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Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

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

Friday, 31 May 2013

Top Prospect Bubba Jenkins Signs with Bellator

NCAA Wrestling Champion Bubba Jenkins Joins Bellator

At 3-0, former NCAA wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins is ready to begin the next chapter in his career as the #1 world ranked prospect has signed a long-term promotional agreement with Bellator. Jenkins is scheduled to make his Bellator debut this summer and will be given a number of fights before entering The Toughest Tournament in Sports.
“Bubba Jenkins is MMA’s top young prospect and we have the optimal developmental program to maximize that talent,” Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney said. “Our mission is to sign and develop the world’s best fighters.  Bubba’s development will be strategic and disciplined, taking all appropriate preliminary steps prior to his facing the rigors of the toughest tournament in sports.”
Jenkins, 23, wrestled at Penn State for three years before transferring to Arizona State University, where he won the NCAA National Championship at 157 pounds in 2011. In 2007, Jenkins met Mizzou wrestling standout and current Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, claiming victory with a dominate 15-3 score. With those past experiences behind him, Jenkins is ready for what’s next.
“After sitting down with Bjorn, I really felt comfortable with the opportunity laid out for me, and this is where I want to be,” Jenkins said. “Bellator is doing a lot of great things right now and I want to be a part of it. I’m not here to step on any toes, I’m here to develop as an elite fighter, get my shot in the tournament and eventually compete for a world championship.”

ONE FC 9: Rise to Power Results

ONE FC 9: Rise to Power Results

Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization, wowed the sold-out crowd in attendance at Mall of Asia Arena with ONE FC: RISE TO POWER. The event was ONE FC's largest event in history and 20,000 fans were treated to a night of unforgettable action as ONE FC kingpins battled inside the famed ONE FC cage.

The main event featured Honorio Banario defending his title for the first time. The first round was a back-and-forth slugfest that put the packed crowd on its feet. In the second stanza, Oishi landed a right hook that dropped Banario and silenced the crowd. Oishi instinctively jumped on his foe and finished the fight with several punches. The crowd went wild as Oishi was crowned the new ONE FC Featherweight World Champion.

In the co-main event of the night, Bibiano Fernandes was crowned ONE FC Interim Bantamweight World Champion by defeating Koetsu Okazaki via unanimous decision. Fernandes utilized his clinch takedowns and superior grappling to remain in control of his opponent for most of the fight. The victory adds another title to Fernandes’ already impressive list of accolades and extends his winning streak to six.

The fans in attendance at MOA Arena also witnessed history as Masakatsu Ueda was crowned the first ever ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix champion. The bout featured back-and-forth action that earned it fight-of-the-night honors. Ueda nearly finished Belingon in both the first and second round with submission attempts, and imposed his superior grappling skills against the explosive Belingon in all three rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.

Official results for ONE FC: RISE TO POWER:

Main card
Koji Oishi defeats Honorio Banario by knockout at 1:45 minutes of round 2
Bibiano Fernandes defeats Koetsu Okazaki by unanimous decision at 5:00 minutes of round 5
Masakatsu Ueda defeats Kevin Belingon by unanimous decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Yasuhiro Urushitani defeats Rey Docyogen by split decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Nobutatsu Suzuki defeats Phil Baroni by knockout at 4:17 minutes of round 1
Kamal Shalorus defeats Eduard Folayang by unanimous decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Andrew Leone defeats Geje Eustaquio by unanimous decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3

Yusup Saadulaev defeats Ryan Diaz by anaconda submission at 2:57 minutes of round 2
Lowen Tynanes defeats Felipe Enomoto by TKO due to referee stoppage at 2:41 minutes of round 1 Tony Johnson defeats Tim Sylvia at 3:25 minutes by TKO due to doctor stoppage of round 2.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wanderlei Silva accepts Chael Sonnen fight

Could we really see a Wanderlei Silva vs Chael Sonnen fight

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

There has been a longtime rivalry between Chael Sonnen and Wandelei Silva building. However now a fight between them looks to be one step closer to happening as Silva has accepted Sonnen's verbal challenge to him.

Silva has stated he would be willing to fight Sonnen on one of the UFCs upcoming Brazilian cards or at the end of year big show the UFC likes to put on in Vegas. Silva did not state what weight the fight would take place at but it's expected that the fight would be at light Heavyweight. Sonnen now considers himself a Light Heavyweight and Silva's last fight was also at 205 pounds with Brian Stann.

Sonnen had previously stated his desire for the Silva fight believing it would be an easy win against a broken man. Silva was not shy in his response going as far as saying he didn't want to fight Sonnen he wanted to "hurt him." Fighting talk from both men.

The fight looked like it was going to fail to materialise at one point as Sonnen originally had retracted his challenge as Silva had not replied in time to him. With it looking like Silva has now accepted the challenge the fight looks like it could well be on again.

Josh Barnett set to meet Frank Mir in UFC return at UFC 164

Barnett v Mir on for UFC 164

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

The UFC yesterday announced a heavyweight addition to the UFC 164 card on August 31st in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Frank Mir will take on Josh Barnett in his UFC return.

This will mark Barnett's return to the organisation after an 11 year absence. His last fight in the UFC was a win over Randy Couture where Barnett won UFC Heavyweight gold. He was later stripped of the title due to testing positive for banned substances. This would also be Barnett's last fight with the company as he would leave to fight in Japan after this fight.

Barnett was initially hesitant to sign a contract with the UFC after his Strikeforce folded. He was expected to go and fight on the Japanese circuit again where he could do Pro Wrestling as well. Barnett had a change of heart and has since signed with the UFC again.

They both have a common opponent as both were defeated by Daniel Cormier in there last fight. Frank Mir was supposed to head over to Strikeforce to fight Cormier but due to injury this was scrapped and they fought in the UFC on Cormier's debut. Mir is currently on a 2 fight losing steak after losing in a title fight to Junior Dos Santos and then dropping a decision to Cormier in his UFC debut.

He will welcome Barnett back to the UFC as well in what should be a great ground battle. It's a classic Wrestler vs grappler match and will no doubt be very exciting to see who comes out on top.

Paul Daley takes a shot at Bellator

Paul Daley not happy with his treatment by Bellator

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Paul Daley yesterday took to his Facebook to vent his frustration with Bellator. The welterweight is not happy with the promotion for turning down several opponent choices with separate organisations.

Daley is currently awaiting trial for charges he fully denies. These issue means he currently can't obtain a working visa to enter the USA and hence fight in Bellator. Daley has tried to stay busy and fight in the UK and Dubai in the meantime successfully winning two fights by KO this year in smaller shows. The issue appeared to have been solved at this time.

With Daley still being signed to Bellator the promotion still has final say on agreeing to an opponent and the promotion that stages the fight. Daley is angered by this as he believes Bellator have turned down several opponents when he has approached them about it. With him not being able to fight in the USA for the foreseeable future he still needs to fight to earn a living.

Daley's statement in full.

"Just got word Bellator have refused to allow me to fight yet another opponent!!! It's becoming really frustrating that even though they are not my managers, they can approve my fights.

I've got great fights offered to keep me busy fighting and earning, and they seem to want to put a stop to this....all this while, having to pay for my OWN legal costs on a matter that influence my visa outcome...and my ability to fight for the promotion
Its bullshit.

There's a lot more too...with regards to other promoters having to PAY Bellator a "Booking fee" for using me on there shows?....


In another post Daley alleges he had been offered fights with British promotion Cage Warriors, including a potential fight with the winner of this weekends main event from Cage Warriors 55 Mills vs Pendred in Ireland.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

UK Veteran Leeroy Barnes Signs with Cage Warriors

Leeroy Barnes Signs Multi-fight deal with Cage Warriors
By Chris Houten - @kingdomMMAChris

UK Veteran Leeroy Barnes has signed a 5 fight deal with Europe's top MMA promotion Cage Warriors, and will make his debut for the promotion at July's Cage Warriors 57 in July.

Kingdom MMA caught up with Barnes (12-10) earlier in the day to discuss the deal:
"Cage Warriors are only signing the top guys in Europe to exclusive deals right now. The fact they offered me this contract shows they consider me to be on this level, I take that as a challenge to prove them right.
I'm really excited to make my debut in Liverpool the city I've trained in for my whole MMA career and let's face Cage Warriors needed somebody as handsome as me in the middle weight division Since Danny Roberts dropped to welterweight"
Hailing from Blackpool, fan favourite Barnes who has fought for Bamma and Made 4 the Cage, has finished all 12 of the opponents he has beaten, and joins Tom Breese, as well  asTUF Smashes Bola Omoyele, Luke Newman, and Valentino Petrescu as the latest addition tof the growing, talent filled roster.

Barnes' opponent for Cage Warriors 57 is yet to be confirmed.

Mendes vs Guida scheduled for UFC 164

Chad Mendes finally set to meet Clay Guida at UFC 164

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

Two of the UFC's top featherweights Clay Guida and Chad Mendes are now scheduled to battle it out at  UFC 164 on August 31st in Milwaukee. The pair had original been due to fight in April at UFC on Fox 7, but Guida had to pull out of the fight due to an injury setback in March.

Mendes (14-1) went on to fight Darren Elkins that night, and took just over a minute into the 1st round to TKO Elkins, putting him on a 3 fight win streak. With each win seeming to look more impressive than the last. The only loss on his record is to Jose Aldo when they squared off for the featherweight title back in January 2012 at UFC 142. A defeat he is desperate to avenge.

Guida (30-13) made his featherweight debut in January, with a split decision win over Hatsu Hioki at UFC on Fox 6. The win came off the back of two losses at lightweight with a split decision loss to Gray Maynard and unanimous decision loss to the current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. The Guida of late has been fighting differently to the fighter all the fans loved to watch that changed during the Maynard fight. Which Guida will we see in August?

Fights that have also been announced for UFC 164:

Dustin Poirier vs Erik Koch
Brandon Vera vs Ben Rothwell
Diego Sanchez vs TBA

Pro Picks: UK MMA Cream of the Crop Weigh In on Pendred vs Mills

Pro Picks: UK MMA Finest Weigh In on Pendred vs Mills
By Chris Houten - @kingdomMMAChris 

On Saturday night Cathal Pendred will attempt to defend his Welterweight belt against Che Mills at The Helix, Dublin Ireland in possibly the biggest fight on the European MMA scene this year.

For weeks I have been debating who's going to win the fight, when I convince myself the striking of Mills will prevail, I can't help but remind myself of Pendreds wrestling skills. Over and over, I have decided then changed my mind again, to the point where you could confuse me for the summer weather in Britain.

So I decided to catch up with some of finest fighters in Britain, from Bamma Champions, to a Cage Warriors Champion, to a couple guys in the UFC and more, to see who they think will win on Saturday.

We surveyed 18 of the finest UK fighters..... and our surveys said:

Paul 'Semtex' Daley:
"I thinks it's a very interesting fight between to great UK fighters, both very powerful and athletic. In my opinion Pendred will win this fight with takedowns, dominance in the clinch and ground control."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

John Maguire:
"I Think Che Mills by TKO in the later rounds!"

Pick: Che Mills

Bradley Scott
"I don't think Pendred will be able to get Che down, he's a nightmare. Che will stay by the fence on purpose because he's strong defending takedowns. Pendred's no where near as Good a Riddle at wrestling. Che defo gonna win this."

Pick: Che Mills

Colin 'Freakshow' Fletcher:
"I'm going with Che! It's hard to adjust to the way the UFC do things I do think we saw the best of him in the UFC."

Pick: Che Mills

Jim Alers:
"I have my money in Pendred. I feel that he has what it take to beat anyone in the 170lbs division and have him grinding out a decision."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

Rob Sinclair:
"I'm going with Che Mills."

Pick Che Mills

James Brum:
"I will definitely be tuning in to watch this fight. Both Pendred and Mills are very talented and dangerous fighters. I'm a big fan of Pendred so my money is on him. I believe he will be victorious and the Champion will retain his title."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

Leeroy Barnes:
"I'm going with Mills."

Pick: Che Mills

Danny Roberts:
"The fight between Mills and Pendred will be a good fight. Mills good stand up and accurate striking where as Pendred  possesses the better grappling, he's more intense and will smother Mills work. Think Mills will start of strong but I can see Pendred capitalising with the pace and grappling taking it to a decision win for Pendred."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

Matt Inman
"Pendred all the way for me."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

Jack Mason:
"I am a big fan of Che Mills but I honestly think Cathal will just use his constant pressure, takedowns and pushing Che up against the cage to get the decision win and retain his belt."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

Martin McDonough:
"My prediction is a decision win for Pendred. Even though I like Mills an he is a good fighter, I have been on the same Card as Pendred twice an he is really good at shutting people's game down and getting the win. I think he is a bit of a cardio machine as well and he is a unit for a welterweight."

Pick: Cathal Pendred 

Jason Cooledge:
"Pendred win decision."

Pick: Cathal Pendred

Matt Ewin:
"I can see Pendred trying to close the distance ASAP and try to bully Che up against the cage and work for the takedown from there, he won't be able to shoot in on Che with Che's reach and great foot work. But saying that Che's far to strong for Pendred and with his excellent striking the only way I can see the fight going is Che stopping Pendred in the first or very early in The second."

Pick: Che Mills

Mike Neun:
"I think Che Mills will win. My gut tells me TKO."

Pick: Che Mills

Jim Wallhead
"I have never watched Pendred fight but I hear good things, but I gotta back Che he is my mate I'm excited to see how it goes."

Pick: Mills

Curt Warburton:
"Pendred on points."

Pick: Pendred

Andrew Punshon:
"Mills to win by decision."

Pick: Che Mills

So there you have you have it 18 asked - 9 picked Pendred, 9 picked Mills... and I'm still none the wiser. All I know is we the fans can expect a hell of a fight on Saturday.

Miesha Tate: An unwanted surprise in to face Ronda Rousey

Miesha Tate replaces injured Cat Zingano for coaches role on TUF 18

by John Haigh @JohnBJayHaigh

Filming for season 18 of TUF Rousey vs. Zingano began on Tuesday but there was a huge shock in store for UFC women’s champ Ronda Rousey. Cat Zingano blew her knee out while training on May 16th.
Rousey did not know about Zingano’s injury... nobody did, it was a very well kept secret by the UFC and when Miesha Tate walked out in the UFC training centre she was clearly shocked and stormed out of the gym looking for UFC President Dana White. She later said she was angry because she thought she was the one being replaced, apparently?

Rousey, though, was pleased with the change.
“This is what we really wanted all along,” Rousey told Yahoo! Sports. “Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best. We have a personal history with each other and this is a personal show. For some reason, me and Miesha are intertwined in fate like Ali and Frazier or something like that."

“I think people will look back at this as one of the monumental rivalries and look back at this as one of those things that really cemented women’s MMA.”
Tate said she was disappointed that it had took an injury to Zingano to get the spot on the show but felt she was winning the fight with Zingano when referee Kim Winslow stopped the fight. A lot of people agree with Tate it was a fight full of controversy that we at Kingdom MMA took time to discuss – /2013/04/kingdom-mma-roundtable-on-talking.html

Tate said she was thrilled to not only get the spot on the show but also the shot at the tittle and to see Rousey get visibly angry when she appeared.
“It was rewarding to see that,” she said. “I was like, ‘Yay! This is getting good.’ I watched her go to her corner and her corner was up in arms. I was just sitting there in the doorway thinking, ‘This is awesome.’"
“I felt I was cheated a little in that fight with Cat. I had two solid rounds and one not-so-good round. Either way, I felt I was meant to be here and it’s come full circle.”

Season 18 of TUF will be on our screens in September and is part of the new Fox Sports 1 channel in the states, I believe this will be on BT Sports in the UK as part of the new TV deal. The coaches are slated to fight December 28th and that fight could turn out to be one of the most anticipated fights of the year.

This is also the first season to feature women coaches with men and women’s divisions in the competition.
Added to that the rivalry between the two coaches, these two really don’t like each other and have history as Rousey took the title from Tate under the now defunct Strikeforce promotion in 2011. It was that fight which got UFC president Dana White’s interest in women’s fighting. To that point, White had maintained that the UFC would be men-only.

Zingano underwent surgery on her right knee on Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, as well as to clean up other damage. She said she injured the knee as she came down after clearing a short hurdle.

“I was doing my regular routine, my strength and conditioning,” Zingano told Yahoo! Sports by telephone shortly before she was wheeled into surgery. “I was jumping over tunnels that were about 12 inches high. I’d jumped over them like 10 times already. This one time, I jumped up and my left knee came down right on track and my right knee bent outward."

Zingano said she will be able to resume training in six to nine months. She said the most crushing part of the injury is that she will lose the opportunity to fight Rousey for the belt. She said White promised her she would have the first shot at the Tate-Rousey winner.

Dana white said it made more sense for Tate to fill the spot on the show rather than one of the others in the UFC’s women’s division.
“But with Miesha, she and Ronda already had a great fight and they have a history together. They don’t like each other. We’ll make it work. We always do. You know how I say every day when I wake up, I know some bad [expletive] is going to happen? Well, this was one of them, but we’re doing the best we can here.”

Expect an explosive season with these two coaching and the men and women competing on the show all living under one roof.

What’s next for the losers of UFC 160

Fights to make for the main card losers at UFC 160

by John Haigh @JohnBJayHaigh

After last weekends UFC 160 it set up a couple of matches with new number one contenders announced for both the lightweight and heavyweight divisions in the UFC. Today I will discuss what I think should be the next match ups for the losers on the main card. If you have any opinion on these be sure to comment at the bottom.

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

After what I thinks was a bit of a controversial stoppage in his title fight against Cain Velasquez I think he deserves a top opponent to have a chance to get back into title contention as soon as possible. A fight against the loser of the upcoming Big Nog vs. Werdum at UFC on Fuel TV 10 could do just that, both fighters have being kicking around the top of the heavyweight for years and both would be a good victory for Bigfoot to get on his record.

Mark Hunt

After his disappointing performance against the now number one contender Junior Dos Santos I’d like to see Hunt vs. Big Country. It was mentioned before the fights of UFC 160 and is sure to be a fight that will get the fans excited. If this fight is to take place it will mean Hunt having to wait a while though due to Nelson recently being scheduled to fight Stipe Miocic. Also, this may be good timing as Mark Hunt recently revealed on twitter that he broke his toe in the Junior Dos Santos fight.

Even a fight against Stipe Miocic I think would be a good match up. Miocic had been unbeaten until his fight against Stefan Struve who Hunt beat and broke his jaw. Hunt had been on a great run up the division with four straight victories before getting knocked out by Junior Dos Santos and a win for both fighters could leave them a couple of wins away from a title contention.

James Te Huna

This is the hardest one for me to pick an opponent for but after a lot of thought and studying I’d like to see a fight against Ryan Bader. Bader has got back to winning ways and holds some impressive victories over opponents like Rampage and little Nog. He was also unbeaten until he fought now champ Jon Jones. I think if Te Huna wants to make a big impact in the division a winner over Bader wouldn’t be a bad way to do it.

Gray Maynard

Maynard has been a bit hit and miss lately having come so close to the UFC lightweight title but drew the first attempt and lost the second against Frankie Edgar. Maynard had a perfect unbeaten record prior to his 2nd and 3rd fight with Edgar but has not been able to get back to his previous dominance since.
A fight against Matt Wiman could be a possibility, both have had ups and downs recently. Wiman has a few more loses than Maynard but has had 6 more fights and has fought some top opponents over the years. Both fighters were also on Team Penn on season 5 on The Ultimate Fighter. Both fighters also have lost to TJ Grant in the first round so this fight could be interesting.

K.J. Noons

I don’t think Noons next opponent or fight will be in the UFC, he’s lost four straight and five of his last six fights. With the UFC roster stacked at the moment I think the axe will fall again. It’s no secret that the UFC want to cut the amount of fighters under contract down to a more reasonable number and Noons may be one of the next ones to be released.

Mills on Pendred "He is determined to be in the UFC, I think when I punch him he'll have second thoughts"

Kingdom MMA interview Che Mills ahead of his Cage Warriors 55 Welterweight title fight

by Ben Heather @benheather

Today Kingdom MMA caught up with Che Mills and spoke about a range talking points including the UFC, signing with Cage Warriors, his fight this weekend and the UK MMA Expo to name a few subjects including an exclusive announcement about the UK MMA Expo.

On Saturday night Che makes his return to the cage at Cage Warriors 55 after being released by the UFC and he goes straight in to fighting Cathal Pendred in Cathal's hometown of Dublin, Ireland for the Cage Warriors Welterweight title. This fight is one of the most anticipated fights in UK MMA of 2013 and it has a really big buzz around the whole event.

Ben: This will be your first fight since being cut from the UFC. How did you find out you had been cut as some people found out on twitter?
Mills: I was also one of those that found out on twitter, then my manager rang saying he’d just seen it and it was then confirmed about an hour after that officially from Joe Silva via my manager.

Ben: Dana White criticised you for not trying to finish Matt Riddle at the end of your last fight and jumping on him. Did that bother you?
Mills: At the time yes, but not anymore. He is entitled to his opinion, and I respect that.

Ben: Did you feel harshly treated by the UFC? After all you went 2-1-1 in your time and then got cut. That's far from being the worst record in the UFC.
Mills: To be honest I don’t even think about it. It is what it is at the end of the day, and there is nothing I can do about it regardless of how I feel about it. I now look back at the whole thing as a learning experience.

Ben: Once you had been released did you get any offers from other organisations?
Mills: Yeah, my manager said that a few things had been offered, and not just in MMA! lol

Ben: What made you sign with Cage Warriors?
Mills: They have the most professionally run show in Europe. They consistently put on events and have a proven track record for doing so. They have a great distribution through all their media partners and have already shown that they provide their fighters with great exposure, such as the MTV documentary that I did. 

Ben: Do you feel your last performance against Matt Riddle was effected by it being shortly after your father passed away?
Mills: When I look back now, I think so, plus a few others things, such as injury and so on, but at the time I was focused and was ready to fight, so I did. I have no excuses, I got beat and that’s that. There is no shoulda woulda coulda!

Ben: In your last fight you were out wrestled by Matt Riddle. Have you changed anything in your training since that fight especially as Pendred has a decent wrestling game?
Mills: I am always working on my wrestling, as well as everything else. We have a great set up at Trojan Free Fighters and cover everything throughout the week and consistently work hard to improve in all areas.

Ben: How has the camp gone for this fight? How long ago did you start your camp for this fight?
Mills: Training camp has gone really well. It started beginning of April officially, but I am always training and stay in shape.

Ben: Do you expect Pendred to focus on using his wrestling as part of his game plan come Saturday night?
Mills: I would think so, that is what he tends to do, but I’m ready for everything. It’s about what I am going to do, that’s my focus.

Ben: What is your game plan for the fight on Saturday night?
Mills: Punch him in the face HARD, and win the title

Ben: We saw in your UFC debut that you have knockout power and with over half of your wins being by knockouts. Do you think you will be able to stop Cathal Pendred on Saturday night?
Mills: Yes

Ben: Would you say you feel more or less pressure heading in to this fight than you did during your spell in the UFC?
Mills: Now I feel less pressure all round, I spent a lot of time think about what I should say or do, rather than what I actually felt. This has all been part of the learn experience. I talk about this in the MTV documentary quite a bit so go check it out….

Ben: When will you be travelling over to Ireland?
Mills: We all travel on Thursday morning

Ben: Will you be taking a big group of friends and family with you as you will be going to fight in a hostile environment fighting Pendred in his home town of Dublin?
Mills: There is a few of the family and friend coming over, I know a few of the guys from the gym are coming over too. However I know that they’ll all be watching from home on so I’ll certainly have the support with me.

Ben: Pendred seems to be talking about fighting in the UFC a lot ahead of this fight. Even going as far as discussing which UFC event he wants to make his debut on. Do you think he is looking past you and in his head already has the fight won?
Mills: Haha… I don’t know, he is determined to be in the UFC…. I think when I punch him he’ll have second thoughts.

Ben: what you think about Paul Daley saying you are not on his level?
Mills: I don’t think anything about it…. 

Ben: Without looking past Pendred but if you win on Saturday and become champion, would a fight against Daley be something that interested you? That's if it was possible for Cage Warriors to make the fight happen.
Mills: I would happily fight him, and if it’s on Cage Warriors then great.

Ben: Do you still have aspirations of getting a few wins under your belt and back in to the UFC?
Mills: At the moment all my focus is with Cage Warriors and becoming the champ, then defending the belt and continuing to fight the best in world

Ben: We recently broke the news on our site that in July you will be doing a signing/ meet and greet at the UK MMA Expo in Manchester. Do you have anything to say to the fans that will be coming to meet you at the expo?
Mills: I’m looking forward to it, it’s not often you get the chance to meet the fans all in one go like this so I’m excited. I will also be doing a seminar so come along to that too.

Ben: If you win at Cage Warriors 55 can we expect you to bring your belt along to the UK MMA Expo so the fans can get a picture with you and your title?
Mills: There is no if about it…. 100%

Ben: Would you like to say thanks to anyone or any sponsors?
Mills: Yes thanks a lot. Want to say thanks to Dan my manager (UI Management) and Paul Sutherland my head coach at Trojan Free Fighters, he puts everything together to ensure that I am ready. All my sponsors, Sci-MX Nutrition, Pride or Die, MMA Apparel, Vita Coco UK, Sport Kitchen, Smuggling Duds, Glos Pain Relief Clinic, NutriFit, UK MMA Expo. Of course all the guys at Trojan Free Fighters and Paul Middlewood for all the beasty conditioning sessions.

Thank you very much to Che Mills for taking the time to answer our questions so close to his title fight.

As Che mentioned the exclusive announcement regarding the UK MMA Expo is that he will not only be there to meet fans for photos and autographs but he will also be at the UK MMA Expo to run a seminar too. Full details of the seminar will be released on the UK MMA Expo website in the next few days and tickets for the Che Mills seminar will be on sale very soon.

For all the details about the UK MMA Expo check out their website

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Rob Sinclair on new Bellator deal "I know what I'm signing into and I was happy to sign"

Kingdom MMA interview Bellator's new signing Rob Sinclair

by Chris Houten @KingdomMMAChris

Kingdom MMA today had chance to catch up to Bellator's new recruit and former BAMMA champion Rob Sinclair. News broke last week that Rob had been released early from his BAMMA contract to pursue his career and now we had the chance to ask him a few questions. Also at the end of the interview you will find details of how you can meet Rob Sinclair and take part in his seminar at the UK MMA Expo.

Chris: Firstly Rob, congratulations on signing for Bellator, how did that move come about?
Sinclair: Cheers, Well I have been talking with Bellator for a while but I had a contract with BAMMA. When I spoke to Zach Light at Bellator he sold it to me, made me feel welcome and it was pretty much a no brainer after our chat.

Chris: The press release from Bellator says you have signed a "long term deal" are you able to tell us how many fights you have on your Bellator contract?
Sinclair: I think it's 6 fights.

Chris: Feels like overnight Bellator have an impressive stable of Brits to call on. I know previously Bjorn has mentioned he would like to get Bellator on UK TV, has anything been mentioned to you about bringing the product to these shores?
Sinclair: No that's the first I have heard, it would be awesome though.

Chris: When do you think you will make you Bellator debut?
Sinclair: I've heard it's September, I'm still waiting for a date and an opponent.

Chris: Do you expect to be part of one of Bellator's tournament series' from the off, or do you think you will have a couple of fights first?
Sinclair: No I'm straight in the tourney, I wanted a warm up fight because of my injury but I won't be ready until the tourney in September.

Chris: What was the reaction from BAMMA when you said you where leaving for Bellator?
Sinclair: BAMMA were amazing. They have been awesome with me, very supportive and they've given me a great stepping stone to carry on to international shores. I'll never be able to say enough good things about them, after all they even released me from my contract early.

Chris: Are you still the BAMMA champion or have you had to relinquish that belt?  As the tweet from the official BAMMA twitter account said “Hopefully, he will return and defend his BAMMA title again in the future.”
Sinclair: To be honest I'm not sure, I think it will be relinquished. It will give another young fighter the opportunity I had from being with BAMMA.

Chris: Does the contract with Bellator allow you to fight for other promotions similar to what Paul Daley has done? Or will we only see you fighting for Bellator now?
Sinclair: I don't think they will let the new Bellator champion fight elsewhere ;)

Chris: Its well known on the scene you have maintained a full time job with British Gas all through your reign as BAMMA champion, do you plan to continue working full time, now you have joined one of the majors, or does your deal give your the freedom to back away and concentrate more on fight?
Sinclair: Well I have been working full time throughout my time as the British champion and World champion, but now I've stepped up to another level. Maybe it's time to stop letting it being a hobby and take it seriously from now on.

Chris: When Bellator first contacted you did you take any of what was going on with Eddie Alveraz into consideration?
Sinclair: Yeah well I looked into it, and to be honest it's all complicated, I know what I'm signing into and I was happy to sign.

Chris: Lately you have been mentioning big choices to make on twitter when did you actually sign the Bellator contract? I thought personally you was going to sign with Cage Warriors after reading those tweets, as they were sent about the time they signed some big UK names. Did any other promotions try and sign you?
Sinclair: Cage Warriors is an awesome show and it gives fighters opportunities to fight on TV and abroad, but I feel I've done more than most on the UK circuit, so now is the time to move abroad.

Chris: You have had some injury problems in the past, how confident are you that your body will hold up through a hard tournament series, where you will be going from fighting once ever 6 months to once every 6 weeks?
Sinclair: Well this is my first serious injury but I've got the best Physio, Strength and Conditioning coach and gym so I'll be ready. If I'm not I'll just fight at 30% like I usually do. 

Chris: Thank you for your time just one last thing, would you like to thank anyone?
Sinclair: Yeah, I'd like to firstly thank my Physio Emma Fletcher for getting me back from a serious serious injury so fast. Perform centre for getting me the Strength and fitness, Gav at Predators mma, Glenn Slater my main sponsor, Bad Boy, Real Nutrition , Soulmate Foods, Funky Gums, Smuggling Duds,,, TFL management, BAMMA and Bellator.

Thank you very much for the time and your answers to our questions and we wish you all the best in your Bellator debut.

Also, if any fans want to get the chance to not only meet Rob Sinclair but be in a seminar taught by Rob himself then on the 20th July at 11am you need to be at the UK MMA Expo which will be in Manchester's Event City.

Full details of the Expo itself can be found at and if you would like to buy tickets for the expo and Rob's seminar then they can be purchased here The cost of the Rob Sinclair seminar is only £20 for just the seminar, £25 for your Saturday Expo ticket and entry to the seminar or £30 for a full weekend Expo ticket and entry to the Rob Sinclair seminar.

Please Note, Seminar only tickets will not get you access into Event City as the seminars are held inside the Expo. All seminar tickets must be bought in conjunction to an Expo ticket to allow entry into Event City. Only buy the option of without Expo entry if you already have an Expo entry ticket for the same day or are also buying Expo entry for the same day with another seminar ticket.

UFC Fighter Reza Madadi Arrested on Suspicion of Burglary

Reza Madadi Arrested

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

Swedish UFC lightweight fighter Reza 'Mad Dog' Madadi was arrested in the early hours of Friday 24th May, following a robbery at a luxury fashion boutique Bottega Veneta.

“ alleges that Madadi and his accomplices were banging against the door of the shop for five minutes before obtaining entry. Once inside a staff member said they cleared the store of expensive handbags estimated to be around the value of 1 million kronor ($150,000 USD). The police set upon tracking down the get-away vehicle and were successful.”

His lawyer issued a short statement saying " My client denies all charges against him. I cannot say much more until we see how this evolves"

Reza Madadi (13-3) last fought in April in Stockholm defeating Michael Johnson via submission and earning himself a 'submission of the night' bonus of $60,000 on top of his fight purse.

Madadi was scheduled to fight The Ultimate Fighter 15 winner and undefeated fighter Michael Chiesa at UFC on Fox 8, but had to withdraw due to other visa issues.

If convicted, Madadi could face up to 6 years in prison and certainly ending his UFC career. As soon as more news comes out on this story we will keep you all up to date.

Unbeaten Nick Newell Signs with World Series of Fighting

Unbeaten Nick Newell Signs with World Series of Fighting

Unbeaten inspiration “Notorious” Nick Newell (9-0) of Springfield, Mass. has signed a multi-fight contract to compete for premier MMA promotion World Series of Fighting, it was announced today.

Newell is expected to make his debut for World Series of Fighting, live on NBC Sports Network,  on a summer date to be announced soon.

Born with only one arm, the 27-year-old, 5-foot-10 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and skilled Muay Thai-based striker has defied all odds throughout his life, winning over 300 career high school and collegiate wrestling matches before transitioning to MMA.

As a lightweight competitor, Newell has finished eight of his nine career professional MMA opponents – six by submission and one by KO.  All but one of his victories came inside of the first round of action.
“Nick Newell is an incredible individual who exemplifies the sheer strength of the human spirit and the kind of courage and determination that martial arts embodies, so we are naturally thrilled to welcome him to the World Series of Fighting roster, and look forward to having him compete and, hopefully inspire, our national audience on NBC Sports Network,” said World Series of Fighting President, six-time world kickboxing champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.
Newell, a two-time wrestling team captain for Western New England University, also holds the Connecticut state record for most wins (53) in a season of high school wrestling.

On June 20, 2009, Newell made his professional MMA debut, scoring a monstrous first round TKO on Daniel Ford with a barrage of punches in Plymouth, Mass.  In his last start on Dec. 7, Newell made quick work of Eric Reynolds, submitting Reynolds with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their matchup in Nashville, Tenn.

Newell was honored with the 2011 Boston Herald Submission of the Year award after he forced Denis Hernandez to tap out from a splendid heel hook in the first round (1:11) of their bout in Tampa, Fla.

Forrest Griffin Retires from MMA

Forrest Griffin announces retirement

by Jack Broadey @J3ck_b

At the press conference after UFC 160 there was a little bit of a shock as Griffin announced his retirement. He has dealt with a lot of injuries lately but the announcement was still surprising and unexpected.It is however the correct move.

Forrest has nothing left to prove and will not fight for a title again. He realised he had to retire when he watched Silva v Stann according to the man himself. In his opinion if he could no longer put on a fight of that quality he had no business to continue fighting.

Griffin last fought at UFC 148 in July of last year defeating long term rival Tito Ortiz. Ortiz also retired after that battle. Griffin will be inducted into the UFC hall of fame. He helped make the sport go mainstream by appearing on the first season of 'The Ultimate Fighter.'

Griffin made it through to the finale and defeated Stephan Bonnar in the live finale in a fight that will go down in history as the fight that shaped the UFC into what it is today. Griffin went on to coach a season of 'TUF' himself fighting the opposing coach and UFC Light Heavyweight champion Rampage Jackson at the end of the season.

Griffin cemented his legacy defeating Rampage to become the Light Heavyweight UFC champion. Griffin retires at the right time with his health intact and will be given a job in the UFC back office. He deserves every success in his retirement and will be remembered as a great fighter who despite his limitations worked hard to get to the very top.

TJ Grant defeats Gray Maynard to earn himself a lightweight title shot

TJ Grant becomes new lightweight number 1 contender

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

On Saturday night TJ Grant had a night to remember. He impressed everyone with his 1st round TKO win over Gray Maynard. Especially impressed was Mike Tyson who was watching on cage side. He was so impressed with Grant's performance that he overrode Joe Silva's decision to award Junior Dos Santos with KO of the night honours. Instead he managed to persuade the UFC brass to award it to Grant for his KO instead!

He was certainly impressive in a stand up battle he handled the always tough Maynard with ease. Like many of his previous fights Grant again came in as the underdog and he again proved many people wrong. He dropped Maynard in the 1st round with a sweet right hook overhand right combo. He poured it on Maynard with a flurry of punches and to Maynard's credit he managed to get to his feet, only to be put back down with a crunching knee to the face.

Grant made no mistake this time and didn't let up until the referee was forced to step in. This was a massive win and a massive performance for Grant and he took his chance impressively. Dana White wanted someone to come in and give him no choice but to give the winner a title shot. Grant certainly did that.

Grant is now the clear number 1 contender and will go on to face Lightweight champion Benson Henderson. The date of the fight is yet to be confirmed with one possible target date being the UFC on FOX Sports 1 show scheduled for August 17th in Boston.

Monday, 27 May 2013

UFC 160 Fighter vs Writer Picks Challenge - The Result

Kingdom MMA's Ben Heather defeats UFC fighter Luke Barnatt again in Kingdom MMA's picks challenge

At UFC 160 Luke Barnatt was out for revenge in the Kingdom MMA fighter vs writer challenge, after defeat in the inaugural challenge at UFC 159. It was that first event when our very own Ben Heather defeated UFC fighter Luke Barnatt 7-1 in points. Not long after this Luke tweeted Ben to say he wanted a rematch at UFC 160 and to make it a best out of three series. If needed the decider will be UFC 161.

This time the pair had to predict the fight outcomes from last nights UFC 160 which was headlined by Antonio Silva challenging Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight championship. 

The stakes were upped as well as a wager was put on the best of three series. If Luke lost at UFC160 he will give Ben a signed t shirt, however if Ben lost at UFC 160 and UFC 161 he has to send a signed t shirt to Luke.

The Scoring

The scoring was the same as always, if you predict the correct winner of the fight you will get one point. If you predict the correct method of victory you will get a second point and if the fight ends in a stoppage and you predict the round as well you could earn a third bonus point. If the fight goes the distance you can only earn a maximum of two points.

So at UFC 160 the maximum either guy could score would be 15 points, if all fights ended in a finish. As it turned out we got four finishes and only one decision so for this event the maximum score was 14 points.

The Results:

Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons

Luke's Prediction: Cerrone by TKO Round 2

Ben's Prediction: Cerrone by Submission Round 2

Both men scored one point each for this for both predicting that Cerrone would win the fight.

So its 1-1 going in to the second fight.

Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant 

Luke's Prediction: Maynard by Decision

Ben's Prediction: Maynard by Decision

Both men were incorrect in predicting that Maynard would win so no points won on this fight.

Still 1-1 going in to the third fight.

Glover Teixeira vs. James Te-Huna 

Luke's Prediction: James Te-Huna by Kiwi Beatdown!

Ben's Prediction: Teixeira by TKO Round 3

In this fight Ben managed to correctly predict that Teixeira would win the fight but didn't predict the correct outcome so scored one point.

Score 2-1 to Ben going in to the co main event.

Co Main Event: Junior Dos Santos vs Mark Hunt

Luke's Prediction: Dos Santos by TKO Round 2 

Ben's Prediction: Dos Santos by TKO Round 3

Both men correctly predicted that Dos Santos would win by TKO scoring two points each however, Ben predicted the correct round as well and in the process picked up a third bonus point.

Scores going in to the main event: Ben 5 points Luke 3 points.

Main Event: Cain Velasquez (c) vs. Antonio Silva

Luke's Prediction: Velasquez TKO Rounds 2/3

Ben's Prediction: Velasquez by TKO Round 2

Again both men correctly predicted that Cain Velasquez would win and how he would win but neither man got the correct round to pick up any bonus points so two points go to each man for the main event.

Final Score:

After a very closely contested predictions battle in which between both competitors did very well with Ben predicting 4/5 fights correctly and Luke predicting 3/5 its time to announce the final scores.

Luke Barnatt correctly predicted three fight winners and on two of those he got the correct method as well. This led to him scoring a respectable 5 points.

However, Ben Heather manged to predict four fights correctly and like Luke he predicted the correct method in two of those fights as well. Ben also managed to predict the exact outcome of the JDS vs Hunt fight and in doing so picked up a bonus point. So in total Ben scored 7 points.

Ben Heather defeats Luke Barnatt 7-5.

This means that for the second event in a row Ben has beaten Luke in the Kingdom MMA Fighter vs Writer Challenge. It also now means that Ben will be awarded a signed T-Shirt from Luke for winning the wager that they put on the challenge.

We would all like to thank Luke again for providing us with his picks for this weekends fights and maybe next time he may come out on top.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Video: CFA 11 - Fallon Fox vs Allanna Jones (Full Fight)

Video: CFA 11 - Fallon Fox vs Allanna Jones (Full Fight)

Female fighter Fallon Fox has garnered a lot of press over the last few months, and not down to her fighting style but due to being the first transgender fighter .

On May 24th Fox took on Jones in the co-main event at CFA 11 from BankUnited Center in Corral Gables, Florida.

AXS TV in the US provided a live broadcast of the event and now has released the full video of the fight below.

The winner of bout moves on to the final of CFA's 145-pound women's tournament, and features some rather controversial moments.

UFC 160: Weigh in Results

Weigh in Results for UFC 160

by Ben Heather @benheather

Tomorrows UFC live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada, is now set after the weigh ins have now made the fights official. The main event sees Cain Velasquez attempt to defend his UFC Heavyweight title against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and both men weighed in within the 265lbs limit to make the fight official.

In the co main event, we will witness another heavyweight battle and potential number one contender fight between Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt. Both men also weighed in under the 265lbs limit at the weigh ins, and they both know that a big win will move them a step closer to a potential title shot. If Mark Hunt wins it will be very hard to deny him his chance to fight for the UFC title which only a year or so ago would have sounded crazy.

Also on the main event, is another number one contenders fight this time in the UFC Lightweight division as Gray Maynard and TJ Grant will fight to see who will be the next contender to face Benson Henderson. Dana White announced after the UFC on FOX 7 event that the winner of this fight will get the next title shot.

All of the other fighters made weight when they stepped on to the scales, with the exception of Nurmagomedov who failed to make the weight by 2.5lbs for his fight against Abel Trujillo. According to Ariel Helwani via twitter announced that Khabib won't try to shed the extra weight, he will forfeit 10% of his purse to the Nevada state commission and 10% to Abel. Also Nah-Shon Burrell missed weight by 1lb for his fight against Stephen Thompson. I imagine Burrell will try and lose the extra pound.

Full list of results from today's weigh in can be found below.

Main Card - Live on ESPN at 3am Sunday 26th May 2013

Cain Velasquez (c) (240lbs) vs. Antonio Silva (263lbs)
Junior Dos Santos (239lbs) vs. Mark Hunt (264lbs)    
Glover Teixeira (205lbs) vs. James Te Huna (206lbs)
Gray Maynard (156lbs) vs. TJ Grant (155lbs)
Donald Cerrone (155lbs) vs. K.J. Noons (156lbs)   
Prelims - Live on ESPN at 1am Sunday 26th May 2013

Mike Pyle (170lbs) vs. Rick Story (169lbs)    
Dennis Bermudez (146lbs) vs. Max Holloway (145lbs)   
Colton Smith (170lbs) vs. Robert Whittaker (171lbs)   
Khabib Nurmagomedov (158.5lbs)** vs. Abel Trujillo (155lbs)

Facebook Prelims - Live on facebook

Stephen Thompson (170lbs) vs. Nah-Shon Burrell (172lbs)*   
Brian Bowles (135lbs) vs. George Roop (135lbs)   
Jeremy Stephens (146lbs) vs. Estevan Payan (145lbs)

*Burrell missed weight by 1lb
**Nurmagomedov missed weight by 2.5lbs

Friday, 24 May 2013

UFC 160 Competition - Can you beat Luke Barnatt

Kingdom MMA: UFC 160 Competition

At UFC 160 Kingdom MMA are doing another give away, this time the winner will win this UFC 131 Junior Dos Santos vs Shane Carwin Mini poster. The poster size is 8.5" x 11". Shane Carwin has recently retired and Junior Dos Santos is fighting in the co main event on Saturday night.

To be in with a chance of winning this prize you only need to follow these 3 quick and easy steps.

1) Follow us on twitter

2) Tweet your picks for the 5 main card fights in UFC 160 to Kingdom MMA with #KingdomMMA in your tweet. (ANY ENTRIES WITHOUT #KingdomMMA WILL NOT BE ENTERED INTO THE PRIZE DRAW)

3) Any person who can beat the number of correct picks that Luke Barnatt has predicted in our recent fighter vs writer article which can be seen here will be entered in to the prize draw. 

The deadline for picks to be submitted is 3am on 26th May as this is the time the UFC 160 main card will start. Any tweets recieved after this will not be entered in to the prize draw.

All entries who manage to predict more fights correct than Luke does, will go in to the hat. In the event that Luke predicts all the fights correct then we will submit any entries which have tied with him in to the prize draw? The prize draw will take place on Sunday night and someone at random will be picked to win the prize.

All that is left for the team to say is good luck and lets hope you can all beat Luke and get a shot at winning this brilliant prize.

UFC 160 Main Card Predictions

Kingdom MMA: UFC 160 Main Card Predictions

by Chris Houten @KingdomMMAChris, Tommy Strong @Strong_tea and Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

On Saturday night we will see the UFC heavyweight title on the line as Cain Velasquez will try and defend his title against Antonio Silva at UFC 160 in Las Vegas.

It's hard to forget the first fight between the pair as Cain left Silva a bloodied mess when he finished him in the first round after a very one sided fight. Can this rematch be any different? We will find out on Saturday night.

On top of that we have a number 1 contender fight in the lightweight division between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant and a potential number 1 contender fight between Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt. This is the fight a lot of fans have been talking about, can Mark Hunt go from the UFC offering to pay him out of his contract to number 1 contender. We will find out tomorrow night.

Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva

Jack: I will keep this one short as I think it's very easy to predict. Velasquez may not get Silva down as quickly as last time but he will find a way and pound Silva out eventually.

Prediction: Velasquez by TKO Round 1

Tommy: The UFC are trying to promote this fight, but failing to do so! Bigfoot was destroyed in their first fight inside a round. I just don't see anything changing this time around.
Silva is very lucky to be getting this title shot. He beat a one legged Travis Browne who was dominating until the injury. Then fought Overeem who took Silva too lightly and paid the price for it. I know I'm being harsh on Silva, but I just don't rate him at all. He will be found out again by Cain and I don't expect it to last two rounds.

Prediction: Velasquez by TKO Round 2

Chris: A lot of people have completely wrote Silva off due to the absolute battering he took in the first fight to the point where they don’t even want to see this fight, but I can see this one being a little bit more competitive than the last.

The facts are Big Foot lost the first fight due to a tactical error… leg kicks against a world class MMA wrestler, really Big Foot?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not saying Big Foot is gonna shock the world and pull off another huge upset to go with his collection – Fedor and Overeem. All I’m saying is while he is still swinging those big Christmas Ham sized hands you never know, however it's more than likely Velasquez with his speed and ridiculous cardio who will try to push the pace and win the striking exchanges to the point where Big Foot can’t keep up.

Prediction: Velasquez

Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt

Jack: This is quite intriguing as at least in my mind Hunt has the edge in terms of power. JDS likely has the technical edge as well as a huge speed advantage. He's also well versed in BJJ but as of yet has yet to show it in the UFC. I wonder if he feels he needs to take this fight to the floor. I think after he tasted a shot from Hunt he will attempt and succeed in getting the fight to the floor.

Prediction: Dos Santos by Submission Round 1

Tommy: A fight the fans have been calling for a while now. Its one that really interests me. JDS coming of the back of a beating by Cain will be looking to bounce back and show he's one of the best in the heavyweight division. Mark on the other hand is on a four win tear up and after his devastating knockout of Stefan Struve which resulted in leaving Struve with a broken jaw.

If JDS can keep Mark at range , using his superior boxing skills it could be a comfortable night for him, though if Mark can get close and land one of his bombs we could see an upset on the cards.

Prediction: Dos Santos by Unanimous Decision

Chris: I love the resurgence of Mark Hunt. Less than 3 years ago the guy was on a 6 fight losing streak and was actually being offer money by the UFC not to fight, now he is arguably one (Dangerous) fight away from a title shot.

Realistically Hunt has a punchers chance in this one, but as have so many before him. Sure Hunt has Knockout anyone with one punch, in fact he is so good doing it he even knows when to walk off before his opponent hits the mat, but that one punch (The overhand punch) is so predictable.
I like Dos Santos to use his hand speed and greater array of striking to beat Hunt to the punch, It also wouldn't surprise me if JDS puts Hunt way by countering the Overhand, with an uppercut.

Prediction: Dos Santos

Glover Teixeira vs. James Te-Huna

Jack: Both guys have proved they have great chins and are willing to stand and trade. Teixera's wrestling could be the key here as he can mix up his game to win rounds if he can't find the knockout blow.

Prediction: Teixera by Decision

Tommy: With a combined 43 fights between them, only 7 of their fights have gone to a decision. This fight really has me licking my lips! Glover has been in against better opposition than Te Huna and has a better all round game. Both are very durable and I fully expect an exciting fight.

I have a bad habit of writing off Te Huna , though Glover will be too strong for him and I can see Glover taking him down and submitting him later on in the fight.

Prediction: Teixera by Submission Round 2

Chris: All day I have been deciding whom I fancy in this one. I think Teixeira is the better MMA fighter; he has crisper, varied striking than Te Huna, and is better in the wrestling / jui-jitsu department.

What worries me about Teixeira is the brief moments in bouts where he loses discipline. He almost has that Amir Khan factor to he him where he needs to prove he is man enough to go toe-to-toe with his opponent, and if Te Huna can drag Teixeira into a dogfight, I think he can make him pay, the way Fabio Maldonado almost did.

That being said I can only judge the fight on skills alone, and Glover Teixera is the better fighter.

Prediction: Teixera

Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant

Jack: This is a great fight and will decide the next contender for Benson Henderson's lightweight crown.

Grant should have the edge in the standup game and will be looking to bully "the bully" and possibly look for the clinch to do some damage. Maynard's game has come on leaps and bounds but you would assume he will be looking for the takedown here. I think he gets it but can he keep Grant controlled for 3 rounds? Possibly not. This looks like a back and forth war and who wants it more?

Prediction: Maynard by Decision

Tommy: With the winner of this fight likely to fight Ben Henderson for the belt (still trying to figure out why) this fight could be very entertaining or very boring! Though its not often we see Maynard in a boring fight.

TJ will have an advantage on the ground, though getting Maynard there will be a different matter! Maynard with the better wrestling will dictate where the fight goes, so I can see this fight being a stand up fight.
If that's the case, I give a major advantage to Maynard to out strike TJ and work his way to a comfortable points win.

Prediction: Maynard by Unanimous Decision

Chris: In the build up to the Edgar vs Maynard fight, I was convinced Maynard was going to become The UFC Lightweight champion, and while he allowed Frankie back into the first fight, and ultimately lost the rematch, I'm still of the belief Maynard can hold UFC gold.

On paper Grant is the better fighter. He has considerable submission skills, and a proactive striking game, but I think Maynards wrestling pedigree will be too for Grant.

I like Maynard to control the fight, and untimely take a decision victory.

Prediction: Maynard by Decision

Donald Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons

Jack: Cerrone really is the better fighter pretty much everywhere. If he turns up in shape and ready to go I see no way he can lose this fight. He should dominate start to finish and he has the arsenal to stop Noons.

Prediction: Cerrone by Submission Round 2

Tommy: KJ Noons will be coming into this fight on the back of two losses and only having won one in his last 5 fight (outside of the UFC), he will be looking to stop the rot to keep his UFC career alive.
Cerrone on the other hand lost last time out in by 1st round TKO at the hands of Anthony Pettis. KJ will come into the fight as an underdog but I really like the match up for him here. I feel KJ will have enough to keep the fight standing and if he can will have the advantage.

I'm going against the odds here, and picking KJ to deliver a good performance and to beat Cerrone.

Prediction: KJ Noons by Unanimous Decision

Chris: This fight is basically Cerrone's to lose.

If he can keep his distant, mix up his striking, and not allow Noons to jab his way in he should take this one comfortable. From their I'd like to see Cerrone vs Pearson

Prediction: Cerrone

We will see if any of the guys can predict the results correct. Last week was a great week for the guys predictions as between the four guys who predict the fight results we went 49-3 with Tommy and Ben predicting all 13 fights correctly.

Fighter vs Writer - UFC 160 Main Card Picks Challenge - Heather vs Barnatt The Rematch

UFC Fighter Luke Barnatt out for revenge in Kingdom MMA's picks challenge

At UFC 159 we published the inaugural Kingdom MMA fighter vs writer challenge. For this first event Ben Heather from Kingdom MMA defeated UFC fighter Luke Barnatt.

The pair had to predict the fight outcomes from the UFC 159 which was headlined by Chael Sonnen challenging Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship. On that night our own Ben Heather defeated Luke Barnatt by a points margin of 7-1. Not long after this Luke tweeted Ben to say he wanted a rematch at UFC 160 and to make it a best out of three series. If needed the decider will be UFC 161.

The stakes have also been upped as a wager has now been placed on the challenge as if Luke loses he will give Ben a signed t shirt, however if Ben loses in the next two events he has to send a signed t shirt to Luke. As you can see from the picture below of the two of them I am not too sure what Luke could do with one of Ben's t shirts but that's the wager.

The Scoring

The scoring will be the same as last time, if you predict the correct winner of the fight you will get one point. If you predict the correct method of victory you will get a second point and if the fight ends in a stoppage and you predict the round as well you could earn a third bonus point. If the fight goes the distance you can only earn a maximum of two points.

The predictions:

Main Event: Cain Velasquez (c) vs. Antonio Silva

Luke: Cain will murder Big Foot.... with classic high pace cardio warfare, the pace will be to high and Cain will take the win in rounds 2 or 3 via Ground and Pound.

Prediction: Valasquez TKO Rounds 2/3

Ben: I also think that Cain will give Bigfoot another beating on Saturday night, he destroyed him in the first fight, then destroyed JDS at no point do I see this even being competitive.

Prediction: Valasquez by TKO Round 2

Co Main Event: Junior Dos Santos vs Mark Hunt

Luke: This fight has definitely got to be a fan favourite on the card... giving Mark Hunt the chance to be taken extremely seriously, because although the man has been break jaws and knocking people out left right and centre, people still don't see him as a genuine threat, but the truth is you stand in front of Hunt... you'll be getting helped up off the canvas and thinking... what happened?

But JDS is a huge test for the man and I can't really see him landing that monster KO punch, so I have to give this one to JDS via 2nd round Finish.. although my heart wants Hunt to win... my head says JDS.   

Prediction: Dos Santos by TKO Round 2 

Ben: I agree with Luke, I would love more than anything from this event to see Mark Hunt land one more monster punch and KO JDS to hopefully line up a title shot with the winner of the main event but I can't see it happening. Only one main has given JDS a beating and he is now the champ and before that fight nobody predicted it to go the way it did.

JDS is a beast with some of the best boxing in all of MMA and I see him using this to his advantage and keeping Hunt on the outside before finishing the fight late on.

Prediction: Dos Santos by TKO Round 3

Glover Teixeira vs. James Te-Huna 

Luke: Last I saw of Te-Huna he was making an unbelievable come back against a flexible bald man... so I can't doubt the man!

Prediction: James Te-Huna by Kiwi Beatdown!

Ben: Firstly I would like to thank Te Huna for giving all the UK fans possibly the best entrance to the cage I have ever seen and definitely that I have ever seen live!! He showed great heart in the fight with Jimmo as I spoke to Jimmo after the fight and he was convinced he knocked him out three times in the first round before Te Huna came back to win the fight in the last two rounds.

However I think Glover is a harder puncher than Jimmo and if Te Huna does the same again he will be put to sleep and wake up looking at the lights above the octagon. I can't bet against Teixeira in this and I also think he will finish Te Huna.

Prediction: Teixeira by TKO Round 3

Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant 

Luke: I don't have a huge opinion on this one... I'm just going for Maynard via Decision! 

Prediction: Maynard by Decision

Ben: I also agree with Luke that Maynard will win this fight, the only person to trouble Maynard has been Edgar and I don't think TJ Grant is on that level. I think Maynard wins and then goes on to fight Benson Henderson for the lightweight title.

Prediction: Maynard by Decision

Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons

Luke: The Cowboy has a lot to prove after being dismantled by Tony in infatic fashion... so I can imagine the man will come out fast and hard. KJ survives the first and gets TKO'ed in the 2nd...

Prediction: Cerrone by TKO Round 2

Ben: I also think Cerrone will want to remind the world just how good he is and in his last fight he certainly didn't do that. I rate Cerrone very highly and think with a couple of wins he can be right back up at the top of the division and maybe we could see him fight for the title at some point in the next 12 months.

Prediction: Cerrone by Submission Round 2

So that's our predictions for this fights, we will be live tweeting on Saturday night as always and we will keep you all informed as to how the challenge is going with latest scores throughout the main card.

Thanks again to Luke for providing us with his picks for this weekends fights and it just leaves me to say.... May the best man win.... again!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Rob Sinclair, Paul Sass and Martin Stapleton sign for Bellator

Bellator sign up three British lightweights

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Bellator has today released some very exciting news for UK fans. The promotion already boasts Brit fighters Paul Daley, Ronnie Mann and Michael Page in its ranks. Today it swells those numbers to 6. That's right they have signed 3 new British fighters to long term promotional contacts.

Rob Sinclair the current BAMMA lightweight champion. Paul Sass the ex UFC fighter with two submission of the night awards and Martin Stapleton the Ultimate Fighter contestant will all fight in the lightweight division. This news will hopefully help to get Bellator on our TV screens as with 6 British fighters now in the promotion there is a demand to see the live show. A TV deal is needed to help progress the promotion here in the UK and these latest signing will certainly help that.

Sinclair was the Lightweight champion in British promotion BAMMA and it's of great credit to them that they have released Sinclair from his contract with one fight left on it so he can go and fulfil his dream. They have both served each other well and part on good terms. Sinclair was the first ever Lightweight champion and went on to defend his belt 3 times.

Sass was released from his UFC contract in February after losing to Danny Castillo at UFC on fuel 7. He is an exciting Jiu Jitsu fighter who has beaten top competition and holds 2 submission of the night awards to his name.

Martin Stapleton was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter-UK v USA.  Stapleton had a break from MMA shortly after the series due to his commitment with The Royal Marines. In December of 2012 Stapleton entered a Cage Contenders Lightweight tournament. He won all 3 fights on the same night to be crowded winner of the Lightweight competition.

Barao out of UFC 161 Injured, Evans vs Henderson Now Headlines

Foot injury forces interim champ Renan Barao out of UFC 161

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

The UFC have officially announced that Interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao, will no longer be headlining UFC 161 after being forced to pull out due to a foot injury.

Barao (30-1-1-NC) was due to headline the event for his Interim belt against Eddie Wineland (20-8-1). There has been no official statement by the UFC regarding Wineland. Whether he remain on the card, or not we will have to wait and see but it could mean he has to wait a little longer to get his shot at the belt.

The headline spot has now been taken by the original co-main event which will see Dan Henderson take on Rashad Evans. It has also been confirmed that this fight will take place over 3 rounds and not 5 rounds which is now the standard for all main event fights. 

Evans (22-3-1) is coming into the fight on back to back unanimous decision losses, first to Jon Jones at UFC 145 for the UFC light heavyweight title and more recently and surprisingly to Antionio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 in February. Dan Henderson saw his title shot against Jon Jones go up in smoke when he lost in a split decision to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157. This will be a good chance for both fighters to get back into the title mix.

A fight that has also just been announced and added to the main card of UFC 161, which will see Roy "Big Country" Nelson (19-7) face Stipe Miocic (9-1).

Roundtable: Kingdom MMA on Vitor Belfort

Kingdom MMA discuss Vitor Belfort

by Ben Heather @benheather

On Saturday night Vitor Belfort turned back the hands of time and put on yet another brilliant performance. This time he knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round in the main event of UFC on FX 8.

This performance got some of the guys from Kingdom MMA thinking. Is this Belfort's best streak? Is he the legitimate number 1 contender at middleweight in the UFC? Should he be inducted in to the UFC Hall of Fame? Our thoughts on these questions will be revealed below.

Belfort has beat both Bisping and Rockhold in his last two fights, is this Belfort's best streak of his career?

Chris: Undoubtedly, if it was anyone else right now the UFC would be lining up the fight with the middleweight champion as soon as the winner of Silva vs Weidman was decided.

Jack: If we add in dominant wins over Akiyama and Johnson also in his middleweight run its hard to argue otherwise, four brutal finishes in a row over top competition. It's Belfort's most consistent run and for me this is the best steak of his career to date.

Ben: You would have to say yes. For anybody to beat the calibre of fighters he has lately in Bisping, in a fight that would have finally given him a title shot had he won and then Rockhold who had also been mentioned in title contention its a brilliant run. As Jack mentioned its not just that he won the fights but the manner he did it by winning them both with brutal KO's.

Is Belfort better than ever or is the lack of current contenders at Middleweight making him look better than he is?

Chris: The middleweight division is strong right now, but Belfort has looked simple awesome since his loss to Silva. He is on a 4 fight win streak at middleweight, railroading Akiyama, making easy work of a good quality opponent in Rumble Johnson, and giving us two of the best KO's in 2013 against Bisping and Rockhold. Oh, and along the way he gave arguably the best fighter in the world, Jon Jones,  his toughest test to date.

Jack: As the old saying goes, you can only beat what's in front of you and beat them he certainly does. I think he's better than he's ever been and he's getting results. It's true there are a lack of contenders at middleweight at the minute and that's partly to do with Belfort kicking two legitimate contenders to the back of the queue.

Ben: I think that the Belfort of 2012/ 13 is better than ever, there is one fight that makes me think this and it was the one he lost to Jon Jones. Nobody has come close to beating Jones before the Belfort fight. Belfort proved in that fight that he has the ability to compete with the very best in the world and at Middleweight I only see Silva who is better than him.

Do you think Belfort is the next challenger to the UFC Middleweight belt?

Chris: I wrote in my UFC on FX8 predictions last week that Belfort deserved to be the number 1 contender based on performances, but how can you put a guy who is known to be on a performance enhancing drug in title fight... Especially when he's such a dick about it! Threatening to beat respected journalist up for asking about it is just ridiculous, and can you imagine if he became the champ.... he can't even get a license to fight in the fight capital of the world

Jack: Yes. He was humiliated in the 1st fight with Anderson Silva but he's comeback in the best possible way. No one else deserves the shot and you can sell a rematch. Who doesn't want to see it? It's fireworks and there's likely to be a KO of the year contender again.

Ben: Yes no doubt about it. Belfort has the best recent record at middleweight, excluding Anderson Silva. He has beat more top fighters than Chris Weidman who is getting his title shot in July and so in my opinion deserves his rematch. As Chris mentioned I think what he did in the post fight press conference by going on the attack when a journalist questioned him about TRT is completely unacceptable and not how a potential champion should be behaving.

Is Belfort a future UFC Hall of Famer? Or will the failed drugs test and TRT use overshadow his career?

Chris: With four KO's of the night, a Heavyweight tournament title, a light heavyweight title, and a host of impressive win, Belfort certainly deserves a place in the UFC hall of fame, I'd be disappointed if his recent issues with TRT saw Belfort miss out on the place he deserves, but I'd also totally understand if he was never to be included. 

Jack: I think you can say yes to both questions. There is no doubt in my mind Belfort will be in the hall of fame. I don't like the idea of fighters being inducted into the UFC hall of fame based on past wins in other organisations Mirko Crocop for example. Belfort deserves induction though. He won the light heavyweight championship nearly 10 years ago and 1st competed in the UFC 16 years ago. That he's still competing at the highest of levels is pretty amazing. Is TRT helping him to stay at that level? Probably and that will no doubt taint his resume as well.

Ben: I think yes he should definitely be in the UFC hall of fame. The problem Belfort has currently is that anytime an article is written about him or he takes part in a interview at some point you know the TRT question is going to be in there. However as it stands the UFC are happy to put him in fights knowing he is on TRT with his previous failed drugs test so on the same basis it shouldn't be held against him getting his deserved entry to the hall of fame.

Interview: Bola Omoyele "I Will Fight Anyone Put in Front of Me"

Bola Omoyele "I will fight anyone put in front of me"

by Ben Heather @benheather

On the 10th May it was announced that Bola Omoyele, the fighter last seen on UFC's The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes has signed an exclusive five fight deal with Cage Warriors where he will make his promotional debut on the 6th July at Cage Warriors 56.

Today Kingdom MMA managed to catch up with Bola who holds a 6-1 MMA record to ask him how it felt to have signed for the top promotion in Europe.

"I am thrilled to have signed for Cage Warriors and I really cannot wait to make my debut on the show in Camden on 6th July."

This deal may have caught a few people by surprise, as it was only recently announced that Bola would fight in Kansas City for Global Warrior Challenge on "The British Invasion" fight card how did the change of plan come about.

"I was due to fight in Kansas City on 29 June against Kendall Grove but once my management team, Elite MMA Agency put the Cage Warriors contract in front of me it was an easy decision to sign and be part of the second best MMA show in the world after the UFC"

As Bola mentioned he is managed by Elite MMA Agency and this isn't the first time they have been able to sort out a big deal for him. They have been influential in making both this deal happen with Cage Warriors and previously got him the opportunity to fight on TUF The Smashes.

"They were crucial and I trust them totally. They got me into the TUF (Smashes) house against Australia and I felt that I let them down but I am ready to go all the way and take the Cage Warrior title. The good thing about Elite MMA Agency is that my two managers are so different. Chris 'Fig' who has fought MMA and still trains is very knowledgeable about the sport and is great at advising on technique, opponents and training. Whereas Pan Symeou is the senior partner at Faradays Solicitors and he deals with all the legal and contractual issues. They are also both very well respected in the USA and with the UFC. Pan for example is Michael Bisping's lawyer in the UK."

Cage Warriors have some of the top European Welterweights on its books now with the likes of current champ Cathal Pendred, former UFC fighter and current number one contender Che Mills, former BAMMA champ and another recent Cage Warriors signing Tom Breese and Jack Mason to name a few. However, Bola sees fights being made with the top talent in the Cage Warriors Welterweight division and this influenced his decision to sign for Cage Warriors. The fact he will now be able to test himself against some of the top guys in Europe.

"Absolutely and I aim to beat all of them and claim the title. I respect all those guys as they are all great fighters and I know to be rated the best British welterweight outside of the UFC I have to beat all them."

By the time Bola steps foot in the Cage Warriors cage on July 6th at Cage Warriors 56 it will have been 15 months since he last officially fought (obviously we all know he had fights on TUF The Smashes) but Bola is very excited about the prospect of finally getting back in the cage.

"I am so excited and I really cannot wait. It will be a full house and I will have a lot of support - it has been frustrating waiting for my next fight so you can expect some real fireworks"

No names have been mentioned yet for his Cage Warriors debut but as Bola said

"Expect an announcement any day soon - on my part I will fight anyone put in front of me"

As soon as it is announced who Bola is fighting we will let you know but for now we thank Bola for taking the time to speak to us about his new deal and look forward to seeing him make his Cage Warriors debut on July 6th.


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