Posts Tagged ‘Joe Warren’
MMADieHards.com’s Hector Castro catches up with Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney to discuss their upcoming season and new partnership with MTV2.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire has but one blemish on his record. Now he will get a chance to avenge that loss.
Bellator Fighting Championships announced Monday that Freire has been cast to the promotion’s upcoming Season 4 featherweight tournament. He joins Wilson Reis, Daniel Strauss, Georgi Karakhanyan, Zac George, Kenny Foster, Eric Larkin and Nazareno “Naza” Malegariein a battle for a title shot against featherweight champion Joe Warren.
Malegarie was announced later Monday as the tournament’s eighth and final participant.
Freire’s only loss of his mixed martial arts career came in a split-decision defeat at the hands of Warren in the Bellator Season 2 featherweight tournament final in June. Freire had posted a 13-0 mark leading up to that fight, including 11 wins by stoppage. He defeated William Romero in the quarterfinals at Bellator 15 with a first-round heel hook and then won a unanimous decision over Reis in the semifinals at Bellator 18.
Warren captured the featherweight title when he defeated Joe Soto via second-round knockout at Bellator 27.
Freire resides and trains out of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, and has been involved in MMA since he was a teen. He and his brother, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, are commonly known in MMA as “The Pitbull Brothers.” Before entering into MMA competition, Patricio Freire was a two-time international kickboxing champion and a Brazilian Cup jiu-jitsu champ. He is a BJJ black belt and trains regularly with such stars as Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Anderson Silva and Junior dos Santos.
“I have no interest besides fighting as a professional,” Freire said in a release. “It’s the only thing I really want to do. Every day in my life I am looking to overcome myself and evolve into a better fighter. I never believe that I am good enough. It’s all about improvement, every single day.
“The time to show what I am all about is coming. To win this tournament would mean a dream coming true. I can honestly say that I am more confident for this season than I was last year. Last year I got close, this year it’s mine.”
Malegarie is an undefeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with a 19-fight winning streak to open his career.
A former Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Champion, Malegarie has trained with Thiago Tavares. The 24-year-old has finished 17 contests.
“I’m just very excited to finally have the chance to show fans in the United States what I’m capable of,” said Malegarie, via release. “Signing with Bellator was very important for me, and I’m ready to prove myself.
“I’m looking forward to testing myself in this upcoming Bellator Featherweight Tournament. I’ve worked really hard to get to this spot, and I want to let people know who I am.”
“Nazareno has had tremendous success in Brazil, and is ready for this world class featherweight tournament,” Bellator boss Bjorn Rebney said. “Our team’s done a spectacular job finding fighters from around the world that can compete at the highest level and Nazareno is one of those fighters.” Bellator’s fourth season kicks off this March and will air live on MTV2 for the first time.
For former Boise State wrestler and current WEC bantamweight title challenger Scott Jorgensen, having fun is what makes fighting so enjoyable.
“Wrestling taught me that nothing’s for sure and nothing’s forever,” he says, “but I’ll do it as long as I have fun.”
As he prepared for champion Dominick Cruz at WEC 53 on Thursday in Phoenix, Jorgensen took time to join hosts Joe Martinez and Joe Rizzo for Are You Ready on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. The trio discussed the upcoming title fight, the WEC-UFC merger, and fighting against teammates.
Training at his alma mater, as well as dropping in on world class gyms like Xtreme Couture and TapouT Research and Development Training Center in Las Vegas, Jorgensen will look to impose his will on the champion. It’s something he believes Cruz hasn’t faced during his title reign.
“I don’t fight like the other guys he’s fought,” Jorgensen said. “I have a different style; I control fights. He can do his stick-and-move thing, but he won’t be able to hurt me. I’m going to hit him with hard shots and take him down.”
While Jorgensen respects Cruz for being the champion, he doesn’t expect the fight to be any tougher than his previous fights inside the WEC.
“It’s always going to be tough when you’re fighting at this level,” explained Jorgensen. “I’m always facing elite guys. The only difference is that each fighter has their own style. But they have to handle me first. If they want to win the fight, they have to deal with me.”
Discussing the game plan for his upcoming title clash, Jorgensen used definitive words.
“I’m going to beat him,” he said. “And by ‘beat him,’ I don’t just mean win. I mean I’m going to make him hurt. (I’m) going to batter him, cut him, make him bleed.
“Whether it’s on the feet, on the ground, against the cage, it doesn’t matter. It’s going to be a tough fight, but he doesn’t have the mentality or the heart that I’ve got. He can’t fight at the pace, the level, or with the mentality that I’ve got. He’s got a lot of obstacles to overcome.”
While dethroning Cruz seems like a lofty enough goal for any fighter, Jorgensen doesn’t want it to end there.
“I expect to be a champion for a very long time,” he declared. “I haven’t even achieved what I expect myself to do. I’ve taken the steps necessary to myself in line with my goal. With the merger, I’m not just fighting for a WEC championship, I’m fighting for a UFC championship belt. That’s my main focus, my goal.”
A UFC championship is a far cry from where Jorgensen thought he’d be when he first started fighting. After his college career ended, he was introduced to fighting by friend and fellow WEC bantamweight Urijah Faber.
“Wrestling was over, but I still wanted to compete,” said Jorgensen. “I could either try to make the Olympic team or fight. Urijah talked me into fighting. I started taking fights and I was doing real well, having fun. I didn’t expect it to turn into what it has.”
With Faber now joining him at 135 pounds, there is a possibility that the two could collide if Jorgensen takes the belt from Cruz. Jorgensen believes it would be fun to coach against his friend on The Ultimate Fighter.
“It would be fun to talk some smack to a friend while on the show,” Jorgensen quipped. “Everyone has seen the coaches with bad blood and whatnot, but we’d go in there to beat each other up and have fun at the same time. Some of the best smack talk comes between friends, not because they hate each other, but because they’re competitive.”
Acknowledging that MMA is a business, Jorgensen is willing to fight anyone that’s put in front of him. Even if that means it’s a training partner like Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren or a friend like Faber. It’s this outlook that separates Jorgensen from other competitors in the sport.
“It’s not a team sport,” said Jorgensen. “You’re always relying on yourself. Any failures are on you. You can’t point a finger at a training partner. You’re accountable for yourself and you can’t say much if you get beat.”
On Thursday he will look to take the belt, all while having fun and hoping that it will be Cruz who is forced to account for his failures after the loss.
The old format of The Gauge, when it appeared on Sporting News’ MMA and Boxing blog The Rumble, included a section known as “Deflated.” Normally, this section was reserved for the one fighter who had been exposed in the cage – a guy riding a wave of momentum only to see his bubble burst.
The criteria for The Gauge rankings has been modified since then, and that category has been left behind. However, based on the current ranking criteria, a strong case could be made that there is no one fighter more deserving of the “Deflated” label in these rankings than Chael Sonnen.
After a strong two month stay in the rankings, spanning the last edition of The Gauge on The Rumble and its debut here on MMA DieHards, Sonnen’s ship has sunk in September. News broke this month that Sonnen had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs for his UFC 117 middleweight title bout with Anderson Silva, tarnishing the significance of his achievement and ruining the possibility of an immediate rematch against the still-reigning Silva.
While September saw Sonnen’s hype take a nosedive, the new season of The Ultimate Fighter and happenings on events both big and small have provided us with a number of fighters trending upwards to fill the void.
1. (tie) Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck – New seasons of The Ultimate Fighter always start off with the coaches as the stars. We’ve yet to see enough clever editing to develop the characters of the contestants in the house, with the possible exception of Alex Caceres, so for now the attention is focused on the welterweight champion and his next foe. Other than a harmless prank, the two have yet to build much tension, but just being the focus of the show on a weekly basis is enough to put these two at the top of the mountain this month.
2. Jose Aldo – Aldo has become to the featherweight division what Anderson Silva has been to the middleweight division, minus the in-cage shenanigans. His reign atop the WEC’s 145-pound set continued at WEC 51 with a second round TKO of challenger Manny Gamburyan.
3. Donald Cerrone – Cerrone’s showing at WEC 51 is almost enough to put him ahead of Aldo in these rankings. He came out strong, displayed a significantly improved game against Varner, had the crowd solidly behind him and took home a Fight of the Night bonus.
4. Joe Warren – If sports books offered odds on Warren’s ability to lose the first round convincingly and snatch victory in the second stanza of the bout, it’d be difficult to bet against the elite wrestler. He appeared to be on his way to a loss after the first round of his season two tournament bout against Patricio Freire before battling back for the split decision win. However, it would be at Bellator 27 that Warren would make his most dramatic comeback. Defending featherweight champion Joe Soto had dominated Warren in the first round and came out with extreme confidence in the second, but just 33 seconds later he was the victim of a TKO loss thanks to a barrage of punches and knees from Warren. The Team Quest fighter now holds championship gold in Bellator and has proven he has the heart to return from the cusp of defeat to pull off impressive wins.
5. Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres – There always seems to be one truly standout personality on The Ultimate Fighter. This season, the show’s editors have wasted little time in shouting out that “Bruce Leroy” is that man. The lightweight’s professional record and his showing against Jeff Lentz suggest he’ll probably be remembered more for his Bruce Leroy persona than his fighting ability.
6. Matt Mitrione – Mitrione’s public firing of his agent on Spike TV is obviously the one thing that really put the spotlight on the TUF 10 alum. It makes it easy to forget that Mitrione delivered one of the better performances on what was an overall lackluster UFC 119 card. Mitrione has just a handful of fights under his belt, but he’s quickly improving.
7. Charles Oliveira – Oliveira has only made two appearances in the Octagon, but he’s already shown that he could become a force in the division. He took home a Submission of the Night bonus for his impressive win over Efrain Escudero at UFC Fight Night 22. It’s premature to put him in the title picture yet, but he sure has built a nice amount of hype for himself.
8. Drew Fickett – There’s no telling whether Fickett’s march through the Shine Fights lightweight tournament will result in a career resurrection, but three wins in one night against decent competition is impressive.
9. Vitor Belfort – Belfort is the biggest beneficiary of Chael Sonnen’s positive drug test. Instead of fighting Yushin Okami for the right to challenge Anderson Silva, Belfort will now bypass that match and head straight into a middleweight championship bout.
10. Ryan Bader – It wasn’t an amazing performance by any account, but Bader did enough to earn the decision over his most high-profile opponent yet. The win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 119 might have crowned Bader the winner of the Jon Jones sweepstakes.
Bellator 27 marked the promotion’s return to San Antonio, TX and the Majestic Theatre. The event featured three bouts in the opening round of the Season 3 Bantamweight Tournament, as well as a Featherweight Championship tilt between Season 1 Tournament winner Joe Soto and Season 2 Tournament winner Joe Warren.
Joe Warren KO’s Joe Soto, wins Bellator Featherweight Championship
Joe Warren lived up to his self-proclaimed “baddest man on the planet” moniker by defeating incumbent Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto.
In the opening stanza, Soto put on a boxing clinic, testing Warren’s chin with shot after shot. Warren managed to survive the onslaught, in what was likely a 10-8 round for Soto on the judges’ scorecards.
The second round opened with Soto showboating and dropping his hands, giving Warren a chance to land a huge right hand that stunned Soto. After a number of hammerfist strikes, Soto managed to get back to his feet, only to eat a vicious knee-left hook combination that put him out for good, just 33 seconds into the round.
Warren becomes the first Season 2 Tournament winner to claim a Bellator Championship.
Ulysses Gomez outlasts Travis Reddinger
Ulysses Gomez mixed consistent takedowns and effective striking to defeat Travis Reddinger via split decision in their Bantamweight Tournament bout.
After a feeling out process in the first round, Gomez began to implement his grappling game and scored multiple takedowns in each of the first two rounds. Despite a five inch height disadvantage, Gomez prevented Reddinger from taking advantage of the significant reach disparity and got the better of the striking as well.
In the third round, Reddinger attempted multiple submissions, including a deep triangle and armbar combination, but the grappling veteran Gomez survived to secure the victory. The judges scored the contest 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 in favor of Gomez.
Gomez is the fourth and final competitor to move on to the second round of the Bantamweight Tournament.
Zach Makovsky claims victory over Nick Mamalis
In a battle of the more unheralded participants in the Bantamweight Tournament, Zach Makovsky used timely takedowns and excellent control to take a unanimous decision victory over Nick Mamalis.
Makovsky scored a big takedown in the opening round, eventually moving to mount and attempting an armbar. Mamalis defended the sub successfully, but was unable to mount an offensive attack.
In the second round, Mamalis scored a takedown of his own, but Makovsky used a highly technical x-guard sweep to reverse the position and claim the round.
The final tilt saw back-and-forth action as Mamalis knew he was down on the scorecards. Makovsky equaled the effort, by capitalizing on Mamalis’ go-for-broke striking and securing yet another takedown.
Makovsky would take the fight 30-27 on all three judges’ scorecards and move on in the Bantamweight Tournament.
Ed West takes decision over Bryan Goldsby
Ed West utilized a well-rounded attack to claim a unanimous decision victory over Bryan Goldsby.
West attempted multiple submissions against the longer Goldsby, including three separate leg locks, but was unable to finish off a very game Goldsby.
Scores in favor of West were 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28. He moves on to the second round of the Bantamweight Tournament.
*Note: The first round and a half of this bout were not shown on the televised broadcast, due to technical difficulties. However, an audio feed of the commentary was provided.
Preliminary Card Results (un-televised)
Gilbert Jimenez def. Aaron Barringer via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Richard Odoms def. Dale Mitchell via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Andrew Craig def. Rodrigo Pinheiro via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 3, 2:53
Andrew Chappelle def. Joe Christopher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jon Kirk def. Shane Faulkner via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:19
Steven Peterson def. Ernest De La Cruz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)