Posts Tagged ‘Bellator’

Anthony Leone – Every Fight’s Really Big

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Interviews

Anthony Leone via World Championship Fighting

Anthony Leone via World Championship Fighting

Anthony Leone will be fighting at Bellator 83 against former Bellator champ Zach Markovsky.  We sat down with Leone to talk about the fight, his goals and more.

How’s it going today?
Things are going great. Just got done with a training session and just preparing for the last couple of days.

You are scheduled to fight Zach Makovsky at Bellator 83 in about two weeks. How’s training camp changing now that it is winding down?
It’s really good. I’m really just getting myself some fine details in now. Sorry, I’m on the treadmill right now. Just fine details in and a lot more pad work. And this is my last week hard. We’ll go till Friday pretty hard and just worry about my weight next week.

This fight is at 135lbs. Do you have a big cut from your walking weight, or do you tend to stay in the 140s?
Yeah, I wish I was one of those 140 guys, really. I actually started my career at ’55. I’ve only had like 3 fights at ’35, most of them were at ’45. So unfortunately I’m… I did the Jiu Jitsu World Games like a month and a half ago at 162, and I just made weight for that.  So I’m one of those heavier guys.

So the weight cut to fight in this weight class is not a fun process for you?
No, man. It’s really horrible. It changes your whole outlook on everything.

Zach is the former bantamweight champion. Safe to say this is one of your biggest fights of your career?
This fight, yeah. Every fight is definitely big. You know, everybody says it. Every fight’s really big in your career. But definitely this one has some type of cloud over my head where I have a picture of Makovsky on my refrigerator. I wake up every morning and I see that guy, and I really… I haven’t thought about a fight more than I’ve ever thought about this one.

What was going through your mind when Bellator offered you this fight as your fourth fight with them?
Oh, I was excited. I found out maybe August or September that they were thinking about it and I was in Thailand training. I was like let’s just get this contract, let’s do this. What an opportunity, you know?

Makovsky is likely the favorite in your fight according to the odds makers. Does being the underdog have any effect on you?
I was probably, the majority of my fights that… Well, I was probably the underdog. So it really doesn’t bother me. I hope my friends bet on me – and family – and make a lot of money.

Looking at the two of you on paper, you are very similar as far as styles are concerned. Because you both like to go after submissions, do you think this could turn into a stand-up brawl instead of a test of whose grappling is better?
Not sure. We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to give away too much of our game plan that we’ve been working with as a team. Usually though, when you do see two grapplers fight, you don’t really see too much of the ground game. And same thing with strikers, when you see two strikers fight – high level strikers – you might see a little bit of ground game.

Will this fight be a tournament qualifier for next season?
I’m not really sure. We didn’t really talk about specifics like that.

I know you’ve competed against Georgi Karakhanyan for a chance to fight in the tournament before. Would that have been as a bantamweight as well or featherweight?
That was at featherweight, actually.

What are your goals for 2013?
Right now, my main goal is to beat Makovsky, and really when you have a fight coming up your mind is focused and you’re very one-directional-minded. So basically thinking about Makovsky. But it’s definitely to keep training as hard as I’ve been training these past years, staying focused, and just a continuous growth, and martial arts getting better.

Where can the fans find you at?
I have actually a website. That’s one place. And then Facebook, I think it’s Leone MMA. Sometimes I’m in Ithaca, New York training at Team Bombsquad, sometimes I’ll be in Phuket, Thailand training at Phuket Top Team. So if you want to come down to one of these places, come on down.

Phuket is pretty large. What part do you tend to be focused at?
I’m sure everybody’s heard of Tiger Muay Thai. That’s actually a huge freaking gym. I can’t believe how big that is. It’s really like a college or something. But Phuket Top Team is on the same road, and it’s called Chalong Road. And there’s actually like four MMA or muay thai gyms there. It’s huge. The whole street’s just covered with muy thai fighters, any type of fighter. It’s really crazy. That place is really blowing up there. And that’s where Phuket Top Team is. Pretty good coaches there. Really good coaches, really good guys that are really trying to get better and improve, so it’s awesome. It’s awesome to have both gyms to train at.

Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
Yeah, my sponsors. My sponsor Grips. Check them out. My manager and never stops working – he’s an animal. Primo Bellarosa, my muy thai mma coach – he’s the man. He really helps us out here. All my teammates. I think there’s a lot of teammates to mention, so they all know who they are really. My brother, my mom, Phuket Top Team, Olavo Abreu the Brazillian jiu jitsu coach there, Rodrigo Praxedes another jiu jitsu coach, family, friends, love you all.

Independent Link Club October 26 Edition

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in News

Independent Link Club Logo

Independent Link Club Logo

Here are the best stories from the best independent MMA websites.

Bellator: Proof that Championship Belts and the Tournament format do not mix [The MMA Corner]

One Fighting Championship gets nominated for an award from the International Sports Event Management ISEM [The Fight Nation]

Steve Ray vs. Dale Hardiman added to BAMMA 11 on Dec. 1 [The MMA Review]

Ryron Gracie talks going the distance with Andre Galvao at Metamoris *VIDEO* [Pro MMA Now]

Five Lines at NYCC 2012 Video [The Fight Nerd]

BAMMA 11 Fight Card Nearly Complete [MMA Valor]


RecapRadio: Morning Commute 10-23-2012

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in RecapRadio

Rich Franklin - via

Rich Franklin – via

Today’s Morning Commute podcast features a bevy of news including Rampage Jackson going off about Chael Sonnen, Meisha Tate talking about Bellator’s treatment of their women’s champ Zoila Gurgel, Rich Franklin talks about the fan reaction to him even considering TRT use, ratings for TUF, and fights for UFC 155.  All of that plus this day in history we go back to 2004.  Listen to the podcast below or download it for later use.

Bellator 76 Quick Results

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Results

Bellator 76 Poster

Bellator 76 Poster

Another week and another exciting Bellator card.  Bellator 76 took place up in Windsor Ontario Canada at the Windsor Casino.  The night of action featured the quarterfinals of the season seven featherweight tournament as well as an exciting lightweight matchup between Eddie Alvarez and Patricky Pitbull Freire.

Quick Results

  • Eddie Alvarez defeated Patricky “Pitbull” Freire by knockout at 4:54 of round one
  • Rad Martinez defeated Nazareno Malegarie by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
  • Wagnney Fabiano defeated Akop Stepanyan by armbar at 3:24 of round one
  • Mike Richman defeated Jeremy Spoon by knockout at 0:22 of round one
  • Shahbulat Shamhalaev defeated Cody Bollinger by technical knockout at 4:49 of round one
  • Jason Fischer defeated Kyle Prepolec by arm-triangle choke at 3:19 of round three
  • Chad Laprise defeated Ainsley Robinson by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
  • Ali Mokdad defeated Simon Marini by unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
  • Dom O’Grady defeated A.J. Matthews by unanimous decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28
  • Magomedrasul Khasbulaev defeated Nayeb Hezam by technical knockout at 0:24 of round one

Independent Link Club October 11 Edition

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in News


It’s time to bring some of the best stories from the best independent mixed martial arts websites around. This weeks offering features Dana White ripping on Spike TV and Bellator, Luke Rockhold out of his fight for Strikeforce, fights to make after One FC and more.

Dana White rips Spike TV and Bellator in UFC on FX 5 post-fight scrum [Pro MMA Now]

The Fight Report – UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar [MMA Valor]

Luke Rockhold Out of Nov. 3 Strikeforce Title Defense With Injury [The MMA Corner]

Matches to make after ONE FC: Rise of Kings [The Fight Nation]

Product Review: “Fight Trainer” phone app by Pocket Logic LLC [The MMA Review]

Bellator 75 Post-Fight Video Interviews

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Videos

Bellator 75 Post-Fight Press Conference - photo by Brent Todd

Bellator 75 Post-Fight Press Conference – photo by Brent Todd

After the post-fight press conference, MMARecap’s Mike Finch was able to catch up with the tournament winners to discuss their victories and their possible opponents.

Richard Hale

Vinicius Queiroz

Alexander Volkov

Kenny Foster – I Want To Get Wins In An Impressive Way

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Interviews

Kenny Foster - via

Kenny Foster – via

Kenny Foster has been a part of Bellator since Bellator 33 when he defeated Lester Caslow to earn a spot in the third season’s featherweight tournament. After a couple setbacks, Foster made the decision to drop to bantamweight and on Friday, September 28 his first test will be against Claudio Ledesma. MMARecap caught up with Foster to talk about fighting for Bellator, his fight against Ledesma, his fight in Chicago for Bellator and more.

How’s it going today?
Pretty good. Just ready to get this fight underway. I’m ready to do this.

You’ve fought a lot for Bellator and are a long time staple for Bellator. Is this a good fit for you? Do you enjoy fighting for Bellator?
I am definitely very happy fighting for Bellator. I appreciate all the opportunities they have given me. You know as far as me having solidified myself with them, I am still trying to do that. There’s a lot of talent out there especially at my weight where we are a dime a dozen. I need to go out there and be cold. I have to perform 100% every time. I have to be electric out there. That’s one thing about making this cut down to 135, I want to make a splash in this division. I want to be consistent and get wins in an impressive way.

Now all of your fights for Bellator have been at 145lbs, is this your first time fighting at 135lbs?
Yeah absolutely. I haven’t been 135lbs since I wrestled my junior year in high school. It’s been quite sometime and a lot of trial and error with this weight cut. It has been good. I am excited, I am pumped. I am ready to get the weight cut done and over with. I want to just do this already.

That’s why I am talking to you two weeks out, cause I know next week you will be cranky.
Oh man miserable. That’s going to be brutal.

Did you do a test weight cut before accepting this fight or no?
I haven’t because I have been in camp constantly. This summer I had the chance to work a little bit and get some workouts. But before this camp started, I was in camp for another fight that fell through. That was going to be at 145 again. The one thing I have had in my favor was I have made 145 so much over a pretty short period of time. I used to be a big 145, but now over time with camp again, camp again, I think I kinda deteriorated a little bit and my body shrank a little bit. The dieting and eating I am doing now is different. I am keeping lean muscle, but I think through all those camps I turned into a 135er. The cut to 145 got easier and easier. I was sweating easier and I talked to my trainers and we thought we could make a run at this weight.

You are fighting Claudio Ledesma, is this a tournament qualifier fight or has Bellator said they want you to get two wins under your belt at this weight class before getting a spot in a tournament.
Yes this is a tournament qualifier fight.

So even more pressure to perform well?

What can you tell me about Claudio? He’s very decision heavy. The majority of his fights go the distance. Are you expecting a grinding fifteen minute fight?
This is a qualifier and I came down to this weight class for a new start. I am going to try and finish this fight. I am really expecting a finish. I don’t think anyone has finished him and for me that would be a huge deal.

Are you still training at Team Bombsquad? I know he’s out of Renzo Gracie and isn’t too far from you.
We have been on the same card before, but we never encountered each other face to face. He’s fought some of my teammates. We are familiar with each other, but that’s it.

Let’s talk a little bit about fighting here in Chicago. You took on Alexandre Bezerra as a late minute notice literally the day of the weigh-ins. Talk us through what happened.
You know I was to fight Reardanz and that was on a week, week and a half notice. No excuses for me, taking short notice fight, I wish I was in better shape. But I really needed to fight. That was a huge opportunity to get a fight with Bellator. I felt a lot more comfortable going into a fight on a week and a half notice against a 500 fighter. You know what I mean? I hadn’t had any training camp and I was out of shape. I still felt confident. I really needed that fight to get back on track. I was hoping to come out with a solid W, but then they offered the fight with Popo. I don’t want to tell you it was like Hell in a hand basket, cause there wasn’t even a doubt in my mind that I wasn’t going to take that fight. It was a tournament fight and paid extremely well. It was an awesome opportunity to challenge myself against a top tier fighter. Hell you don’t turn something like that down. It was a great opportunity.

Looking at the 135lb division, is there anyone in that division that you would like to fight be it a tournament fight or not?
I haven’t even thought of that. I watched the fights. You know they have a lot of good fighters. I can’t think of someone I would want to fight. Obviously I would like to get in the tournament and make a run at the world title and fight Dantas. I’d love to scrap with him cause if I am scrapping with him, it’s for the title. When I first got into Bellator I had these expectations. It felt so refreshing. I was living in someone’s basement fighting for pennies. Then all of a sudden I had $20,000 after the Larkin fight. My whole world changed. It was a great time. I got so complacent. I got a big win and felt on top of the world. I had money and got my own place. Then all of a sudden it crashed out. I mean now, I don’t need to get in there. It’s not about fighting amongst elite fighters, I need to win. I need to be the guy. I need the world title. I want it bad. I know this time there is nothing pushing my goals around. I know where I want to be.

Any sponsors you want to thank?
Outlaw fight gear. The local seven union. Family, friends, my team. We got such a nasty room of bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight fighters. Fans can find me on facebook and I am on twitter @kfos155.

RecapRadio: Morning Commute 9-17-2012

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in RecapRadio

Georges St-Pierre - via

Georges St-Pierre – via

Welcome to a new feature on MMARecap, “Morning Commute”. Every Monday through Friday, we will put out a short podcast detailing the top stories of the previous day. These should be no longer than 10 minutes each morning and are a quick way to catch up on the news that you might have missed. Today’s edition includes stories on UFC expansion, Chris Leben, GSP, Marloes Coenen and more. Download it or listen to it in your browser.

Ask MMARecap: Will Bellator’s Format Be Their Downfall?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Ask MMARecap is back and this week’s question comes to us from Dave Ellinger out in California. He asks a valid question, one that has been debated time and time again about the number two promotion, Bellator.

Dave asks, “I like the tournament basis to help find a title contender, but I think it will be their downfall if they continue this trend of ONLY tournament winners fighting for the title. It leaves the champ not defending their title enough and more importantly long time champs that lose their title are thrown all the way at the bottom with no chance to fight for the title unless they win the whole tournament. That is disrespectful in my opinion, what’s your take?

There are a couple of levels to this question and hopefully I can answer all of them. First, for those that don’t know what Bellator’s tournament format is (are you living under a rock?) here’s the gist. Each season eight fighters in various weight classes compete against each other with the winner fighting the current champ or possibly fighting another season’s winner to crown a new champion. Bellator’s modo is “Where championships are earned, not given away”.

This format made so much sense when the promotion first started. It was an easy way over the course of three months to determine who the champs would be. It also provided us with several amazing fights through out the course of the season. Now that Bellator is about to kick off their seventh season (plus two mini Summer Series seasons) the question about champs defending their belts is becoming more relevant.

For the most part, each season has hosted only four different weight classes and with two seasons a year, that makes for a champ only being able to defend his title a single time in the course of the year and fight in a non-title fight the rest (be it inside Bellator or at another promotion).

But that’s about to change according Bjorn Rebney, CEO of Bellator. He recently spoke to MMAJunkie about the move to SpikeTV in 2013 and part of the plan is to expand to six tournaments per season. There are eight titles and with six tournaments going during the course of a season, that would make the majority of the belts defended at least twice a year. The motive Bjorn said is that UFC champs typically fight 2-3 times per year and that’s what he is wanting his champs to do.

So now that we have a system in place for the champs to fight more often, then the question is how quickly should the champs fight provided there is a contender. My answer is the sooner the better. It has been proven time and time again, that if you wait for a fight to happen, something is bound to screw it up. And then when that original fight finally materializes the same level of drama or appeal might not be there or the fighters themselves are different (think Evans vs Jones or Liddell vs Silva).

Now let’s break down the questions that Dave really asked. The first being implied that Bellator should allow non-tournament fighters the chance to fight for the belt. The question I have as an answer is why? The tournament gives us a clear cut number one contender and in the case of the current featherweights, two number one contenders. No one can argue that someone other than Patricio Freire and Daniel Straus should be fighting Pat Curran in Bellator.

But of course there’s the flipside, like when Ben Askren won a close decision against Jay Hieron. Hieron wanted a rematch, but was told he had to go do the tournament. He opted to get out of his Bellator contract instead. Or the case of Eddie Alvarez, the first lightweight champ who arguably could make the best case for a rematch after his loss to Chandler.

But if a rematch is going to be granted, or non-tournament winners given a title shot, that lessens the value of the tournament and what Bellator is about. It’s a little different with other sports where championships are given each year, but imagine if the NFL automatically gave one of the Superbowl spots to the defending champ? Or imagine if the NFL decided that this years Superbowl was going to feature the Giants versus the Broncos just because they want a Manning versus Manning Superbowl. It just doesn’t make sense.

In fighting, you have a champ who should defend his belt as often as he can against the next best guy at that point in time. Bellator’s tournament format allows that to happen. I am more intrigued by a Bellator champ defending his belt than what is going to take place in a couple weeks at UFC 152 between Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. As I stated in a previous article, champs and title contenders should be ready at any time. So no, I don’t think it will be their downfall.

Now to the second part of that question about long time champs who lose their belt having to go to the back of the line so to speak. This also holds true for tournament winners, as previously mentioned with Hieron. Do I think that a champ who loses his belt should have to go to the back of the line? Yes. And here’s why.

I HATE immediate rematches. I think the only time one could make a case for an immediate rematch is if the fight was ruled a no-contest or a draw. Even the later I am not 100% on board with. If you are the challenger, you must beat the champ to win. Now I don’t mean you have to finish the champ, or lay an ass whooping on the champ. You just have to have your hand raised at the end of the fight. Even if it is the most boring fight ever, if you are the challenger, and the judges saw you winning the fight, you won the fight.

So if you lost, you lost. That means you should be heading not necessarily to the back of the line (in the UFC that’s a very long way), but definitely not the next person to challenge for the belt. And since Bellator is about earning your title shot, what better way than to do it the way you did before, by fighting three times in twelve weeks and proving that you are the number one contender.

There is an added benefit of fighting in the tournament and winning it, the pay. Several Bellator fighters both on and off record have stated that winning the tournament was huge for their financial outcome, but that fighting for the title, or even defending the title, wasn’t near as profitable.

While the numbers are not available for what the fighters make per fight, one only has to look at Pat Curran’s career in Bellator. In 2010 he fought three times and won all three fights earning $100,000 for the three fights. Then he fought Eddie Alvarez and lost. Odds are likely that he did not make that kind of money for his losing performance. After he entered the next tournament and again won three fights and again earning $100,000. Did he earn $33,000 from Bellator for the Warren victory? I don’t know. What I do know is other title contenders and holders off record have stated that it would be better for financially to fight in the tournament, win, lose the title, then do another tournament.

Finally, the question of is it disrespectful to the former champs to not earn an immediate rematch. I say it depends on how that fighter is then marketed. If the new champ is marketed as the savior and the former champ as a villain, then yes. If however the former champ is marketed as the former champ and should be treated as such, then no. Look at Peyton Manning, the guy is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. This season, after multiple surgeries and a new team, many NFL experts are quick to point out, a Peyton Manning at 80% is still better than almost all the quarterbacks in the league.

I am not saying that certain champs shouldn’t have the right to ask for an immediate rematch, but if the rules of the game say you can’t have one, then you can’t have one. And that is what makes Bellator so exciting. Every fighter who competes in the tournament knows they are just three fights away from a title shot. There are fighters who are completely fine with having to go back and try again, look at Daniel Straus who nearly won his first attempt, lost in the finals, then came back the next season to win. Or a guy like Lyman Good who was the champ and now is trying to earn his way back. Or Ben Saunders who keeps on trying and entertaining the fans the entire way.

What makes Bellator stand out from the UFC and other shows is the tournament format. It provides a clear cut number one contender. People like tournaments to determine who is the best. It’s why college football is moving to a playoff schedule starting in 2014.

Ask MMARecap is a weekly feature where users submit questions. If your question is answered you will receive your choice of print from Art by JMC. The prints include Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Royce Gracie, BJ Penn, Carlos Condit, Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Jose Aldo, Dominic Cruz, Frankie Edgar, Junior Dos Santos, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Brock Lesnar, Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. To submit your question, leave a comment here or on our facebook page when we ask for questions.

Bellator 75 Local Fights: Beebe vs Harris, Surma vs Reardanz

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in News

Bellator 75 Prindle vs Santos

Bellator 75 Prindle vs Santos

When Bellator announced they would be returning to the Chicagoland area for Bellator 75 only one local fighter was mentioned and sans opponent. Now sources close to the event have confirmed with MMARecap that Chase Beebe will be taking on David Harris and Lance Surma will meet Bobby Reardanz.

In addition to the local fights, the main card is set to air the opening round of the season seven heavyweight tournament. Already listed for the event are Eric Prindle vs Thiago Santos and Brett Rogers vs Ruslan Magomedov.

Beebe got his first crack in Bellator at Bellator 43 defeating Jose Vega to enter the season five bantamweight tournament. He lost a close split decision to Marcos Galvao and knew he wanted to return as quick as possible. He fought to a draw in December of 2011 against Enoch Wilson in his first fight outside the organization.

Beebe went to Indiana and fought in the main event for Colosseum Combat twice, finishing both David Love and Cory Mahon in the first round. A month after defeating Mahon, Beebe fought Mike Baskis at XFO 44 and earned the unanimous decision. Beebe was supposed to fight at Flawless FC, however his opponent failed to turn in his blood work and Beebe was left without an opponent.

Harris is coming off his win at Bellator 67 over Nicholas Kirk where he earned the unanimous decision. The Michigan based fighter has put together an impressive 7-3-1 record finishing the majority of his fights.

Surma was supposed to make his pro debut at Bellator 60, but issues with his opponent, forced the cancelation of the fight. Surma made his pro debut against Anthony Hill at HFC 11 in June of 2012. Hill caught Surma with a good spinning kick and forced Surma to dig deep to recover. He did and then scored the knockout victory with his vicious elbows.

Reardanz is a veteran of the midwest and is almost always in an exciting fight. His last fight was at Bellator 60 against Genair da Silva in what was the third opponent change for Reardanz in the weeks leading up to the fight. Reardanz lost due to leg kicks as da Silva repeatedly kicked his lead leg out from under him and Reardanz was unable to stand up to defend himself.

Bellator 75 takes place on Friday, October 5th at The Venue in the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.