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stephan bonnar

UFC Hall of Fame fighter Stephan Bonnar has signed with Bellator MMA, the promotion announced on Wednesday.

Bonnar, who retired following a loss to Anderson Silva in 2012, has been doing announcing work with Titan FC. He was inducted into the hall of fame alongside Forrest Griffin, as the two were in the finals of the first Ultimate Fighter season.

“I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz,” Bonnar said in a statement provided by Bellator. “We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.”

Bonnar and Ortiz have exchanged words in the past, but they never crossed paths while both were competing inside the Octagon. Along with competing later this year, Bonnar could also work as an analyst for the promotion.

“Stephan is a guy that has been a huge part of this sport and we are excited have him part of the roster,” Bellator president Scott Coker said in a statement provided by the organization. “He was one half of probably the greatest and one of the most important fights in MMA history, and it happened on Spike. When you look at our light heavyweight division, with names like Rampage (Jackson), Tito, King Mo (Lawal), Emanuel Newton and others, there are a lot of fights Stephan can be involved in. Big fights against big names. After talking to Stephan, I know that’s what he wants, and we want to provide that to our fans.”

Bonnar holds a 15-8 career record, including wins over Kyle Kingsbury, Keith Jardine and James Irvin, while he has also fought the likes of Silva, Jon Jones, Griffin and Mark Coleman.

Ortiz responded to the news on Twitter, posting “Really? Really? I’m going to beat the juice out of you.” Bonnar failed a handful of post-fight drug tests for banned substances while he competed in the UFC.

ufc rankings

The latest official UFC fighter rankings have been released, and thanks to a double-event weekend, there was plenty of changes.

In the pound-for-pound Top-15, Chris Weidman and Demetrious Johnson flipped fourth and fifth, while Johny Hendricks passed Ronda Rousey for eighth. Also, Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier each moved up a spot, and Gilbert Melendez, debuted after Benson Henderson’s loss.

Henderson’s defeat to Rafael dos Anjos caused a stir amongst the lightweight Top-5, as “Smooth” fell from No. 1 to fourth, while Melendez, Khabib Nurmagoemdov and dos Anjos all sit ahead of him.

Thales Leites moved up three spots at middleweight after his win over Francis Carmont, who dropped three spots.

Tyron Woodley moved back ahead of Carlos Condit and into third at welterweight, while Takeya Mizugaki passed Eddie Wineland for fifth at bantamweight.

nick diaz

Ed Soares, manager for former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, believes the decision to pair “The Spider” with Nick Diaz makes complete sense.

“Arguably, these guys are two of the best boxers in mixed martial arts, they both wanted to fight Roy Jones, Jr., they’re both coming off two losses, they both have been out of the ring for over a year,” said Soares, during a recent appearance on Submission Radio, “so it’s just a fight that makes sense.”

Silva suffered a broken leg last December in a rematch for the middleweight title against Chris Weidman. He also lost to Weidman earlier in 2013. Diaz, meanwhile, dropped bouts to former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit before going into a self-imposed retirement.

While many have questioned Silva’s decision to return to the Octagon, Soares believes he can still compete with the best of the best.

“I think he’ll be back and he’ll go as far as he wants to apply himself to,” he said. “I think if anybody can come back from an injury like this and come back and put that title around their waist again, if anybody in the world can do it, it’s Anderson Silva.”

Prior to running into Weidman, the Brazilian often-times appeared uninterested in certain title fights. Soares feels the time away recovering has helped provide a new sense of pride in Silva.

“I think that’s going to be the biggest motivation, just seeing Anderson back to what he once as,” Soares said. “I believe that there got a point in Anderson’s career where maybe subconsciously he forgot what it was like not to be champ, and I think now he’s kind of looking up at that hill realizing that he’s got some more challenges to conquer.”

Silva and Diaz are set for the UFC 183 main event in January from Las Vegas.

ufc fight night 48

Former Strikeforce champion Cung Le never recovered from a nasty jab that left his right eye swollen shut and bleeding, falling to Michael Bisping Saturday at UFC Fight Night 48.

Le, who has competed just a dozen times in his MMA career due to work in films, the loss was a tough one. He did his best to trade verbal jabs with Bisping in the days leading up to the fight, but he was never able to connect much of his patented striking.

“I feel like I did pretty good for a 42-year-old man,” Le said. “Give it up for Bisping. Asian power. I tried to represent.

“He closed my eye up in the first. He was the better man. There was nothing I could do.”

Le, who turned 42 earlier this year, suffered his second loss inside the Octagon and third career defeat via TKO. He was also finished by Wanderlei Silva in his UFC debut in 2011 and lost to Scott Smith in 2009 in Strikeforce.

Channing Tatum, who has starred in movies alongside Le, was in attendance for the fight from Macau, China.

ufc fight night 49

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos.

Tonight’s card comes us from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with bouts airing on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Now, on to the fights! Remember to keep hitting “refresh” for the latest results.


Wilson Reis vs. Joby Sanchez

We kick things off in the flyweight ranks with Wilson Reis (17-5) welcoming Joby Sanchez (6-0) and his perfect record to the Octagon.

Round 1: Here we go and Reis quickly takes the center of the Octagon and Sanchez is on his bike moving freely. Very little action, as these two are feeling each other out. Reis with a little flurry, and throws up a head-kick that gets blocked. Overhand left lands by Sanchez, but Reis eats it and fires back. Another head kick from Reis is blocked, but he’s setting it up nicely. Right hand out of Sanchez connects and buckles him for a brief moment. Off a left, Reis scores with a power takedown. Sanchez right to his feet, but gets brought back down. Transition to the back by Reis as he secures the body lock. Sanchez stands, but Reis remains on his back and he is searching for the choke with under 40 seconds to go.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Reis

Round 2: Left hook lands for Sanchez and drops Reis, but he recovers and is back up. Seconds later, a head kick connects from Sanchez that floors Reis once again. This time he pounces, but Reis recovers and tries to grapple. After that incredible early onslaught, things have slowed down greatly. Reis with a right and follows up by scoring with a double-leg takedown. Reis transitions to the back, just like the first round, and secures a lock. He’s working for a potential submission, but Sanchez gets free. Another takedown for Reis, who transitions to the back once more with just seconds left.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Sanchez

Round 3: Perfectly-timed takedown to start for Reis, but he’s unable to keep Sanchez on the canvas. He gives up his back and Reis is again elevated while locking up a body triangle. Sanchez avoids the choke and uses underhooks to work Reis off his back. However, he again gets taken down and Reis goes to the back. Nice job by Sanchez to slip out the back and get to his feet. One more takedown for Reis as we head under 90 seconds to go. Reis has a neck crank secured with a minute left, but Sanchez slips free and is now pounding away.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Reis

Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Ben Saunders vs. Chris Heatherly

Ben Saunders (16-6-2) makes his return to the UFC, taking on Chris Heatherly (10-2) in a welterweight bout.

Round 1: Saunders throws off four straight kicks, but the last one results in Heatherly scoring a takedown. Saunders working for a submission, though, and Heatherly is in trouble. Saunders has the left arm locked and is yanking on it hard and there is the tap.

Ben Saunders def. Chris Heatherly via submission (Omoplata) at 2:18 of Round 1

Aaron Phillips vs. Matt Hobar

Bantamweights do battle for our next fight, as Aaron Phillips (8-1) goes up against Matt Hobar (8-2).

Round 1: Hobar in deep on a single-leg and he scores with it less than a minute in. Hobard inside the guard and Phillips tries to throw up a triangle choke. He almost secures it for a second time, but Hobar slips his head out. Phillips again tries for a triangle, but he is very active on his back – almost more so than Hobar. By moving to side control, Hobar is able to get his offense going, landing a handful of elbows. Phillips back to working hard off his back, firing off elbows of his own as Hobar tries to advance. Big upkicks out of Phillips and Hobar is back inside the guard.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hobar

Round 2: Seconds in and Hobar scores with another takedown. He’s on the back and Phillips is trying to break the grip. Great little battle for control on the ground and Hobar starts pounding away and takes the back once again. Solid knees land by Hobar as Phillips stands. Knee from Phillips now, but Hobar catches it. Two huge overhand lefts by Hobar but Phillips just laughs and fires back with a combo of his own as he works to get loose after being held down. Uppercut and a left from Phillips, but he winds up on his back again. He goes for a triangle, but that results in Hobar gaining side control and opening up a good-sized cut by the left eye.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 Hobar

Round 3: Once again, it’s Hobar with a takedown just moments in. He’s in trouble here after these first two rounds, but works to his feet and fires off an elbow. He gets in too close, though, and gets thrown to the canvas once more. Side control and more elbows to the face for Hobar as we head under three minutes. Hobar transitions to the guard now and is continuing to use effective ground-and-pound. Phillips trying his best to get to his feet, attempting a switch.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hobar

Matt Hobar def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Beneil Dariush vs. Tony Martin

Two lightweights enter the Octagon next, as Beneil Dariush (7-1) goes up against Tony Martin (8-1).

Round 1: Fresh off his “MJ” walkout, Dariush is looking to counter. However, he eats a huge uppercut and Martin is being very aggressive. Flying attack by Dariush misses and Martin catches him against hte fence. He’s busted him open from the nose it appears and blood is flowing. Dariush coming back as we go under the two-minute mark, landing with more strikes. Big flurry by Martin is answered at the end by Dariush.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Martin

Round 2: Huge uppercut from Martin right off the bat, following up with a kick to the lead leg. Dariush answers with a kick to the body. Dariush trying to make this an ugly fight, fending off a takedown and really making Martin work hard. Takedown from Dariush and he transitions to a head-and-arm choke. He continues to secure it and forces Martin to tap.

Beneil Dariush def. Tony Martin via submission (head-and-arm choke) at 3:38 of Round 2

Neil Magny vs. Alex Garcia

We’ll conclude the prelims with welterweights Neil Magny (11-3) and Alex Garcia (12-1) doing battle.

Round 1: Magny using his reach to his advantage, keeping Garcia at bay so far. Garcia gets wild and Magny tries for the takedown and gets it. Magny tries for a rear-naked choke but it gets broke up by Garcia. He remains on top and in control, dominating Garcia with punches to the face and body. Good elbows to the body now from Magny. He’s working for an arm submission but is unable to score with it.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Magny

Round 2: Garcia has an injured right leg, but he is still trying to throw it. The knee looks seriously injured, though, and it’s going to be an issue. Takedown from Garcia scores, but he is unable to do any damage. Magny now trying to avoid the strikes, which he is doing.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Garcia

Round 3: The doctor looked at Garcia’s knee before the round and he allowed him to continue. He scores with a takedown and is working for a submission now, but Magny is able to use his wrestling prowess and keep him from working the choke. Garcia now in total control, not able to get his striking off. Garcia again to his back and working for a rear-naked choke, but Magny bucks him right off. Modified powerbomb from Magny to get out of it and he is looking to throw now.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Garcia

Neil Magny def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)


Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly

Let’s open up the main card with featherweight action featuring Finland’s Tom Niinimaki (21-6-1) and Chas Skelly (11-1).

Round 1: Niinimaki tries for a guillotine off being taken down, but is denied and broke. Skelly moves to the back and is working a neck crank and forces the tap. A nearly-perfect night of work for Skelly.

Chas Skelly def. Tom Niinimaki via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:35 of Round 1

James Vick vs. Valmir Lazaro

Lightweights look to light up the Octagon next, as the unbeaten James Vick (5-0) faces off with Valmir Lazaro (12-2).

Round 1: Both are looking to land kicks early. Lazaro connects to the lead leg, and Vick fires back with his own. More leg kicks from both fighters, and it appears as if Lazaro is winning that. He looks to have injured his shin and Lazaro connects with a right. Head kick by Vick a glancing blow and he adds a knee to the body that appears to hurt Lazaro for a brief moment. These two are throwing everything, and wildly, and Vick is running into a lot of big-time strikes. Vick is finding his range and hurting Lazaro, who shoots for a takedown and scores. Lazaro with a second takedown of this round, but he can’t keep Vick down. Another good exchange to end the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lazaro

Round 2: Lazaro backing Vick down to start this round. Both men appear to have slowed it down, and Lazaro counters with a perfectly-executed combo. A lot of strikes are missing, but Lazaro has opened a cut under the left eye. Huge shot from Vick and Lazaro is wobbly, almost out on his feet. He ties up for a takedown, Vick avoids it and Lazaro comes back with a right out of nowhere. He appeared to be out, and Vick connects again. Lazaro misses and eats a head kick.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Vick

Round 3: Lazaro ducks under a kick and connects to the body, but he ate another right hand just before that. Vick again with the right and Lazaro shoots. He’s got him up against the fence, with Vick searching for a guillotine. Nice knees to the body by Vick and he shows his chin is still there, taking shots right to it. They stand and trade in the center of the Octagon. Vick drops him again and pounces, trying to secure a headlock. Somehow, though, Lazaro has recovered and we have a low blow. Lazaro is ready to go and Vick lands a kick to the midsection.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Vick

James Vick def. Valmir Lazaro via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Max Holloway vs. Clay Collard

Back to the featherweight division, as Max Holloway (9-3) welcomes Clay Collard (13-4) to the Octagon.

Round 1: Holloway with a good jab and he eats a second head kick within the first minute of the fight. Collard catches a knee and lands a right of his own, trying for a takedown but is denied. Flying switch-kick from Collard is missed, but he’s throwing some interesting things at Holloway. Collard attempting to bait him in, but so far, Holloway isn’t biting. Holloway catches him with a right that backs Collard up and continues the assault, throwing a flying knee.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Holloway

Round 2: Collard looking to get his boxing going, as the announcers note he has 60 amateur boxing fights. Holloway, though, lands the first good strikes of this round and has him backing up. Holloway hurts him with a jab and attacks, throwing another flying knee. Somehow, Collard takes it and is now coming forward, even shooting for a single-leg takedown. Holloway throws a kick, transitions and takes the back, but is unable to lock up the choke he was looking for. Collard is looking for the one-punch knockout, but Holloway is too quick. Holloway lands with a kick and tries for a takedown, only to wind up with Holloway on his back. Triangle attempt for Holloway with 30 seconds left, but he is unable to get it.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Holloway

Round 3: Collard coming forward, showing he knows he needs a finish. Collard is letting it all hang out, transitioning to a takedown attempt. The takedown is denied and Holloway connects with a knee that drops Collard. He’s working on getting inside the guard and doing damage as we head under three minutes. Holloway looking for a rear-naked choke, flattening him out and firing away with elbows. Collard rolls to his back and is getting hammered with shots. To the back again and the ref is getting close to stopping it and he does.

Max Holloway def. Clay Collard via TKO (strikes) at 3:47 of Round 3

Francis Carmont vs. Thales Leites

We head to the middleweight ranks for our next bout between Francis Carmont (21-9) and former top contender Thales Leites (23-4).

Round 1: Carmont with the first damaging strike, kicking the lead leg out from Leites. Leites, though, comes back with a stiff jab that connects. Carmont shoots for a takedown, but is denied. A lot of clinching and feeling out, not much action from either fighter to start. Carmont flexes his might, though, in denying the takedown attempts of Leites.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Carmont

Round 2: Leites comes right out on the attack, lands and drops Carmont. He follows up, but Carmont might have been out when he hit the canvas. This one is all over for the former contender.

Thales Leites def. Francis Carmont via KO (strike) at :20 of Round 2

Jordan Mein vs. Mike Pyle

Welterweights collide in the co-main event next, as Jordan Mein (28-9) squares off against Mike Pyle (26-9-1).

Round 1: Mein immediately comes out after Pyle, forcing him to retreat. Pyle tries for a takedown, gets an ankle, and is denied. Good left from Pyle lands as he swoops in. Out of nowhere, Mein connects and sends Pyle crashing to the canvas. The ref appears to touch Mein to pull him off, but backs up and gives Pyle a chance. Mein continues the onslaught and this one is all over.

Jordan Mein def. Mike Pyle via TKO (strikes) at 1:12 of Round 1

Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos

It’s time for the main event, as former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (21-3) takes on Rafael dos Anjos (21-7).

Round 1: Loud “Benson” chant right from the start as they square off. Dos Anjos takes early control of the center of the Octagon, but it’s Henderson who lands with a kick to the lead leg. Massive hooks just misses by Henderson, who follows with a right and eats a left. Excellent body shot from Henderson and it gets answered right back. Push-kick by Henderson sends RFA flying to the canvas. Dos Anjos catches him against the fence, lands a combo and follows up with a knee. RDA continues to attack and he stuns Henderson. The ref steps in and this one is all over, as John McCarthy called it. Henderson tries to tell him he is fine and can keep going, but we have a huge upset to conclude the evening.

Rafael dos Anjos def. Benson Henderson via KO (strike) at 2:31 of Round 1

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