This week’s show features Rich and Tom bragging about their UFC 211 main event predictions from last week. Tony also gets ample opportunities to talk about boxing this week with a ton of pugilism scheduled to go down all over the world this weekend. We also preview Bellator’s busy weekend with a huge card Friday night in the UK headlined by a battle between Rory MacDonald and Paul Daley.
EVENT TAKES PLACE TOMORROW AT THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY IN LONDON — AIRS AT 9 PM ET/8 PM CT ON SPIKE
Official Bellator 179: Daley vs. MacDonaldMain Card Weights:
Welterweight Main Event: Rory MacDonald (170.1) vs. Paul Daley (170.8)
Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Linton Vassell (205) vs. Liam McGeary (205.5)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: Augusto Sakai (263.75) vs. Cheick Kongo (244)
Catchweight Feature Bout: D.J. Griffin (164) vs. Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson Jr. (165)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Dan Vinni (169.4) vs. Alex Lohore (170)
Bellator.com-Streamed Preliminary Card:
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jay Dods (154.75) vs. Alfie Davis (155)
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Dan Konecke (227.5) vs. Stav Economou (260.75)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Jamie Powell (125.2) vs. Amir Albazi (125.5)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Umer Kayani (168.75) vs. Nathan Jones (169)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Fabian Edwards (184.5) vs. Rafal Cejrowski (185)
Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jeremy Petley (148.75) vs. Chase Morton (149.75)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Marcin Prostko (185.25) vs. Mike Shipman (185.75)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout:Salih Kulucan (135.5) vs. Diego Barbosa (136)
ALSO, MMA LEGENDS TITO ORTIZ AND DAN HENDERSON TO MEET WITH FANS FOR AUTOGRAPH SIGNING ON MAY 19
LOS ANGELES – The Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series visits Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend on Saturday, May 20 and will feature several MMA bouts throughout the afternoon prior to the start of the on-track racing action. All bouts are set to take place between 3:30-5 p.m. ET at the Monster Energy display in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Zone.
Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to meet two of the biggest names in the history of the sport onFriday, May 19, when former UFC champion Tito Ortiz and former PRIDE and STRIKEFORCE titleholder Dan Henderson will be available to sign autographs at the Monster Energy display in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Zone between 3-4 p.m. ET.
Through Bellator MMA, along with longstanding partner Monster Energy, mixed martial arts will be included as a pre-race activation exclusively for fans in attendance. The lineup on Saturday will consist of four MMA bouts featuring some of the best regional up-and-coming talent, with the main event prospects in consideration to be signed to a multi-fight Bellator MMA contract.
The Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race takes place Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET, airing live on FS1. Tickets to the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race are available at NASCAR.com/tickets or by calling Charlotte Motor Speedway at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Updated Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway Fight Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Allen Crowder (7-2, Mebane, N.C.) vs. Robert Neal (4-2, Jefferson, Ga.)
Welterweight Bout: Jeremie Holloway (8-2, Charlotte, N.C) vs. Jacob McClintock (8-2, Charleston, S.C.)
Lightweight Bout: Mike Stevens (6-3, Winston-Salem, N.C) vs. Lashawn Alcocks (6-8, Wilmington, N.C.)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Allen Bose (5-0, Jacksonville, N.C.) vs. Chris Crawford (8-5, Durham, N.C)
Please visit Bellator.com for details.
*Event schedule subject to change.
LOS ANGELES – Bellator is pleased to announce the signings of Valérie Létourneau (8-6), Alejandra Lara (6-1), Sabriye Şengül(Debut), Kristi Lopez (2-0), Na Liang (6-0) and Juliana Velasquez (5-0) to multi-fight contracts that will see them compete in Bellator’s emerging 125-pound division. Additionally, Bellator will look to crown its next women’s flyweight world champion this year.
“2017 has been a big year for us in terms of bringing in marquee free agents that can have an immediate impact on their division,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “This group of flyweight signings demonstrates that we’re committed to that throughout our roster, as we’re adding even more depth to an already-competitive weight class. We’re adding a proven title contender, along with a group of prospects from all around the globe, and we look forward to putting on great fights and displaying the talent this division has to offer.”
These news stars join a division that already includes talented fighters, such as Keri Taylor-Melendez (1-0), Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (6-0),Anastasia Yankova (5-0), Emily Ducote (5-2), Colleen Schneider (11-7) and Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4, 1 NC).
The Canadian-born Létourneau, a former UFC strawweight title challenger, carries an impressive track record of thrilling fights, highlighted by a world title contest against undefeated UFC champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Now, moving up to a more natural weight class, the 33-year-old American Top Team product will make her debut for Bellator in 2017. She will look to improve upon her eight victories as a professional, a tally that includes five finishes, with four coming by way of knockout.
Hailing from Medellin, Colombia, Alejandra Lara will look to make a statement in Bellator’s budding women’s flyweight division. The 22-year-old knockout artist has earned six victories in seven outings since making her professional debut in 2011. “Azul” has shown tenacity in her fights thus far, showcasing a pair of first round knockouts, as well as a first round armbar submission. Lara trains alongside UFC fighters Alexa Grasso and Irene Aldana at Team Lobo in Mexico.
Fighting out of Hollywood, Calif., Kristi Lopez will enter the Bellator fray as she prepares for her third professional bout. Prior to that, “Loba” also tallied three victories over a four-fight, two-year span on the amateur circuit.
Chinese submission specialist Na Liang will look to build on a 2017 campaign that already saw her finish an opponent in a mere 38 seconds. The first-round stoppage marked the fifth time in six appearances that Liang’s opposition failed to make it out of the opening round. After competing exclusively at bantamweight to begin her career, Liang decided to move down to the flyweight division, where she also saw success by collecting a trio of first round finishes.
With an impressive following in Turkey from her kickboxing career, Sabriye Şengül will now transition to MMA under the direction of Bellator. With a professional kickboxing record of 6-1, the 26-year-old prospect holds the potential to achieve the same success in multiple combat sport disciplines.
Undefeated at 30 years of age, Juliana Velasquez trains under the Nogueira brothers in Brazil, carrying one of the most famous names in MMA with her inside the Bellator cage. Additionally, Juliana trains alongside fellow Bellator flyweight Bruna Vargas. With five wins in five appearances, the Rio de Janeiro resident will look to become another Brazilian Bellator champion.
BELLATOR 179 PRELIMINARY MATCHUPS SET
LOS ANGELES — A newly announced heavyweight bout featuring Cheick Kongo (26-10-2) against Augusto Sakai (9-0-1) has been added to the already-electric Bellator 179: Daley vs. MacDonald event, which emanates from The SSE Arena, Wembley on May 19.
Kongo, the French-born heavyweight, is currently riding a four-fight win streak that includes wins over Oli Thompson and Alexander Volkov, while the 25-year-old Sakai looks to stay unbeaten and make a name for himself in the division.
Additionally, preliminary matchups featuring some of the U.K.’s best up-and-coming talent have been finalized for the event.
Bellator 179: Daley vs. MacDonald will be broadcast on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event are on sale now at The SSE Arena, Wembley Box Office (0844 815 0815), ssearena.co.uk and axs.com.
Updated Bellator 179: Daley vs. MacDonald Main Card:
Welterweight Main Event: Paul Daley (39-14-2) vs. Rory MacDonald (18-4)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Michael Page (12-0) vs. Derek Anderson (14-3)
Light Heavyweight Feature Bout: Liam McGeary (12-1) vs. Linton Vassell (17-5)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: Cheick Kongo (26-10-2) vs. Augusto Sakai (9-0-1)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jay Dods (6-0) vs. Alfie Davis (6-1)
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Rob Beech (4-1) vs. Stav Economou (17-5)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Jamie Powell (6-1) vs. Amir Albazi (8-0)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Umer Kayani (4-3) vs. Nathan Jones (10-5)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Dan Vinni (14-14) vs. Alex Lohore (10-1)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Liam Etebar (6-1) vs. Rafal Cejra Cejrowski (2-0)
Catchweight Preliminary Bout (150 lbs.): Jeremy Petley (10-8) vs. Chase Morton (6-3)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Marcin Prostko (4-5) vs. Mike Shipman (9-1)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Salih Kulucan (4-5) vs. Diego Barbosa (3-0)
It’s an early installment of the FNU Combat Sports Show this week since Co-host “Tornado” Tony Penecale will be busy in his role as the Phillies Superphan tomorrow night at the NFL Draft. We discuss “Raging” Al Iaquinta’s tirade against the UFC and Dana White, recap Bellator 178 and UFC Fight Night 108, and preview the big heavyweight boxing match between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua on Saturday. We also discuss the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter and last week’s boxing events.
LOS ANGELES — Bellator MMA is returning to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. with a lightweight main event pitting Patricky “Pitbull” Freire(17-8) against Derek Campos (18-6) on Friday, July 14.
The event 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 181: Pitbull vs. Campos 2 go on sale this Friday, April 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased at WinStar’s Global Event Center Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster and Bellator.com.
Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Hailing from Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil, the eldest of the “Pitbull” brothers steps inside the Bellator cage for the18th time in his professional career. Patricky Freire will be looking to build on an impressive start to his 2017 campaign, following a second-round finish of Josh Thomson at Bellator 172. Having won seven of his last 10 bouts, “Pitbull” is on a fierce path that has firmly established himself as a contender for the 155-pound belt. With 11 of his 12 career finishes coming by way of knockout, including each of his seven in Bellator, the 31-year-old Brazilian phenom hopes to add to that total and once again defeat Campos in the evening’s main event.
Similar to “Pitbull,” Campos has started off his 2017 season on the right foot, earning a pivotal win over Derek Anderson at Bellator 170 earlier this year. Fighting out of Lubbock, Texas, “The Stallion” will enter the Bellator cage for the 12th time. Having won nine of his last 12 contests, Campos hopes to continue his recent success and avenge his earlier loss to “Pitbull” over three years ago at Bellator 117. Campos will also enter the bout riding a three-fight winning streak, which includes impressive victories over Melvin Guillard and Anderson.
Updated Bellator 181: Pitbull vs. Campos 2 Main Card:
Lightweight Main Event: Patricky “Pitbull” (17-8) vs. Derek Campos (18-6)
WRESTLING PHENOM AARON PICO TO MAKE MMA DEBUT AGAINST ZACH FREEMAN ON MAIN CARD
ALSO, NEIMAN GRACIE VS. DAVE MARFONE ADDED TO SPIKE TELECAST, WHILERYAN COUTURE-HAIM GOZALI ANCHOR BELLATOR 180 PRELIMS ON BELLATOR.COM
LOS ANGELES – The biggest night in the history of Bellator continues to grow, with the addition of Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) defending his light heavyweight world title against one of the promotion’s newest free agent acquisitions, Ryan Bader (22-5), during the main event of Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader on June 24th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The five-round contest will anchor the LIVE and FREE broadcast of Bellator 180, which airs on SPIKE. In addition, undefeated Neiman Gracie (5-0) will return to action when he meets Dave Marfone (5-2) at welterweight. This contest, along with “Mr. Wonderful” versus “Darth” Bader joins a previously announced bout pitting “The Strabanimal” James Gallagher (6-0) against Chinzo Machida (5-2).
It was also announced last week that Aaron Pico would make his long-awaited MMA debut against Zach Freeman(8-2) during Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva, leading off a pay-per-view blockbuster that features a double main event of Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), as well as Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) meeting Matt Mitrione(11-5).
Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva also includes two championship bouts, with 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).
The Bellator.com-streamed preliminary portion of the Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader action on June 24 adds Ryan Couture (10-5) making his welterweight debut against Israel’s Haim Gozali (7-3). Three additional preliminary bouts are also confirmed and are listed below.
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 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.
Tickets for the event start at $60, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are currently on sale at Ticketmaster, TheGarden.com and Bellator.com.
Follow the conversation using #BellatorNYC on social media.
Complete 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)
Updated Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader Card (SPIKE):
Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)
Updated 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)
MAIN CARD BOUTS:
“I went in there and did everything that I wanted to do. I did everything that I needed to do and as I said in the cage, I really wanted to make a statement that this is my division,” Macfarlane said. “If they’re going to crown a champion, I want to be number one up there.”
“It was a really tough fight and I knew he was a great wrestler. I saw a lot of that coming, he was in my face the whole time,” Awad said. “I thought i could take him out in that first round but he kept coming back. It was a tough fight, glad i came out on top.”
“I thought it was great for me to go out and get three rounds in,” Fortune said following his Bellator 178 win. “I felt like I utilized my jab and my knees really well. Obviously I m still pretty too, no bumps and no cuts. I dominated the fight.”
“I thought it was a good fight and a solid win for me. There were definitely some areas where I could’ve been faster and I could’ve been sharper,” Ruth said after moving to 3-0 in Bellator. “I felt like I missed a lot of openings, but I’ll go back to work and train some more and be ready to go again soon.”
“That was light work, easy money. I respect him, but I am here to eat. I need somebody to call me tomorrow, next week, whenever, but I have to eat man,” Young said after remaining undefeated. “I go hard 24/7, so somebody call me because I always stay ready.”
Kas Xhema (1-0) defeated Nick Alley (1-1) via knockout at 3:19 of round one
Quote from Kas Xhema:
“The fight was great. I have the best team and the best coaches, I am very lucky guy,” Xhema said. “Over here at American Top Team Connecticut, I truly feel like we are the best team around.”
Blair Tugman (10-6) defeated Tom English (6-8) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:54 of round three
Chris Foster (11-5) defeated Shane Manley (3-3) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Billy Giovanetta (9-5) defeated Joshua Ricci (3-0)
This week’s broadcast features recaps and previews of MMA and boxing events around the world. Tony, Tom and Rich also discuss politics and go off on a couple tangents here and there. We make it the whole episode this week without mentioning MacGregor vs. Mayweather even once.
We do break down some huge upcoming fights with Andre Berto taking on Shawn Porter in the main event on Showtime this week and a fourth MMA fight between Daniel Straus and Patricio “Pitbull” Friere at Bellator 178 on Friday night. We also have another UFC fight night to discuss and last week’s MMA results to go over.