Posts Tagged ‘Bellator’

Douglas Lima vs. Ben Saunders set for Sept. 20 Bellator event

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Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler signs eight-fight contract extension

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Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson to make boxing debut against Roy Jones Jr. in Bellator

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Bellator lightweight tournament begins Sept. 27 in Portland

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Bellator Season 9 tournament starts Sept. 7 at Mohegan Sun Casino

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Punch Drunk Radio: Michael Chandler, John Howard, Bubba Jenkins

Punch Drunk Radio

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Punch Drunk Radio, with hosts Amy Barton (Twitter: @amesbelle) and Alex Donno (Twitter: @AlexDonno), welcome Bellator newcomer Bubba Jenkins and Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler, as well as UFC returnee John Howard.

Chandler (Twitter: @MikeChandlerMMA), who is undefeated with a career record of 11-0, is coming off a successful title defense against Rick Hawn at Bellator 85.  He puts his title on the line again at Bellator 97 against David Rickels at Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, N.M.

Jenkins (Twitter: @2sinsurrJenkins) is an up-and-coming mixed martial artist with high expectations.  He’s undefeated in his first three pro MMA bouts, and debuts in Bellator at Bellator 97 against Mike Barreras.

Howard (Twitter: @JohnDoomsday) was released from the UFC after a three-fight losing streak, but has managed to string together a 6-1 record since his departure and made his way back to the world’s premiere MMA promotion.  Howard is expected to meet Uriah Hall at UFC on FS1 1 on August 17 at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.

Tune in to Punch Drunk Radio every other Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET for exclusive fighter interviews, special guests, breaking news, contests, event recaps and much more – only on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. If you can’t be here live, catch the archive on demand right HERE following the broadcast – or on iTunes!

Christian M’Pumbu and Vladimir Matyushenko headline Sept. 13 Bellator event

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Bubba Jenkins ready for bright lights and big expectations in Bellator

Bellator lightweight Bubba Jenkins

Young champions with big expectations are the type Bellator’s Bubba Jenkins crosses paths with and gets compared to, so bring on the bright lights and let’s get it poppin’.

Jenkins (Twitter: @2sinsurrJenkins), who is undefeated with a 3-0 record, makes his Bellator debut against Mike Barrares at Bellator 97 on July 31 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, N.M.  After just three professional MMA bouts, the 2011 NCAA Division I wrestling champion is prepared to put his skills on display in one the sport’s biggest promotions.

With all the hype surrounding Jenkins since he announced he was embarking on an MMA career, it’s not surprising to see him arrive in Bellator so quickly.  The American Top Team combatant’s intentions from the beginning have been to compete in the UFC or Bellator, and those plans came into effect just 19 months ago when he debuted at TPF 11.  Jenkins said he is excited to have accomplished this goal such a short amount of time, but seeking advice from those he respects was vital in his meteoric rise.

“It kind of came out of the blue and it kind of came from me trying to achieve something with by myself,” Jenkins told Jason Kelly and Corey Charron on MMA Cypher Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “A lot of the guys in the game come out of whatever profession they’re in, or whatever discipline their in, and they don’t know much management or much leadership, things like that.  I just talked to a lot of people I know in the game, Phil Davis and (Jon) “Bones” (Jones) and all my friends and the people I look up to, I just try to get as much advice as I can.  One of the opportunities that presented itself was going out to talk to Tito Ortiz inCalifornia.

“While being out there I got connected with Dave Thomas, he used to manage Tito Ortiz, and after talking to Dave Thomas and getting him as my manager, he presented the Bellator deal.  I was out there with Tiki (Ghosn) and (Bellator CEO) Bjorn (Rebney) came out.  Me and Bjorn talked and he said things like, ‘We’re going to take it slow and give you every opportunity you need to build.  We really want the best for you.’  It was a good deal, a good opportunity and something I needed to jump on.”

Making the correct career choice, being able to advance for his own benefit and have continued success is something Jenkins proved he is capable of.  There’s evidence in that from when he vacated Penn State due to disagreements with the coach midway through his collegiate wrestling days, only to join Arizona State University and win a national championship.

Jenkins uses adversity as a catalyst to conquer opponents and goals.  In college, after the University of Missouri offered the wrestling standout a walk-on spot, as opposed to a scholarship during recruiting, Jenkins had a chance to get revenge when Penn State’s wrestling team met them on the mats.

The irony of it all today is that the wrestler on Missouri’s team, who Jenkins defeated, is currently the Bellator lightweight champion.

“It really wasn’t nothing against Michael Chandler, I held a vendetta against the school for not recruiting me,” Jenkins said.  “You hear stories like that all the time from different athletes not getting recruited and then they roll with a chip on their shoulder.  That’s what I had in college and Michael Chandler just happened to be the guy I was wrestling in the Missouri singlet.”

Jenkins said he is a big fan of Chandler and what the champ has accomplished since trading the wrestling mats for the canvassed cage.  Like Chandler, Jenkins prides himself on being a blue-collar wrestler that transferred from an NCAA All-American collegiate athlete to a professional mixed martial artist.

The big difference betweenChandlerand Jenkins, or almost any new mixed martial artist on the scene, is that “The Highlight Kid” is expected to be a superstar.  The hype surrounding Jenkins is seldom seen in this young sport of MMA, and when a competitor is expected to shine, they usually come from the kickboxing or jiu-jitsu realm.

When trying to compare Jenkins’ expected potential to an athlete of another sport, his brother likens it to a basketball sensation that shot out of high school to the NBA in 2003.

“I was talking to my brother the other day and he said that he Google’d me,” Jenkins said.  “I don’t Google myself, and he doesn’t Google too hard on me.  I always talk to him about things I’m working on, and my brother is around my age so we’re really close.  I was talking to him, and he’s like, ‘You know, you kind of got some hype going on.  You’re going to be like Lebron (James) was when they were expecting him to come out of high school.’  And that is what everyone wants to see.  They want to see how I perform in Bellator on July 31.”

When speaking with Jenkins it is immediately observed that he is a positive young man, chalked full of intelligence with a strong desire to compete and be victorious.  There is not doubt employing that attitude assists when dealing with the pressures of others’ expectations, however, greatness is something Jenkins feels he was placed on this earth for.

“That’s my thing,” Jenkins said.  “I really do live up bright lights type situation.  Once the lights are bright I really do perform and that’s the way I like it.  Leading up to it I’m nervous as heck, don’t get me wrong, my heart is beating fast, my hands are sweating, but once the referee tells me it’s going, I just get it poppin’”

In Their Own Words: The Week’s Noteworthy MMA Quotes

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva

“St. Pierre had his chance to pronounce himself fighting me and he chose not to do it. [So] that’s what he chose to say.”
- Anderson Silva, on the UFC 162 media conference call, talked about Georges St-Pierre’s comments stating that Chris Weidman will finish the UFC middleweight champ.

“Jon Jones, in his class, is the best.  If I fight Jon Jones, I’m don’t think I’m going to win.  Jon Jones is different. He’s large. He’s young. But, in the fight, I see in Jon Jones, I see myself from a long time ago. He’s very smart.”
- A. Silva admitted to mmafighting.com that his chances of beating UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are slim.

“Anderson is a guy that rubs many people the wrong way. He’s not a humble guy. Even though he may speak humbly when he talks, when he’s in the ring he doesn’t act humble. He puts down his opponents. He acts in a way that again, we always know what is right and wrong, and by looking at that, we know it’s wrong. It’s like you can beat your opponent, but do it with respect.”
- Renzo Gracie talked to the Fight Network about A. Silva’s respect, or rather lack of, towards his opponents.

“Unfortunately he got hurt but it was low class, I thought. I didn’t want to get into the whole talking thing. I got here legitimately and earned it. Ultimately, what he was saying was that he wanted my title shot which was incredibly disrespectful. It was pretty dirty.”
- T.J. Grant talked to The Telegraph about Anthony Pettis pining for the Canadian’s title shot.

“People ask me this question all the time and it’s the same answer all the time,” responded Rousey. “I would love to beat the sh*t out of Bryan Caraway, but apparently it’s not legal. And he seems like the kind of b*tch that would sue me.”
- Ronda Rousey confessed in a Metro PCS chat that Bryan Caraway is the male combatant she desires to fight the most.

“I think he’d be scared to get close enough to hit me because I’m not going to avoid anything he throws. I’m going to step right in the pocket and throw down. He’s not going to have any option but to be on the feet with me. Even if he has the skills to stand, he would not be able to handle my pressure, tenacity and desire to win. I think I’m one of the worst match ups for GSP.”
- Matt Brown told Bleacher Report that he is the one to defeat UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre.

“He talked all that s—. Did he think I wouldn’t find out? I got boys in Memphis, too. Talking about fighting me and this and that, but whenever I see his punk ass, he won’t even make eye contact. F— him and f— whoever is down with him and f— whatever gym he trains at. F— all them.”
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal let Jacob Noe know what’s up on MMA Sentinel Radio.

“The UFC is not going to give up any extra money if they don’t have to. They have so much power. God forbid if Dana White was gay. If Dana White was gay, he’d have fighters sucking (expletive). I guaranf—ingtee it. If he was gay, every fighter would have to suck his (expletive) to fight.”

- War Machine had harsh words for UFC president Dana White on MMA Sentinel Radio.

“I will always be indebted to Dana White for helping me there. And I know he’s done that over and over again for other guys. He’s one of those guys who’s generous to a fault with helping fighters – helping people in general. You hear that over and over again. But he’s also a cutthroat business man.”
Nate Quarry gave his stance on White to Bloody Elbow.

“Dana White really wanted me because I was the last guy Chuck (Liddell) wanted to get his revenge on,” Jackson explained when speaking to Bleacher Report. “Everybody was really nice to me, I’m telling you when I beat up Marvin Eastman, everybody, people behind the scenes at the UFC they’re really like a big family.

“Chuck was part of the family. They was all really nice to me, like a hog going to the slaughter, and then after I beat Chuck right away like 90 percent of them hated my guts. They didn’t talk to me no more, they didn’t smile at me when I came back there, it made me feel awkward.”
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson talked to Bleacher Report about things changing after he defeated Chuck Liddell.

“I don’t think there’s anything quite like a knockout.  But there’s something about this choke that’s the highlight of my career. I was glad the referee didn’t step in and I was able to get up and celebrate the way I wanted to. As a fighter and mixed martial artist, you’re trying to prove you can stop a guy, that your style of fighting is better than theirs. And any time you can put another person out cold, then you have definitively proved you were the better man on that day.”
- Josh Burkman recounted his submission over Jon Fitch via ESPN.

“Fighting to me is like a hobby.  I just fought for fun.  I never thought I’d be fighting as a career.  I got my university degree; I worked at Dell computers for 10 years.  I was working at Dell when I got the call from the UFC.  I just did this for fun, and then I started seeing some of my friends make money.  I was good friends with (UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre) for 12 years, I was friends with David Loiseau for 12 years, Mark Hominick, (Sam) Stout, I’ve known these guys since they started.  I was doing it before all of them.  I was one of the original Canadians.  So, I was like, ‘Let me try a few more fights.’”
- UFC welterweight Sean Pierson admitted to MMA DieHards that competing in the UFC was never the intended plan for the pioneer in Canadian MMA.

“I put on produce about 300 events a year across Canada.  I do concerts, I do corporate events, so I’ve got an events background.  That’s what I do.  When they sanctioned (MMA) in Ontario a couple years ago I was very interested.  I had a few meetings with some interested sponsors and partners, but because everyone set out the gate to do fights, I just kind of said, you know what?  I’ll just sit back and let the dust settle and see where we’re at in a couple of years.  I didn’t want to say anything publically, which is everyone would put on a card and everyone would lose money and there would be nowhere for anyone to fight, and I’m kind of right.  That’s kind of when I said, there’s a void in the market and let’s try to capitalize on it now.”
- Substance Cage Combat president Neil Forester spoke to MMA DieHards about ending the MMA drought in Ontario with SCC 1.

Punch Drunk Radio: UFC’s Marcus Brimage, Julie Kedzie

Punch Drunk Radio

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Tonight’s episode of Punch Drunk Radio has hosts Amy Barton (Twitter: @amesbelle) and Alex Donno (Twitter: @AlexDonno) welcoming Julie Kedzie (Twitter: @julesk_fighter) and Marcus Brimage (Twitter: @Brim205) to the show.

Kedzie, a pioneer in women’s MMA, is making her UFC debut at UFC on FOX 8 on July 27 at Seattle’s Key Arena against Germaine de Randamie.  Kedzie also handles the commentating duties alongside Muhammed Lawal and Mauro Ranallo for Invicta FC, as well as working closely with MMA coach Greg Jackson at Jackson’s MMA.

Brimage is coming off a loss to Conor MacGregor, and healing up from surgery on his achilles tendon.  We’ll see how rehab is coming along and when we can expect to see the “TUF 14” contestant back in the Octagon.

Tune in to Punch Drunk Radio every other Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET for exclusive fighter interviews, special guests, breaking news, contests, event recaps and much more – only on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. If you can’t be here live, catch the archive on demand right HERE following the broadcast – or on iTunes!

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