Tony, Rich and Tom come back from a week off with a ton of stuff to talk about. From the controversy of Holly Holm’s UFC 208 main event title fight with Germaine De Randamie to the upcoming battle between Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko, we cover a wide range of past and upcoming MMA events. We also look back at Ivan Barnchyk’s masterful comeback last weekend against Abel Ramos in a thrilling boxing match. We also go over the upcoming week’s boxing schedule. We also update the Mayweather vs. MacGregor negotiations with a big surprise: The UFC is the big stumbling block at this point. Additionally we discuss the recent study showing soccer players can suffer the same damage as heavyweight boxers after long careers in the sport where heading soccer balls repeatedly can bring on CTE in retired players. We also spend time discussing Brock Lesnar’s retirement and GSP’s imminent return.
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Feb. 16, 2017) – We are just days away from one of the most highly anticipated heavyweight battles in Bellator MMA history, as Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) and Matt Mitrione (11-5) headline a massive main card at Bellator 172. Once again, Bellator’s digital team has put together a collection of exclusive new content in preparation of Saturday’s festivities at SAP Center. If you’re searching for a deeper look inside these competitors’ road to the main event, join us as we explore some fantastic behind-the-scenes footage available now on Bellator’s dynamic YouTube page.
The Legend of Fedor’s Sweater
Fedor’s monumental career goes hand-in-hand with his “Glorious Sweater of Absolute Victory.” Adam Carolla and others chime in on the Russian slugger’s mysterious attire.
What to Watch: Fedor vs. Mitrione
Bellator 172 features a must-watch heavyweight main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione, but before the two meet inside the cage Jimmy Smith covers what’s at stake.
Backstage With Fedor Emelianenko
Let’s go backstage with one of the game’s greatest and take a closer look at the initial signing that took place at the promotion’s last event in San Jose at Bellator 165.
Sit Down With Matt Mitrione
Heavyweight superstar Matt Mitrione sits down with us to discuss his upcoming main event showdown with the legendary Fedor.
In Focus: Josh Thomson
We take a closer look at Josh Thomson’s story and close relationship with Bellator MMA President Scott Coker in the latest edition of In Focus.
FIGHT INFO: The evening’s main event features a highly anticipated heavyweight slugfest pitting the legendary Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) against Matt Mitrione (11-5).
San Jose’s own Josh Thomson (22-8, 1 NC) returns to the Bellator MMA cage to take on veteran knockout artistPatricky “Pitbull” (16-8) in a lightweight co-main clash. Fans can also experience a heavyweight feature fight pittingCheick Kongo (25-10-2) against British phenom Oli Thompson (17-9) and a female flyweight fight pairing Veta Arteaga (2-1) against Brooke Mayo (Debut). Lastly, a welterweight showdown pitting Josh Koscheck (17-10) againstMauricio Alonso (12-7, 1 NC) rounds out the Spike-televised main card action.
Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione airs live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App. Very few tickets remain and they can be purchased at the SAP Center Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com.
Complete Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione SPIKE-Televised Main Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT FEATURING ANATOLY TOKOV AGAINST FRANCISCO FRANCE ADDED TO THE PRELIMINARY CARD
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (January 31, 2017) – A welterweight bout pitting Josh Koscheck (17-10) against Mauricio Alonso(12-7, 1 NC) has been added to the Spike-televised main card of Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on February 18, 2017.
In addition, recently signed Russian star Anatoly Tokov (24-2) is set to square off against Francisco France (13-4-1) in a middleweight clash that will be featured on the Bellator.com-streamed undercard, while a previously announced main card bout between Adam Piccolotti and Brent Primus has been cancelled after Piccolotti has been forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury.
Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for the event are on sale now at the SAP Center Box Office as well as Ticketmaster.com.
Koscheck will be making his highly anticipated Bellator MMA debut after signing with the Viacom-owned promotion in 2015. Prior to the signing, “Kos” competed under the UFC banner for nearly a decade, compiling 15 wins and nine finishes. Now, the 39-year-old Dethrone Base Camp product hopes to soar to the top of Bellator MMA’s stacked welterweight class and add to his impressive resume of 17 career victories. Never one to mince words, Koscheck has made it clear that he hopes to once again meet Paul Daley inside the cage, but first, the Fresno, Calif. native must get through Alonso on Feb. 18 when he returns to action on Spike.
Hailing from Parana, Brazil, Alonso will be making his second appearance under the direction of Bellator MMA and first in the welterweight division since 2014. The 36-year-old enters the bout riding a recent string of success, earning victories in each of his last two contests and seven of his last 10 dating back to 2010. Of his 12 career wins, Alonso has finished his opponent five times, including four knockouts. Alonso will look to build off of an undefeated 2016 campaign when he competes on Feb 18.
Under the tutelage of the legendary Fedor Emilianenko, Tokov has strung together an impressive resume of his own, where from 2012 to 2016, the prospect was riding a streak of 17 consecutive wins. The 26-year-old Russian is known to end fights early and often, finishing his opponent in 19 of his 24 career wins, including nine first round finishes. If Tokov is going to continue to blossom on the Bellator roster, he will have to defeat his opponent on Feb. 18 first.
Hailing from Gilbert, Arizona, 18-fight veteran France enters the bout having won six of his last eight contests, including one draw and five finishes. The 33-year-old submission specialist will be making his third appearance under the Bellator MMA banner and first in nearly a year at Bellator 172. “Kiko” brings with him one of the most dynamic ground games in the division, finishing 12 of his 13 victims via submission; displaying a wide array of devastating techniques, including rear-naked and arm-triangle chokes, arm bars, and kimuras.
Updated Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione Main Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (January 27, 2017) – A lightweight feature bout pitting Josh Thomson (22-8, 1 NC) against Patricky “Pitbull” (16-8) will serve as the co-main event of Bellator 172 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Feb. 18.
The contest joins a stacked main card that includes a pair of heavyweight competitors featuring Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) against Matt Mitrione(11-5) in the main event and Cheick Kongo (25-10-2) against Oli Thompson (17-9) in main card action. In addition, undefeated lightweights Adam Piccolotti (9-0) and Brent Primus (7-0) round out the Spike-televised main card. Additional contests will be announced shortly.
Bellator 172 will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for the event are on sale now at the SAP Center Box Office as well as Ticketmaster.com.
After earning victories in each of his first seven professional contests, the 38-year-old Thomson joined forces with the UFC and Strikeforce, stringing together an impressive resume that included notable wins over Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez. Now under the direction of Bellator MMA, “The Punk” has recorded back-to-back finishes in his first two bouts with the Scott Coker-led promotion. With 16 of his 22 career victories coming by way of knockout or submission, Thomson is always a threat to end his opponent’s night early. Hailing from San Jose, Calif., Thomson hopes to put on a show in front of his hometown faithful and move one step closer to finally meeting Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler.
The 31-year-old “Pitbull” enters the cage for the 17th time under the Bellator MMA umbrella, second most in the promotion’s history behind only David Rickels. The Brazilian knockout artist continues to be at the forefront of Bellator MMA’s lightweight division and has tallied six wins over his past nine bouts, including a trio of knockouts over proven veterans Rickels, Derek Campos, and Ryan Couture. Hailing from Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil, Freire has notched 10 knockouts over his professional career, with five of the finishes coming in the opening round of action. “Pitbull” will once again look to play the role of spoiler when he tries to take down San Jose’s own Thomson on Feb. 18.
Complete Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione Main Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
WHERE: Dave & Buster’s at The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center
6081 Center Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
WHEN: Thursday, January 19
8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
WHO: Royce Gracie
The name Gracie is synonymous with MMA, and that is largely in part to Royce Gracie, a man who is considered to have invented the sport as we know it today. The winner of the first several UFC events, Gracie would dismantle multiple opponents in a single night, many of whom were much larger than him. For many years there was no answer for the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu technique that he brought into a fight. Today, it’s hard to find an MMA fighter who hasn’t trained in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that his father invented. In February of 2016, Gracie headlined “Bellator 149,” an event that shattered company viewership records that remain intact to this day.
With an incredible resume highlighted by wins over four members of the legendary Gracie family, including Royler, Renzo, Ryan, and Royce Gracie, Sakuraba has inherited the nickname “The Gracie Hunter.” The Japanese mixed martial artist is especially remembered for his first clash with Royce, a ninety-minute marathon that ended in a TKO (corner stoppage) victory for Sakuraba nearly 17 years ago. Gracie would later avenge his loss, earning a unanimous decision win over Sakuraba at “K-1 Dynamite USA!!” inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Now, almost a decade later, the two legends meet again and Bellator MMA is giving you the chance to be there when it happens!
Matt Mitrione originally took his talents to the football gridiron, signing as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants in 2002. After brief stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings, Mitrione entered the MMA cage and hasn’t looked back since. The 14-time UFC veteran began his professional career with victories in his first five fights, four of which came by way of knockout. Known as one of the top finishers in the sport, the 37-year-old Indianapolis native recently finished his run with his former employer, making the decision to test free agency. Mitrione will now look to duplicate the success that he found throughout his career, when he meets Fedor Emelianenko in San Jose this February.
Former UFC superstar Wanderlei Silva will also be in attendance on January 20, as “The Axe Murderer” prepares for his Bellator MMA debut in the highly anticipated year of 2017. The man who has consistently called him out since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion, Chael Sonnen, will be competing in the main event of ‘Bellator 170’ just one day after the “Fan Fest.” A 48-fight veteran, Silva joined the Bellator MMA fray following an illustrious career with UFC, sifting through middleweight powerhouses Cung Le, Brian Stann, and current division champion Michael Bisping. With 25 of his 35 career victories coming by way of knockout, the 40-year-old Brazilian hotshot is eager to make his presence felt inside the Bellator MMA cage. Join us for ‘Bellator 170’ “Fan Fest” in Los Angeles and meet the legend himself before he makes his promotional debut.
“King Mo” has been a mainstay with Bellator MMA since 2013, fighting everyone both the light heavyweight and heavyweight division has to offer. This will be Lawal’s second appearance at Bellator MMA’s “Fan Fest” event, giving fans another opportunity to meet the explosive striker outside of the cage. After his recent main event victory over Satoshi Ishii, “Mo” now sets his sights on other “Moneyweight” bouts to satiate his thirst.
Known to many as “Big” John McCarthy, the longtime MMA referee will turn his attention to Bellator MMA’s “Fan Fest” and call the shots at a fun-filled day with some of the greatest fans the sport has to offer. McCarthy has officiated a number of memorable bouts promoted by Bellator MMA, the UFC and others, becoming one of the most notorious referees in the history of the sport.
FIGHT INFO:Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen takes place on Saturday, January 21 from the Forum in Los Angeles and will air live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. The highly anticipated undercard streams live on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET/3:50 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event start at $36 and are on sale now at Bellator.com, as well as Ticketmaster.com.
The epic main card is headlined by a legendary light heavyweight clash that pits superstars Tito Ortiz (18-12-1) against Chael Sonnen (28-14-1). In addition, a welterweight co-main event featuring Paul Daley (38-14-2) against Brennan Ward (14-4) and a middleweight bout between Ralek Gracie (3-0) and Hisaki Kato (7-2) will also be featured on the Spike-televised main card. Lastly, a featherweight contest pitting Georgi Karakhanyan (26-6-1) against Emmanuel Sanchez(13-3) and a recently-announced lightweight battle featuring Derek Campos (17-6) and Derek Anderson (14-2, 1 NC) wrap up Bellator MMA’s first main card of the new year.
On the Bellator.com-streamed preliminary card, female flyweights Rebecca Ruth (6-2) and Colleen Schneider (10-7) will join the promotional debuts of LA’s own Kevin Casey (9-5-1, 2 NC) and heavyweight knockout artist Jack May (8-3). Also featured on the undercard is the anticipated return of Chinzo Machida (4-2), Henry Corrales (12-3), Guilherme “Bomba” (8-3), and Cody Bollinger (19-6).
BATTLE OF UNDEFEATED ADAM PICCOLOTTI AND BRENT PRIMUS ALSO ADDED TO MAIN CARD
SANTA MONICA, CALIF — (January 4, 2017) – Cheick Kongo (25-10-2) will challenge Oli Thompson (17-9) during the main card of “Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione” on February 18, 2017 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. In addition, undefeated lightweights Adam Piccolotti (9-0) and Brent Primus(7-0) are also set to face off during the Spike-televised card.
In the main event of “Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione,”Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) will compete on American Soil for the first since 2011, when he meets Matt Mitrione (11-5). The event will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event start at only $30 and are available at SAP Center Box Office, Bellator.com and Ticketmaster.com. Additional fights will be announced in coming weeks.
Since joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2013, Kongo has strung together an impressive run that has seen him emerge victorious in seven of nine contests, including three consecutive victories. With 37 career fights under his belt, the Frenchman has tallied 25 professional wins, including 12 by way of knockout. The knockout artist hopes to build off his victory over Tony Johnson at “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson,” when he welcomes British sensation Oli Thompson back into the Bellator cage.
Hailing from East Sussex, England, Thompson enters the matchup in search of his first career win under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion. Dating back to 2015, “The Spartan” collected wins in five of his last six bouts, including a pair of brutal first round knockouts. Of his 17 career wins, the 36-year-old powerhouse has finished 13 of them, including seven knockouts. A former title-holder of Britain’s Strongest Man competition, Thompson will now look to add to that total when he and Kongo faceoff at SAP Center in San Jose.
Fighting out of Half Moon Bay, Calif., the undefeated Piccolotti is set to return to San Jose, where he has dominated competition over the past few years. Since signing with Bellator MMA, the 28-year-old lightweight has won all five of his bouts, including four consecutive victories in the “Capital of Silicon Valley.” Piccolotti dazzled in his most recent win over Brandon Girtz, ending the veteran’s three-fight winning streak while once again displaying his lethal combination of flawless jiu-jitsu and striking. Piccolotti has finished his opponent in six of nine career wins and three of his past four, making him one of the most dangerous weapons in the 155-pound division.
Primus also carries with him an undefeated target on his chest, as the battle to remain an unbeaten lightweights goes through SAP Center in 2017. Similar to Piccolotti, Primus saw immediate success in the world of mixed martial arts, recording first round finishes in each of his first five fights to begin his professional career. The five-time Bellator MMA veteran hopes to keep the ball rolling, as a win over the fan-favorite Piccolotti would certainly open a lot of doors. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the 31-years-old Primus hopes to build off of a 2016 campaign that was highlighted by a key win over Brazilian veteran “Toninho Furia.”
Updated “Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione” Main Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: Cheick Kongo (25-10-2) vs. Oli Thompson (17-9)
Lightweight Feature Bout: Adam Piccolotti (9-0) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)
Welterweight Prelim Bout: James Terry (18-9) vs. David Douglas (9-6)
Lightweight Prelim Bout: Nikko Jackson (1-1) vs. Cesar Gonzalez (0-1)
Featherweight Prelim Bout: Juan Cardenas (1-0) vs. Luis Vargas (0-1)
Welterweight Prelim Bout: Danasabe Mohammed (5-1) vs. Carlos Rocha (9-4)
Flyweight Prelim Bout: Anthony Do (4-1) vs. Bobby Escalante (4-5)
Flyweight Prelim Bout: Matt Ramirez (1-2) vs. Jeremy Murphy (3-3)
Lightweight Prelim Bout: J.J. Okanovich (3-1) vs. Paradise Vaovasa (5-1)
Featherweight Prelim Bout: Justin Tenedora (Debut) vs. Roque Reyes (0-3)
Bellator is a leading Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing 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 combat sports television leader. Bellator 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.
DUBLIN, IRELAND. (Dec. 16, 2016) – In the evening’s main event, it was wrestler versus judo practitioner as Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (20-5, 1 NC) returned to moneyweight to face Olympic Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-7-1). King Mo avoided Ishii’s crafty throws as he scored a couple takedowns of his own throughout the fight. The contest finished with a shutout unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) for “King Mo.”
Now, after yet another impressive performance during the main event of “Bellator 169,” Lawal looks to end 2016 in style by repeating his domination over Rizin Fighting Federation opponents, when the 2015 eight-man Rizin heavyweight tournament winner returns to grand prix action during the Japanese-based promotion’s New Year’s Eve weekend of events.
Fresh off his victory in Dublin tonight, Lawal now sets his sights on the fellow contestants competing in the quarterfinals of the open-weight grand prix on Dec. 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan – the semifinals and finals are set for Dec. 31.
The 35-year-old former Strikeforce Champion defeated Brett McDermott, Teodoras Aukstuolis and Jiri Prochazka en route to winning the heavyweight tournament last year, now the “King” looks to retain his crown against the likes of: Shane Carwin, Amir Aliakbari, Mirko Filipovic, Kaido Hoovelson, Tsuyoshi Kosaka, Valentin Moldavsky, and Szymon Bajor.
With a second tournament victory in Japan, “King Mo” would cap off a stellar 2016 campaign, a 365-day run where in addition to Ishii, the American Top Team standout took current Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Champion Phil Davis to the limit during their “Bellator 154” tussle back in May
Gallagher Sinks in RNC During Third Frame of Co-Main Event
In what many considered “the people’s main event,” the highly touted SBG prospect James Gallagher (5-0) kept his composure through the first two hard fought rounds against Anthony Taylor (1-2). The American threw several powerful strikes, connecting on multiple occasions as Gallagher fought from safe range. Not long after the start of the final round the “Strabanimal” took the back of “Pretty Boy” Taylor with a body triangle actively looking to find a choke. It looked as though Taylor had it under control, walking across the cage toward his corner, pandering to the camera with a smile but seconds later, he was on his stomach, where he succumbed to a rear naked choke at 1:52 of round three. At the time of the stoppage, the judges were split with the cards reading 20-18, 18-20 and 19-19 after the first two rounds.
Kavanagh Gets the Irish Crowd Started with UD Victory
Sinead Kavanagh (4-0) was determined to put one on the board for the home team and that’s exactly what she did when she defeated Elina Kallionidou (5-1) by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27). Kavanagh stalked the Greek regional champion around the cage and scored on a great deal of combinations up against the fence. Kallionidou showed impressive resiliance, toughing out firestorm after firestorm of punches and bouncing back as though unfazed.
“Drake” Weichel Wants Another Shot at the Title
In the first televised fight of the evening, the crowd was loud, hoping to propel their Irishman Brian “Pikeman” Moore (9-5) to victory against Daniel Weichel (38-9). Moore looked sharp on his feet, throwing crisp jabs before getting taken to the canvas. From the ground, Moore fought off several rear-naked choke attempts before rolling into a triangle choke 4:44 into the first frame, making it 0-2 for the Irish-born fighters to start the card.
Who Else but Cameron Else to Spoil Hot Prospect Dylan Tukes Night
An electric Irish partisan crowd was on hand at the 3Arena in Dublin, but it didn’t take long for Great Britan’s Cameron Else (4-3) to silence them all with a jaw-dropping knockout victory over the highly-touted hometown fighter Dylan Tuke (3-1) only 20 seconds into round one.
DUBLIN, IRELAND. (Dec. 15, 2016) – The official weigh-ins for both “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” and “BAMMA 27” took place this afternoon at the 1878 club inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The competitors are now ready for action tomorrow at 3Arena, with the event airing on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
The Spike-televised main card will be highlighted by a heavyweight main event pitting “King Mo” (19-5, 1 NC) against Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1). In addition, Anthony Taylor (1-1) will look to quite the crowd as he enters enemy territory to challenge Northern Ireland’s own James Gallagher (4-0) in a featherweight co-main clash.
In addition to a full card of Bellator action, ticketholders will also have the unique opportunity to experience an additional fight card from Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, BAMMA. The bantamweight belt will be on the line at “BAMMA 27,” as Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) and Alan Philpott (16-8) prepare to duke it out for the division gold.
“Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” takes place inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and will air free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
“Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” Card: (SPIKE TV – 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT)
Heavyweight Main Event: Satoshi Ishii (236.6 lbs.) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (213 lbs.)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: Anthony Taylor (145.8 lbs.) vs. James Gallagher (145.6 lbs.)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Brian Moore (146 lbs.) vs. Daniel Weichel (145.6 lbs.)
Bantamweight Feature Bout: Elina Kallionidou (135.8 lbs.) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (135.2 lbs.)
DUBLIN (December 14, 2016) – Two of the top MMA promotions in the world, Bellator and BAMMA have joined forces to deliver an early Christmas gift for MMA fans everywhere with a unique doubleheader event at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland this Friday, Dec. 16.
Despite the cold and rainy weather in Dublin, the main and co-main event fighters turned up the heat at the Official Fight Week Press Conference for the co-promoted event inside the Gibson Hotel. Bellator MMA President Scott Coker took center stage alongside BAMMA CEO David Green, and the two were flanked by “Bellator 169” combatants King Mo(19-5, 1 NC) and Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1) along with James Gallagher (4-0), and Anthony Taylor (14-2), as well as BAMMA main eventers Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) and Alan Philpott (16-8), a Chris Fields (11-7-1), who takes on Andrew Clamp (8-1, 1 NC).
Below are several transcribed quotes from the press conference.
“The cold weather (in Ireland) gets me, you know what I’m saying. But it’s gonna be hot in the venue, because I’m gonna bring the heat.” It’s gonna be action packed. I’m ready to scrap.”
“I’m shocked (by the support from the Irish fans). I came here to do PR last time and everyone was cool, but this time around its been even better. I went to Nandos (chicken restaurant) and got hooked up with like $70 worth of food. If y’all haven’t eaten at Nandos yet I suggest you try it out because that place is good.”
“Don’t run around the cage. Fight me square, entertain the fans, and put on a good show.”
“All the people out there, ya’ll better tune in and watch me kick and beat Ishii’s a** out the cage.”
“It’s an honor to fight in Dublin. I’m looking forward to the fight, I’m excited, and I will do my best.”
“At the end of the day I can say whatever I want and he can say whatever he wants, but, you step in there and none of that means jack s***. It’s a fight between me and him, and that’s all that matters, and I’ll come out the winner.
“I literally do not care about him. I just care about me and what I’m going to do. I’m just going to go in there and smash his face in and that’s that. Simple answer.”
“Everything he is saying is a load of old bullsh**. Tune in on Friday night and you’ll see who’s going to the hospital after.”
“It’s amazing to fight in your own country and right here in the 3Arena. Walking out into that crowd, that feeling of pride is something you will always remember for the rest of your life.”
“Oh man, everything is going my way. The fact that I’ve got him, one-on-one, with the pretty one, it’s going tremendously fine. The atmosphere in Ireland is so beautiful. The weather, the women…oh my gosh the women! This is cuddling season
and I’m on Tinder just swiping right.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to showcase my skills. Everyone is looking at me as the underdog and saying this is a test. This ain’t no test, this is finals, and guess what? He’s going to fail.”
“I’m going to shock the world on Friday, and let them know who the hell is Anthony Pretty Boy Taylor, the most electrifying man in Bellator MMA. That’s what’s up, and I’m going to put on a show for all the people out there.”
“I get a lot of criticism, but I’ve also got a lot of Irish fans, just as much as he’s got, so it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t have the pressure, it’s on him. I’m coming here to do my thing. If I lose, I suck it up like a man. But if I win, I’m gonna be a superstar. I already know I’m going to win, he can’t stop me.”
“We’ve been on the road quite a bit this year with 25 fights, 28 if you include kickboxing. This is something that David and I started talking about a year ago. It’s been seamless and a lot of fun. David’s been a great partner to work with, BAMMA’s been great.”
“We’ve been following this league for a couple years now. We know that they’re the powerhouse here in the UK and were happy to team up with them and bring our top fighters.”
“This is going to be a great show that is going to be televised all over the world. It will be on SPIKE UK, which airs here in Ireland as well on Saturday at 11 p.m. local time, as well as on SPIKE in the United States at 9 p.m. ET. It will also air in 140 countries around the world, so this is an event that brings worldwide recognition to this event here in Ireland, and we’re very proud to be here.”
(Is this somewhat of a scouting mission for you on Friday?)
“The mission statement of the company is to bring the best fighters in the world to Bellator. So we’re going to be watching very closely I know there is some great talent here, and I’m excited to watch it and see what the future holds.”
(On the event coming together)
“David (Green) and I became friends a little more than a year ago, and has a big television producing background, and he’s done stuff for Spike and Viacom in the past. He’s a very big producer here in the United Kingdom. But as far as coming together, if you look at the background of Strikeforce or even before that in kickboxing, we were never opposed to having fighters in one organization against fighters in another organization. In the earliest parts of the Strikeforce career in MMA, we sent Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson (among others) to Pride against some of the Japanese fighters and they sent over (Shinya) Aoki, (Tatsuya) Kawajiri and some of the best fighters they had. To me, this is what martial arts is all about. We should have more events like this where top guys from different leagues compete against each other to find out who the best is. We’re not going to be opposed to that. That’s always been our philosophy
(On doing it again)
“That’s something David and I will talk about once this is over. We both individually have a big schedule for next year. We (Bellator) are going to go to more international events and more cities across the world. We are going to go to Latin America next year with shows on Mexico and Brazil.
“So we are going to have an exciting schedule to announce soon. This (Dublin event) is something that has worked out fantastic. The schedule and the timing was perfect. The door is always going to be open, these guys are a great partner and have been fantastic to work with and we look forward to doing more events.”
BAMMA and Bellator MMA will hold a unique doubleheader event in Dublin, Ireland this Friday, Dec. 16, which will feature multiple BAMMA world title bouts and an incredible Bellator MMA heavyweight main event rematch pitting “King Mo” against Satoshi Ishii. But before our ‘Bellator 169’ and ‘BAMMA 27’ competitors meet inside the cage, join us for an afternoon of verbal submissions at the official press conference inside The Gibson Hotel in Dublin.
Also on Friday night, Anthony Taylor enters enemy territory with a featherweight bout against Northern Ireland’s own James Gallagher. Also hailing from Ireland, Brian Moore will look to take advantage of the home crowd when he faces off against Daniel Weichel. The BAMMA bantamweight belt will be on the line at “BAMMA 27,” as Tom Duquesnoy challenges Alan Philpott for the division gold. Lastly, the stacked event features a featherweight world title fight pitting former Bellator competitors Ronnie Mann against Martin Stapleton.
NEW WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT FIGHT ADDED TO THE LAST EVENT OF THE YEAR
SANTA MONICA, CALIF (December 12, 2016) – After an incredible year that saw Bellator MMA host events in international territories all around the globe, it is only fitting that the promotion’s year-ending event, “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii,” takes place this Friday, December 16 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
Shortly after her fight against Helen Harper (4-1) was announced, Bruna Vargas (2-1) has withdrawn from the bout due to injury. Harper will be paid her show money and a new women’s featherweight bout has been added to the SPIKE-televised card between undefeated fighters Sinead Kavanagh (3-0) and Elina Kallionidou (5-0).
The Spike-televised main card will be highlighted by a heavyweight main event pitting “King Mo” (19-5, 1 NC) against Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1). In addition, a pair of anticipated featherweight scraps will see Anthony Taylor (1-1) look to quiet the crowd as he enters enemy territory to challenge Northern Ireland’s James Gallagher (4-0) and, Ireland’s Brian Moore(9-4) take on the always-game Daniel Weichel (37-9).
Tickets for “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” are on sale now and start at 35€ at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.ie and the 3Arena Box Office. The event can be seen free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, and will be immediately followed by “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence.”
Fighting out of Straight Blast Gym (SBG) in Dublin, “KO” Kavanagh has fought all three of her professional bouts with BAMMA, and has earned her nickname bye scoring two knockouts in her first three fights. Kavanagh fought in BAMMA’s first-ever women’s fight, and ended her opponent’s night in just 17 seconds. Originally slated to compete in a bantamweight fight against Eeva Siiskonen (5-4-2) on the BAMMA portion of this co-promoted night of fights, Kavanagh now moves up in weight to face Kallionidou under the Bellator banner.
At only 18 years of age, Kallionidou has already made a name for herself in her home country Greece, where she holds the Cage Survivor women’s featherweight title. Incredibly, “Gunner” started her professional career off with a bang, scoring a first-round TKO just a month after her 16th birthday. Since then, the Greek fighter has gone 5-0, with three knockouts. The fight this Friday night, will be her first fight outside of Greece.
In addition to a full card of Bellator action, ticketholders will also have the unique opportunity to experience an additional fight card from Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, BAMMA. The bantamweight belt will be on the line at “BAMMA 27,” as Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) and Alan Philpott (16-8) prepare to duke it out for the division gold. Lastly, the stacked event features a featherweight world title fight pitting former Bellator competitors Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) against Martin Stapleton (18-4).
Complete “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” Main Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (19-5, 1 NC) vs. Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: James Gallagher (4-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-1)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (37-9) vs. Brian Moore (9-4)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Sinead Kavanagh (3-0) vs. Elina Kallionidou (5-0)
Bantamweight Feature Bout: Shay Walsh (14-4) vs. Luiz Tosta (9-2)
Updated “BAMMA 27” Main Card:
Bantamweight World Title Bout: Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) vs. Alan Philpott (16-8)
Featherweight World Title Bout: Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) vs. Martin Stapleton (18-4)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Dylan Tuke (3-0) vs. Sean Tobin (4-2)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Brian Moore (9-4) vs. Niklas Backstrom (10-2)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Kiefer Crosbie (1-0) vs. Conor Riordan (Debut)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Nathan Jones (9-5) vs. Walter Gahadza (16-0)