Bellator's anticipated trek into the world of reality television will air on Spike this summer and will be led by some legendary company.
UFC hall of famer Randy Couture, former multiple-promotion champion Frank Shamrock, renowned coach Greg Jackson and former Bellator featherweight title holder Joe Warren will serve as coaches on the inaugural season of "Fight Master: Bellator MMA".
Bellator and Spike officials held a press conference on Tuesday to formally announce the project. The show will feature 32 up-and-coming welterweight prospects vying for a spot in a Bellator welterweight tournament this fall.
Nearly a year after an ugly divorce with former student Rashad Evans came about, heralded trainer Greg Jackson has confirmed that he will prepare and ultimately corner Jon Jones for his upcoming grudge match against Evans in April.
Jones announced the news via his Twitter account this afternoon.
The confirmation comes just a couple of weeks after Jackson admitted for the first time that he was considering helping Jones after stating multiple times in the past that he would have no part of a fight between the two.
Stefan Struve. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
— Towering heavyweight prospect Stefan Struve has reportedly been tapped to face undefeated All-American collegiate wrestler Chase Gormley at UFC 104, which takes place on October 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.. Bout agreements have apparently been signed. Gormley was originally slated to face Ben Rothwell at the event but Rothwell was recently moved into a main card matchup against Cain Velasquez. [Fighters Only Magazine]
— A number of notable MMA veterans are in action this weekend. Art of Fighting’s latest offering in Tampa, Florida includes Seth Petruzelli, competing for the first time since his 14-second win over Kimbo Slice, going up against Chris Baten. Marcio Cruz and Delson Heleno will be on the AOF card as well. Neil Grove and Brad Pickett will also be defending their respective Ultimate Challenge UK titles in London, England while Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Masakazu Imanari, and Ryo Chonan are in action at DEEP 43 in Japan. [Bloody Elbow]
Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
More and more facts are coming out regarding Phil Nurse allegedly rubbing Vaseline on the back and shoulders of Georges St. Pierre during his fight against B.J. Penn this past Saturday. So who was the Nevada State Athletic Commission official that entered the Octagon and warned GSP’s corner? Turns out it was Keith Kizer himself:
“After the first round, one of my inspectors came to me and told me he thought he saw one of the cornermen—I believe it was Phil Nurse … after putting Vaseline on [St. Pierre’s] face, he saw him rub his shoulders, and it appeared as though he might not have wiped off his hands,” Kizer said. “After the second round, we observed Mr. Jackson putting Vaseline on Mr. St. Pierre’s face and then putting his hand on his back.”
At that point, Kizer attempted to get Jackson’s attention from outside the cage.
“I don’t think he heard me because of all the noise in the arena, so I immediately walked into the Octagon myself—I’ve probably done that two other times in my career—and told him to take his hand off Mr. St. Pierre’s back,” he said. “We took a towel and wiped off his back. After the third round, we went in again and made sure his back and shoulders were wiped off to ensure a level playing field.”
So according to Kizer it was both Phil Nurse and Greg Jackson that were rubbing St. Pierre’s back in between rounds. He’s right too, because all sorts of television angles have shown both cornermen doing it multiple times. With that said, it doesn’t mean they were rubbing Vaseline on his back either.
Is this going to turn into that serious of a situation? I don’t know. At the moment, it’s pretty serious… everyone is going crazy over it. However the NSAC has yet reprimand St. Pierre’s camp nor has Penn’s side filed a complaint with the commission. There’s a lot to be done and a lot of waiting to take place.
B.J. Penn. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
If you thought that the war between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn was over, think again. Penn’s camp has informed Sherdog.com that they intend to file a formal complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission after officials spotted one of St. Pierre’s cornermen allegedly rubbed Vaseline on his back in between the first and second and then the second and third rounds.
“We are not trying to make excuses, but the NSAC needs to protect the fighters,” Penn told Sherdog.com via text message. “They never notified us or completely wiped his back with water and towels.”
Various reports are circulating that following the conclusion of the first round, Phil Nurse, who has been working St. Pierre’s corner for a number of years, was caught by someone sitting at ringside rubbing Vaseline on St. Pierre’s back and shoulders. It has yet to be confirmed that this person was former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, but “The Iceman” was the first to inform UFC President Dana White of the incident after the conclusion of the fight, which St. Pierre won via fourth-round doctor’s stoppage.
Catching up on things in the world of MMA…
- The Fight Network is reporting that officials at American Top Team have stated that Denis Kang is still in negotiations with K-1 and has not yet signed with the promotion:
American Top Team representatives have confirmed that popular Vancouver, British Columbia fighter Denis Kang is in negotiations to sign a five-fight deal with the K-1 HERO’S promotion. Rumors have been circulating about a possible match-up pitting Kang against Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba Sept. 17 at the Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan, but the ATT would not confirm the pairing.
- Tonight’s episode of IFL Battleground will preview the 10 matchups that will take place in the opening round of the upcoming IFL Grand Prix. It will air 8 PM EST on MyNetworkTV.
- Highly regarded trainer Greg Jackson has announced that Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team”>Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team. St. Pierre is excited to be able to train with the likes of Nate Marquardt, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine on a regular basis:
“It’s absolutely great, and I think I am blessed because I am lucky to be able to train with such a great group of guys and under Greg Jackson, who is the best MMA coach in my book,” St. Pierre says. “People say you’re only as good as your training partners, and I believe that is the truth.”
- Continuing with some more St. Pierre news - His former manager, Stephane Patry, who also serves as president of TKO, is stating that St. Pierre is still contractually obligated to him. St. Pierre says that is just not the case:
“My manager now is Shari Spencer. She takes care of my sponsorships and my fights, as well,” St. Pierre says. “It’s nothing personal. Me and Stephane are still good friends. We were not in agreement about some stuff in training, and we were not agreeing to some stuff regarding my management.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Masakazu Imanari will return to Cage Rage to take on Jean Silva at Cage Rage 23 for the promotion’s World Featherweight Title. Silva will be dropping down from lightweight to featherweight for the first time in his career.
- Jorge Gurgel announced at an open house for his gym over the weekend that he will be facing Alvin Robinson at UFC 77.
Some media links as well…
Sherdog: Georges St. Pierre Training Pictures
MMA Weekly: Pellegrino Hunting Down a Title Shot
The Fight Network: Murphy’s Law
UFC Junkie: What’s Next for Wanderlei Silva?
Yahoo! Sports: Gonzaga sniffs out his biggest opportunity
Rogers Sportsnet: Koscheck eager to get it on
Fight Opinion: Monday maintenance: Lots of activity in the UK
Fightlinker: Brandon Vera is back and I don’t care
Bloody Elbow: More Doubts About GSP
MMA Analyst: An Interview with Cub Swanson, WEC featherweight contender
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia has stated on his official blog that he has started training again and hopes to be fighting in October.
- Mark Bocek, who will be making his UFC debut this Saturday against Frankie Edgar has stated that he spent the majority of his time training for the fight with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico.
- K-1 has announced the updated card for it’s Hero’s 9 event on July 16th:
Caol Uno vs Katsuhiko Nagata
Kazuyuki Miyata vs Vitor Ribeiro
Hideo Tokoro vs Kultar Gill
Gesias Calvancanti vs Andre Dida
Alexandre Franca Nogueira vs Shuichiro Katsumura
Katsuyori Shibata vs Ralek Gracie
Dong Sik Yoon vs Bernard Ackah
- Joe Riggs’s next fight will be on July 21st against Dan Chambers at Hardcore Fighting Championship’s debut event. Ricco Rodriguez and Ron Waterman will also be fighting for the third time on the card.
- Jason Day has announced that he may be fighting in the UFC in September according to The Fight Network.
- Countdown to UFC 73 will air tonight for the first time on Spike TV at 10:30 PM EST. UFC All-Access featuring UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk will air immediately after that.
- Staying with the television theme, The History Channel has a new MMA-related show starting on July 20th titled “Human Weapon”:
The History Channel is jumping on the MMA bandwagon. The network will premier “Human Weapon,” at 10 p.m. Friday, July 20. Hosted by welterweight jiu-jitsu artist Jason Chambers and former professional wrestler Bill Duff, the show will traverse the globe as the two introduce viewers to various martial arts disciplines.
The series opens in iconic referee “Big” John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, Calif. Episode one will focus on muay Thai, as Chambers and Duff travel to Bangok, Thailand, home to the martial art that made Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua household names. From ancient killing techniques in the jungles to weapons training among the ruins of a Buddhist temple, the hosts will attempt to master aspects of the centuries-old discipline in hopes one of them can survive a bout with an international muay Thai champion.
Future episodes will take viewers to Russia to study Sambo (likely with PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko) and to Israel to study Krav Maga, a fighting system developed in Europe and employed by various Israeli security forces. The series will also feature exhibition bouts, including one filmed yesterday with former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.
- Ken Pavia, manager of Phil Baroni, has stated that Baroni will seek a second opinion from doctors on his pending surgery for a torn groin muscle and hernia.
David Loiseau will be heading to New Mexico in the next few weeks to begin training with renowned trainer Greg Jackson apparently.
Loiseau stated that he and Jackson both approached each other after his loss to Joey Villasenor and agreed to start working together. Both Loiseau and Jackson are very excited to be working with each other:
“I think Greg Jackson is a genius when it comes to MMA,” said the 27-year-old Loiseau. “It’s all about the chemistry, the fighter-trainer thing. With the changes I want to make, I think Jackson is man to bring me to the top.”
“It’s gonna be a ‘give and take’ relationship for sure,” said Jackson. “I think Dave’s got a lot of potential and I look forward to working with him.”
Working with Jackson also means that Loiseau and possibly his good friend UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will be training along side his opponent from last weekend, Villasenor, as well as current UFC title contenders Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, and Nate Marquardt…
“He [Jackson] has an army of great fighters and I am excited about joining the camp,” said Loiseau. “Every time Georges came back he would have so many great things to say about them.”
“I have so much to share with them technique-wise,” Loiseau agreed. “I’m not one to keep it to myself and I am definitely open to new lessons. The more you share the better you become.”
Looking at the stable of fighters currently training under Jackson and the success that they are having, he must definitely be doing something right…