Posts Tagged ‘Bellator 50’

Bellator Beat radio: CEO Bjorn Rebney, Chase Beebe

Bellator Beat on MMADieHards.com and the MMA DieHards Radio Network brings you Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney (Twitter: @BjornRebney) and Chase Beebe (Twitter: @ChaseBeebeMMA), who faces Marcos Galvao in the Season 5 bantamweight tournament opening round on Saturday in Canton, Ohio at Bellator 51.

Hosts Hector Castro and Bellator announcer Manny Rodriguez preview Saturday’s action, which takes place at the Canton Memorial Civic Center and airs live on MTV 2 in regular definition and commercial-free in high definition on Epix.  The prelims stream live on Spike.com.

Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brian Rogers and Bryan Baker vs. Vitor Vianna scheduled for Bellator 54

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Bellator 50: Baker, Rogers, Shlemenko, Vianna secure MW tourney semifinal seats

Baker (R) moved on after beating Hess (L) (Bellator.com photo)

Now that he is in with “Storm,” a “Beast” and a “Predator,” Vitor Vianna is going to need a catchy nickname.

Vianna and three others punched their respective tickets into the semifinals of the Season 5 middleweight tournament at Bellator 50 on Saturday at the Seminoles Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko, Bryan “The Beast” Baker and Brian “The Predator” Rogers won to join Vianna in the round of four.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL BELLATOR 50 RESULTS

Vianna was the first to advance, edging Sam Alvey via split decision, with all rounds scored 29-28.  The protegee of Wanderlei Silva had a rough debut against Alvey (15-3, 1 NC), who seemed to be the choice of the fans after the completion of the fight.

“This guy, Sam Alvey, he’s a tough guy,” said Vianna. “I did my best, I knew it was a close fight. I worked hard in this fight, I had a year without a fight. I’ll come back better next time.”

Vianna (11-1-1) had been off since October 2010, and had only two fights that year.  He was away from MMA matches for all of 2009 and 2007.

Alvey had won four straight and 10 of his previous 11 decisions, with one no contest.  His last three fights have ended in a split decision.

Shlemenko (41-7) won his stand-up battle with Zelg Galesic (10-6), but somehow did it without throwing a single one of his trademark spinning back-strikes.

The expected result was that the fight lasted 1:55 and it was decided on the feet.  What was unexpected was that Shlemenko did it via submission, with a standing guillotine that forced Galesic to tap and then heel-climb the fence to alleviate more vicious neck pressure.

Shlemenko has won four straight fights and 10 of his last 11, with the only loss coming in his title shot against Lombard, who trains at American Top Team in nearby Coconut Creek and was sitting cageside.  Shlemenko beat Baker for the Season 2 middleweight tournament title to earn his bout with the champ.

Baker (16-2) emphatically showed how much he is looking to avenge that defeat and finally get his shot at Lombard by taking out Jared Hess with ground strikes at 2:52 of the third round in a hard-fought main event.

Baker is in full remission of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which was plaguing him at the time of his Season 2 meeting with Shlemenko, although he had not gone public with his condition at that point.

Hess (11-3-1) had never been finished, outside of injury and doctor’s stoppage.  It was his second fight back since a gruesome knee injury felled him in the Season 2 middleweight tournament semifinals.

Hess had Baker in trouble with a rear naked choke submission attempt in the early going, but Baker escaped and kept Hess on the defensive thereafter.  Hess appeared shaky on his feet for the first couple of rounds and consistently tried to keep the fight on the ground.  Despite his perceived advantage on the mat, it was Baker who was able to secure the fight comfortably by getting top position in the third and then finishing it off with continued ground strikes.

“That’s what I came here to do,” said the newlywed Baker, who was supported by the wife to whom he proposed in the cage after his most recent Bellator fight, in May against Joe Riggs. “That’s my ultimate goal (to fight Lombard), and I would like to get my revenge match against Shlemenko, so we’ll see what happens.”

While Bellator moves to Akron, Ohio for event No. 51 next Saturday, Rogers beat Victor O’Donnell in a match between a pair of fighters from the Buckeye State.

The end drew the night’s bit of controversy, as referee Troy Waugh waved off the contest at 1:56 after Rogers stunned O’Donnell with a right hand and then began peppering him with ground strikes.  As Waugh stepped in, it appeared O’Donnell was about to stem the tide and had a hold of Rogers’ right wrist.

O’Donnell’s ire was immediately evident in his eyes.  Rogers was just glad to advance.

“Stuff happens, but hey, Google, me, I have seven first-round stoppages,” said Rogers (8-2), whose did note that those stoppages have all come in a row.  ”I was trying to finish and clip him.  Honestly, I was surprised the ref stopped it, but I’ll take it.”

While the main card was aired two hours earlier than normal on MTV2 in regular definition and Epix2 in high definition, the undercard was streamed internationally on Spike.com and featured the inspirational Rad Martinez.

Martinez earned a unanimous decision victory over Bryan Van Hoven in a lightweight fight.  Martinez has been profiled on ESPN’s Outside the Lines for his sacrifice in taking care of his incapacitated father.

Bellator 50 results

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Bellator 50 weigh-in results for the middleweight tournament

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Rebney: Bellator heads to Canada in November, Spike.com stream international

Rebney looks ahead to bigger things for Bellator (Maggie Krol/MMADieHards.com photo)

Bellator has scheduled a November event for Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, and the company’s live-streaming preliminary fights on Spike.com will now be international.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney revealed both pieces of news Thursday on the Bellator Beat show on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.

Rebney said he expects a November card at Casino Rama to commence a couple of hours earlier than the regularly scheduled time of 7 p.m.  Bellator has revealed its schedule for events Nos. 50-52, 54, 58 and 59, the final two of which are the last two Saturdays in November.  Based on his statement, that leaves the Casino Rama event for either Nov. 5 or Nov. 12, but most likely the later date, which is the night of UFC on Fox.

That would make it Bellator 57.

Looking at the calendar and the numbered events, Bellator will be dark for one weekend, and most signs point to Oct. 29, when UFC 137 takes place with Georges St-Pierre meeting Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz facing B.J. Penn.

Bellator 54 is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Atlantic City, N.J., and Bellator 58 is Nov. 19 in Hollywood, Fla.  In between, that leaves four Saturdays for three Bellator events, including the Canadian trip.  The other open Saturday in that span is Oct. 22, which figures to be Bellator 55.

Venues have been announced for each Bellator through No. 54, with the exception of the Oct. 8 event.  While Bellator 53 is scheduled for that date and will include the Season 5 welterweight tournament semifinal matches of Chirs Lozano versus Douglas Lima, and Ben Saunders against Luis Santos, the venue has not been made official. It’s been reported that Tachi Palace in Lemoore, Calif., will host the event.

Similar to Bellator 50 on Saturday, the Canadian event will begin streaming its prelims at 5 p.m. ET on Spike.com and start the television broadcasts on MTV2 in regular definition and Epix in high definition at 7 p.m.  The UFC on Fox broadcast is expected to be a one-hour show, beginning at 9 p.m., featuring the heavyweight title match between champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.

Rebney expects Bellator 50 and the Canadian event to be the only cards started earlier than usual on the Season 5 slate.  Events customarily start Saturdays at 7 p.m. for the prelims and 9 p.m. for the main card fights.

Bellator 50′s main card will not go up against the UFC Fight Night 25 feature matches, which will air on Spike TV starting at 9 p.m.

“When you’ve got those kind of events going on, and you’re working with a partner who is intelligent and as educated and experienced in the space as the group at Spike.com, at Spike and at MTV and MTV2 and MTV Networks, you sit down with them,” Rebney told the Bellator Beat show.  ”You say, ‘What can we do to maximize the potential to reach as many fans as possible?  What can we do maximize the MMA content experience for fans?’

“It just pushes everything forward.  Therefore it gives us a little bit better opportunity to reach more consumers.”

Viacom owns MTV2, Spike TV and Spike.com.  While Spike’s relationship with the UFC for live events will end at the completion of 2011, its synergy with Bellator appears to be on the rise.

Bellator’s fifth season began Sept. 10, with the prelims streamed on Spike.com for the first time.  That stream was limited domestically for Bellator 49, but Rebney said that from here on in it will be available worldwide.

“The way that the show is done won’t change much,” Rebney told Bellator Beat. “The only difference is that now it will be seen worldwide.  We knew when we went into it that it was a great opportunity for us.  Everybody recognizes the significance of the brand.  Spike is the most significant brand in the history of distributing mixed martial arts.  It’s a great step for us, it’s a great next step in the evolution of Bellator.

“Now if you’re in Russia, Brazil, Africa or the Middle East, you’re going to be able to watch the show.  It just continues to expand the reach and expand what we’re doing.  (It is) an unbelievable group of people to work with, to help us build this brand.”

Luis Palomino out of Bellator 50

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Bellator Beat radio: CEO Bjorn Rebney, middleweight Jared Hess

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Bellator Beat on MMADieHards.com and the MMA DieHards Radio Network brings you Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and Jared Hess, who faces Bryan Baker in the Season 5 middleweight tournament quarterfinal on Saturday at Bellator 50.

Hosts Hector Castro and Joe Rizzo (in for Bellator announcer Manny Rodriguez) preview Saturday’s action at the Seminoles Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Bellator 50: His mind still in Utah, Rad Martinez hits Florida with legion of support

Rad Martinez is ready for his shot at Bellator 50. (photo courtesy of Michael Brandy/Deseret News)

Rad Martinez gets to take a trip to Florida and attend an MMA event on Saturday.

If he wasn’t fighting, there’s almost no chance he would be out of his house in Utah.

Things have quieted down a bit for the lightweight, who will take on Brian van Hoven at Bellator 50 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at Bellator 50 in the main event of the preliminary card, which will stream live on Spike.com.

Martinez’s heartfelt story of his personal sacrifice to take care of his severely disabled father came to light in June with a brilliantly produced piece for ESPN’s Outside the Lines.  The details of his life everyday are outlined there.  Make sure you have tissues handy.

For a fighter whose biggest claim to fame might have been that he went to Clarion University in Western Pennsylvania with UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, it was an overnight change.  The most obvious difference was that Bellator leaped on the chance to sign Martinez in early July, shortly after the piece aired.

Another was a new crush of media requests, including one from Rear Naked Choke Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  Martinez explained on the show how his story went from personal to national.

“My brother, who is my acting manager, really felt like it was a compelling story and probably people would want to hear it,” Martinez told RNC Radio.  “He was getting a hold of all the local newspapers and news organizations here in Utah.  A couple of local (outlets) got a hold of it and made a story of it on their own, News Channel 5 and the Desert News.  So they made two smaller pieces.   And then Danny Arruda, who is the producer that produced the ESPN special, was on a couple of websites looking for a story he would like to tell and just kind of stumbled on to the local news story, really liked it and got a hold of us.  So here we are.”

Rarely to records matter less than they do in Martinez’s case.  Sure, his 9-2 mark is impressive, especially when accounting for his win over UFC veteran Joe Brammer.  However, it’s the mere fact that he is competing on such a high level that makes him a beacon for so many others who share a similar story.

Martinez’s father requires full-time care.  He lives with his son, who vowed to provide that care as a promise to Martinez’s late grandmother.  He holds to a very strict time schedule in order to accomplish being a better-than-professional caregiver, all for the longshot chance that something could be done to improve his father’s condition and well-being.

“It kind of has (eased some pain),” Martinez admitted about his newly discovered attention.  “Before this moment, so many people had said to me, ‘I don’t know if I could do it, I don’t think I could do it.  I don’t know how you do it.’  And now some of the people have sent me messages and said, ‘You know what?  I have been in the same situation as you and I was able to do it.’

“And it’s not that big of a shock to be able to take care of your father.  That has helped me to know that I am not the only one out there.  There’s lot of people that are like me that I have made that decision.  It makes a part of me feel good, that they’re doing the right thing and making the right decisions.”

The decision to sign with Bellator certainly was right for his career, but with Martinez, he always has to look at the domino effect of his being away to compete.

In the simplest of terms, if Martinez cannot be around then his father cannot make it through a day.  When he leaves, his brother takes days off from work and operates off lists Martinez makes, with the help of their grandfather.

Besides managing Martinez, his brother has a different life.

“My brother, he really steps up and shuts his life down for a couple of days so that I’m able to do this,” Martinez said.  “It’s really huge, and it’s huge because when I go, I still think about (my father) a lot but I know he’s in good hands and he’s in the hands of family.

“It is tough to leave here and leave my brother behind, because that is the person you want in your corner.  He’s the closest person to me.  I have received so many messages from people all over the country, even all over the world, and I think they’ll be some people in Florida who are going to know me and cheer for me.  So I feel like I’ll have some pretty good support.”

Hopefully Rad Martinez can take that support as well as he dishes it out.

Bellator 50 set for Sept. 17 in Hollywood, Fla., as Rad Martinez makes promotional debut

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