Bellator M-1 ProElite

ProElite is back with another fine card.  The upstart organization has been doing some big things out of the gate, and it looks as though they are here to stay. Once again, the fights take place in Hawaii, this time at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.  The main event features Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove vs. Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa.  Also on the card is the semifinals of the ProElite Heavyweight Grand Prix, so this is a sweet card for this weekend. Here's a preview video.

Good news for fight fans.  Alistair Overeem has passed his urine test and the fight with Brock Lesnar is on later this month.  Alistair has never failed a test, despite all the steroid rumors, and he came through clean again.  From Keith Kizer of the NSAC:

"The urine sample submitted by Mr. Overeem in the U.K. on 12/14 came back negative for all prohibited substances."

Nice way to ring in the new year!



On New Year's Eve Fedor returns to champion for a fight against Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii at Dream's big event at the Saitama Arena.  This marks the second fight in just a couple of months for the Russian fighting legend who is coming off a win against Jeff Monson. Here is the poster and a preview video.

Fedor is going back to Japan.  The legendary Russian fighter who dominated the MMA world as Pride heavyweight champion will return to Japan for a New Year's Eve bout with Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii.  The bout will take place at the Dream "Genki Desu Ka! New Year! 20011 show at the Saitama Super Arena.  It's been four years since Fedor last fought in Japan, and it will have to feel like a homecoming for The Last Emperor, who had his biggest successes there.

Ishii is a Olympic gold medalist in judo, but he's a relative newcomer to MMA, having started fighting just two years ago.  His record stands at 4-1-1.  Fedor is fresh off a win over Jeff Monson that put him back in the win column after a 3 fight schnied, and he'll be the heavy favorite here.  Ishii has legit skills, however, and anything can happen.

The Dream event will also feature the semifinal and final rounds of their bantamweight tournament.  In addition, Shinya Aoki will defend his lightweight title and Hiroyuki Takaya will defend his featherweight title.

More details on the Fedor fight in the near future.



COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA (Dec 9, 2011)  – M-1 GLOBAL’s final U.S. outing for 2011 featured a rematch for the M-1 Challenge Welterweight title as Yasubey Enomoto stopped former champion Shamil Zavurov in the last minute of the bout to claim the gold. The mixed martial arts (MMA) event titled M-1 Challenge XXX: Zavurov vs. Enomoto II took place atThe Hangar in Costa Mesa, California and aired live on Showtime.

Many considered their first meeting the M-1 Challenge fight of the year, a 5 round classic that would be very difficult to live up to.  Both champion and challenger appeared up to the task.  The two fighters started the fight at a break neck pace that continued deep into the bout.  Early in the fight, Enomoto dropped Zavurov who immediately bounced back to finish the round strong.  The two fighters proceeded to battle and exchange rounds as they entered the fifth and deciding frame. A review of the judges scorecards after the bout revealed the fighters were deadlocked up to that point.

As round 5 progressed both fighters began to show signs of fatigue due to an incredible pace.  Zavurov appeared desperate to land a shot throughout the round, as Enomoto remained busy showing off his takedown defense.  With less than a minute remaining in the bout, and neither fighter with a clear advantage, Zavurov attempted a final takedown.  Yasubey Enomoto telegraphed the shot and locked in a lighting fast guillotine choke causing Zavurov to tap.  With the victory Enomoto improves his record to (9-3) and becomes the M-1 Challenge Welterweight champion.  In defeat  Shamil Zavurov is now ( 18-2) and sure to be on a mission to reclaim the gold.

In the night’s co-main event, Artiom Damkovskiy needed just 2:19 to avenge a March 25th loss to Jose Figueroa.   The noticeably more aggressive Damkovskiy threw punches and kicks heavy and often finally catching Figueroa with a shot to the head that dropped the former champion.  Damkovskiy quickly swarmed his downed opponent causing the referee to jump in and halt the action.

M-1 Challenge XXX complete results:

In what I beleive is a smart move, Bellator Fighting Championships is moving its live events to Friday nights.  Often, we've seen Bellator shows scheduled on the same night as UFC PPVs, and it's tough for any MMA organization to compete with the UFC.  Not only that, there is also boxing PPVs and college football to consider.  So this move should definitely help Bellator solidify its brand and bring some new eyeballs to the excellent cards they put on.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told USA Today:

"We didn't really dig into the analysis and try to assess who was one, who was two and who was three, or what we were trying to avoid the most.  It just kind of came down to an analysis of, is there a night where all the factors made it to where we can maximize live-event attendance, where we can reach the largest audience from an television perspective, to give MMA fans an opportunity to really make a night for themselves with Bellator."

Sounds good to me.  It's a date!


Bellator 59 took place last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey and fight fans were treated to some great MMA action.  The night was not without some dissapointment and controversy, however, as the heavyweight tournament finals was declared a no contest due to a low blow and will have to be rescheduled.  Also, in the Kurt Pellegrino vs. Patricky Pitbull Friere fight, referee Kevin MacDonald seemed to have stopped the contest prematurely.  In the opening seconds of the fight, Kurt was rocked by a monster left hook, straight right combo. Patricky  swarmed and tried to finish the fight on the ground, but Kurt, a Brazilian BJJ black belt, was doing a good job of defending as he rolled out trying to avoid the blows.  Still, the ref jumped in and stopped the contest, much to the dissatisfaction of Kurt and the crowd.

Kevin MacDonald is an excellent referee.  I don't criticize refs when they err on the side of saftey, which is what may have happened last night. The fact is that I was not in the cage, but from where I was sitting (in my living room watching it on MTV2) it appeared that Kurt had all his faculties and could have continued.  Still, Kevin was the man in charge, and I trust his judgement.  Hopefully we'll get to see a rematch down the road.

Here are the official  results from last night's bouts.

Bellator is back with its 59th show tomorrow night in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  On the card is Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino, who retired from the UFC but not from fighting.  The demands of fighting in the UFC, with the travel, publicity and other chores, became too much for the New Jersey native, who prefers fighting closer to home where he can be near his family and his school.  Bellator in New Jersey is the perfect place for Kurt--he'll get the high level opponents he needs to challenge himself, while also being able to focus on the things he has going on in the state.

Kurt's opponent tomorrow night is a dangerous one--Patricky "Pitbull" Freire.  This fight has fireworks written all over it, and it makes a great card even greater.  The night will also feature the finals of both the heavyweight and bantamweight tournaments, so it's must-see event.

Also on the card is local standout Chris "Redline" Wing, an up and comer who you should definitely keep your eye on.  I've ring announced him a few times, and Redline always brings it.  He is a cardio machine who keeps on coming, and he makes a great addition to the card.

The weigh ins take place tonight at the Palladium Ballroom at Caesars Atlantic City at 5PM and is free and open to the public.   The fights happen tomorrow night and will be broadcast on MTV2.  Here is the complete card:


Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered to be MMA's greatest HW of all time, is finally back in the win column.  After losing three straight fights, Fedor took on Jeff Monson this morning in Russia and he dominated for three rounds.  Fedor threw a lot of leg kicks and some of them were absolutely brutal.  Monson had to be carried into the dressing room area and could possibly have suffered a broken leg.

Fedor was in fine form today and this is the best he's looked in quite awhile.  The fight was a must win for him and he looked motivated and hungry while stalking Monson and dropping him repeatedly enroute to the unanimous decision victory.

What's next for Fedor is up in the air right now, but he may be fighting again as soon as this New Year's Eve.  Stay tuned for more info.



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