Written By: Jordan Maskell
Photography By: Randi Lotsberg
Fans were treated to some world class mixed martial arts Friday night as Casino Rama once again hosted the Bellator Fighting Championship.
The main event featured Bellator Lightweight champion Michael Chandler defeating veteran Akihiro Gono by TKO. Chandler kept pressing early in the fight, forcing Gono to back away. With almost a minute into the first round, Chandler landed a big right hand, knocking Gono down, and finishing him with strikes at 56 seconds. At the post fight press conference, Gono announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition.
Bryan “The Beast” Baker defeated Ben “Killa B” Saunders by unanimous decision in an intense three round bout. The fight went back and forth, with Saunders going for both a kimura and triangle in the first round. Baker was able to escape, and stopped any further submission attempts by Saunders. The second round saw Baker take more control of the fight, pressing Saunders against the cage and landing some powerful shots. Near the end of the round, Baker took Saunders down, gained side control and dished out some ground and pound. The third round was more of the same, with Baker controlling the fight, getting takedowns and even slamming Saunders to the canvas. At the end of three rounds, the judges scored it 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 in favour of Baker who advances to the finals of the Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament.
Taylor Solomon is a small town guy trying to make his way to the top like any MMA fighter on the scene, but what makes Taylor stand out is his willingness and drive to take on any challenge. Taylor was on a 3 loss streak but still managed to find his way to Bellator 57 last Novemeber, after coming off a loss against World Muay Thai Champion Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell. That fight went to decision and Taylor took his third loss as an achievement and I think others would agree, these two guys went at it and put on an amazing show. It’s now April 2012 and Taylor is off to fight Jason Ficsher for his 2nd Bellator bout and this guy is ready for war. He was given an opportunity to come back and to shine, and Taylor is taking that opportunity and running with it. You can catch tonights fights on www.spike.com @ 7pmET/6pmCT TV fights will be aired on MTV2 &EpixHD @ 8pmET/7pmCT
Written & Photography By Randi Lotsberg
PHOTO FROM BELLATOR.COM
Lightweight: Taylor Solomon 155.6 Vs. Jason Fischer 155.6
Welterweight: Matt Secor 170 Vs. Nordine Taleb 171
Featherweight: Mike Richman 145 Vs. Chris Horodecki 145.8
Welterweight: Josh Taveirne 170.6 Vs. Chad Laprise 169.8
Catchweight: Kyle Prepolec 158.6 Vs Lance Snow 159
Middleweight: Elias Theodorou 185.6 vs Rich Lictawa 192.2
Rich needs to cut more weight
Bantamweight: Roderigo Lima 136 Vs. Hiroshi Nakamura 135.8
Bantamweight: Travis Marx 145.2 Vs. Masakatsu Ueda 135.8
Featherweight: Alexandre Bezarra 146 Vs. Marlon Sandro 146
Welterweight: Douglas Lima 170 Vs. Ben Askren 169.6
Bellator 64 Windsor, Ontario
Getting to know Lyndon Whitlock….
MMAxposed had the chance to catch up with Jake Shields this past weekend while he was in the GTA. We got to check him out in action during his seminar hosted by Haymaker Fightwear at BAMA BJJ in Burlington, Ontario Canada. We also got to attend an evening event with Jake and the guys at EventbanksMMA and The Warrior Fight Store. It was a great weekend with many successful events throughout the GTA.
I have known Lyndon since 2001. We used to train together and when he first started training, I spent alot of time helping him out. The one thing I noticed right away was how fast he picked up grappling. Within a couple of months training he went to compete and do an amazing job at a very tough local competition. Since that time, he took many years off of training focusing on work and other things.
We recently began training together about a year ago and the exact same thing is happening. He is picking up and absorbing technique so well and keeps getting better each and every time we roll. It is an honor to know him as a student, friend and representative of my store. Not just because of his abilities, but for his hardworking, honest and humble attitude on and off the mats. Just dont tick him off in the cage…or he will break something of yours….literally!
Written By Riccardo Ammendolia
Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at the Copps Coliseum Box Office and at Ticketmaster.ca. Tickets are also available from local fighters on the card and at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm with the first fight at 7:30pm.
By: Matt Marcone
The UFC’s first event in Japan since 1997 had everything we were hoping for; a new champion, close decisions, tough fights, knockouts and even a vintage Rampage slam.
The main event saw Benson Henderson win a close decision against three-time defending lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. I have watched the fight twice, both times having it three rounds to two for Henderson. The champ disagrees.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Ben, he did a great job but I thought I won the fight,” says Edgar. “I thought I did enough to win those rounds.”
Judges scored it 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 in favour in Henderson.
Significant moments in the fight included a hard up-kick in the second that dazed Edgar and a very deep guillotine in the fourth that the champ craftily escaped.
Edgar was able to catch many of Henderson’s low kicks, but they were still doing damage. After five rounds, Edgar looked like he had been in a brawl while Henderson looked relatively fresh. UFC President Dana White is among those who believe Edgar won the fight.
White did not seem interested in an immediate rematch with Edgar, likely due to the marketability of a potential Anthony Pettis rematch with Henderson. Pettis landed perhaps the most spectacular kick in the sport’s history in their first fight for the WEC lightweight title.
“He’s probably going to get it,” White says about Pettis being the next title contender.
Anthony Pettis also won knockout of the night with a high kick on Joe Lauzon early in the first round.
The co-main event saw Ryan Bader out-wrestle crowd favourite Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for a unanimous decision. Rampage missed weight by five pounds and says he was injured a couple weeks before the fight.
Never one to quit, Rampage opted to go against the doctors and put a show on for the Japanese fans.
“I was really happy with all the cheers when I came out to the Pride music but I was very disappointed at the boos when I was on my back getting my butt kicked,” Rampage explains. “I felt really ashamed. Next time I want to have cheers throughout the fight but I was really happy to be fighting back in Japan again.”
Mark Hunt landed a string of hard uppercuts to finish Cheick Kongo at 2:11 of round one. Hunt is showing the MMA world he is still a deadly force on the feet, winning his third consecutive UFC fight. Hunt is a former Pride veteran and former K1 Grand Prix champion.
Jake Shields rebounded from two consecutive defeats to beat Yoshihiro Akiyama by unanimous decision. The fight was closer than the scorecard suggests and Akiyama looked very strong at 170 pounds. He also landed a beautiful judo throw on Shields that had the crowd buzzing.
Other main card fights saw Tim Boetch knockout Yushin Okami in one of the great comebacks in UFC history. Okami controlled the striking and grappling for the first two rounds but Boetch caught him early in the third.
Hatsu Hioki defeated Bart Palazewski via unanimous decision, and Takanori Gomi finished Eiji Mitsuoka with punches in round two.
Check out my predictions or get in touch with me on twitter @MattMarcone. Listen to mountaineers sports on INDI 101.5 FM on Mondays at 6pm for the MMA recap
The UFC returns to Japan this weekend for the first time since Dec ‘00 with an action packed card! Here’s the breakdown of the main card:
Main Card (On Pay Per View):
Anthony Pettis (12-2) vs Joe Lauzon (20-6)
“Showtime” Pettis has only one loss in his last 6 fights – a decision loss to Clay Guida. Since that loss he won a split decision against the always touch Jeremy Stephens, and will look to build on that win with an impressive showing against Lauzon. Pettis has an excellent standup game and will want to establish himself as the superior striker. Lauzon has won 3 of his last 4, and there’s no secret he’ll want to get this to the ground as quickly as he can. Lauzon’s won post fight bonuses in his last 5 fights – and 6 of his last 7 fights overall. Pettis’ should have the ground skills to hang with Lauzon, but I expect these fighters to definitely start the PPV with a bang!
Pettis via TKO, Rd2
Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2) vs Bart Palaszewski (34-13)
Hioki is on a 5 fight win streak and has won 10 of his last 11. After grinding out a decision win against George Roop in his UFC debut, Hioki will be looking to take the fight to ground, where 12 of his wins have come by submission. With wins in 4 of his last 5 fights, including a 1st round KO win over Tyson Griffin, Palaszewski will be looking to dominate on the feet early and have another impressive performance to continue his climb up the ranks.
Palaszewski via 1st Rd TKO
Yushin Okami (27-6) vs Tim Boetsch (14-4)
Okami will look to rebound from his loss to Anderson Silva. “Thunder” Okami won’t have the typical strength advantage that he’s accustomed to, so he’ll have to be a little more technical to get Boetsch to the ground to deliver his GnP tactics. On a 2 fight win streak since dropping to the middleweight division, Boetsch will look to use his wrestling to stifle Okami’s takedown attempts. Look for Boetsch to use his striking to get the advantage over Okami.
Boetsch via Decision
Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-4) vs Jake Shields (26-6-1)
This is a battle of 2 fighters who desperately need a win. Sexiyama sports an impressive 13-4 record, however he’s lost 3 in a row and a 4th may spell the end of his UFC stint. He has a balanced attack and poses a threat both on the feet and on the ground. Before his recent skid began with a loss to Chris Leben, Akiyama was unbeaten since 2005 – a span of 14 fights (incl 2 no contests). Shields himself is on a 2 fight skid after winning 15 in a row that saw him climb to the top of the Strikeforce ladder. He’ll need to get this fight to the ground where he’s at his best and play to his strengths. Shields will need to pull out an impressive win if he hopes to keep job, never mind any relevance in the welterweight division.
Shields via Decision
Mark Hunt (7-7) vs Cheick Kongo (17-6-2)
After losing 6 fights in a row that saw him face some top tiered competition (incl Fedor, Overeem, Barnett, and Mousasi), Hunt has reeled off back to back wins and will be looking to prove he’s not just a one dimensional fighter against another power puncher in Kongo. Looking to extend his own 2 fight win streak, Kongo will want to display his evolution of skills and show that he is the more versitle fighter and the one that’s more deserving of the win. Although it would make for a hugely exciting fight, Kongo should look to avoid an exchange of firepower if he hopes to establish himself amongst the upper echelon of the heavyweight division, or risk remaining amongst the card fillers of UFC.
Kongo via TKO (GnP) Rd2
Quinton Jackson (32-9) vs Ryan Bader (13-2)
Rampage has seen a tremendous amount of success in Japan in the past, sporting a 14-5 record in the land of the rising sun. He’ll be looking to use his experience to his advantage to overcome Bader arsenal of weapons, which match if not exceed Rampage in power punching, wrestling, and overall strength. Rampage needs to show that he’s evolved compete with this new breed of fighters or face the possibility of being relegated to a role of gate keeper. Bader will want to regain the momentum that saw him rise up the light heavyweight ranks before suffering his first defeat at the hands of current champ Jon Jones. He’ll need to use his footwork to avoid Rampage’s attack and show that the time is now for “Darth” Bader to establish himself as one of the top fighters in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Bader via Decision
Frankie Edgar (14-1-1) vs Benson Henderson (15-2)
Edgar has had “The Answer” for every opponent to date, including the man responsible for the lone defeat on his record, Gray Maynard. His “never say quit” mentality and the heart of a true warrior make him dangerous no matter how much trouble you think you have him in. His gas tank seems to never run dry, so he can keep up a relentless pace that’s almost impossible for most to keep up with….unless your name is Benson Henderson. Henderson is a big 155’er, has cardio for days, and is probably the most well rounded fighter and toughest challenge that Edgar has ever faced. He’s won 3 in a row since dropping the WEC belt to Anthony Pettis, and the former champ is looking to establish himself as THE top lightweight in world. I’m a huge Edgar fan, but I have to say Henderson will be too much and may have the question that Edgar can’t answer.
Henderson via Decision
JP (MMAFreak) Castillo
Budding mixed martial artist Ryan Dickson is a young man with all the tools necessary to evolve and succeed in the sport of MMA. The Hamilton native is a skilled wrestling and jiu-jitsu competitor by his roots and competes in BJJ competitions all over the world. He is getting set to compete in the Abu Dhabi World Pro BJJ Championships later this month. “Abu Dhabi” is one of the most prestigious grappling competitions in the world and Dickson will be competing against the best of the best in BJJ.
The Jeff Joslin MMA student made his MMA debut in 2011 and went 2-0 in his first two fights. Dickson grabbed a first round, arm bar victory over Brett Biederman in a Global Warriors Fighting Championship event in August, followed by an absolute mauling of Josh Tavierne in The Score Fighting Series’ Meltdown in The Valley in December. He tapped Tavierne out via rear-naked choke in the second round.
Dickson is well aware of his prowess in submissions but he is extremely humble and grounded, two traits paramount for success in this sport. Dickson has the reputation of being a sponge in his training with teacher, local MMA pioneer and former UFC fighter Jeff Joslin. His various training methods show he is the perfect student of the game who knows he needs to learn and train everything to get to where he wants to go.
“I train alot in BJJ but I also enjoy Boxing and Muay Thai which I try to train most days of the week. I also started my training in wrestling in high school and I train with Brock University Wrestling 2 times a week as well as at Joslin’s.” Dickson said. “I also spend a lot of time watching and studying pure boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai as well because a lot can be learned from all of them.
In his victory over Josh Tavierne last December, Dickson’s technical ground game dominated, frustrated and embarrassed his opponent, and it is clear he trains to do exactly that.
“I like to emulate the technical fighters in MMA. Edson Barbosa, Benson Henderson, Rousimar Palhares and my coach Jeff Joslin as well.”
Dickson’s next MMA fight is in his hometown of Hamilton on March 16th for The Score Fighting Series where he will take on Team OAMA fighter Chris St. Jean.
“He’s experienced and well rounded and I’m looking forward to the fight.” Dickson’s goals for this year are clearly set.
“At the end of 2012, I want to still be undefeated and still have all my wins by submission or knockout. I don’t really care who I fight I just want to keep active, doing a fight every month or two months.”
The MMA future is bright for Ryan Dickson.
One of the most anticipated UFC fights in recent months took place this past Saturday night when Nick Diaz took on “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit.
The bout was contested as a five-round interim welterweight title fight, showcasing some world-class mixed martial arts action. But the fight wasn’t without controversy, so now the rematch is on!
Nick Diaz, a former Strikeforce, WEC, and IFC champion was on an 11-fight win streak coming into this fight, six by TKO and three by submission. Carlos Condit, the final WEC champion, won his last three fights via TKO, with two “knockout of the night” and one “fight of the night” honors. The matchup seemed perfect between the two welterweights to determine the interim champion for the injured Georges St-Pierre.
Late Tuesday, UFC President Dana White confirmed via Twitter that Condit had agreed to a rematch, with details being worked out this coming Friday. Recent reports indicate GSP would not be ready to compete against Condit until later this year, leaving plenty of time to schedule the rematch. He is slated to finish rehabilitation on a torn ACL in June, and could potentially return in the later part of 2012.
During their first contest, Condit landed 151 significant strikes, with a total 159 strikes. Diaz on the other hand was more aggressive throughout, while landing only 105 significant strikes, with a total of 117 strikes, and one successful takedown. In his previous appearance at UFC 137, Diaz landed over 200 significant strikes on BJ Penn.
When the results were announced, the judges had it scored 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47 in favour of Condit by unanimous decision. Diaz was obviously not impressed, much like a large portion of the Vegas crowd who booed the newly crowned champ. In the post fight interview Condit mentioned he found his flow in the later rounds and that movement was a key to the victory. Diaz said he was not going to take this as a loss, indicating his views on who dictated the pace of the fight.
“I landed the harder shots. He ran the whole time and kicked me in my leg with little baby leg kicks the whole fight,” stated Diaz. “That’s the way they understand to win in here, I don’t want to play this game no more.” Following this, the Stockton native announced his “retirement” from competition, saying he would still help out his teammates like brother Nate Diaz.
Written by Matt Marcone
Carlos Condit is the new interim UFC welterweight champion.
Condit answered his critics Saturday with a very close decision win over crowd favourite Nick Diaz.
Condit was able to circle and move, landing several leg-kicks and jabs but never came close to finishing the Stockton native. Judges scored the bout 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47, much to the chagrin of the Vegas crowd.
Diaz verbally taunted Condit the entire fight, landing a wicked body shot combination and nearly finished him with a rear-naked choke.
“This ain’t right,” Diaz told colour-commentator Joe Rogan. “I pushed him back the whole fight. I walked him down. I got the take down. I’m the guy who went on top. Had I thought I wasn’t ahead, I’d bet you anything I’d have finished that arm lock.”
“While he was talking, I was landing punches,” Condit said.
Perhaps most shocking was the bombshell announcement that followed.
“I think I’m done with this MMA,” Diaz said. “It’s been great out here. I’ve had a good career. You guys pay me way too much, but I don’t think I’m going to get enough to keep going in this. It’s been a good time.”
If UFC 143 was Diaz’ last fight, one of the sport’s most prolific fighters is walking away in his prime. Condit now faces teammate Georges St. Pierre for the undisputed title later this year.
In the co-main event and fight of the night, Fabricio Werdum was able to out-strike Roy Nelson for three straight rounds. Many thought Werdum’s best chance to win the fight was to take it to the ground, but he proved he’s more than a one-trick pony.
Werdum landed some devastating knees in the clinch that ultimately paid dividends, with “Big Country” unable to mount any serious offence. All three judges scored it 30-27 in favour of the Brazilian.
Other fights saw Josh Koscheck win a controversial split decision over fellow wrestler Mike Pierce; the bout could’ve gone either way.
Rising Brazilian bantamweight star Renan Barao outpointed Scott Jorgenson for three rounds, improving his record to an impressive 28-1-1.
UFC newcomer Stephen Thompson showed why he hasn’t lost in combat competition since he was a young teenager. He knocked out Dan Stittgen with a beautifully timed head kick, earning him knockout of the night honours and improves to 6-0.
Submission of the night went to featherweight Dustin Poirier, who improved to 4-0 inside the Octagon.
Next stop for the UFC is February 15th on Fuel TV where Jake Ellenberger takes on fellow welterweight contender Diego Sanchez.