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Tom Breese Talks BJJ, Upcoming Polaris 4 Bout, Potential Fight with Jacaré and Georges St-Pierre Contract Saga

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UFC middleweight Tom Breese has taken some time off from MMA competition recently but he’s certainly kept himself busy. Breese will be competing at both Polaris 4 and Eddie Bravo Invitational 9 in the coming weeks, and last weekend secured a rear naked choke victory over the Cage Warriors lightweight champion Chris Fishgold in a grappling exhibition bout, sharing this finishing sequence on his Instagram account. Breese will face Ben Dyson this Saturday, October 29th at Polaris 4.


Whilst training under Firas Zahabi at TriStar in Montreal, Breese would make regular trips to New York to train with John Danaher, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest grappling coaches in the world and likely the man responsible for the arm-trap from the back we saw Breese employ in that finishing sequence against Fishgold. Since returning to Birmingham, Breese has been working with Chiu Kwong Man, the first man to receive a black belt under BJJ legend Braulio Estima.

This is a level of coaching that must surely give Breese confidence going into his bout with Ben Dyson.

“I made trips to New York pretty regularly to go down and see them, training with those guys is great. John’s a genius,” he said. “I competed against Ben before in a tournament final and he actually caught me in a submission so I’ll be looking for revenge. There were a few stand-up exchanges and as soon as we went to the floor, right as we hit the ground he just caught me straight away. There wasn’t really a feeling out process, I just got caught cold so I look forward to competing against him again.”

We’ve seen Breese showcase Danaher’s methods before, not only in the finishing sequence against Fishgold but also in Breese’s UFC bout with Keita Nakamura in London earlier this year. It’s clear Breese has gained a lot from this training and it will be interesting to see if he utilizes Danaher’s patented leg attacks, as we may also see employed in Danaher protégé Garry Tonon’s match-up against UFC lightweight and three-time BJJ world champion Gilbert Burns.

“Yeah absolutely,” he said. “If the leg’s there I’ll take the leg, but If other submissions are there I’ll go for them too. I’ll attack the whole body, I’m open to all submissions.

“I think Garry will submit Gilbert Burns. Burns is very good, I think there’ll be some great exchanges but I think Garry’s pressure and all-out-attack style is going to end up catching Burns eventually.”

In their first 3 events, Polaris have already showcased names like Jake Shields, Rousimar Palhares, Eddie Cummings, Keenan Cornelius, Dean Lister, Marcin Held and returning star Garry Tonon. Not many, if any, grappling promotions in the world offers a better caliber of competitors than Polaris, which is incredible given the relatively short lifespan of the promotion thus far. I wondered if preparing for a grappling bout differed significantly from MMA fight preparation for Breese.

“I still train twice a day, conditioning, grappling and a lot of sparring,” Breese said. “I’m a mixed martial artist and after these grappling tournaments I want to get straight back in and fight so I’ve kept sharp, ticking over with my striking. For me training all year round, twice a day is just a lifestyle, it’s what I love to do so I’m happy.”

Breese hasn’t got a fight announced at the moment, and he says there’s no opponent or date set in stone just yet.

“Not yet, basically I’m just concentrating on these grappling matches, they’re a great experience for me and it should help me improve as a fighter. I’ve just moved back to Birmingham after living in Montreal for a while so I have a few things I have to do, move into a new apartment and stuff like that. Once that’s sorted I’d like to get a fight end of January/February time really.”

During Breese’s time at TriStar in Montreal, he trained extensively with Georges St-Pierre, whose ongoing contract saga has made big news in the MMA world recently. 

“Yeah I’m not too sure what’s going on there actually. If he is a free agent I’m not sure where else he would fight, who could afford to pay his wages, you know? It’s definitely interesting, it’s good to see fighters standing up against the UFC.”

Polaris 4 takes place this Saturday, October 29th. As well as Breese taking on Dyson and Tonon squaring off against Burns, we’ll also be treated to the likes of AJ Agazarm, Fernando ‘Tererê’ Augusto, Conor McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis, Eddie Bravo’s black belt Nathan Orchard, Japanese legend Masakazu Imanari, 100+ MMA fight veteran Ikuhisha ‘Minowaman’ Minowa and Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro, just to name a few. It’s clear this is the level of competition that Breese wants to test himself against.

“My dream grappling match-up would probably be the same as my dream MMA match up,” he said. “Jacaré. I’m training for him now, I’ve been training for him my whole life! That’s the type of fighter I want to be facing eventually, but I’ve got to work my way up. I’ve always been a big fan of Jacaré, I love his fight style and I’d love to test myself against that style.”

 

Polaris 4 is available on pay-per-view via their online stream which can be found here. The event will take place on Saturday, October 29th and will kick off at 18:30 BST.

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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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UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results

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UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:

Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews

Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya

MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
    • Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
  • Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
  • Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
  • Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
  • Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
    • Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
  • Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
    • Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
    • Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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