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Bellator MMA 141: Guillard vs. Girtz finalised with 5 new prelim added

Jim Edwards

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August 28th’s “Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz” is now complete with the addition of four new bouts which will take place during the preliminary card at the beautiful Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif.

In a critical lightweight matchup, Brent Primus (5-0) will put his undefeated record on the line against the dangerous Derek “The Barbaric” Anderson (12-1, 1 NC). Also on the card, middleweights AJ “The Mercenary” Matthews (7-3) versus Emiliano “He-Man” Sordi (13-4), as well as light heavyweights Ray Sloan (8-0), who goes to battle with Luc Bondole (4-1), and the young featherweight A.J. McKee (1-0) returns to face James Barnes (4-0). Finally, a third women’s bout has also been added, with the inclusion of Ilima Macfalane (1-0) against Maria Rios (2-2) in flyweight action.

The newly announced contests will stream on Spike.com at 7:45 p.m. ET during the preliminary portion of “Bellator MMA: Guillard vs. Girtz,” which is followed by the main card, which airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

Limited tickets for the event, which start at just $50, remain on sale now at Pechanga.com and the Pechanga Resort & Casino box office. Doors for the event open at 4 p.m. PT local time.

In the evening’s main event, Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-14-2, 2 NC) will face Brandon “Cold Roll” Girtz (11-4). The co-headliner will feature lightweight action that pits Saad Awad (18-6) against Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (13-6). Opening the main card, Lorenzo Hood (9-2) will make his Bellator MMA debut against Raphael Butler (9-1-1).

San Diego’s Anderson will look to parlay his impressive technical knockout of Danny Navarro at Bellator 132 when he steps into the Bellator MMA cage for the second time in 2015. A product of Team Xplode MMA, the man fans describe as “The Barbaric” will be seeking his 12th finish in 14 tries.

 Since joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2013, Primus has been on a tear, ripping through all three opponents with first-round finishes. Now, the 30-year-old Portland, Ore., native will face the stiffest test of his young career when he goes up against Anderson. Will he manage to keep his undefeated, first-round finish streak alive?

Known by most mixed martial arts fans as one of top up-and-coming 185-pound fighters on the Bellator MMA roster, Matthews emphatically solidified his contender role in the division with his show-stopping knockout of Kyle Bolt at Bellator 131 this past November. Known as “The Mercenary,” the Blackline MMA product and Strikeforce veteran will look to continue his rise to the top of the middleweight heap when he returns to action on Aug. 28.

Standing opposite of Matthews will be Sordi, who burst on the Bellator MMA scene with a 58-second submission of former UFC fighter Bubba McDaniel. The 24-year-old Argentinian has not tasted defeat since 2012 and has earned all 13 of his professional victories before reaching the judges’ scorecards.

Undefeated in eight fights, Sloan has entered Bellator MMA impressively, winning his first two tilts. The Oceanside, Calif., native trains out of Excel Jiu-Jitsu and has utilized the discipline to defeat seven out of eight opponents via submission.

Bondole is a highly regarded prospect, fighting out of Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif., whos last outing resulted in a draw against Chris Hererra. Now, he will look to secure a win over Sloan on his own terms, and not let the judges have a say.

The son of respected MMA fighter Antonio McKee, “The Mercenary” will look to continue to pave his own way through the sport.  A.J. shined in his first outing, securing a first round rear-naked choke over Marcos Bonilla. He now faces a fellow Angelino in Barnes, who has been tearing up the Gladiator Challenge circuit, going 4-0 with two KO’s and two submissions, all taking place in the first round.

Best known for her viral performance in her professional MMA debut, Macfarlane will now make her first appearance for Bellator MMA when she faces Maria Rios.

“Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz” – Friday, August 28, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Melvin Guillard (32-14-2, 2 NC) vs. Brandon Girtz (11-4)

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Patricky Pitbull (13-6) vs. Saad Awad (18-6)

Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Justin Wren (10-2) vs. Josh Burns (8-8)

Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Raphael Butler (9-1-1) vs. Lorenzo Hood (9-2)

Bellator Women’s Flyweight Prelim: Ilima Macfarlane (1-0) vs. Maria Rios (2-2)

Bellator Featherweight Prelim: A.J. McKee (1-0) vs. James Barnes (4-0)

Bellator Womens Featherweight Prelim: Adrienna Jenkins (18-6) vs. Lissette Neri (6-2)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Prelim: Ray Sloan (8-0) vs. Luc Bondole (4-1)

Bellator Welterweight Prelim: Johnny Cisneros (8-4) vs. Gabriel Miglioli (9-7)

Bellator Welterweight Prelim: Curtis Millender (7-2) vs. Steven Ciaccio (4-3)

Bellator Womens Featherweight Prelim: Marloes Coenen (22-6) vs. Arlene Blencowe (6-4)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim: Brent Primus (5-0) vs. Derek Anderson (12-1, 1 NC)

Bellator Middleweight Prelim: AJ Matthews (7-3) vs. Emiliano Sordi (13-4)

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Bellator

Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet

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Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Refereeing’s Loss is Bellator’s Gain

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When former Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith left the organization last week, not many expected MMA veteran referee, John McCarthy, to be his replacement. There is little doubt that McCarthy will make an excellent color analyst. However, it’s hard not to be disappointed that the sport is losing one of the best and most experienced referees.

McCarthy has been part of the fabric of MMA and the UFC in particular, since 1993. He was hugely influential in creating and enforcing the rules of the cage that have changed MMA into the respected sport it is today. Back in early to mid-nineties, the ‘sport’ was fairly labeled by some critics as ‘human cockfighting’. Without McCarthy as an instrumental player in changing regulations and rules, who knows where the MMA would be today.

What we have grown to appreciate most about McCarthy over the past two decades is how simple he makes this tough job look, which can be credited to years of experience and dedication. To the layman, it would appear that it’s a simple as stopping the fight when a fighter is knocked out or submitted. MMA fans know there’s a lot more to it than that.

It’s difficult to remember a moment in recent memory where McCarthy has let a fight go too long, or even stopped a fight too soon. His timing is almost always perfect. His composure and rationale in the cage are unmatched. When McCarthy is the third man in the Octagon we know the fighters are in safe hands.

It’s worth reiterating how important McCarthy is in maintaining the standard of referring and judging in the sport. The sport of MMA is still very young and is growing rapidly and so are the rules. The former LAPD police officer created his own training school known as C.O.M.M.A.N.D. The course teaches the next generation of MMA referees and judges, and there is no better person to be educated by. Referees must complete this or a similar course run by Herb Dean to be licensed as an official.

Former fighter Frank Trigg, who has pursued refereeing since his career wound down, has taken the course. He recently appeared on The MMA Hour to explain just how tough C.O.M.M.A.N.D is. It took Trigg three attempts to pass, emphasizing just how difficult a career path officiating is.

While ‘Big John’ as he is more affectionately known hasn’t completely left refereeing, he will likely no longer be seen in the cage at the biggest shows. The pool of referees trusted with the big title fights is rather small. Normally McCarthy and Herb Dean are tasked with the important title fights.

It’s not all bad that McCarthy is stepping aside for the time being. The likes of Mark Smith, Jason Herzog, and Chris Tognoni have all shown they are capable officials. There is now a great opportunity for them to move into the main event slots. There are also the likes of Yves Lavigne, Mike Beltran and Marc Goddard who can be trusted to referee the big fights.

While it is surprising, it’s understandable that McCarthy is looking for new career ventures. It is no secret that MMA referees are poorly paid relative to other sporting officials. Las Vegas often discloses referee pay when assignments are announced. The pay tends to range between $1000 and $2000 for the night. Trigg explained on The MMA hour that there is no money in becoming a referee and that most also have full-time jobs. McCarthy’s passion for the sport of MMA has been the biggest incentive for refereeing. It is totally understandable that he would take a bigger payday and put all his knowledge of the sport to good use in the commentary booth.

McCarthy will almost certainly be as dedicated to his new job as he was with his refereeing duties. He can also offer a fascinating insight into the officiating of a fight that nobody else can offer. If there wasn’t already an excuse to watch Bellator 192 on January 20th, headlined by Rory MacDonald vs Douglas Lima, then there most definitely is now.

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Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson the new main event at Bellator 192

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Bellator is getting ready to kick off their heavyweight grand prix at Bellator 192 on January 20th. The grand prix gets started with two former UFC greats who have now set their sights on Bellator gold, Chael Sonnen and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Today it was announced that this heavyweight matchup of two ordinarily light heavyweights will be getting the bump up to the main event. The reason for the change has not been announced.

The main event was scheduled to be the much anticipated welterweight matchup between champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald. Bellator has been promoting this event as such the welterweight title fight would get top billing. Earlier this week the fighters involved in the main and co-main event were part of a conference call. At the time there was no mention of the switch to the lineup.

This fight between Sonnen and Jackson is just the first in a series of heavyweight fights leading up to the crowning of the Bellator heavyweight championship in December. There has been great interest shown in this heavyweight grand prix between fans and media, which could attribute to the last minute change.

Lima vs. MacDonald will now serve as the co-main event on January 20th. Lima, who has been with Bellator since 2011 has been accused of being overlooked by the organization. He has held the welterweight title since November 2016 and perhaps has not gotten the showcases he deserves. This event will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

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