Category Archives: mixed martial arts

Dana White and the Women


Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Saturday, Feb. 28, is going to be a landmark day for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. All the fighters on the pay-per-view card that day will pass their pre-fight drug…….never mind. That’s too easy.

That day will be the first time a UFC card features women’s bouts in both its co-main event and main event. After middleweight champion Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from his fight against Vitor Belfort due to injury, the new main event at UFC 184 is Ronda Rousey defending her women’s bantamweight belt against Cat Zingano. In the co-main event, much-heralded prospect Holly Holm will make her UFC debut against Raquel Pennington in another women’s bantamweight fight.

As I’ve mentioned before, UFC has come a long way from when Dana White told TMZ that women would “never” fight in his organization. Rousey will main event her third consecutive February PPV and Holm is widely believed to be the next in line for a shot at the title, should she defeat Pennington. Holm is still very raw in mixed martial arts, but trains with the world renowned coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.

Rousey is carrying the flag for women’s MMA and for women in the UFC. Other female fighters have followed her into the Octagon, including Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis. What do those three have in common? They all also fell to Rousey – Tate twice in Strikeforce and the UFC, and Carmouche and Davis both in the first round at UFC PPVs in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Rousey and Tate’s feud is well-chronicled. It led to the two being coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, which included female fighters for the very first time who greatly outshined their male counterparts on the show that season.

Given that season’s success, the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter featured ALL female fighters and the debut of the UFC’s newest division, women’s strawweight. Carla Esparza, the former Invicta FC strawweight champion, won the inaugural UFC version of that belt after defeating Rose Namajunas.

So in the span of four years, UFC goes from having no female fighters and White emphatically stating that it never will, to being home to TWO female weight classes and undoubtedly the promotion’s biggest star right now in Rousey. Don’t believe me? Did you see the third Expendables movie? Or do you plan on seeing the film version of Entourage this summer? You might notice a familiar face.

So where does women’s MMA go from here? I am personally a big fan of female fights, as they tend to be among the more entertaining and action-packed fights on a UFC card. As I previously stated, female fighters are more than capable of outshining their male contemporaries. Why is that? Maybe female fighters feel they have more to prove inside the Octagon and always go for broke. Maybe they go into the Octagon with more of a “go for broke” mentality and actively seek a finish as opposed to “playing it safe.”

The fight between Rousey and Zingano on Feb. 28 will also go a long way toward determining the future of women’s MMA. Should Rousey defeat Zingano – which all signs indicate she will – she will have essentially cleaned out her division, with only unknown challengers like Holm and Bethe Correia left. If Zingano pulls the upset, then the division has a fresh batch of exciting matchups waiting.

But who knows what would have happened if Dana White kept his promise to TMZ?

Chris Huntemann writes about mixed martial arts in the state of Maryland. He also contributes his thoughts to our site on the UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting. Check out his blog, or follow him on Twitter: @mmamaryland.

Bellator MMA Lightweight World Champion Will Brooks meets Dave Jansen on April 10 at Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.

 

Follow us on Twitter Easy Tweet: Title Defense Time! @illwillbrooks86 v @DaveJansen155 plus @Joeschilling3 v 

@RafaelCarvalh74 is set for April 10 @brencenter in Irvine, CA 

 

Bellator MMA: Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen Coming to SPIKE!
Bellator MMA: Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen Coming to SPIKE!

 

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 4, 2015) – Bellator MMA Lightweight World Champion “Ill” Will Brooks (15-1) returns to action on April 10, when he faces top contender Dave “The Fugitive” Jansen (20-2) at Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif on April 10.

The two men compete in the headlining bout of the newly announced “Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” event, which also features a middleweight affair between Brazilian knockout machine Rafael Carvalho (10-1) and another man known for his sensational striking in Joe Schilling (2-3)

Both bouts take place on the evening’s main card, which airs live and free on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts stream on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET.

Tickets for “Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” go on sale next Friday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. PT and are available online at www.ucirvinetickets.com  (under the Bren Events Center tab) and through the UC Irvine Ticket Office.

“I’m really looking forward to this one,” said Bellator President Scott Coker.  “Brooks and Schilling were two huge components to our successful show last November, and I wanted to get them another fight as quickly as possible.” With Will Brooks, you’ve got a phenomenal athlete with a tremendous personality.  He is someone who brings it each and every time he gets in the cage. Joe Schilling is one of those incredible strikers who just has danger written all over him.  I think our team has really done a great job in finding both of these guys extremely tough opponents in Jansen and Carvalho respectively, and I’m happy that I’ll have one of the best seats in the house..

Additional bouts will be announced shortly.

The 28-year-old Brooks looks to make the first defense of the undisputed Bellator MMA Lightweight World Title he earned in November with a thrilling, fourth-round finish of former champ Michael Chandler. Prior to the win, Brooks boasted Bellator MMA’s Interim Lightweight World Title, which he also earned with a victory over Chandler. Overall, Brooks – an American Top Team athlete – is on a seven-fight winning streak and has lost just once in his 16-fight career.

Across the cage from him, the 35-year-old Jansen also brings a seven-fight winning streak to the cage. An eight-year veteran of the sport, Jansen earned his shot at the belt with a 2012 tournament victory after registering wins over Marcin Held, Ricardo Tirloni and Magomed Saadulaev. He was scheduled to fight for the title in 2013, but an injury forced him to withdraw from the contest. Once healthy, rather than sit around and wait for a rescheduled title shot, Jansen chose to remain active, scoring an October 2014 win over Rick Hawn.

Carvalho is a 28-year-old Brazilian who made an immediate impact in his promotional debut, scoring a first-round TKO win over nine-time Bellator MMA veteran Brian Rogers. Carvalho is quickly establishing himself as one of the most devastating strikers in the world today, notching nine of his 10 career wins by knockout, including five that came in the first round. Carvalho lost his professional debut in 2011 but has since earned 10 straight victories.

The 31-year-old Schilling has been fighting professionally since 2006, starting his combat sports career in kickboxing, where he earned both U.S. national and world titles in Muay Thai. While he’s since turned his focus to MMA, Schilling continues to compete in striking events, as well, working his way to GLORY’s Last Man Standing tournament this past June, competing three times in a single evening. Schilling made his Bellator MMA debut in November, scoring a “Knockout of the Year” candidate with his stoppage of noted striker Melvin Manhoef.

“Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” – Friday, April 10, Bren Events Center, Irvine, Calif.

Bellator Lightweight Title Fight: Champ Will Brooks (15-1) vs. Dave Jansen (20-2)

Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Rafael Carvalho (10-1) vs. Joe Schilling (2-3)

 

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts 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 TV, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA 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 Santa Monica, California 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.

 

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.
Access the application for each fight by clicking on the proper banner

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RAONI BARCELOS vs. JAMAL PARKS BJJ BLACK BELT MEETS ALL AMERICAN WRESTLER IN FEATURE BOUT AT RFA 23 

 

  

RFA 23 – MURPHY vs. WARE
MAIN EVENT:
JOE MURPHY vs. TERRION WARE
LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD TITLE
CO-MAIN EVENT:
GABRIEL CHECCO vs. JOE HENLE
MIDDLEWEIGHT SHOWDOWN
FEATURE FIGHT:
RAONI BARCELOS vs. JAMAL PARKS
FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6th LIVE ON AXSTV
Live at The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California
Tickets on Sale through  CageTix.com/RFA

In MMA, like most sports, there is an old adage that was made popular by actor Will Smith that states, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” That is one of the principles that Oklahoma native and blue chip MMA prospect Jamal Parks lives by. Parks put those words of wisdom into full effect this past week. Just five days removed from his fifth career MMA victory in five contests, Parks eagerly accepted the next challenge presented to him in his already spectacular athletic career.

That challenge came when undefeated RFA star Sam Toomer was forced off of next week’s RFA 23 card in Costa Mesa, California with an injury sustained late in his training camp. Toomer was set to face Raoni Barcelos, who is one of the most highly-touted featherweight prospects in MMA. Barcelos is the son of 7th degree jiu-jitsu black-and-red belt Laerte Barcelos and has been groomed for greatness in combat sports since the age of two. That left many wondering who would be able to step up and challenge the Brazilian wunderkind adequately on such short notice.

The answer to that question comes in the form of Parks, who is used to competing against elite athletes in wrestling and looks to continue the long legacy of Oklahoma State wrestlers who have blossomed into MMA stars. That list includes Randy Couture, Johny Hendricks, Daniel Cormier, Mark Muñoz, Jake Rosholt, Jared Rosholt, Shane Roller, Mo Lawal, as well as RFA vets Steve Mocco and Tyler Shinn.

“This is a great opportunity and I’m ready to light it up,” stated an excited Parks, who is now set to travel to southern California this week to participate on the biggest stage of his promising MMA career.

Parks was a three-time high school state wrestling champion in Oklahoma, while attending Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then wrestled alongside Jared Rosholt and Shinn at Oklahoma State and became an NCAA Division I All-American his senior season. The proud Oklahoma State Cowboy then turned his attention to MMA after graduating and has seen his hand raised five times in five contests. However, this Friday will see him compete on national television (AXS TV) and international television (The Fight Network) for the first time. He will also be facing the toughest test of his career in Barcelos.

You see, Barcelos is not your typical jiu-jitsu black belt. He is also an accomplished wrestler having once been a member of the Brazilian National Wrestling Team. Barcelos, who received his jiu-jitsu black belt at age 20, also won a Brazilian national title in freestyle wrestling the same year. Barcelos is also the main training partner to UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo. That pedigree is enough to scare away many potential opponents even with a full training camp to prepare. However, Parks fresh off his fifth win and newly signed multi-fight deal with RFA, feels he is more than ready for the challenge and is eager to participate in the most high-stakes MMA bout of his career.Parks and Barcelos meet in a featherweight bout on the main card of RFA 23 – Murphy vs. Ware onFriday, February 6th. The event takes place at The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California. The main card will be televised nationwide on AXS TV and internationally on The Fight Network at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

 

Please visit RFAfighting.com for bout updates and information. RFA is also on Facebook at Facebook.com/RFAfighting, Instagram at @RFAfighting, and Twitter at @RFAfighting.
Tickets for RFA 23 Murphy vs. Ware are available at CageTix.com/RFA, prices range from $55.00 to $105.00.
Special 14-person All-You-Can Drink VIP SUITES can be reserved by calling 310-951-0867.

About RFA:
RFA is a professional mixed martial arts promotion that gives rising stars and top contenders the opportunity to prove their talent to fans and leaders in the industry. The RFA presents up to 10 fights annually around the United States including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver and Milwaukee. RFA can be seen live in over 40 million homes nationally through its television deal with AXS TV. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, RFA is one of the most active and respected MMA organizations in the fastest growing sport in the world. (The Octagon, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, UFC®, and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC. All rights reserved).
About AXS TV Fights:
AXS TV Fights is renowned for its universally recognized Friday Night Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing events. As Your Home For MMA, AXS TV utilizes an expansive network of promotions from the United States, Canada, and Europe. And Asia to broadcast more LIVE fights than any other television network. “The Voice” Michael Schiavello and five-time MMA world-champion Pat Miletich provide viewers expert play-by-play, in-depth fighter coverage, and extensive analysis to each fight card. AXS TV broadcasts world-class LIVE fight events from RFA, Lion Fight, Legacy FC, and MFC every Friday night at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.

#9 Ranked Gabrielle Holloway replaces injured Talita Nogueira to face Julia Budd at “Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” 

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 Easy Tweet: “Due to a Talita Nogueira injury @juliabudd now faces #9 ranked @GabbyGabanator on @SpikeTV as part of #BellatorMMA: Manhoef vs Shlemenko”

 

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 3, 2015) – Injury has forced Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Talita Nogueira (6-0) to withdraw from next week’s “Bellator MMA: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko.” However, 24-year-old Zamora Boxing product Gabrielle “Gabanator” Holloway (4-1) has agreed to step in on short notice and will now face Julia Budd (6-2).

A Virginia native, Holloway fought most recently in January, picking up a decision win over Lacie Jackson. She now steps up on less than two weeks’ notice with the hopes of making an impact on the national stage.

Nogueira is expected to make her official Bellator MMA debut later this year.

“Bellator MMA: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” takes place next Friday, Feb. 13, at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The evening’s four-fight main card airs on Spike TV.

Bellator 133: Friday, Feb. 13, Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.

Main Card on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Middleweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (29-12-1) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (50-9)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8)

Bellator Women’s Featherweight Feature Fight: Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Gabrielle Holloway (4-1)

Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0)

Preliminary card on Spike.com (8 p.m. ET)

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Art Arciniega (14-4) vs. Emilio Chavez (7-5)

Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0)

Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Paul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2)

Preliminary card on Spike.com (Following Manhoef vs. Shlemenko)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Prelim Fight: John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Jonathan Contrestano (4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1)

Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0)

Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Mason Fowler (1-0) vs. TBD

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts 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 TV, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA 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 Santa Monica, California 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.

 

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.
Access the application for each fight by clicking on the proper banner

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MAINE’S NEWEST FIGHT TEAM MAKING NOISE IN THE MMA CAGE

Lewiston, Maine (February 3, 2015) –New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, presents its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event this Saturday night  at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  The fight card, titled “NEF XVI,” will feature two members of Maine’s newest fight team, Ruthless MMA & Boxing, in amateur bouts.

 

Ruthless MMA & Boxing was founded in 2014 by veteran fighter Josh Parker (4-8).  Parker has a long history in the NEF MMA cage, having competed seven times for the fight promotion between February 2012 and November 2013.  More recently, Parker has remained out of the MMA cage to focus on his career as a professional boxer, as well as building his gym.

 

Parker opened the gym in Benton, Maine as a way of giving back to the fight community.  He sees Ruthless MMA & Boxing as a means to introduce young athletes from the area to the burgeoning world of combat sports and provide them with opportunities to compete. That includes his own sons.

 

“I’ve been thinking about starting my own gym for a while now,” said Parker.  “My first fight was almost ten years ago when my son was three.  Now he’s 13 and ready to start his own fight career, and I just had another son.  I knew it was time to build my boys a place where they can train whenever they want to.  This is a fight family.”

 

Parker introduced his first protégé, Alex Johnson (1-1), in the fall of 2014.  Johnson is coming off a win over Rick Matthews (0-1) in a brutal, back-and-forth slugfest at “NEF XV” this past November. The bout was considered by many to be the “Fight of the Night” of that card.

 

Corey Trial (0-0), another of Parker’s prospects, hopes to continue the success brought to Ruthless MMA & Boxing by his teammate Alex Johnson.  Trial makes his NEF MMA debut this Saturday night in Lewiston when he meets Ricky Dexter (1-0) of Team Irish in a lightweight contest.

 

“I’ve always dreamed of being able to punch someone in the face and not go to jail for it,” Trial stated.  “Now that I have that opportunity, you better believe someone’s getting hurt.”

 

“Our style is simple, we like to stand and bang,” Parker elaborated. “When we spar, we like to see who can hit the hardest.  Mike Tyson said it best ‘everybody’s got a plan- until they get hit.’  We want to give the fans exciting fights.  We’re looking for knockouts.

 

“The guys at Ruthless come from all walks of life- whether it was street fighting or cage fighting they all came with experience throwing fists.  They each approached me after hearing I was building a gym. Our values are simple- when you come in you leave your ego at the door.  When you’re a part of the Ruthless team, you’re expected to carry yourself as a professional- sportsmanship and respect are a must.”

 

Bryant Orick (3-5) is another Ruthless team member scheduled to make his NEF MMA debut this Saturday night.  It will not, however, be his first time in the cage.  Orick, a native of Ohio now living in Clinton, Maine, has competed in the sport for five years.  He is a veteran of eight bouts, fighting in the Buckeye State, Kansas and Indiana, to name a few states.  Orick hopes to find a home and success in NEF alongside his Ruthless MMA & Boxing teammates. At “NEF XVI” this weekend, Orick will have his work cut out for him with undefeated Fred Lear (2-0) of Young’s MMA.

 

“I’m coming out to make a name for myself at NEF,” said Orick.  “I am well-rounded and going to put on a show.  I train hard every day, have a great coach and teammates.  Nothing will surprise me in my upcoming bout.”

 

” Being a coach has taught me to slow it down and bring it back to the basics,” Parker stated.  “Fighting really is pretty simple, knock the other guy out and you win.  I demand 100% from my fighters, and I give them 100% back.  Fighting is not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”

 

Ruthless MMA & Boxing is located in Benton, Maine.  You can learn more about the team at their Facebook page “Ruthless MMA & Boxing.”

 

NEF’s next MMA event, “NEF XVI,” takes place this Saturday, February 7, 2015, with an all-star lineup of fights scheduled.  Ray “All Business” Wood (5-0) returns that night to defend the NEF MMA Featherweight Title against Bellator and WEC veteran Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison (16-9).  NFL and UFC The Ultimate Fighter veteran Tyler King (7-2) puts the NEF MMA Heavyweight Title on the line against Terry “The Polar Bear” Blackburn (5-2).  In the feature bout of the evening, UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Nah-Shon Burrell (10-5) makes his NEF MMA debut against Ryan Hodge (6-9).  Tickets start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525.  For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, 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.

LIVE MMA SATURDAY – CHANDLER

**This is an Indoor Event – Seating is Limited**
**18 YEARS & OLDER EVENT**

$5 off all tickets using code WFF!
(Discount expires Friday, Feb 6 at Midnight)

OR

Watch the Fights LIVE on

www.WFFMMA.com for $9.99

FIGHT CARD
125 Matt Betzold vs Brandon Moreno

**TITLE FIGHT**

130 Roy Rangel vs Adam Dye
135 Jonathon Salazar vs Andres Ponce**TITLE FIGHT**
135 Carlos Castro vs Braden Goodwin
135 Israel Gastelum vs Paul Oraha
140 Valerie Quintero vs Nicole Upshaw
145 Jesse Mejia vs Derrick Brown
145 Joshua Clifton vs Matt Hamel
165 Keegan Graham vs Shawn Armstrong
185 Brendan Tierney vs Daniel Huber**TITLE FIGHT**
HWT Jeremy Cardinal vs Waldo Cortes

Fight Card Subject To Change

FEBRUARY 21 – CASINO DEL SOL RESORT, TUCSON

NEF RE-SIGNS JAROD LAWTON TO MULTI-FIGHT DEAL

Lewiston, Maine (February 2, 2015) –New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, announced earlier today that the company had re-signed Jarod “Last Minute” Lawton (4-1) to a multi-fight contract. While the exact terms of the deal were not released, NEF executives confirmed that the contract would be long-term over a course of years.

 

“I am very excited to continue to be a part of the NEF organization,” stated Lawton when reached for comment. “They have been a great supporter of my development in MMA and have done a great job building a sustainable platform for local fighters to grow and improve. I am very excited about the upcoming year with them and guarantee some great performances.”

 

“Jarod Lawton is one of the hottest prospects on the regional MMA (mixed-martial-arts) scene right now,” said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  “He’s a big, strong, athletic BJJ Black Belt with very solid standup skills. We have no doubt that Jarod has next-level potential and this deal will give him the opportunities he needs to get there.”

 

Lawton, 30, holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) under Alexey Cruz, a 5th degree BJJ Black Belt under Ricardo de La Riva. Lawton is the owner and operator of Team Lawton Martial Arts – a Team New England United (NEU) affiliate located in Farmingdale, Maine.  Lawton has won his last three MMA fights in a row in the NEF MMA cage.  NEF executives anticipate that Lawton will have the first fight of his new contract this spring.

 

While Lawton’s greatest accomplishments have come on the grappling mats and the MMA cage, he proved his versatility in combat sports this past fall on the very first NEF Boxing event in Lewiston, Maine.  Lawton, in a double pro boxing debut, fought experienced amateur boxer Joel Bishop (0-0-1) to a majority draw on the judges’ scorecards.  It was a fight, however, that many in attendance felt Lawton clearly won.  NEF executives confirmed that the new agreement with Lawton would guarantee him both MMA and boxing fights with the promotion.

 

“All around, Jarod Lawton is just a great, great athlete,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  “Matt (Peterson) and I knew it three years ago.  We’re very proud to have him back on our roster for many fights to come.”

 

NEF’s next MMA event, “NEF XVI,” takes place on February 7, 2015with an all-star lineup of fights scheduled.  Ray “All Business” Wood (5-0) returns that night to defend the NEF MMA Featherweight Title against Bellator and WEC veteran Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison (16-9).  NFL and UFC The Ultimate Fighterveteran Tyler King (7-2) puts the NEF MMA Heavyweight Title on the line against Terry “The Polar Bear” Blackburn (5-2).  In the feature bout of the evening, UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce veteranNah-Shon Burrell (10-5) makes his NEF MMA debut against Ryan Hodge (6-9).  Tickets start at just $25 and are on sale now atwww.TheColisee.com or by calling The Colisee box office at207.783.2009 x 525.  For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, 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.

FIGHT NETWORK MMA & KICKBOXING PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE (Feb. 2-8, 2015)

ABOUT FIGHT NETWORK:  Fight Network is the world’s premier combat sports network dedicated to 24/7 coverage, including fights, fighters, fight news and fight lifestyle. The channel is available in the U.S. on Cablevision in parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, Texas-based Grande Communications, Armstrong Cable in Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, as well as on Shentel Cable in Virginia, West Virginia and portions of western Maryland. Fight Network is also on Roku set top boxes in the U.S. and Canada, streamed live on website KlowdTV.com, and available on all major carriers in Canada and more than 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Fight Network is a 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports. It airs programs focused on the entire scope of the combat sports genre, including live fights and up-to-the-minute news and analysis for mixed martial arts, kickboxing, professional wrestling, traditional martial arts, boxing, fight news, as well as fight-themed drama series, documentaries and feature films.

 

Below find highlights of this week’s programming:

Monday, Feb. 2

 

6:00 p.m. ETHip Show: Arena Combat – Tag-team MMA inside a 12m-by-12m arena with three levels.

 

6:30 p.m. ETUSA Wrestling WeeklyHost Scott Casber gives weekly news and analysis centering around USA Wrestling, the sport’s national governing body, including interviews, features and a look back at the past.

 

7:00 p.m. ET 5 Rounds – Hosts John Ramdeen and Robin Black invite special guests to break down the weekend of MMA action.

 

7:30 p.m. ETFight News Now Extra – The latest news, recaps, features and inside analysis of the fight game.

 

8:00 p.m. ETEnfusion Live: Dublin 2014 – Professional kickboxing from Mar. 22, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

 

11:30 a.m. ETXPTV – Coverage of regional U.S. professional and amateur MMA events.

 

12:30 a.m. ETBest of ROH Wrestling – Featuring the biggest stars from ROH’s past including CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe.

 

7:00 & 7:30 p.m. ETXtreme Fighting Championship – Florida-based professional MMA featuring top American prospects, international stars and UFC veterans.

 

8:00 p.m. ET 5 Rounds – Hosts John Ramdeen and Robin Black invite special guests to break down the weekend of MMA action.

 

8:30 p.m. ETFight News Now Extra – The latest news, recaps, features and inside analysis of the fight game.

 

9:00 p.m. ETHard Knocks Fighting 41 – Featuring Rodney Wallace vs. Misha Cirkunov from Jan. 30, 2015 in Calgary, Ontario.

 

11:00 p.m. ETBAMMA USA: Badbeat 8 – Featuring Jared Papazian vs. Terrion Ware, Joseph Henle vs. Miguel Cosio and Ernest Chavez vs. Tom Gloudeman from Mar. 15, 2013 in Commerce, CA.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

 

6:00 p.m. ETBest of Cage Rage – Featuring classic fights from the UK-based Cage Rage organization with Anderson Silva, Antonio Silva, Victor Belfort, Paul Daley and others.

 

7:00 p.m. ETFight News Now. MMA Edition – Covering all the happenings in the MMA world with exclusive analysis and features.

 

7:30 p.m. ETFighting Spirit MMA – Compilations of international MMA fights from ONE FC, UCMMA, KSW, WFC, FFC, BAMMA, EFC Africa and more.

 

9:00 p.m. ETCage Warriors Fighting Championship 64 – Featuring James Pennington vs. Cory Tait and David Lee vs.Nad Marimani from Feb. 15, 2014 in London.

 

11:00 p.m. ETMMA Meltdown with Gabriel Morency – Gabriel Morency breaks down all the happenings in MMA, discussing odds, predictions, plus special weekly guests and exclusive interviews.

 

11:30 p.m. ETTakeDown Wrestling – Extensive coverage of amateur wrestling events, including the latest news, behind-the-scenes coverage from events and exclusive interviews.

Thursday, Feb. 5

 

1:30 a.m. ETUltimate Challenge MMA 31: Grove vs. Czerwinski – Featuring Neil Grove vs. Tomasz Czerwinski in heavyweight action from Dec. 1, 2012 in London.

 

6:00 p.m. ETChampionship Fighting Alliance – Professional MMA from Florida featuring Josh Sampo, Mike Kyle, John Howard, Sean McCorkle, Luis Palomino and others.

 

7:00 p.m. ETEnfusion Season 3 – Fighters from 18 different countries compete in the 85 kg MAX category in Ohrid, Macedonia as they live and train together in their quest for a kickboxing title.

 

8:00 p.m. ETFight News Now: MMA Edition – Covering all the happenings in the MMA world with exclusive analysis and features.

 

8:30 p.m. ETFight News Now ExtraThe latest news, recaps, featur4es and inside analysis on the fight game.

 

11:00 p.m. ETFighting Rookies – Aspiring kickboxers climb the ladder of success in the sport as rookies compete for a chance to become professionals and get experience needed to succeed at a higher level.

Friday, Feb. 6

 

12:00 a.m. ETIt’s Showtime Special – The world’s premier kickboxing organization featuring Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef and Giorgio Petrosyan.

 

2:00 a.m. ETPancrase Classics – Classic pioneering MMA battles featuring Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Nate Marquardt, Chael Sonnen and others.

 

4:00 a.m. ETBest of DEEP – Featuring class fights from the historic Japanese DEEP promotion including Shinya Aoki, Hayato Sakurai and Gegard Mousasi.

 

5:00 a.m. ETBest of Jewel – Classic fights from the all-female Japanese MMA league, Jewels.

 

7:00 a.m. ETChampionship Fighting Alliance – Professional MMA from Florida featuring the likes of Josh Sampo, Mike Kyle, John Howard, Sean McCorkle, Luis Palomino and others.

 

6 p.m. ETM-1 Challenge – Professional MMA from Europe featuring top rising prospects and international stars.

 

8:00 p.m. ETToe 2 Toe with Frank Shamrock – Sit-down interview with MMA pioneer Frank Shamrock.

 

9:00 p.m. ETKSW 27: Cage Time – Featuring Mamed Khalidov vs. Maiquel Falcao and Mariusz Pudzianowski vs. Oli Thompson from Gdanslk, Poland.

 

11:00 p.m. ETFighting Spirit MMA Season 4 – Compilation of international fights from SFL, Legend, FFC, M-1 and more.

Saturday, Feb. 7

 

1:00 a.m. ETSuperKombat: New Heroes Optaija 2013 – Featuring Ivan Stanic vs. Laurent Attrifi, Andy Van Steen vs. Mladen Brestovac and more from Feb. 2, 2013 in Opatija, Croatia.

 

4:30 p.m. ETHip Show: Arena Combat – Tag-team MMA inside a 12m-by-12m arena with three levels.

 

6:00 a.m. ETBest of TKO – Featuring Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Yan Pellerin from TKJO 26 and Todd Gouwenberg vs. Martin Desilets from TKO 27.

 

7:00 a.m. ETBest of Gladiator Challenge – Featuring Tyson Griffin vs. Urijah Faber from Gladiator Challenge 42.

 

8:00 a.m. ETBest of DEEP – Featuring classic fights from the historic Japanese DEEP promotion including Shimya Aoki, Hayato Sakuri and Gerard Mousasi.

 

9:00 a.m. ETBest of Jewels – Classic fights from the all-famale Japanese MMA league Jewels.

 

10:00 a.m. ETBest of SportFight – Top quality MMA from the Pacific Northwest, hosted by UFC veterans Matt Lindland and Chael Sonnen.

 

3:00 p.m. ETEnfusion LIVE #24: Eindhoven – Live professional kickboxing from Eindhoven, Netherlands, featuring Ismael Lazaar vs. Thomas Vanneste for the Enfusion heavyweight world title.

 

5:00 p.m. ETRing of Combat 45 – Featuring Phillipe Nover vs. Mike Santiago and Frankie Perez vs. Adam Townsend from June 14, 2013 in Atlantic City, NJ.

 

8:00 p.m. ET Fight News Now: MMA Edition – Covering all the happenings in the MMA world with exclusive analysis and features.

 

8:30 p.m. ETFight News Now Extra – The latest news, recaps, features and inside analysis of the fight game.

 

9:00 p.m. ETFinal Fight Championship 13 MMA: Wolf vs. Milinkovic – Featuring Igor Jurkovic vs. Luis Tavares in kickboxing action from June 6, 2014 in Zadar, Croatia.

Sunday, Feb. 8

 

10:00 a.m. ETBest of ADCC – Featuring compilations of the greatest grappling matches ever held, featuring Tito Ortiz, Matt Hughes, Eddie Bravo, Fabricio Werdum, Marcelo Garcia, Ronaldo Souza and Royler Gracie.

 

11:00 a.m. ETElite Muay Thai: Thailand vs. Challenger – The biggest Muay Thai series in the world, featuring premium international stand-up fighters taking on the renowned Thai National Team.

 

Information:

 

www.FightNetwork.com

 

Twitter & Instagram @fightnet

 

www.Facebook.com/FightNetwork

 

UFC 183: Who will show up?


Photo Credit: UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has hit it out of the park so far in 2015, with its first two major cards of the year living up to the hype of their main events. Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones dominated Daniel Cormier to prove he is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world at UFC 182, and at the UFC’s live card in Boston, Mass., in January, Conor McGregor secured a featherweight title shot against José Aldo and wasted no time getting in his next opponent’s face.

Which brings us to UFC 183 tonight, and a main event that is considered a dream matchup by many. Anderson Silva returns to the Octagon after suffering a gruesome leg injury in his last fight against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in 2013. Nick Diaz also makes his return to the UFC after losing his last fight against former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in 2013.

Tonight’s card isn’t without its other storylines though. A pair of significant undercard fights are taking place under some controversy, as flyweight John Lineker came in overweight for his fight against Ian McCall, which is expected to determine the next no. 1 contender to the flyweight title. In the co-main event, Kelvin Gastelum came in 9 pounds overweight for his fight against Tyron Woodley, which means 30 percent of Gastelum’s fight purse actually goes to Woodley. Talk about insult to injury.

Of course, there is always the wild card with Diaz too. He plays by his own rules, having no-showed the open workouts earlier this week. Will he actually show up to the cage for tonight’s main event? It remains to be seen, though most everyone thinks he will.

So, having said all that, who do I think wins tonight?

Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (15-5) vs. Sara McMann (8-1) (Women’s bantamweight – 135 lbs.)

This is actually the main event of the preliminary card on Fox Sports 1. Tate requested to compete on this portion of the card instead of the pay-per-view card, taking a page from Urijah Faber’s playbook. Tate is also eager for a third fight with Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title. Both of these women suffered Rousey’s wrath, particularly McMann, who was demolished by Rousey in about a minute last year.

McMann is a pure wrestler with very little else to her repertoire, whereas Tate built on her established wrestling skills to become an effective striker. I think she will stuff McMann’s attempts to take this fight to the mat and use her vastly superior striking skills to keep McMann befuddled en route to a dominant victory.

Winner: Tate by unanimous decision

Jordan “Young Gun” Mein (29-9) vs. Thiago “Pitbull” Alves (25-9) (Welterweight – 170 lbs.)

Alves has alternated wins and losses in his last six fights, while Mein rides a two-fight win streak. Alves is always dangerous with his Muay Thai and striking, while Mein landed a first-round TKO victory in his last fight. This should be an exciting stand-up battle with neither guy willing to give an inch. I think Alves is the more dangerous fighter here, and will land one good shot to knock Mein silly.

Winner: Alves by second round TKO

Thales Leites (24-4) vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (18-7) (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)

Leites comes into this fight on a roll, having won his last seven fights, with the last two coming by way of TKO. Boetsch has alternated wins and losses in his last four fights, including a TKO victory in his last fight against Brad Tavares.

Boetsch is a slow, plodding bruiser best known for derailing the Hector Lombard hype train when he first made his UFC debut. Leites is a crafty, dangerous fighter who can finish you with his hands or by submission. I think Leites will avoid Boetsch’s power and wait for Boetsch to make a mistake, where Leits will capitalize.

Winner: Leites by third round submission

Joe Lauzon (24-10) vs. Al “Raging” Iaquinta (10-3-1) (Lightweight – 155 lbs.)

You know what you’re getting with a Joe Lauzon fight. You’re going to see an exciting, action packed bout that will most likely end with him locking in a slick submission or, in the case of his fight against Jim Miller, suffering a gnarly cut that will guarantee a blood battle.

Iaquinta has been on a roll since his time on The Ultimate Fighter Live, having only lost once in his last six fights. A win against Lauzon would be a real feather in his cap and might propel him into title contendership discussion. But Lauzon is one of the best submission specialists in the UFC, and I think the crafty veteran has another submission up his sleeve.

Winner: Lauzon by second round submission

Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (14-3) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (11-0) (Welterweight – 170 lbs.)

As mentioned above, Gastelum weighed in 9 pounds over for this fight and will forfeit 30 percent of his purse directly to Woodley. It was reported that Gastelum spent time in the hospital leading up to this fight, which contributed to him coming in overweight.

Woodley will be angry in this fight, and rightly so. It’s not fair that his opponent will have a weight advantage due to his own failure to do what he was supposed to do. Give Woodley credit for wanting to keep fighting when it would have been perfectly understandable to postpone it.

Woodley will channel his rage into a blitzkrieg of offense at Gastelum, and the lethargic and probably still-injured Gastelum will have no response.

Winner: Woodley by second round TKO

Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-6) vs. Nick Diaz (27-9-1) (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)

This is one of the several main events that have fight fans buzzing in 2015. Many didn’t think Silva would ever walk again after his leg injury against Weidman, let alone come back to the UFC to fight. The matchup style of Diaz wanting to push the pace, get in his opponent’s face and sucker him into trading blows against Silva’s unrivaled elusiveness will be interesting to watch.

Diaz said he wouldn’t trash talk Silva during this fight out of respect. But if Silva keeps bobbing and weaving and dodging Diaz’s punches, we’ll see how long Diaz commits to that. I think we’ll see vintage Silva in this fight, making Diaz look silly in some spots while landing well-timed strikes that will confuse and frustrate Diaz, which will allow Silva to land even more.

Diaz is too tough to finish, but this fight will show that Silva still has it and is the vastly superior fighter.

Winner: Silva by unanimous decision

Chris Huntemann writes about mixed martial arts in the state of Maryland. He also contributes his thoughts to our site on the UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting. Check out his blog, or follow him on Twitter: @mmamaryland.

“Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” preliminary lineup featuring  California’s top fighting prospects, complete with eight new matchups

 

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 Easy Tweet: “#BellatorMMA announces prelims packed with top prospects for @team_manhoef vs. @stormshlemenko onn @SpikeTV Feb.13! CHECK IT

 

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (January 29, 2015) – With a thrilling middleweight matchup between knockout artist Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (29-12-1) and former Bellator MMA champ Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (50-9) in the headlining role, “Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” now features a full lineup of 12 contests, loaded with some of California’s top fighting talent.

Bellator officials today announced the addition of eight preliminary contests, which join previously announced matchups of Manhoef vs. Shlemenko, Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8), Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0) and Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0).

The newly announced bouts include featherweights Art “King Arthur” Arciniega (14-4) vs. Charley Huston (6-2), undefeated middleweights Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0), flyweightsPaul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2), welterweights “Terrible” Tom Cook (1-1) vs. Mason “The Mangler” Fowler (1-0), lightweights Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1), light heavyweights John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1), lightweights Jonathan “J.T.” Contrestano(4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1) and bantamweights Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0).

“Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” which takes place Feb. 13 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Airs live and free on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET.  Tickets for the event, which start at just $28, are currently on sale at Bellator.com and Ticketmaster.com.

Arciniega vs. Huston, Watkins vs. Zuniga, Sperling vs. Ruiz and Cook vs. Fowler all stream live on Spike.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT local time) and precede the evening’s four-fight Spike TV-televised main card.

Meanwhile, Bustamante vs. Jauregui, Elias vs. Sons, Contrestano vs. Tobar and Cevera vs. Picolotti stream live on Spike.com following the conclusion of the televised card.

Art “King Arthur” Arciniega, of Dos Palos, Calif., brings a seven-fight winning streak to the cage, having last tasted defeat in 2009. He now face Charley Huston, of Orangeville, Calif., who has earned five of his six career wins by first-round stoppage.

Blake Watkins, of Fresno, Calif., has opened his career in spectacular fashion, owning all four of his career wins by first-round stoppage, including three of just 67 seconds or less. He now meets fellow undefeated fighter George Zuniga, who is also no stranger to quick wins, having earned a 34-second win this past September in his Bellator MMA debut.

Paul Ruiz, of Firebaugh, Calif., is a two-time Bellator MMA veteran, who made his professional debut fighting for the promotion in 2011. He now meets Nicolas Sperling, who opened his professional run with consecutive losses but has since bounced back to earn three-straight first-round stoppage wins.

“Terrible” Tom Cook, of Placerville, Calif., has earned mixed results in his first two professional bouts, but both ended in the opening frame. He now meets Mason Fowler, of Fresno, Calif., who in October needed just 28 seconds to pick up a submission win in his professional debut.

Nick Bustamante, of Fresno, Calif., makes his Bellator MMA debut on the strength of two stoppage wins to start his career. He now challenges Luis Jauregui, of Madera, Calif., who fell short in his 2010 professional debut but then took nearly four years off before returning with consecutive stoppage wins.

John Paul Elias, of Madera, Calif., owns both of his his wins by stoppage, including one knockout and one submission. He now faces Cody Sons, of Bakersfield, Calif., who suffered a disappointing TKO loss in his professional debut but now looks to rebound for his first career win.

Jonathan “J.T.” Contrestano, of Visalia, Calif., returns to action following an 18-month layoff to meet fellow prospect Ryan Tobar, of Oakdale, Calif., who open his career with three-straight first-round victories but suffered a decision loss in October and now looks to rebound from the first setback of his career.

Ray Cervera, of Bakersfield, Calif., brings a three-fight winning streak to the cage and has earned seven of his eight career wins by stoppage. He’s also never been stopped, as both of his professional defeats have come by decision. He now faces undefeated prospect Adam Piccolotti, of Fresno, Calif., who began his professional career in 2013 and has since earned four-straight wins, including two knockouts and one submission.

Bellator 133: Friday, Feb. 13, Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.

Main Card on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Middleweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (29-12-1) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (50-9)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8)

Bellator Women’s Featherweight Feature Fight: Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0)

Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0)

Preliminary card on Spike.com (8 p.m. ET)

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Art Arciniega (14-4) vs. Charley Huston (6-2)

Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0)

Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Paul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2)

Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Tom Cook (1-1) vs. Mason Fowler (1-0)

Preliminary card on Spike.com (Following Manhoef vs. Shlemenko)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Prelim Fight: John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Jonathan Contrestano (4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1)

Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0)