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Jordan Parsons: Not Just a Pretty Face



Pretty Boy isn’t a nickname you normally associate with fighters, but that’s the moniker that Jordan Parsons of Bellator has embraced in his career. With a record of 11-1, and a 2-0 record in Bellator with finishes in both fights, he’s managed to earn that nickname by dictating his fights and making sure his face isn’t on the receiving end of a whole lot of punishment. He’ll be looking to extend his 4 fight win streak at Bellator 146 when he steps into the cage against fellow rising star featherweight Bubba Jenkins. I had the opportunity to speak to Parsons about his upcoming fight and the animosity that’s been evident between himself and his opponent.

Parsons was actually the one to call out Bubba Jenkins, commenting on Jenkins’ social media in an apparent attempt to get a rise out of his fellow featherweight. When I asked him why he called out Jenkins, Parsons made it pretty clear that he’s not going to be buying a ticket for the Bubba Jenkins hype train anytime soon.

“He’s a beatable guy with a name. So I figured if I could get his attention then he can go ahead and let Bellator know that he wants to fight me. I figure that’s the quickest route, the easiest and look where we sit today, it worked out pretty well for me. I don’t really think Bubba Jenkins is that great of a fighter. He’s a decent athlete and he was a good wrestler but do you see him as a world champion? I don’t. He had a shot and he double-legged into a guillotine. I can already tell he gets a little scared when he gets out there, he doesn’t like to get hit. I hate losing and I love to hurt people so it goes hand in hand for me.”

On an episode of the MMA Roasted podcast, where Jenkins is a co-host, Parsons called in and was asked some questions about their upcoming fight. Things got fairly heated and one comment that stood out was when Parsons told Jenkins “You don’t have a ground game.” Jenkins, a former NCAA Division 1 National Champion, took exception to this and the comment did seem curious to me so I asked Parsons to clarify what he meant.

“We’re talking about MMA not just straight wrestling. His top game is super basic and underneath I don’t think he has anything. I think his BJJ game as a whole is kind of trash. He’s just one of those wrestlers that wants to get ahold of you and hold you down. I don’t think he has anything for me on the ground. What’s wrestling in MMA? It’s a transition. He has 7 finishes but who has he finished that has any kind of reputation? He had 1 opportunity against Georgi Karakhanyan and he lost to him. And who has he beat after that? Joe Wilk? Joe Wilk is like 14-18 or something or vice versa? He’s a journeyman. I’m out here to beat the best. He’s 9-2 we’re gonna go ahead and knock that down to 9-3. They told me with the 30-0 dude that he was gonna win and be 31-0. He even said he was gonna finish me on the ground and it didn’t happen. He gave me everything he had and it wasn’t enough and he broke and he quit.”

The “30-0 guy” that Parsons was referring to is Julio Cesar Neves Jr who Parsons fought at Bellator 137. Cesar Neves entered the fight at 30-0 and was adamant that Parsons wouldn’t present much of a challenge. Parsons submitted the Brazilian fighter with an arm-triangle in the 3rd round.

With featherweight being such a stacked division, I asked Parsons where he would rank himself in the 145 lb weight class. He had an interesting outlook on the whole concept of rankings.

“I don’t like to rank myself. I like to just take on the toughest people I can find and then I take theirs. I beat Bubba and then I’m an NCAA national champ, especially after I take him down. Everyone is good until they fight me. I can’t say unless I fight you. I want to be the best, I want to fight tough people, I want to be the best. If you want to take the easy road then I’m not the fight you’re looking for.”

Though he’s now fighting at featherweight (145 lbs), Parsons has fought at lightweight (155 lbs) in the past. When I asked him if he saw himself ever going back to 155, he wouldn’t rule it out, even if he didn’t see it in his immediate future.

“We’ll see, I’ll do featherweight as long as I can. When I get done doing what I want to do in this weight class then I can possibly move on. I’m getting older, I’m getting bigger as time goes on. We’ll see how long my body allows it and when it tells me enough’s enough then we’ll move forward from there but I don’t think about that, I just think about getting all the wins that I can.”

As our interview came to an end, I asked Parsons if he had a particular gameplan going into his fight on November 20th. His response left little doubt on how exactly he sees this fight playing out.

“I don’t think it matters, I’m gonna go out there and impose my will and do what I always do. I aim to break people one way or the other. We know what he’s coming to the table with but I don’t think he knows what I’m coming with. I think he acts confident in public but when he’s laying in his bed at night he’s thinking ‘man, I have to fight this guy. I’ve said so much I have to live up to that word.

“They put up a commercial this weekend and I was kind of offended, they said Bubba Jenkins is coming to make some noise in the featherweight division and I’m like ‘what do you mean?’, Bellator kind of talking like I ain’t nobody out here and I don’t like that we’re gonna have to change that around. I’m here to make a statement and it’s gonna be a serious one.”

One thing is for sure, Jordan Parsons has been overlooked by some opponents in the past and he made them pay for it. Tune in to Bellator 146 on Friday November 20th to see if “Pretty Boy” makes Bellator think twice before they leave him out of their next commercial.

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Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes



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



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



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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