Category Archives: Bellator

FNU Combat Sports Show With Special Guest Richard Barrientes, Pound For Pound Boxing Gym Coach

Tom, Tony and Rich interview an up-and-coming Vegas boxing coach who is starting to make some real waves with his amateur and pro pupils. Richard Barrientes is obviously doing a great job with his students, and we had to know what his secret was. He points to “consistency” and “fundamentals” as the foundation for a great fighter, and he also puts a lot of work in every day to put his Las Vegas Pound 4 Pound gym on the world stage in a huge way. This was a fantastic interview with a man who obviously cares deeply about the sport and wants to make a positive impact on society. His hard work paid off in giving him a group of kids who could become future world champions in their respective divisions. He is indeed, doing something right in Las Vegas, and he explains everything about his program in this interview.

Tom, Tony and Rich also discussed Mayweather vs. McGregor, Tim Hague’s recent death after a brutal defeat in boxing, Female Boxer Heather Hardy’s pro MMA debut for Bellator, and Matt Hughes’ tragic accident in the first part of the broadcast. We also chat about Tony Penecale’s Boxing 101 video with his trainees and Hank Cisco:

We wrap up the show with a recap of last week’s UFC Fight Night and all the boxing action, plus we look ahead to this weekend’s boxing matches and the stacked MMA lineups for Bellator and the UFC.

FANS INVITED TO BELLATOR NATION RALLY AND BELLATOR NYC: SONNEN VS. SILVA WEIGH-INS INSIDE THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON FRIDAY, JUNE 23

PLUS, A CHANCE TO WIN CAGESIDE TICKETS

Los Angeles – Ahead of Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva, fans are invited to the first ever Bellator Nation Rally on Friday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET inside the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Members of the Bellator Nation will have the opportunity to meet with MMA legends Randy Couture and Dan Henderson, current Bellator heavyweight Cheick Kongo, as well as Bellator personalities, including Mike Goldberg and the Bellator Ring Girls. The event is FREE and OPEN to the public. Space is limited, so fans are encouraged to arrive early.

Additionally, prizes, including two cageside tickets to Bellator NYC, will be given away to fans in attendance.

At 6 p.m. ET, fans are also invited to be a part of the Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 weigh-ins inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden, as the fighters take the scale and square off for the final time prior to entering the cage on Saturday night. The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.

One of the most recognizable MMA fighters of all time, Hall of Famer Randy Couture transitioned nicely into the entertainment world after his fighting career, starring in several television shows and movies, including The Expendables movie franchise and Dancing with the Stars. Inside the cage, Couture was a fearless underdog, often defeating men with great size advantages. “The Natural” was a multi-time heavyweight and multi-time light heavyweight champion in the UFC.

Dan Henderson, known simply as “Hendo,” is one of the most feared one-punch strikers in all of MMA and put away many opponents with his “H-Bomb” overhand right. A former PRIDE and STRIKEFORCE champion, Henderson owns notable wins over Michael Bisping, Fedor Emelianenko, “Shogun” Rua and Wanderlei Silva. Now retired, Henderson also represented the U.S. during the 1992 and 1996 Olympics as a member of the Greco-Roman wrestling teams.

Since joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2013, Cheick Kongo, a French-born kickboxer, has strung together an impressive run that has seen him emerge victorious in nine of 11 contests, including five consecutive victories. With 39 career fights under his belt, “The Darkness” has tallied 27 wins as a professional, including 12 by way of knockout. Kongo most recently handed Augusto Sakai the first loss of his professional career at Bellator 179 in London.

Mike Goldberg, set to make his Bellator broadcast debut at Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, is best known for his 20 plus years of play-by-play work in professional MMA and trademark calls that made him popular with fans around the globe. In addition to his two decades in mixed martial arts, he has broadcast every major sport at the network level, most notably his 900 games in the NHL, both nationally and with the Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings. He has also hosted entertainment shows, including Shaq Vs. A graduate of Miami (Ohio) University, Goldberg now resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

Please visit Bellator.com and BellatorNYC.com for upcoming event information.

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva Card (Pay-Per-View):

Light Heavyweight Main Event: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC)

Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)

Welterweight World Title Bout: Douglas Lima (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC)

Lightweight World Title Bout: Michael Chandler (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Aaron Pico (Debut) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)

 

Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Card (SPIKE):

Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)

Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)

Welterweight Bout: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)

Women’s Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Heather Hardy (Debut) vs. Alice Yauger (4-5)

 

Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Preliminary Card (Bellator.com):

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Ryan Couture (10-5) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jerome Mickle (2-1) vs. Anthony Giacchina (1-1)

Catchweight Preliminary Bout (168 1bs.): John Salgado (4-7-1) vs. Hugh McKenna (0-1)

Catchweight Preliminary Bout (130 1bs.): Matt Rizzo (9-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergio da Silva (6-8)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nate Grebb (3-1) vs. Bradley Desir (9-5)

BELLATOR ANNOUNCES BROADCAST DUTIES FOR HISTORIC EVENT AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON SATURDAY, JUNE 24

 

 

LOS ANGELES – With the recently announced additions of veteran commentators Mauro Ranallo and Mike Goldberg to the current Bellator broadcast team, fight night roles have been determined for the biggest evening in the promotion’s history when Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva and Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader air live on Saturday, June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York.

Bellator’s stacked pay-per-view event, Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva, will see play-by-play analyst Mauro Ranallo join longtime Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith for the first time live at 10 p.m. ET/7p.m. PT, while Mike Goldberg will anchor the desk for the historic broadcast.

Earlier that evening, Goldbergis set to call the play-by-play action alongside Smith, with Ranallo set to hostBellator 180: Davis vs. Bader from the desk live on SPIKE at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. Goldberg and Smith will alsocall the additional preliminary match-ups on Bellator.com at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Jenn Brown will host SPIKE’s live pre-show during preliminary action, where she will be joined by popular MMA personality Brendan Schaub and Bellator lightweight Josh Thomson, who will offer unique insight and analysis leading into the historic event. Schaub and Thomson will later join Ranallo at the desk duringBellator 180. The voice of Bellator, Michael C. Williams, will take his familiar position inside the cage as the evening’s ring announcer.

Headlined by the long-awaited bout between two of the biggest names in mixed martial arts history, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva airs live on pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Emanating from Madison Square in New York City, the mecca of combat sports, this blockbuster event includes a heavyweight bout between MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and hard-hitting Matt Mitrione, along with two championship bouts, including Douglas Lima (28-6) defending his 170-pound strap against Lorenz Larkin(18-5, 1 NC) and current lightweight champion Michael Chandler (16-3) putting his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).

Prior to the pay-per-view, SPIKE will air Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader LIVE and FREE on both coasts beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is headlined by a light heavyweight title bout between current champ Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) and top contender Ryan Bader (22-5). Additionally, Bellator 180 prelims will air exclusively on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Please visit Bellator.com and BellatorNYC.com for upcoming event information.

 

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva Card (Pay-Per-View):

Light Heavyweight Main Event: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC)

Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)

Welterweight World Title Bout: Douglas Lima (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC)

Lightweight World Title Bout: Michael Chandler (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Aaron Pico (Debut) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)

Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Card (SPIKE):

Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)

Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)

Welterweight Bout: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)

Women¹s Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Heather Hardy (Debut) vs. Alice Yauger (4-5)

 

Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Preliminary Card (Bellator.com):

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Ryan Couture (10-5) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jerome Mickle (2-1) vs. Anthony Giacchina (1-1)

Catchweight Preliminary Bout (168 1bs.): John Salgado (4-7-1) vs. Hugh McKenna (0-1)

Catchweight Preliminary Bout (130 1bs.): Matt Rizzo (9-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergio da Silva (6-8)

VOW Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nate Grebb (3-1) vs. Bradley Desir (9-5)

BELLATOR NATION INVITED TO EXCLUSIVE FAN FEST DURING BELLATOR NYC FIGHT WEEK

 

 

 

MEET MMA LEGENDS TITO ORTIZ AND ROYCE GRACIE ON FRIDAY, JUNE 23 AT DAVE & BUSTER’S TIMES SQUARE

 

Los Angeles – Prior to the biggest event in Bellator history, Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva, fans have the opportunity to meet MMA legends Tito Ortiz and Royce Gracie during an exclusive Fan Fest on Friday, June 23 beginning at 8 p.m. ET at the Dave & Buster’s Times Square location.

 

Dave & Buster’s, a season-long partner of Bellator MMA, is offering Bellator Nation members the chance to meet two of the biggest names in the sport. Fan Fest is free for Bellator Nation Members with RSVP, who can sign up at www.Bellator.com/fan-fest.

 

Known as one of the toughest competitors in MMA, Tito Ortiz is a fan-favorite across the world. Utilizing his wrestling background, Ortiz was a punishing competitor who defended his title an impressive five times. Always with a flair for the dramatic, Ortiz engaged in several intense rivalries over his career with the likes of Ken Shamrock and Chuck Liddell. Under the direction of Bellator MMA, the 42-year-old Ortiz claimed a trio of victories that included a pair of first-round finishes over Alexander Shlemenko and Chael Sonnen.

 

The name Gracie is synonymous with MMA, and that is in large part to Royce Gracie, the man who is considered to have invented the sport as we know it today. The winner of the first several UFC events, Gracie dismantled multiple opponents in a single night, many of which were much larger than him. For many years, there was no answer for the Gracie jiu-jitsu technique that he brought to the cage. Today, it’s difficult to find an MMA fighter who has not trained in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that his father invented. In February of 2016, Gracie headlined Bellator 149, an event that shattered company viewership records.

 

Headlined by the long-awaited bout between two of the biggest names in mixed martial arts history, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) andWanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva airs live on pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Emanating from Madison Square in New York City, the mecca of combat sports, this blockbuster event includes a heavyweight bout between MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and hard-hitting Matt Mitrione, along with two championship bouts, including Douglas Lima (28-6) defending his 170-pound strap against Lorenz Larkin(18-5, 1 NC) and current lightweight champion Michael Chandler (16-3) putting his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).

 

Prior to the pay-per-view, SPIKE will air Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader LIVE and FREE on both coasts beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is headlined by a light heavyweight title bout between current champ Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) and top contender Ryan Bader (22-5). Additionally, Bellator 180 prelims will air exclusively on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

 

Please visit Bellator.com and BellatorNYC.com for upcoming event information.

 

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva Card (Pay-Per-View):

Light Heavyweight Main Event: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC)

Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)

Welterweight World Title Bout: Douglas Lima (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC)

Lightweight World Title Bout: Michael Chandler (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Aaron Pico (Debut) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)

 

Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Card (SPIKE):

Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)

Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)

Welterweight Bout: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)

Women’s Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Heather Hardy (Debut) vs. Alice Yauger (4-5)

 

Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Preliminary Card (Bellator.com):

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Ryan Couture (10-5) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jerome Mickle (2-1) vs. Anthony Giacchina (1-1)

Catchweight Preliminary Bout (168 1bs.): John Salgado (4-7-1) vs. Hugh McKenna (0-1)

Catchweight Preliminary Bout (130 1bs.): Matt Rizzo (9-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergio da Silva (6-8)

VOW Fight – Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nate Grebb (3-1) vs. Bradley Desir (9-5)

BELLATOR SIGNS VETERAN MMA COMMENTATORS MIKE GOLDBERG AND MAURO RANALLO 

 

BOTH SET TO CALL THE ACTION FOR BELLATOR NYC ONSATURDAY, JUNE 24 AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

LOS ANGELES — Bellator has signed longstanding MMA commentators Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo to multi-event broadcast agreements beginning with Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva and Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader on Saturday, June 24. The move sees Goldberg return to SPIKE for the first time since 2011, while Ranallo reunites with Bellator President Scott Coker, having worked together through 2013. The pair will join a broadcast team that currently includes Jimmy Smith, Jenn Brown and Chael Sonnen.

“Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo are two of the best in our business and I couldn’t be happier about them joining the Bellator family,” said Scott Coker. “In addition to June 24, we look forward to working together to make future Spike broadcasts even more exciting for our fans as we add further depth to an already-exceptional broadcast team.”

“The addition of highly-regarded announcers Mauro and Mike to our fantastic lineup of broadcasters, and our first-rate production led by Scott Fishman, further demonstrates our commitment MMA fans and expanding the global Bellator brand,” added Spike SVP, Sports and Specials Jon Slugger.

Mike Goldberg is best known for his 20 plus years of play-by-play work in professional MMA and trademark calls that made him popular with fans around the globe. In addition to his two decades in mixed martial arts, he has broadcast every major sport at the network level, most notably his 900 games in the NHL, both nationally and with the Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings. He has also hosted entertainment shows, including Shaq Vs. A graduate of Miami (Ohio) University, Goldberg now resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

Mauro Ranallo gained notoriety with MMA fans during his tenure with PRIDE, and later STRIKEFORCE, where his voice became synonymous with the now-legendary events. Throughout his career, Ranallo has spent time working with various sports outside of MMA, including boxing, professional wrestling, kickboxing and ice hockey, and will continue his work with Showtime Boxing. Ranallo, a native of British Columbia, Canada, now resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

Please visit Bellator.com and BellatorNYC.com for upcoming event information.

ROCK ICON DAVE NAVARRO TO PERFORM NATIONAL ANTHEM FOR BELLATOR NYC: SONNEN VS SILVA

World-renowned musician, artist and filmmaker Dave Navarro will perform the national anthem prior to the main event for Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, June 24.

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva, the biggest event in Bellator history, features the long-awaited bout between two of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts history, as Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) finally square off in an impending grudge match. This blockbuster event includes a heavyweight bought between MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and hard-hitting Matt Mitrione, along with two championship bouts, including Douglas Lima (28-6) defending his 170-pound strap against Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC) and current lightweight champion Michael Chandler (16-3) putting his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva airs LIVE on pay-per-view beginning at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Prior to the pay-per-view event, SPIKE will air Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader LIVE and FREE on both coasts, beginning at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Additionally, Bellator 180 prelims will air exclusively on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App at 6pm ET/ 3pm PT.

Navarro, a founding member of Jane’s Addiction, currently serves as host of Spike’s hit series, “Ink Master.” Enclosed is a recent clip of him performing the national anthem in a Spike promo.

Dave Navarro performs National Anthem

 

BRENDAN SCHAUB TO CO-HOST BELLATOR NYC: SONNEN VS. SILVA PRE-SHOW LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

 

LOS ANGELES — Brendan Schaub, a former professional MMA fighter and football player, host of the popular MMA podcast “Big Brown Breakdown” and co-host of the hit podcast “Fighter and the Kid”, will serve as co-host for Spike TV’s LIVE pre-show leading into Bellator’s epic event, Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva, from New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden.

Schaub will join Bellator host, Jenn Brown, in the broadcast booth and will offer insight and analysis for all the fights on Spike’s stacked Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader card leading into the biggest event in the promotion’s history, Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva. Additionally, Schaub will be featured in original Bellator digital content in advance of the event.

Headlined by the long-awaited fight between two of the biggest names in mixed martial arts history, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva airs live on pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Prior to the pay-per-view event, SPIKE will air Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader LIVE and FREE on both coasts, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Additionally, Bellator 180 prelims will air exclusively on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Emanating from Madison Square in New York City, the mecca of combat sports, this blockbuster event includes a heavyweight bout between MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) and hard-hitting Matt Mitrione (11-5), along with two championship bouts, including Douglas Lima (28-6) defending his 170-pound strap against Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC) and current lightweight champion Michael Chandler (16-3) putting his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).

News From Gleason’s Gym

  1. Heather “The Heat” Hardy will make her MMA debut at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, June 24th.

Heather is a two sport woman. She is the WBC International Female Featherweight Champion with a 20-0-0 record. Purchase tickets at Gleason’s Gym or at  www.heather-hardy.com/events

2. Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis Sonya Lamonakis 10-2-2 will be boxing June 10 in Worcester Massachusetts at the DCU for the UBF WORLD TITLE. Tickets are $45 if interested please call 6468950890.
3. 31 Years Later, Boxing Returns to the Coliseum on July 15
After a 31-year absence, professional boxing returns to NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with PBC on FOX on July 15, 2017. Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment proudly announces the first professional boxing match at the Coliseum since Mike Tyson knocked out Steve Zouski on March 10, 1986.
Opening night of Brooklyn Boxing On Long Island will be headlined by a welterweight battle between former champions
Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero. Long Island favorite Seanie Monaghan will face Staten Island’s Marcus Browne in a collision of undefeated light heavyweights. The card also includes a heavyweight brawl between Artur Szpilka and Adam Kownacki.
Tickets are on sale now.
4. USA Boxing Alumni Association   USA Boxing is establishing a formal USA Boxing Alumni Association.  The goal is to increase the relationships amongst fellow alumni and with USA Boxing as a whole.  In order to launch this association, they need to collect a sufficient amount of responses form their survey.  If we achieve a certain response rate, we’ll get the funding we need from the donors. Please take five minutes and complete this survey. It will only be up for two weeks.   http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Boxing/Features/2017/May/24/USA-Boxing-Needs-Your-Help

GLEASON’S INTERNATIONAL MASTER TOURNAMENT June 15-17, 2017

15th Annual Gleason’s Fantasy Camp August 10 through 13, 2017

BELLATOR MMA SIGNS HEAVYWEIGHT FAN-FAVORITE ROY ‘BIG COUNTRY’ NELSON TO AN EXCLUSIVE MULTI-FIGHT CONTRACT

 

PROMOTIONAL DEBUT TO TAKE PLACE LATER THIS YEAR

 

LOS ANGELES — Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of heavyweight knockout artist Roy Nelson (22-14) to an exclusive, multi-fight contract.

 

Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nelson joins the Viacom-owned promotion following an eight-year, 19-fight run under the direction of the UFC that saw him earn wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, “Bigfoot” Silva and Cheick Kongo, while tangling in notable slugfests with former and current UFC title holders Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. With 19 of his 22 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, Nelson should prove to be an exciting addition to the heavyweight division.

 

The signing sees Nelson return to Spike, where his bout with the late Kimbo Slice on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter remains the most-watched fight in the history of the reality series. Nelson would eventually go on to win the season, defeating Brendan Schaub in the finale.

 

“With the direction that Bellator MMA is heading, I consider Roy an extremely valuable addition to our roster,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “When you look at Nelson’s record and some of the superstar opponents that he’s faced over the years, as well as his ability to connect with the fans, we felt he was the perfect fit for Bellator. I’ve been a fan of his for years and we are anxious to see him return to Spike inside the Bellator cage.”

 

“I wanted to work with Scott Coker because I have heard nothing but great things – plus I get to work with Spike and Viacom again who catapulted MMA in America,” added Nelson. “I am excited to join Bellator and to show how an All-American like myself will make new and old fans fall in love with MMA again and again!”

 

Nelson’s promotional debut will be determined at a later date, but the heavyweight slugger is expected to return to action at some point this year. “Big Country” joins the Bellator MMA fray with an impressive 22-14 professional record and will compete in a heavyweight class that features accomplished fighters, including Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo, Bobby Lashley and Sergei Kharitonov amongst others.

 

About Bellator:

Bellator is a leading mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on SPIKE, the combat sports television leader. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

FORMER CHAMP ANDREY KORESHKOV TAKES ON CHIDI NJOKUANI DURING BELLATOR 182 MAIN EVENT AT TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO IN UPSTATE NEW YORK ON AUGUST 25

ALSO, CONNECTICUT’S BRENNAN WARD RETURNS AGAINST FERNANDO GONZALEZ IN EXPLOSIVE MATCHUP

LOS ANGELES — Following Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden, Bellator MMA returns to the Empire State to make its Upstate New York debut set to invade Turning Stone ResortCasino in Verona, N.Y. with a welterweight main event pitting former Bellator champ Andrey Koreshkov (19-2) against Chidi Njokuani (17-4, 1 NC) on Friday, August 25for Bellator 182.

In addition, a second welterweight bout will serve as the evening’s co-main showdown when Brennan Ward (14-5) meets Fernando Gonzalez (26-14) in a bout sure to produce fireworks, while featherweight A.J. McKee returns to the cage fresh off an ESPN “SportsCenter” Top-Ten finish of Dominic Mazzotta in his last outing.

Bellator 182: Koreshkov vs. Njokuani will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for Bellator 182 go on sale Friday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. ET for $85, $65, $47 and $37 and can be purchased in person at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877.833.SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 26-year-old Russian phenom Koreshkov has been ascendant since his very first professional fight, claiming 19 career victories over 21 bouts, including wins in each of his first 13 contests. Fighting out of Omsk, Russia, “Spartan” will be making his 13th career appearance under the Bellator MMA banner and his first of 2017. Under the direction of Bellator MMA, Koreshkov has accrued a total of 10 victories over a four-year run, highlighted by a welterweight world title triumph over current champion Douglas Lima and a successful title defense over Benson Henderson at Bellator 153. Since making his professional debut in 2010, Koreshkov has collected 13 finishes, including 10 knockouts, eight of which came in the first round, making him one of the most dangerous 170-pounders in the game.

Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., Njokuani enters the cage riding momentum of an impressive streak that has seen him win eight consecutive bouts and 12 of his last 13. Since joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2015, the 28-year-old Njokuani has collected four victories, including a pair of knockout finishes. Most recently, “Chidi Bang Bang” defeated Melvin Guillard at Bellator 171 in January, adding to his current run of success.

The 28-year-old Ward enters the contest as one of the most feared fighters in Bellator MMA’s stacked 170-pound class. With 13 finishes over his 14 career victories, including nine knockouts, “Irish” possesses the perfect combination of pure strength and fearlessness. A 14-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, the Waterford, Conn. native will look to earn his 10th win under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion. Since joining Bellator MMA in 2012, Ward has yet to see a bout enter the third frame and has finished six of his nine opponents in the opening round. Fans can expect to see fireworks when Ward is inside the Bellator cage on August 25.

Hailing from Menifee, Calif., the 33-year-old Gonzalez will enter the Bellator cage for the eighth time in his 14-year professional career. Gonzalez has seen a great deal of success since joining forces with Bellator MMA; collecting six victories over a seven-fight, three-year span, highlighted by a first round knockout of Karo Parisyan.Gonzalez has come on strong as of late, tallying nine wins over his last 12 bouts, including a pair of first round knockouts and a five-fight winning streak from 2014-16. With 16 of his 26 career victories coming by way of knockout or submission, the 40-fight veteran will look to add to that total as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with one of the most unshakable talents the welterweight division has to offer.

The son of respected MMA veteran Antonio McKee, A.J. McKee spent his entire childhood in the gym soaking up every bit of knowledge and experience available to him. The 22-year-old prodigy has applied that knowledge inside the Bellator cage and has made quite a splash in his first eight fights as an MMA professional, racking up six finishes in eight outings. The Long Beach, Calif. native heads to the East Coast looking to stay undefeated with another impressive finish.

Nationally-recognized for hosting legendary, fight-of-the-year-level boxing events, rivaling venues in major cities such as Las Vegas, Miami and New York City, Turning Stone was one of the first venues in New York to host professional MMA after it was legalized by the State last year, further distinguishing it as the premier destination for live combat sports. The August 25 Bellator MMA event will mark Turning Stone’s third professional MMA event in less than a year.

Updated Bellator 182: Koreshkov vs. NjokuaniMain Card:

Welterweight Main Event: Andrey Koreshkov (19-2) vs. Chidi Njokuani (17-4, 1 NC)

Welterweight Co-Main Event: Brennan Ward (14-5) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (26-14)

Featherweight Feature Bout: A.J. McKee (8-0) vs. TBD