Tag Archives: Karim Ghaji

KARIM GHAJJI RECLAIMS WELTERWEIGHT BELLATOR KICKBOXING WORLD TITLE; JORINA BAARS, RAYMOND DANIELS & JOE SCHILLING ALSO EMERGE VICTORIOUS

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS – CREDIT BELLATOR/LUCAS NOONAN

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Official Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card Results & Quotes:

Karim Ghajji (98-13-1) defeated Zoltan Laszak (11-3) via split decision (50-45, 48-47, 46-49)

Karim Ghajji Quote:

“We prepared really hard for this fight. Everything that we set out to accomplish, we did. I know I could do even better, but you know in fights it doesn’t go exactly the way you want every time. In the first round when I slipped, I hurt my knee and it was extremely painful but I knew I had to dig down and do more and more to win this belt, which means everything to me,” Ghajji said. “This is the most beautiful day of my life. Like we say: ‘Hallelujah! I got my belt back.’ I felt a lot of pressure to get this belt back, and what an amazing sensation it is to win it back. I look forward to fighting the best fighters Bellator has to offer to confirm that I am the champ, but also, I’d like to compete in MMA. In France we have a lot of tough MMA fighters at our gym and my ground and pound is quite destructive. I would like to do this.”

Joe Schilling (21-9) defeated Alexandru Negrea (10-4) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Joe Schilling Quote:

“The fight was okay I was really surprised that he was so tough. He’s fought in Super Combat in Romania so he’s had a lot of tough European opponents that he’s fought against. Skill level I didn’t think he’s fought against the level of competition that I’ve competed against, but he did a really good job and he was really tough. He was trying to bait me into throwing with him and he’d try to catch me when I would come in, so I was trying to stay a lot more composed and show that I’m not that idiot that fought [Hisaki] Kato twice,” Schilling said. “I’ve made a lot of changes in my personal life. I’m a lot more focused and more serious and my goal tonight was to show the level of competitor and world class kickboxer that I am and I think I did that. Hats off to Alex, he did a great job. There’s not that many people who can take those kinds of shots for three rounds. I think the judges decision was a little ridiculous. I don’t think I’d have given him half of one round let alone a round. I think they gave him the second, which is silly. But, overall it was a good night, vacation starts now.”

Raymond Daniels (13-3) defeated Csaba Gyorfi (20-6) via KO at 0:36 of round three

Raymond Daniels Quote:

“Another opportunity to go out there and make a mark with that Bellator brand. I know my man Nick Diaz says: ‘Cut out all that spinning shit,’ but I think he means everybody but me,” Daniels said. “I’ve been training for many years in sport karate and the martial arts and you know it’s a lot like training to be a sniper so to speak. There’s holes and there’s windows and when your opponent gives you those holes you have to seize that opportunity. I saw that hole, I exposed it, and it happened to be with my spin kick which is one of my most powerful and devastating techniques. If I hit that mark with that kick it’s a home run, grand slam, I’m hitting it out of the park every time. I’ve been able to spar recently with several great MMA veterans like Rory MacDonald, Georges St. Pierre and Tyron Woodley and I’ve had a lot of fun training with those guys so I’m definitely interested in doing MMA again. It’s a lot of fun to go at it with small gloves because people can’t use the big gloves as a shield to block my shots. I want to seize this Bellator Kickboxing title and continue to help build this kickboxing brand because I know they’re investing a lot of time into it. So yea, I’m definitely interested in crossing that bridge and getting some MMA fights, but my main focus is to take home that kickboxing gold.”

 

Jorina Baars (41-0-3) defeated Irene Martens (20-10-2) via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)

Jorina Baars Quote:

“It was a good fight, I thought that Irene [Martens] was very tough. I had control from the very beginning of the fight and I kept it for all three of the rounds. I was a little disappointed in the first round but the second and third round I performed much better. She worked hard and moved a lot, so my strategy was to keep the pressure on her and try to put her in the corner and I think I succeeded at that,” Baars said after her win. “It was amazing to finally fight for Bellator. The organization is so professional. I’m looking forward to my future fights here and I hope to win the Bellator title.”

Gabor Gorbics (31-10) defeated Gabriel Varga (13-5) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-30)

Gabor Gorbics Quote:

“I’m very happy with the win and I hope I continue to win here in Bellator,” Gorbics said. “I trained very hard for this. I’ve got a lovely family and team that helped me to prepare and I will get back in the gym on Monday to continue training.”

BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION EDUARDO DANTAS WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT FIGHT, DEFEATS BELLATOR NEWCOMER LEANDRO HIGO

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS – CREDIT BELLATOR/LUCAS NOONAN

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 

Official Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo Main Card Results & Quotes:

Eduardo Dantas (20-4) defeated Leandro Higo (17-3) via split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)

Eduardo Dantas Quote:

“It was tough to stay motivated for this fight once he missed weight. There was nothing to gain whether I beat him fast or slow. It wasn’t for the belt, it wasn’t going to change my ranking in Bellator,” Dantas said. “When [Darrion] Caldwell got injured, I asked Scott Coker to bring in tough bantamweights and they brought in a tough fighter, but you have to make weight. I train hard for several months, I don’t go out, I train. It’s the very minimum you can do. You have to make weight. Be a professional. I don’t think Caldwell is injured. I think he just doesn’t want to fight out of America. I am looking forward to getting my hands on him.”

Daniel Weichel (39-9) defeated John Macapa (21-2) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Daniel Weichel Quote:

“Macapa is definitely a tough opponent. He was almost undefeated coming into this with only one loss and I took him as seriously as I can take an opponent. At this time I treat everyone I fight as if it’s a championship fight. I think he is one of the top featherweight opponents that I could face so I’m pretty happy that I was able to beat him,” Weichel said. “I have to give a big shout out to all of my friends and family that drove 17-18 hours from Frankfurt and Cologne to be here and support me. They’ve been there for me and believed in me since day one and it’s difficult for me to even put into words how much it means to have them in my corner. I have to thank Bellator for putting me on this card and giving them the opportunity to come and watch me fight. I’m hoping that Bellator brings me to Mohegan Sun next week and puts me cage side so I can see who I will get to beat up next when (Daniel) Straus and (Patricio) ‘Pitbull’ fight.

Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4) defeated Helen Harper (4-2) via doctor stoppage at 5:00 of round two

Lena Ovchynnikova Quote:

“Before the fight I was a little bit nervous, and I felt that my first round wasn’t quite as good as I would of liked. But when the second round started she was going to feel my power and I knew that I would win,” Ovchynnikova said. “When the judges stopped the fight I couldn’t believe it. I was ready for a third round and I wanted to win with a knockout but we have what we have.”

Adam Borics (6-0) defeated Anthony Taylor (1-3) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:12 of round one

Adam Borics Quote:

“When the fight started, I felt a great deal of pressure from the crowd and I was in a bit of a rush. It took me a while to settle down and regain my composure, but once I did that I was able to see the fight much better. I’ve been working on my striking with Henri Hooft and I really was hoping to win with a knockout, but I saw my opening for a submission and I was able to end the fight with the choke,” Borics said. “I’m very happy that I was given this great opportunity to represent Hungary in MMA. This is very important for me to support the development of this sport in Hungary. It is my plan to continue to be an ambassador for the sport here and to continue to bring victories like this in the future.”

Brian Moore (10-5) defeated Michal Horejsi (5-3) via TKO at 3:57 of round two

Brian Moore Quote:

 

“I’m really, really happy that I got the call back from Bellator. To be honest I begged for the call back because Bellator is where I want to be. I want to be signed with Bellator, I want to be a household name. I really believe I’m one of the better featherweights in this division. I was given a guy who is very unpredictable. I was patient in my approach but I cut him down and was able to finish him. Tonight I wanted to make a statement with a knockout because my dream is to fight at Madison Square Garden. I want to open up the show. My teammate James (Gallagher) is already on the card and we’d put on a super camp together and we’d tear that place apart,” Moore said. “My hero, Sugar Ray Robinson used to own the Garden. I’ve watched every bit of footage I can get my hands on of Sugar Ray, he’s my idol. So to fight in the same arena as he has – and obviously my teammate Conor (McGregor) has fought there too – it would be a dream come true. But I want to open up the card and set the tone for the night because when you see a fighter that is as exciting as I am that’ll set the tone. Give me anyone, I don’t give a f-ck.”

Mate Kertesz (3-0) defeated Patrick Szombat (1-3) via TKO at 4:37 of round two

PHOTOS & QUOTES FROM TODAY’S BELLATOR 177 & BELLATOR KICKBOXING 6 PRESS CONFERENCE

B177Dantas_Higo 

EVENT SET TO TAKE PLACE FRIDAY, APRIL 14 IN BUDAPEST

 

ADDITIONAL FIGHTER PHOTOS – CREDIT BELLATOR/LUCAS NOONAN

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Several fighters from both Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo and Bellator Kickboxing 6 gathered in Budapest this morning to speak with the media about their upcoming fights this Friday night inside the Budapest Sports Arena.

 

Two titles will be on the line, as Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas defends his Bellator bantamweight belt against former LFA champ Leandro Higo, while Bellator kickboxing welterweight titleholder Zoltan Laszak takes on Karim Ghajji in a championship rematch.

 

Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo will be broadcast Friday, April 14 on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.

Below, you can find quotes from today’s press conference.

Bellator Bantamweight World Champion Eduardo Dantas:

“Thank you to Bellator for supporting me and thank you Budapest for the opportunity.”

“I’m very happy to be here. I want to say thank you to my opponent for accepting this fight. And I’m ready to show you what I do best, which is to punch his face.”

Leandro Higo:

“Thank you to Bellator for the opportunity. Thank you, Budapest, for the reception. I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to putting on a good show this Friday!”

“I feel no extra pressure because I’m here to do what I love, which is fighting. I’m looking forward to winning another championship belt.”

Adam Borics:

“I’d like to welcome all of you. This is one of the biggest opportunities of my life. I’m very much looking forward to the fight and I’m well prepared, so I can’t wait. I was fortunate enough to prepare for this fight in America with great professional coaches like Henri Hooft.”

“I’m ready. I can hardly wait for my arm to be lifted at the end.”

Anthony Taylor

“Welcome! Welcome! How’s it going? I am the “Pretty Boy”, the prettiest of them all. I definitely want to thank Budapest and Bellator for bringing me in. Of course, I bring numbers, you know, so I’m expecting this should bring over a million viewers, hands down.”

“I want to thank you all for coming here and showing the support. We’re going to put on a show – one hell of a show. We’re going to get these ratings up and have so much fun. Definitely.”

“Hands down, pound for pound, everyone knows I am the strongest 145-er in the division and if anybody stands in my way or stands in the middle of the cage and wants to bang with me, they’re gonna get knocked out. I kid you not! Anybody in the featherweight division stands toe to toe with me is going to get knocked out.”

“I’m not going to take nothing from this man. He has a 9-0 record so he’s definitely put in work. He beat up nine people, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to beat up me. I tell you that! But I give him credit because he’s coming out here and sacrificing his time and being away from his family to put in his work just as I am. We’re going to put on a show for all you fans out there and all you media out there.”

“You know in my eyes, this is the main event: The Hungarian versus the American. Everyone wants to see this fight. They want to see what is this man can do with a record of 9-0. He earned his wins and I respect him as a fighter. But after Friday he will be 9-1.”

Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight World Champion Zoltan Laszak

“I’d like to thank Bellator very much for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to this this rematch with Ghajji. This is a great chance to really entertain and I appreciate the support from all of the Hungarian fans. I feel their cheers and support every day.”

“This is the most important fight of my life because there has been much more promotion here in Budapest leading up to the event. I realize that most people in the arena will be cheering for me, and for Hungary. I’ve done my preparation and my homework. I’m excellently prepared and I’m looking forward to this challenge.”

Karim Ghajji

“Thank you for the rematch. It was a big mistake in the first fight. Now I’m going to make it right and bring the belt back home to France.”

“Two days before the first fight I was sick and I had dealt with injuries during that camp, but this time I had a great camp, I’ve prepared myself very well, and this will be an explosive fight on Friday.”

Complete Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo Main Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Leandro Higo (17-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (38-9) vs. John “Macapa” (21-1-2)

Flyweight Feature Bout: Lena Ovchynnikova (11-4) vs. Helen Harper (4-1)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Adam Borics (5-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-2)

 

Preliminary Card:

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Brian Moore (9-5) vs. Michal Horejsi (5-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Patrick Szombat (1-2) vs. Mate Kertesz (3-0)

 

Complete Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:

Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (83-2-2, 1 NC) vs. Karim Ghajji (23-5-1)

Middleweight Feature Bout: Joe Schilling (20-9) vs. Alexandru Negrea (9-2)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Raymond Daniels (10-3) vs. Gyorfi Csaba (20-5)

Women’s Featherweight Feature Bout: Jorina Baars (40-0-3) vs. Irene Martens (20-9-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Gabriel Varga (13-4) vs. Gabor Gorbics (30-10)

FOLLOWING INJURY TO DARRION CALDWELL, LEANDRO HIGO RECEIVES TITLE SHOT AGAINST EDUARDO DANTAS AT BELLATOR 177 IN BUDAPEST ON FRIDAY, APRIL 14

 

LOS ANGELES — (March 14, 2017) – Following an undisclosed injury to Darrion Caldwell, budding superstar Leandro “Pitbull” Higo (17-2) will now challenge current champion Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (19-4) in a bantamweight world title fight at Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higoinside the Budapest Sports Arena on April 14.

In addition, John “Macapa”(21-1-2) will face Daniel Weichel (38-9) in a featherweight contest and Lena Ovchynnikova (11-4) meets Helen Harper (4-1) at 125-pounds. Rounding out the Spike-televised MMA action will be a featherweight matchup pitting Hungarian-born Adam “The Kid” Borics (5-0) against Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor(1-2).

 

Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higowill be broadcast on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.

 

Complete Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo Main Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Leandro Higo (17-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (38-9) vs. John “Macapa”Teixeira (21-1-2)

Flyweight Feature Bout: Lena Ovchynnikova (11-4) vs. Helen Harper (4-1)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Anthony Taylor (1-2) vs. Adam Borics (5-0)

Preliminary Card:

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Brian Moore (9-5) vs. Ludovit Klein (6-0)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Mate Kertesz (3-0) vs. Adam Polgar (10-8)

BELLATOR RETURNS TO BUDAPEST FOR A BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT PITTING EDUARDO DANTAS AGAINST DARRION CALDWELL AT BELLATOR 177 ON FRIDAY, APRIL 14

 

 

WELTERWEIGHT BELLATOR KICKBOXING TITLE ALSO ON THE LINE WHEN ZOLTAN LASZAK DEFENDS BELT AGAINST KARIM GHAJJI AT BELLATOR KICKBOXING 6

 

 

BUDAPEST — (February 8, 2017) – Bellator is returning to Hungary with a bantamweight world title fight pitting Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (19-4) against Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (10-1) serving as the main event of Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell from the Budapest Sports Arena on April 14. The MMA portion of the evening will also feature a featherweight bout between Hungarian-born Adam “The Kid” Borics (5-0) and Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor (1-2).

 

In addition, Bellator Kickboxing 6 will be headlined by a welterweight world title rematch featuring Zoltan Laszak (11-2) against Karim Ghajji (97-13-1). Additional bouts for both events will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell will be broadcast on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.

 

Dantas made his presence felt during his last outing, successfully defending his bantamweight championship belt in a five-round victory over Joe Warren. A 10-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, “Dudu” has recorded victories in 12 of his last 14 bouts, including nine under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the flashy 27-year-old is widely known as one of the most dynamic competitors in the division, tallying four knockouts and six submissions over his 23-fight career. A two-time Bellator MMA bantamweight world champion, Dantas will look to defend his title for the second time since winning the belt in a victory over former champion Marcos Galvao, and for the fourth time overall.

 

The 29-year-old Caldwell will be competing for division gold for the first time in his career and is coming off of a crucial victory over Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 167. “The Wolf” was able to avenge his earlier loss to Taimanglo, earning his 10th career victory and seventh under the Bellator MMA banner. Caldwell has collected five wins by way of first round knockout or submission, making him one of the most dangerous compeititors in the 135-pound class. Hailing from Rahway, N.J., the 11-fight veteran has quickly put together an impressive professional resume inside the cage, highlighted by a remarkable first round finish over former multi-division champion Joe Warren, a man whom Caldwell idolized coming into the sport. The Alliance MMA product now has the opportunity of a lifetime, as he prepares for the next chapter of his career and a shot at championship glory.

 

After winning the welterweight kickboxing championship at Bellator’s inaugural kickboxing show in Turin, Italy in 2016, Ghajji dropped his belt to world-renowned Hungarian champion Laszak when the pair met during Bellator’s first visit to Budapest last year. Now, fresh off an impressive win in Florence, Ghajji hopes to reclaim the belt that he feels is his.

 

If you missed their first enthralling encounter, watch it here.

 

Updated Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell Main Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (10-1)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Adam Borics (5-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-2)

 

Updated Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:

Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (11-2) vs. Karim Ghajji (97-13-1)

KARIM GHAJJI BECOMES THE FIRST KICKBOXING CHAMPION IN PROMOTIONAL HISTORY AT INAUGURAL ‘BELLATOR KICKBOXING: TORINO’ EVENT

 

Complete Fight Night Photos Here

 

TORINO, ITALY. (April 22, 2016) – Italy’s largest indoor arena, The Pala Alpitour was packed with over 13,000 fans for the historic, inaugural “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” event. The kickoff event was one for the ages with fierce competitors making a name for themselves with their world-class kickboxing on display. The card aired tonight on SPIKE through a delayed broadcast following “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson.”

Melvin Manhoef (37-13) was upset by Milan’s Alexandru Negrea (9-2) via decision in the evening’s main event. Negrea, also known as “The Volcano,” erupted in the second round, scoring a knockdown that forced an eight-count for Manhoef. The closely contested bout resulted in a decision victory for the Romanian-born fighter (30-25, 29-26, 29-26).

Mustapha Haida (40-5-2) and Karim Ghajji (96-12) battled it out for five hard-fought, exciting rounds of action for the ISKA and Bellator Kickboxing World Titles. At the culmination of the bout, France’s Ghajji emerged victorious with the scorecards reading (50-44, 50-44, 46-48).

Los Angeles native Raymond Daniels (11-3) has a knack for producing highlight-reel finishes, and he was back at it again during the “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” event, flooring Francesco Moricca (15-3-1) with a spinning heel liver kick just 30 seconds into round one.

Here is the answer to a future trivia question: Veronica Vernocchi (31-7-1) was the first fighter to ever step into a Bellator Kickboxing ring. Denise Kielholtz (44-2), however, was all business from the very beginning. The Dutch striker made her historic walk to the ring to Rihanna’s hit song, “B*tch Better Have my Money,” and she fought as though her opponent showed up with empty pockets, winning a decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 28-29). With the win, Kielholtz became the first fighter to have their hand raised in a Bellator Kickboxing contest.

 

About Bellator:

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 www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’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.

 

About Oktagon:

Carlo Di Blasi created Oktagon in 1996. At its beginning the show was dedicated to free fight, the name that was given initially to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Other disciplines such as Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Savate were gradually added from the early 2000’s onwards. During the last 20 years Oktagon has reached a huge popularity, both in Italy and abroad, creating many superstars in the process including Bellator welterweight Paul Daley as well as The Petrosyan brothers (Giorgio and Armen), Robin Van Roosmalen, Valentijn Overeem, Rico Verhoeven and Artem Levin.