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Rickels grinds out decision win over Woodard, Brooks impressive again at Bellator 87

David Rickels. Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA.

In a meeting between two of Bellator's more exciting fighters, it was David Rickels that got the better of Lloyd Woodard to the tune of an unanimous decision win in the main event of Bellator 87 on Thursday night.

The bout was one of four lightweight quarterfinal matches that crowd at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan witnessed.

Woodard did not go down without a fight, however. The Montana native took control early on with an early slam and a mix of ground and pound and submission attempts from top position. Woodard also hurt Rickels late in the final round and landed a pair of timely takedowns that ended up not being enough to sway the scorecards.

Continue reading "Rickels grinds out decision win over Woodard, Brooks impressive again at Bellator 87"

Bellator 89 to feature Dantas-Galvao for bantamweight title, start of middleweight tourney

Eduardo Dantas and team. Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA.

Bellator announced on Thursday that it would feature Eduardo Dantas' first defense of his bantamweight title against season six tournament winner Marcos Galvao on February 14 at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The show will also bring the start of the season eight middleweight tournament, which will have eight fighters compete for the chance to face the winner of Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao's fight for the vacant Bellator middleweight title.

Quarterfinal matchups include tournament veteran Brian Rogers going up against UFC veteran Dan Cramer and season six runner-up Andreas Spang meeting former WEC light heavyweight champion Doug Marshall.

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Watch the Bellator 87 prelim bouts at 7:30 PM ET on MMA on Tap

Check back here at 8 PM ET for the live Bellator 86 preliminary bouts, which are topped by a lightweight meeting between "TUF" season ten contestant Sevak Magakian and local Michigan product Jason Fischer.

Rashad Evans still unsure about move to middleweight division

Rashad Evans. Photo by Jerico Angeles/Authentic Sports Management.

Following Rashad Evans’ one-sided decision loss to Jon Jones last spring, speculation began to arise that he may be interested in dropping down to the UFC’s middleweight division for a fresh start. A new weight class with new opponents and of course, a shot to test himself against Anderson Silva.

Evans has said that the idea certainly interests him, and that he would want nothing more than to be able to compete against and defeat Silva, whom he considers to be the greatest fighter of all-time.

On the eve of Evans’ meeting with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 this Saturday night, the 33-year-old is still unsure if a change to 185 lbs. suits him well.

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Five things to watch for: UFC 156

Frankie Edgar. Photo courtesy of Gaspari Nutrition.

The UFC returns for its third event in consecutive weeks and it's a big one - the promotion's annual Super Bowl weekend event in Las Vegas.

This year's edition features a "superfight" of sorts as UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his title, welcoming former UFC lightweight king Frankie Edgar to the division. Alistair Overeem will also return to action for the first time after a year-long layoff due to suspension. He will face fellow Strikeforce import Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva for a shot at Cain Velasquez and the UFC heavyweight belt.

After the jump, check out five things that you should watch for during Saturday night's festivities.

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Quote of the day: Cris Cyborg tells Ronda Rousey to “Step up, bitch”

Cris "Cyborg" Santos. Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime Sports.

"I am not afraid of Rhonda! I will fight her anywhere and anytime for free - everyone knows I barely make 145- but I am willing to sacrifice and meet her half way at 140- I can't believe dana says I want nothing to do with Rhonda- what he wants me to do is fight Rhonda with both my hands tied behind my back or comatosed-so that she can have a chance-which is what making me fight at 135 is- to finally shut everyone up - i will fight Rhonda with one hand tied behind my Back at 140lb and still kick her ass and prove that I'm the real champ not her- and let the winner take ALL come on rhonda step up bitch!"

— Former Strikeforce bantamweight women's champion Cris Cyborg responds to recent comments from UFC president Dana White that she is not interested in a highly-anticipated fight with current UFC women's champ Ronda Rousey via Instagram.

The controversy about her ability to cut down to 135 lbs. aside, I don't think there is any reason to question whether or not Cyborg wants to fight Rousey. I believe she is concerned about whether or not the weight cut would affect her negatively during the fight. And with all the trash talk that has went on up until this point, it's a valid concern. Losing to Rousey would do irreparable damage to her career.

HT to Middle Easy for the find.

All fighters on weight for Bellator 87

David Rickels and Lloyd Woodard. Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA.

All 20 fighters, including the eight-man lightweight tournament field successfully made weight for tomorrow night's Bellator 87 event, which is slated for the Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

The show features a new main event of David Rickels vs. Lloyd Woodard after Patricky Friere suffered a knee injury during a final sparring session yesterday and was forced out of his meeting with Guillaume DeLorenzi. Friere is replaced by Saad Awad, who moves up from the show's preliminary card.

Complete weigh-in results are after the jump.

Continue reading "All fighters on weight for Bellator 87"

Bisping-Belcher, Miller-Healy inked for UFC 159 on April 27

Michael Bisping. Photo by Jeff Cain/MMA Weekly.

Another pair of bouts have been booked for UFC 159, which takes place  on April 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

A pivotal middleweight matchup between recently defeated contenders Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will serve as the show's co-main event. In addition, durable lightweight Jim Miller will welcome Strikeforce contender Pat Healy back to the UFC. 

The UFC confirmed the bouts as official this afternoon.

Continue reading "Bisping-Belcher, Miller-Healy inked for UFC 159 on April 27"

UFC 156 fighters content to let skills take them to titles, rather than talking

Jose Aldo. Photo by Ken Pishna/MMA Weekly.

Ever since Chael Sonnen secured a shot at Jon Jones' UFC light heavyweight title, it has become a topic of conversation.

Sonnen again used his trash talk to earn himself a shot at a UFC title. He did so before with a barrage of harsh criticism and veiled threats leading up to his rematch with Anderson Silva. Granted, Sonnen did win a pair of fights against top middleweight competition prior to the loss, but it was his verbal bravado that really set the second meeting between the two in motion.

In a sport that is starting to mix in entertainment to go along with its skill and toughness, is the easy way to a title shot to now talk your way towards it rather than climbing up the ladder through winning fights? The stars of UFC 156's main card don't think so.

Continue reading "UFC 156 fighters content to let skills take them to titles, rather than talking"

Video: Countdown to UFC 156

Check out the full replay of "Countdown to UFC 156", which premiered last night on Fuel TV. The program previews the main card of Saturday night's event, profiling Jose Aldo's UFC featherweight title defense against former lightweight king Frankie Edgar and Alistair Overeem's return to action against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

Also detailed is former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans meeting Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Jon Fitch taking on jiu-jitsu wizard Demian Maia.

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