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Bellator 183 – Benson Henderson returns from surgery to face Patricky Freire

So far, Benson Henderson‘s move from the UFC to Bellator MMA has not gone entirely to plan. Perhaps having two functioning ACLs will make a difference. Henderson (14-7) will make his fourth walk to the Bellator cage on Saturday, as he’s scheduled to face lightweight Patricky Freire (17-8) at Bellator 183 inside San Jose’s SAP Center. It will be Henderson’s first fight in more than 10 months because of knee surgery. The former UFC champion actually fought for Bellator three times in 2016 with a torn ACL. He went 1-2….

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UFC Fight Night – Top Brazilian strawweights Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade set for major clash in Japan

When you think mixed martial arts, you think Brazil. It’s a country that has produced the likes of Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Lyoto Machida and a multitude of champions and top contenders in between. On Friday night at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, two of the UFC’s best pound-for-pound female fighters will battle in a pivotal strawweight bout with long-term title ramifications. Claudia Gadelha (15-2) and Jessica Andrade (16-6) both have elite striking and takedown skills and figure to carry on that esteemed Brazilian legacy. Well, unless…

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UFC Fight Night predictions for Ovince St. Preux vs. Yushin Okami predictions

For the first time in two years, the UFC is back in Japan this week with a UFC Fight Night event on Friday — albeit, with a makeshift main event. Legendary light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was forced to withdraw from his headliner role last week due to injury. His opponent, Ovince Saint Preux now takes on Yushin Okami. The co-main event actually features higher divisional stakes, as former strawweight title contenders Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade square off in a three-round bout. Who gets the job done inside historic…

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Douglas Lima-Rory MacDonald welterweight bout to take place Jan. 20

A highly anticipated Bellator MMA title fight between welterweight champion Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald has been booked for Jan. 20 in Los Angeles. Bellator officials confirmed the 170-pound matchup on Wednesday, following a report by the Los Angeles Times. The fight will take place at The Forum. A former UFC title challenger, MacDonald (19-4), 28, became one of the most significant free-agent acquisitions in Bellator history when he signed a multifight deal in August 2016. Fighting out of British Columbia, he compiled an 8-4 record in the UFC and…

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Bellator fighter post fight portraits

In MMA, there’s truth to the punchline: You should see the other guy. Deep in the heart of New York’s Madison Square Garden, Clay Patrick McBride captured portraits of each Bellator 180 contestant after matches in the iconic arena. The results are written on the fighters’ faces, euphoria and bitterness etched in every cut and bruise. An emphatic victory on the undercard by Irish featherweight James Gallagher earned a tweet from mentor Conor McGregor: “Atta boy Jimmy boy!! Smooth work.” In dual debuts, 20-year-old Aaron Pico, touted by some as…

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Bellator’s Aaron Pico prepares for second fight after disastrous debut

All things considered, Aaron Pico‘s first professional fight in June was one of the most disastrous first impressions this sport has ever seen. The 20-year-old prospect, who signed with Bellator MMA when he was 18, lasted just 24 seconds into a heavily-hyped debut at Madison Square Garden. Journeyman Zach Freeman clipped Pico with a right uppercut and tapped him moments later with a guillotine choke. An MMA debut literally years in the making took less than half a minute to unravel. For what it’s worth, Pico says it didn’t take…

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Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino said fight vs. Ronda Rousey would be better suited for WWE ring

Current featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino said that she’d fight Ronda Rousey again, but not in the UFC. “If Ronda is wanting to make the fight for the fans, I would still be willing to give them it,” Justino said on her website Tuesday. “But I think it would be better to take place inside the WWE ring. For her it gets her one step closer to Hollywood and for me it would be another exciting challenge and a chance to test my athletic ability.” Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey’s trainer, told…

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Sage Northcutt to face Michel Quinones in UFC Fight Night lightweight bout

Lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt will face Michel Quinones at UFC Fight Night on Nov. 11 in Norfolk, Virginia. Additionally, bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao (25-5) will meet Matthew Lopez (10-1) on the card at Ted Constant Convocation Center. This will mark Northcutt’s first appearance of 2017. The 21-year-old is 3-2 in the UFC, with both losses coming at the 170-pound welterweight limit. As a lightweight, Northcutt (8-2) is 3-0 inside the Octagon. Fighting out of Katy, Texas, Northcutt burst onto the scene with back-to-back wins in 2015, before falling to earth…

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Bellator to crown first-ever female flyweight champion Nov. 3

Bellator MMA will crown its first female flyweight champion on Nov. 3 at Bellator 186 on the campus of Penn State University. Undefeated flyweight Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (6-0) will face Emily Ducote (6-2) in the inaugural 125-pound title fight. It will mark the first time a major U.S. promotion crowns a female champion in that weight class. It’s also the second time this year Bellator will introduce a female championship belt. The promotion created a 145-pound featherweight title in March, which is currently held by Julia Budd. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will be…

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Combate Americas to host one-night $100,000 MMA tournament

Combate Americas has announced a one-night, eight-man Copa Combate tournament on Nov. 11 in Cancun, Mexico, featuring a grand prize of $100,000. Officials confirmed the event to ESPN on Tuesday. The tournament will feature 135-pound bantamweights from the U.S., Latin American countries and Spain. Ronda Rousey’s longtime trainer thinks that there is a 50-50 chance that she ever fights again. Nigerian Kamaru Usman showed why he deserves a top10 contender following his first round knockout finish against Brazil’s Sergio Moraes in their welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night 116 on…

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