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Bellator Thread - Bellator 222 (June 14th)

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Barnett was hinting on Helwani’s show that he’ll be on the London card. Maybe they go Barnett vs Meathead in London and Fedor vs Nelson in New York. Or both at MSG. Or whatever. 

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17 hours ago, jimufctna24 said:

I would be up for Fedor vs Barnett, Fedor vs Rampage or Fedor vs Sergei. But I guess Bellator might match Fedor up with Nelson, or have him fight Meathead again. 

If they're going to use Fedor they need to stop pitting him against younger guys who can take him out. He's at the stage where it has to be "attraction" bouts against the likes of Rampage or Barnett.

I have zero interest in seeing Fedor get flattened by Meathead or Nelson either.

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Yeah same. When Fedor signed with Bellator it was those kind of fights I hoped we’d get. Fading legends and name from the same era. Rampage, Wanderlei, the Cro Cop rematch, Mir, Chael. Of course, Cro Cop isn’t an option now but that kind of fight. I made no secret at the time that I hated the Meathead booking. The Bader fight had to happen as it came about through them both advancing in the tournament but I was down on that as well because I just knew how it was most likely to end. 

Fedor vs Barnett would be cool to see though. Even all these years later, a good decade after it was meant to happen in Affliction, it’s a big fight for Bellator. Probably bigger than anything else they could book for either man right now. 

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Seeing as we haven't seen much of him recently, just how "shot" is Barnett, though? From what I understand, he's not exactly gone the way of BJ Penn yet - still comparatively competitive, no?

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10 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

Seeing as we haven't seen much of him recently, just how "shot" is Barnett, though? From what I understand, he's not exactly gone the way of BJ Penn yet - still comparatively competitive, no?

He went 3-2 in his UFC stint, beating the likes of Arlovski and Big Country and his fantastic punch-the-air in celebration win over Mir.

I don't think he's shot by any stretch really, and could probably still be top ten today.

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Yeah I wouldn’t say he’s shot. He might be rusty though but his inactivity before and after that whole USADA mess might’ve actually preserved him and we might actually be getting a fresher, healthier Barnett as a result now. If he’d fought 2-3 times a year over the last 5 years who knows what damage he’d have taken by now. It’s probably worked out for the best because while I don’t think he’d hang with the very top of the UFC’s heavyweight division now, he probably does well outside the UFC and he’ll also have more freedom to do the other million and one things he does away from the cage without being restricted by being a UFC emplo...sorry, independent contractor. 

Did anyone catch that Bloodsport thing Barnett was doing last night? Apparently they had a Frank Mir vs Dan Severn pro wrestling match on there. 

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2 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

Did anyone catch that Bloodsport thing Barnett was doing last night? Apparently they had a Frank Mir vs Dan Severn pro wrestling match on there. 

They did indeed. I wouldn't call it a pro wrestling match though. It was two old guys rolling around on the mats for a few minutes before Mir tapped him with a kneebar.

He then decided to grab the microphone and call out Brock, prompting "sign him up Regal" chants - but that's another tale altogether.

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very much feels like just ticking a box to say they've done it at this point, its two names though so it makes sense business wise.

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Interesting development in Japan this past weekend. 

Sakakibara announced that there are plans to book a rematch between Horiguchi and Bellator bantamweight king Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222 in New York on June 14. I hope this isn't hot air. I intend to watch both of Bellator's major shows in June and wouldn't mind seeing Horigunchi in action. He's built quite a reputation since leaving the UFC. 

Jordan Breen wrote this about him in his weekly Sherdog article:

Quote

 

It took Horiguchi less than three minutes to destroy fellow UFC veteran Ben Nguyen. Nguyen was never a UFC title contender, having gone 4-3 inside the Octagon. However, he is a serviceable fighter, and Horiguchi ran through him like he was absolutely nothing. After dropping Nguyen with a right hand, Horiguchi swarmed his counterpart in the corner and battered him with both hands until referee Jason Herzog mercifully hopped in to end the beating. It was the 12th straight win for Horiguchi, and six of his last seven victories have come by way of stoppage, which is notable considering that he has been floating between flyweight and bantamweight -- a weight range that doesn’t normally confer a lot of stoppages. The only man who has beaten him in over seven years is Demetrious Johnson. Plain and simple, Horiguchi is at worst one of the best 15 pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, and his exploits, regardless of opponent, should always be appointment viewing.

At this point, Horiguchi is bouncing between two divisions and trashing all the quality opposition that comes his way. The sad part is that he doesn’t have the magnetic, bombastic personality to make him a transformative star for Rizin and bring about another kakutogi boom. He’s not an Olympic medalist like Hidehiko Yoshida; he isn’t ikemen like Masato and can’t sell cosmetics; and he’s not a cultural phenomenon like Bob Sapp. The only personality quirk he has going for him is that he loves fly fishing. He’s just a great fighter in a weight range that is all too often overlooked. The best he can hope for is that Scott Coker and Co. stay true to their word and Horiguchi gets brought across the ocean to rematch Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell, a man he already choked out four months ago. That would afford him a little more stateside shine, hopefully hipping folks to the fact that not all of the best fighters on the planet are in the UFC.

 

 

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Yeah Horiguchi is class. I’d like to see him fight in Bellator, or anywhere really. The Caldwell rematch doesn’t feel like a must to me as Horiguchi beating him decisively is still fresh in the memory. But I’ll take it. I’d actually love to see Horiguchi get a rematch with Mighty Mouse at some point as well. You’d think it’s bound to happen if Horiguchi keeps winning because there aren’t really a shitload of fights out there for DJ. My expectation would be another DJ win but it’s a more interesting fight than anything else for either of them right now and Horiguchi has definitely improved in the 5 years since their first fight. 

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[shill]

Decent run of Bellator numbered events, to be honest:

Rory v Fitch // ilima-lei defending // Phil Davis v Liam McGeary // Benson Henderson // Gaston Bolanos this Saturday

Chandler v Pitbull // Lima vs MVP // McKee v Curran // Jake Hager returns on May 11

Lyoto v Chael // Rory (or Fitch) v Neiman Gracie // Dillon Danis // Heather Hardy // Maybe Horiguchi on June 14

[/shill]

Seriously, I actually think it's a fun time for Bellator. UFC is UFC, they are always going to be the dominant player in the space, but the strength of the non-UFC MMA world is crazy at the minute.

 

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TCYpTsP.jpg

Rory Macdonald vs. Jon Fitch - Welterweight Title/Grand Prix Quarter Final

Ilima-Ley Macfarlane vs. Vega Artega Women's Flyweight Title

Phil Davis vs. Liam McGeary

Benson Henderson vs. Adam Piccolotti

Gaston Bolanos vs. Nathan Stolen

Jon Fitch in a Bellator World Title fight in 2019! Im actually behind Fitch here, hes never been a fan favorite but to have persevered as he has despite being cut from the UFC before his time and got back to this point has to be applauded. Granted he hasnt necessarily earned the title shot and is only getting it as a part of the Grand Prix but its happening and i hope he does himself proud.

 

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I'm not a Fitch fan, but I am a supporter, of sorts. Mainly because he's always been up against it, just because of his style. The guy got cut from the UFC even though he had a 14-3-1 record, for fuck's sake. I think it was wand who said at the time that it was clear Dana was just looking for an excuse to get rid of him.

He's currently on a 5-fight winning streak, even if he hasn't fought in a year, and that includes Okami, Shields, and Daley, so I hope he's able to get a win here.

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I didn't see the Fitch vs Macdonald fight from this past weekend. However, from what I have read, opinions seem to be divided on who won. A draw was perhaps the fairest result? 

Elsewhere, Horiguchi vs Caldwell 2 is confirmed for New York in June (yay).

Also, Coker plans to sit down with Fedor in a few weeks time in Chicago to discuss his future. Coker would like to put together a 3-fight retirement tour for Fedor, where he would fight in Japan, Moscow and the US. For all his shortcomings, for which there are many, I really like Fedor. However, part of me hopes that he passes on Coker's offer. It's not so much that Fedor is lazy or complacent these days, it's more that he's unable to perform anything close to like he did in his glory years. It's been reported from sources close to his camp that he struggles to train properly these days and that his body aches after fights. This should come as little surprise given that he's 42 and has been competing in combat sport for over 20 years.

All this means that he's unable to fully utilise his formerly well-rounded sambo game, and reduces him to being a lumbering brawler with diminishing reflexes and a weak chin. A recipe for disaster at Heavyweight where big knockouts are most liable to occur. A potential match-up with Barnett would no doubt be a fun spectacle. But I could perhaps even do it at this stage, given Fedor's condition. I can't think of many other meaningful or fun fights for Fedor in Bellator. Maybe it's best that he stick with his government job. 

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