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Bellator Fighting Championships is not for sale. And that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

Following Saturday's news that the UFC has purchased rival Strikeforce, Bellator arguably takes No. 2 status on the promotional ladder.

But as Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebeny told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he often reminds fighters they control their own destiny in the tournament-based organization. He said he and his fellow Bellator owners share the same philosophy when it comes to the company's future.

That means any future UFC shopping sprees will not involve Bellator.

So there's no scenario in which he could see the UFC or another big spender buying out Bellator?

"No," Rebney told MMAjunkie.com prior to Saturday's Bellator 36 event on MTV2. "My answer to that is based on our entire philosophy. It's one where fighters control their own destiny. The organization that puts the cage down and puts up the lights, and puts all the cameras together and puts on the show on MTV, has the same exact philosophy of the fighters who step into the cage.

"I am a big fan of controlling one's own destiny. It's what got me to this point. ... It's that type of control of controlling your destiny that is everything our organization is about. It's our very, very core."

With a series of 12-week, eight-slot tournaments in various weight classes, Bellator has carved out a niche in the MMA space. Previously airing on ESPN Deportes and then FOX Sports Net, the organization now airs each Saturday night on MTV2.

Strikeforce castoffs to Bellator?

With Zuffa LLC, the UFC's parent company, now in charge of Strikeforce, options for fighters are even more limited. UFC president Dana White said "business as usual" will mean the promotions will continue to operate independently. However, Strikeforce fighters such as Paul Daley and Dan Henderson ? who had previous falling-outs with the UFC ? face uncertain futures.

Could those castoffs make their way to Bellator?

Rebney said it's a possibility, but it doesn't exactly fit with the company's M.O.

"Our team has done an amazing job securing immensely talented fighters, so we'll see," he said. "The great thing about Bellator is that a fighter's performance really and honestly dictates things. I don't want to be repetitive, but that's what really controls it.

"If there's a great fighter, and he's available, and it makes sense, and he'd like to be in Bellator and on MTV2, and we'd like him to participate for us ... absolutely we'd be interested."

However, he said fighters won't receive special treatment. The only way to win or contender for a title is by winning a tournament first.

In other words, unlike his debut in Strikeforce, a fighter such as Henderson wouldn't contend for a title in his first outing.

That understandably may turn off some fighters from signing with Bellator.

"There's no potential way for someone ... to come over here, no matter how good they are, and get a title shot," Rebney said. "You'd never see a situation in Bellator like with what happened with Dan Henderson, where he was brought over (to Strikeforce) and through a matchmaking formula be given a title shot.

"Under no circumstance would we make that exception. Paul Daley or anyone else from Strikeforce or anyone else's roster, they'd have to go through the same exact process Eddie Alvarez and other fighter have gone through."

UFC-Strikeforce purchase good for MMA?

So will the UFC's purchase of Strikeforce ultimately be good or bad for MMA?

Rebney said it's too soon to tell.

"I think time will tell whether it's good or bad overall for the industry," he said. "Competition is good for the industry. ... Competition ultimately breeds the best. ... It's always good to have alternatives and competition, especially in a space growing as quickly as the mixed-martial-arts space is.

"Ultimately, only time will tell if it was a good thing for the industry."

However, he thinks Bellator's unique situation provides insulation from such ripples in the MMA space. By securing a multi-year TV deal, building and developing its own talent, largely ignoring the big-name free-agency market, and working with a solid ownership group, Rebney said Bellator doesn't need to spend much time looking over its shoulder.

"When you have the kind of TV alliance we have ... and the fighters we have, the things that happen around you ? industry-specific things ? become less and less important," he said.

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The man best-known for defeating Fedor Emelianenko in a combat sambo match is coming to Bellator Fighting Championships.

Bellator officials today announced that Blagoi Ivanov (8-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) has signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion and will soon fight for the first time in the U.S.

"Blagoi is a great signing for us at heavyweight," Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's official release. "He brings an incredible sambo background to the cage and is developing his hands with some of the best in the business. I'm very happy that he and his management have decided to move his career forward under the Bellator banner."

The 24-year-old Bulgarian is currently training with Shawn Tompkins at Las Vegas' TapouT gym. Competing professionally since 2005, Ivanov's highest profile MMA bout to date is an August 2009 split-decision win over Kazuyuki Fujita under the Sengoku banner.

However, Ivanov made waves in 2008 with a victory over Emelianenko in the semifinals of the 2008 World Sambo Championships.

"I can't wait to have the chance to show what I'm capable of to all of the Bellator fans watching on MTV2 all across the U.S," Ivanov stated. "I'm already hard at work preparing for my first fight with Bellator.

"My ultimate goal is to fight Cole Konrad for the Bellator world heavyweight championship. My mission is to become the Bellator champion, and that's what I intend to do."

An exact date for Ivanov's Bellator debut has yet to be determined.

http://mmajunkie.com/news/22841/bellator-signs-undefeated-heavyweight-prospect-blagoi-ivanov.mma

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I almost fell down laughing at the Luiz Cane post-fight interview where he said he wanted to become UFC champion. Didn't you see what Jones just did to a much, much superior striker than you? Seriously? I know every fighter should be hungry for the title but they should also be aware of their limitations :laugh:

Don't call out the champion. Call out some fellow LHW mid-carder that can provide you with a good fight to make some money.

And I wonder who will get the next title shot at Jones after he wipes the floor with Rashad... it's not like the division is brimming with top contenders (or even contenders at all). Machida: 2 fight losing streak and got knocked out by an elite striker that Jones dominated with ease. Ryan Bader: can't beat Jones to save his life. Luiz Cane: comedy option. Rich Franklin & Forrest Griffin: HAHAHAHAHAHA. Wins over Chuck Liddell and each other don't count guys. Thiago Silva: probably tested hot, probably a legit pick but he couldn't get past a wrestler like Rashad. Rampage: Again, couldn't get past Rashad.

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Many speculated that Fedor Emelianenko's February TKO defeat to Antonio Silva would be his last appearance in the cage, as he hinted strongly at retirement in his post-fight speech.

However, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker recently appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network's Beatdown show, where he revealed that "The Last Emperor" will be returning to the Strikeforce cage this Summer.

"Fedor's gonna fight sometime in July," Coker said. "It's probably toward the end of July or mid-July, but we have fights with Fedor that we're gonna honor and continue forward. We're gonna do the co-branding exercise that we do with M-1 every time we do fights with them."

Emelianenko's defeat to Silva came in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and Coker explained that his return bout -- for which an opponent has not yet been chosen -- could set him up as an alternate for the tournament, should any of the non-eliminated fighters succumb to injury.

"The opponent has not been chosen, but I think having Fedor involved close to the tournament as an alternate is definitely a possibility," he said.

Having lost via submission to Fabricio Werdum prior to fighting Silva, Emelianenko has now lost two in a row and Coker hinted that another dramatic loss could spell the end of Emelianenko's Strikeforce career.

"You gotta perform. I think he did a good job against Silva, and that worked out the way it did, but he's still a competitive fighter that can compete at the highest level on any given Saturday night," said Coker. "I think this next one's gonna be very important. He's gonna have to perform."

Emelianenko's career record currently stands at 31-3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Diaz talked smack out and in the Octagon, also managed to whip on Daly pretty good, Nick has a good chin, he was rocked a few times.

After that first time I told my Son that if Daly didn't finish it there he didn't have a chance, was a great one round fight

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Well, watched that event. Please Dana White get in there quickly and make Strikeforce good.

Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm: Great gameplan Lyle, trying to clinch and out-grapple Aoki... really? Surprised that he choked you out with ease?

Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine: The upkick bull**** makes another victim. That and the retarded judges. How can you even score 1 round to Jardine? He gassed badly, milked every interruption he could to try and catch his breath and didn't even hit Mousasi. Mousasi on the other hand, needs to get some takedown defense. If a gassed as hell Jardine can take you down, there is something wrong with your game even if you get right back up.

Gilbert Melendez © vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri: Melendez doing what was expected of him. Nice to see that elbows on the ground are already making a difference.

Nick Diaz © vs. Paul Daley: Nick proving he has a granite chin by standing and banging out Daley. He was wobbled a couple of times but recovered nicely and beat Daley out after wobbling him around as well. I hope he gets kicked over to the UFC quickly.

The comentators continue to beretarded, I hope Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg get sent in for the next event. Frank Shamrock doesn't even look like he ever fought in his life with some of the comments he makes.

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I don't see how Diaz has a granite chin when he was dropped numerous times.

One more thing, the fight was fixed. What kind of a moron falls the way Daley did. Obviously faked.

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I don't see how Diaz has a granite chin when he was dropped numerous times.

One more thing, the fight was fixed. What kind of a moron falls the way Daley did. Obviously faked.

He got dropped but wasn't out. Not even close. Getting hit in the face hard hurts, regardless of chin grades. All that matter is if you can still keep it together. Daley got hit with a series of punches before falling and was trying to grab Diaz to stop the onslaught. He missplaces his footing while pushing Nick away and falls. Nick just pounces on him for the finish. Nothing faked there. No point in fixing the fight aswell. If they were going to fix it, why fix it for a guy who has proven to be a great fighter but that they can't market because he's paranoid as hell, avid pot smoker and hates the camera?

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After making 175K for 5 minutes of fighting? Maybe he'll dable in boxing but I don't see him leaving MMA for good. Not with UFC money on the horizon. Maybe they'll have him fight Kimbo Slice.

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Fernando Vargas is out, now Cesar Gracie says Nick Diaz and company are working on a boxing match with Jeff Lacy. But there may be a new wildcard in this effort to get the Strikeforce 170-pound champion a boxing match. The talk of a crossover fight has piqued the interest of boxing promoter Lou DiBella.

DiBella told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole that response from MMA fans via email and Twitter about the possibility of a Sergio Martinez-Diaz fight has been overwhelming. DiBella has embarked on a fact-finding mission to see if he can really match his star middleweight champ against Diaz.

Why would a top three pound-for-pound boxer waste his time fighting someone like Diaz, with little professional boxing experience? Sadly, DiBella can't find Martinez (47-2, 26 KOs) a top-notch opponent or a network to take the fight. Martinez is coming off one-sided victories where he dismantled and finished Paul Williams and Serhiy Zdinziruk. While they are plenty of intriguing fights out there at 154 and 160 for Martinez, nothing has materialized. HBO turned down a Martinez-Sebastian Zbik fight in lieu of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. versus Zbik on June 4.

Diaz has long talked about wanting to box. He again complained about his MMA career during a postfight interview with HDNet following his victory over Paul Daley.

"They don't have anyone else for me to fight now. I'm better than all the guys they have," Diaz said. "The guys they have ranked above me, I'm sure they don't want to fight me. I don't see much of a future in this sport for me. I seriously don't."

Gracie told the network that Diaz wants to box, signed a deal to fight former world champion Fernando Vargas and was awaiting a response from Vargas' camp (0:35 mark). Now it looks like Vargas' comeback is in jeopardy because of undisclosed medical issues.

DiBella said he planned on reaching out to UFC president Dana White and Gracie to inquire about Diaz's ability to sign a boxing deal.

The television ideas for a possible Martinez-Diaz fight range anywhere from finding a spot on a cable television network to putting it on pay-per-view. Making the fight an eight-round exhibition is also a possibility.

As far as Diaz's MMA contract, Gracie said his fighter did not sign a special provisional deal with Zuffa. Gracie hasn't spoken to Strikeforce's Scott Coker about the topic.

"I don't even know how much in charge of things he is any more," Gracie said. "Ultimately, it's going to have to go through the UFC, so the only people to talk about it with would be them. What am I going to talk to Scott about? He doesn't own anything any more."

According to Gracie, Diaz's MMA contract has been "re-worked" and he's now free to box. Stay tuned on this one.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Gina Carano's opponent for her long-awaited return fight will be Sarah D'Alelio, a Washington-based fighter with a 4-1 record who goes by the nickname "The Monster."

Sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed that both fighters have agreed to the bout, which will take place on June 18 in Dallas. Over the last week, D'Alelio's name had been rumored as a possibility, but sources tell MMA Fighting that it's now essentially a done deal, and that the matchup may be officially announced as early as next week.

The return comes after a nearly two-year absence. Carano (7-1) has not fought since an August 2009 loss to Cris "Cyborg" Santos in a championship match. Since then, Carano took a hiatus from MMA to begin an acting career. Her first major feature film, "Haywire," is scheduled for an August 2011 release.

The matchup should provide a bit of a style contrast from the pair, as D'Alelio has three of her four pro wins via submission while Carano is known for her standup prowess.

Like Carano, D'Alelio will be trying to rebound from a loss. In her last bout, she fell to veteran Julie Kedzie in a unanimous decision.

Carano's return will be part of a strong card. Also scheduled for the American Airlines Center show are Heavyweight Grand Prix bouts pitting Alistair Overeem against Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett against Brett Rogers.

http://www.mmafighting.com/2011/05/06/sources-gina-carano-agrees-to-face-sarah-dalelio-in-june-retur/

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Sarah D'Alelio is, acording to Sherdog, a 135lb fighter. Gina fights at 145 and has trouble making weight. It is as almost they are bringing her in to lose to one of their top stars... :unsure:

I'm going to call it right now: Gina (probably) won't make weight.

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  • 2 weeks later...



He's HUGE for a MW. Would be nice to recruit him to the UFC to spice up the MW division.

And in other news, Daniel Cormier (7-0, elite wrestler, trains with Cain Velasquez) is going to fight Jeff Monson instead of Shane del Rosario at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum. Oh... this is not going to end well. I hope his submission defense is up to snuff or else he's going to end up crippled.
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Mariusz Pudzianowski fought James Thompson at KSW 16. Polish MMA is the closest thing to PRIDE out there. After a first round where I'm pretty sure Thompson was KO'ed for a split second, Mariusz did his usual number and gassed out worse than Bobby Lashley and was easily subbed. The guy is a walking mountain of muscle. No way he can oxygenate that during a fight that lasts more than 1 round. He should fight Bobby Lashley soon, for fun and giggles.

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Tom "Kong" Watson retained his BAMMA middleweight title Saturday night by defeating Murilo "Ninja" Rua via third-round TKO at BAMMA 6. "Kong" used a wide array of kicks to finish the former EliteXC middleweight champion.

Following the loss, "Ninja," the older brother of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, announced his retirement from MMA on his Twitter account.

"I would like to announce officially my retirement from pro MMA fights," Rua wrote. "It was an amazing run, and [it's] a very tough moment, but there comes a time for all in life, and it's time to move on. I am proud of all I did in MMA and all experiences I had. I will continue to work with MMA, doing seminars, [teaching] classes, training fighters, and doing my share to help our sport that I love so much. It's time now to help others and enjoy my family, my wife, my kids and move [on]."

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Dana White says Mirco Filipovi? will fight again in the UFC despite 2 straight KO losses. I'm thinking he's either going to fight Big Nog after Schaub is done with him for a PRIDE NEVER DIE angle or he will be the sacrificial lamb to put some new HW prospect over, perhaps the winner of Travis Browne vs Stefan Struve.

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wow the guy must just love Crocop...especially after how he was ktfo in that last fight!

It's strictly business. How many guys are still around from PRIDE that have name recognition? Rampage, Shogun, Wanderlei, Big Nog, Cro Cop... about a handful. It's like the Machida - Couture fight. Use Couture to get Machida back on good terms with the fans. Cro Cop is going to be sent to slaughter. Do you think Big Nog will get past Schaub? He's 34 but hasn't fought in a very long time and altough "healthy" his overall condition is pretty frail. Having surgery on both your hips at 34 is a pretty bad sign of compund damage. They have to create more headliners to fill events. Case in point UFC 130. Rampage vs Hammill is a good fight sportswise for the pecking order of the LHW division but a bad fight for PPV sales. The UFC loves the fighters but they also love the money. And the thing with Jones fighting Rampage next if he gets past Hammil? Rampage is toast but it will sell PPV like crazy and set up an even bigger MEGA GRUDGE PPV with Evans.

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LAS VEGAS ? Despite some initial reports to the contrary, Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson will have the full range of the heavyweight division's 265-pound weight-limit at their disposal come July.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with a Strikeforce official that when the two former PRIDE champions face-off in the main event of "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson," it will not be in a catchweight affair.

"Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson," takes place July 30 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The main card airs on Showtime.

Strikeforce exec Scott Coker on Saturday officially announced the long-rumored bout at a media roundtable. And while Coker announced the fight would take place at 220 pounds, the official press release distributed moments later detailed a heavyweight contest.

Henderson immediately took to his official Twitter account to declare the 220-pound report incorrect.

"Fight is at heavyweight," Henderson stated.

When several fans alerted Henderson to Coker's announcement, Henderson clarified again that the fight would be contested at heavyweight.

"Incorrect," Henderson stated. "Ask [Coker] to show it to you because the [bout agreement] we have doesn't say that, and furthermore it was never discussed. What is the point?"

MMAjunkie.com was not able to determine exactly what caused the confusion, but Strikeforce officials repeatedly insisted the written release was correct in its languagem and the pending main event will take place with a 265-pound limit.

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So Henderson will come in a beast and Fedor will come in fat? That's going to go well.

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