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Bellator 142: Dynamite Preview

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September 19, 2015

SPIKE.COM PRELIMS 7PM, SPIKE MAIN CARD 9PM

On September 19th the SAP Center in San Jose California will play host to an event that promises to be a must watch for anyone who is a fan of combat sports. Bellator 142: Dynamite is being billed as a three-tiered event that will feature both Bellator MMA and Glory Kickboxing. The Glory section of the card will feature a fight for the vacant Light Heavyweight title between Saulo Cavalari and Zack Mwekassa while the other two tiers will be MMA focused.

We’ll be focusing on the MMA tiers of the card. The main event of the evening will be a Light Heavyweight Title fight which sees champion Liam McGeary taking on UFC veteran and MMA legend Tito Ortiz. The other tier of the card will feature a four man light heavyweight tournament which will have opening bouts of Phil Davis vs Emanuel Newton and “King” Mo Lawal vs Linton Vassell. The winners of those two bouts will go on to face each other later that night with the winner of the final bout earning a title shot against the winner of the main event. Other notable fights on the card include Josh Thomson vs Mike Bronzoulis and Francis Carmont vs Luiz Philipe Lins. So let’s break down the opening fights of the tournament and the main event of the evening.

“King” Mo Lawal vs Linton Vassell

The opening fight of the light heavyweight tournament will be between “King” Mo Lawal and Linton Vassell. Both men enter the fight with a 15-4 record with Lawal on a 3 fight win streak and Vassell having won 10 of his last 11 fights.

“King” Mo’s last fight was a split decision victory against Cheick Kongo and was actually fought at heavyweight, the two fights before that were at light heavyweight however and both resulted in TKO victories for Lawal. With 11 of his 15 wins coming by way of KO or TKO, Lawal obviously has power in his hands and tends to like to keep the fight standing.

Linton Vassell has won 10 of his last 11 with his 1 loss coming in the 5th round of a war with then champion Emanuel Newton. Vassell seems to be the more well-rounded of the 2 fighters. Out of his 15 wins, 6 are by KO or TKO and 7 are by submission. Vassell would appear to have the advantage if the fight goes to the ground but getting it there might be problematic due to Lawal’s underrated wrestling ability.

Phil Davis vs Emanuel Newton

UFC veteran Phil Davis makes his Bellator debut at this event and certainly hasn’t drawn an easy match up. Davis is 13-3 with his last fight ending in a controversial split decision loss to Ryan Bader. Davis hasn’t finished an opponent since 2012 but has elite level wrestling ability (he is a 4 time Division 1 All-American while at Penn State) and uses that to smother virtually anyone who steps in the cage with him.

Former champion Emanuel Newton makes his return to the cage after a 3 month suspension for testing positive for marijuana following his loss to Liam McGeary at Bellator 134 in February. Prior to the loss Newton had been on a 7 fight win streak, including victories over 2 of the other 3 fighters in the tournament, Lawal and Vassell. Newton has an impressive record of 25-8 and has shown that he has the ability to knock his opponent out or make them tap as he has finished 13 of his opponents. Newton has fought wrestlers in the past but has never really been in the cage with someone who has the caliber of wrestling that Davis possesses, and that might make the difference in this fight.

Liam McGeary (c) vs Tito Ortiz

Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary comes into this fight with a perfect 10-0 record, finishing all but 1 of those fights. McGeary is a dangerous fighter no matter where the fight ends up. He has a dangerous stand up game and is equally effective on the ground, including being very proficient off his back when necessary. And at 6’6, the Englishman should hold a significant reach advantage as well.

Tito Ortiz is a legend in the MMA world. With a record of 18-11, Ortiz steps into the cage at 40 years of age for what will probably be his last shot at a title. Ortiz is known for his ground and pound style and his incredible cardio which, while it has dropped off a little bit with age, is still impressive to watch. Ortiz likes to wear his opponents down throughout the fight before looking for the finish. That may be much easier said than done against McGeary however as the champion has great cardio, is 8 years younger than Ortiz and has shown that he can go the distance in fights with little issue as he proved in his 5 round battle with Emanuel Newton where he set the record for most submission attempts in Bellator history with 11.

Between the tournament and the main event, the MMA side of Bellator 142 is already a must see event. When you add in the Glory side of things it makes it hard to consider not tuning into Spike TV on September 19th.

MAIN CARD

Liam McGeary vs. Tito Ortiz TITLE FIGHT
Muhammed Lawal vs. Linton Vassell
Mike Bronzoulis vs. Josh Thomson
Phil Davis vs. Emanuel Newton

UNDERCARD

Roy Boughton vs. Francis Carmont
Victor Jones vs. David Blanco
Gloria Telles vs. Alysia Cortez
Nick Pica vs. Mauricio Alonso
Brandon Hester vs. DeMarco Villalona

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Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes

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Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.

Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).

In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.

Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”

In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.

This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.

 

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Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video

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Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.

The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.

Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)

Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.

RN: 265 lb.

MM: 255 lb.

Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.

PF: 155 lb.

DC: 154 lb.

Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.

HH: 126.25 lb*

AJ: 125 lb.

Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.

LM: 203.75 lb.

VN: 205 lb.

Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.

TW: 145 lb.

JS: 142.25 lb.

Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)

Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

RS: 155.5 lb.

RL: 156 lb.

Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout. 

MK: 135.75 lb.

GT: 135 lb.

Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.

RC: 145 lb.

TE: 146 lb.

Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.

JT: 205.5 lb.

WH: 203 lb.

Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.

MS: 156 lb.

DH: 155.25 lb.

Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.

PN: 163.5 lb.

KX 164.5 lb.

Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

TH: 154 lb.

PC: 155.5 lb.

*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.

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Exclusive: Saad Awad looking for the quick knockout at Bellator 193

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Saad Awad makes his return to the Bellator cage Friday as he takes on JJ Ambrose.

The veteran Awad has been with Bellator since 2013, amassing a 9-5 record in the process, with five of those wins coming via knockout. Impressive wins against Will Brooks and Evangelista Santos feature on his 21-9 record.

The heavy-handed striker gets to fight in his backyard of California for the first time in over a year. A native of San Bernardino, Awad is fighting only forty-five minutes from his home, in the co-main event no less.

It’s great,” Awad told MMA Latest about co-main eventing in California. “I’m about forty-five minutes from my house, the arena sold out the week they released the tickets. So I know a lot of people are going to be here and the energy’s going to be really good, it’s going to be great, and it’s going to help me mentally.”

Meeting Awad in the co-main is a fellow California native himself, JJ Ambrose. Ambrose has been fighting since 2005 and has amassed 26 wins in his 13-year career.

He’s a veteran, he kind of flew under the radar,” Awad said. “He’s fought all over the place. I think he brings a lot of experience, a good solid stand-up, and ground game, and wrestling.”

Although Awad highlighted Ambrose’s quality, make no mistake, the “Assassin” believes he holds all the advantages.

I match-up with him great, to be honest, I think my striking is a little bit better, I think I hit a lot harder and my jiu-jitsu’s going to be a bit better, and I’m going to be able to outwrestle him,” Awad explained. “So I think stylistically it’s a bad matchup for him.”

Awad is coming off of a quick KO, one minute, seven seconds, over Zach Freeman. The quick win didn’t come as a surprise to Awad as he always expects to finish his opponents quickly.

I mean, not be cocky, but I expect to get a quick KO against everybody,” Awad said. “When I don’t get a quick KO then I’m like ‘okay something’s wrong’ so then I have to change my gameplan up. So nothing against Zach Freeman, I mean, every fight I go in there looking for the quick knockout.”

Currently, on a solid two-fight winning streak, Awad highlights what exactly the key’s been for him to get this far.

Honestly, I’ve just been training a lot,” Awad said. “I’ve just been training and focusing a lot on little details that I knew were my flaws, and every fight I’ll keep something new. If I see something go wrong in one of my fights, I’ll tweak that out and train it and get a little bit better and then just try and keep improving.”

With a win taking Awad to three victories in a row, it would make sense to offer the veteran a big fight. But Awad doesn’t have a name in mind next, although he doesn’t believe it would matter anyway.

Whoever they give me,” Awad said. “I can ask for fights but they won’t give them to me. “My only thing is trying to get a title fight, I’m not even going to ask for that anymore. I’m going to ask them to keep me busy. I just want to stay busy. I get paid the same no matter who I fight so as long as they keep me busy, that’s what I’m happy for.”

As for 2018, Awad’s goals remain simple.

Keep winning,” Awad said. “Stay busy and keep winning.”

If things go the way Awad expects, fans are in for a treat. As for Ambrose? Not so much.

I’m going to go in there and leave with a knockout, a violent knockout,” Awad said. “Get my hand raised, talk some shit, and leave.”

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