UFC Tonight: Chad Mendes, Phil Davis, Inside the Octagon, and UFC 179 Predictions

A new episode of UFC Tonight premiered last night on Fox Sports 1 and several segments from last night’s episode have been released by Fox Sports, including interviews with Chad Mendes and Phil Davis.

Posted in UFC Tonight, Video | Leave a comment

TUF 20 Full Fight Video: Felice Herrig vs. Heather Jo Clark

A new episode of The Ultimate Fighter 20 premiered last night on Fox Sports 1 and the fight on this week’s show was #6 Felice Herrig vs. #11 Heather Jo Clark.

Posted in The Ultimate Fighter 20, TUF 20 Full Fight Video, Video | Leave a comment

Bobby Lashley: I’ve been working a lot on my boxing and striking, but at the end of the day, wrestling is what got me to the dance

Spending so much of his life in wrestling, both collegiate and professionally, Bobby Lashley entered the fight game a bit later than most.Bobby Lashley

He debuted in 2008 at age 32, has bounced around organizations and had some prolonged layoffs to cash in on some professional wrestling opportunities.

Now, after finding a mixed martial arts home in Bellator, Lashley is ready to make a genuine run.

He explains, “I see some of the guys I started training out with and they are going on and doing really big things. It makes me think that if I would have just stuck in there, I would have had more opportunities and I would have been able to do bigger things myself. Now that I have that opportunity again, I need to do everything I can in my power to make it happen.”

One of his biggest motivators, and teachers, is fellow crossover star Josh Barnett.

“Someone I consider a mentor of mine, Josh Barnett, recently sent me a text and told me that I’m only going to be able to do this for so long, so I should do it while I can. That hit a nerve with me. I’m here so I don’t have to look back with any regrets.”

In hopes of capitalizing on his latest opportunity, Lashley is taking the steps to hone his craft, some of which include Barnett.

“I go out to California and work out with Josh, and he has the type of heavy top-game that makes you want to tap out just to get him off of you. But he’s a very intelligent guy and his submission game is excellent.”

“Of course I’ve been working a lot on my boxing and striking, but at the end of the day, wrestling is what got me to the dance, so I think expanding my submission grappling is a wise move.”

The goal is to continue improving and climb the Bellator heavyweight ranks. Next up is Karl Etherington on Friday night in Kansas. Lashley’s game plan for Etherington is likely to be his bread and butter, his wrestling.

“If I want to stand, I’ll throw some punches and see what he does – if he doesn’t do anything, I can take him down. It’s not going to be his option. It’ll be mine.”

At 38 and the clock on his athletic prime ticking down, Bobby Lashley appears as motivated as ever. He wants to ensure that he never looks back thinking “What if?”

“My manager was just telling me that I’m “Mr. Potential” right now because I have the potential to do a lot – but whether I act on that potential is up to me. So I’m going to really live out the potential this time. There are times in my career when I took time off, then came back and then went away again. I’m not doing that this time. This time I’m going all out, and when I’m done, I’m done. We’ll see where that potential takes me, and I think it’s going to be real far.”

Posted in Bellator 130, Bobby Lashley | Leave a comment

Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano booked for UFC 182

The co-main event of UFC 182 on January 3rd in Las Vegas will be a title fight as Ronda Rousey will defend the UFC women’s bantamweight title against number one contender Cat Zingano.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The fight booking was announced on Wednesday night on UFC Tonight.

UFC 182 will come from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3rd and will be headlined by Jon Jones defending the UFC light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier.

Rousey (10-0) is coming off a knockout win at UFC 175 against Alexis Davis and her last two wins have come by TKO. She has been recovering from a hand injury and this will be her fifth UFC title defense.

Zingano (9-0) returned from injury last month and she defeated Amanda Nunes by TKO in the third round at UFC 178. Both of her wins have come by TKO in the third round and eight of her nine wins have come by stoppage.

The current UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier fight card is below.

Jon Jones (20-1) vs. Daniel Cormier (15-0)
Ronda Rousey (10-0) vs. Cat Zingano (9-0)
Hector Lombard (34-4-1, 1NC) vs. Josh Burkman (27-10)
Jared Cannonier (7-0) vs. Shawn Jordan (16-6)
Louis Gaudinot (6-3, 1NC) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (14-1)

Posted in Cat Zingano, Ronda Rousey, UFC 183 | Leave a comment

UFC 179 Embedded – Episode 2

In the second episode of “Embedded” for UFC 179, Jose Aldo has one of his final training sessions before his fight on Saturday night. Also, Chad Mendes and Phil Davis arrive in Brazil, and Glover Teixeira gets a workout in.

Posted in UFC 179, Video | Leave a comment

UFC Fight Night 56: Shogun vs. Manuwa fight card lineup finalized with five fight main card

UFC Fight Night 56 will take place on November 8th from the Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil and the fight card has been finalized by the UFC.UFC Fight Night 56

The preliminary card will begin with two fights on Fight Pass at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and the final five preliminary bouts will be shown at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 2.

Following the conclusion of the preliminary card, the main card on Fox Sports 1 will start at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout as former UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua meets Jimi Manuwa.

The current UFC Fight Night 56: Shogun vs. Manuwa fight card is below.

Main Card: (Fox Sports 1 – 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT)
Mauricio Rua (22-9) vs. Jimi Manuwa (14-1)
Ovince St. Preux (16-6) vs. Francimar Barroso (16-4)
Ian McCall (13-4-1) vs. John Lineker (24-7)
Warlley Alves (7-0) vs. Alan Jouban (10-2)
Juliana Lima (6-2) vs. Nina Ansaroff (6-3)

Preliminary Card: (Fox Sports 2 – 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Diego Rivas (5-0) vs. Rodolfo Rubio (12-6)
Leon Edwards (8-1) vs. Claudio Silva (10-1)
Caio Magalhaes (8-1) vs. Trevor Smith (12-5)
Dhiego Lima (9-2) vs. Pawel Pawlak (10-1)
Leandro Silva (11-2-1) vs. Charlie Brenneman (19-7)

Preliminary Card: (Fight Pass – 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT)
Thomas Almeida (17-0) vs. Tim Gorman (8-3)
Colby Covington (6-0) vs. Wagner Silva (3-1)

Posted in UFC Fight Night 56 | Leave a comment

Titan FC 31: Ricci vs. Yoshida fight card lineup finalized with five fight main card on CBS Sports Network

Titan FC 31 will take place next Friday night at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida and promotion officials have announced the eleven fight card lineup.Titan-FC-31

The event will begin with two unaired preliminary bouts at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and the final four preliminary bouts will be shown on CBSSports.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Following the conclusion of the preliminary card, the main card on CBS Sports Network will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT and will be headlined by a vacant lightweight title bout as Ultimate Fighter alum Mike Ricci meets Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

The current Titan FC 31: Ricci vs. Yoshida fight card lineup is below.

Main Card: (CBS Sports Network -10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT)
Mike Ricci (10-4) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (17-6)
Desmond Green (12-3) vs. Miguel Torres (43-7)
Ken Hasegawa (8-0-1) vs. Matthew Thompson (19-9)
Hayder Hassan (5-1) vs. Felipe Portela (8-1)
Jose Figueroa (13-6) vs. Tyler Stinson (27-10)

Preliminary Card: (CBSSports.com – 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Scott Barrett (15-4) vs. Kenny Garney (13-7)
Brock Jardine (9-4) vs. Steve Montgomery (7-2)
Sirwan Kakai (10-2) vs. Joe Barajas (10-0)
Michael Graves (3-0) vs. Rafael Souza (6-2)

Preliminary Card: (Unaired -7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)
Mike Bruno (11-7) vs. Kamrin Naville (7-7)
Matthew Wagy (2-2) vs. William Sizemore (0-0)

Posted in Titan FC 31 | Leave a comment

The MMA Insiders Podcast Episode 8

On this week’s episode of “The MMA Insiders Podcast,” former Bellator MMA Vice President of Talent Relations and current promoter of Matrix Fights Sam Caplan and Jason Floyd discuss the injury to UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.The MMA Insiders Podcast

Also, they recap last weekend’s Bellator 129, preview Bellator 130 and UFC 179. In addition, Caplan discusses the signing of Pawal Wolak to Matrix Fights, Dave Meltzer article on Bellator in 2015, and leg breakers in MMA.

Follow Sam Caplan on Twitter: @SamCaplanMMA
Follow Jason Floyd on Twitter: @Jason_Floyd
Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher

Posted in Podcast, The MMA Insiders Podcast | Leave a comment

Bellator 129 TV ratings increase 21 percent in +3 DVR numbers with 683,000 viewers

Bellator 129 took place last Friday night in Council Bluffs, Iowa and the preliminary television ratings (Live+SD) had 564,000 viewers with a peak viewership of 780,000.B129 WI

The ratings for the broadcast went up 21 percent in the +3 DVR numbers with 683,000 viewers and the new peak of the broadcast in now 948,000 viewers at 10:11 p.m ET.

The increase of 21 percent is the biggest increase in +3 DVR numbers during this season of Bellator as the previous high was 16 percent with Bellator 123 in September. With the viewership from last week’s card, the preliminary viewership (Live+SD) is now at 668,000 and the +3 DVR average is 740,000.

The television ratings for the eleventh season of Bellator are below.

Bellator 123:
Live+SD: 667,000 with peak of 979,000
+3 DVR: 777,000 with peak of 1,193,000

Bellator 124:
Live+SD: 771,000 with peak of 1,271,000
+3 DVR: 836,000 with peak of 1,429,000

Bellator 125:
Live+SD: 742,000 with peak of 1,120,000
+3 DVR: 796,000 with peak of 1,250,000

Bellator 126:
Live+SD: 656,000 with peak of 942,000
+3 DVR: 687,000 with peak of 1,011,000

Bellator 127:
Live+SD: 609,000 with peak of 780,000
+3 DVR: 670,000 with peak of 886,000

Bellator 128:
Live+SD: 668,000 with peak of 946,000
+3 DVR: 731,000 with peak of 990,000

Bellator 129:
Live+SD: 564,000 with peak of 780,000
+3 DVR: 683,000 with peak of 948,000

Stay with TheMMAReport.com for ongoing coverage of the Nielsen ratings battle between Bellator MMA and the UFC.

Posted in Bellator 129, Bellator TV Ratings, TV Ratings | Leave a comment

Karl Etherington on Bellator 130 bout against Bobby Lashley: The fans should expect a train crash

The co-main event of Friday’s Bellator 130 main card on Spike TV will be a heavyweight bout as Karl Etherington looks to remain undefeated as he meets Bobby Lashley.Karl Etherington

Etherington (9-0) made his Bellator debut last year and all of his professional mixed martial arts fight have ended in the first round.

Prior to entering the sport of mixed martial arts, he was a British Junior Champion in Judo, British Sambo Champion (both Combat and Sport Sambo), European BJJ Champion (blue belt and no-gi), and British BJJ Champion (gi and no-gi). He took his first professional mixed martial arts bout in September of 2010 and recently talked about his journey into the sport of mixed martial arts.

“After I didn’t get the final selection for the Olympic squad in Judo, I took an offer to fight pro MMA,” Etherington said. “Prior to that, the British Judo Association always took a dim view on the sport of MMA. So I decided that it would work itself out if I took the opportunity in MMA, and that’s the way it went. I felt confident stepping into MMA because of my varied background in martial arts, and I proved I was a good fit in my first few fights.”

“Being a multi-disciplined athlete, I used what I was good at against their weaknesses. One was a good British-level K-1 guy and I knew I had to take that fight to the floor, so I slammed him. The big Polish guy I fought, Tomas Vaicickas, I knew his strong point was ground-and-pound, and I saw him in earlier fight and didn’t think too much of his chin. So I took it right to him and put him to sleep. I try to choose my better disciplines for each particular opponent.”

Etherington’s Bellator MMA debut came at the beginning of last year as he defeated Jason Fish by TKO at the 3:45 mark of the opening round. It would only be one of two fights for him in 2013 as his other fight came in July of last year, which was a disqualification win against Harry Duivan Junior.

His fight on Friday night will be his first fight since defeating Duvian Junior, which was 454 days ago. Why has Etherington been inactive for the last 14 months? The answer is simple as Etherington says injuries are the cause of his inactivity.

“To be honest, last year I only fought twice,” he said. “I was supposed to fight Raphael Butler. I had a bad year of silly injuries. I took a fight as a warm-up fight against a guy who didn’t have a big MMA record, but he was a really tough guy. His name was Harry Duiven Jr. from Holland. I knew Raphael Butler had a boxing background and Harry Duiven Jr. was a WBC junior champion. He was a successful pro boxer and I was well aware that he’d been training with the likes of Alistair Overeem and such over in Holland.”

“So I thought that would be a good way to get back into it. I still won the fight, but I got injured during it, I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t feel like my preparation was right. Again it held me back and I’d already had a bad year, so I’m very motivated right now. That’s why I got into Sambo, just to reignite me into combat sports.”

His matchup against Lashley is a fight that Etherington says is going to be like a train crash. Two athletes that are not going to hold anything back and one train is going to be stronger than the other.

“Bobby Lashley has good skills. I think he’s a slower starter than me though,” Etherington said. We won’t be leaving anything in the locker room. I think it’s going to be an exciting fight to watch. As far as my conditioning, I took this fight on six weeks notice and my main focus for this fight has been cardio.”

“My last fight in Bellator was the worst performance I’ve had. But from the minute I got on the plane, it took us 30 hours to reach America. There were a lot of delays and we were stuck in Chicago. From the minute I got into Michigan, it was two hours between getting there and fighting. I was in no physical condition to take the fight, but I took it because I was there. So I was tired before that fight even started.”

For the fans that tune into this fight on Friday night, along with this fight being a train crash, Etherington believes this will be an explosive fight that will not be decided by the judges.

“The fans should expect a train crash,” Etherington said. “This is two big guys who are going to hit each other on the head. This fight will be explosive and I don’t expect to see three rounds of action. It will something where people don’t want to blink because I’m going out there to put him out early.”

Posted in Bellator 130, Karl Etherington | Leave a comment