting for seven years and it took me five and a half years to find the right formula. I’ve found the correct frequency to operate on,” said Croom.

“I try not to focus on my opponent. I let my coaches worry about that. I just focus on myself. My coaches tell me how to train and what I have to do to beat an opponent and then that’s what I go out and do.”

Croom’s title shot is subject to him having a successful outcome in a schedule bout outside the MFC on Feb. 28.

The Birchak-Croom bantamweight title fight joins two other MFC title bouts set for May 9. In a rematch for the MFC lightweight crown, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio meets Kurt “The Hurt” Southern, and reigning MFC middleweight champion “Smilen” Sam Alvey will defend his belt with his opponent to be named soon.

UFC 169 recap

Renan Barao defeating Urijah Faber at UFC 169 Photo courtesy of MMAjunkie

UFC 169 took place Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and the champions remained.

The UFC 169 main event pitted bantamweight champion Renan Barao taking on perennial No. 1 contender Urijah Faber.

The two combatants have met before and Barao appeared to be a step ahead of Faber, which awarded him a decision victory.  Well, this time Barao looked to be about 10 steps ahead of the “California Kid.”

Mind you, Faber had less than a month to prepare for this match, although, it didn’t look like any amount of training would ready him for Barao.

Barao dropped Faber with a straight-right punch early in the first round.  The former WEC featherweight champ recovered, but it wasn’t long before he was on the mat again.

Barao planted another fist on Faber’s head that forced the American to fall flat on his face.  Barao jumped on him and released hammer fists on Faber’s head.  Faber wasn’t doing much to improve his position and referee Herb Dean stepped in to halt the bout.

Faber contested that he was fit to continue, and UFC president Dana White concurred at the post-fight press conference that the match was stopped early, but the inevitable was in the mail.  It was only a matter of time before Faber laid unconscious, therefore, the slightly earl stoppage was not a terribly bad one.

Barao remained the UFC bantamweight champion and has won an astonishing 32 consecutive fights.  Faber is back to climbing the proverbial ladder to another title shot, which is something he claims is at the top of his agenda.

In the co-main event of the show, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo retained his belt with a series of traumatizing leg kicks against Ricardo Lamas.

Aldo landed punches and kicks at will through the first four rounds.  Lamas’ left leg had moments of giving out, but the American toughed it out and continued to battle back against the champ.

Aldo was clearly up four rounds to zero on the judges’ scorecards heading into the fifth stanza, which is where the champ has shown signs f weakness in past fights.  This match was no different.

Aside from the short amount of time Aldo spent on top, Lamas controlled Round 5, and threw everything he had left in him to finish the Brazilian.

Nonetheless, Aldo walked away the victor.  He has not lost since 2005, is on a 17-fight win streak and is now being called upon for a superfight with UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.  Lamas, however, had an end put to his four consecutive wins.

In the night’s only heavyweight bout, Alistair Overeem had his best UFC performance to date against Frank Mir.

Overeem paced himself, even when seeing Mir was on close to being finished, which allowed the “Demolition Man” to continue putting inflicting damage.

The match was closest to being stopped in Round 1, when Mir was on his back against the cage and absorbing a multitude of punches and elbows for Overeem.  Somehow, someway Mir lasted through the punishment.

The following two rounds were similar to the opening frame.  Overeem battered Mir on the feet or the ground, while keeping a steady pace to ensure his large muscles would not fatigue.

Overeem bloodied Mir’s face and bruised his body en route to securing a unanimous decision victory.  Though, the triumph put Overeem back in the win column, White criticized the Dutchman’s victory and called it a “crappy performance.”

Mir is now on a four-fight losing skid and retirement may be something the former UFC heavyweight champion should be considering.

If anything was learned in Ali Bagautinov’s bout against John Lineker, it’s that the Russian is not susceptible to leg locks.

Bagautinov had to grind down Lineker and employ his Sambo background.  Lineker wasn’t totally outclassed, but it was evident Bagautinov was the superior grappler.

Bagautinov was placed in compromising positions more than once, especially getting caught up in leg locks, but he showed little concern.  The biggest display of Bagautinov’s lack of acknowledgement that Lineker could hurt him by manipulating his knee or ankle came near the end of the fight when 2X World Combat Sambo Champion taunted his opponent while being held in a submission attempt.

Bagautinov received the judges’ nod and extended his win streak to 11.  Meanwhile, Lineker had his four-fight win streak snapped, which could mean the Russian is next in line to meet UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Following a preliminary card that saw seven consecutive decisions, Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner had seen enough.

Varner was surprising, hurting the always violent Trujillo and capitalizing on his wounded opponent, but Trujillo hung in there.  The former WEC lightweight champion was on the brink of finishing Trujillo, but the North Carolina native rallied back for a remarkable come-from-behind victory.

As Varner stalked Trujillo in an effort to stop the fight, the Blackzilian stood his ground and fired back.  Trujillo threw a punch with the worst of intentions while his opponent was coming towards him and put Varner to sleep before he hit the canvas.

It was a burner of a match that energized the decision-filled UFC 169 card.  The victory also put Trujillo on a two-fight win streak and netted him $125k for “Fight of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” bonuses.

Click here to see full results for UFC 169.

Video: UFC 169 media scrum with Dana White

UFC president Dana White.(photo: Hector Castro/

UFC 169 media scrum with UFC president Dana White, which features topics surrounding UFC 169, upcoming events and current UFC news.

Video: UFC 169 weigh-ins

Live video stream for UFC 169, today at 4 p.m. ET.  The event takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and features co-main event participants Jose Aldo and Ricardo Lamas, as well as main event competitors Renan Barao and Urijah Faber, just to name a few.

UFC Fight Night 35 results: Rockhold returns to form

UFC middleweight Luke Rockhold. (Photo courtesy of

For Luke Rockhold, the difference between redemption and disgrace is a single kick.

Most UFC fans first encountered Rockhold on Vitor Belfort’s highlight reel. In a disastrous debut last year, “The Phenom” wrecked Rockhold in one round with a massive spin kick. Such was its force, many wondered if his days as a title contender were over.

Those concerns were unfounded. During UFC Fight Night 35, Rockhold needed just one round of his own in Duluth, Ga. to disprove them. The final Strikeforce middleweight champion dropped Cyprus’s Costas Philippou with a vicious liver kick in two minutes and 31 seconds.

In the co-main event, Lorenz Larkin and Brad Tavares struggled for higher ground in their division. The two middleweights fought patiently, each trading strikes before Tavares closed round one with a takedown. In round two, he got another, only for Larkin to survive repeated submission attempts. Larkin elbowed his way out of a third takedown in round three, but it was too little, too late. At fight’s end, Tavares left with the judges’ favor and success.

Mike Easton and T.J. Dillashaw followed this by dueling for top-ten bantamweight status. Cold and calculating, Dillashaw earned his “Viper” nickname by brutally picking Easton apart. Effortlessly switching his punches and kicks, he flustered “The Hulk” through all three rounds. Such a striking clinic woos judges, and Dillashaw nabbed a commanding unanimous decision win.

Afterwards, Yoel Romero met Derek Brunson in middleweight action. Surprisingly, Brunson repeatedly took down Romero – an Olympic wrestler – in round one. He also nailed “Soldier of God” with a skull-rattling kick.
Brunson kept such intensity in round two, out-grappling Romero every step of the way. He seemed headed for victory when, in round three, Romero wobbled him with a short punch. Smelling blood, “Soldier of God” kept head-hunting until he’d knocked Brunson down. Once he had, he completed a brilliant TKO comeback via rib-cracking elbows.

A major flyweight scrap was next as John Moraga and Dustin Ortiz locked horns. Fresh off an unsuccessful title match, the former was looking for the rebound. Standing in his way was the latter, a relentless grappler seeking his first major scalp.

Ortiz outmuscled Moraga through round one with his wrestling. In round two, Moraga turned the tide by clocking Ortiz with a hard punch, then nearly catching him in a rear-naked choke. It didn’t happen, though, and Ortiz tried storming back with two late takedowns. It wasn’t enough – Moraga took the split-decision through strength and grit.

The main card started with Cole Miller’s explosive performance against Sam Sicilia. It took just two rounds for “Magrinho” to nab major success at featherweight. Dropping Sicilia with a nasty one-two, he next locked in a rear-naked choke for the tap-out.

UFC Fight Night 35 prelims results: Decisions, decisions for Nijem and co.

UFC lightweight Ramsey Nijem. (Photo courtesy of

There were few finishes during UFC Fight Night 35’s undercard.

All the same, it was an entertaining dose of midweek MMA. Everyone was tough-as-nails, and it produced several thrilling contests. After all, what’s better than the vanquished fighting hard against the victors?
Headlining the undercard was a fierce battle between former “Ultimate Fighter” contestants. There was no love lost when Ramsey Nijem and Justin Edwards reunited at 155 lbs. The two caught up with a wild brawl showing who’s grown the most since their reality TV days.

The answer’s Nijem, but it wasn’t always apparent. At separate points, for example, both men almost choked out the other. Nijem’s striking, however, made the difference – his former cast-mate simply couldn’t keep up. Mixing together jabs, hooks and kicks, he outperformed “Fast Eddie” and won unanimously on the scorecards.

Lightweights Isaac Vallie-Flagg and Elias Silverio traded leather in the subsequent contest. “Xuxu” immediately began bullying Vallie-Flagg with his size and even knocked him down. Vallie-Flagg couldn’t answer this strategy, and he thus spent most of the remaining fight beneath his foe. Unsurprisingly, Silverio grabbed the “W” in his first UFC appearance.

Meeting in the Octagon next were middleweights Trevor Smith and Brian Houston. Houston’s fear of Smith’s takedowns kept it a muted affair. The pair traded tentative strikes until round two, when “B-Hue” bloodied Smith off a jab. That woke “Hot Sauce” up, and he grabbed a split-decision win by attacking more often in the last frame.

After this, Louis Smolka made a memorable UFC debut against Alptekin Ozkilic. It was pure fireworks start to finish, with both flyweights giving their all. Smolka entered with high-volume jabs and crushing knees; Ozkilic, meanwhile, had aggression and scrappy wrestling. The judges preferred Smolka’s striking, however, and “Da Last Samurai” won via unanimous decision.

Up next was a spirited tilt between Vinc Pichel and Garrett Whitely. Neither gained the upper-hand in round one, but Pichel pulled ahead as the fight wore on. Utilizing constant pressure, “From Hell” slowly overwhelmed Whitely with multiple slams and heavy strikes. It was too much, and Pichel took a dominant unanimous decision victory by fight’s end.

The prelims began with a disappointing UFC return for MMA veteran Charlie Brenneman. “The Spaniard” received a cold welcome back from prospect Beneil Dariush. Quickly dropping Brenneman with a stiff left hand, it didn’t take the lightweight long for a rear-naked choke submission win.

Besides that result, everything else went the distance. Overall, it still made for several action-packed hours before the main card kicked off from Duluth, Ga.

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