Bellator announces championship-rematch clause with move to Spike TV

While fighters will continue to control their destiny in the Bellator cage, chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney has given himself some wiggle room.

The fight executive today announced a new championship-rematch clause that will go into effect with the organization’s upcoming move to Spike TV.

When “called for,” Rebney will have the option to book title-fight rematches.

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Alistair Overeem wants to get back into UFC cage soon

Alistair Overeem may have just gotten knocked out, but he wants to fight again as soon as possible. Overeem was knocked out by Ben Rothwell Sep. 5 but maintains that he was somehow not badly hurt enough to warrant taking time off.

“[I?d like to fight] as soon as possible, because I was not out,” he said in a recent interview.

“I was not sleeping. I was just dazed, and Ben capitalized. So I guess if it?s up to me, not too far away.”

Whether or not his eyes closed, the loss was the third TKO or KO in Overeem’s last four fights, and the ninth TKO or KO loss of the big man’s career. Overeem has taken a great deal of punishment over the course of his long MMA and kickboxing career.

He’s also losing much more than he’s winning, of late. It would seem that the Dutchman should at least consider a break in action, if not more, at this point.

Of course, the heart of a fighter doesn’t give out easily, and it often overrides the mind. As such, the 34 year-old veteran of over fifty pro MMA fights and many more kickboxing ones, wants to fight on and do so again this year

At least he’s showing some uncharacteristic public humility after his last loss. “Don?t underestimate Ben,” he said of his last opponent, Rothwell.

“This guy?s 280 pounds, he can take a punch and he hits like a truck. It is the UFC, everybody is there to win.”

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Welterweight, lightweight titles on line at Saturday’s BAMMA 11 card in England

BAMMA returns this week with a card featuring a pair of title fights as well as a struggling UFC vet in the main event.

Tom Breese meets Warren Kee for the promotion’s British welterweight title while Dale Hardiman takes on Steve Ray for the British lightweight belt. Headlining the card is a middleweight bout between UFC vet Xavier Foupa-Pokam and BAMMA regular Jack Marshman.

BAMMA 11 takes place Saturday and airs on AXS TV at 4 p.m. ET.

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Anthony Johnson wants catchweight fight with Alistair Overeem

Anthony Johnson is one of the hottest light heavyweights in the UFC, but he still wouldn’t mind locking up with down-and-out heavyweight Alistair Overeem. The two former teammates have exchanged insults and allegations in recent weeks, with Johnson saying that Overeem was a selfish and dangerous training partner back when he did work with the Blackzilians team in Florida.

“I’ll fight him, I don’t care. I’ve already trained with him before. Why not? To me it’s just a fight. If the fans want to see it, I’m down to do it. I ain’t said ‘no’ to any fight ever,” Johnson claimed in a recent interview.

“I’d meet him at a catchweight. If he wanted to meet me at 225, let’s do it. Or whatever, 220, I’d do that. Or I’d meet at 230 at the dot, if he was down to go that far. Let’s do it. Even if I fought him, it’s a dangerous fight. He’s still got weapons that are crazy. He was hitting Ben with some crazy knees. He’s a dangerous fighter still, but I’d definitely test him.”

The heavyweight class weight limit is 265 pounds and Overeem has often been close to that mark. Johnson used to compete in the UFC’s welterweight division.

Johnson has also won his last eight fights and Overeem has lost three out of his last four. As such, each man is on a quite different path in their respective division.

Clearly, AJ is confident in his skills after sparring with Overeem in the gym. The smaller man insists that he would take the fight, simply because of personal animosity and acknowledges that Overeem would be a dangerous fight for him.

“I don’t have anything against him as a fighter,” he said.

“I think he’s a beast when it comes to fighting. My things were other personal stuff.”

Would you watch Johnson vs. Overeem? Let us know in the comments section!

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Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz title implications?

Here at Cagewriter, we’re all for Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz fighting one another, since they want to. It’s a strange, freak-show type of super fight but also makes sense in certain ways for both men, so we’re looking forward to it taking place early next year.

Recent comments from UFC president Dana White which seemed to leave the door open to the fight having title implications, however, may make us re-think our enthusiasm. ?I?m pretty pumped for that fight,? White told said recently.

?Anderson, I can?t wait until he comes back. He?s one of my favorite fighters. And you know Nick Diaz. He?s exciting, and that?s the fight Nick wanted. That?s the fight the fans wanted to see. So we did it.?

Fair enough. We’re there with ya, Dana.

?Anderson?s ranked No. 1 in the world right now at 185,? White continued, unbelievably, in reference to the UFC’s official, but dubious and self-serving rankings.

?So obviously, Diaz, who is a 170-pounder, if he beats Anderson, it would be a pretty big statement for him.”

Sure, Diaz moving up in weight and beating perhaps the best fighter in MMA history would be a “big statement.” Calling a nearly 40-year old Silva, who is coming off of two straight knock out losses and who would not have fought in over a year the number one middleweight contender is silly (almost as silly as letting an un-licensed Vitor Belfort juice up and fight his way to a title shot abroad, and then letting him keep that title shot after failing another drug test once he was tested by a real commission once more, this year).

We’re not so opposed to Diaz getting a middleweight title shot were he to beat Silva as we are scared about what it could mean to have “The Spider” ranked #1. Should Diaz manage to beat the Brazilian legend, he would be a marketable challenger for Chris Weidman or whoever is the middleweight champ at that point.

No fan of Anderson Silva [R] wants to see him fight Chris Weidman again. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

However, pretending that Anderson Silva is the top contender at this points means that, should he beat Diaz as he should be favored to do, he should then be put into another title fight right afterwards.

That wouldn’t be fair or particularly safe for the all-time great. If Silva insists on coming back from his long lay-off and horrible leg injury after being knocked out two fights in a row, Diaz is a fair opponent for him to do so against because the Californian is so much smaller and doesn’t seem to possess one-punch KO power.

Putting Silva in against Weidman for a third time, however, would be leading him to the slaughter. Over four rounds, he’s had absolutely nothing for the “All-American”, on the feet or on the ground, been knocked out twice (he was, briefly, in the first round of the second fight), and had a leg broken in half.

What if Belfort were to beat Weidman, you may ask. Well, if Silva vs. Weidman III would be dangerous for the former champ, how much safer would it be for him to fight the guy who has been able to beat Weidman?

Not much, it would seem. Hopefully White is drumming up interest in Silva vs. Diaz and isn’t serious about ranking the Muay Thai expert as the number one contender.

The UFC’s official rankings are put together by pandering media members and changed around whenever the promotion fancies it, including when they are at an impasse during contract negotiations with a ranked fighter (Nate Diaz). The ranking charade is mostly harmless, but we’ll draw the line at getting a beloved fighter in Anderson Silva in over his head at this point in his career.

What does Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz mean to you? Let us know in the comments section.

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UFC’s Chael Sonnen and Molly Qerim again host World MMA Awards ceremony

For the second straight year, UFC fighter Chael Sonnen will serve as host of Fighters Only’s World MMA Awards.

Sonnen has again has been paired up with CBS Sports Network/NFL Network anchor Molly Qerim.

The duo hosts the 2012 World MMA Awards official ceremony, which is a black-tie ceremony held Jan. 11 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

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UFC: Jacare Souza puts himself in line for winner of Chris Weidman-Vitor Belfort with command and sub

Brazilian Jacare Souza put himself in line for a shot at the UFC middleweight title with a dominant performance over Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 50 in Mashantucket, Connecticut, submitting the Dutchman via submission through a guillotine choke at 4:30 of round 3. Mousasi had no answer to Jacare’s physicality on the ground, the [...]

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Champ Rockhold calls Larkin attack ‘pretty amateur,’ eyes early 2013 for return

Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold today told MMAjunkie.com that he never signed a bout agreement to fight Lorenz Larkin and never intended to fight at the promotion’s final event.

When officials announced the Jan. 12 event in early November, Rockhold said he informed them a wrist injury lingered and that he was unable to fight.

That’s why he’s particularly irritated by a series of verbal attacks from Lorenz Larkin regarding his willingness to compete.

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Chris Weidman: ‘I can submit or KO Vitor Belfort’

Chris Weidman will defend his middleweight UFC title Dec. 6 against Vitor Belfort – the third consecutive dangerous striker the champ will have faced (Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida being the previous two). However, Weidman is confident that he can get the better of “The Phenom” on the feet, just as he did against Silva and Machida.

“I think that I?m a versatile individual, and I pretty much feel like I can do anything that I want to do in there,” Weidman said in a recent interview.

In fact, “The All-American” believes that he’ll be able to finish Belfort anywhere the fight may go. “I can stand and bang and knock him out, or I feel as if I can take him down and submit him,” he went on.

“Nothing is going to come easily, and I always expect some resistance, but if someone had yelled out and told me that this is what I had to do, I am getting the job done, whether they told me to submit him or knock him out. I?m going to get it done.”

Do you think Weidman can handle the quick striking of Belfort? Let us know in the comments section!

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Cody Bollinger: ‘I want to make the champ question himself’

Marlon Moraes (13-4) has rattled off seven straight wins, captured the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 135 pound title, and thus gotten himself included in discussion among the best MMA bantamweights in the world. On Saturday, at WSOF 13 in Bethlehem, PA, Cody Bollinger (16-2) will challenge the Brazilian but isn’t particularly concerned about taking Moraes’ title or position in the rankings.

“He?s tough, man,” Bollinger says of Moraes.

“He’s a good fighter. He’s been brought up well with a good manager and a good team…but as far as ranking him, I don’t know where you put him. Other people can decide that. Taking his place in the rankings isn’t extra motivation. Anytime I’ve got someone across the cage trying to beat me up, I already have plenty of motivation to win (laughs).”

That said, Bollinger is aware that he may be considered an underdog by many observers, against Moraes in their title fight (airing on NBC Sports Networkat 9 pm EST). The wrestling-based fighter isn’t daunted by the task of upsetting an opponent, however. “I grew up in wrestling,” he explains.

“You go to tournaments and you see upsets all the time.”

To prepare for Saturday’s title fight, Bollinger says he’s combined tailoring his training to his opponent and simply making himself the best version of himself that he could. “I try to balance both of those,” he says.

“I don?t like to just focus on my opponent or my self so I take a little from each side. My strategy is the same as it is every time – hit him as hard as I can, push the pace, and stay active. Whatever he gives me, I’ll take and I want to be comfortable wherever the fight goes. He’s a good fighter but I haven’t seen him do anything or seen anything he has to offer that is different from stuff I’ve seen and experienced.”

On the other hand, Bollinger is intent on giving Moraes something he hasn’t experienced in a long time – self doubt. “Honestly, man, once you start getting wins and beat some good names, you get a confidence about yourself,” he says.

“He’s got that going for him. I haven’t seen anyone make him question himself during the fight in a long time. There’s some things I feel I can do, there. Win or lose, I want to make him question himself, and see how he reacts when things are not going his way or the fight isn’t stuck in his rythym. Everyone has fought at his rythym for the last few fights. I’m going to try and change that.”Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

 

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