Posts Tagged ‘Comeback’

ST. LOUIS – Matt Mitrione got hit hard enough by Carl Seumanutafa early in the first round of their fight that he said he didn’t remember if he hit the canvas or not.

He did. Once there, though, Mitrione (10-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) managed to survive and mounted a fairly miraculous comeback on his way to an eventual knockout of Seumanutafa (10-7 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) later in the round. The stoppage came at the 3:22 mark of the frame after Mitrione had recovered enough to get back to his feet to rear up for a power bomb of a right hand.

The heavyweight bout opened up the main card of today’s Bellator 157 event at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Mitrione went to the outside and shucked off a pair of kicks from Seumanutafa quickly into the fight. But after pawing a left, he ate a massive right hand from Seumanutafa. He fell backward and covered up immediately. Referee John McCarthy let Mitrione survive, and Seumanutafa went to the ground to work a few more punches.

But Mitrione stayed in it, and bided his time to recover. He worked his way to the top and got to half-guard, where with three minutes left he started working his own ground-and-pound.

Eventually, Mitrione returned to his feet – and from there, he unleashed a giant right hand that connected on the button and put Seumanutafa’s lights out.

“I had no idea,” Mitrione said in the cage after the fight. “I don’t remember right now. Did I drop? Did I hit the ground? I was thinking, ‘Oh, (expletive). I’m not supposed to be here right now.’ I don’t know what I was thinking. But I’m glad it happened the way it happened.”

Mitrione was making his Bellator debut after 14 fights in the UFC. And Bellator didn’t waste any time getting him set for his next bout. Fellow heavyweight UFC veteran Oli Thompson was brought into the cage and announced as Mitrione’s next fight – at Bellator 158 next month in London. Thompson will be making his Bellator debut.

But Bellator public relations officials told MMAjunkie that fight is not official until Mitrione clears post-fight medical exams, just like any other fight. If Mitrione is cleared by the commission, the fight with Thompson will air on the main card.

Mitrione snapped a two-fight losing skid to get a victory in his Bellator debut. Seumanutafa heads back to the loss column and has alternated wins and losses for his past eight fights.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 157 results include:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Satoshi Ishii vs. Quinton Jackson
  • Michael Chandler vs. Patricky Freire – for vacant lightweight title
  • Ilima MacFarlane vs. Rebecca Ruth
  • Kevin Ross vs. Justin Houghton (kickboxing)
  • Denise Kielholtz vs. Gloria Peritore (kickboxing)
  • Matt Mitrione def. Carl Seumanutafa via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:22

KICKBOXING MAIN CARD (Spike)

  • Joe Schilling vs. Hisaki Kato
  • Raymond Daniels vs. Stefano Bruno
  • Keri Melendez vs. Sarah Howell

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Cheljean Erwin-Davis def. Kevin Engel via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:19
  • Brad Jones def. Tyler Claussen via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:26
  • Joaquin Buckley def. Chris Heatherly via knockout (strikes) – Round 2, 4:14
  • Darryl Cobb def. Elmir Kulosman via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:28 (kickboxing)
  • Tara Walker def. Mimi Kutzin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) (amateur kickboxing)
  • Guilherme Vasconcelos def. Jordan Dowdy via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:59
  • Justin Lawrence def. Isao Kobayashi via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:11
  • Matt Murphy def. Justin Robbins via TKO (injury) – Round 2, 2:16
  • Rashard Lovelace def. Garrett Mueller via TKO (injury) – Round 2, 5:00
  • Steven Mann def. Mike Estus via TKO (knees) – Round 1, 0:25
  • Lee Burns vs. Byron Stevens
  • Katy Collins vs. Michelle Pearce
  • Jason Christeson vs. Dewayne Diggs
  • Ashley Cummins vs. Nikki Smith

For complete coverage of Bellator 157, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News

View full post on News | MMAjunkie

In a sport that never stops moving, even MMA junkies can struggle to keep up with all the latest news. If you missed any of Tuesday’s biggest headlines, catch up with “The Comeback.”

Check out the video above to get caught up on the latest news. And if you’d like to read more, check out the following coverage:

  • UFC exec says reports of UFC sale are ‘false,’ internal email to staff offers same message
  • Dana White has message for UFC employees stressed about sale: ‘Don’t even worry about stuff like that’
  • Dana White lauds Emelianenko’s chin vs. Maldonado, admits ‘people do still want to watch Fedor’
  • Dana White responds to ‘inconsistent’ Donald Cerrone’s pay criticisms: ‘You’ve got to win them all’
  • St-Pierre’s comeback plans make a lot of sense, and have some historical precedent
  • Dan Henderson title shot vs. new champ Michael Bisping? UFC boss Dana White ‘wouldn’t rule it out’

View full post on News | MMAjunkie

Rejoice, you fight fans who love a well-groomed world champion, for Georges St-Pierre is coming back. Maybe. Probably. He says he is, anyway, and this time, he seems like he really means it.

The former UFC welterweight champ went on “The MMA Hour” on Monday and sounded for all the world like a man who had made the decision to return and was only awaiting the fine-tuning of the details. He also sounded like a man who had a very specific return bout in mind, and it’s one that’s not without historical precedent.

According to St-Pierre (23-2 MMA 19-2 UFC), a clash with newly minted UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (29-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) feels big enough to lure him out of a comfortable retirement after almost three years away.

“He’s the man to beat right now,” St-Pierre said of Bisping. “I always said if I come back, my first fight would be something big that gives me the chills. And he’s a bigger name right now. He is the bigger name, the guy who has the spotlight right now.”

You’ve got to give it up to GSP. The man has always had good timing. He knew when to hit the Superman punch, when to shoot the double-leg. He knew, more or less, when to walk away. He at least seems to think he knows when to come back and finally make that move up to middleweight, and it seems to have everything to do with who’s holding the belt there.

Not to get all creepy fortune-teller on you, but this has all happened before.

Remember back in 2007, when Randy Couture, who’d retired after getting knocked out by Chuck Liddell in a failed bid to recapture the UFC light heavyweight title, announced that he’d been reborn as a heavyweight? Later, Couture would explain that he made that decision in large part because he looked at who the UFC heavyweight champion was at the time – Tim Sylvia – and figured he could probably beat that guy, so why not try?

Turns out Couture (19-11 MMA, 16-8 UFC) was right. He fought Sylvia (31-10 MMA, 9-4 UFC) at UFC 68 on March 3, 2007, and took the UFC title from him with a unanimous decision victory. He defended it exactly once, then lost it to Brock Lesnar the next year, following an attempt to quit his post as UFC heavyweight champ that resulted in a brief legal battle.

Still, the return was a lucrative and worthwhile one for Couture. He banked more checks, added more titles, generally increasing his share of both money and glory, thanks in large part to good timing and savvy target selection. It all happened right as St-Pierre was ascending the ranks of the all-time greats, too, so you can bet he was paying attention.

Now GSP wants to try a maneuver that looks very similar to the one Couture pulled off. And, when you think about how well it worked out for “The Natural,” can you really blame him?

Which is not to say that St-Pierre might have stayed gone had Bisping not shocked the world at UFC 199. His comeback talk has become so persistent of late that an actual UFC return seems inevitable.

But you’ll notice he’s not talking about coming back to welterweight, where Robbie Lawler is currently rearranging facial features as champ. He also wasn’t quite so eager to make the jump to middleweight when Luke Rockhold was the man to beat.

To hear St-Pierre tell it, the reason the Bisping fight gives him “the chills” just thinking about it is because it’s a high-profile fight against an opponent people care about – whether that caring takes the form of love or hatred. That he also thinks he can make up for the size difference with, in his words, “more skill, more athleticism, and a higher fighting IQ,” that probably doesn’t hurt either.

Bisping has already said he likes the idea, and why wouldn’t he? A fight with St-Pierre is a guaranteed blockbuster. It’ll be more lucrative than virtually any other possibility, and it also gives Bisping the option of fighting a smaller man who’s been on the shelf for a few years rather than taking on one of the many monsters of the middleweight division, all of whom are presently salivating over the thought of getting their hands on him.

For Bisping, it’s a chance to get paid and maybe even up his odds of staying champ. For St-Pierre, it’s just one more smart business move in a career filled with them. But he might want to remember that, even though Couture came back at the right time and against the right opponent, his ride didn’t stop there. For every Tim Sylvia, maybe there’s a Brock Lesnar lurking somewhere just beyond.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

View full post on News | MMAjunkie

In a sport that never stops moving, even MMA junkies can struggle to keep up with all the latest news. If you missed any of Wednesday’s biggest headlines, catch up with “The Comeback.”

Check out the video above to get caught up on the latest news. And if you’d like to read more, check out the following coverage:

  • Will Brooks on fast track for belt: ‘I have everything it takes to be a UFC lightweight champion’
  • Claudia Gadelha details off-camera scuffle with ‘muay Thai fighter with takedown defense’ Jedrzejczyk
  • Money-hungry Donald Cerrone sees Patrick Cote as next step on way to 50-fight UFC career
  • Anthony Pettis drops to 145, meets Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21 in Vancouver on Aug. 27
  • Garreth McLellan vs. Alessio Di Chirico added to August’s UFC on FOX 21 card in Vancouver
  • UFC Fight Night 92 gets five new fights, including Kawajiri vs. Swanson, Camozzi vs. Leites
  • Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping 2? ‘Hendo’ says rematch would be fitting career finale

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

View full post on News | MMAjunkie

In a sport that never stops moving, even MMA junkies can struggle to keep up with all the latest news. If you missed any of Monday’s biggest headlines, catch up with “The Comeback.”

Check out the video above to get caught up on the latest news. And if you’d like to read more, check out the following coverage:

  • Happy with on-screen portrayal, Jose Aldo wants to beat Conor McGregor in Rocky-like sequel
  • Conor McGregor issues Irish battle cry in support of country’s European Championship run
  • After hearing she might be Ronda Rousey’s last fight, Miesha Tate feels ‘disrespected’
  • Sam Sicilia itching for return, eyes Dennis Siver in Hamburg
  • What role did boxer Muhammad Ali play in early MMA? Let ‘Ali vs. Inoki’ author Josh Gross explain
  • Frankie Edgar on UFC 200 opponent Jose Aldo: I highly doubt he’s ever fought injured

Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

View full post on News | MMAjunkie

After 16 professional MMA wins, Bellator middleweight Ben Reiter was forced back to the drawing board for the first time in his career.

That left Reiter thinking about his next move. A New York native, he had relocated to Lima, Peru, where he relocated after meeting his wife.

Training in South America, Reiter doesn’t have access to the same resources as stateside fighters. While Lima has enjoyed a recent surge interest due to the UFC’s success and the recent triumph of Enrique Barzola on “The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2,” Reiter said it’s difficult to find sparring partners his size.

“It’s a little bit tougher for my weight class, as there’s not as many guys in my weight class,” Reiter (16-1-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), who faces A.J. Matthews (8-4 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) at Bellator 156, told MMAjunkie Radio.

For previous camps, he compensated by finishing his training at the renowned Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., where he spars with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Reiner credits his current coaches for his success, but is nonetheless planning a full-time move to Jackson-Wink. There, he hopes to revitalize his career.

“Sometimes, there’s speed bumps in this sport, but I know I have a lot of potential, and I’m capable of doing big things in this sport,” said Reiter.

Bellator 156 takes place June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresco, Calif. Reiter vs. Matthews headlines the MMAjunkie-streamed prelims before main card fights on Spike.

Sparring with one of the best in the world, Reiter said he’s learned a lot about what he’s good at and what needs work. A submission loss to Francisco France at Bellator 146 was the ultimate judge, though, and against Matthews he aims to show what he’s improved upon.

To get past a loss, he said, he has to keep moving forward.

“I just need to go in there and dominate,” Reiter said. “I know A.J.’s a tough fighter, but I feel like I really have what it takes to set the pace in the fight and show the difference.”

For more on Bellator 156, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News

View full post on News | MMAjunkie