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Jordan Parsons: Not Just a Pretty Face

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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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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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