Category Archives: mixed martial arts

FNU Combat Sports Show: Mayweather vs. McGregor set for August 26th, Ward vs. Kovalev II Preview, UFC Fight Night Hunt Vs. Lewis Recap

“Psychic” Tom Padgett earned his nickname last week in predicting Mark Hunt would be buoyed to a win over Derrick Lewis in front of his hometown New Zealand fans at the latest UFC Fight Night. We recap the fight card and preview this weekend’s UFC Fight Night card from Singapore. Tom, Tony and Rich also chat about Mayweather vs. McGregor getting signed. We additionally recap last week’s biggest boxing results and the upcoming weekend’s best fights, including a rematch of Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev. Listen to the two part broadcast below.



M-1 Challenge 80 weights, pictures & video from China

(L) Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov (24-6-0, M-1: 3-0-0), Russia 266 ½ lbs.
(R) “The African Assassin” Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (11-5-0, M-1: 2-1-0), USA 230 lbs.

(L)Ivan “Buki” Buchinger(31-5-0, M-1: 6-1-0), Champion, Slovakia 144 lbs.
(R) Timur Nagibin (9-2-0, M-1: 5-1-0), Challenger, Russia 144 lbs.
Sascha Sharma (12-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Germany 143 lbs.
Muso “Iron King” Nuertiebieke (7-2-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 146 lbs.
Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko
(43-12-0, M-1: 9-2-0), Ukraine 165 lbs.
Corey “Major” Nelson
(18-6-1, M-1: 0-0-0), Spain 168 lbs.
Mikhail Korobov (10-2-1, M-1: 0-2-1), Russia, 143 lbs.
Asirkebai Jinensibieke (12-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 146 lbs.
Rene Hoppe (7-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Germany 204 lbs.
Carlos “Cachorrao” Eduardo (15-4-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Brazil 204 lbs.
Arten Kazbanov (7-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia 185 lbs.
Nosherwan “Savage” Khanzada (3-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Pakistan 184 ½ lbs.
Huyixibai Huyixibai (14-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 135 lbs.
Ibragim Navruzov (3-0-1, M-1: 0-0-1), Georgia 132 lbs.
Kuerbanjiang Tuluosibake (1-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0, China 169 ½ lbs.
Makim “Man Max” Melnik (3-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Ukraine 167 lbs.
Adam Tsurov (6-5-0, M-1: 5-2-0), Russia 154 ½ lbs.
Kangkang Fu (4-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 153 lbs.
Go here for more weigh-in pictures:  

WHEN:            Thursday, June 15, 2017

WHERE:           Harbin, China
PROMOTER:    M-1 Global
LIVE STREAM: (12.00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT in USA)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 14, 2017) – Derek Daley believes that his mixed martial arts training gives him an edge in his career. He also recognizes that training with First Class MMA makes him a better mixed martial artist.


It’s a busy life for Daley, a law enforcement officer and father of a 6-year-old daughter, Ella. He will break away for a few frenzied moments on the night ofSaturday, June 17, when he returns to the New England Fights hexagon for the first time in a year.


Daley, 27, is one of seven fighters who will represent his Brunswick gym at “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes.” The opening bell is set for 7 p.m. at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.


“I’ve improved in every area, and I’ve really improved my cardio,” Daley said. “My first fight I was worried about what might happen if I got to the third round.”


There was barely time to break a sweat. Daley, a two-time Maine high school wrestling champion at Dirigo High School in Dixfield who later played college football at Husson University, dispatched Johel Stephenson in only 55 seconds.


“We had a game plan to hit him with a straight jab to set him up for an overhead right, then get it down to the mat and finish it with ground-and-pound,” Daley said. “It actually went exactly as we planned it, which was great.”


This time, Daley (1-0) takes on the more seasoned Frank Johanson (2-2) of Lewiston’s Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a featherweight amateur scrap.


Daley joins Ras Hylton, Dominic Jones, Rafael Velado, Josh Jones, Jake Deppmeyer and Jon Tefft in the First Class contingent on the docket. He was lured to the training center and the MMA phenomenon by another local police officer with fighting in his blood, Nick Gulliver of Jay.


“I had been training jiu-jitsu at the Foundry in Farmington,” Daley said. “Nick said (MMA) would translate well to law enforcement, and he was right. Plus, John and Jody (Raio) are just great people.”


Raio’s experience on the high school and college wrestling mat has made him a natural mentor for Daley, who hit the 100-win plateau early in his junior year at Dirigo.

Daley won the 119-pound state title as a sophomore and backed it up as a senior at 135 pounds, not far from where he fights today at 145.


“Derek is a tremendous athlete and one of our best wrestlers,” Raio said. “He has a solid attitude and gives 100 percent every class and sparring session.”


It’s admittedly difficult for Daley to balance his competitive passion with his blossoming police career.


He began as an officer in Wilton. After moving to Richmond, he applied for work in three surrounding cities. Augusta was first to make him an offer.


“I’ve been there since November and it’s a perfect fit for me,” Daley said. “I have a great sergeant and a great team.”


Police work is a family tradition. Daley’s father, Hart, is Chief Deputy of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department.


It was not a case of a father wanting his son to fill his shoes.


“I majored in physical education,” Daley noted. “Dad said, ‘Be a teacher. Don’t go into law enforcement.’ But it’s one of those things that must be pretty stubborn in the family, because my brother and I both are police officers. The schedule is tough and unpredictable.”


First Class MMA helps Daley bring his commitments as cop and fighter under one roof. “It’s a great workout. I’m not really into traditional weight lifting. I mean, I did it when I played college football (Husson). This way I get a workout, but it doesn’t feel like I’m working,” he said. “It definitely makes me feel more comfortable if I ever have to get into a physical confrontation as an officer.”


Raio, now retired from the cage after a run as one of NEF’s most popular fighters in its infancy, understands the home vs. work vs. family balance. He is the father of two and was employed full time with the U.S. Postal Service when he got the itch to try combat sports once again.


Still, he is high on his pupil’s potential if Daley ever decides to focus fully on the cage.


“The sky is the limit for him in this sport. I can see him getting to the UFC or Bellator if that is the path he chooses,” Raio said. “He is an outstanding police officer and a great father as well. He puts his daughter first in everything he does.”


Daley returns the compliments, insisting that even if his foray into MMA winds up being a cup of coffee, he will continue to train at First Class for fitness purposes. He describes the atmosphere as a tight circle of friends and a brotherhood.


“It’s a great group of guys. There are no egos,” Daley said. “I was kind of worried about that when I first showed up. Was I going to be (a target) because I’m a police officer, or were there a bunch of guys all looking to be the alpha dog? But it’s quite the opposite. It’s like a big family. You’re punching a guy in the face, but you’re family.”


That goes double for his friendship with Gulliver, who is undefeated as an amateur heavyweight.


“I feel like a baby gorilla with its mom when I’m working out with Nick,” he quipped. “I think for him it’s enjoyment just to pound on me.”


It certainly reduces the stress when he gets the opportunity to pick on someone his own size at an NEF card, although Daley knows better than to take the veteran Johanson lightly.


The CMBJJ fighter enters on a two-fight winning streak, and he defeated First Class’ Deppmeyer in February.


“Frank is a tough opponent. I saw his fight against Jake,” Daley said. “He has a tough chin. He takes shots and just keeps coming forward.”


Even though he fought in front of thousands at the state wrestling showcase four times as a high school student, Daley is humble enough to acknowledge that an NEF show is a different animal.


“I was a complete nervous wreck, like almost to the point where I was ready to puke behind the curtain,” he said of his debut. “Then once I stepped in the cage, it went away and I just did what I had to do. I was able to shake off the rust a little bit.


“But it’s still different from wrestling. Back then I wasn’t getting punched in the face.”


The June 17 card features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage. Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at For more information on the fight card, please

FITE TV brings Lethwei, the Burmese bareknucke “knockout only” fighting style to combat sports fans globally


Starting off a stacked weekend of live MMA, Wrestling and Kickboxing events, FITE TV will air Lethwei in Japan 4 Frontier this Friday in a live telecast at 5:30am ET 6/16 and a same-day replay at 8pm ET for viewers around the world to enjoy on a convenient schedule.

In the traditional form of bare-knuckle fighting from Myanmar, the World Lethwei Champion Dave Leduc will defend his title for the third time against Nilmungkorn SudsakornMuaythaiGym.


FITE fans can watch the event live from the Tokyo Dome and on a replay with a single purchase at





Full FITE TV schedule for this weekend




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 and for upcoming event information.


Lewiston, Maine (June 13, 2017) – Ray “All Business” Wood has received his mail in Florida, Maine, South Carolina and Texas, to name just a few corners of the United States. He’s comfortable with a nomadic existence, especially when his highest goals are at stake.


The Pine Tree State is where Wood’s mixed martial arts dream evolved, however. And in any endeavor at any chapter of life, sometimes home is where you can go to recapture the magic.


That’s at least some of the inspiration for one of the most popular combatants in New England Fights history as he sets foot in that regional cage for the first time in 28 months.

Wood (8-3) will lock up with Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra (19-5) in a featherweight bout that promises nothing but fireworks at “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” onSaturday, June 17. The opening bell at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee is scheduled for 7 p.m.


“I’m coming off two losses, so it’s good to get back where it all started,” Wood said. “It’s a good time to rekindle the fire.”


No shortage of major factors have contributed to the hiccup in Wood’s winning ways. For starters, Wood, who turns 28 on June 6, has been juggling his career with life’s ultimate responsibility since last summer, when his wife, Tiana, gave birth to their first child, Liem.


It’s also worth noting that his two losses have come against undefeated fighters in the elite Bellator Fighting Championships. Wood tapped to a first-round choke at the hands of Adam Piccolotti (9-0) on May 14, 2016. After a brief stint to embrace the newfound challenges of fatherhood, Wood returned to the fray in December and dropped a unanimous decision to second-generation MMA prospect A.J. McKee, Jr. (8-0).


Wood is quick to point out that a busier life is no excuse for a change in performance. Rather, it empowers him with new purpose as he plies his non-traditional trade.


“It’s definitely been a lot of big changes. Now I have a kid. That changes everything,” he said. “That gives me a lot more to fight for. If I go out and perform, that provides more opportunities and gives me more to offer my family.”


The only other loss on Wood’s docket coincided with his most recent experience in Maine. Crafty veteran Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison (20-11) took the NEF featherweight belt via fifth-round submission.


Wood left Maine shortly thereafter for Gaffney, South Carolina. He now resides with his family in Amarillo, Texas.


“I wasn’t originally from Maine,” said Wood, who grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, before moving to Bucksport in seventh grade. “I kind of knew I wanted to leave and see what was out there.”


He took many pieces of Maine with him, though. Wood, a high school wrestler, found himself sorely missing that competition after graduation, so he took up jiu-jitsu.


Shortly thereafter, he heard that a gentleman named Chris Young was training MMA fighters at a home-based sweatshop in Bangor.


“He was holding workouts in his basement. This was before his gym (Young’s MMA) even started. It was a weird thing,” Wood recalled. “Looking back on it, who just shows up at somebody’s house, knocks on the door and says, ‘Hey, I hear you guys train MMA?” You just hope you have the right house.


“I love to compete, and I loved wrestling,” he added. “I knew when my wrestling days were over that I needed to find something to fill that void.”


Mixed martial arts provided that platform. Wood picked up three wins before stopping Ahsan Abdullah (7-8) on strikes at the inaugural NEF card in February 2012.


Wood emerged as a mainstay with the growing organization, culminating with his July 2013 victory in Bangor over Lenny Wheeler (9-6, 1 NC) for the vacant title.


“When I first started, I had no illusions of fighting professionally or anything like that. My passion found me,” Wood said. “NEF does a great job preparing guys. They’ve sent a bunch of guys on to fight at the next level. They keep fighters busy. I was able to win a title, and it certainly didn’t hurt my career. I’m glad I was able to fight for them early on.”


While he’s back under the familiar black banner, the competition remains at a world-class level. Bezerra, 29, is a nine-time Bellator veteran.


The Brazilian, now based out of Philadelphia, lost a decision to unbeaten Andre Harrison (16-0) in his last fight. Prior to that, he split two wars with UFC vet Levan Makashvili (14-2-1), and then won two quick stoppages.


“He’s got a lot of experience. He’s been in with the best of the best. He has a combination of toughness and skill,” Wood said. “He’s like me in that he likes to take the fight to you. We’re not going to be in there playing patty-cake.”


Ups and downs are the nature of even the most successful MMA careers. Wood has learned not to let the recent losses leave him awestruck by the caliber of opponents at the next level.


“You have to stay true to your training, You have to remember why you fell in love with the sport in the first place,” he said. “A fight is a fight, no matter where it takes place or who is watching. You just have to pay attention to what you know.”


The time between his past two birthdays has been a period of learning in both Wood’s personal and professional lives.


As the new father discussed his upcoming return to New England via phone, his infant son was audible in the background.


“He’s 10 months old. It’s crazy how quickly that time goes,” Wood said. “He’s a little bit feisty. I can kind of tell he’s going to be an athlete.”


Wood’s return headlines a card that tentatively features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage.


Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at


For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”


About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 12, 2017) – There are wink-and-nudge undertones when 38-year-old Rafael Velado declares “I’m the young guy, for once” as he contemplates his New England Fights amateur lightweight title defense on Saturday, June 17. Then again, he is, by nearly a decade-and-a-half.


It’s a disservice to label hall of fame competitor and coach Pat Kelly a sentimental favorite in his quest to win the 155-pound strap. Yet the 52-year-old assuredly is, as evidenced by at least one internet poll that shows him as the clear people’s choice to win the fight.


Velado vs. Kelly is a bundle of contradictions, an intriguing mix of styles, perhaps even a pairing that defies logic. It’s certainly a spotlight neither man would have predicted for himself five years ago. It’s also a clash of undefeated warriors that promises to rock the house at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.


“You can buy a ticket for this fight, but I truly believe you’re only going to need the edge of your seat,” Kelly, an amateur wrestling legend from the Camden-Rockport region. “I think we’re going to light the place up.”


“Everybody seems excited, and wouldn’t that be a cool story? If I end up saying later on, ‘I fought a guy when he was 52, and he beat my butt,’ the moral of the story is don’t ever count anybody out,” Velado said.


Just to clarify, Velado (4-0) doesn’t expect that to happen. A black belt in jiu-jitsu fighting out of First Class MMA of Brunswick, he looks to extend his winning streak over fighters from Young’s MMA of Bangor.


Velado claimed the vacant crown with a first-round demolition of Jimmy Jackson last September. Prior to that, Mike Peitersen took Velado the distance in his toughest test to date.


“It makes sense from a record standpoint, but I’ve fought four times since the last time Pat did, and two of those were against his training partners,” Velado said. “If you look at strength of opposition, I don’t know that it’s that close. I’m not saying that means it won’t be a good match. I just don’t think it’s very comparable. But we all know the MMA magic can happen.”


Due to lengthy rehabilitation from a knee injury, Kelly (3-0) hasn’t fought since June 15, 2015 at “NEF 18: Made in America,” when he won by technical knockout over Steve Bang Sr. He beat Bang’s son and namesake in the same manner and also defeated Frank Dellasala in his debut, which came at welterweight.


The champion wrestler (University of Maine) and coach (Camden Hills High School, where he mentored now-UFC star Tim Boetsch) weighed in at over 200 pounds before he began the three-hour round trip to and from Bangor, four times each week.


“I’m an amateur’s amateur,” Kelly said. “I got into this four years ago to stay in shape, make contacts, make new friends and enjoy the experience. When they asked me if I’d like to try getting in the cage, it was, ‘Yeah, I’ll give that a shot.’


Kelly said he was welcomed with open arms, then “beaten to a pulp,” by the likes of Bruce Boyington, Ryan Sanders and Aaron Lacey – all accomplished pro fighters from the Bangor gym.


It wasn’t long, predictably, before he fell in love with the concepts of competition and self-discipline all over again.


“There’s a bold truth to this sport,” Kelly said. “It’s one-on-one, locked in a cage with the other guy, and what are you going to do to survive? I love that feeling.”


Conventional wisdom dictates that the fight will go to the ground quickly. Then it’s a case of which fighter can assert his will and expertise.


Velado doesn’t lack for training partners who test his mettle every day. Six of them are scheduled to appear in the same cage at NEF 29. First Class owner John Raio also mirrors Kelly in terms of size and decorated wrestling background.


“Pat and I have been in (combat sports) a long time. We’ve both won against some excellent people and some not-so-excellent people,” Velado said. “The road to winning against me, a guy has to be better in two disciplines and also have a better game plan.”


Interesting choice of words, when you consider Kelly’s admission that he is more inclined to fly by the seat of his pants.


“My coaches talk about a game plan, but I don’t know if I’m a game plan kind of guy. I go right back to how I know to survive. That’s the warrior in me,” Kelly said. “What you have are two guys who are not going to give up. I think that’s part of the interest. That’s what makes it a good fight.


“Raf is experienced,” he continued. “He’s undefeated. He’s the champion. I’m the old guy coming in and trying to knock him off. There are a number of parallels that make this a fascinating fight.”


The combatants’ thoughtful words in separate interviews even followed the same wavelength.


Velado graciously said he understands the fans’ desire to see Kelly keep turning back time, extend his own record as the oldest winner in NEF history and add the distinction of oldest champion to that list.


“I actually am a fan of Pat,” Velado said. “The MMA fan in me is rooting for him. I’d like to see him have whatever level of success is just short of winning. Mentally it wouldn’t wreck me if I lost the fight.”


Likewise, Kelly is prepared for the possibility that the outcome won’t go his way.

“I don’t ever train to lose, but often times winning comes in unique ways,” he said.

If his four children perceive the merits of his commitment to MMA as more than a midlife crisis, Kelly believes he has already won the greatest battle of all.


“Yes, of course you want to win, but I also want them to see that when you have a personal goal, you can’t just say you want it. You have to go get it,” he said. “When I spend all that time driving back and forth, whether I’m talking to myself to thinking or listening to music, most of the time when I’m chasing this thing, I’m on my own. And I know my kids and students can see that.”


The June 17 card tentatively features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage. Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at


For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”


About New England Fights


New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.



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 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


Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey 3? Only if it’s a light heavyweight fight

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (June 9, 2017) — World-class MMA middleweights Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko and Brandon “Bull” Halsey have fought twice with each opponent imposing their wills from the opening bell to secure a quick victory.
Will they complete a rare MMA trilogy? Only if it’s a light heavyweight fight, according to Halsey.
“I’d take the fight in an instant at 205 (lbs); I can’t make it down to 185,” Halsey said. “I think the fans would really love to see this fight. I’d be healthy, he’d be healthy. It would last more than 30 seconds. It would be a war!”

The two-fight split outcomes, which totaled only 56 seconds, calls for a “rubber match” to determine which one is the better fighter.
Shlemenko-Halsey 1 was held September 26, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) as the Bellator 126 main event, in which Shlemenko defended his Bellator middleweight title. Halsey, a former Division I, All-American wrestler at California State University at Bakersfield, started strong and used his wrestling skills to win only 35 seconds into the match, by way of a technical submission via a rare-naked choke. The gifted American become the new Bellator middleweight champion.
Last Thursday night at M-1 Challenge 79 in Saint Petersburg, Shlemenko-Halsey 2 was the main event. Shlemenko stormed out of his corner, blasting powerful kicks and punches on Halsey;s body, until the referee halted the action at the 21-second mark for a stunning technical knockout triumph for the rugged Russian.

“We have to see how confident he is about himself,” Halsey continued. “He has to feel really good right now, breaking my rib on his first kick, and punching me out on the ground. He must feel great about it. I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to do it again. I felt great about our first fight after I choked him unconscious in 30 seconds. I thought I could do it again, even with significant health problems. He must think he can do it again, even if we move up one weight class. Otherwise, what kind of champion is he, right?

“I believe that this trilogy fight could be a war, maybe something that will go down in the M-1 history books. The ball is in Shlemenko’s court. I’ll do the travelling. I’d come back to Russia and fight in front of his fans. The question is will he come up one weight class and fight me (at a weight) where I’m healthy? If he says no, well, then that’s on him. I know fight fans will be disappointed if he doesn’t take the fight just because he’s a little small, but that’s something he’s going to have to think about.
“Look, if Fedor (Emelianenko) can walk around at 230 and fight guys that have 50-70 pounds on him, I don’t know why Shlemenko can’t win a fight at just 20 pounds heavier. Right? M-1 Global is a great outfit and I’m very glad to be fighting for them. They’ve got some studs at 205 that I’d love to a fight. And I know I’ve got a lot to prove after that embarrassing loss, so I’ll take whoever they want to give me. If I get my head smashed in again, well, at least it will be more entertaining, but if I smash some guy’s head in, well, that’s what I expect and I can’t imagine anything less.

“I’ll take the next couple of weeks to get my health back, then start training. I’ll be ready to fight whoever they put in front of me this time. No more getting my ass kicked by the weight cut. That’s all behind me now. Let’s see what happens.”

According to Halsey, he never should have agreed to fight Shelemnko in their rematch.

“For the last two years,” Halsey explained, “I’ve been struggling and I think it’s time to let people know what’s been going on. My stubbornness and pride got the better of me. Against the advice of my coaches, many of my trainers, my mentors and friends, I’ve tried to stay down at 185, while my body long outgrew that weight class. I believed I knew better than everyone else. I thought that I would simply will myself to the weight and believed that, because I was the champion at 185 and that I had won nine straight fights at 185, going up to 205 would be cowardice, laziness and weakness. And I was wrong.

“I was recently finally released from the hospital. I had several things wrong with me: renal failure from my kidneys shutting down from the weight cut, blood clot threatening my heart, broken rib causing internal bleeding, extreme hypotension (low blood pressure). The broken rib was from the fight, but the rest is from the weight cut. My doctors have told me that 185 is not a weight that I can safely make anymore. I hate to admit it but that’s the truth.

“Shlemenko is a good fighter and right now we are one and one. I got him in 30 seconds, he got me in 25. Neither was a very good fight for the loser. And while he did break my rib with that very well-placed kick, I don’t feel like he beat me. The scale beat me before I ever got into the ring.

“I do believe we should finish this trilogy and find out who is the best, once and for all, but it’s going to have to be at 205. I understand if Shlemenko is nervous about fighting me at 205; he is small. In that case, I welcome a fight with whoever M-1 Global wants me to fight. If Shlemenko accepts the fight, as he did with Tito Ortiz, I hope we can finally have a war that lasts more than 30 seconds. If he doesn’t, I’m sure fans will be disappointed to know he refused the fight just because of his size.”

M-1 Global TV announcer Sean Wheelock not only called the original Shlemenko-Halsey fight, he also worked their rematch last week in Russia.
“In the first fight,” Wheelock offered his unique, first-hand perspective, “Halsey came out and implemented his wrestling skills, hitting a takedown, took the back, and locked in a power rear-naked choke. Shlemenko is not one to tap-out, so he went to sleep (technical submission), which is what Halsey does best. Their last fight was the opposite, though, as Alexander Shlemenko came out right away with a body kick to the liver, then he went to work, eliminating Halsey’s grappling and takedowns.
“They’re two of the best fighters in the world. Both did what they do best to win, taking away what their opponent does best. I think a third fight would be great. I love doing commentary for both fighters; I’d happily call 50 Shlemenko-Halsey fights. A third fight would be very interesting.”
Shlemenko’s (56-9-0, 1 NC, M-1: 6-0-0) ground-and-pound vs. Halsey’s (9-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) wrestling-and-grappling in their trilogy fight. Who do you like in Shlemenko-Halsey 3? Keep in mind, though, the only chance of their trilogy fight is if Shlemenko agrees to fight Halsey at 205 pounds. Stay tuned!

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M-1 Challenge 80 – June 15, 2017 in Habin, China

Fight Network to Live Broadcast GLORY 42 & Superfight Series Paris, UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: Lewis vs. Hunt Prelims & Fight Night Medicine Hat 3

TORONTO – Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, presents an action-packed day of live combat sports action this Saturday, June 10, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET with GLORY 42 Superfight Series followed by the GLORY 42 Paris main card at 3 p.m. ET, both airing live on Fight Network across Canada and Turkey.

Later, Fight Network will deliver extensive coverage of UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: Lewis vs. Hunt across Canada, starting at 7 p.m. ET with the live UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: Lewis vs. Hunt PRE-FIGHT SHOW leading into LIVE PRELIMS at 8 p.m. ET on Fight Network. The main card airs live on TSN5. The UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: Lewis vs. Hunt PRE-FIGHT SHOW will feature former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and retired contender Kenny Florian serving as desk analysts with host Karyn Bryant and reporter Heidi Androl conducting on-site fighter interviews in New Zealand.

The two-hour LIVE PRELIMS on Fight Network will feature lightweights Damien Brown (17-9) and Vinc Pichel (9-1) in a featured clash, plus Luke Jumeau (11-3) takes on Dominique Steele (14-8) at 170 pounds, while No. 11 John Moraga (16-6) fights Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-1) in a flyweight tilt. Kiichi Kunimoto (18-6-2, 1NC) and Zak Ottow (14-4) open the telecast in a welterweight bout.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s main card, the live UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: Lewis vs. Hunt POST-FIGHT SHOW at approximately 1 a.m. ET on Fight Network features highlights, analysis and post-fight interviews.

Kicking off at 12:30 p.m. ET, the GLORY 42 Superfight Series is headlined by recent championship challenger Yoann Kongolo (64-9, 46 KO) in a knockdown, drag-out affair against French veteran Yohan Lidon (92-35-1, 55 KO). In the co-headline bout, heavyweight French native Nicolas Wamba (47-7, 21 KO) goes head-to-head with Brazilian brawler Jhonata Diniz (15-5, 10 KO).

The complete six-fight card for GLORY 42 Superfight Series can be found below:

  • Welterweight Headline Bout: Yoann Kongolo vs. Yohan Lidon
  • Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Nicolas Wamba vs. Jhonata Diniz
  • Light Heavyweight Bout: Zinedine Hameur-Lain vs. Freddy Kemayo
  • Lightweight Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Antonio Gomez
  • Featherweight Bout: Dylan Salvador vs. Serhiy Adamchuk
  • Welterweight Bout: Remy Vectol vs. Francois Ambang

At 3 p.m. ET, the GLORY 42 Paris main card is headlined by GLORY welterweight world champion Cédric Doumbé (66-4-1, 39 KO) defending his title on home soil against rival Nieky Holzken (90-12, 46 KO).Meanwhile, Armenian-Belgian striker Harut Grigorian (44-10, 32 KO) fights No. 4 ranked welterweight Murthel Groenhart (65-22-3) with the winner next in line for a welterweight title opportunity, plus a one-night, four-man lightweight contender tournament.

The complete five-fight card for GLORY 42 Paris can be found below:

  • Welterweight World Title Headline Bout: Cédric Doumbé vs. Nieky Holzken
  • Lightweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
  • Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Murthel Groenhart vs. Harut Grigorian
  • Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Niclas Larsen vs. Massaro Glunder
  • Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Anatoly Moiseev vs. Christian Baya

At 10 p.m. ET, Z Promotions presents Fight Night Medicine Hat 3 from Alberta, Canada’s Canalta Centre, airing live on Fight Network in Canada, the U.S. and globally in over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In the main event, battle-tested warriors Dennis Hallman (53-20-2) and Joe Riggs (42-17) will collide for the promotion’s vacant middleweight championship. In other featured bouts, Matt MacGrath(18-9) battles Peter Grajcar (4-0) for the welterweight crown, while Steve Roy (2-2) throws down with Josh Heinz (3-1) for the heavyweight title.

For a full listing of Fight Network’s broadcast schedule, please visit, follow us on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan on Facebook and visit us on Instagram @fightnet.