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Will Brooks free agent, Vitaly Minakov stripped of Bellator title

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First reported by John Morgan of MMAJunkie.com, news broke out that two of Bellator’s finest are no longer champions in the organization anymore. Vitaly Minakov was stripped of his Heavyweight Championship while the promotion terminated Will Brook’s contract.

Vitaly Minakov is currently undefeated with an outstanding record of 17-0. He made his Bellator debut in November of 2012 defeating Vladimir Starcencov and two years later, Minakov won the Bellator Heavyweight Championship by defeating Alexander Volkov by TKO in the first round. Since then, Minakov has only defended his belt once against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 115 by unanimous decision in April 2014.

Scott Coker confirmed with MMAJunkie that the company has stripped Vitaly Minakov due to inactivity of defending the belt. In the past two years, Minakov has fought three times, winning them all but didn’t defend his Bellator Championship in those bouts. The promotion will retain Minakov’s rights and will be ready open arms when the undefeated Russian is ready to step back in the Bellator cage. As for the now vacant heavyweight title, Bellator is moving on and is putting fights together to determine the next heavyweight champion.

 

Will Brooks debuted in Bellator in early of 2013 during Bellator’s Season 8 Lightweight Tournament. From there, “Ill Will” compiled a record of 9-1 and captured the Bellator Lightweight title. Brooks holds wins over Marcin Held and two over the former Bellator champ, Michael Chandler and has defended his belt twice in the promotion.

Will Brooks originally told MMAFighting.com that his contract ended on July 15th but that didn’t seem to be the case. Scott Coker told MMAJunkie that Brooks’ contract was ending and the company decided not to renew it plus waive all the negotiation rights. Now a free agent, where will this American Top Team standout land?

Let us know what you think and be sure to check out our website for more of MMA’s latest news.


For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

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Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.

Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.

Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.

After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.

With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:

Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout

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Holloway vs Edgar set to headline UFC 218

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UFC 218 is set to take place on Saturday, December 2nd, in Detroit, Michigan at the Little Caesars Arena and will be available on pay-per-view.

The event is now set to be headlined by Max Holloway’s first featherweight title defense since he won the belt at UFC 212 against the legendary Jose Aldo. In his first title defense, he will take in another MMA legend in New Jersey’s Frankie Edgar.

UFC 218 will mark Frankie Edgar’s third attempt at winning the featherweight crown, with his first two attempts coming against Jose Aldo at UFC 156 and UFC 200. Edgar will be looking to become a two-weight world champion, having previously been the UFC lightweight champion. He will once again attempt to join an elite group which includes Conor McGregor, B.J. Penn, and Randy Couture as the only fighters to have been champions in two weight divisions.

Edgar is a worthy contender but you have to feel that if Aldo had won at UFC 212 then Edgar may have waited a lot longer for his return to fight for a championship. But with a new champ and McGregor firmly out the picture, the featherweight division can thrive with some new match ups.

And what a matchup this is, as we get to see two incredible fighters with two different styles take each other on, in what could turn out to be one of the fights of the year.

The UFC 218 card is now shaping up nicely as the main event joins Francis Ngannou vs Alistair Overeem on the card. As well as several other bouts such as Alvarez vs Gaethje, Cejudo vs Pettis and Herrig vs Casey.

Will Holloway extend his unbeaten run to 12 fights or will Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar cement his legacy with his second UFC world title? The world will find out on December 2nd.

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BREAKING: Carlos Condit Returns to Face Neil Magny at UFC 219

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Carlos Condit is back. After almost two years away from the octagon, ‘The Natural Born Killer’ will fight Neil Magny at UFC 219 on December 30th.

Whilst Condit has been amid rumors of retirement ever since his first round submission loss to Demian Maia back in August of 2016, he will be returning to action after all.

Condit’s return was in question, but his recent action on Twitter sparked some noise, when he hinted at a possible return.

‘The Natural Born Killer’ is currently ranked 7th in the welterweight division, he will be facing Neil Magny on December 30th, 2017, which is on the weekend of New Year’s Eve.

This fight adds onto an already-stacked card that is UFC 219, which also includes the return of the former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, a rising contender in the strawweight division in Cynthia Calvillo, and Condit’s addition to the card only makes it better.

Both Condit and Magny will be looking to get back on the winning track in this fight. This fight delivers some mix-up in the division, and with Thompson and Masvidal matched up already in the top 5, this fight will give both fighters a great opportunity to jump right back into the title fight. Magny’s last fight was against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 215, where he lost in the first round via arm-triangle choke.

Now with the addition of Condit vs. Magny, here is the line-up so far for UFC 219.

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
  • Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
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