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Bellator MMA issued the following press release this week to announce their first ever international event.



PARIS (Nov. 27, 2015) – Not even an entire month after announcing plans to host multiple international events in 2016, Bellator MMA has come out with a date and location for its first foray across the pond. Bellator MMA President Scott Coker joined Oktagon Kickboxing President Carlo Di Blasi in Paris this afternoon to announce a co-promoted event set to take place on April 16 at the Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy.

The event will feature both Bellator MMA and Oktagon Kickboxing bouts, with the Bellator MMA portion airing in the United States on SPIKE. Exact broadcast information and fight card will be announced in the near future. Tickets for the event will be available at beginning December 14th 2015.

“We are very excited to be working side by side with my friend Carlo Di Blasi and his team,” said Coker. “Carlo is a great ally, and someone who I admire for all of the amazing work he has done in combat sports throughout Europe over the past twenty years. We look forward to putting on an amazing show for the Italian people, and fans tuning in from around the world when we combine our efforts on April 16 in Torino”

“Oktagon has had incredible success building a loyal and committed fanbase throughout Europe over the past twenty years,” said Di Blasi. “I know that these fans are going to really enjoy the exciting brand of MMA that Bellator offers when we partner with them on April 16.”

In conjunction with the fight announcement, Bellator MMA has signed one of Italy’s most notable mixed martial artists, Alessio Sakara (17-11, 2 NC MMA / 8-1 Boxing), who is expected to fight at the event. Sakara has competed as a middleweight, but recently returned to light heavyweight, scoring a TKO victory just 1:32 into his last outing this past September. The tattooed striker has always performed well in front of his countrymen, going 6-0 in MMA and 6-1 in boxing when fighting in Italy, and looks to add onto that success next April.

Bellator has had a record-shattering year in 2015 with Coker at the helm, powered by several major events including “Bellator: Kimbo vs. Shamrock,” which generated 2.9 million viewers and “Bellator: Dynamite 1,” which set company records for attendance and gate. The event in Torino marks Bellator’s first-ever event overseas, but it won’t be the last. In addition to the Torino event, Bellator MMA has announced plans for additional international events in London and Israel slated for 2016.

Oktagon Kickboxing has been a mainstay in combat sports for 20 years now, officially founded in 1996. Under the watchful eye of Di Blasi, the promotion has put on some memorable matchups throughout the years with top fighters including Bellator welterweight Paul Daley as well as The Petrosyan brothers (Giorgio and Armen), Robin Van Roosmalen, Valentijn Overeem, Rico Verhoeven and Artem Levin.

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The Brazilian isn’t letting doubt creep into his mind after hearing of his underdog status in advance of his featherweight title unification fight opposite Conor McGregor.

As his opponent (and UFC) anxiously await Dec. 12, 2015, featherweight linchpin and pound-for-pound juggernaut Jose Aldo isn’t letting the emotion of a high-profile title unification fight against a heckling Conor McGregor impact his mixed martial arts (MMA) camp.

Nor will he acknowledge the bookies in Las Vegas, who gave his “Notorious” adversary the edge to dethrone the Brazilian striker ahead of their main event encounter at the UFC 194 pay-per-view (PPV) next month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Aldo spoke to Sportv via Bloody Elbow:

“Whoever wants to make money, all they have to do is bet on Aldo. It’ll be the easiest money they will ever make in their lives. Just like what happened to Ronda Rousey against Holly Holm. That’s not a problem for me. I don’t know who decides who gets to be the favorite. I focus on myself. I know what I can do and what I have to do to win.”

By the looks of this sparring video, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Aldo is aiming to silence the 145-pound “sucker,” and wants payback for the months of abuse he took in the public eye after leaving McGregor hanging at the alter back in July due to a rib injury.

“Junior” will look to make his eighth consecutive title defense inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, where a middleweight title bout pitting Chris Weidman against Luke Rockhold will take up co-main event duties.

For more on the UFC 194: “Aldo vs. McGregor” fight card, click here.

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Dana White Talks CM Punk Ever Fighting in UFC
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Lorenzo Fertitta, co-owner of the UFC’s parent company Zuffa, told Yahoo Sports that it looks like UFC 193 will be the company’s second-highest grossing pay-per-view ever, behind UFC 100.

“It was a record-breaking night,” Fertitta told Yahoo Sports. “In the history of combat sports, four females have never been able to drive the performance we were able to drive on Saturday. … It’s our third-largest event of all-time and it’s trending to be our second-largest. It’s not an exact science, dealing with pay-per-view, and the numbers come in very slowly.

“You kind of get the preliminary numbers and use some historical data points and you project out where you’re going to end up. It was a very big night and we’re more than pleased with the results.”

While Fertitta didn’t confirm any numbers, UFC 193 is estimated to be at around the 1.1 million buys mark so far. The highest-grossing PPV to date, UFC 100, did an estimated 1.6 million buys in 2009.

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Bellator MMA issued a press release this week to announce their plans to run their first ever international events in 2016. Below are the official details.


Fast-Rising Mixed Martial Arts Promotion To Hold Events In London, Tel Aviv, and Italy in 2016

Marks The First Time Bellator MMA Will Hold LIVE Events Outside of North America

New York, NY – November 17, 2015 – Bellator MMA, the emerging mixed martial arts promotion, will hold its first three events outside of North America in 2016, with stops planned in London, Tel Aviv, and Italy. The announcement was made today by Scott Coker, President, Bellator MMA.

The event in London will be held at the O2 Arena with the main card broadcast LIVE on Channel 5 in the UK and on tape-delay on Spike TV in the U.S. Also, Spike UK will broadcast the prelims LIVE in the United Kingdom.

“We are thrilled to bring the incredible excitement of hard-hitting Bellator action featuring some of the best athletes in the world to our new global partners in the UK, Israel, and Italy,” said Coker. “The London event is especially encouraging as we will broadcast the main card in the UK on one of the country’s most-distributed broadcast channels, Channel 5.”

In Israel, the Bellator MMA broadcast will air locally on Ego Total.

Details on all three international fight cards will be announced in the coming months.

Bellator MMA’s action-packed fight cards can be seen in 135 countries and territories worldwide. In the U.S. on Spike, LIVE Bellator events are averaging 872,000 viewers in 2015 with a +17% increase in the key demographic of Men 18-49 versus last year. In June, the Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock fight delivered 2.8 million viewers, the most-watched MMA fight on television in the U.S. since January.

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The most shocking thing about Ronda Rousey’s knockout loss to Holly Holm on Saturday at UFC 193 is the speed with which it turned Rousey into a tragic figure.

A week ago this time she was the brightest star the fight company had ever produced, swaggering through life with a black hoodie and a death glare as she destroyed an increasingly overmatched series of underdog opponents.

Then came Holm’s earth-shattering head kick and on Tuesday, Rousey crept through LA International Airport with a pillow covering her battered face. She was unable to even look at the paparazzi cameras that so recently loved her so much.

It was hard to watch. The fact the only recognizable person at her side was boyfriend Travis Browne—a churlish UFC heavyweight technically still married to another woman who recently accused him of domestic violence—didn’t exactly make us think everything was going to be OK either.

This was certainly not any way we ever expected to see the woman we once believed would never relinquish her UFC bantamweight championship.

It was certainly not any way Rousey ever expected to see herself.

And so this is where the story gets really interesting.

Rousey must now unexpectedly find her way back from the land of the defeated. She vowed to return in a short post to her Instagram account on Monday, but this first glimpse makes it seem as though the rebuilding process—mental and otherwise—may be a lengthy one.

How Rousey approaches this comeback she never thought she’d have to make?

That’ll be the most fascinating thing she’s ever done.

She still has the skills to be champion. Anyone who tells you Holm automatically takes the rematch probably claimed Rousey would win in a cakewalk a week ago. The former champion opened as the (very) early betting favorite in their potential second bout, according to Odds Shark, most likely targeted for UFC 200 in July 2016.

Clearly, though, some things will never be the same again.

So much of Rousey’s public persona prior to Saturday night was based around being unbeatable. She sailed to mainstream celebrity on a wave of her own braggadocio. She beefed with Floyd Mayweather Jr., hobnobbed with fawning movie stars and showed her opponents no compassion.

During her four-year MMA run she cast a dozen of the world’s top fighters into the doldrums with crushing losses. She handed several of them—Bethe Correia, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann and Charmaine Tweet—their first professional defeat and didn’t seem to trouble herself with what became of them afterward.

“I’m going to retire undefeated,” Rousey said in February, while preparing for her 14-second victory over Zingano at UFC 184. “I’ll beat everybody one by one and go about my merry way.”

Now that she walks among the losers the way suddenly isn’t so merry anymore.

Reaction to the loss has been swift and cruel. The memes flow like wine. For a woman who spent so much time and energy cultivating her own “Bad Reputation,” Rousey can’t expect much sympathy.

Still, there’s something ghoulish about some of it. It makes you wonder about the true nature of this “Rousey Revolution” the UFC worked overtime to pitch during the lead up to UFC 193.

There’s no doubting Rousey’s star power or her ability to appeal to a wider audience than the average MMA champion. But the strange outpouring of glee in the wake of such an ugly defeat makes it seem as though there were a lot more people hate-watching her than we ever considered before.

Maybe her demographic wasn’t really made up of starry-eyed little girls looking for a role model. Maybe it was just a bunch mean-spirited fight fans waiting to pounce on her first mistake. Either way, will that audience come back?

Is it even possible for the ex-champ to return from this stunning knockout loss and go right back to her previous “Rowdy” ways? Will her bad-to-the-bone attitude still play now that we’ve seen her shaken and disoriented on the floor of the Octagon, trying to figure out what just happened?

Will mainstream entities like ESPN still be so infatuated? Will Mark Walhberg and The Rock still be so effusive in their praise? In short, can she reclaim her spot as the UFC’s biggest star?

Should she?

We know what UFC President Dana White thinks.

“She’s the mentally strongest f—ing athlete I’ve ever met in my life,” White said at the UFC 193 post-fight press conference, per MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn. “When she gets over this loss, she’s going to be a savage. She was a maniac and a hard-worker when she was the best in the world. What’s she going to be like now that she lost?”

That is the multimillion-dollar question for Rousey and the UFC now. It seems like to return with the savagery promised by her fight company boss, she might have to make some changes.

Her longtime coach—Edmond Tarverdyan—has been eviscerated in the court of public opinion. Their association doesn’t seem long for the world, though a split would leave Rousey with a lot of new questions about where and how she’ll get ready to rematch Holm.

We just know what she did the first time around didn’t work.

In retrospect, the red flags in her shield of invincibility probably should have been obvious leading up to this fight. From the infighting between her mother and Tarverdyan, to her troubling relationship with Browne to her typical bevvy of media appearances (some good, some bad), her life seemed especially chaotic.

These distractions hardly went unnoticed—nothing about Rousey ever does. In the moment, however, most people assumed she would be dominant enough to rise above any adversity. After watching her unconscious body slump to the canvas from Holm’s head kick early in the second round of Saturday night’s main event, our sensibilities seem to have changed.

Will Rousey’s do the same?

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Cutting a lot of weight isn’t fun. And it sucks the fight out of you.Mark Hunt learned that lesson the hard way in his last fight, a fifth-round TKO loss to Stipe Miocic in May. Hunt began his fight camp far too heavy, and after a tough weight cut, he barely made the heavyweight limit, weighing in at 266 pounds.Hunt hasn’t made the same mistake for his fight this Saturday (Sunday Australian time) against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on the main card of UFC 193: Rousey vs Holm, a rematch of one of the most exciting fights in UFC history.“I made an error in my weight c … Read the Full Article Here

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Here’s a clip from a recent episode of The Fighter & The Kid podcast, where former UFC heavyweight contender Brendan Schaub praises Jon Jones and speaks on his feud with Daniel Cormier. Schaub gones on to say he feels there is no one in the world right now who can beat Jones.

Related: Jon Jones Confesses: “I Was Living Like An Idiot”

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