Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren talks to Kingdom MMA 'I would have never sold the UFC'

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

GLORY 18: Return to Glory announced for November 7th in Shawnee, Oklahoma

by Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA

Credit GLORY Sports International
The world’s premier kickboxing league, GLORY have announced their next event, as GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY is set to take place from the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Oklahoma on Friday, November 7th.

The headline bout is a Lightweight world title clash, champion Davit Kiria (22-9-0, 7 KOs) defends against #2 ranked challenger Robin van Roosmalen (32-6-0, 19 KOs) in the third fight of a trilogy that began in 2011. Van Roosmalen won both of the previous two encounters, with his latest victory coming nearly one year ago at GLORY 12: New York in November of 2013.

In the co-headline bout of the evening, worlds collide as American knockout artist and #2 ranked middleweight Wayne Barrett (5-1-0, 4 KOs) meets Dutch Kickboxing specialist Jason Wilnis (21-4-1, 6 KOs), currently ranked #9.

GLORY's one-night, four-man tournament format returns with power punchers Brian Collette (21-2-0, 18 KOs) and Zack Mwekassa (11-1-0, 10 KOs) squaring off. On the other side of the Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament bracket, rising prospects do battle as Saulo Cavalari (28-2-0, 18 KOs) goes up against Artem Vakhitov (11-4-0, 3 KOs). The winners of each semifinal bout will then face off to earn the right to fight for the GLORY Light Heavyweight World Title at a later date.

The full card for GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY can be found below:

Tournament Final Bout: Semifinal Bout A Winner vs. Semifinal Bout B Winner
Headline Bout: Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen
Co-Headline Bout: Wayne Barrett vs. Jason Wilnis
Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Saulo Cavalari vs. Artem Vakhitov
Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Brian Collette vs. Zack Mwekassa

Tickets  for GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY will available for purchase online at and are priced at $35, $55, and $100.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Contender Promotions fighter Tarik Khbabez dominates Superkombat competition

by Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA

Contender Promotions fighter Tarik Khbabez, who is set to headline the November 8th event against Daniel Sam in a Super-Heavyweight title fight, has proven his credentials after winning the Superkombat WGP IV in Almere on September 27th.

Hand selected by Garry Bell and his team at the Fightstar Hunt in Holland, Tarik Khbabez ran through the 4-man tournament in Almere, putting a beating on Gürhan Değirmenci, causing a doctor's stoppage at the end of round one.

He then went on to dominate Dexter Suisse in the final of the Grand Prix.

Novembers card also boasts a 4 man world GP tournament in the 70kg devision with fighters from three difference countries.

Tickets available from:

Taylor Lapilus removed from Stockholm card, Dennis Siver to face Charles Rosa

SMMAF remove Lapilus, add Rosa against Siver

by Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA

Credit UFC

The UFC today announced that American Top Team's Charles Rosa (9-0) will step in to fight Denis Siver on a week's notice at UFC Fight Night Stockholm in a Featherweight encounter.

This comes after the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation ruled Taylor Lapilus (8-1) was not a suitable opponent for Siver on October 4th.

The UFC have confirmed that Lapilus will remain in the promotion and will compete at a later date.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

UFC 178 Review: McGregor justifies hype, Cruz savage in return, Zingano stakes title claim, Cerrone prevails and Mighty Mouse dazzles

UFC 178 Review: McGregor justifies hype, Cruz savage in return, Zingano stakes title claim, Cerrone prevails and Mighty Mouse dazzles 

By Alex Dillon @AlexKingdomMMA

For quite some time, UFC 178 had been a hugely anticipated card, various fights carried their own significant hype going into the event and big questions were hovering: could Eddie Alvarez hang with the lightweight elite? Is McGregor legit? Is Zingano the true #1 contender for Ronda Rousey’s title and can Cruz successfully come back from a career threatening injury? Once the dust had settled Saturday night, it was clear that they were all emphatically answered.

UFC Flyweight Championship:  Demetrious Johnson (c) vs Chris Cariaso

For a title fight headliner, this was the least talked about fight on the main card, many expected ‘Mighty Mouse’ to blast through #8 ranked Cariaso and that’s exactly what happened after a cagey opening. Johnson who holds the far superior technical skills began to land on Cariaso as the 1st round was drawing to a close with various kicks and knees to the body which seemed to hurt his opponent and Cariaso was literally saved by the bell. The finish would come half way through the 2nd round as Cariaso would find himself in all sorts of trouble off his back and end up being submitted by the champion via Kimura. It’s fair to say this victory didn’t do a whole lot for Mighty Mouse but again he showed why he is a complete mixed martial artist, awesome performance none the less.

Result: Demetrious Johnson (c) def. Chris Cariaso via submission (Kimura) at 2:29 of Round 2

Donald Cerrone vs Eddie Alvarez

This fight pitted lightweight stand out Cerrone vs UFC newcomer and former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez. Cerrone as he typically does, started the fight off slow and Alvarez was having much joy in the opening round landing some heavy shots and at one point, had Cerrone in the clinch firing away multiple blows to him that were obviously doing damage but a Cerrone said in the post fight interview “no not today”.  In the 2nd round, Cerrone started to get into his groove with an array of leg kicks and body kicks that clearly troubled Alvarez and this pattern continued for the rest of the fight as Cerrone chopped away with leg kicks that at one point dropped Alvarez en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. Eddie Alvarez gave a good debut performance but Cowboy is on a surge at the moment which arguably puts him as the #1 contender in the division and rightly so.

Result: Donald Cerrone def. Eddie Alvarez via Unanimous Decision 29-28 (x3)

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier

This fight was by far, the most anticipated fight in the UFC for a while never mind this card. McGregor, arguably the most hyped fighter since Brock Lesnar, was yet to be tested significantly for all of his talk and Dustin Poirier ranked #5 was deemed the man to give him that test. The Irish followed McGregor to Vegas in their thousands and it felt like Dublin all over again with Poirier being jeered in his own country. The fight got underway with both fighters meeting in the middle of the octagon and immediately exchanging. McGregor looked to dictate the pace as always and connected straight away but Poirier would land a shot of his own which didn’t seem to affect the Irishman. McGregor would land heavily again and then another glancing blow which clipped Poirer behind the ear sent him down to the canvas and McGregor finished him with some ground and pound early on in the 1st round.  This was the performance McGregor promised everybody and certainly puts him in the hierarchy of the featherweight division. He’ll fly out to Brazil for Aldo/Mendes II and don’t be too surprised to see him leapfrog Edgar/Swanson for a title shot.

Result: Conor McGregor def. Dustin Poirier via TKO (strikes) at 1:46 of Round 1

Yoel Romero v Tim Kennedy

This middleweight match up pitted two contenders with solid wrestling backgrounds who were looking to assert themselves in the title picture. The early stages of this fight were largely dictated by Romero who used his explosive striking and grappling to control Kennedy and really rough him up which was seemingly working as Kennedy was already cut heading back to his corner in the 1st. The 2nd round was quite different as Kennedy turned it around and at one point had Romero out on his feet landing some heavy uppercuts and further heavy strike against the cage before Romero was saved by the bell. Controversy struck as Romero failed to ‘answer the bell’ come the final round as his corner delayed him getting off his stool. 30 seconds over the allotted time and the 3rd round finally got underway. It was to be a blessing for Romero as he eventually got the TKO victory over Kennedy in the early stages of Round 3 in a fight which was awarded FOTN.

Result: Yoel Romero def. Tim Kennedy via TKO (punches) at 0:58 of Round 3

Cat Zingano vs Amanda Nunes

This fight marked the return of #1 women’s contender Cat Zingano after a pretty rough year out of the sport due to different situations. It couldn’t have been a worst start for her as Nunes quickly gained a takedown and punched away at Zingano who somehow hung in there to survive the onslaught and end round 1 in top position. Enter round 2 and Zingano began where she left off. Beginning to dominate and assert all aspects of her game landing two really impressive takedown throws which got the crowd pumped. Zingano would continue to be impressive throughout and justified her #1 contender spot as she finished Nunes with some brutal ground and pound in the 3rd.

Result: Cat Zingano def. Amanda Nunes via TKO (strikes) at 1:21 of Round 3

Dominick Cruz vs Takeya Mizugaki

Former bantamweight champion Cruz made his eagerly anticipated return as headliner on the prelims after a two year injury lay off in which he was forced to relinquish his title. Many wondered if the injury would affect Cruz’ expert footwork and overall game and if he could ever reach his championship level again. Those questions were swiftly answered as Cruz landed a big take down early on which then turned to a mauling of Mizugaki as Cruz produced a barrage of punches to his opponent against the cage which forced the referee to stop the fight. Cruz looked unreal and in his post fight interview re-ignited an old rivalry by saying that he wanted to beat up some more ‘alpha fail’ which clearly indicates that Cruz wants his bantamweight title back and it’s hard to deny him a matchup with T.J Dillashaw after that performance.

Result: Dominick Cruz def. Takeya Mizugaki via KO (punches) at 1:01 of Round 1

Jorge Masvidal def. James Krause via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Stephen Thompson def. Patrick Cote via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Brian Ebersole def. John Howard via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Kevin Lee def. Jon Tuck via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Manny Gamburyan def. Cody Gibson via Submission (Guillotine choke) at 4:51 of Round 2

Friday, 26 September 2014

Bellator 126 Weigh-In Results

by Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA

 Shlemenko (left) vs Halsey | Image Credit Bellator MMA
The Bellator weigh-ins have been completed from the Grand Canyon University Arena in preparation for Bellator 126 on September 26th.

Middleweight World Title Fight: Brandon Halsey (184.4) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (184.6)
Lightweight Tournament Final: Patricky Pitbull (155.6) vs. Marcin Held (155.7)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Thiago Meller (145.4) vs. Bubba Jenkins (146)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Mike Richman (135.5) vs. Ed West (135.9)

Catchweight Feature Fight (160 lbs.): Raymond Pina (159.4) vs. Larue Burley (155)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Jacob Ortiz (186) vs. Clifford Starks (185.3)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Nick Rossborough (245.8) vs. Ryan Martinez (256.8)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Michael Parker (136.3) vs. Joe Taimanglo (135.7)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Stuart Austin (235.2) vs. Dan Charles (228.3)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Derek Campos (153.3) vs. Estevan Payan (155.4)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Brandon Girtz (156) vs. Benny Madrid (155.9)

BAMMA announce the signing of Welterweight prospect Walter Gahadza

Despite the loss of Paul Daley to Bellator, the UK promotion now look to build a new star.

by Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA

BAMMA has announced the signing of Welterweight prospect Walter "The Sniper" Gahadza to the UK promotion's ranks in a multi-fight 18 month contract.

Gahadza has been untested thus far in his professional MMA career, coming out with a 14-0 record, and training with Paul Daley and co. he is considered potential future star of UKMMA. With six knockouts, and five submission wins, he is sure to bring some fireworks to the BAMMA battleground.

To Kingdom MMA's knowledge, Gahadza is still recovering from an injury and will likely make his debut next year.

Walter simply had the following to say on his signing with BAMMA "The Welterweight division has just got interesting.. I'm Coming."

Matchmaker Jude Samuel added "In a division that is full of so much talent, it might seem difficult to single out and recognise an individual that as a matchmaker will make a difference to the company and to the division as a whole. I believe Walter with the hard work that he is know for could be that individual. "

Ashley Bothwell, BAMMA Managing Director said "We have followed the career of Walter closely for some time now and are delighted that he has chosen the BAMMA promotion to further his career. He is undoubtedly one of the UK's leading talents and I am sure that MMA fans cannot wait to see if he can deliver on the BAMMA stage. Fighting for this promotion means a big step up in the talent that Walter will face but this is a fighter that potentially has the talent to reach the very top."

Other recent signings to BAMMA include Jeremy Petley, Lee Chadwick, Ashleigh Grimshaw, Shaun Taylor, Jody Collins and Andy Craven.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

UFC 178: Preview and Predictions

UFC 178: Preview and Predictions

By Alex Dillon @AlexKingdomMMA

Las Vegas plays host to one of the most anticipated cards of the year on Saturday night as UFC 178 comes to town. Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso headline the card in a flyweight title match up. Feature bouts Donald Cerrone vs Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier are also scheduled for the upper part of the main card and the prelims are headlined by the returning former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz after a two year injury lay off.

UFC Flyweight Championship:  Demetrious Johnson (c) (20-2-1)  vs Chris Cariaso (17-5) 

Many fans and media were hardly jumping for joy when this match up replaced the original Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier headliner and rightly so as the latter had all the makings of a classic as well as being overly hyped up in the process thanks to a media day brawl. Where this fight is concerned though is that many think it’s a straight forward routine win for the champion Mighty Mouse as Cariaso is ranked down at #8 and does not really have any of the top guys in the division on his resume. Adding to this, Johnson has looked unreal in every outing since winning the belt against arguably, tougher competition (Benavidez, Dodson, Bagautinov). However, there have been instances before where fights such as this have taken place and the heavy underdog has come through (Dillashaw, Serra ) so there’s every chance Cariaso could pull off an unlikely upset as this is the fight game after all and anything can happen. That being said, I fully expect DJ to defend his title and in style.

Prediction: Demetrious Johnson

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (24-6) vs Eddie Alvarez (25-3)  

This fight is a hard one to pick and the betting odds back that up. Cerrone is on a four fight win streak and has looked super impressive as of late. Alvarez is the former Bellator lightweight champion and carries hype of his own, he’s been a long time coming in the UFC and a what a way to make your debut against the never dull Cerrone. The winner of this fight could potentially be next in line for the belt so I expect both to put on a show. It’s going to be interesting to see how Alvarez fairs among the world’s elite having being touted as one of the best for such a long time. Cerrone’s current streak and stronger attributes give him the edge and make him my favourite to pick up the win here however.

Prediction: Donald Cerrone

Conor McGregor (15-2) vs Dustin Poirier (16-3)

Easily the most anticipated fight of the night and are we surprised? McGregor, the UFC’s fastest rising star is coming off a glorious home town victory in July and now faces #5 ranked Poirer in which a victory would see him close in on a title shot. This fight presents the first ‘real’ test for McGregor in many fans eyes and should show everyone where he actually is in his MMA career. Poirier is himself coming off an impressive victory after finishing Akira Corrasani last time out. In my opinion, this fight has come at the right time for both competitors, they have both beat the same calibre of fighter in the UFC and both claim they will win the featherweight belt sooner rather than later so this battle will put these claims to the test.  Many questions have been raised about McGregors ground game after losses dating back 4 years ago and Poirier’s chin is also of question after being rocked by both Diego Brandao and Akira Corrasani before going on to finish both.  UFC embedded included an awkward meeting of McGregor and Poirier where the latter seemed to be riled up by McGregor’s antics and this coupled with his tendency to get rocked is going to be Poirier’s down fall in this fight. McGregor in my eyes is a legitimate featherweight and he’s only going to get better, he should finish Poirier come Saturday night.

Prediction: Conor McGregor

Yoel Romero def. Tim Kennedy

Cat Zingano def. Amanda Nunes


Dominick Cruz def. Takeya Mizugaki

James Krause def. Jorge Masvidal

Stephen Thompson def. Patrick Cote

John Howard def. Brian Ebersole

Jon Tuck def. Kevin Lee

Manny Gamburyan def. Cody Gibson