Virgil Zwicker Looking Forward to Fresh Start with Bellator

»Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Company News, Fighter, Virgil Zwicker | Comments Off on Virgil Zwicker Looking Forward to Fresh Start with Bellator

Virgil Zwicker Looking Forward to Fresh Start with Bellator

Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Like many fighters under contract to Strikeforce in the last year, Virgil Zwicker sat waiting for months just hoping his phone would ring.

Zwicker wasn’t a high-profile fighter in the promotion, nor was he a champion at any point, but he was still sitting with fights on his contract with no idea of when he might compete next.

His last fight was in May 2012, and while he enjoyed working with Strikeforce, the inconsistencies of his schedule led to long periods of inactivity, and his training and preparation suffered because of all of the time off.

Why train five times a week with no bout on the horizon and no idea when the next call might come?

After only fighting two times in the past two years, Zwicker is finally happy to have a new contract in hand after signing a multi-fight deal with Bellator Fighting Championships that will allow him to stay very busy for the rest of 2013.

“I’m excited. The last couple of years it’s been inconsistent with Strikeforce and that whole deal with like two fights a year. So I’m pumped up,” Zwicker told Bleacher Report on Tuesday. “They’re going to give me an opportunity to fight four or five times this year.”

Zwicker’s last few fights have been painfully inconsistent, which he attributes largely due to his inactivity. He also finally made the move down to light heavyweight, where he will be competing against fighters his own size.

The plan is for Zwicker to debut in Bellator in the fall and hopefully land a spot in the next light heavyweight tournament that will air on Spike TV.

“There’s a lot of guys I’d love to get in the ring with,” Zwicker said about Bellator’s light heavyweight roster. “I’ve trained with a couple of them; I know they just recently signed my partner and friend Vladimir (Matyushenko). There’s a couple of those Russian guys, I would love to get my hands on them. I fit right in the mix with all of them. The tournament style motivates me to keep on, and you never know what’s going to happen.”

While he has no regrets about his time with Strikeforce, Zwicker is reinvigorated now that he’s signed with Bellator and starting a new life with a new promotion.

Bellator is still growing and finding their way in the MMA market, and Zwicker is excited to join a company that showcases hungry competitors still trying to claw their way to the top.

“Everybody’s hungry,” Zwicker stated when asked why he likes Bellator. “It’s like comparing college to the NFL, everybody’s hungry and everybody still wants to grow. I want to get in that tournament and make it happen.”

read more

Brendan Schaub to Face Matt Mitrione at UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle

»Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Brendan Schaub, Featured Fighter, Fighter | Comments Off on Brendan Schaub to Face Matt Mitrione at UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle

Brendan Schaub to Face Matt Mitrione at UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle


Courtesy of MMA Fighting

Well, that didn’t last long.

Just a little over two weeks after suspending Matt Mitrione for breaking the UFC Code of Conduct by making transphobic comments against transgender fighter Fallon Fox on this site’s ‘The MMA Hour’, Mitrione’s suspension is over. As someone else already said on Twitter, I’m sure Mitrione really learned his lesson on that two-week suspension. The cause for the suspended sentence? A bout at UFC on FOX 8 opposite ‘The Ultimate Fighter 10’ cast member Brendan Schaub. Alright, then.

UFC President Dana White also said Mitrione was fined for the infraction, but failed to identity a dollar figure. So, after blowback that reached the mainstream press colored the UFC’s ongoing efforts to develop positive relationships with the LGBT community, the UFC’s response is to lift a two-week non-suspension and say ‘trust us, it’s a lot’ on a fine that may or may not exist.

I doubt White or any other UFC brass bowed to pressure from fans who felt the suspension was inappropriate to begin with, but either way they win here. Mitrione’s turnaround between UFC on FUEL TV 8 and UFC on FOX 8 is actually the shortest of his career. Mitrione’s punishment was so short and so inexpensive, in fact, that it literally cannot measured.

read more

Kurt Holobaugh Loses to Steven Siler in a Fantastic UFC Debut

»Posted by on Apr 28, 2013 in Company News, Fighter | Comments Off on Kurt Holobaugh Loses to Steven Siler in a Fantastic UFC Debut

Kurt Holobaugh Loses to Steven Siler in a Fantastic UFC Debut


Via MMA Junkie

NEWARK, N.J. – Fans who didn’t show up in time for UFC 159’s first fight missed an entertaining scrap as Steven Siler topped Kurt Holobaugh in an early “Fight of the Night” candidate.

The featherweight bout opened the preliminary card of today’s UFC 159 event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. It streamed on Facebook ahead of additional prelims on FX and the pay-per-view main card.

The two set a torrid pace to open the fight while rifling off stiff low kicks and firing heavy leather up top. As they pushed into a Thai clinch, Siler drilled his opponent with several knees to the gut before wrapping the waist and slamming him to the mat. Holobaugh immediately rolled to escape, but Siler transitioned to the back, where he teed off with heavy punches while looking for an opportunity to sink in a choke.

As Holobaugh tried a rolling escape, Siler latched on to a deep rear-naked-choke attempt. With blood spewing from his mouth, Holobaugh somehow survived what looked to be a certain fight-ending hold and earned himself a second round.

Holobaugh tried to quickly reverse the momentum in the second round as he immediately dove into a guillotine choke. The move didn’t work, but after a few entertaining transitions, Holobaugh worked to top position and unleashed several heavy ground-and-pound blows. It was then Siler’s face that was bloodied as plasma streamed from his nose.

Siler scrambled to his feet with one minute remaining, and the two took turns teeing off before Holobaugh finished with one late takedown and a few odd punches to the leg before the bell sounded.

With the fight seemingly in the balance in the final frame, both fighters moved forward at the bell. Siler eventually moved back into the Thai clinch while working knees inside. Holobaugh worked the body with his hands. As the two continued to trade in the pocket, Holobaugh tried to move inside and look for a hip toss. Unfortunately for him, Siler countered perfectly and again secured the back as they fell to the canvas.

Siler tried again to lock in a choke from the dominant position, but a gutsy Holobaugh survived each attempt. Still, with Siler controlling the grappling in the latter half of the frame, he secured the win in an incredibly exciting fight. All three judges awarded him the contest with 29-28 scores.

After the fight, Siler revealed he found out earlier in the day that he’s now a father-to-be.

“I found out I’m going to be a daddy today, so this is without a doubt the best day of my life,” Siler said.

With the win, Siler (22-10 MMA, 4-1 UFC) improves to an impressive 4-1 in the octagon and rebounds from a November loss to Darren Elkins. Holobaugh (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a onetime Strikeforce vet, loses in his UFC debut but likely earned another look from the promotion.

“It was a great back-and-forth fight, and he has won three of his last four, so I know he deserves to be here,” Holobaugh said. “I’m just trying to figure out where I fit in.”

read more

Ovince St. Preux Win UFC Debut; Just Not the Way He Wanted to

»Posted by on Apr 28, 2013 in Company News, Fighter | Comments Off on Ovince St. Preux Win UFC Debut; Just Not the Way He Wanted to

Ovince St. Preux Win UFC Debut; Just Not the Way He Wanted to


Courtesy of MMA Fighting

NEWARK, NJ — Light-heavyweights Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante were working their way towards an uneventful three-rounder when the bizarre broke out at UFC 159.

A sudden eye poke gave way to an even more sudden finish, leading to St. Preux being awarded a majority technical decision by scores of 30-28, 30-29 and 29-29.

The eye poke came 33 seconds into the final round as St. Preux was throwing the back end of a combination, a right cross, but his hand was open and a finger appeared to catch Villante in his left eye.

Villante put his hand up and went to a knee, indicating he’d been poked, and St. Preux backed off. Referee Kevin Mulhall then quickly asked him if he could see. Villante said no, and Mulhall waived off the fight. By rule, referees do not have to offer fighters recovery time for eye pokes, but often do.

Villante quickly objected to the ruling, but Mulhall stuck to his call, determining it to be an accidental foul. Because it was not intentional, the winner was determined by the judges’ scorecards, and St-Preux edged out the win.

“I don’t understand how you score thirty seconds of a round and that’s how I lost?” Villante said afterward. “We were just getting going and I got poked in the eye. I don’t know what to say.”

Earlier in the fight, St. Preux staggered Villante with a first round hook. St. Preux seemed to tire in the second, allowing Villante to work his way back into the fight until the sudden ending.

St. Preux improved to 13-5, while Villante dropped to 10-4. Both fighters had been making their UFC debuts after coming over from Strikeforce.

read more

Kurt Holobaugh Featured in Local Lousiana Newspaper

»Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Company News, Fighter | Comments Off on Kurt Holobaugh Featured in Local Lousiana Newspaper

Kurt Holobaugh Featured in Local Lousiana Newspaper


Courtesy of The Advocate

Hammond featherweight Kurt Holobaugh will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut this Saturday night, April 27, in Newark, N.J., on UFC 159, one of the biggest cards of the year.

Holobaugh moves back down to his natural weight class after fighting in the lightweight division facing lightweight journeyman Pat Healy, who is also on the undercard. Taking that fight on short notice against a guy like Healy on such a big stage should help prepare Holobaugh for this moment.

“My mind is set great, I got the goal set high, and I want to make a good impression on the UFC,” he said.

Holobaugh will face Ultimate Fighter alumnus Steven Siler, who is 3-1 in the UFC.

“From what I know about Siler, he’s very tough and comes to fight every time and this could be the fight of the night,” Holobaugh said.

That would be a great way to kick off the night, as Holobaugh and Siler are the very first fight on the card, and it airs live on

read more

UFC Grants Brendan Schaub Permission to Participate in BJJ Pay-Per-View Card in June

»Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Brendan Schaub, Company News, Fighter | Comments Off on UFC Grants Brendan Schaub Permission to Participate in BJJ Pay-Per-View Card in June

UFC Grants Brendan Schaub Permission to Participate in BJJ Pay-Per-View Card in June

Courtesy of MMA Fighting:

UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub will get a chance to show off just how far he’s come as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner later this year.

Schaub will compete against veteran Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu at Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II, a BJJ pay-per-view card, on June 9.

Schaub, 30, a BJJ brown belt, has been recently training with Ryron Gracie in Los Angeles and showed off his improved ground game in his win over Lavar Johnson atUFC 157 in February.

The match will be contested at a catchweight of 230 pounds. Schaub noted on TwitterTuesday that he currently weighs 253 pounds.

Lex McMahon, Schaub’s manager, confirmed with that UFC president Dana White gave “The Hybrid” his blessing to compete on the card. Schaub doesn’t have his next fight lined up yet.

The 32-year-old Abreu, a BJJ black belt, who weighs approximately 220 pounds, has won a bronze and silver medal at previous Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship tournaments, considered to be the most prestigious tournament of its kind. He has also won multiple gold medals at the World No-Gi Championship and the Pan-American Championship.

Metamoris II will feature six 20-minute single-round matches with no points.

The main event will pit DREAM FC and ONE FC lightweight champion Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie.

“Jiu Jitsu tournaments have devolved, especially at the elite level, to a game based on who can score points with a sweep or dominant position in the last few seconds of a match to win,” Metamoris founder Ralek Gracie stated in a press release. “I founded Metamoris to create a tournament where submissions are the only goal, not points. With the introduction of judges, we will avoid draws. Someone in a fight is always sharper. And now, the fighter who controls the bout with technique, the fighter who shows more varied and frequent submission acquisition, will get his hand raised.”

The event will take place at the Pauley Pavilion, on the campus of UCLA, in Los Angeles, and it can purchased online via iPPV on for $19.95.

Below is the entire Metamoris II card:

Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie
Braulio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu vs. Brendan Schaub
Mackenzie Dern vs. Michelle Nicolini
Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr.
Bill “The Grill” Cooper vs. Ryan Hall

read more

“The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko Signs Deal with Bellator

»Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Company News, Fighter, Vladimir Matyushenko | Comments Off on “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko Signs Deal with Bellator

“The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko Signs Deal with Bellator


Courtesy of MMA Junkie:

Veteran light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko has signed with Bellator MMA, officials today announced.

The 42-year-old UFC vet and former IFL champion will compete at an upcoming event in a non-tournament bout, according to today’s announcement.

Bellator is expected to host four-man tournaments this summer in the bantamweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. However, it appears Matyushenko won’t be part of his division’s summer tourney.

Matyushenko (26-7 MMA, 0-0 BFC) heads to Bellator after a seven-fight stint with the UFC, where he went 4-3. Although he scored knockout wins over the likes of Jason Brilz and Alexandre Ferreira, “The Janitor” received his pink slip following back-to-back stoppage losses to contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Ryan Bader.

“Vladimir is a fighter I’ve watched for years,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “He’s an exciting fighter with an incredible wrestling background and a great pedigree in our sport. When the opportunity presented itself and we had the chance to have him join the Bellator family, it was a very easy decision to make.

“With our Champion Attila Vegh sitting at the top of the mountain right now, and with guys like Emanuel Newton, Mikhail Zayats and ‘King’ Mo (Lawal) coming on strong, the light heavyweight division for Bellator continues to evolve, and Vladimir should fit in perfectly to that mix.”

After his first UFC stint ended in 2003, which included a title loss to Tito Ortiz, Matyushenko posted a 9-1 record to earn his way back to the promotion in 2009. His notable career wins have come over the likes of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Tim Boetsch, Pedro Rizzo and Travis Wiuff.

read more