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Bellator MMA

Bellator 267: “Lima vs MVP 2” is set to air tomorrow (Fri., Oct. 1, 2021) from inside Wembley Arena in London, England, which will be headlined by a Welterweight rematch between Douglas Lima and Michael Page. Co-headlining the event is Leah McCourt taking on Jessica Borga in a a women’s Featherweight tilt. will deliver coverage of Bellator 267 on Showtime. To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

170 lbs.: Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page

Since knocking out Michael Page two years ago (see it here), Douglas Lima has had a tough time inside the Bellator cage. Soon after his blistering performance against “MVP,” he did go on to the win the Welterweight title, but the fun stopped in a hurry. Lima decided to go up to Middleweight to attempt to become champ-champ and wound up getting dominated by division king Gegard Mousasi. In his comeback fight, he coughed up his Welterweight title to Yaroslav Amosov. Now, “The Phenom” will attempt to get back on track after two straight losses as he tries to replicate his performance against “Venom,” who is scorching hot at the moment. After suffering his first and only defeat at the hands of Lima, Page has gone on to record five straight wins, four by way of knockout. In other words, he is firing on all cylinders which will make it that much tougher for Lima to go up 2-0 against him. And I just don’t see it happening. “MVP” is on a roll and his momentum will carry into this fight against a man who is likely short on confidence at the moment. Sure, Lima has a win over Page in his back pocket, but he hasn’t looked all the great in his last two fights and staring down the barrel of three straight losses will only add that much more pressure. I see Page being a bit more cautious this time around. While we can still expect some of the flashy shenanigan’s that have made him a fan favorite, Page will be a bit more calculated having already tasted Lima’s power. Once he finds his groove, though, I think he will do enough to get the nod on the judges’ scorecards.

Prediction: Page via unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Leah McCourt vs. Jessica Borga

Leah McCourt may only be six fights deep in her MMA career, but she’s already made an impression on the promotion, fans and opponents alike. After losing her pro debut in 2017, “The Curse” has gone on to win her next five in a row, three of those under the Bellator banner. In fact, Bellator thinks so highly of her that she was awarded headlining duties in just her second fight with the promotion at Bellator 240. Ranked No. 5 at 145-pounds, McCourt is hoping to climb up a few more steps on the ladder in order to cut the championship line. A win against Borga is definitely a step in the right direction. Borga is just 3-3 in he pro combat career thus far and is just 1-1 with Bellator. “The Black Widow” is coming off a tough loss to Talita Nogueira at Bellator 256. Speaking of which, why not just book against Nogueira instead? Noguiera is ranked No. 9 while Borga isn’t even close to the Top 10. For my money, that’s the fight that should have been made. Nevertheless, McCourt is in search of consecutive win No. 6 here while Borga is hoping to spoil her foe’s plans to get her own momentum going, though I just don’t see that happening.

Final Prediction: McCourt via unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Robert Whiteford vs. Andrew Fisher

Robert Whiteford made a splash in his Bellator MMA debut by knocking out Sam Sicilia in 2019…and he hasn’t been heard from since. Now, after nearly two years on the sidelines “The Hammer” is back and in search of his fifth straight win when he takes on Andrew Fisher, who is also on a four fight win streak. They have similar fighting experience and almost the same amount of pro fights on their resume, though Whiteford’s level of competition is just a tad better since he competed for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) five times, collecting a record of 2-3. Since leaving UFC, Whiteford has gone undefeated (4-0) and is eying a spot in the Top 10 if he can get some momentum going. Against Fisher, he will definitely get resistance since he’s amassed a record 6-1 since 2015, a model of consistency. This is a tossup for me, but I see Whiteford — a judo specialist — doing just enough to get the edge on Fisher who loves a standup battle. Fisher has a puncher’s chance but I think Whiteford’s power will be the difference maker in this one.

Final Prediction: Whiteford via second round knockout

155 lbs.: Yves Landu vs. Tim Wilde

Yves Landu burst onto the Bellator MMA scene with a spectacular flying knee knockout of Terry Brazier at Bellator 248 in Oct. 2020, putting him back on track after having his four fight win streak snapped under the RIZIN banner. Landu has been hot and cold throughout his career, going on stretches where he goes on a skid before bouncing back with a nice win streak. He hopes to be a mainstay in Bellator’s Lightweight division, which is stacked with sharks chomping at the bit for a shot at Patricio Freire’s title. Landu will be taking on Tim Wilde, who is 1-1 so far in his Bellator career. Wilde is coming off a loss to Charlie Leary, but that was almost two years ago. “The Experiment” has the experience and the skill to make some noise, but Landu has him covered when it comes to possessing a better, more well-rounded attack. This is my sleeper pick of the night to steal the show and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a spectacular finish.

Final Prediction: Landu via second round TKO

205 lbs.: Luke Trainer vs. Yannick Bahati

Luke Trainer made an emphatic statement with a first round knockout over Alex O’Toole at Bellator Milan in Sept. 2020. After a year on the sidelines, “The Gent” returns to face Yannick Bahati, who is in desperate need of a win. Bahati is coming off a first round TKO loss to Melvin Manhoef two years ago. Going back a bit further, “Black Mamba” has lost four of his last five fights since 2017. A win over Trainer — who is undefeated at 4-0 and is just two years into his pro MMA career — would be a great feather in his cap and huge confidence booster. I just don’t see it happening for Bahati since he hasn’t exactly shown anything over the last few years to convince me he has what it takes to upset the 25 year-old. The Light Heavyweight division could be crowning a new champion by year’s end once the Grand Prix comes to and end, and a win for Trainer here could be what he needs to get into the Top 10 and insert himself as a new contender in town for the rest of the monsters at 205 pounds to worry about.

Final Prediction: Trainer via third round submission

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here. – All Posts

UFC 266: Hooker v Haqparast
Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Dan Hooker earned a ton of points with fans and pundits around the world earlier today when he accepted a fight vs. Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 on October 30, 2021. The veteran scrapper just fought last Saturday, a victorious effort vs. Nasrat Haqparast and will have just about a month to prepare for a scrap with the grappling ace. In addition, his training and home life situation are severely complicated by COVID-19 restrictions, as it’s unclear when Hooker will next be able to return home to New Zealand.

The odds makers, however, do not seem as impressed. opened Hooker as a large underdog at +250, but those numbers have only swelled to an insulting +400 in the hours since the booking was announced. Meanwhile, Makhachev began as a -300 favorite, but he’s all the way up to -600.

Hooker is the No. 6-ranked Lightweight in the world, a man who has faced the division’s absolute best and threw down in 25-minute wars of attrition. However, the hype behind Makhachev is simply too strong to ignore, as Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protégé seems primed to follow in “The Eagle’s” shoes. The 30-year-old Russian has won eight bouts in a row, seldom coughing up a round in the process and breaking into the Top Five as a result.

Is there profit to be made here, or are these odds right on the money?


Jared Gordon offers Jon Jones some thoughts on alcoholism:


The Merab Dvalishvili machine is fueled by demolition work.

Your weekly dose of Sean Strickland being an intense, strange fellow:

Michael Chandler and posting grueling workouts on IG, name a better combo.

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Tyson Fury’s response to Oleksandr Usyk’s upset over his rival Joshua Fury is rather classy.

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Some fun debate material for the comments!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Nice sprawl and chest pressure to secure the d’arce finish:

Here’s a different technical display than the usual (but excellent) left hooks and chopping low kicks of Liam Harrison.

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A nasty series of jump knees and hammerfists saw the Cage Warriors Bantamweight title change hands!

Random Land

I am genuinely shocked (and hugely impressed) that this worked. Legendary!

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Midnight Music: Classic dance track “Poison” popped up during kickboxing today and got an immediate response, but personally, I cannot help but immediately think of the hilarious It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia clip that features the song.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way. – All Posts

UFC Vegas 38: ‘Santos vs Walker’ Predictions

by Site Admin ~ October 1st, 2021

UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz v Santos
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC light heavyweight title contender Thiago Santos will look to punch his way back into the win column opposite hot-and-cold 205-pound bruiser Johnny Walker in the UFC Vegas 38 main event, which takes place this Sat. night (Oct. 2, 2021) inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. And like every UFC fight card, we’re here to help decide who wins and who loses tomorrow night in “Sin City.”

Before we dive into the main and co-main events, which includes the middleweight mashup between Kevin Holland and Kyle Daukaus, head over to the UFC Vegas 38 preliminary card breakdown expertly deconstructed by the shamelessly overworked Patrick Stumberg here and here. Resident MMA hero Andrew Richardson did most of the heavy lifting for the rest of the UFC Vegas 38 main card right here.

For the latest “Santos vs. Walker” odds and betting lines be sure to check out the updated numbers right here.

Let’s break it down …

205 lbs.: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker

Thiago “Marreta” Santos

Record: 21-9 | Age: 37 | Betting line: -160
Wins: 15 KO/TKO, 1 SUB, 5 DEC | Losses: 3 KO/TKO, 3 SUB, 3 DEC
Height: 6’2“ | Reach: 76” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 4.27 | Striking accuracy: 48%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 2.33 | Striking Defense: 55%
Takedown Average: 0.70 (38% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 66%
Current Ranking: No. 5 | Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Aleksandar Rakic

Johnny Walker

Record: 18-5 | Age: 29 | Betting line: +140
Wins: 15 KO/TKO, 2 SUB, 1 DEC | Losses: 3 KO/TKO, 1 SUB, 1 DEC
Height: 6’6“ | Reach: 82” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 4.41 | Striking accuracy: 72%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 3.51 | Striking Defense: 31%
Takedown Average: 0.40 (100% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 60%
Current Ranking: No. 10 | Last fight: Knockout win over Ryan Spann

Thiago Santos had a pretty inconsistent run as a UFC middleweight, showing flashes of his trademark power in between head-scratching losses to Cezar Ferreira and Eric Spicely, among others. Like most fighters in their mid-thirties, “Marreta” got tired of cutting weight and moved up to the 205-pound division, where he blasted his way to a light heavyweight title shot on the strength of an 8-1 run that includes a highlight-reel knockout over current division champion Jan Blachowicz. At the time, the Brazilian’s performance against Jones was seen as a reflection of his ever-evolving skills as a mixed martial artist … though weighed against his subsequent losses — as well as Jones’ performances against Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes — I can’t help but wonder if Santos over-performed against a stale and somewhat faded version of “Bones,” who’s now gone to a decision in seven of his last nine fights.

Speaking of Jones, light heavyweight phenom Johnny Walker was already putting the pound-for-pound great on blast after racking up nine straight wins, eight of which ended violently. Then Walker got lit up by the since-departed Corey Anderson and followed up that performance with a disappointing decision loss to Nikita Krylov. That didn’t stop him from doubling down on his Jones talk, and I guess you could say he’s “back” after laying waste to Ryan Spann last September in Las Vegas, a first-round finish that left Walker with 15 knockouts in 18 wins, a staggering 83 percent. Unfortunately his “live by the sword” mentality also left him with four finishes in five losses, so that’s definitely something to consider for this weekend’s headliner against one of the most powerful punchers at 205 pounds. Working in Walker’s favor is the fact that he’s eight years younger than Santos, who is basically held together by duct tape and Popsicle sticks at this point.

Walker feels like the right pick for this fight, despite his role as betting underdog. His athleticism, coupled with his tremendous height and reach advantage leave him far ahead of Santos when you overlay their transparencies on the overhead projector. “Marreta” — which is Portuguese for “Sledgehammer” — has one big punch and little else. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when that was enough to keep him among the 205-pound elite but as the Brazilian bomber slowly creeps toward his 38th birthday, it feels like the division has left the party without telling him goodbye. Defensively, you can argue that Walker makes more mistakes than Santos, just as you can argue that “Marreta” has faced — and beaten — much stiffer competition. While both of those statements are true, I think Santos is not the same fighter after double knee surgery and that’s going to become painfully obvious (for him) on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Prediction: Walker def. Santos by technical knockout

185 lbs.: Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Daukaus

Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland

Record: 21-7 | Age: 28 | Betting line: -145
Wins: 12 KO/TKO, 5 SUB, 4 DEC | Losses: 0 KO/TKO, 2 SUB, 5 DEC
Height: 6’3“ | Reach: 81” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 3.74 | Striking accuracy: 54%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 2.33 | Striking Defense: 56%
Takedown Average: 0.92 (45% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 47%
Current Ranking: No. 14 | Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Marvin Vettori

Kyle Daukaus

Record: 10-2 | Age: 28 | Betting line: +120
Wins: 0 KO/TKO, 8 SUB, 2 DEC | Losses: 0 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 2 DEC
Height: 6’3“ | Reach: 76” | Stance: Southpaw
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 3.23 | Striking accuracy: 53%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 2.72 | Striking Defense: 39%
Takedown Average: 1.75 (29% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 85%
Current Ranking: Unranked | Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Phil Hawes

Kevin Holland was a pretty big name on the regional circuit, even securing his own main event for Legacy Fighting Alliance back in June 2017 before punching his way into Dana White’s “Contender Series” the following year, earning a UFC contract with a unanimous decision nod over the venerable Will Santiago. The fast-talking middleweight would capture eight of his next 10, including a sensational knockout victory over aging veteran Ronaldo Souza, though we should probably accept that “Jacare,” who turns 42 in just a few weeks, is merely a shell of his old self and recently dropped four in a row (and six of his last eight). Holland endeared himself to UFC fans by taking short-notice fights, using high-risk maneuvers inside the cage, and talking trash to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately for “Trailblazer,” his defensive wrestling — or lack thereof — was eventually exposed against the upper echelon of the division. To wit: Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori combined for 17 takedowns against Holland, sending him into training with former UFC welterweight champion (and decorated collegiate wrestler) Johnny Hendricks.

Kyle Daukaus had a pretty lengthy amateur career before turning pro in early 2017. The running joke is how Daukaus — younger brother of UFC heavyweight Chris Daukaus — teaches kickboxing at Martinez BJJ in Philadelphia but has yet to win a fight by knockout. Instead, the former light heavyweight racked up an impressive eight wins by submission, though Daukaus has a losing record since joining UFC in July 2020 and all three of his fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards. Well, four if you count his ho-hum decision victory over Michael Lombardo on Dana White’s “Contender Series” in June 2019, a performance that did not earn Daukaus an immediate UFC contact. That could be attributed to a number of things, but I think it’s fair to say that finishes don’t come as easy when you’re no longer fighting 30-something journeymen like Nolan Norwood and Stephen Regman, among others.

Holland might act like the class clown and give up takedowns way too easily, but he’s also faced killers like Thiago Santos and Top 5 contenders like Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori. The best Daukaus has to offer is a forgettable decision win over the great and powerful … Dustin Stoltzfus. Daukaus remains a threat on the ground but first he has to find a way to get the fight to the floor. He’s certainly had success in some of his previous fights so we’ll see if Holland’s wrestling camp with Hendricks was worth the effort (and price). I wish I had something exciting to say about this middleweight co-headliner, but I have a sinking feeling Holland will spend all three rounds juking and jiving while a frustrated Daukaus tries to get his offense going — to no avail.

Prediction: Holland def. Daukaus by unanimous decision

Remember, the rest of the UFC Vegas 38 main card predictions are RIGHT HERE. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 38 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 38 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archives here. For the updated and finalized “Santos vs. Walker” fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here. – All Posts

Illness Zaps UFC Vegas 20 Bout

by Site Admin ~ February 26th, 2021

UFC 254: Oliveira v Rakhmonov
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today canceled the welterweight matchup between Ramazan Kuramagomedov and Alex Oliveira after the undefeated Russian was forced to withdraw from tomorrow night’s (Feb. 27) bout due to illness.

That’s according to a report from MMA Fighting.

Kuramagomedov (8-0) never made it to the UFC Vegas 20 weigh ins, so while COVID-19 is usually the first suspect in these sorts of cases, a botched weight cut could also be to For complete UFC Vegas 20 weigh-in results and video click here.

No word yet on whether or not the promotion plans to reschedule their 170-pound showdown for a later date. UFC has four live events in March (see the complete schedule here) so there is certainly room to negotiate.

blame. Expect those details to trickle in later today.

For a look at the updated UFC Vegas 20 fight card and line up, which is now down to 10 bouts after losing a pair of contests earlier this week, click here. – All Posts

Nurmagomedov’s Bellator Debut Set For April 2

by Site Admin ~ February 26th, 2021

Bellator MMA

Usman Nurmagomedov will finally get to make his long-awaited Bellator MMA debut with the announcement that he will face off against Mike Hamel at the upcoming Bellator 255 event on April 2, 2021. Company President Scott Coker announced the matchup earlier today (Thurs., Feb. 25) on Twitter.

Nurmagomedov — who signed with the Viacom-owned promotion last October — is undefeated at 11-0. Fighting his entire career in Russia, his Bellator debut will also mark the first time he will compete in America.

Training alongside his cousin and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), the Lightweight contender has shown that despite his wrestling expertise, he can finish fights with his all-around arsenal. In fact, 10 of his 11 victories came by way of knockout or submission, seven of them in the first round.

As for Hamel, he is coming off a loss to Adam Borics at Bellator 243 last August, which was “Magic’s” debut for the promotion. After starting his career a perfect 5-0, Hamel has fallen on hard times after dropping four of his last six.

Bellator 255 — which will air exclusively on Showtime — will feature a Featherweight championship rematch between division champion Patricio Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez in what will be the final semifinal match of the Featherweight Grand Prix.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here. – All Posts

‘Bigi Boy’ Doesn’t Want Immediate Title Shot

by Site Admin ~ February 26th, 2021

UFC 252: Dos Santos v Rozenstruik
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight power puncher Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who battles Ciryl Gane in the UFC Vegas 20 main event this Sat. night (Feb. 27) in “Sin City,” wants to be heavyweight champion of the world.


But Rozenstruik recently told the combat sports media (via MMA Junkie) that he’s not quite ready for a crack at the division crown, even if he leaves APEX victorious over “Bon Gamin,” which is why he’s got no problem stepping aside for Jon Jones.

“I want to fight more before I fight for a title, so Jon Jones can go first,” Rozenstruik said. “I want to be ready for the title fight, and I don’t think I’m ready right now. Why am I saying that? I want to get going, I want to be in the washing machine, be in the Octagon, get that feeling – especially after last year, it was a really bad year for all of us.”

It certainly wasn’t a bad year for this guy.

Rozenstruik (11-1) jumped out to 10 straight wins in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, culminating in consecutive knockout victories over longtime veterans Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem. Unfortunately, his march to the 265-pound title would be halted by the fists of top contender Francis Ngannou, but “Bigi Boy” got right back into the win column with a second-round finish against ex-heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

As for Gane (7-0), he’s also coming off a second-round stoppage over “Cigano” after winning his first three fights under the UFC banner. “Bon Gamin” is currently undefeated with finishes over Raphael Pessoa and Don’Tale Mayes, just to name a few. No question a victory over Rozenstruik puts Gane one or two wins away from a heavyweight title shot, though I don’t think he shares “Bigi Boy’s” outlook on the division crown.

Perhaps we’ll find out during his post-fight interview.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 20 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete “Rozenstruik vs. Gane” fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here. – All Posts

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