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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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Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.

After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return.  Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.

Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.

With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.

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Angela Magana says she has been cut from the UFC

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Angela Magana announced her release from the UFC on Twitter yesterday.

The now-former UFC strawweight was 0-3, in as many contests with the promotion. Her most recent loss came at the hands of Amanda Cooper, at UFC 218, on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims. A bout which she lost by TKO in the second round.

Her first opportunity arose with the UFC when she appeared on, The Ultimate Fighter 20. A #12 seed, in the tournament of strawweights, Magana lost her preliminary round bout to #4 seed, Aisling Daly. Unfortunately, her promotional debut, on The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 20, resulted in another loss. Tecia Torres defeated Magana that night via unanimous decision. The following summer, Magana fought Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson at The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 21. Waterson won by submission (rear-naked choke) in the third round of the bout.

Oddly enough, following her July 2015, loss to Waterson and before her final bout with the UFC, Magana seemingly instigated a feud between herself and current featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg. A feud which began on social media and boiled over at the 2017 UFC Athlete Retreat. Disregarding her well-documented spat with Cris “Cyborg”, Magana managed her way through a storm of misfortune on her way to UFC 218.

After falling in love with Puerto Rico while on vacation, Magana moved to the island in the fall of 2016. Her entire life followed her there, as she began to train on the island she fell in love with. The tropical paradise turned to an apocalyptic wasteland following Hurricane Maria, the category five hurricane which decimated the area. The disaster became an extreme hindrance for the strawweight.

Her UFC 218 bout became official in early October. Yet, in spite of horrendous living conditions, she powered on through the natural disaster that left her home without power, until the week of the fight. Magana took to social media to tell fans that she would not stop fighting and is currently training for her next opportunity.

 

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Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone intends to move back to lightweight in next bout

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Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (32-10 1 NC, 19-7 UFC) has been a jewel in the eyes of fight fans for quite a while. How can fans avoid gravitating to the man with the most post-fight bonuses in UFC history? The fan favorite appeared on former UFC heavyweight, Brendan Schaub and comedian, Bryan Callen’s podcast, The Fighter and The Kid, on Thursday. Cordially, the trio briefly discussed a few topics pertaining to “Cowboy”, and his combat sports career.

Schaub and Callen peppered the UFC veteran on what takes precedent moving forward, his acting career or his fighting career. Schaub asks, “So, is the plan to forget the octagon and go full Hollywood?”, a question which Cerrone scoffed at.  Schaub was referencing news the active fighter broke a few minutes earlier on the podcast; Cerrone would be co-starring with Denzel Washington in, The Equalizer 2.

Callen then followed up with his partner’s question, “See, Schaub and I, secretly, want you never to fight again, (because) you already proved everything. All we want is you to stay healthy and become an actor.”

Eventually, the group reached the topic of Darren Till, when the former fighter turned comedian, Brendan Schaub, asked, “In retrospect, the Darren Till fight, would you still have taken it?” In typical “Cowboy” style, he nonchalantly claimed he would have still taken the fight. Less than a minute later, Schaub made the point, “While you’re doing movies and traveling with your boys in RVs, guys like Darren Till are in the training room.”

Cerrone adamantly stated on what was not the first occasion, “I’m there, five years. Five years come on guys,” referring to how long he wishes to continue fighting for. After a question on how many fights he plans to schedule per year he states, “Well, I’m going back to fifty-five… I’m more focused. At seventy, I can just not train, f*ck off more… I put more into at fifty-five… Let’s do it, man…let’s go back have a couple more fights. Yea, I won’t take like twenty a year anymore, I’ll probably take it down a little bit”.

“Cowboy” is coming off a three-fight losing streak, after falling to young prospect Darren Till but, prior to his past three fights, Cerrone had only lost once since late 2013. As many fans know, he is an active fighter. Since November of 2013, he has fought sixteen times. On that list, are wins over Benson Henderson, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, and Rick Story.

With over forty professional MMA fights, and a budding acting career, it looks like Donald Cerrone is doing exactly what he should. It is a bit sad to see one of the great modern fighters begin to close out his career. Yet, like Callen and Schaub, I imagine anyone who calls them-self a “Cowboy” fan, wants to see the talented Denver, Colorado-based fighter walk away with health and a new promising career.

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