Vitor Belfort. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.
February of this year will eventually be out done by March, which will potentially serve as the busiest month of major MMA in history. Until then, there's a lot to enjoy this month.
Pivotal bouts are scheduled for every division, the UFC middleweight title will be up for grabs and Strikeforce and Bellator will each kick off a handful of anticipated tournaments.
After the jump, we'll take a look at the top ten must-see fights for February.
Robbie Lawler. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— The California State Athletic Commission released the official list of medical suspensions and fighter payouts on Monday. Nick Diaz had the highest salary, banking $150,000 for his win over Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, who received $20,000. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza ($85,000), Robbie Lawler ($65,000) and Roger Gracie ($75,000) all took home big paydays as well. In addition, Lawler could be out up to six months due to a fractured left foot. [MMA Weekly]
— DREAM light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi has reportedly started the application process to be able to attempt to box at the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London, England. Mousasi would represent the country of Holland if he was to qualify. [MMAFA.tv]
Patricio Friere. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.
Highly-touted Brazilian prospect Patricio "Pitbull" Friere has been added to the list of competitors for Bellator Fighting Championships' season four featherweight tournament, which kicks off next month.
Friere is the seventh participant announced for the tourney, joining Wilson Reis, Daniel Strauss, Eric Larkin, Zac George, Kenny Foster and Georgi Karakhanyan.
"Patricio Pitbull is a great fighter," Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a release. "He was seconds away from beating on of the top two featherweights on earth and that loss was his only defeat as a professional. I know that his sole focus is winning this tournament and earning the opportunity to avenge his loss to our champion, Joe Warren. He's going to be fun to watch this season."
Wilson Reis. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.
CHICAGO, ILL. —Six-time Bellator veteran Wilson Reis will have a chance to become a nine-time vet in early 2011. Bellator Fighting Championships today confirmed Reis as the sixth competitor in the Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament which airs live on MTV2 beginning in March 2011. Reis made it to the semifinal round of both the Season 1 and Season 2 Featherweight Tournaments and currently boasts a Bellator record of 4-2 with an overall record of 11-2.
Returning to the Bellator cage fresh off of an impressive victory over dangerous WEC veteran Deividas Taurosevicius at Bellator 33, the decorated submission specialist says that his time is now.
“I came up short in the first two tournaments and this is my chance to make things right,” said Reis. “I absolutely believe that I can win it, and that's why I decided to get involved this time around. I'm going to give it all I have, take it one fight at a time, and in every fight, do my best.”
Daniel Strauss. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.
CHICAGO, ILL. – Following an impressive decision victory over Chad Hinton at Bellator 23, Daniel Straus brings a long string of victories to the Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament this March, live on MTV2. Straus is the fifth confirmed participant in the tournament, joining Eric Larkin, Kenny Foster, Georgi Karakhanyan, and Zac George.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Straus (14-3) enters the tournament on an impressive 10-fight win-streak, including victories over WEC veterans Karen Darabedyan and Joe Pearson, and UFC veteran Gideon Ray. Even more impressive is the amount of fights Straus has taken on in such a short time, as the former lightweight has competed in 17 fights over the past two years. With 11 fights alone in 2009, Straus knows the unique Bellator tournament format will be a perfect fit.
“I like to fight at least once a month so this tournament format is perfect for me,” said Straus. “If I'm not banged up or hurt, I like to keep training and turn around and get my next fight in. I like to stay as active as possible. I never like to slow down.”
Eric Larkin. Photo courtesy of Ultimate Pros.
CHICAGO, ILL. —Bellator Fighting Championships officially announced today that it will hold a Featherweight Tournament in the promotion’s highly anticipated fourth season airing live on MTV2.
Eight world class 145 lb. fighters will face off for a chance at claiming the Season 4 Featherweight Tournament Championship, a check for $100,000, and more importantly, a shot at the title against current Bellator World Featherweight Champion, World’s #2 ranked Featherweight and self proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet,” Joe Warren.
While announcements regarding all eight participants will follow, collegiate wrestling phenom Eric Larkin has been confirmed for Bellator's third Featherweight Tournament.
Michihiro Omigawa. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Spike TV will telecast 12 live “UFC Prelims” in 2011, featuring many of the best mixed martial arts fighters competing on undercard bouts prior to live UFC Pay-Per-View events. Spike has aired 13 “UFC Prelims,” beginning with UFC 103 in September 2009, with an average viewership of 1.5 million.
The first “UFC Prelims” in 2011 on Spike will air live on Saturday, February 5 at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas with undercard bouts from UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort.
An explosive lightweight bout between Paul Kelly (12-3) vs. Donald Cerrone (13-3, 1 NC) will be featured, as well as a featherweight clashing pitting Chad Mendes (9-0) against Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1).
From XFO 38 this past weekend, here's former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver picking up a much-needed win over local Illinois product Mike Lindquist.
Melvin Guillard. Photo courtesy of Silver Star Casting Company.
Melvin Guillard promises that he'll be either fighting for the UFC lightweight title or going undefeated for a second straight year in 2011. He's off to a running start.
Guillard put on one of his most impressive performances to date, easily dispatching of the world-ranked Evan Dunham with a barrage of punches and knees in the first round of their main event bout at the UFC's second "Fight for the Troops" event at Fort Hood, TX.
"I want my title shot. I'm the dark horse in this game at 155. No disrespect to anybody in my weight class, but I am the best 155-pound fighter in the UFC," Guillard said after the fight. "You keep lining them up and I'll keep knocking them down, and I will go undefeated in 2011, and I will get a title by the end of 2011 or by 2012 at the latest."
We will be going live at 6:20 PM ET with live results of tonight's "UFC Fight for the Troops II" event, which takes place at the Fort Hood military complex just outside of Killeen, TX.
The card is headlined by a lightweight duel between Melvin Guillard and Evan Dunham. Preliminary bouts will be streamed at Facebook.com/UFC at 7 PM ET and the main is televised live on Spike starting at 9 PM ET.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.