New FCF Radio with Nick Ring

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On this episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, host Jeff "Wombat" Meszaros and co-host James Kellaris review "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva" where former heavyweight juggernaut Fedor Emelianenko fell short for the second time, losing by a horrifying beating to Antonio "Pezao" Silva.  Is Fedor done for good?  Or will his management force him to keep fighting against his will?  What about Arlovski?  After an equally-terrifying knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov, should he hang up his four-ounce gloves for good?  We certainly hope so.  Tune in and find out why, like there's any mystery about our reasons.  Hint: We don't want to watch him die.  Getting back to Fedor, does that guy need to learn some jiu-jitsu or what?  Is he going to improve his ability to hang with guys like Werdum and Silva on the ground?  Why wasn't Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueria able to do that when he fought Fedor years ago in Pride?  Don't miss our guesses and finger-pointing as we try to explain it.  What about the other fights?  What happened there? 

We cover most of it, then we move on to chat with Ultimate Fighter veteran Nick Ring, who makes his UFC debut next week against DEEP champion Riki Fukuda.  Catch the wacky banter as we take a trip down memory lane, touching on the time Ring fought Jeff, a riot that later nearly happened, and the always-engaging topic of knee surgeries and sobering conversations with concerned doctors.  All this, plus his thoughts on the match, memories of being in the TUF house and almost-predictions for the rest of the card.  If this show was soup, it would be "Mmmmm good"!

To listen to the show click here.
READ MORE - New FCF Radio with Nick Ring

Healy Decisions Beerbohm; Couture, Prater Score Submission Wins

By FCF Staff

Pat Healy became the first man to defeat lightweight Lyle Beerbohm last night at Strikeforce’s latest Challengers card in Cedar Park, Texas, by working his way to a unanimous decision victory. The thrilling bout included highlight reel submission attempts and back-and-forth action, but in the end, Healy was awarded two of the three rounds by each ringside judge. With the win, Healy’s record improves to 26-17 while Beerbohm’s drops to 15-1. (Pictured: Beerbohm hitting Healy with a right)

“He talked a lot of trash, but if he wants a rematch, I’ll give him one anytime,’’ said Healy afterwards. “Beerbohm fought a good fight but I think I outworked and outhustled him. I’d like to fight the winner of the March 5 fight between Billy Evangelista and Jorge Masvidal.’’

“I definitely thought I won,’’ Beerbohm said. “I thought going into the third we’d each won a round, but I definitely thought I won that last round. I took the fight to him from the start. But that’s what happens when you let it go to the hands of the judges.’’

Healy working a choke on Beerbohm

Carlo Prater ended his two fight losing streak in impressive fashion by submitting Bryan Travers just 38 seconds into their 160lb. catch-weight bout. Prater wrapped up Travers with a beautifully executed anaconda choke, as a scramble ensued just moments into the fight, to record the 26th victory of his career.

“My record shows I’m not a perfect fighter, but when you’re down you get up,’’ Prater said. “This was a good win, I’ll get better off this fight, but I’ll be right back in the gym soon.’’

Prater after choking out Travers
Despite the fact he remains one of the sport’s most highly monitored prospects, Ryan Couture, son of MMA legend Randy, once again looked poised and collected in his fight with lightweight Lee Higgins. Couture utilized effective footwork and strikes throughout much of the bout to move ahead of a game Higgins on the score card, before tapping him out in the third round with a rear-naked-choke.

"It felt good to be in there,’’ Couture said, “but the guy was tough as nails. I’m real glad I was able to get him there at the end. For the most part I was happy with my standup and getting almost 15 minutes in there was good.’’

Couture landign a right hand on Higgins
Here are the complete results from last night’s Challengers card.

Pat Healy def. Lyle Beerbohm via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Carlo Prater def. Bryan Travers via submission (anaconda choke) - R1, 0:38
Ryan Couture def. Lee Higgins via submission (rear-naked choke) - R3, 4:41
Ryan Larson def. Erik Apple via submission (triangle choke) - R 2, 3:14
David Douglas def. Nick Gonzalez via submission (rear-naked choke) - R1, 1:05
Ousmane Thomas Diagne def. Aaron Franco via TKO (strikes) - R1, 4:22
Drew Pendleton def. Dennis Dombrow via submission (guillotine) - R2, 2:38
READ MORE - Healy Decisions Beerbohm; Couture, Prater Score Submission Wins

Chris “The Professional” Davis Confirmed for Bellator Season 4

Friday, February 18, 2011

By FCF Staff; photo courtesy Bellator FC

Bellator has confirmed a third fighter for its upcoming, Season Four, light-heavyweight tournament, as the promotion has announced that former U.S. Marine, Chris “The Professional” Davis, has signed on for the competition. The tourney is set to begin next month.

“Chris has a great opportunity in front of him in this 205 Tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Chris has never been out of the 2nd round, in every one of his 10 wins, so his fights are exciting and he has a put it on the line mentality every time he steps into the cage.”

Davis (10-2) will head into his Bellator debut having won three straight; in 2010 the 28 year-old fighter scored wins over Brian Imes, Kendrick Watkins and most recently, Francisco France.

“I knew I was a champion after going out there and winning my first fight following just three months of training,” said Davis. “Now when I go out there and get my hand raised with Bellator, that's when everyone else will know I’m a true champion.”

The Alabama fighter’s last defeat took place in October, 2009, when he was submitted by BJJ star Vinny Magalhaes, while competing for Carolina Fight Promotions.

“I want to overwhelm my opponents,” said Davis. “I want them to feel within the first 45 seconds that they are well beyond their means, and they shouldn't be in there with me. That's the pace I go for.”

“I'm looking forward to being part of Bellator's first ever light heavyweight tournament, Davis said. “I welcome the thought of having to fight as often as I will. I'm going to just stay in shape and train all the time. I think it will help accelerate my learning curve and help me to get better.”

Davis joins Nik Fekete and Daniel Gracie as confirmed competitors for the tourney. Bellator’s fourth season of action will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

READ MORE - Chris “The Professional” Davis Confirmed for Bellator Season 4

Bobby Lashley Confirmed for Titan FC 17

By FCF Staff

Former WWE star Bobby Lashley will be looking to return to the winner’s column on March 25th, as Titan FC has announced that the Strikeforce vet will face James Jack, at the promotion’s upcoming event in Kansas City, Kansas. Titan FC 17 will be broadcast live on HDNet.

"We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the MMA community following our HDNet debut on January 28," Titan CEO Joe Kelly was quoted saying in the official announcement. "A lot of unique opportunities have presented themselves to Titan since the show and working with Bobby Lashley was one of them. We are really excited to be working with Bobby as he continues his pursuit of MMA greatness."

Lashley (5-1) won five straight after transitioning into MMA in 2008, scoring wins over Jason Guida, Bob Sapp and Wes Sims. The accomplished collegiate wrestler hasn’t fought since Strikeforce’s “Houston” event last August, when he was unable to continue into the third round against heavyweight Chad Griggs.

"In the fight game, a fighter is usually viewed as only being good as their last fight. But I don't think that is a fair way to evaluate a fighter, especially an athletically-gifted heavyweight who is only six fights into his career," Kelly stated. "Bobby won't admit it and he refuses to make excuses but the reality is that he was diagnosed with mononucleosis shortly after the fight. Also, if anyone watched Griggs' fight last weekend against Gian Villante, who was widely considered one of the top prospects in MMA coming into that fight, you can clearly see that Griggs is the real deal. Anyone who is writing Bobby off is making a huge mistake. I believe that Titan Fighting will be the perfect platform for Bobby to prove his critics wrong."

According to the press release, Jack has put together a professional record of 6-2-1, after going 4-0 as an amateur. The Missouri fighter is a two-time M-1 Challenge vet.

More match-ups for the March 25th Titan FC event will soon be announced.
READ MORE - Bobby Lashley Confirmed for Titan FC 17

Strikeforce Challengers Weigh-In Results and Pics

By FCF Staff

All of the competitors for tonight’s Strikeforce Challengers event in Cedar Park, Texas made weight yesterday, making the promotion’s second event in less than seven days official. The card, which will be headlined by a lightweight bout between Lyle Beerbohm and Pat Healy, will be hosted by the Cedar Park Center near Austin.(Pictured: Healy (left) and Beerbohm).  

Other action includes Ryan Couture, son of former UFC champ Randy, taking on lightweight Lee Higgins and a 160lb. catchweight bout between Carlo Prater and Bryan Travers.

The event will be broadcast on Showtime.

Strikeforce Challengers Weigh-In Results

Lyle Beerbohm (155.7) vs. Pat Healy (155.5)
Bryan Travers (159.7) vs. Carlo Prater (160)
Lee Higgins (155.4) vs. Ryan Couture (155.5)
Ryan Larson (170.2) vs.  Erik Apple (170.7)
David Douglas (150) vs. Nick Gonzalez (151.75)
Thomas Diagne (154.7) vs. Aaron Lan Franco (154.5)
Drew Pendleton (145.2) vs. Dennis Dombrow (145.2)

Couture and Higgins (right)

Travers (left) and Prater facing off
Douglas and Gonzalez (right)

READ MORE - Strikeforce Challengers Weigh-In Results and Pics

Bellator Announces Signing of Sengoku Vet Ronnie Mann

Thursday, February 17, 2011

By FCF Staff, photo courtesy Bellator FC

Bellator FC has announced that it has signed Sengoku vet and Shark Fights Featherweight Champion Ronnie Mann to a contract. The 24 year-old Brit will make his promotional debut during Bellator’s upcoming fourth season; however, he will not compete in the featherweight tournament. No other details regarding Mann’s contract were announced.

“Ronnie Mann is a great talent at 145.  We’ve been putting this alliance together for months and we’re very pleased that we Ronnie will be fighting at Bellator on MTV2” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney in a press release from the promotion. “Ronnie is at the top of his game right now and he will have impact on our deep featherweight division.”

Mann (18-2-1) will head into Bellator having gone 8-2 in his last ten fights, a run which includes wins over Shigeki Osawa and most recently Douglas Evans. The Cage Gladiator vet’s only career losses to date came against Robbie Olivier and current Sengoku Featherweight Champion, Hatsu Hioki.

“Signing with Bellator is like a dream come true for me. I am more than excited for the opportunity to show fans what I'm capable of here in the United States,” said Mann. “Even more exciting than that is the fact that I'll be getting to show what I'm capable of against some of the best fighters in the world, which Bellator provides. Honestly, I can't wait to put my skills on display. 2011 is my time to shine.”

“Trying to capture the Bellator World Featherweight Championship is absolutely my main goal. I don't care how long it takes, that's what I'm here to do,” said Mann.

Bellator’s fourth season is set to begin in March and will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

READ MORE - Bellator Announces Signing of Sengoku Vet Ronnie Mann

Strikeforce Challengers Open Workout Pics and Quotes

By FCF Staff

Strikeforce continues to keep a busy schedule, as just days before its latest Challengers card in Cedar Park, Texas, the promotion held an open workout at the South Austin Gym featuring several of Friday night’s competitors. The card, which will be hosted by the Cedar Park Center, will be broadcast on Showtime.

Headlining the event will be a lightweight tilt between Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm (15-0) (pictured) and Pat “Bam Bam” Healy (25-17). Other featured bouts include Carlo Prater (25-10-1) vs. Bryan Travers (15-2), Lee Higgins (2-0) vs. Ryan Couture (1-0), Erik “Bad’’ Apple (10-2) vs. Ryan Larson (5-2), and David “Tarzan’’ Douglas (5-2) vs. Nick “The Ghost’’ Gonzalez (16-8, 1 NC).

Beerbohm, Prater and Higgins were on hand at yesterday’s workout in Austin, and offered these comments about Friday’s fights.

Lyle Beerbohm

“My ultimate goal is to become Strikeforce world champion but my immediate goal is to get my hand raised and beat Pat Healy.”

“This is going to be a fun, tough, hard fight that I expect will go everywhere. There’ll be stand-up, wrestling, a little but of everything. Pat is definitely an all-around great fighter who is coming off a great performance, but the bottom line is I want to win.”

“This is a great matchup and I am very excited about fighting in my first main event for Strikeforce on Showtime. There are so many great, tough, talented fighters at 155 pounds in Strikeforce. I’m looking to build off the fight Friday and show what I can do and show that I belong in that company.”

“My time has come and I am really looking forward to the fight. l want that title shot.’’

Carlo Prater

“I am very honored to be fighting for Strikeforce on Showtime. I remember fighting for Strikeforce at the HP Pavilion (in San Jose, Calif.) before they started promoting MMA.”

“This is going to be a great fight. Travers is a tough and durable and I know I need to be at my best. I’ve trained very hard. I want to make a statement and be around a long time.”

“I want Travers to be at his best so when I win, I can say I beat him at his best.’’

Lee Higgins

"I’m really happy for this opportunity to fight on Showtime and for Strikeforce. For some people, this is a really big deal but, as a fighter, for me, this is just another fight.”

“I can’t and won’t allow myself to get caught up in the hype of fighting a fighter with a very famous last name. Sure, there is extra motivation but I am not going to put any more pressure on myself.”

“So, I have to treat this as just another fight. Besides, I’m fighting Ryan, not Randy. I’ve watched his tapes and broken them down. I’m ready to fight the fight. There is no pressure. If anything, the pressure is on Ryan.”

READ MORE - Strikeforce Challengers Open Workout Pics and Quotes

Bellator 40: Thompson Fighting Askren in Non-Title Bout

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

By FCF Staff; photo courtesy Bellator FC

Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren will fight before the conclusion of the promotion’s upcoming fourth season, as today the organization announced that he will fight UFC veteran Nick “The Goat” Thomspon, April 9th. The Bellator 40 bout, which will take place at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma, will be a non-title affair. (Pictured: Askren)

“Ben’s been completely dominant in every fight he’s had under the Bellator banner and Nick has run the MMA gauntlet in his career, fighting everywhere and everyone,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He will be a fantastic test for Ben.”

Askren has gone undefeated since the former Olympian and 2-time NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion transitioned into MMA in 2009. The 26 year-old fighter defeated Dan Hornbuckle to win Bellator’s welterweight tourney last June, before scoring another unanimous decision over Lyman Good in October, to become the promotion’s welterweight champion.

“I come to fight every single time. Whether you're good or you're bad, I still want to smash you, and it's going to be the same thing when I fight Nick Thompson,” Askren said. “It doesn't matter what his record is, I'm looking to kick his ass.”

Thompson (38-13-1) will be looking to end a three fight losing streak, which has seen him lose to Tim Kennedy, Hornbuckle, and most recently last August, to Taisuke Okuno. From June, 2006, through July, 2008, the 29 year-old vet went undefeated and won 12 straight fights.

“I think the biggest advantage for me in this fight with Ben is the fact that I've fought more than 50 fights,” said Thompson. “I've fought in every organization, I've fought against the best fighters in the world, and I've been ranked in the top ten. Ben hasn't been there. I plan on hitting him like he's never been hit before and I'm excited to find out how he's going to react.”

Bellator 40, like all the events from the promotion’s upcoming season, will be broadcast live on MTV 2.
READ MORE - Bellator 40: Thompson Fighting Askren in Non-Title Bout

Video: Strikeforce HW Grand Prix Highlights

READ MORE - Video: Strikeforce HW Grand Prix Highlights

NCAA All-American Nik Fekete Confirmed for Bellator Season 4

By FCF Staff

Bellator FC has added another notable wrestler to its roster, as the promotion has announced that NCAA Division 1 All American turned mixed-martial-artist, Nik Fete, will compete in the organization’s upcoming Season Four light-heavyweight tourney.

“Fekete is a light heavyweight we've been keeping a very close eye on, and I'm excited to let fans on MTV2 have the chance to see what he is capable of in this tournament to crown our first World Champion at 205 lbs.,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebne in a press release from the promotion.

Fekete, who wrestled at Michigan State University and helped train the 2008 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team, has gone 4-0 in MMA competition since turning pro in 2009.

“I went out to Beijing for a month-and-a-half in 2008 for the Olympics to help the team train, and as soon as I got back home, I packed my stuff up and I moved to Vegas,” said Fekete. "I started teaching classes at Xtreme Couture, and then Wanderlei Silva asked for my help, so I helped teach him a couple different things. I was kind of like a freelance guy, going from gym to gym. I helped train Vitor Belfort for his fight with Matt Lindland, so I would just go from fighter to fighter in Vegas soaking up as much as I could.”

The 30 year-old-fighter joins Daniel Gracie as a confirmed participant for the tournament, which is set to begin in March.

“I think 2011 is going to be a breakthrough year for me,” Fekete said. “I've been training my whole life and I've been training non-stop for more than two years in MMA. It may sound cliché, but I’m truly excited to go out there and put on a show for all of the fans in attendance, and the millions that will be watching on MTV2.”
READ MORE - NCAA All-American Nik Fekete Confirmed for Bellator Season 4

Aggression MMA Announces Competitors for LW Tourney

By FCF Staff

Edmonton based promotion, Aggression MMA, has announced that its upcoming March 11th event will feature the opening round of a lightweight tourney, with the semi-finals and finals to take place at future cards. Confirmed competitors for the tournament include Shane “Shaolin” Campbell, Tim Jenson, Ryan Machan, Estavan Payan, Mitch Clarke, Trevor Wright, Brad Cardinal, and Kurt Southern.

The March 11th event will be hosted by Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Center, and will feature noted Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford in the main event. No opponent has been announced.

“This tournament is set to help Aggression MMA really explode on the Canadian fight scene,” stated promotion co-owner Harvey Panesar in the official announcement. “The talent featured in the tourney is second to none, and we can’t wait to see who comes out on top!”

Here is the outline of the tourney competitors that was included in the official press release:

Shane “Shaolin” Campbell (4-0) holds an undefeated record in MMA, and is considered one of the most decorated Muay Thai practitioners competing in the sport today. “Shaolin” was the 2009 WMA World Muay Thai Champion, as well as the 2007 WKA World Muay Thai Champion. All told, Campbell has competed in over fifty Muay Thai fights.

Estevan Payan (9-3) holds a pro MMA record of 9-3, and is a two-time Bellator veteran. A member of the well-respected Arizona Combat Sports fight team, Payan has trained with former WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner in the past, and is known for showcasing his skills in crowd-pleasing fights.

 Ryan Machan (12-6) returns to the 155-pound division after trying his hand at welterweight. Machan is a formerly nationally-ranked lightweight who holds notable victories over currently ranked competitors Kajan Johnson, Gavin Neil, and fellow tourney participant Brad Cardinal.

 Mitch Clarke (8-0) is currently the number ten-ranked lightweight in Canada and was the last lightweight champion of The Fight Club. The undefeated Clarke is hoping to win the Aggression title and prove that he belongs higher in the national rankings.

Tim Jenson (6-1) has been on the sidelines since 2007, working to improve his game, and has chosen Aggression as his new home to display his evolving skill set. Working under world-renowned trainer David Lea of Toshido Fighting Arts in Kelowna, Jenson is set to make his mark on the Canadian fight scene. He’s is a former Rage in the Cage champion, and holds notable victories over Ben Greer and the highly regarded Jordan Mein.

 Trevor Wright (5-3) started his career with a bang, but has hit a tough streak recently. He is now looking to rebound under the guidance of Kent Brown. Hoping to prove to Canadian MMA fans that he is a legit contender, Wright will look to take flight at the Aggression MMA lightweight tourney.

Brad Cardinal (11-5) is currently the number six-ranked lightweight in Canada, and holds notable wins over Myles Merola, Musa Toliver, Thierry Quennville, and fellow tourney participants Trevor Wright and Kurt Southern. Cardinal is riding a seven-fight win streak heading into the tournament.

Kurt Southern (7-3) is a tough fighter looking to utilize the tournament as a springboard to regain his national ranking. He holds notable wins over Mukai Maromo and Martin Grandmont.
READ MORE - Aggression MMA Announces Competitors for LW Tourney