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  • Patricio Freire eyes autumn Bellator return against Daniel Weichel

    Patricio Freire is waiting for a date for his next title defense.

    Now a two-time Bellator featherweight champion after tapping Daniel Straus in April, “Pitbull” told MMA Fighting he expects to return to action in October or November in a rematch against Daniel Weichel.

    “He has earned another title shot,” Freire said. “I'm a champion and I have to defend my belt, but this is someone I already knocked out. Before the knockout, he knocked me down hard and paid for it. It’s going to be a good fight. He’s a well-rounded fighter and we will put on a show for the fans.”

    Freire handed Weichel his only loss in nine Bellator bouts, finishing him 32 seconds into Round 2 after being badly rocked in the opening round of their June 19, 2015 encounter. “The Weasel” is 4-0 since that night, while the Brazilian dropped two out of four, including a lightweight bout with Ben Henderson when he fractured his fibula.

    “I haven’t seen many changes in my opponent. The only change I’ve seen is that he protects his chin more now,” Freire said. “I’ve added more techniques to my game, going in and going out. Everyone saw my karate stance against Ben Henderson and Daniel Straus. I pretty much wasn’t hit in those fights, and my attacks were almost 100 percent accurate."

    Bellator currently has four cards official for October and November. On Oct. 6, bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas headlines Bellator 184 against Darrion Caldwell. Two weeks later, Gegard Mousasi makes his promotional debut in the Bellator 185 main event versus Alexander Shlemenko.

    The recently announced main event for Bellator 186 is Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell for the light heavyweight crown on Nov. 3, while rising prospect James Gallagher takes on Jeremiah Labiano in the Bellator 187 main event in Dublin, Ireland, a week after.

  • Polaris 5 Results: Garry Tonon mimics Conor McGregor after victory over Dillon Danis

    Garry Tonon claimed a unanimous decision victory over Dillon Danis in their rematch in the main event of Polaris 5 grappling card in London on Saturday night.

    In his post-match interview, “The Lion Killer” mimicked Conor McGregor claiming that he would like to apologize to Danis about the social media back-and-forth they had in the lead-up to the fight.

    “There was a lot of social media banter in the lead-up to this match, and I’d just like to say to Dillon, I apologize for absolutely f*cking nothing!” roared Tonon in an Irish accent, after the win.

    The John Danaher student outworked his rival over the bout’s 15 minutes, constantly forcing the action with heel hook attacks and takedown attempts.

    Danis goaded Tonon as he tried to take him down. After stuffing his advances, the former Marcelo Garcia proponent waved a finger in his adversary’s face, resulting in a big reaction from the Indigo at the 02.

    Unanimous decision for The Lion Killer @Garry_Tonon in the main event!#Polaris5 #UFCFIGHTPASS

    — UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) August 19, 2017

    Jake Shields put on a very aggressive display on route to a unanimous decision victory over UK standout Daniel Strauss.

    Shields passed Strauss’s guard on numerous occasions as the larger man clearly began to tire under his pressure. Although Strauss tried to secure a guillotine choke on several occasions, he admitted that he was “shut down” by Shields in his interview after the match.

    One final guillotine attempt from Dan Strauss after a grueling match with @jakeshieldsajj. Decision coming up next...

    — UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) August 19, 2017

    Phil Harris took a split decision win over Brad Pickett after fifteen minutes of action. Harris put Pickett in a lot more trouble during the match, which likely won him the nod on the judges’ scorecards.

    ‘One Punch’ showcased his wrestling skills, hitting two double leg takedowns on his countryman. Each time he finished the technique, Harris locked in an arm-in guillotine, forcing Pickett to fight to free his neck. At one stage, the judoka looked close to finishing a triangle on the recently retired UFC fighter.

    Speaking after the bout, Pickett jokingly remarked, “I wanted to punch him so bad.”

    "I wanted to punch him sooo bad." -@One_Punch
    It's great seeing Brad Pickett back in action! #Polaris5 #UFCFIGHTPASS

    — UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) August 19, 2017

    Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro dominated his no-gi match against former UFC lightweight Caol Uno. Midway through the contest, Ribeiro secured the back and establishing a rear-naked choke, rendering the Japanese fighter unconscious as he fought to escape.

    The Brazilian threatened early when he passed Uno’s guard after two and half minutes. A minute later, he caught a triangle. As Uno looked to escape, “Shaolin” transitioned to an armbar, but once again, Uno evaded the submission attempt.

    Uno refuses to tap and @VitorShaolinBjj locks the RNC for a decisive win in his third @PolarisProEvent appearance! #Polaris5 #UFCFIGHTPASS

    — UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) August 19, 2017

    An object was thrown at AJ Agazarm after his submission victory over Lloyd Cooper. The Gracie Barra fighter was riling up the crowd during his post-fight interview with Josh Palmer, and the pair were forced to duck as a spectator flung something in their direction.

    Well then... #Polaris5 #UFCFIGHTPASS

    — UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) August 19, 2017

    Earlier in the day, Japanese MMA veteran Mazakazu Imanari cored a signature heelhook win over Brazilian Valmyr Neto. Speaking after the fight, Neto proposed a rematch to Imanari, which would be contested in the gi.

    Full results:

    Main card

    • Gary Tonon def. Dillon Danis via unanimous decision
    • Jake Shields def. Daniel Strauss via unanimous decision.
    • Phil Harris def. Brad Pickett via split decision
    • Vitor Shaolin def. Caol Uno via rear naked choke

    15-minute matches

    • AJ Agazarm def. Lloyd Cooper via collar choke
    • Oliver Taza def. Ross Nicholls via unanimous Decision
    • Sam Cook def. Venessa English via unanimous decision
    • Bradley Hill def. Tommi Pulkkanen via split decision

    10-minute matches

    • Masakazu Imanari def. Valmyr Neto via heelhook
    • Toumas Simola def. Jamie Scott via UD
    • Miha Perhavec def. River Dillon via heelhook
    • Ffion Davies def. Elvira Karppinen via UD

  • Conor McGregor critical of Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and Manny Pacquiao

    Conor McGregor is loving every second of his boxing stardom, even if he isn’t all that impressed with his new peers.

    Speaking to the media in a scrum following an open workout at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas on Aug. 11, the UFC lightweight champion was asked who he admires in boxing. After complimenting his Aug. 26 opponent Floyd Mayweather as well as all-time greats Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones Jr., he had a much less flattering appraisal for current stars Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, who meet in a middleweight title bout just three weeks after McGregor and Mayweather’s blockbuster clash.

    “Who else is in today’s game? Canelo and Golovkin,” McGregor said. “I’m not really too much of a fan of either of those. I think Canelo’s a little bit stuck, a little bit flat on his feet. When I watch footage of him, I see him just getting peppered, he has no feet under him. Golovkin, I think came to camp for this preparation badly out of shape. I’m looking at him badly out of shape up in Big Bear and I just see a drained individual. ...

    “But I like the lighter guys. (Vasyl) Lomachenko and (Guillermo) Rigondeaux is a fight that I’m eager to see. Floyd’s young kid, Gervonta (Davis) is okay, he’s good as well, good, strong kid. Maybe one or two more fights, I’d like to see him in the mix there.”

    One other major name that came up in Friday’s scrum was former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. McGregor acknowledged that a fight with the 38-year-old could be worth his time due to Pacquiao being one of the only boxers who is close to matching Mayweather’s level of mainstream recognition.

    However, he was heavily critical of Pacquiao’s most recent bout, a unanimous decision loss to unheralded Australian Jeff Horn. While there was some backlash over the judges’ scorecards, few would argue that Horn performed better than expected against a legend who was supposed to walk through him. McGregor is firmly on the side of those who think Pacquiao flat out lost and he has a dim view of any boxer being on his level should he get past Mayweather.

    “Pacquiao wouldn’t be a bad one because he has a name,” McGregor said. “I don’t - look what happened to him in that last fight. He got mauled. He got absolutely mauled in that fight. People were crying ‘big robbery,’ I didn’t see no robbery in that fight. I saw a man that just got mauled in a fight.

    “None of those names interest me at this present time. Like I said, I’m facing the god of boxing at the moment. (Mayweather) is supposedly the God of boxing and he could have stayed the God, he could have rode off 49-0. Instead, now I am here, and now I am the God of boxing.”

  • Alexandr Shabliy crushes Gleristone Santos with knee to the jaw at ACB 67

    Landing a solid knee in an MMA contest is difficult enough, now imagine connecting with one directly to your opponent’s jaw while in the midst of a heated flurry.

    That’s exactly what Alexandr Shabliy did to put Gleristone Santos away on Friday.

    The 24-year-old Russian KO’d Santos in the first round of their lightweight bout at Absolute Championship Berkut 67 in Grozny, Chechnya, scoring with an impeccably timed counter knee that dropped the 41-fight veteran. Shabliy then followed up with ground-and-pound to seal the deal and leave Santos out cold on the mat.

    Shabliy improved to 16-3 with his ninth knockout victory, and he has now seen his hand raised in eight of his past nine bouts.

  • Dan Hardy: Conor McGregor did not want to showcase tactics at open workout

    Conor McGregor’s open workout last week proved to be as polarizing as his upcoming boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather.

    The showcase at the UFC’s Performance Institute garnered a lot of criticism, but former UFC welterweight contender Dan Hardy believes that the Irishman purposely steered clear of displaying anything significant ahead of his meeting with Mayweather.

    “I think people have to step into Conor’s shoes,” Hardy told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.

    “If you were a couple of weeks out from the biggest fight of your career and you’re fighting a masterful boxer, you’ve got to think that you’re working out on the bag with him standing next to you.

    “What are you going to do? You’re not going to want to look like a beast in the gym. You’re not going to have a crazy workout. You’re not going to show all of your tactics and all of your best moves — you’re not even going to have your hands up.”

    Hardy underlined that McGregor’s “flamboyant” session was exactly what you’d expect from an open workout.

    “The stuff he was doing was flamboyant, it was bravado and it was show. It’s exactly what you’d expect from an open workout,” he said.

    “You’ve got to think that Floyd Mayweather is in the same room because for damn sure, he’s going to watch it.

    “Why would you show anything? I certainly wouldn’t. Do capoeira, do whatever you want to do, as long as you don’t show what you’re going to do.”

    “I thought he was going to go and play touch-butt in the park with Ido (Portal).”

    Hardy, a former UFC fighter who has been named as a commentator for the UK and Irish broadcast of the fight with Sky Sports, claimed that Mayweather had a similarly well thought out workout.

    “He was cruising. He was in third gear, so was Conor. He’s doing things he was comfortable with,” Hardy said.

    “This will show you how obsessive I get over these things — there was one thing that stood out to me in the workouts.

    “Right towards the end, (Floyd) was shadowboxing with weights and there was a guy that kept switching weights with him. Then they passed him a medicine ball and he was doing this thing where he danced around the ring with the medicine ball, waving it up and down.

    “There was one time when he threw it to his mate and his mate threw it back at him, and it was a horrible return. He actually said, ‘Throw it to my chest,’ and then he tried again and failed again.

    “That looked like the only thing that wasn’t preplanned in that workout.”

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