UFC® EXTENDS COMMITMENT BRAIN HEALTH STUDY


UFC® EXTENDS COMMITMENT TO CLEVELAND CLINIC AND THE PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS BRAIN HEALTH STUDY

Las Vegas UFC® today announced a five-year extension of its partnership with Cleveland Clinic, and its support of the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study. The multi-year commitment and one million dollar contribution to the clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas where the study is conducted, makes UFC the largest combat sport contributor to the study.

“Research and awareness are key in setting new standards for athlete health and safety,” UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein said. “UFC is always looking for opportunities to invest in industry-leading health and wellness programs and providing resources to develop its athletes inside and outside the Octagon.”

“We have learned quite a bit in the first four years of the study about how repetitive head trauma affects the brain and how we can detect accumulating injury,” Charles Bernick, M.D., Associate Medical Director at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and principal investigator of the study said. “The involvement of the fighting community and organizations like UFC will only help us better understand the field and protect our athletes. Their support has helped sustain the infrastructure of this very large study and will allow us to follow the participants over longer periods of time and develop ways to improve safety in combat sports, along with others exposed to repetitive head trauma.”

Established in 2011, the Professional Fighters Brain Health study is focused on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in athletes exposed to head trauma, as well as determining which individuals may be more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders. Now in its fifth year, researchers are confident the findings will benefit the safety and health of professional fighters as well as those exposed to repetitive head trauma in other sports and activities.

UFC’s commitment to aid in the funding of the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study is provided in conjunction with other leading combat sports organizations. These funds will help provide the necessary support to continue the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study at Cleveland Clinic, with future plans to publish and advocate about the importance of this research to the sport.

To date, the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study has enrolled nearly 600 active and retired athletes. Participation is voluntary, and fighters in the study receive free, ongoing assessments of their brain health and function, including MRI scans. Individual tests will be repeated annually for a minimum of four years.

About UFC®

UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. Headquartered in Las Vegas with offices in London, Toronto, Sao Paulo and Singapore, UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe. UFC programming is broadcast in over 150 countries and territories to more than one billion TV households worldwide in 21 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFCTwitter and Instagram: @UFC.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 90 northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 18 full-service family health centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2014, there were 5.9 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 152,500 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and 147 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

About Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health provides state-of-the-art care for cognitive disorders and for the family members of those who suffer from them. The physicians and staff at the Center for Brain Health continuously work towards the development of early diagnosis and the advancement of knowledge concerning mild cognitive disorders, which could one day delay or prevent their onset.  Patients receive expert diagnosis and treatment at the Center for Brain Health, which offers a multidisciplinary patient-focused approach to diagnosis and treatment, promoting collaboration across all care providers, offering patients a complete continuum of care and infusing education and research into all that it does. The facility, designed by Frank Gehry, houses clinical space, a diagnostic center, neuroimaging rooms, physician offices, laboratories devoted to clinical research and the Keep Memory Alive Event Center. For more information, visitclevelandclinic.org/brainhealth.

Bellator 151 gets Great Featherweight Matchup in Jenkins vs. Yamauchi

FEATHERWEIGHT ENCOUNTER FEATURING GOITI YAMAUCHI VERSUS BUBBA JENKINS ADDED TO ‘BELLATOR 151’

 

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (February 4, 2015) – The main card of “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” on March 4 is coming together with today’s addition of Goiti Yamauchi (19-2), who will meet Bubba Jenkins (10-2) in featherweight action, with both men hoping to keep their current winning streaks intact.

Tickets for “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” are on sale now and start at just $45. You can purchase tickets at the WinStar World Casino and Resort Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com. Doors for the event open at 5:00 p.m. CT local time, with the first contest taking place one hour later.

“Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” airs live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.comand The Bellator Mobile App.. Additional preliminary bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Yamauchi comes into the fight riding a wave of momentum he’s caught after wins against Mike Richman, Martin Stapleton, and Isao Kobayashi. The 23-year-old Japanese fighter has only lost once in six appearances under the Bellator MMA banner and has notched 15 of his 19 wins as a professional by way of submission.

It’s hard to ignore Jenkins inside or outside the Bellator MMA cage, being that “The Highlight Kid” also doubles as a podcast host during his free time. The Arizona State alum notched two straight wins to cap off 2015, most recently, an impressive offensive display against a promising prospect in Jordan Parsons.

Updated “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” Fight Card:

 

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Main Event: Joe Warren (13-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (8-0)

Bellator MMA Welterweight Co-Main Event: Michael Page (9-0) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (24-13)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Goiti Yamauchi (19-2) vs. Bubba Jenkins (10-2)

 

MMA Fight Radio Thurs Feb 4

Guests: Curtis Blaydes, Melvin Guillard, Stephen Thompson, Joe Benavides, and  Ryan Brueggeman

MMA Fight Radio airs live Thurs nights 6-8 pm Here in Phoenix / East Coast 8-10pm West Coast 5-7pm

To listen on your cell phone choose the appropriate link:

To listen via Google Play App http://tiny.cc/ail3ux

To listen via IPhone App http://tiny.cc/3ll3ux

Via computer just wait for this page to load and listen live

MMA-Fight-Radio

 

MMA FIGHT RADIO Arizona’s original expert source for MMA, with our host “Broadway” Jay Pagliaro and co-hosts: Bellator MMA Fighter Dan “The Man” Charles, Pro MMA Fighter Nicole “Fidget” Upshaw, along with Shawn “Dallas” Hall an MMA Judge

Produced by Penny Buffington. Sponsored by the Arizona Event Center.

Joshua Boyd: Las Vegas Correspondent
Paal Eide: East Coast Correspondent w/ wife Yadlynd as photographer

MMA Fight Radio Main Photographers include Bill Merritt, Eddie Buffington, Penny Buffington

News, Reviews and Interviews with today’s hottest national and local fighters, including expert analysis of all things MMA: including the UFC, Bellator, WSOF, Titan FC. Invicata FC, RFA,  Duel for Domination, Bounded Fist Muay Thai and more.

Connecting listeners to MMA events and fighters with contests, prizes, ticket giveaways and more!

MMA AT IT’S FINEST

    • MMA Fight Radio reaches 28,000 monthly cumulative audience.
    • NBC Sports Radio Phoenix 1060 AM is one of the top sports stations in the Valley with a reach of 4 million people.

 

Bellator 149 FEB 19, 2016 / TOYOTA CENTER, HOUSTON, TEXAS  Melvin Guillard 32 – 15 – 2 vs Mike Bronzoulis 18 – 9 – 1

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Curtis Blaydes – RFA Heavyweight-   4-0 all by TKO’s. NJCAA National Wrestling Champion same title Jon Jones won. ONE to Watch. He has trained with Fabricio and Stipe. Fighting Luis “Hulk” Cortez at RFA 35 Feb 19

Curtis Blaydes
Curtis Blaydes

 

In studio Ryan Brueggeman – signed contract for UMMAF to hold U.S. National Tournament at Ft McDowell Casino in April

http://usammakif.org/ 

 

Center Referee Ryan Brueggeman
Center Referee Ryan Brueggeman

Joe Benavidez UFC exclusive interview

UFC Fight Night 82

FEB 06 / MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES

Joseph Benavidez 23 – 4 – 0 vs Zach Makovsky 19 – 6 – 0

Stephen Thompson 11 – 1 – 0 vs Johny Hendricks 17 – 3 – 0

more info: UFC.com 

Hendricks vs Thompson Feb 6 UFC Fight Night
Hendricks vs Thompson Feb 6 UFC Fight Night

 

Joseph Benavidez
Joseph Benavidez


Arizona Golden Gloves Boxing State Championship  Starts Feb 26 at the Arizona Event Center

Arizona Golden Gloves Boxing Feb 2016


Duel for Domination next Event  Sat March 2016 at the Arizona Event Center

Duel for Domination

Bounded Fist Muay Thai at the Arizona Event Center

 

Bounded Fist Muay Thai

 

You may listen via the internet, or phone app or if local on NBC

To listen LIVE on your cell phone choose the appropriate link:

To listen LIVE via Google Play App http://tiny.cc/ail3ux

To listen via LIVE  via IPhone App http://tiny.cc/3ll3ux

Via computer just wait for this page to load and listen live

THREE NEW MATCHUPS COMPLETE WSOF29: GAETHJE VS. FOSTER

MAIN CARD ON SATURDAY, MARCH 12

NEW, LIVE NBCSN START TIME OF 10 P.M. ET
FROM GREELEY, COLORADO

WSOF 29 Gaethje vs Foster

LAS VEGAS (February 3, 2016) –World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) announced today the addition of three main card matchups, including a heavyweight co-main event contest between Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (11-3) and Mike “300” Hayes (19-10-2), to its highly anticipated WSOF29: Gaethje vs. Foster world lightweight (155 pounds) championship event at the Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colo. on Saturday, March 12, live on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

In other action on the four-bout live telecast that will be headlined by the lightweight championship showdown between reigning, undefeated kingpinJustin “The Highlight” Gaethje (15-0) and number one contender Brian Foster (25-9), middleweight (185 pounds) standouts Cory “The One” Devela (15-6) and Louis “Handgunz” Taylor (11-3) will collide in their respective World Series of Fighting debuts.

Kicking off the live, four-fight telecast will be a welterweight (170 pounds) scrap pitting Josh Cavan (11-6) against Kris Hocum (7-4).

Priced from $39.99, tickets for WSOF29: Gaethje vs. Foster, are on sale at WSOF.com and the University of Northern Colorado’s online ticketing platform.

Josh Copeland vs. Mike Hayes

The 6-foot-1 Copeland of Denver, Colo. is a former number one ranked heavyweight in his home state, and a four-time title holder since turning professional in 2010.

The 33-year-old, former Youth Ministry student at Dallas Baptist College, has earned 8 of his 11 career victories as a professional by way of (T)KO or submission, with 5 of those wins coming in less than 2 minutes.

A teammate of Gaethje’s at Grudge Training Center, Copeland will look to rebound from a second round (2:50) submission (kimura) defeat at the hands ofVitaly Minakov on December 11, a result that snapped a two-fight win streak for Copeland.

During his professional career spanning eight-plus years, the 6-foot-4, 35-year-old Hayes of Redmond, Wash. has faced off with elite level competition, including former world champion Andrei Arlovski and superstar Ruslan Magomedov, both of whom he fought to a decision.

On November 2, 2013, Hayes notched his most impressive victory to date, scoring a devastating, third round (3:11) KO on decorated MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling champion Jeff “The Snowman” Monson with a head kick.

In his last start on June 4, 2015, Hayes produced another impressive result, fighting former South African national wrestling champion and four-time MMA titlist Trevor Prangley, to a draw.

Cory Devela vs. Louis Taylor

The 6-foot-2, 31-year-old Devela of Bonney Lake, Wash., will enter the decagon cage in the midst of a four-fight win streak that includes a unanimous decision victory over superstar Nick “The Promise” Ring on June 26, 2015.

A longtime protégé of MMA superstar and submission expert Dennis “Superman” Hallman, Devela, who has notched 11 of his 16 career wins by way of (T)KO or submission, burst into the national spotlight at a Strikeforce promoted event in Tacoma, Wash. on February 23, 2008, scoring a first round (1:22) TKO on heralded superstar Joe “Diesel” Riggs with a thunderous slam that rendered Riggs unable to continue fighting.

Devela’s recent ascendance that has him knocking on the door of becoming a world championship contender again, comes after he took an extended, three-year hiatus from competition to care for a sick loved one between 2010 and 2013.

Also looking to earn his fifth consecutive win, the 5-foot-11, 36-year-old Taylor of Chicago, Ill. is the number one ranked middleweight in his home state, according to the latest Tapology.com ratings.

A prolific striker who has finished 10 of his 11 opponents to date by way of (T)KO or submission, Taylor’s last four victories all came inside of the first round of battle.

Prior to becoming a mixed martial artist, Taylor was a wrestling standout for the NCAA Division I program at Eastern Illinois University where he benefited from training with fellow, former team member turned assistant coach Matt Hughes, who went on to become a two-time UFC champion and Hall of Fame member.

Josh Cavan vs. Kris Hocum

Fighting out of Denver, Cavan is a 5-foot-10, 32-year-old, lifelong athlete who competed at the minor league level of professional hockey before turning his attention to MMA.  A winner of 9 of his 11 professional career fights by way of (T)KO or submission, Cavan will look to bounce back from a second round (1:28) TKO (punches) defeat at the hands of Joe Eichelberger on November 6.

The 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Hocum of Fort Collins, Colo. made his professional debut on October 27, 2012 as a participant in a one-night, eight-man tournament, defeating multiple opponents to emerge the victor of the grueling affair.   He will look to regain momentum after back-to-back losses in his last two appearances.

The WSOF29 preliminary bout card will be announced soon.

ABOUT WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING

“World Series of Fighting” (WSOF) is a worldwide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world. For more information please visit WSOF.com and follow “World Series of Fighting” on Twitter @MMAWorldSeries.  WSOF and World Series of Fighting are registered trademarks of MMAWC, LLC.

ABOUT NBCSN
NBCSN, part of the NBC Sports Group, is dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 85 million homes, the Emmy Award-winning network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL) – including two games of the Stanley Cup Final — Premier League, Formula One, IndyCar, Tour de France, the 34th America’s Cup, and beginning in 2015, NASCAR. In addition, NBCSN features college football, college basketball, college hockey, cycling, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown  and Breeders’ Cup, Fight Night boxing, Ironman, the Dew Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as Costas TonightNFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk, The Dan Patrick Show, and NASCAR America. NBCSN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

BELLATOR MMA INKS SERGEI KHARITONOV TO AN EXCLUSIVE, MULTI-FIGHT CONTRACT

Bellator MMA

SANTA MONICA (February 3, 2015) – Sergei Kharitonov (23-5) is the newest free agent by Bellator MMA, with the news that the Russian heavyweight has been signed to an exclusive multi-year, multi-fight contract. A veteran of both Strikeforce and Pride Fighting Championships, Kharitonov remains on active duty with the Russian Airborne Troops.

Doubling as a kickboxer at different points throughout his combat sports career, “The Paratrooper” has decided to parlay his recent five-fight winning streak and focus purely on mixed martial arts. Kharitonov’s resume is extensive, with the 35-year-old scoring wins against some of the sport’s most notable names including UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski, Pedro Rizzo, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, and Alistair Overeem.

“I have had the best seat in the house for some of Kharitonov’s heavyweight outings,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said, “and I know Sergei [Kharitonov] can come in and make an immediate impact on our heavyweight division. He is an extremely skilled and experienced fighter who can end a fight in the blink of an eye, and we look forward to having him do just that inside the Bellator cage. Plus, he’s already competed at one ‘Dynamite’ event before, maybe he could do so again in the future!”

Kharitonov joins a division that is currently championed by fellow Russian fighter Vitaly Minakov, other top names include Bobby Lashley, Cheick Kongo, Vinicius Queiroz, Kimbo Slice, Tony Johnson, Justin Wren, Dan Charles, and James Thompson.

 

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Spike:

Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

BENSON HENDERSON TO GET IMMEDIATE WELTERWEIGHT TITLE SHOT

 AGAINST ANDREY AT ‘BELLATOR 153’ ON APRIL 22

 

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (February 2, 2015) – On the heels of what is one of the biggest free agent moves in mixed martial arts history, the man at the center of the shift, Benson Henderson (23-5), now has a debut date.

Today, Bellator MMA is pleased to announce that “Smooth” will compete for welterweight gold against current champion Andrey Koreshkov(18-1) at the newly announced “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson” card on April 22 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Tickets for “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson” start at just $30 and go on sale this Friday, February 5 at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.com and the Mohegan Sun Box Office. A special presale offer for Bellator Nation members will be available starting Wednesday, February 3.

“Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson” airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live onBellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App. Additional contests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Henderson has accomplished a great deal over the course of his 10-year professional career as a mixed martial artist. A former World Extreme Cagefighting and Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titlist, “Smooth” holds black belts in both Taekowndo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and also earned NAIA All-American honors in both 2005 and 2006. Multiple media outlets named Henderson the fighter of the year in 2012, and he has been one half of several epic battles that have received “Fight of the Year” accolades: Donald Cerrone (2009), Anthony Pettis (2010),Frankie Edgar (2012), and Brandon Thatch (2015).

The Glendale, Az., resident has shown that he can compete at both 170 and 155-pounds and few have done so as frequently as Henderson. Since his MMA debut in 2006, there’s only been one year where the MMA Lab-competitor has fought less than three times in a calendar year. If that’s any indication of what to expect, 2016 could be huge for the 32-year-old.

Standing opposite of Bellator MMA’s newest acquisition will be Koreshkov, a 25-year-old fighter out of Russia who took the title from Douglas Lima during a main event bout at “Bellator 140: Lima vs. Koreshkov” in July of last year. With only one defeat on his impressive resume, “Spartan’s” first title defense will likely put him in the position of underdog, a spot that champions rarely find themselves heading into a matchup. With 13 finishes in 18 victories, the 10-fight Bellator MMA veteran will attempt to stop a fighter who has only lost by knockout or submission three times in 28 outings.

 

“Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson” Updated Fight Card

 

Bellator MMA Welterweight World Title Fight: Andrey Koreshkov (18-1) vs. Benson Henderson (23-5)

Melvin Guillard has a new opponent at ‘Bellator 149

Shamrock vs. Gracie’ in Houston

 

MELVIN GUILLARD NOW FACES DEREK CAMPOS AT ‘BELLATOR 149: SHAMROCK VS. GRACIE’

 

JUSTIN ‘THE BIG PYGMY’ WREN RETURNS TO ACTION IN EVENT’S FEATURED PRELIMINARY BOUT

 

 

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (February 2, 2015) –An injury to Mike Bronzoulis has shifted things during the SPIKE-televised main card of“Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie” on Feb. 19 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Now, the lightweight contest will pit Melvin Guillard (32-15-2) against Derek Campos (15-6).

In addition, Justin “The Big Pygmy Viking” Wren (11-2) returns to action in what will be his second appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, when he meets Juan Torres (4-4) in heavyweight fisticuffs.

The fights join a card that already features a double main event — Ken Shamrock (28-16-2) meets Royce Gracie (14-2-3) for a third time and Kimbo Slice (5-2) will fight the man who has been calling him out since their friendship ended years ago, Dhafir Harris, better known as “Dada 5000” (2-0). In featherweight action, Emmanuel Sanchez (12-2) will look to continue his torrid pace when he meets Daniel Pineda (21-11) and former light heavyweight titlist Emanuel Newton (25-9) battles Linton Vassell (15-5).

Tickets for this mixed martial arts extravaganza start at just $50 and are on sale now at Bellator.com, as well as HoustonToyotaCenter.com, the Toyota Center Box Office and Houston area Randall’s locations.

“Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie” airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.comand The Bellator Mobile App.

Guillard suffered a horrific broken hand during his Bellator MMA debut against Brandon Girtz earlier this year. “The Young Assassin” has made it clear that he intends on eventually fighting for the 155-pound title, and his road to the gold begins on Feb. 19 against a tough Texas native with plenty to prove. Of Guillard’s 32 wins as a professional, 23 victories have come before reaching the judges’ scorecards.

Known as “The Stallion” to those familiar with his mixed martial arts career, Campos will come into his meeting with Guillard riding a two-fight skid. During his eight-fight tenure with Bellator MMA, the 27-year-old Texan has faced a plethora of top lightweight talent, going up against names the likes of: Michael Chandler, Patricky Freire, Brandon Girtz (2x), and Estevan Payan.

You would be hard-pressed to find a better story in all of MMA than the one that Wren can tell. The two-time National High School Wrestling Champion generated massive amounts of media attention on the road to his promotional debut at “Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz,” where he defeated Josh Burns. His story begins several years earlier, in 2010, when Wren confronted an opponent tougher than any he could face in combat sports: addiction.

With an opportunity to continue fighting on the table, Wren left the sport and began his recovery process. A chance meeting with a friend led Wren on a trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he came across and developed a deep connection with the Mbuti Pygmies, many of whom were enslaved, living on only the scraps the slave masters would pay them with. Wren found his calling there and wanted to do everything in his power to help the Pygmies. With multiple visits to the Congo, including a stint that lasted a year, Wren started a foundation called “Fight for the Forgotten.” Through his efforts, Wren and his staff of 17 have systematically bought the land of the slave owners, and have thus far legally given 2,740 acres of rainforest to the Pygmies, effectively freeing them from slavery.

Partnering with other groups like Shalom University and joining forces with Water4.org, Wren and his charity are responsible for drilling 26 water wells to help provide both the Pygmies and the former slave masters with clean water, and have plans to drill hundreds more. In addition, the team has begun a sustainable farming project to benefit and provide food to both the Pygmies and non-Pygmies of the community.

Take a look below at the complete 19-fight “Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie” card and be sure to tune into SPIKE on February 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT for an event that has something for every fight fan.

 

Completed “Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie” Fight Card

 

Bellator MMA Openweight Main Event: Ken Shamrock (28-16-2) vs. Royce Gracie (14-2-3)

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Main Event: Kimbo Slice (5-2) vs. “Dada 5000” (2-0)

Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Feature Bout: Emanuel Newton (25-5) vs. Linton Vassell (15-5)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Feature Bout: Melvin Guillard (32-15-2) vs. Derek Campos (15-6)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Emmanuel Sanchez (12-2) vs. Daniel Pineda (21-11)

 

Preliminary Card:

 

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Justin Wren (11-2) vs. Juan Torres (4-4)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Davis Sylvester (5-3) vs. Jeremy Mahon (5-4)

Bellator MMA Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Charlie Ontiveros (6-4) vs. James Christopherson (2-2)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Ruben Esparsa (1-0) vs. C.J. Hancock (Debut)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Adrian Yanez (3-1) vs. Daniel Santos (3-0)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Isaac Villanueva (9-7) vs. Richard Knepp (3-3)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Mike Trinh (2-3) vs. Angel Zamora (2-2)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jason Langellier (2-0) vs. Anthony Ivy (1-0)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Manny Lozoya (Debut) vs. Jacob Norsworthy (1-5)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Amateur Bout: Leomana Martinez (2-0) vs. Casey Jones (2-0)

Bellator MMA Flyweight Amateur Bout: Chris Solis (2-0) vs. Alex Macedo (2-0)

Bellator MMA Flyweight Amateur Bout: Jonathan Davis (2-0) vs. Shawn Solis (1-0)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Amateur Bout: Hunter Scott-Gregg (1-0) vs. Ricardo Deluque (1-0)

 

WSOF28: MORAES VS. BARAJAS MAIN CARD COMPLETE WITH TWO NEW B0UTS

LIVE ON NBCSN ON SATURDAY, FEB. 20
FROM GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA

LAS VEGAS (February 1, 2016) –World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) has announced the addition of two welterweight (170 pounds) bouts – Jamie “The Chosyn 1” Yager (6-4) vs. Greg Parker (5-1) and Ozzie Alvarez(6-3) vs. Andrew “The” Ramm (4-3) – to complete the live NBCSN televised (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), main card portion of its WSOF28 world bantamweight (135 pounds) championship event at Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 20.

In the main event of the four-fight telecast, reigning World Series of Fighting bantamweight kingpin Marlon Moraes (15-4-1) will put his title on the line for the third time against ferocious contender Joseph Barajas (12-1).

The co-main event will pit two other bantamweights – red-hot contendersTimur “Lucky” Valiev (10-1) and Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez (8-1-1) – against one another.

Jamie Yager vs. Greg Parker

The 32-year-old Yager of Huntington Beach, Calif. will return to the cage after being sidelined for three years due to injuries.

A lifelong athlete who took up Jiu-Jitsu while attending Pasadena City College, Yager was the middleweight winner of the 2008 MMA competition reality television series, The Iron Ring, that aired on BET.

Yager went on to compete in season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, scoring a punishing, 26 second KO on Ben Stark with a head kick in the first episode and, later, a first round (1:09) TKO (strikes) on Charles Blanchard.

In his last effort, the 31-year-old Parker of Irvine, Calif. rebounded from his first career defeat, submitting Daniel McWilliams with a rear-naked choke in the first round (2:22) of their meeting on October 2, 2015.

Between March 2009 and April 2011, Parker was perfect as an amateur, compiling a 3-0 record, before running to four consecutive wins, all by way of (T)KO or submission, in his first four professional bouts.

Ozzie Alvarez vs. Andrew Ramm

Originally from Miami, Fla., the 30-year-old Alvarez fights out of Huntington Beach, Calif. and has gained recognition as a dangerous power puncher since he turned professional in 2010.

In what will be his first start of 2016, Alvarez will look to bounce back from a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Justin Patterson on September 17, a result that snapped a five-fight win streak.

Alvarez’s five consecutive victories all came by way of (T)KO or submission, and all but one of them occurred inside the first round of action.

Ramm of Costa Mesa, Calif. via Bremerton, Wash. is a 31-year-old submission expert who recently earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under mentor and famed trainer Eddie Bravo.

To date, Ramm has produced all of his professional career victories by way of submission and, in a span of just 11 months between 2012 and 2013, he amassed a perfect 6-0 record under amateur status.

The WSOF28 preliminary bout card will be announced soon.

BENSON “SMOOTH” HENDERSON Welcomed to Bellator MMA

BELLATOR MMA LANDS ANOTHER TOP FREE AGENT IN FORMER WEC & UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION: BENSON “SMOOTH” HENDERSON

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 1, 2016) – Bellator MMA President Scott Coker continues to make good on his commitment of adding value to the Bellator roster, as he and the promotion are pleased to announce the signing of former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson (23-5) to an exclusive, multi-fight deal. The signing was scheduled to be announced today on “The MMA Hour,” which is hosted by 6-time MMA Journalist of the Year, Ariel Helwani. When news of the signing broke earlier than anticipated, the flood of traffic to the website may have been responsible for technical difficulties causing some of the interview to not stream live; However, the interview will be available in its entirety this afternoon at www.mmafighting.com.

Henderson has accomplished a great deal over the course of his 10-year professional career as a mixed martial artist.  A former WEC and UFC lightweight titlist, “Smooth” holds black belts in both Taekowndo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and also earned NAIA All-American honors in both 2005 and 2006.  Multiple media outlets named Henderson the fighter of the year in 2012, and has been a part of several epic battles that have received “Fight of the Year” accolades: Donald Cerrone(2009), Anthony Pettis (2010), Frankie Edgar (2012), and Brandon Thatch (2015).

“Benson is a tremendous athlete who puts forth an exciting effort each and every time he steps into the cage,” said Coker. “Whether he chooses to fight at lightweight or welterweight, he’s without question a great addition to this promotion, and brings countless amazing matchups to the table.  We’re looking forward to having him put on a show for the great Bellator MMA fans that tune into Spike. We plan on announcing his Bellator debut in the very near future.”

Having competed at both lightweight and welterweight, there are plenty of enticing potential matchups in Henderson’s future. Bellator’s lightweight division is currently championed by Will Brooks, and features many of the world’s best including: Michael Chandler, Josh Thomson, Marcin Held, Brandon Girtz, Brent Primus, Derek Anderson, and Melvin Guillard. Meanwhile, Andrey Koreshkov sits atop the welterweight division with studs the likes ofPaul Daley, Brennan Ward, Michael Page, Josh Koscheck, Douglas Lima and Chris Honeycutt vying for his gold.

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Spike:

Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.