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