January 20th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
BELLATOR MMA ON SPIKE TV A WIINER!
San Francisco, CA- We start our MMA column off with the debut of the Bellator Fighting Championships on Spike TV this past Thursday evening. When they began in 2009, not too many people thought Bjorn Rebney’s MMA brand could survive. But survived it did and going from nondescript network to nondescript network, Rebney was able to get in with Spike TV when the UFC signed their multimillion dollar pact with Fox Sports.
LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMP CHANDLER IMPRESSIVE!
The first offering on Spike TV saw champion Michael Chandler keep his lightweight (155 lbs.) title when he caught favored Rick Hawn with a rear naked choke hold in round two. One of the better lightweights in the world of MMA, Chandler and Hawn at one point had just under one million TV sets tuned in. Overall the card did 1.1 million homes, compared to the 250,000 fans MTV 2 would garner with Bellator programming.
“PITBULL” COMES UP SHORT AGAINST CURRAN
Emanating from Irvine, CA and the Bren Events Center, the co-feature saw Bellator featherweight (145) champion Pat Curran take on Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. The pair locked up in a close five round battle that resulted in a split decision with Curran retaining the title in what looked like a clear win to me.
EX-STRIKEFORCE CHAMP IS DONE!
Ex-champion Renato Sobral, a pro since 1998, was signed by Rebney and matched with Mikhail Zayats of Russia. A spinning back-fist caught Sobral and hurt him as it the punch you don’t see that has you doing those “Dips-y-Do” dance steps. That’s what happened circa the 4:40 mark of round one. With Sobral hurt, Zayats landed a series of punches, including a big left hook that put Sobral down. Zayats jumped on him and the referee stopped the fight at the 4:49 mark.
BELLATOR NOW EVERY THURSDAY ON SPIKE TV
Each week the Bellator shows will start at 10 PM ET & PT on Thursday nights on SPIKE TV.
UFC WAS LIVE ON FX CABLE FROM BRAZIL
The UFC took their act back to the country in which the Ultimate Fighting Championships originated Brazil for a live card on FX Cable. In the main event, favorite son Vitor Belfort stopped Michael Bisping 27 seconds into round two. After landing a big kick late in round one, Belfort looked intent on closing the show right then and there. Credit Michael for getting out of the round.
BELFORT LIKE A SHARK WITH BLOOD IN WATER
Vitor, seeing the success he was having with his kicks, launched and landed a left to the temple area of the British fighter that dropped him. Belfort followed up with some punches on the ground and the fight was stopped at the 27-second mark. Fighting at 185, middleweight, Vitor will not face Anderson Silva, the Brazilian with the UFC belt for they are friends. Belfort is talking about a rematch with Jon Jones, the 205 lb. UFC light heavyweight champion who handled him with relative ease in 2012.
MMA NOTEBOOK BY WEDNESDAY!
I’ve got some scoops and tidbits I’ll put in a MMA notebook for Wednesday here at RingTalk.com We will also preview the upcoming Saturday card that will air on FOX TV with Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar in the main event.