Category Archives: MMA


Kazuyuki Fujita will return to MMA action in the RIZIN FF ring on Sunday, April 17. Fujita held up a poster board with an image of his opponent, recent RIZIN FF Grand Prix tournament runner-up Jiri Prochazka, at a press conference today to announce his matchup. Photo credit: RIZIN FF

Plus: Allan Nascimento squares off with
fellow flyweight sensation Yuki Motoya

TOKYO – March 16, 2016– RIZIN FF, the combat sports promotion led by former PRIDE FC head Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced during a press conference today, the return of all-time fan favorite Kazuyuki “Ol’ Ironhead” Fujita (15-10), who will take on recent RIZIN FF Grand Prix tournament runner-up and dangerous knockout artist Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka (16-3-1), in a heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contest at the 10,000 capacity Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on Sunday, April 17.

Also announced today for the “Top Presents RIZIN Fighting Federation I” extravaganza next month, was a flyweight (125 pounds) matchup between submission ace Allan “Puro Osso” Nascimento (14-3) and red-hot championYuki Motoya (15-4, 1 NC).

Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Jiri Prochazka

During his memorable 16-year career in the fight game, the 6-foot, 45-year-old Fujita of Funabashi, Chiba, Japan has collected two major, professional wrestling championships and faced off with nearly every rival force of his era in MMA’s heavyweight division, including former pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Wanderlei Silva and Mark Coleman, while competing under the elite promotional banners of PRIDE FC, K-1 and Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye.

Fujita’s notable victories include a first round (6:46) TKO (corner stoppage) of“The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock, a first round (8:25) KO (punch) of James Thompson and unanimous decisions over Gilbert Yvel and two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tournament winner and NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion Mark Kerr.

The 6-foot-4, 23-year-old Prochazka of Hosteradice, Czech Republic is coming off a breakthrough performance in which he scored a first round (1:36) TKO (head kick and knee strikes) of Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii in the quarterfinal stage of the RIZIN FF eight-man Grand Prix elimination tournament on December 29, 2015.

Two days later, Prochazka returned to the ring and earned a first round (10:00) TKO (retirement) win over Vadim Nemkov before suffering a first round (5:09) KO (punch) at the hands of superstar “King Mo” Lawal in the championship stage round.  Of Prochazka’s 16 career wins, 13 have come by way of (T)KO and 2 by way of submission.

Allan Nascimento vs.Yuki Motoya

Touted as a miniature version of all-time great Anderson Silva, the 24-year-old Nascimento of Sao Paulo, Brazil boasts an astounding 86 percent submission rate, having forced 12 of the 14 opponents he has conquered, to tap out.

At 5-foot-9, Nascimento towers over the majority of his competition in the 125-pound division, and is known for effectively using his reach advantage and high-level Muay Thai skills to frustrate and inflict damage on opponents from a distance, and set up slick submissions.

The 5-foot-7, 26-year-old Motoya of Nagoya is the reigning DEEP flyweight champion and the number one ranked 125-pound fighter in Japan. Motoya is riding a seven-fight win streak, with four of the victories coming by way of TKO or submission.

In his last start on December 29, Motoya faced off with Felipe Efrain at the inaugural RIZIN FF event, outworking Efrain early in the bout before suddenly being floored by a left hand that Efrain followed up on with a series of strikes, prompting the referee to stop the contest.  Because Efrain had not made weight for the fight, however, the result was overturned from TKO to no contest.

Priced from 100,000 yen, tickets for “Top Presents RIZIN Fighting Federation I” are on sale and can be purchased online at

In the main event, former PRIDE FC middleweight champion and all-time greatWanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) will team up with a fighter to be announced soon, in a special grappling “tag match,” and battle a duo consisting of fellow legend, Kazushi Sakuraba, (26-17-1, 2 NC) and Hideo Tokoro (33-28-2).

In a 180 pound MMA rules contest, devastating power puncher Hisaki Kato (5-2) will take on fellow prolific finisher Yuta “Andre” Watanabe (19-6-4).

Additional bouts for “Top Presents RIZIN Fighting Federation I” will be announced soon.

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Lewiston, Maine (March 16, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE” on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  The fight card will feature a mix of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur heavyweight bout to the MMA portion of the “NEF 22” fight card.  Ras Hylton (1-0) is scheduled to face Matt Glover (1-0) at a fight weight of 265-pounds.


Weighing in at 227-pounds and standing 6’6,” Ras Hylton towered over the top of the cage at “NEF 21” last month in his MMA debut.  It took him just over a minute to dispatch his opponent, Zak Bergeron (0-1), using his reach advantage to pummel Bergeron with a barrage of strikes.  Hylton is a member of Dragon Fire Martial Arts of South Portland, Maine, as well as First Class MMA based in Brunswick.


“I’m immensely grateful to my teams at Dragon Fire MMA and First Class MMA for helping me to prepare for this dream made real,” exclaimed Hylton.  “I expect that Mr. Glover will help provide an excellent show for the fans as we both fight for victory, making this show as memorable as my debut was for me.  All roads lead here, and I want mine to lead to victory.  Thank you for all the support folks!”


At “NEF 21,” Matt Glover defeated Gravin Guillen (2-5) via first-round technical knockout.  During his time at Mountain Valley High School (MVHS) in Rumford, Maine, Glover was a standout on the football field.  He is a member of Berserkers MMA where he trains under coaches Mike Hansen (3-3) and Gary Dolloff.  Glover’s younger brother Ryan (Glover, 3-1) is the reigning NEF MMA Amateur Light-Heavyweight Champion.  At 236-pounds and 6’2,” Glover realizes he will need to overcome Hylton’s height and reach advantage on April 23rd.


“I’m very excited for my next NEF battle,” said Glover.  “I think I will be even more prepared and less nervous for this fight.  My head will be clearer.  For my debut, my brother was also on the card and I was a little distracted as a result, but for this fight, my mind is all business about what’s in front of me.  Ras possesses a huge challenge with his height and reach, but I plan on neutralizing his kicks and getting inside and coming straight forward and throwing bombs.  My training is getting me better and better and getting me more prepared every day.  There will be some bloodshed on April 23rd – and I will give 110% effort, as always.”


New England Fights’ next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE,” takes place Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets for “NEF 22” start at just $25 and are on sale now at or by calling the Colisée 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  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.


SANTA MONICA, CA. (March 15, 2016) – Bellator Kickboxing is set to make its world premiere in just over a month on Friday, April 16 with “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino.” The event will be broadcast in America on April 22 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following the“Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson” event on SPIKE. Today the promotion is pleased to announce its official weight classes and rule set.


The Pala Alpitour, which has been the home to several amazing events including the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, will host the inaugural “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” card.  The groundbreaking evening of fights will be headlined by one of the most accomplished knockout artists in combat sports, Melvin Manhoef (49-12), who takes on Alexandru Negrea (8-2). The co-main event features Mustapha Haida (37-3-3) taking on Karim Ghajji (95-12) for the 165-pound ISKA title. Kickboxing sensations Raymond Daniels (10-3), Denise Kielholtz (43-2) and Kevin Ross (30-9) will round out the card of the initial event against yet to be announced opponents.


Traditionally, kickboxing has never had a set amount of weight classes, with the number differing by promotion. In Bellator Kickboxing, the weight classes will be identical to those utilized in mixed martial arts, starting with heavyweight and ending with flyweight. Generally, there is a one-pound allowance for non-title fights, although that allowance may vary depending on the regulatory body sanctioning the event.


Heavyweight: 265 pounds

Light Heavyweight: 205 pounds

Middleweight: 185 pounds

Welterweight: 170 pounds

Lightweight: 155 pounds

Featherweight: 145 pounds

Bantamweight: 135 pounds

Flyweight: 125 pounds


In addition, below is an overview of Bellator Kickboxing’s rule set, which will make for the most explosive kickboxing action on the planet.


– The competitors will attack and defend using punches (including spinning backfists), kicks and knee strikes.


– Each non-title fight is scheduled for three, three-minute rounds with the potential for an extra sudden victory round if the bout is scored a draw. Title fights will be scheduled for five, three-minute rounds.


– Prohibited techniques include: elbow strikes, throws, takedowns, and submission attempts or striking a downed fighter. Fighters may only clinch if they immediately attack with a knee strike.


– Three judges will score Bellator Kickboxing using the “10-Point-Must” system applying a prioritized criterion that values knockdowns, impact on the opponent and clean scoring strikes.


Updated “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” Fight Card:

Bellator Kickboxing Middleweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (49-12) vs. Alexandru Negrea (8-2)

Bellator Kickboxing 165-Pound Feature Bout: Mustapha Haida (37-3-3) vs. Karim Ghajji (95-12)

Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Feature Bout: Raymond Daniels (10-3) vs. TBA

Bellator Kickboxing Flyweight Feature Bout: Denise Kielholtz (43-2) vs. TBA

Bellator Kickboxing Bantamweight Feature Bout: Kevin Ross (30-9) vs. TBA


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, 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:

Spike 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’s Internet address is and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’s press site at  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.


SANTA MONICA (March 14, 2016) – Last week, top mixed martial art’s free agent Matt Mitrione (9-5) joined Ariel Helwani’s “MMA Hour” show and revealed that he had been fielding offers from multiple promotions, including a great bid he had received from Bellator MMA. In a very rare move, Helwani had Mitrione rejoin his popular talk show for a second straight week to announce that the paperwork has been finalized, making Mitrione the newest member of Bellator MMA’s heavyweight division.


“There comes a time in every athlete’s life, where the scenarios change and the landscape has eroded from what made you fall in love with it initially,” said Mitrione. “It has become that time for me. After a mutually beneficial free agency period, I’ve decided to move my career to Bellator. I’ve enjoyed almost every second of my career and unlike most that switch organizations due to being cut or no longer being able to perform at the sports highest levels, I am bringing a body and skillset that are only getting better and I cannot wait to test my abilities against the best Bellator has to offer.”


Lovingly referred to as “Meathead,” Mitrione is one of the few fighters to have started his professional career with the UFC without previously competing on the regional circuit. His 14-bout stint with that promotion began in 2009, where he faced formidable opponents the likes of: Kimbo Slice, Gabriel Gonzaga, Ben Rothwell, Derrick Lewis, Brendan Schaub, Roy Nelson, Shawn Jordan and Travis Brown amongst others.


Prior to competing in MMA, Mitrione earned a scholarship to play defensive tackle for the Purdue Boilermakers football team, not far from where he grew up in Springfield, Ill. After college, he played in the NFL for the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings until 2005.


At the conclusion of his professional football career, the Shotokan Karate Black Belt focused all of his attention on the sport of MMA. Mitrione spent time training with Duke Roufus and the highly-respected Roufusport team before landing with the famed Blackzilians camp in Boca Raton, FLA, where he trains today.


The extremely popular and well-spoken Mitrione has allowed the judges to determine the result of his fight only twice, against Joey Beltran and Cheick Kongo, both of whom currently fight for Bellator MMA. His entertaining fighting style has earned him recognition with “Performance of the Night” (twice) and “Fight of the Night” accolades.


Prior to his last fight with his former promotion, Mitrione was forced to participate in a media session barefoot, as his shoes didn’t adhere to the strict company uniform policy. He will have no such problems at Bellator, where he is free to secure his own sponsors and keep his feet warm with the footwear of his choosing.


Bellator has been bolstering their heavyweight division as of late, and Mitrione becomes the second heavyweight free agent the promotion has signed in as many months, as Sergei Kharitonov joined the fray in February. The division is currently championed by Vitaly Minakov, and includes other top names like Slice, Bobby Lashley, Cheick Kongo, Vinicius “Spartan,” Tony Johnson, Justin Wren, Dan Charles and Augusto Sakai.


WMMAA President Vadim Finkelchtein Leading sport into future 

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (March 14, 2016)- World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) President Vadim Finkelchtein, who founded the sanctioning organization in 2012, continues to lead WMMAA and the sport into a very bright future.
In four short years, WMMAA has alreadydeveloped into the strongest sanctioning body in the MMA world, hosting some of the sport’s most prestigious championships, as well as creating a highly respected culture in throughout sports worldwide.
Finkelchtein answered some pertinent questions below about WMMAA, its past and future, in addition to addressing the growth of mixed martial arts:
Can you tell us about you and your experience in Martial Arts?
VF: “I practiced judo when I was a kid. Back then there was no MMA whatsoever.”

How did you first enter the world of MMA?
VF:  “In 1995, I was offered an opportunity to sponsor an MMA event. That’s when I learned about and fell in love with no holds barred, or free-fight, as it was called then. In 1997, I organized my own event in Russia. The rest is history.”

When did you first hear of MMA and what was your first impression? Did
you expect this sport to grow as much as it has today?

VF: “When I saw my first MMA event in 1995, I was amazed by its scale and how many people came to watch. People were genuinely interested. It was a whole other level and approach to a sports event. And I had seen a lot so I could compare empirically. I have always believed in MMA and expected it would eventually become the number one sport in the world, although back then no one would acknowledge MMA as a sport. Our
athletes and fight teams had a hard time. They were not even welcome in sambo gyms to train there. It was a long and a hard way to change MMA’s image that was deemed as human cock fighting or closely related to organized crime. Thanks to the fact I have never had any relations to crime, when this sport landed in my hands in late 90’s, it
helped greatly as we were able to turn the tide and after all these years to help governments to officially recognize MMA.”

What is your function and main activities within WMMAA?
VF: “I founded the World MMA Association in 2012 because I felt the time had come.  MMA is the fastest growing sport and it’s time to start developing it at another level, giving it a new but essential dimension. Due to its popularity, thousands of fans of all ages started practicing in Mixed Martial Arts. At that moment, I had accumulated a vast network in multiple countries. I knew countless numbers of activists across the globe, so the start was destined to happen. From the get-go over 20 countries joined the WMMAA family. At this moment there are over 60 countries and counting.”

How would you assess WMMAA’s progress during its three year existence?
VF: “WMMAA is still in its infancy. Yes, we lack experience and financing, and MMA is a new kind of sport in many regions. But I have to say that we’re growing and the last World Championship in Czech Republic proved it. Over 40 national teams flew to Prague with over 200 athletes. The level of competition evolved so much. The organizational level was also high and we are thankful to our Czech MMA Federation for its great work. This World Championship proved there is demand for MMA around the world.”

What are the main goals of WMMAA and what are the main obstacles facing
the association?
VF: “The goals are to encourage as many countries as possible to join the WMMAA
family, to facilitate them in their struggle to get MMA recognized in their respective countries, helping them develop amateur MMA. There are countless obstacles but I firmly believe we’ll prevail.”

Were there any countries that stood out or surprised you?
VF: “China surprised me a lot. They joined WMMAA recently but since then they’ve shown solid results. Also, I enjoyed the performance of Latin American teams. It was their debut but one Colombian kid (Andrey Roa Ruiz Dumar) won a bronze medal and that was great.
Once again, Russia won the majority of the medals due to amateur MMA there developing with extremely rapid strides ever since early 2012. Fedor Emelianenko is the main locomotive and driving force in Russia. The selection process there is just unbelievable. You can’t imagine how many steps one needs to make in order to become the champion of the Russian Federation. The City Championship, Oblast Championship, regional and national championship. Each of these events consists of at least three fights, which means that a Russian champion will probably have had at least won 15 fights under his belt by the time of the European or World Championships. Only truly the best get to the top. Imagine this: around 7,000 athletes participated in the aforementioned events in 2015.”

What are the 2016 mid-term goals for WMMAA?
VF: “The normal routine is to hold the Asian Championship, Pan-American Championship, multiple referee and judge seminars and certifications, then prepare for the European and, consequently, the World Championship that will coincide with the annual Congress.”

Can you describe what 2015 was like for WMMAA?
VF: “I was amazed with the Asian Championship in Tajikistan with thousands and thousands of fans at the stacked football stadium. I enjoyed watching how many people turned their eyes to an amateur MMA event.”

What words of wisdom would you like to share with the members of WMMAA family?
VF: “I’d ask all WMMAA members to adhere to the agreements and decisions we reached collectively. It pertains to the set of rules, judging process, equipment, unified rules, and youth sports development.”
WMMAA keeps expanding, however, there are still multiple countries that are not yet WMMAA members. Why should any local Federation apply for WMMAA membership?
VF: “WMMAA is the strongest MMA organization there is. We plan to continuously hold regional and world championships and keep developing and evolving. Athletes’ ethical upbringing is also our target. We believe this sport can give so much to the world in various ways and we put a lot of effort into its development.  We’ll gladly accept strong and worthy partners into our ranks.”
“We are truly an amateur association, although others may think we are not. The thing is it’s rather hard to verify the real records of MMA athletes. There is no official and ubiquitous database or instance that would provide 100-percentreliable and accurate information pertaining to the amount of fights under someone’s belt. Some amateur fights might be recorded as professional and professional fights as amateur, which was the reason for us canceling the previous rule of pro fight limitation for the time being, in order to develop a new system of fighters’ eligibility evaluation. We are working on that as we speak.”

People keep asking: why should we use SportID and SportData. Can you
explain why it is so essential?

VF: “We are an official and credible sport. Our association ought to be transparent. These databases show the data on athletes, their statistics and numbers. They show the quantitative as well as qualitative growth of mixed martial artists. They facilitate in overseeing the championships registered in SportData, helping to broadcast them. Furthermore, they contain so many functions that it would take me forever to discuss it. Just think of rankings, both individual and national, fighters’ profiles and so on.  I need to remind everyone that, based on the Congress decision, the use of and
registration in these databases are mandatory for all our members.”


Lewiston, Maine (March 14, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE” on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  The fight card will feature a mix of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur lightweight bout to the MMA portion of the “NEF 22” fight card.  Jeremy Tyler (4-3) will take on Corey Trial (1-2) at a fight weight of 150-pounds.


On April 23rd, it will be 19-months since Jeremy Tyler’s last appearance in the NEF MMA cage.  In September of 2014, Tyler, a member of Team Irish in Brewer, Maine, lost to Matt Denning (2-1) via second-round submission.  It was a fitting finish as all of Tyler’s seven previous bouts, whether wins or losses, have ended with a submission.  Tyler’s last victory came in February of 2014 with a second-round arm triangle choke submission of Corey Hinkley (2-4).  At “NEF 22,” Tyler will look to pick up his first win in over two years.


“I’m happy to have the opportunity to get back into the NEF cage,” said Tyler.  “I have put in a lot of time into improving my skill set.  I feel amazing going into this fight with Cory Trial.  On April 23rd, everyone is going to see that I’m back.”


Like Tyler, Cory Trial’s most recent win in the NEF cage was over Corey Hinkley.  It was a stunning first-round knockout (KO) that was a finalist in the voting for NEF’s “KO of the Year” in 2015.  It was also the quickest victory ever in the NEF cage, clocking in at a mere seven-seconds.  Trial has not competed since a September 2015 loss to Rafael Velado (3-0) as he has been nursing several injuries.  Training out of Ruthless MMA & Boxing of Benton, Maine, Trial predicts another KO finish at “NEF 22.”


“First, I want to thank NEF for giving me this opportunity and thank Jeremy for taking the fight,” said Trial.  “I’ve been dealing with a couple injuries the last few months and it’s given me time to reflect and get my game right and in this fight everybody will see that I’m back!  I was dealing with a couple of injuries leading up to my last fight, but I showed up ’cause I love to fight.  I’m healthy now, training with the best team around and you’ll see the best Cory you’ve seen.  This fight won’t go to the judges – I’ll be coming for the knockout!  This is a fight you won’t want to miss!”


New England Fights’ next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE,” takes place Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets for “NEF 22” start at just $25 and are on sale now at or by calling the Colisée 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  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”



World Middleweight Championship Main Event:
David Branch (Champion) vs.  Clifford Starks (Challenger)

World Welterweight Championship Co-Main Event:
Jon Fitch (Challenger) vs. Joao Zeferino (Challenger)


Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Heun
Abu Azaitar vs. Danny Davis Jr.

LAS VEGAS (March 14, 2016) –World Series of Fighting ( announced today that it will make its much-anticipated return to Las Vegas with a star-studded, world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) doubleheader event at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, April 2, live on NBCSN (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT), headlined by a middleweight (185 pounds) title bout between reigning kingpin David Branch (17-3) and Clifford Starks (13-2).

Priced from $29, tickets for WSOF30: Branch vs. Starks, are available for purchase online at and

In the co-main event, superstar Jon Fitch (27-7-1, 1 NC) will collide with recent World Series of Fighting one-night, eight-man tournament runner-up Joao “The Brazilian Samurai” Zeferino (20-7) with the vacant World Series of Fighting welterweight (170 pounds) championship at stake.

In other action on the four-fight, live NBCSN telecast, submission expert Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes (13-7) will square off with Jake “The Honey Bear” Heun(9-4) in a light heavyweight (205 pounds) contest, while World Series of Fighting newcomer and knockout artist Abu “Gladiator” Azaitar (11-1-1) will throw down with Danny “Dee1” Davis, Jr. (11-10-1) at welterweight.

The complete WSOF30 preliminary bout card will be announced soon.

David Branch vs. Clifford Starks

The 6-foot-1, 34-year-old Branch of Brooklyn, N.Y. made history in his last start at WSOF23 on September 18, 2015 when he notched a first round (2:21) submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Teddy Holder to become the first World Series of Fighting light heavyweight champion in history as well as the first-ever two-division champion in promotional history.

A protégé of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Renzo Gracie, Branch will seek his eighth consecutive win.

Also 34 years of age, the 5-foot-10 Starks of Tempe, Ariz. earned a shot at Branch’s middleweight title after three consecutive victories in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage.  In his last effort at WSOF23, Starks handed Krasimir Mladenov the first defeat of the Bulgarian wrestling standout’s career by way of unanimous decision.

Starks is riding a five-fight win streak that began with two consecutive wins under the promotion of Bellator.

Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino

A former world top 10 ranked competitor who has faced and defeated a collection of rival icons over the course of his 14-year professional career, the 6-foot, 38-year-old Fitch of Fort Wayne, Ind. earned a unanimous decision in his last appearance, over fellow accomplished superstar Yushin Okami at WSOF24 on October 17, 2015.

Originally from Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, the 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Zeferino who fights out of Middletown, N.Y. has notched 15 of his 20 career wins by way of submission.  Zeferino demonstrated superior physical and mental toughness in his last appearance in the cage, going to battle three times in one night in the one-night, eight-man lightweight (155 pounds) tournament at WSOF25 on November 20, 2015.

After defeating both Brian Foster and Jorge Patino by way of heel hook submission in the first round of action in the quarterfinal and semifinal stages of the tournament, respectively, Zeferino again faced off with Foster, who had advanced to the championship stage as a “lucky loser,” but suffered a second round (4:51) KO (punches) at the hands of Foster in a barnburner affair.

Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Heun

Magalhaes of Las Vegas via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will make his second start under the promotion of World Series of Fighting after pulling off a stunning, first round (1:08) submission (kneebar) of wrestling stylist Matt “The Hammer” Hamill at WSOF24.

A 6-foot-3, 31-year-old world grappling champion, Magalhaes has claimed 11 of his 13 career MMA wins by way of submission and is looking for his fourth consecutive victory.

Heun of Coconut Creek, Fla. is seeking his third straight win after edging out a split decision over Clinton Williams at WSOF26 on December 18, 2015.

A member of South Florida-based American Top Team, the 6-foot-2, 28-year old Heun has claimed 6 of his 9 professional wins by way of (T)KO or submission.

Abu Azaitar vs. Danny Davis, Jr.

The number one ranked middleweight (185 pounds) in Germany and the number five ranked middleweight in Poland, the 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Azaitar of Cologne, Germany will enter the World Series of Fighting decagon cage for the first time at 170 pounds, after tearing through the ranks of competitors in Europe over the last seven years.

To date, the heavy-handed Azaitar has notched 7 of his 11 career wins by way of (T)KO.  His lone defeat came in 2012, and he has since remained unbeaten in his last 8 starts.

Davis, Jr. of Las Vegas will look to rebound from two consecutive losses – a split decision defeat at the hands of Matthew Frincu at WSOF23, and a unanimous decision loss to Abubakar Nurmagomedov at WSOF26.

Prior to the matchup with Frincu, the 6-foot-2, 33-year-old Davis, Jr. had run to five straight wins, three of which were World Series of Fighting contests.

An Open FU to UFC President Dana “Effing” White!


By: Rich Bergeron

Those who know me personally would all say I am a mellow individual, until you seriously cross me, like, for instance, if you become the subject of an investigative report I’m working on, or sue me for $25 million.  Sometimes I may take things like that as a sign you might not want me to really find out who you are and what you do behind closed doors to screw hard working people over.

This week, a certain individual who won’t even let me follow him in Twitter ( pissed me off to the point where I could only think of one thing to do.  Because I’m officially blacklisted in every possible way by the UFC brass, and have even had restraining orders placed against my directly contacting the Fertittas and ANY UFC fighter, my best option is to publish a drastic diatribe here I am just going to call my “OPEN FU” to Dana “Effing” White.

I’m sure Mr. White will not take my calls or subject himself to a one on one interview with me. So, I will have to settle for a written FU…and a multi-tiered and multi-purpose FU.

FU, Dana “Effing” White… for many, many reasons…too many for one small blog post to do justice, but let’s just say Most of all FU….

For what you THINK you know about Holly Holm…

Hey, Dana, you wanna talk about your “effing” reality show “Looking For a Fight????”  I was actually looking for a fight when I watched that old reality “shit show” when you were supposed to box Tito Ortiz, but HE magically backed out at the last minute.

Now, you, DANA “EFFING” WHITE, are telling Holly Holm about a decision YOU think she didn’t think through enough???  And now you act like someone pissed in your Wheaties because you have two upset wins at UFC 196 to work around and figure out how to make sense of somehow.

Boo “effing” hoo, buddy.

Welcome to how things don’t go as planned sometimes in the fight business, you ungrateful prick.

Do you wanna be an “effing” Promoter, Dana “effing” White???

Holly Holm Was the Bantamweight Champion of the UFC when she allowed HER Manager (not Dana “effing” White) to negotiate the Tate fight on her behalf, and she knew (and her long-time manager knew, too) what she was doing and what she wanted. And guess “effing” what, Dana? She wanted to fight.

Sorry, Dana “Effing” White, but Holly didn’t want to sit on an “effing” sideline waiting for Ronda Rousey to finish her “effing”  ROADHOUSE REMAKE!

Holly wanted to go to work… but unfortunately she has to work for a boss who has no idea what it’s like to step into HER office and handle HER daily workload with such tenacity, class, dignity and grace.

And I think maybe she looks back a bit differently than you do, Dana, with no “effing” regrets whatsoever for putting her absolute all into that fight and just plain getting caught in her one area of weakness in a battle where she likely would have won a three-round fight. Maybe if YOU were a fighter, Dana, you might get that whole concept.  Maybe losing in this case only makes her better, stronger, and more durable as a career mixed martial artist. Who gives a damn if it makes her less marketable in your eyes? What do you really know, anyway?

UNLIKE YOU, Dana “Effing” White, Holly actually respects Miesha Tate and thought it would be a challenge to fight her. Yeah, she lost, but damn, she was absolutely correct about it being a challenge. I think the fight will go down as one of the greatest battles in female MMA history.

Now, why don’t you open your “effing” eyes, Dana, watch the fight again, and quit bitching about what should have happened in that cage you never fought in yourself.

Be grateful you have a champion you just paid $92,000 in fight pay (before bonuses) to take your organization’s belt from the girl you WANTED TO WIN (and paid $500,000 just to be there). It may not be what you expected, but the anxiety you feel about it is what you DESERVE to feel for being such a douchebag to the fighters who built the UFC.

My biggest questions on this subject for Dana are: Why are you such a biased, crooked asshole who can’t bother to give Miesha the time of day FOR ALL HER HARD WORK? Why can’t you give credit where it is due…on both sides of that fight? Why can’t you shut the “eff” up about what you think Holly or her management should have or could have waited for?

It’s not your place to look back with 20/20 hindsight and act like Holly and her manager should have gone all Nostradamus on this fight when you obviously didn’t see this shit coming, either, you dome-headed dimwit.

Fighters “effing” fight, Dana. That’s what they “effing” do, which you should know, since I am pretty sure you used to be an “effing” manager of MMA fighters yourself. Yes, that was many moons ago, but how could you forget?

Fighters don’t sit on their asses on corporate jets and stand at podiums in front of the press all day to earn the “effing” paltry paychecks your organization pays out to most of them. Most fighters simply cannot afford to wait around for shit to happen or for someone “worthy” enough in your eyes to step up and fight them.

Some fighters need to feed their kids. All of them need to pay their bills and for everything else involved with training camps, daily living expenses, travel and whatever costs medical insurance doesn’t cover when they have to address nagging injuries. Your shitty Reebok deal made it virtually impossible to get any other outside sponsors to help pay for anything like that stuff for many fighters, Dana.

Welcome to selling out and forgetting where you came from, Dana. You used to care more about fighters. Now you act like fighting in a cage is just like doing any other 9-5 job. It’s not. It’s “effing” hard work.

So, yeah, Holly chose to fight instead of waiting for Rousey to be ready for the rematch. And you think she needs your opinion now that everything didn’t work out as planned for you both?

FU, Dana.

She hurts a lot worse than you, and I can guaran-effing-tee that.

Oh…and…by the way…fighters are way more responsible for the growth and success of the UFC/Zuffa organization than you ever have been. And that’s real talk, you rich bitch with a stick up your ass because you were never good enough in your life to ever have your own official fight.

So, get over the God complex and learn to respect ALL of your fighters, not just the ones you want to see win because you might think you can work with them better or you think they will move the organization in a better direction.  Respect the effort, the sacrifice and the pain ALL your fighters go through each and every day to get where they get. That belt you put on Miesha’s waist was EARNED, and don’t you ever think it is “effing” cool to call the fact that Holly Holm had the guts to face Miesha Tate “a mistake.”

It rings hollow, especially when I would consider that handing you a microphone to talk about MMA at all was THE greatest mistake the sport ever made, period! Anyone who would try to knock a former champion down a peg that way in his own organization does not deserve to be recognized as that organization’s president.

You have no clue what it’s really like to fight, and your criticism of Holly Holm tells me you can never possibly understand the mindset that led her to take the Tate fight and not wait an idle year for Ronda “effing” Rousey to be ready to appear at one of your precious shows.

So, FU Dana White for treating your former champ like she’s an idiot who doesn’t know how to control her own career without you butting your stupid, bald head into it. Holly’s fine without your advice, and she trusts her manager, which might be something you’re not familiar with, but for other people it is actually a reality of doing business with legitimate people.


FU, Dana for being a piss-poor ambassador for the sport, disrespecting fighters who bleed (and sometimes suffer lifelong injuries) for you and the sport, and totally underestimating and failing to grasp what it really takes to actually be a professional fighter who actually competes against other fighters… 

Do you remember the days when you had to settle for being a lowly boxercise instructor because your boxing trainer Boston slapped you too hard in the ear once? You never had a single competitive fight in your life, Dana “effing” White, and that’s a DOCUMENTED FACT!

Do you ever even look back at those days before the silver-spoon-fed Fertittas helped you claw your greedy, selfish, egotistical ass into the position of OFFICIAL UFC MOUTHPIECE?

Do you remember those “hairy” days when you blew through $40 million of Fertitta funds to perpetrate the “Zuffa Myth” while claiming credit for the UFC brass singlehandedly legitimizing the sport and getting it regulated all by your “effing” selves? As if not a single FIGHTER nor any other industry professional who pioneered MMA before you dipped your greedy little paws into it had anything to do with it?

Your Mom remembers those “coulda been a contender” days, Dana..when you thought you might be able to have an actual fight with another human being. Your own mother remembers even though you and one of your sleazy friends tried to silence her, BASH HER ONLINE, and even blacklist her BOOK, too.

Do you remember the days when even Floyd Mayweather, Jr. thought you were cool, back when your daily driver was an “effing” Honda, Dana? Floyd Remembers.  He knew you long before you could afford to blow a normal person’s yearly pay on a single hand of poker.

You’re in a different place now, Dana “effing” White, and it’s a delusional place. Like on the distant planet you live on, people actually believe YOU really, honestly, truly “effing” know what it’s ACTUALLY like to be an “effing” fighter? Do you actually believe YOU somehow could ever REALLY know that feeling?


You know what A FIGHTER is, don’t you, Dana? A fighter is a man or woman who has the courage to willingly step into unarmed combat against another actual man or woman instead of just criticizing up and down the guys and girls who do have the guts to actually stand across from another human being while knowing and internalizing that the accepted goal is to physically destroy each other.

A fighter, in more simple terms, is “one who fights.” And let’s be clear about one “effing” thing, Dana “effing” White, I know fighters, and YOU are no fighter.

You are nothing like a fighter, Dana “effing” White, and you never “effing” will be. You are too weak, both physically and mentally. Until we see you go through a six-week training camp and then get into the cage against someone and kick his ass, we shouldn’t have to listen to one damn “coulda,” “shoulda,” or “woulda” out of your cornfed mouth about what you think of any particular fighter’s performance or decision making process. Those people have the guts to do what you will NEVER do yourself, and you ought to respect that.

FU Dana White…For not recognizing Real Fighters Like Miesha Tate and Nate Diaz who keep at it no matter what and NEVER seem to earn your ULTIMATE RESPECT….

Nate Diaz stepped up to fight Conor McGregor for a reason. He had nothing to lose, and he wasn’t intimidated one bit. He famoulsy went on television with Fox Sports 1 on a split screen with Conor before that welterweight fight and quipped that his nemesis had already been choked out before, “by two lames.” Diaz also had the perfect instinct to add humourously that McGregor’s choke losses happened, “like a week ago.”

Diaz beat Conor in the shit-talk game long before he ever slapped him down and slipped that choke around his neck in the cage. The media created by that freakshow fight might have stopped the unchecked rise of your big, bold, six-headed dragon champion, but it created a new monster at the same time. And he’s a Reebok-hating, scowling, swearing, Stockton-slapping Mother-F$#king BEAST who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about what he does or says.

You might think Diaz and his attitude are “bad for business,” but I think his victory was the best thing that could ever happen to all you smug punks running the UFC. It just proves once and for all that you do not control the MMA universe.

Nate Diaz went without respect and credit for being an MMA pioneer and a good UFC soldier for far too long. The bitterness brewed and boiled within him, and I loved every second of him letting it pour out in post-fight interviews after he choked the shit out of Conor until the Irish bloke tapped the “eff” out and left Dana White drooling in a stupor at the thought of having to congratulate a man who’s become more of a mortal enemy than a member of the big “team.”

More power to Nate and all the crazy, abrasive, in-your-face Diaz brother types out there in the UFC who will fight Dana “effing” White’s flamboyant fire with even more bravado and brash talk of their own. They can always say, “I learned it by watching you, Baldfather!”

As for Miesha Tate, she deserves true respect and admiration for being champ now after picking herself off the mat twice in the face of grueling losses to Rousey. Kudos to Tate for continuing her career and relentlessly focusing on getting by that Rousey armbar once and for all.

Though Miesha never did solve that Rousey submission dilemma, trying at all costs to get another crack at the belt paid dividends at UFC 196. Her never quit attitude led her to an opportunity of a lifetime, and she capitalized on it. Now, Dana, you actually have to pay this young lady what most of her fans would say she was worth a long time ago.

And now you simply have to treat Tate with a bit of reverence and appreciation for once in your ungrateful life, Dana “effing” White. I know it must pain you so much to give this young lady the credit she’s worked so incredibly hard for, because maybe she touched a nerve when she called you out in the past for being the true clueless and disrespectful prick you really are. She was right, and you were wrong about how great she really is at fighting. Then again, weren’t you also WRONG about women fighting in the cage, period?

So, you DON’T wanna be a fighter, Mr. White? Then step aside and let the people who DO wanna be fighters go to battle for you so you can ride around the world on your jet and act like you know what the “eff” you’re talking about when you stand in front of a microphone to describe the sport’s true athletes and what they do to make a living in mixed martial arts.

The line from Dana that most stands out to me as comblete BS in this whole debacle is this one:

“He’s an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart and he isn’t,” White said of Fresquez [Holm’s Manager]. “I feel bad for Holly because I don’t know if she really knows what she lost.”

I have only two more “effing” questions for you Dana “effing” White…

1.) What makes you think you are really in any “effing” position to EVER know or understand what Holly Holm lost the other night? Aside from a few bad poker hands and tons of respect, the only thing you ever lost is your mind.

2.) Doesn’t your backhanded quote about Holm’s manager describe your own shitty character a whole lot better than that of Mr. Fresquez?

AND…just in case after reading all this anyone STILL needs yet another reason to have beef with the Baldfather:


SANTA MONICA, CA. (March 11, 2016) – Broadcast details for Bellator’s groundbreaking, inaugural, international event have been finalized. “Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Campos” and “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” will both emanate from the Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy on April 16, but be broadcast separately.

“Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Campos” airs on SPIKE Saturday, April 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, while the debut of “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” will be televised Friday, April 22 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following the broadcast of “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson” on SPIKE.

For more information on the card, you can view the most recent event press release by clicking here, or visit


Complete “Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Campos” Fight Card:

Bellator MMA Lightweight Main Event: Patricky Freire (15-7) vs. Derek Campos (16-6)

Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Alessio Sakara (17-11) vs. Brian Rogers (12-8)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: A.J. McKee (3-0) vs. Danilo Belluardo (5-1)

Bellator MMA Flyweight Feature Bout: Anastasia Yankova (2-0) vs. Anjela Pink (Debut)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniele Miceli (2-0) vs. Daniele Scatizzi (6-2)


Updated “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” Fight Card:

Bellator Kickboxing Middleweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (49-12) vs. Alexandru Negrea (8-2)

Bellator Kickboxing 165-Pound Feature Bout: Mustapha Haida (37-3-3) vs. Karim Ghajji (95-12)

Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Feature Bout: Raymond Daniels (10-3) vs. TBA

Bellator Kickboxing Flyweight Feature Bout: Denise Kielholtz (43-2) vs. TBA

Bellator Kickboxing Bantamweight Feature Bout: Kevin Ross (30-9) vs. TBA



Lewiston, Maine (March 11, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE” on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  The fight card will feature a mix of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur featherweight title bout to the MMA portion of the “NEF 22” fight card.  Caleb Hall (6-3) will take on Erik Nelson (2-2) for the vacant NEF MMA Amateur Featherweight Title.  The championship was vacated earlier this week when previous champion Aaron Lacey (6-1) announced that he would enter the professional ranks at “NEF 22.”


Caleb Hall is a member of the Choi Institute of Portland, Maine.  He was a two-time Maine state champion wrestling for Dirigo High School in Dixfield.  Hall later wrestled for both Plymouth State University (PSU) in New Hampshire and the University of Southern Maine (USM).  He began competing in MMA in September 2012, making his debut at “NEF IV.”   Hall last appeared in the NEF cage this past fall, scoring an impressive first-round submission victory over Matt Tamayo (0-1).  He feels that his wrestling experience will carry him to the featherweight title on April 23rd against Nelson.


“I’m very excited to fight for the belt I have worked for,” said Hall.  “My wrestling and constant pressure will be a big problem for Nelson.  The scrambles and pressure will fold him and I’ll get the finish.”


Erik Nelson is a member of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) located in Lewiston, Maine where he is a jiu-jitsu instructor.  In December, he was awarded his brown belt by head coach Travis Wells.  A few weeks later, Nelson would go on to defeat Julio Martinez (0-2) at “NEF 21.”  Nelson believes his jiu-jitsu will be the deciding factor when he meets Caleb Hall for the amateur featherweight title on April 23rd.


“I am very excited for the opportunity to fight for a title in my hometown,” said Nelson.  “Caleb is a talented wrestler, but I feel my jiu-jitsu is far superior.  No matter where the fight goes, I see my hand being raised at the end.”


New England Fights’ next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE,” takes place Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets for “NEF 22” start at just $25 and are on sale now at or by calling the Colisée 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  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”