Sunday, July 31, 2011
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Paul Daley's loss to Nick Diaz in April a back-and-forth fight, with Daley looking close to the win during the bout, but Diaz coming back for the win. At the Strikeforce open workouts, he talked about how he got over that loss.
"The usual way that we do in England. Go out, have a drink, party."
Cagewriter mentioned that it's also how we get over losses in America.
"I've drank with Americans, and I think us Brits do it a little bit better. Nah, I'm joking. I just relaxed, tried to take my mind off the loss, and look at a way that I can come back stronger. The goal is to be a champion."
His path to be a champion in Strikeforce started when he was cut from the UFC after 113, when he threw a punch at Josh Koscheck after their fight had ended. It's not a moment that he's particularly proud of, but it's one that fans continue to congratulate him on.
"Everybody saying they hate Koscheck and saying well-done for hitting him? That's what I keep getting greeted with in the lobby. Obviously, I'm sorry for what I did, it's not something I'd repeat, and it's not something that I'm proud of, but I think the fan backlash is a little bit twisted. If I had a pound for every time somebody said well done for hitting Koscheck, I'd be a millionaire."
The Brit is hoping to create more memorable moments against another wrestler. In his first fight since losing to Nick Diaz in April, Daley will face Tyron Woodley at Strikeforce this weekend. Woodley was an All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri.
"Obviously, being the top fighter that I am, my least favorite fight is going to be against wrestlers, so I have to look at improving that area. It's something that I've continuously done. It's not something that I've stopped just because in recent fights I haven't faced wrestlers. I have to find all the best wrestlers I can and continue to improve in that area. I think I'm going to be there, and I think that Woodley is going to be surprised at the improvements I've made since my last fight with a wrestler.
With his unceremonious dismissal from the UFC after 113, you would expect that he would be in an awkward position after Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, bought Strikeforce. Instead, Daley was surprised by overtures from Lorenzo Fertitta.
"Lorenzo came to my dressing room before the Diaz fight, and he's a very cool guy. I've always said that. Very humble and approachable. He came to my fight and wished me good luck. He came out of his way to say hello, and he doesn't have to do that."
That quick cut from the UFC means that Daley has something in common with Nate Marquardt, the former UFC fighter who was released when he not allowed to fight on the UFC on Versus 4 card by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission. But don't look for any camaraderie between the two.
"I voiced my opinions about what he did and what he got caught for, and he comes back calling me a coward and a bully. I'm sure that's what he used to call people in the playgrounds. I aired my views in a sophisticated and direct manner, and he came back with that bullshit. If I am able to fight Nate 'The Great' Marq-Fart, then I will."
? The Miz is scheduled to appear tonight on MTV?s ?The Challenge: Rivals?, and then on TBS? George Lopez Tonight. Check your local listings for times.
? WWE Capitol Punishment, headlined by John Cna vs. R-Truth, pulled approximately 200,000 pay-per-view buys, according to a corporate report filed by WWE. This is up from the previous month?s PPV, WWE Over The Limit, which pulled about 150,000 buys, headlined by Cena vs. The Miz.
The number for June?s Capitol Punishment PPV is way up from ...
Strikeforce confirmes Sept. 10 event in Cincinnati with semifinals of Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix
Josh Barnett meets Sergei Kharitonov and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva meets Daniel Cormier to determine who will square off in the finals of the Grand Prix tournament, and the card will also feature a Middleweight Championship bout between Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Luke Rockhold as well as a light heavyweight fight between Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Roger Gracie.
"Cincinnati is an incredible sports town and we're excited to bring the World Grand Prix: Heavyweight Tournament to the great fans here," said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. "We're going to see who advances to the tournament finals. Barnett vs. Kharitonov pits two incredible finishers against one another, and 'Big Foot' is looking to keep the momentum rolling after his big win over Fedor when he meets unbeaten Daniel Cormier. When you add in the middleweight title fight and the other great bouts, you can see that we've pulled out all the stops for our return to Ohio."
Tickets for the event go on sale this Friday, priced between $35-$200. UFC Fight Club members get their first crack at tickets on Thursday from 10AM-12PM ET, while UFC and Strikeforce newsletter subscribers have a presale beginning at 12PM ET on Thursday.
"Watch out, there's going to be fireworks tonight," Anthony Pettis said as he laced up gloves for a night of sparring at Roufus Sport.
It was a muggy, hot night in Milwaukee, and the air conditioning wasn't working in the main workout room. So much sweat poured off the fighters that a volunteer used a mop to sop up the sweat between each round of sparring, but it didn't matter. The floors were soaked.
Pettis was right, as not a single fighter took it easy. Everyone from UFC fighters Anthony Pettis, Erik Koch and Ben Rothwell to the bankers and lawyers looking for a tough workout to the tweens who look at Pettis with adoring eyes used every second of sparring to bring it. Nothing could make Duke Roufus, the head coach overseeing the practice, happier.
"There's big stars in there, but they take a knee at the end of practice like everyone else. There's some big stars out there who couldn't handle that. It's a team. It's great what we do in the UFC, but I'm also happy with the day-to-day of what we do in this place."
Despite recent losses by Pettis and Danny Downes, and the departure of heavyweight Pat Barry, Roufus' gym has grown so much that they will soon upgrade into a 14,000 square-foot complex across the street. Roufus acknowledges the losses, but points out his style isn't one-size-fits-all.
"I have an environment that isn't for everybody. I run it more like a collegiate wrestling room. Some guys like that, and some guys don't. Everyone feeds off of it. It was the hottest day of the year, and we had guys going hard," Roufus told Cagewriter.
Though Barry has moved onto Death Clutch with Brock Lesnar in Minnesota, Roufus wishes his former pupil the best.
"We've had some personnel changes. Pat Barry has moved on. It's for the best. I wish him well. It sucks that he got knocked out like that. Getting knocked out cold is a scary thing."
Roufus would rather focus on the fighters he has in the room. Ben Rothwell and Erik Koch both have fights coming up, with Rothwell fighting Mark Hunt at UFC 135 and Koch taking on Jonathan Brookins at Ultimate Fight Night 25. Both also appreciate having Roufus in their corner.
"It's cool because Duke is like a student who never stops learning. You think a guy who has been around martial arts for 30 years would think, 'Oh, I know enough!' He doesn't stop. He watches videos. He watches fights. He's coming up with new ways to do things. For me, that's exciting to have a guy who has an open mind. Close-minded guys end up as victories on my record," Rothwell said.
All in the family
Pettis, the final WEC lightweight champion who brought fame to the gym with his "Showtime" kick, appreciates the environment at the gym.
"Being here now, Erik Koch lives with me. It's a family. We live together, we train together, we do everything together. We all have the same dream. We all want to be the best," Pettis said.
Calling the gym a family isn't lip service for Pettis, either. His younger brother Sergio, a miniature version of Anthony who is already making waves as a fighter in Milwaukee, worked out next to his brother. Both had a tough time with the planks and wall sits required at the end of practice, but encouraged each other through the workout.
Pettis originally came to Roufus Sport to train, not compete. He needed a way to avoid the trouble that befell many of his relatives, and he found it in MMA. Now, he's a leader, with young fighters wanting to show Pettis "the new kick they made up."
Roufus sees how martial arts has been a savior, and wants to open the doors of his gym so that more people around Milwaukee can find that refuge.
"Martial arts saved Anthony. Saved me, too. I could have gotten into some bad things. A lot of these kids have turned their lives around. A lot of these kids don't have the best life at home," Roufus said of his hopes for the future of Roufus Sport. "A lot of people are looking for something. Instead of a bar, come here. I'd like it to be like a community center. When you're not training, have fun. I'd rather have them here than be in trouble."
UFC on Versus 6 is headlined by bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson.
With a stunning, come-from-behind victory, Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson earned a first-round TKO over Fedor Emelianenko, handing the once-unbeatable Russian his third-straight defeat.
The heavyweight bout served as the featured contest of Saturday night's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson" event, which took place at place at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., near Chicago. The evening's main card aired on Showtime.
It was the second win of 2011 for Kennedy, who improved his professional MMA record to 14-3. Lawler, who falls to 18-8, has now lost two in a row this year.
Kennedy was tenacious with his wrestling in the early going, staying on top of Lawler as Lawler tried to scramble free. Late in the round Kennedy beautifully ducked under a punch and took Lawler down into side control, and with 30 seconds to go he passed into full mount. Lawler, however, was able to buck Kennedy off and get back up, and the round ended with the two exchanging strikes standing up.
In the second round it was more of Kennedy using his takedowns and wrestling, although Lawler did land some hard punches, including an uppercut that bloodied Kennedy's nose. But Kennedy was getting the better of the action on top of Lawler, landing punches from inside Lawler's guard and mostly controlling the round.
The third round featured a lot less action, as Kennedy seemed to realize he was ahead on the scorecards, and Lawler seemed too tired to engage. Kennedy took Lawler down and put him on his back with 30 seconds to go in the fight, and he finished the fight on top to win a clear decision. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Kennedy
Saturday, July 30, 2011
? Matt Morgan will be out of action for six weeks with a torn pectoral muscle. This comes after ...
PROGRAMMING REMINDER: Rashad Evans live chat today at NBC Sports, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon appearance tonight
Fallon has had a number of MMA fighters, along with UFC President Dana White, on his program in the past, and has long been a fan of the sport himself.
In addition to that appearance tonight, Evans will be doing a live chat with Ariel Helwani and fans at NBCSports.com beginning at 2:30PM ET this afternoon.
[Rashad Evans art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Following an invitation to help MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira prepare for his upcoming UFC 134 fight with Brendan Schaub, Silva will now become a permanent fixture in "Big Nog's" camp.
Silva's manager, Alex Davis, believes the change is nothing but positive and thinks remaining with the recently formed camp at Imperial Athletics could have proven troublesome for the heavyweight's development.
Filed under: StrikeforceWith Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson just a little over 24 hours away, we look at the biggest questions, concerns, and storylines for the biggest MMA event to hit Showtime in months.
I. There is almost nothing at stake in the main event, and just this once, that's okay. The Fedor Emelianenko-Dan Henderson bout is a little like a dumb summer action movie, and I mean that in the best way possible. Dumb summer action movies are fun, worthwhile distractions -- as long as they know what they are. There's nothing worse than a special effects vehicle that thinks it's Citizen Kane, and the same is true in MMA. This is a fight for the sake of fighting. It's the kind of match-up you'd make in the exhibition mode of a video game, just to see what happens when a 40-year-old natural middleweight takes on a once-great heavyweight. Again, that's all perfectly fine as long as a) Strikeforce and Showtime present it as such, without trying to pretend that it's more important than it is, and b) it doesn't become a habit. To their credit, the promotional powers that be have handled this one exactly right so far, but whether the success of this fight (and/or the lack of more meaningful available match-ups going forward) might prompt more just-for-the-hell-of-it bouts in the future remains to be seen. There's a place for movies whose main appeal is a chance to turn your brain off in the air-conditioning for 90 minutes, but it's not a year-round thing for a reason.
II. Okay, so it's not completely meaningless. Fedor could lose. He could drop his third straight fight, and to a guy who's not even in his division. At that point, it would be impossible to ignore the fact that his sudden career decline coincided almost exactly with his stay in Strikeforce, where the heavyweight division had been freshly restocked. Since coming to the U.S. following his Pride glory days, Fedor has beaten three opponents, all of whom were exposed as not quite primetime material (or maybe just past primetime) soon thereafter. Sylvia, Arlovski, Rogers -- what would it mean to beat any of those guys today? If he tops that run off with a loss to Henderson, then fades into retirement immediately after, the Fedor haters will use it as a cudgel to beat up on his entire career and legacy. That would be unfair and ungenerous, of course, but it doesn't mean it won't happen.
III. Dan Henderson, on the other hand, has nothing to lose. Well, almost nothing. As long as Fedor is standing in front of you, zinging those looping right hands at the more delicate parts of your face, there's always a reason to try your best. But come on, look at Hendo. Is there really anything more you could do to him to harm his looks at this point? He's got a face like a spoon that went through the garbage disposal. The best part is, he doesn't seem to mind. That makes this pretty much a no-lose for him. If he gets beat, so what, he fought one of the best heavyweights to ever do it -- and he's still the Strikeforce light heavyweight champ. If he wins, it's a pretty decent scalp to add to his collection. Plus, there's always the money, and Hendo is pocketing plenty of it in Strikeforce.
IV. What's to become of you, Robbie Lawler? When you get a chance to watch fights live and up close, you really get a sense for who hits hard and who just hits. Personally, I can't think of anyone I'd least like to have swatting at my head than Lawler. But as much fun as it is to watch a slugger ply his trade, lately his limitations have become especially obvious. He's lost three of his last five, and the two he won were against an over-the-hill Matt Lindland and a overly aggressive Melvin Manhoef. Chances are he'll lose to Tim Kennedy on Saturday, and then what? Another fight with Scott Smith? I'm not saying I wouldn't watch it, but I am saying I might not feel that good about it.
V. Remember when Miesha Tate won the one-night tournament to claim the right to challenge for the women's 135-pound title? Yeah, that was almost a year ago. It was cool and all, don't get me wrong. But in the time since Tate became the nominal number one contender, the belt has changed hands once and been successfully defended once. Some of that is poor planning and some is bad luck, but a lot of the heat behind Tate's title challenge has faded since then, which is a damn shame. Let's hope the fight itself isn't past its expiration date already.
VI. Tyron Woodley might be the single best argument for the existence of the Strikeforce: Challengers series. I know I've taken some shots at the Challengers shows in the past (it's like regular Strikeforce, only with a quarter of the production budget!), but Woodley's ascent matches the espoused Challengers vision perfectly. He cut his teeth on those lesser-known Friday night shows, headlined a couple and made his name against tougher and tougher opponents, and now he's ready to take the next step. In Daley, he faces an opponent who was fighting for the Strikeforce title just a few months ago, so it's clear that the grooming period is over for the former Missouri wrestler, and just in time. Now people know him and they're eager to see if he's ready for the big time. That's exactly how Challengers supposed to work, so good for them. Now if they could only make it look like it wasn't produced by a talented high school AV class, they'd be in business.
VII. Keep an eye on Scott Smith's chin. For a fighter like Smith, who depends on taking ten to land one, the ability to take a punch is a vital asset. That also makes it a feature he's used quite a bit in recent years, and like the brakes on a car, overuse might make it the first thing to go. Getting knocked out cold by Paul Daley isn't a sign that his chin is weakening, but if he can't stand up to the punishment of Tarec Saffiedine, who doesn't hit nearly as hard, it might be time to worry. The good news is, he seems aware of that. The bad news is, aware or not, Smith doesn't seem like the type who can change up his style to compensate for it.
VIII. Fedor is all out of vague retirement statement mulligans. You lose a fight in which your eye ends up looking like something out of a radioactive garden? Fine, you have a right to get mopey and talk about hanging it up, only to change your mind a few months later. But you only get to do that once. If Fedor loses this one, he better take a minute to think before stepping up to the mic. Nobody wants to be the legend who cried retirement.
Maryse goes on to claim that she has received letters from Silber, and in the letters, he states that he will, ?not only give you a check for $100,000, but give you a 100 ...
Friday, July 29, 2011
We noted earlier here on the website that RAW was completely re-written prior to the show going live. In an update on this, there were actually SIX different scripts for RAW that had been circulating throughout the day. One of those scripts had Triple H laying out CM Punk with a pedigree. Of course, that didn’t happen. This just ...
The undefeated 25-year-old today announced his deal via Facebook.
Although he didn't specify a debut date or opponent, an event source told MMAjunkie.com he's expected to fight, fittingly, at UFC 138 in England.
In an extended interview with MMA Fighting, Chael Sonnen gave his thoughts on, well, everything, and that included his views on Brazil. He said he was surprised that they even had computers in the South American country.
Demian Maia, a proud Brazilian, responded to Sonnen here.
Maia caught Sonnen in a triangle at UFC 95, and then after beating up on Anderson Silva for four rounds at UFC 117, Silva submitted Sonnen in a combo arm bar/triangle choke. In fact, Sonnen's last five losses were submissions, and four of those were to Brazilian fighters.
But Sonnen won't have to worry about losing to another Brazilian in his next bout, as he is taking on Brian "All-American" Stann.
Tickets on sale this week for UFC "Battle on the Bayou" in New Orleans; four fights confirmed for Spike TV card
A joint venture with Anheuser-Busch owned Bud Light, the UFC Fight Night 25 event will air live from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in Louisiana, headlined by a welterweight clash between Jake Shields and Jake Ellenberger.
Confirmed for the night's televised card are two fights featuring Ultimate Fighter season winners, as well as the return of middleweight contender Alan Belcher. TUF season 11 winner Court McGee will face off against Dongi Yang, TUF 12 season winner Jonathan Brookins drops to featherweight to face Erik Koch, and Belcher meets Jason MacDonald, all live on Spike.
"Jake Shields has fought some of the best guys in the sport and he wants to prove that he deserves another shot at the title," UFC President Dana White said in the UFC's official announcement of the event. "But Jake Ellenberger has won his last four fights and wants to knock off a top contender like Shields. Shields has phenomenal jiu-jitsu, but Ellenberger thinks he can overpower him in the Octagon. This should be a great main event for the Battle on the Bayou."
Shields enters the fight off his first loss in seven years - a loss that ended a 15 fight winning streak - to Georges St. Pierre in their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 129. Taking on a tough challenger in Ellenberger, Shields wants to expose what he feels is the weakness in his opponent's game in this fight.
"Jake Ellenberger?s a tough up-and-comer with good wrestling and boxing, but I think jiu-jitsu is his weak point and I want to expose that," Shields said. "This is a really important fight for me. I had a really huge winning streak prior to my last fight and I want to put together another one starting in New Orleans."
For his part, Ellenberger has seen this as a fight that he can win, and believes his style presents a major problem for the highly experienced Shields.
"I respect Jake Shields, but I don't think he's fought anyone like me," said Ellenberger. "I'm a bad match up for him. He's not as hungry as me and he doesn't want it as bad as me. This is the opportunity I've been waiting for my whole life. It's my time to showcase my skills."
UFC Fight Club members can get their first crack at tickets beginning at 10AM CT this Thursday, July 28, while UFC Newsletter subscribers get a presale at the same time on Friday. Tickets go on sale to the public on Saturday, July 30 at 10AM CT. Ticket prices range from $85-$250.
Check out the highlights below.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Locals panicked when Mao Xiping, a housewife from the village of Gezhai, in Henan province, central...
Because of the high injury rate in mixed martial arts, the UFC is always looking for reinforcements. Jake Rosholt wants to be one of those guys.
The former NCAA Div. I wrestling champ at Oklahoma State was released by the promotion in 2010. Tonight, he takes on veteran Matt Horwich. Rosholt is 4-1 with a no contest since his departure, but that loss came against Horwich.
"[I take] nothing away from Horwich; he whipped my ass last time," Rosholt recently told MMAjunkie. "But it's going to be a completely different fight. I'm going in with a different mindset, just a different swagger, and I got a lot of confidence right now. I'm fighting good, and it's going to take a hell of a man to stop me."
Rosholt (11-3, 1 NC, 1-2 UFC) wants back in with the major leagues.
"I don't see why not (if) I go out there and put on a good performance," he said. "This would be like six wins in a row against a tough guy ? a guy that's beat me before ? so it's the first hurdle that I've had to jump in my career. It'll be a great test for me and damn sure a big stepping stone to get myself back in the UFC."
The card in Frisco, Tx. airing tonight on HDNet (9 p.m. ET) also includes former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez. This news comes after a wacky 24 hours where Rodriguez pulled out of his original bout. Rodriguez was booked for a 230-pound catchweight fight. The slimmed down Rodriguez, weighing just 227 pounds, watched his opponent come in at 253. Shark Fights found a late replacement in Doug Williams.
-Jorge Santiago talks to Tatame.com about his upcoming UFC 136 fight with Demian Maia in October.
Penick's Analysis: While he's supremely confident in his own skills, this kind of bravado about his own ground game is the type of thing that could backfire if he gets into a battle with Maia on the floor. That said, his seeming willingness to fight Maia on the ground brings about the possibility of a flashback to Maia's fantastic back and forth battle with Jason MacDonald at UFC 87 in 2008, and if that's the type of fight we get from these two middleweights, it will be an excellent fight at UFC 136. But Santiago has to be careful of being too comfortable on the ground with someone like Maia, as he could wind up on the wrong end of this if he gets overconfident there.
The UFC announced the fight late on Thursday, and it will take place as part of the night's main card from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on November 19.
Faber will attempt to rebound from a loss to Dominick Cruz at UFC 132, his fourth title fight loss in a row dating back to 2008. The five round decision loss was also his first since dropping to the bantamweight division late last year.
Bowles enters the fight on a two fight winning streak since returning from his own loss to Cruz. The 31-year-old Bowles lost his WEC Bantamweight Title to Cruz in March of 2010, breaking both of his hands in the course of the fight. His injuries kept him out of action until March of this year, where he submitted Damacio Page at UFC on Versus 3. He followed that up with a lackluster decision win over Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 132 earlier this month.
The winner of the fight will likely get another fight with Cruz should Cruz successfully defend his belt against Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Versus 6 in October. This UFC 139 card is expected to be headlined by a Heavyweight Championship bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
Penick's Analysis: This is a great bantamweight fight, but there's a part of me that can't help but feel a little disappointed we're not getting Faber against Miguel Torres. Still, with Faber coming ever so close to defeating Cruz in a razor-thin fight that had arguments for scores in both fighter's favor and Bowles' only loss coming to Cruz himself, these are the two best bantamweights in the division not named Cruz. Johnson is getting the title fight even though many felt he lost his last fight, but he'll still be a tough challenge, and the winner of this one will very likely get the next shot at the title. If Faber and Cruz each win their respective fights here this fall, the rubber match will be the most logical fight to make. On that same note, if Bowles can defeat Faber, he'll more than have earned his shot at the man who took the belt from him.
[Urijah Faber art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Russian striker Alexander Shlemenko (39-7 MMA, 4-1 BFC) will welcome Croatian banger Zelg Galesic (10-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC) to the Bellator Fighting Championships cage.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
MMAjunkie.com today obtained the figure from industry sources.
The number marked an increase from the 210,000 viewers that saw Strikeforce Challengers 16 and ranked as the fourth-highest in "Challengers Series" history.
Filed under: UFCThe UFC's tallest heavyweight is getting ready to fight its shortest, as Stefan Struve and Pat Barry will step into the Octagon together at UFC on Versus 6.
The UFC announced the move on Twitter, with a photo showing just how big the height discrepancy between the two fighters is. UFC.com lists Struve at 6-foot-11 and Barry at 5-foot-11.
Struve and Barry are both coming off knockout losses, Struve to Travis Browne at UFC 130 and Barry to Cheick Kongo at UFC on Versus 4. But the Struve-Barry one should be a very good one and a fascinating contrast not just in heights but in fighting styles. Surprisingly, Barry is the striker who likes to use leg kicks to keep his opponents at bay, while Struve actually likes to get inside and often doesn't take advantage of his superior reach.
The UFC on Versus 6 card, which takes place on October 1 in Washington, D.C., is shaping up to be one of the best cards the UFC has put on basic cable. The main event of bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson represents a rare opportunity to watch a title fight without having to pay for it, while Struve vs. Barry would make a worthy co-main event.
Other fights slated for the card include Charlie Brenneman vs. Anthony Johnson, Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig, Paul Sass vs. Michael Johnson and Mike Easton vs. Jeff Hougland.
Marlon Sandro and Pat Curran were favorites entering the night at Bellator 47 and both came away unscathed by using solid boxing to take out their opponents. Sandro and Curran will meet for $100,000 and a world title shot at Bellator 48 in Uncasville, Ct. on Aug. 20.
Sandro, a minus-260 favorite, continued his winning ways in the U.S.. Nazareno Malegarie� xhibited a great chin in avoiding a knockout loss, but his boxing just wasn't up to par with Sandro's nasty striking game. The Brazilian rolled over Malegarie via unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards.
Sandro (19-2) exploded onto the world scene with three vicious first round knockouts at Sengoku 11, 12 and 13. The 34-year-old was a huge free agent signing for Bellator and immediately tabbed the tourney favorite. He backed it up tonight showing off a complete game. He thwarted every single takedown attempt by Malegarie and forced the Argentinian to stand and bang.
Malegarie (20-2) was no match on the feet. Sandro's head movement made him difficult to hit. The heavy-handed Sandro busted up Malegarie's right eye with an excellent jab. He also pounded Malegarie with left hooks following nasty uppercuts.
Curran (15-4) fought at a measured pace for 15 minutes and Ronnie Mann allowed him to do whatever he wanted. Mann (20-3) is a dangerous boxer, but he was on his horse throughout the first two rounds and did so predictably by constantly circling to his left.
Curran did most of his damage behind some solid jumping knees. The smaller Mann (5-foot-6 vs. 5-10) never found the range. Even after a tongue lashing from his trainer Shawn Tompkins before the third round, Mann failed to step on the gas in the final five minutes. Curran got the nod on the scorecards, 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
Bellator's featherweight champ Joe Warren was scheduled to fight on this card, but the bout was canceled when Patricio "Pitbull" Freire had to bow out with a hand injury. Warren also fights down at 135 pounds and is next scheduled to compete in the Bellator bantamweight tourney starting in September. At some point in the future Warren will have to face the Sandro-Curran winner.
Spike TV sets airtime for tape-delayed UFC 138 event at 8PM ET/PT on Nov. 5 - Leben-Munoz, Pickett-Barao to co-headline
The event will air via same-day delay on the network, with U.S. fans being able to see the fights beginning at 8PM ET/PT.
Headlining the event is a middleweight clash between Chris Leben and Mark Munoz. Leben enters the fight off a quick knockout win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132, while Munoz has won three straight fights and six of his last seven.
"I'm really looking forward to this fight against Munoz and fighting in England again," Leben said in a release on Monday. "They have some great fans there, and the noise they make is loud. It is cool to make a little piece of history fighting in the first ever non-title five-round fight, but I guarantee I won't even need three rounds in this fight."
Joining that fight on the Spike TV broadcast is a bantamweight bout between Brad "One Punch" Pickett and Renan Barao, as well as a lightweight fight between Anthony Njokuani and Paul Taylor. More fights have been confirmed for the event by the UFC, but the Spike TV broadcast has not yet been fully set. The full card as it stands is below:
* Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz
* Renan Barao vs. Brad Pickett
* Anthony Njokuani vs. Paul Taylor
* Papy Abedi vs. Thiago Alves
* Terry Etim vs. Edward Faaloloto
* John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
* Michihiro Omigawa vs. Jason Young
* James Head vs. Mark Scanlon
Penick's Analysis: It's really unfortunate that Spike refuses to air a live broadcast during the day for fans that want to see the event live. Tape delayed events in 2011 just don't make sense because of how easy it is to be spoiled on the results, and it hurts viewership for when the event finally airs at night. For west coast viewers it's even worse, as there is an eight hour delay from when the event airs to when they'll get to start watching the event. Having a live broadcast during the day and then airing the event again in primetime would be a more ideal plan, but that's not the route that Spike wants to go with these events.