Tag Archives: Mo Lawal








LOS ANGELES – The third opening round matchup in 2018’s Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix will feature the greatest heavyweight of all time Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) taking on former world champion Frank Mir (18-11) in Bellator’s return to Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. on Saturday, April 28.




An exclusive online presale for this event takes place Wednesday January 24 and Thursday January 25, with tickets going on-sale to the general public on Friday January 26 at 10 a.m. CT. Tickets for the event start at just $30 and are available at the Allstate Arena box office and Ticketmaster.




The event, presented by Miller Lite, will be broadcast live and free on Paramount Network (formerly Spike) at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Additional bouts will be announced in coming weeks.




A former PRIDE champion, “The Last Emperor” is one of the most revered and respected heavyweight fighters the sport has seen. Stone-faced and quiet, Emelianenko boasted one of the most impressive unbeaten streaks in the history of MMA, not losing a bout between 2001 and 2009. A multi-time world champion in MMA and Sambo, Fedor recently returned to the sport after a brief hiatus, accumulating two decisive wins since his return to action and taking on Matt Mitrione in an instant classic at Bellator NYC.




Frank Mir joined Bellator earlier this year following 15 years in the UFC where he became a two-time world champion, collected 16 victories and defeated a who’s who of heavyweight contenders, including Brock Lesnar, “Bigfoot” Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop. Fighting out of Las Vegas, Mir set numerous records while competing with his former promotion, highlighted by the most fights (27), victories (16), and submissions (8) in heavyweight history. With 14 of his 18 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will now try his hand in Bellator’s heavyweight division.




Updated Fight Card:

Heavyweight Grand Prix First Round: Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) vs. Frank Mir (18-11)









LOS ANGELES –The bracket for the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament has been set.


At Bellator 192: Lima vs. MacDonald on January 20, 2018 at The Forum in Los Angeles, the tournament will begin with former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12) taking on renowned trash-talker Chael Sonnen (30-15-1) in an exciting first-round matchup. The event will air on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network.


Shortly thereafter, Matt Mitrione (12-5) will meet Roy Nelson (23-14) on February 16 at Bellator 194, an event which will emanate from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. In April, the greatest heavyweight of all time Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) battles former UFC champ Frank Mir(18-11) inside Allstate Arena in Chicago in a long-awaited clash. The final first round bout will feature current Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (24-5) taking on former STRIKEFORCE champ “King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC) at San Jose, California’s SAP Center in May.


Dates for both the semi-finals and final will be determined, as will tournament alternates who will be available to fill in due to any unforeseen circumstances. The year-long World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament will culminate in the winner becoming the new Bellator world heavyweight champion.


Below, you will find the official trailer for the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament. Please feel free to share:

Watch video here


Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix First-Round Matchups:

Bellator 192 at The Forum – Jan. 20, 2018: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12) vs. Chael Sonnen (30-15-1)

Bellator 194 at Mohegan Sun Arena – Feb. 16, 2018: Matt Mitrione (12-5) vs. Roy Nelson (23-14)

Bellator at Allstate Arena – April, 2018: Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) vs. Frank Mir (18-11)

Bellator at SAP Center – May, 2018: Ryan Bader (24-5) vs. “King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC)






LOS ANGELES – Bellator has announced plans to host a year-long grand prix heavyweight tournament in 2018 featuring eight of the roster’s biggest stars with the winner becoming the new Bellator world heavyweight champion. The Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament will air on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network.


The star-studded list of participants includes newly signed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12), Roy Nelson (23-14), Chael Sonnen (30-15-1),Frank Mir (18-11), “King Mo” (21-6, 1 NC), Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC), Matt Mitrione (12-5) and Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (24-5).


Spanning multiple events and locations throughout 2018, the three-round tournament allows for matchups never before thought possible and will ultimately crown a new Bellator heavyweight champion. Previously, Bellator President Scott Coker orchestrated the most recent successful heavyweight tournament in mixed martial arts with the STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight Grand Prix that spanned from 2011-12.


Matchups, dates and locations for the single-elimination grand prix will be determined shortly, as will tournament alternates who will be available to fill in due to any unforeseen circumstances.


A five-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, “Rampage’s” legendary career has seen him compete against some of the top names in the sport, generating a loyal army of fans along the way. The former PRIDE and UFC champion is the proud owner of many epic highlight reel slams and knockouts that he has racked up throughout his epic battles with the likes of Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, “King Mo,” Kevin Randleman and, perhaps most-notably, his trilogy with fellow Bellator athlete Wanderlei Silva.


Fighting out of Las Vegas, Roy Nelson made his Bellator debut earlier this year with a hard-fought victory over Javy Ayala following an eight-year, 19-fight run with UFC that saw him earn wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, “Bigfoot” Silva and Cheick Kongo. “Big Country” also memorably defeated the late Kimbo Slice and later went on to win season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. With 19 of his 22 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, the long-time fan-favorite looks to add a championship to his impressive resume.


Chael Sonnen spent a majority of his 44-fight career with the UFC and WEC, a run that saw him defeat former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, and compete against the likes of Jon Jones, Anderson Silva (twice), Rashad Evans, “Shogun” Rua, Demian Maia and Brian Stann. In addition to his in-ring action, the West Linn, Ore. native has mastered the art of being in front of the camera, having done broadcast work for both ESPN and Fox Sports. Following a three-year hiatus from active MMA competition, Sonnen returned to the cage against Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170 in January and then went on to defeat Wanderlei Silva in the main event of Bellator: NYC.


Frank Mir joined Bellator earlier this year following 15 years under in the UFC where he became a two-time world champion, collected 16 victories and defeated the who’s who of heavyweight contenders, including Brock Lesnar, “Bigfoot” Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Roy Nelson. Fighting out of Las Vegas, Mir set numerous records while competing with his former promotion, highlighted by the most fights (27), victories (16), and submissions (8) in heavyweight history. With 14 of his 18 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt will now try his hand in Bellator’s heavyweight division.


“King Mo” will again fight at heavyweight and look to build off his success within the division following recent wins against Satoshi Ishii and Cheick Kongo. A winner in nine out of his last 11 fights, the 36-year-old will look to claim heavyweight gold in 2018 and add to his championship collection that already includes a STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight title. The “Moneyweight” fighter owns additional wins over Linton Vassell, Gegard Mousasi, Roger Gracie and has split a pair of bouts with “Rampage” Jackson with their series tied at one win each.


A former PRIDE champion, “The Last Emperor” is one of the most revered and respected heavyweight fighters the sport has seen. Stone-faced and quiet, Emelianenko boasted one of the most impressive unbeaten streaks in the history of MMA, not losing a bout between 2001 and 2009. A multi-time world champion in MMA and Sambo, Fedor recently returned to the sport after a brief hiatus, accumulating two decisive wins since his return to action and competing against Matt Mitrione in an instant classic at Bellator: NYC.


Matt Mitrione remains poised to make an impact in the Bellator heavyweight division following three knockout wins since signing with Bellator in 2016, including a first-round KO of Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator NYC this June. The Illinois native and standout defensive end at Purdue University earned All-Big Ten honors in 2000 and subsequently earned his way into the NFL where he played six seasons as a member of the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. Mitrione ultimately found his way into MMA where he became a high-level competitor, defeating the likes of the late Kimbo Slice, Derrick Lewis and Gabriel Gonzaga.


Bader will make his third appearance for Bellator and first since defending his light heavyweight championship at Bellator 186. Fighting out of Tempe, Ariz., Bader began his professional career on an impressive run, steamrolling the competition en route to a 12-fight winning streak and winning one of the most competitive seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in franchise history on Spike in 2008. “Darth” continued his path of dominance by collecting 15 over some of the 105-pound division’s top talent, including victories over former world champions Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rashad Evans, as well as two wins over Phil Davis. Currently riding a four-fight winning streak with victories in nine of his past ten bouts, the former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University will look to become a current two-division champion in Bellator MMA.


Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Participants:

Bellator World Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader (24-5)

Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC)

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12)

“King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC)

Frank Mir (18-11)

Matt Mitrione (12-5)

Roy Nelson (23-14)

Chael Sonnen (30-15-1)



Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Official Results & Photos


Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2) defeated Alexander Shlemenko (56-10, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/iaobj6dqfk4jq1y/AADPZmjhtmreJ-7mNCkqEKvua?dl=0


Neiman Gracie (7-0) defeated Zak Bucia (18-9) via submission (neck crank) at 2:27 of round two


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kvl101uwhi2zi3p/AABH7yRjFJHzNnRgDcEeGI23a?dl=0


Kristina Williams (1-0) defeated Heather Hardy (1-1) via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 2:00 of round two


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/09r32tj0p0lfrlh/AAA2wiI3m1-pTHGaePuJeR5Ta?dl=0


Ryan Quinn (14-7) defeated Marcus Surin (4-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uzsfhmp09sbgh7r/AADZyyNKyuqDKiWfZW1F1MkAa?dl=0


Lisa Blaine (2-0) defeated Ana Julaton (2-3) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/meae709iunpv7rt/AAAvcWOCHh0R5N0K9UT8o-Jna?dl=0


Preliminary Card Results:


John Lopez (6-4) defeated Billy Giovanella (9-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Kevin Carrier (1-0) defeated Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Vovka Clay (4-2) defeated Frank Sforza (6-1) via submission (guillotine) at 1:17 of round two

Don Shainis (4-1) defeated Matthew Denning (5-7) via TKO (strikes) at 4:50 of round one

Jordan Young (7-0) defeated Alec Hooben (5-4) via submission (triangle choke) at 2:44 of round one

Costello van Steenis (9-1) defeated Steve Skrzat (8-10) via submission (strikes) at 2:52 of round one

Joaquin Buckley (8-1) defeated Vinicius de Jesus (5-2) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Pete Rogers (3-4) defeated Timothy Wheeler (1-5) via submission (guillotine) at :37 of round one

Dean Hancock (3-1) defeated John Beneduce (2-2) via TKO (strikes) at 3:38 of round one




LOS ANGELES – On the heels of his recent Bellator signing, Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) will make his promotional debut against former champ Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC) on Friday, October 20 at Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko, an event that takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

In addition, the co-main event of Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko will feature a light heavyweight contest pitting “King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC) against former titleholder Liam McGeary (12-2). Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announcing in the coming weeks.

The event 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 this massive event start at $30, with an exclusive Bellator Nation Presale offer on Wednesday, July 19 at 10 a.m. ET through Thursday, July at 10 p.m. ET. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 21 at 10 a.m. ET and are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster and Bellator.com.

Long-considered to be one of the elite two-division threats in MMA, Mousasi is set for his Bellator debut and is currently riding a five-fight win streak that includes recent knockout victories over two former world champions in Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. Prior to his UFC tenure, Mousasi captured the STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight title, as well as the DREAM light heavyweight and middleweight titles in Japan. “The Dreamcatcher,” who currently trains out of The Netherlands, has earned victories over some of the sports’ biggest names, including Dan Henderson, “Jacare” Souza, Mark Hunt, Ovince Saint-Preux, Melvin Manhoef, Hector Lombard and “Babalu” Sobral.


Shlemenko, a former middleweight champion, has competed under the Viacom-owned promotion’s umbrella since Bellator 16 in 2010. Known for his vicious finishing ability, “Storm” ruled with an iron fist over Bellator’s 185-pound division, defending his belt on three occasions. One of the most dominant champions in Bellator history and currently riding a five-fight win streak, which includes a TKO victory over Kendall Grove at Bellator 162, Shlemenko has his sights set on earning a shot at once again becoming world champion.


It was only a matter of time before “King Mo” Lawal and Liam McGeary squared off inside the Bellator cage. On the heels of a unanimous decision victory over “Rampage” Jackson at Bellator 175, the king of Bellator’s “money-weight” division returns to meet Britain’s McGeary. Never one to shy away from a fight, the former STRIKEFORCE champion, has stepped inside the Bellator cage on 14 separate occasions and was also victorious during RIZIN’s first open-weight tournament in 2015.


Widely regarded as one of the top light heavyweights in the world, McGeary will enter his bout with Lawal looking to once again stake his claim on the division he once sat atop of. A member of Team Renzo Gracie in New York, McGeary brings his renowned jiu-jitsu skills to the table against an opponent who has yet to be submitted in 27-fights as a professional. Of the 34-year-old’s 12 wins, 11 have come before reaching the judges’ scorecards, a feat McGeary hopes to continue in the co-main event of Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko.


Updated Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC) vs. Liam McGeary (12-2)




About Bellator:

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 1 billion people worldwide in over 160 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 Hollywood, Calif. 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.





SANTA MONICA, CALIF (December 5, 2016) – Injuries to both Paul Redmond and Bruna Ellen have led to new opponents for Daniel Weichel (37-9) and Helen Harper (4-1) on December 16. Weichel will now face Ireland native Brian Moore (9-4) in a featherweight bout, while Harper will be challenged by Bruna Vargas (2-1) in a flyweight fight at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. Finally, a bantamweight bout pitting Shay Walsh (14-4) against Luiz Tosta (9-2) puts a stamp on the main card of “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii.”

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 quiet the crowd as he enters enemy territory to challenge Northern Ireland’s James Gallagher (4-0) in a featherweight clash.

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.

In addition to a full card of Bellator action, ticket holders 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 division gold.

Fighting out of Lancaster, England, Walsh will be making his Bellator MMA debut and against the savvy veteran Tosta. Dating back to 2014, Walsh has accrued four victories over his past five contests, including a brutal knockout of Gaz Pilot at “BAMMA 21: DeVent vs. Kone.” Of his 14 career wins, nine have come by way of knockout or submission, making it easy to picture another explosive attack out of the gates by Walsh. After competing in the 145-pound division for the first 15 fights of his professional career, Walsh made the move down to the bantamweight division, where he has strung together wins in two of his first three appearances.

The 36-year-old Tosta enters the bout riding a recent string of success that includes victories in seven of his last eight contests with one draw. Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tosta will be making his second appearance under the Bellator MMA umbrella, after recording the aforementioned draw in his promotional debut earlier this year at “Bellator 158.” With each of his nine career victories coming by way of submission, seven of which occurred in the first round, it’s clear that Tosta will once again look for the early takedown and finish his opponent.

Filling in for the injured Redmond is Brian Moore, as he enters the cage riding a current two-fight winning streak and a blossoming career that is ready to take off. The 29-year-old Moore has won five of his last seven contests, including a trio of first round victories, highlighted by a vicious knockout that came just 2:30 into his bout earlier in the year. Of his nine career wins, Moore has finished seven of his victims, making him a tall task for the wily veteran Weichel. A native of Wexford, Ireland, “The Pikeman” will not have to travel far for his upcoming showdown with one of Bellator MMA’s most proven veterans, as “The Weasel” will enter hostile territory for this face-off.

Replacing Ellen is the always dangerous Bruna Vargas, who will square off with Harper in search of her first win under the direction of Bellator MMA. The 27-year-old Vargas has recorded two wins over three contests, since making her professional debut in 2013. Hailing from Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Team Nogueira prospect hopes to redeem herself with a promising performance against another stiff opponent in Harper.

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)

Flyweight Feature Bout: Bruna Vargas (2-1) vs. Helen Harper (4-1)

Bantamweight Feature Bout: Shay Walsh (14-4) vs. Luiz Tosta (9-2)


Updated “BAMMA 27” Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) vs. Alan Philpott (16-8)

Light Heavyweight Bout: Chris Fields (11-7-1) vs. Andy Clamp (8-1)

Featherweight Bout: Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) vs. Niklas Backstrom (10-2)

Featherweight Bout: Dylan Tuke (3-0) vs. Sean Tobin (4-2)

Lightweight Bout: Rhys McKee (4-0) vs. Jai Hebert (4-0)

Welterweight Bout: Kiefer Crosbie (1-0) vs. Conor Riordan (Debut)

Welterweight Bout: Nathan Jones (9-5) vs. Walter Gahadza (16-0)

Bantamweight Bout: Ian Cleary (Debut) vs. Andrew Lofthouse (Debut)

Welterweight Bout: Terry Brazier (6-1) vs. Niklas Stolze (7-1)

Bantamweight Bout: Sinead Kavanagh (3-0) vs. Eeva Siiskonen (5-4-2)

Bantamweight Bout: Richie Smullen (2-0) vs. Conor Dillon (5-8)

Bantamweight Bout: Blaine O’Driscoll (2-1) vs. Neil Ward (2-2)

Welterweight Bout: Keith McCabe (1-1) vs. Richard Kiely (Debut)

Welterweight Bout:Will Fleury (1-0) vs. Kyle Mclurkin (Debut)


Two K-1 rules bouts announced for highly-anticipated,
three-day launch of RIZIN FF in Tokyo, Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN – December 9, 2015 – RIZIN FF officials announced today that the highly anticipated rematch between Akebono and Bob Sapp will be contested under Shoot Boxing rules on Thursday, Dec. 31, and that BAMMA fighter Brett McDermott has been named the new opponent for “King Mo” Lawal in the eight-man heavyweight Grand Prix elimination tournament, following the withdrawal of BAMMA champion Mark Godbeer last week due to injury.

In K-1 rules action, it was announced that Hiroya Kawabe will face striking phenom Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura on Tuesday, Dec. 29, and Takeru Segawa will square off with Chinese Muay Thai champion Yang Ming on December 31.
Shoot Boxing founder and CEO, Cezar Takeshi joined RIZIN FF Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara, General Manager Nobuhiko Takada, Sapp, Akebono, Segawa, and producer Kensaku Maeda at a press conference in Tokyo to make the announcements.

“I have been seeking advice about what rules the highly anticipated rematch should be held under, and Mr. Cezar introduced me to the idea where both fighters will be able to maximize their potential,” said Sakakibara.

“The new K-1,” continued Sakakibara, “has become popular in such a rapid rate, and I am happy that they are going to be sending their top, young talent to our ring. We would like to match both K-1 representatives up with tough opponents.”

Sakakibara also mentioned that Nam Jin Jo has injured his knee during training and was forced to withdraw, so Felipe Efrain from Shoot Boxe Academy will be facing Yuki Motoya.

Sakakibara closed his announcement by describing the details of the three-day, free-of-charge fight expo, which will begin on December 29, and include amateur MMA bouts and an open grappling tournament.

The rematch between Akebono and Sapp and the bout between Segawa and Ming join matchups between Yuichiro Nagashima and Andy Souwer, andAsen Yamamoto and Kron Gracie on December 31st.


Bob Sapp:

“It has been a while since I last fought on NYE, and very excited. And to be facing my nemesis once again. Last time we fought, we made history, and that was a great honor. I would like to aim for making history again, and I assure you it will be an exciting fight.”


“I have been living with grief and defeat for the past 12 years. I have carried a thought of redemption deep inside and got the offer at the perfect timing. I never want to have to feel that way again, so I want everybody to come watch the new Akebono. I’m going in there for the win.”

Takeru Segawa:

“I was frustrated because I wanted to fight more this year, but I’m glad for this perfect opportunity. There are many MMA fights on the card, but I would like to show that K-1 fights are the most exciting. I want everybody to be talking about the lightest fighter’s being the most exciting out of all RIZIN fights.”

RIZIN FF General Manager Nobuhiko Takada:

“I am just too excited. One of the reasons is that the fight card is near complete, but more so because of the fact that we will be able to kick of our event on the day where people watch television the most. It needs to be a festivity. We put together various fights for a wide audience. We would like to continue to promote the greatness of this event.”

Takada continued in describing each fighter. “Hiroya has the looks and the skills who reigns as the top fighter in K-1. I can see why he has many female fans. But once the bell rings, he shows his aggressiveness and power. It is always irritating when you know very little about your opponent, but he is determined to show the greatness of K-1 regardless of his opponent.”

He continued on about the legendary fight, “The ratings for that fight was unreal. And that same fight will be coming back. There are many opinions about this fight, but that is what makes it so exciting. Many fighters will be motivated to gather all the attention which will lead to better performance. This fight has many meanings behind it.” Takada added,” If Akebono wins, maybe next year?” and teased everybody about a possible rubber match. Takada announced that Cezar Takeshi was assigned as the referee for this fight and asked him not to trip during the fight.

Follow RIZIN FF online:

Website – http://www.rizinff.com/en/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rizinfightingfederation/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/rizin_PR

RIZIN FF Announces Tournament Brackets, Matchups for Eight-Man Heavyweight Tournament on December 29 and 31 

Fighters comment on the highly-anticipated tournament that will award its winner a $300,000 grand prize

TOKYO, JAPAN (Nov. 30, 2015) –A drawing to determine the tournament brackets and first stage matchups for the RIZIN FIGHTING GRAND-PRIX 2015 eight-man, heavyweight tournament that will take place over the course of two days – December 29 and December 31 – and will award its winner a grand prize of $300,000, was held today in Tokyo.

BAMMA Heavyweight Champion Mark Godbeer, who had been scheduled to compete in the tournament, was forced to withdraw due to a neck injury sustained in training. BAMMA will announce a replacement fighter for the tournament soon.

Prior to the drawing, Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated, “This tournament will be the highlight of RIZIN. Fighters from around the world who are proud to represent their promotion and country, and are eager to use this platform to boost their career to make a name for themselves have gathered in the tournament. The majority of the media who gathered today may not know much about these athletes, but when K-1 first kicked off in 1993, nobody knew about Branko Cikatić or Mike Bernardo. The fighters who open up the new doors are those who exceed their expectations.”

The seven contestants slated for tournament action appeared at the press conference.  Each drew an envelope  numbered one through seven, and those who drew numbers one through four received the opportunity to choose their respective places in the tournament draw.

The first stage tournament matchups will be as follows:

Bout # 1: Lawal vs BAMMA fighter
Bout # 2: Aukstuolis vs Cappelozza,
Bout # 3  Ishii vs Prochazka,
Bout # 4: Reljic vs Nemkov.

A tournament reserve bout between Valentine Moldovsky and Yuta Uchida was also announced during the press conference.

Fighter Quotes:

– 1st Pick = “King Mo” Lawal – selected Slot A

“I am honored to fight for RIZIN. I am excited to showcase my skills in front of the Japanese fans and get the job done. I’m happy to be able to pick number one. I’m always number one. I’m in a position where others will pick me, my job is to crush whoever stands next to me.”

““I currently don’t have an opponent, but I’m sure that BAMMA will send a good fighter for me. But unfortunately whoever comes will get smashed so he better be prepared. I think Ishii made a smart choice by avoiding me and my bracket. Good for him.”

“That’s a lot of money! I’d buy a bunch of ice cream, some nice clothes, and go to Disney World and see a bunch of movies. I’d go to Vegas and party, and buy tons of gold accessories.”
– 2nd Pick = Teodoras Aukstuolis (BUSHIDO Europe Champion) – selected Slot C

“I am grateful to be given such an opportunity. At this level of competition, you have to be ready to fight anybody so I don’t care who my opponent will be. I believe in myself and am ready to fight anybody.”

“For me, becoming the champion in more important than the money. Money will follow as a result of being a true champion. My mind is set to win the tournament.”

“The reason why I am here is because I believe in myself. I will fight to represent my small country. My opponent has wild striking but there is no reason why I would lose. I will put on a show and come out victorious.”

– 3rd Pick =  Goran Reljic (Former KSW Light Heavyweight Champion) – selected Slot G

“I don’t care who fights me. My dream since I was a kid was to fight in Japan, and I am living the dream right now, my goal is to show my best performance on New Years Eve.”

“I like the matchup. I’ve been training with Sambo world champion Blagoi Ivanov and am familiar with the Sambo fight style. I know he comes from a great team, but I will be ready to take anything he has to offer so it will be a good fight.”

“I am living a childhood dream. I am more focused on continuing my journey on my dream to become a champion in Japan. I will think of what to do with the money once I achieve my goal.”

–  4th Pick = Satoshi Ishii (Beijing Olympics Judo Gold medalist) – selected Slot E

“Preparation is good. I will not feel that a fight is a fight, the battle on NYE has just begun.”

“My plan is to invest half of the prize money in gambling and will donate the rest.”

“This was a good offer that I could not turn down. An MMA tournament, Good opponents, good prize money. I don’t want to focus too much on winning the tournament because that will affect my mental game, so I will focus on one fight at a time.”

– 5th Pick = Bruno Cappelozza (Jungle Fight 100kg Champion) – selected Slot D

“I really don’t know any of the fighters here today, so I will choose my opponent and hope I’m lucky.”

“That type of big money will change my life and my family’s life. And also becoming a champion. Those two aspects will be huge accomplishments for me.”

“It has been my dream to fight in Japan. I do not know too much about my opponent, but I’m sure we will both be prepared for an exciting fight. I think this will be an excellent fight.”

– 6th Pick = Vadim Nemkov (MMA Union Heavyweight Champion) – selected Slot H

“I will be representing Sambo. I would like to show the beauty of Sambo and the art of Sambo.”

– 7th Pick = Jiri Prochazka (GCF Czech Light Heavyweight Champion) – selected Slot F“I am very excited to be able to show my skills in a country where the Samurai was born. I will not disappoint you.”

“Everybody here is tough. Since I will be fighting the hometown favorite, my fight will be gathering attention. I would like to use this opportunity and this challenge to become the next big thing.”

“It is so much money I do not know where to start. I believe that the money will come later. So as of now, my focus is to give it all I have to make RIZIN proud that they chose me for a participant.”

General Manager Nobuhiko Takada took the microphone after the drawing, “I am feeling a familiar, comfortable yet tense atmosphere right now. I am just excited to witness the birth of future stars. I hope Ishii can perform in a way where he will make us Japanese fans proud. Ishii’s first accomplishment was winning the gold medal, but we have not seen any outstanding results from him in MMA. I really hope he can use this opportunity to achieve the biggest accomplishment of his career.”


SAN JOSE, Calif. (September 19, 2015) – Liam McGeary retained his Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight title in front of a sellout crowd at The SAP Center in San Jose at “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1.”


Tito Ortiz was taking the fight to the Englishman, utilizing his world-renowned ground game to nullify the reach of McGeary, but in the end, it was the slick jiu-jitsu of the 32-year-old that signaled the end of the night for “The People’s Champion.”


After the fight, McGeary had plenty to say about submitting Ortiz for the first time in his career.


“The victory was amazing,” said McGeary. “Tito has never been submitted before, so that was definitely an achievement for me. This is my house. You can’t come into my house and try to take things away from me. I got this belt with hard work and anyone that comes in here will have a fight on their hands. That goes for anyone who steps in to fight me.”



Phil Davis had a night to remember, earning his second finish of the evening to officially become the No. 1 contender at 205-pounds.


“Mr. Wonderful” caught Francis Carmont with a perfectly placed hook to the chin that sent the French Canadian to the canvas, which saw Davis promptly follow up and throw unanswered punches that forced the referee’s hand and resulted in the stoppage.


“I don’t know what just happened,” said Davis. “I just want to thank God. I had the best training camp. I have the best coaches, teammates and people around me. You know what, I’d want to fight Liam McGeary. He’s young, fresh and he’s long.”

The victory for Davis also meant that the Alliance MMA product received a brand-new belt to commemorate his tournament victory.


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In the main event on the Glory kickboxing portion of the card, Saulo Cavalaribested Zack Mwekassa via majority decision on Saturday night at “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1.”


Cavalari managed to bounce back from a point deduction to get the judges’ nod, and now owns two victories over Mwekassa in two meetings. The Brazilian now returns home with a fancy piece of hardware, the Glory light heavyweight championship of the world in tow.

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Not only was “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” a homecoming for Scott Coker, but it also was a successful one for Josh Thomson, (21-8, 1 NC) who finished Mike Bronzoulis (18-9-1) in the second round with an arm-triangle choke.


“It feels amazing, thank you Scott Coker for making this happen,” Thomson said. “Tonight was different for me, I had the jitters like I don’t normally have. I wanted to perform for you guys. This may be the last time you see me in this arena.”


With the win, Thomson will take a perfect Bellator MMA record into his next bout and further solidifies his roll as one of the top lightweights on the planet.


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Two of Bellator MMA’s top welterweights traded in the eight-ounce gloves and put on Glory kickboxing gloves and went to war inside the ring instead of the cage. In the end though, Paul Daley took home the unanimous decision victory over Fernando Gonzalez, receiving the nod from all three judges at ringside.


With the win, Daley continues to add wins to his resume, improving his kickboxing record to 21-3, while his mixed martial arts is 37-13-2. “The Menifee Maniac” doesn’t lose much in defeat and will likely request a rematch inside the ring at a later date.


If you ask “Semtex” though, everything went as planned and he would not be against taking a kickboxing bout again, “This was the exact fight I expected. I knew he was tough and I knew he was a good boxer,” Daley said. “I am just happy that I was able to go out there and throw shots. I wanted to throw some punches, combinations and not get too wild. I think I did just that. I’m open to kickboxing again as often as Bellator gives me the opportunity to.”


In the first Glory kickboxing fight on the main card of “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1,” Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez defeated Hadley Griffith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).


The wife of former Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez, Keri didn’t allow Griffith to get off much in the way of offense, keeping the pressure on the debuting kickboxer and giving the large contingent of Melendez fans a great deal to cheer about.


After the fight Keri made it clear that while she hopes to eventually transition to mixed martial arts, another kickboxing bout is not out of the question, “I’m happy I got the victory. I felt a little ring rust, but I’m happy,” Melendez said. “I’m not against kickboxing, it’s my first love and I’m down to do it again.”


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On the opposite side of the one-night, four-man tournament, Phil Davis (14-3, 1 NC) utilized a kimura to force the tap out from his opponent and former Bellator MMA 205-pound champion Emanuel Newton (25-9-1).


Davis, who was making his Bellator debut, immediately took Newton to the ground, using his superior wrestling ability to his advantage. The former NCAA D1 National Champion wrestler out of Penn State moves on to the co-main event of the evening against Carmont who beat Anthony Ruiz earlier on in the evening.


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The inaugural Dynamite lived up its name with an explosive start. In the opening bout of “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1’s” four-night light heavyweight tournament, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (16-4, 1 NC) advanced past Linton Vassell (15-5) in a tightly contested bout that featured exciting punching exchanges and two huge slams that brought the sellout crowd inside The SAP Center to their feet. With the win, the American Top Team-product was supposed to move on to the second round of the tournament bracket, but a rib injury derailed those plans.


About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.




SANTA MONICA, Calif. (September 14, 2015) – Two rising talents in Glory’s featherweight division have been added to an action-packed kickboxing line-up taking place at “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” on Saturday, September 19 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Amsterdam-based Serhiy Adamchuk(29-5, 14 KO), originally from Ukraine, will meet muay Thai world champion Anvar Boynazarov (79-20-2, 45 KO) of California, by way of Uzbekistan, in a fight to determine the next Glory featherweight contender.


In addition to the kickboxing fight being added to the prelims, the alternate bout for the light heavyweight tournament will now feature Roy “Black Dynamite” Boughton (12-5) as the new opponent for Francis Carmont (23-10). Carmont was slated to take on Philipe Lins, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw when he fell ill with dengue fever.


Adamchuk was originally slated to face Glory Featherweight World Champion Gabriel Varga at the event before the Canadian suffered an injury during training camp. The winner of this fight will now be next in line to face Varga for the title at an upcoming Glory event. Adamchuk debuted at Glory 22 in June, stepping in on 24 hours notice to beat lightweight contender Marat Grigorian in one of the biggest upsets of 2015 thus far. Boynazarov debuted last month at Glory 23, defeating highly touted Georgian prospect Giga Chikadze, training out of Kings MMA.


“Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” airs live and free on Spike at 9/8c. Tickets for the historic event start at just $30 and are on sale now at the SAP Center box office and are also available for purchase at Ticketmaster.com, as well as Bellator.com.


For the first time ever, “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” will feature both a Bellator MMA cage and a Glory kickboxing ring on one arena floor at the same time. In the evening’s main event, Tito Ortiz (18-11) will challenge the undefeated Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion, Liam McGeary (10-0) for the title.


Additionally, the previously announced fight card features a Glory kickboxing title fight featuring Zack Mwekassa (13-2, 12 KO) and Saulo Cavalari (31-2, 19 KO) for the vacant Light Heavyweight Championship, as well as Bellator MMA competitors Paul “Semtex” Daley (37-13-2) and Fernando “The Menifee Maniac” Gonzalez (24-13) also competing in Glory action, when they trade-in the MMA gloves for kickboxing gloves. Finally, recently signed Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez (2-1) will compete in kickboxing action against Hadley Griffith.


On the mixed martial arts side, Bellator MMA will also conduct a four-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament to determine the No. 1 contender in the division that features Phil Davis (13-3) taking on Emanuel Newton (25-8-1) and Linton Vassell (15-4-1) facing Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (15-4, 1 NC). Newly signed lightweight standout Josh “The Punk” Thomson (20-8, 1 NC) is also in action, when he makes his Bellator MMA debut against Mike “The Greek Assassin” Bronzoulis (18-8-1).


“Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” – Saturday, September 19 – SAP Center, San Jose, Calif.


Main Card:

Bellator Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Tito Ortiz (18-11) vs. © Liam McGeary (10-0)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: TBD vs. TBD

Glory Vacant Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Saulo Cavalari (31-2) vs. Zack Mwekassa (13-2)

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Josh Thomson (20-8) vs. Mike Bronzoulis (18-8-1)

Glory Welterweight Feature Fight: Paul Daley (37-13-2 MMA/20-3 Kickboxing) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (24-13/1-2 Kickboxing)

Glory Bantamweight Feature Fight: Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez (2-1) vs. Hadley Griffith (Debut)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Fight: Phil Davis (13-3) vs. Emanuel Newton (25-8-1)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Fight: Linton Vassell (15-4-1) vs. Muhammed Lawal (15-4, 1 NC)


Preliminary Card:

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Israel Delgado (0-1) vs. JJ Okanovich (0-1)

Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: James Terry (15-8) vs. Carlos Rocha (9-3)

Bellator Flyweight Feature Fight: Matt Ramirez (1-1) vs. Josh Paiva (5-1)

Glory Featherweight Feature Fight: Serhiy Adamchuck (29-5) vs. Anvar Boynazarov (29-20-2)

Bellator Bantamweight Feature Fight: Gabe Carrasco (5-0) vs. Joe Neal (5-0)

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Adam Piccolotti (5-0) vs. Marlen Magee (3-3)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Thomas Diagne (5-4) vs. Mike Malott (4-1)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Alternate Bout: Francis Carmont (23-10) vs. Roy Boughton (12-5)

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Nick Pica (4-0) vs. Mauricio Alonso (10-5)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Victor Jones (Debut) vs. David Blanco (1-0) *

Bellator Flyweight Amateur Fight: Gloria Telles (Debut) vs. Alysia Cortez (Debut) *

Glory Lightweight Feature Fight: Jose Palacios (7-7) vs. TJ Arcengal (4-1) *

Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Brandon Hester (1-0) vs. DeMarco Villalona (1-0) *


* indicates bouts may take place simultaneously.