Posts Tagged ‘Chris Horodecki’

Bellator 64 recap: Askren remains champ, Sandro advances to welterweight finals, Marx and Nakamura are Season 6 bantamweightweight semifinalists

Ben Askren (Top) defeating Douglas Lima (Bottom) at Bellator 64. (Photo courtesy of Rob Reynolds/MMADieHards)

The Bellator welterweight championship did not change hands, and a Bellator Season 6 welterweight finalist and two bantamweight semifinalists have been decided.

Ben Askren defended his 170-pound title against Douglas Lima  in a five round affair.

Marlon Sandro won a close split-decision against Alexandre Bezerra to go on to the Bellator Season 6 welterweight finale.

Travis Marx picked up a unanimous decision victory to beat Masakatsu Ueda, and Hiroshi Nakamura weathered a couple of grueling shots en route to defeating Rodrigo Lima to advance to the bantamweight semifinals.

Lima avoided the takedown of Askren in the early going, but the inevitable happened about midway through the opening frame.  Askren put Lima on his back, but he did not have his way with him.  The Brazilian was striking off his back and attempted various submissions.  Nevertheless, the bout remained on the mat until the round ended.

Round 2 began and so did the takedown.  After eating a high front-kick, Askren put Lima on his back.  Lima was in mount position for a brief moment, but Askren gained top control and smothered the Brazilian for the remainder of the round.

It should come as no surprise that within the first minute of the fourth frame the fight was on the mat.  Askren dominated Lima with ground and pound, yet also attempted a submission, but the former MFC welterweight champion avoided tapping out.  The ref stood the bout back up and the round ended with Askren controlling Lima on the ground.

Round 4 showed some of Lima’s feature striking, but before long, the contest was back on the ground.  Askren didn’t cause as much damage as he did in earlier rounds, but he still controlled the frame.  Lima was close to completing an armbar, but the champ pulled out.  The round finalized with Askren laying in Lima’s guard, and “The Phenom” appearing fatigued.

Round 5, 30 seconds in and Lima was on his back again.  Askren pinned Lima against the cage on the floor, postured up and unleashed ground and pound for the final four minutes of the fight.

Askren won a decisive decision and remained the Bellator welterweight champion, and he commented on the fans that don’t appreciate his wrestling ability.

“If you don’t like wrestling in MMA there’s a sport called boxing,” Askren stated in a post-fight interview.

The intensity from the moment the bell rang could be felt throughout the venue.  Sandro and Bezerra exchanged punches and kicks, and every strike had ill intentions behind it.  Though, each fighter landed shots that resembled the sound of a yard stick cracking a chalkboard, the heaviest bombs kept missing.  Sandro dropped Bezerra on two separate occasions with leg kicks, but never had the opportunity to capitalize on the downed opponent.  The round came to a halt as Sandro was readying to throw a flying-knee.

Bezerra showed good head movement and threw more kicks in the beginning of the second frame, but had trouble getting inside the longer Marlon.  Neither fighter showed an interest in taking the bout to the canvas, but in the final minute of the round, Sandro attempted a double-leg takedown that was rejected.  Both Brazilians happily traded strikes until the bout ran out of time.

In a change of pace, Bezerra charged out of his corner at the beginning of the third round and took Sandro to the mat.  Sandro nullified the attacks and the bout resumed to standing.  Bezerra clipped Sandro and the Bellator Season 5 welterweight finalist dropped, but it was hard clarify if it was a knock down or a slip.  Bezerra continued to push the pressure, landing more punches on Sandro and being the aggressor as the round finalized.

Sandro went on to win a split decision and advance to the Bellator Season 6  welterweight finals.

Marx had an answer for anything Ueda came at him with in this bantamweight quarterfinal contest.

After a minute and a half of a feeling out process, Marx locked his hands around Ueda and slammed the Japanese mixed martial artist to the canvas.  Ueda reacted quickly and went for a kimura from the bottom, but Marx was free in no time.  The bout eventuated to its feet and both combatants traded leather until the frame finalized.

Marx came out of his corner in the second round and attempted a flying-knee that missed.  Ueda tackled the American to the mat and ended up in Marx’s guard.  The two bantamweights competed for a dominate position, as they each took turns from back to mount to back control.  Marx had Ueda in a peculiar position that appeared as if he was trying to accomplish a variation of a triangle-choke.  Ueda defended and the bout returned to standing and striking.

The final round started and both fighters took the center of the cage.  Neither athlete backed down, as they exchanged punches and kicks, to the head and body.  Ueda managed to grapple Marx to the ground, and after he could not get the Utah native’s back, he tried to achieve a crucifix.  The maneuver was never completed and they returned to competing on their feet.

They stood toe-to-toe as the match ended, trading sloppy strikes, not retreating from one another.

Marx came away the winner, with all three judges awarding him the bout.

Nakamura’s N. American debut went well for him, but not so much for his groin.

The fight hit the mat immediately and Lima attempted a submission.  Nakamura defended well, and following a chess match on the ground, the Japanese native was back to his feet while Lima laid on his back.  Nakamura circled his opponent, slamming his shin against Lima’s calf, but the Brazilian swiftly leapt to his feet and secured standing back-control.

After a short break due to a groin shot that Nakamura was on the wrong end of, the action continued and Lima came out guns a blazing.  Nakamura absorbed a few heavy shots to the dome, but clinched up and the fight made its way back to the floor as the round ended.

The second round began with yet another knee to the groin from Lima.  A brief pause occurred and the bout ensued.  Nakamura latched a body lock on Lima and dragged him to the ground.  After tussling against the cage on the mat, Lima went for a series of submissions, including two triangle-chokes and an armbar.  Nakamura fought off the submission efforts, but then had to deal with Lima’s ankle and leg-lock attempts.  The round ended with Lima being deducted a point for his pair of strikes to where the sun don’t shine.

Round 3 began and Lima was on his back almost instantly.  “Ratinho” landed strikes and tried to complete any submission that presented itself to him.  In the closing minute of the round, both fighters were intertwined in each other’s heel-hooks.  The referee stood the combatants back up, but the match ended shortly thereafter.

Nakamura picked up a unanimous decision, 29-27 on all accounts, and “Iron” commented on his first bout on a new continent.

“This is my first time in North America, now that I am over that I look forward to fighting here again,” he said.

Bellator 64 results

Bellator is returning to Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada May 4

Bellator 65 card adds Marcos Galvao vs. Ed West bout


Marcos Galvao set to face Ed West at Bellator 64


Brazil’s Marcos “Loro” Galvao and Tucson’s Ed “Wild” West will officially wage war in a bantamweight quarterfinal match at Bellator 65 next April.

Bellator Fighting Championships announced the match at a press conference in Windsor today. The 10-5-1 Galvao will face the 17-6 West on Apr. 13 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Galvao and West’s go-round will help start Bellator’s Season Six bantamweight tournament. Galvao is an accomplished jiu-jitsu fighter who has competed in Shooto, Jungle Fight, Fury FC and WEC. A five time Brazilian jiu-jitsu national champion and a two time world champion, he was at one point ranked the No. 2 best bantamweight in 2007 by Sherdog. He has also fought successfully at the featherweight level.

West, in contrast, has fought largely in regional leagues in the Southwestern U.S. and Bellator. Equally at home on the ground when compared with Galvao, he also has a polished wrestling background. He has made it to the finals of a previous Bellator bantamweight tournament, sneaking past Bryan Goldsby and Jose Vega before losing to tournament champion Zach Makovsky in Season Three.

Bellator’s Season Six is scheduled to kickoff in March on MTV2 and will also feature featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight tournaments. Besides Galvao and West, Alexis Vila, Luis Nogueira and Rodrigo Lima are also confirmed bantamweight participants. Sherdog has also said that Japan’s former Shooto champion Masakatsu Ueda will fight in the bracket, but the brawler’s appearance has not been officially announced by Bellator just yet.

Interestingly enough, both Galvao and West are coming off close split-decision losses in Bellator during their last fights. Vila edged out Galvao at Bellator 55 in Yuma, Ariz. West, meanwhile, lost at the same event to Eduardo Dantas. Eager to prove themselves, both men will battle hard when they clash in Winsor two months from now.

While fight fans wait for the match, Bellator has already announced a big bout for its 64th event. Current Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren will defend his crown against Brazil’s Douglas Lima. The fight marks Askren’s second defense of the title, and one in which Lima will do whatever he can to avoid a loss.


Chris Horodecki vs. Mike Corey a late addition to Bellator 57′s main card

Chris Horodecki is happy the past is behind him, looking forward to the future

Chris Horodecki (R) with Shawn Tompkins

Chris Horodecki is an MMA veteran at just 23, and his maturation as a fighter helped him win Saturday at Bellator 47 despite a heavy heart.

Horodecki has displayed his skills in promotions such as the WEC, Affliction, IFL, and now Bellator.  During his MMA career, which started in 2005, Horodecki (18-3) has been through the ups and downs of the sport.

On Saturday, he simultaneously saw the highs and lows.

The last of his wins might have been the most difficult, and it had little to do with the opponent, Chris Saunders.  Horodecki won via unanimous decision, physically overcoming Saunders and mentally beating back the constant thought of what happened days before.

Jake Sawicki, Horodecki’s close friend since childhood, became a sudden and unexpected victim of a fatal bacterial infection.

“(He was) a close, close friend of mine,” Horodecki said, “a guy I grew up with.  He went to bed on Wednesday night, no problems, and Thursday morning, his sister found him in his bed, dead.  It was a shock to everybody.  He ended up having a bacteria in his stomach.  He didn’t know what it was.  He was completely healthy.  It just spread to his lungs, and then his heart stopped.  Complete shock.

“Everything was set for the fight at that point.  I knew I had to fight.  He would want me to fight.  And that’s what I did.”

Despite the circumstances, Horodecki made the most out of his Bellator debut, which came in the promotion’s inaugural event in Canada, at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario. The combatants slugged it out for 15 minutes and “The Polish Hammer” won every round with family, fans and friends on hand to support the London, Ontario native.

The usual post-fight celebration and joy was tempered.

“Burying a close friend is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Horodecki said.  ”But I just fought on and I’m glad everything (in the fight) worked out the way it did.”

“That’s jarring in any kind of facet of everyday life, but to deal with something like that when you’re preparing to perform on a huge stage in the really enclosed kind of micro-intense environment that is MMA (is admirable),” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said.

Horodecki is on a two-fight contract and can look ahead to another Bellator fight before the end of the year.  If that, and any other matches he takes, is a success, Horodecki might well find himself in the Season 6 Bellator lightweight tournament.

Coupled with Sawicki’s tragic demise, Horodecki’s outlook has changed completely in just a couple of weeks.  His mindset was completely different the second week in July, as he was slated to fight in Windsor, Ontario against Steve Sharp, a week before the Bellator event.

“I was scheduled to fight on July 16, but due to circumstances out of my control that fight got cancelled,” Horodecki explained. “Fortunately I was able to get on a card the week after.  It was Bellator, so it’s a bigger show and it’s covered coast to coast.  I can’t beat that.”

Horodecki must get back in the gym for his next scheduled appearance.

“I’m fighting September 10 in Freedom Fights,” Horodecki said. “It’s up in Sudbury, Ontario for the championship.  It’s been a busy year for me, so I just want to stay injury-free and ready to roll.

“I want to be back fighting in Bellator before the end of the year.”

Something that intrigues Horodecki about Bellator is its tournament-style format.  Though the lightweight tourney will not begin until early 2010, he is keen on being a part of it.

“Absolutely I want to be in the lightweight tournament,” Horodecki admitted. “If the opportunity comes up I will definitely be there.”

A slot in the tournament is Horodecki’s to lose, as Rebney was not shy about being impressed.

“If we come back to Rama, Chris will definitely be in the show,” Rebney stated. “(The) 155-(pound division) is loaded for us right now, in terms of talent.  Chris looked great. He looked great at the weigh-ins, he looked great in his fight against Saunders, and if he can win another fight under our banner I would absolutely love to have him in our lightweight tournament.”

Given a chance to shine on the Bellator stage eventually could make Horodecki $100,000 richer, should he make and then win the tournament.  Just the thought of that success can take his mind off of his life outside of the cage.

Horodecki found solace, at least professionally, in the sequence of events after Sawicki’s funeral.

“I’m happy to be where I’m at and happy things are working out for me,” Horodecki said. “I’ve had a rough go lately, but things are starting to look up.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Jason Kelly contributed to this article)

Bellator 47: Curran, Sandro secure featherweight semifinal tourney wins

Pat Curran defeats Ronnie Mann at Bellator 47.

Marlon Sandro lived up to the hype and Pat Curran showed he is as good at featherweight as he was at lightweight as the pair secured semifinal wins in the featherweight tournament Saturday night at Bellator 47 at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario.

Sandro and Curran will meet for the featherweight Summer Series tournament final on Aug. 20 at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun.  The winner secures $100,000 and a title shot.  The featherweight belt is held by Joe Warren, but Warren first will fight injured Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, who earned a shot at the belt by winning the featherweight Season 4 tourney.  To further complicate matters, Warren is fighting in the upcoming Season 5 bantamweight tournament, then plans on wrestling in the London 2012 Olympics.

Besides Sandro and Curran, the other winners in matches featured on the MTV2 broadcast of Bellator’s initial foray into Canada were local lightweight hero Chris Horodecki and heavyweight Neil Grove, in addition to Alexandre Bezerra, whose fight was not shown live.

Sandro defeated Nazareno Malegarie via unanimous decision and took every round on all three judges’ scorecards.

The fight displayed each combatant throwing and landing hard leather.  Sandro showed excellent evasiveness and came out of the exchanges slightly ahead of Malegarie. Nevertheless, both fighters ate punches that would’ve ended some other featherweight’s night.  The fight was action-packed from bell-to-bell, with Sandro attempting flying knees in the final seconds of the fight.

“This fight was a war,” said Sandro, a teammate of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. “This was a good fight.”

In the headliner, Curran showed the form that earned him a lightweight tournament championship in Bellator by scoring a unanimous decision win against Ronnie Mann.

Curran fell in love with flying knees for the first two rounds, but laid off in the third as he cruised to the win.  Neither competitor was able to execute a lethal plan of attack, which left some fans booing due to the stale fight, but Curran initiated most of the exchanges and never allowed Mann to get into a groove.  He dictated from the start and won 30-27 on two judges’ cards, 29-28 on the other as Mann tried a desperation guillotine in the fight’s waning moments.

The match of the night came at the start of the television broadcast, as Grove scored a TKO in two thrilling minutes against former Ultimate Fighter reality show contestant Zak Jensen.

The mammoth pair engaged in a flurry of power punches from the opening bell, and Jensen buckled Grove to the canvas with a left just 10 seconds in.  They continued to trade powerful punches from the canvas in a peculiar position, with Grove holding Jensen in an ankle lock and Jensen sitting up.

Jensen pulled guard and nearly secured a triangle, but Grove powered out of it, then went right back into the guard and pounded away until the fight was waved off to secure his spot in the Season 5 heavyweight tournament.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time away from my family to train,” said Grove, who lost in the first Bellator heavyweight tournament finals to champion Cole Konrad.  “The loss to Cole Konrad is behind me and I’m training hard to get back into the heavyweight tournament.”

In preliminary action, Bezerra had the crowd in amazement when he defeated Jesse Gross via technical submission on a rear naked choke.  It only took Bezerra just over one minute to choke Gross unconscious.

Bellator was forced to make adjustments leading up to the event, which was supposed to be headlined by the Warren-Friere title match.  Two additional fights were scrapped because the fighters did not make weight, yet the promotion still managed to put on an exuberant show, judging by fan reaction in the house.

The card got off to a rousing start as Toronto’s own Alex Ricci amped the crowd up with his spectacular finish.  Ricci defeated Alka Matewa in the middle of the second round after the Belgium native could not take the punishment the Canadian was dishing out, and tapped from strikes.

Bellator 47: Curran, Sando, Horodecki, Grove among winners

Bellator sign lightweight WEC and IFL veteran Chris Horodecki

MMA: The Reckoning – Results

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