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bellator 155

Bellator MMA recently held a conference call featuring the main and co-main event for Friday night’s Bellator 155 event.

Check out highlights below from the call, with comments by Bellator president Scott Coker, middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho, challenger Melvin Manhoef, Pat Curran and Georgi Karakhanyan.

Scott Coker

“We’re excited to be in Boise, fighting at the Century Link Arena. I think this is a fight town that has been hungry for a big MMA promotion and we’re proud to be the first to do it. We’ve got a great middleweight world title fight between Carvalho and Manhoef… Carvalho is coming off of a big win with a KO over Brandon Halsey and undoubtedly this fight is going to have a bunch of fireworks between both of these guys.”

On the fight between Curran and Karakhanyan…

“I definitely think that this fight has some title implications but we always like to see how the fight pans out…honestly if this is something that’s exciting and a barn burner and if this fight can stand on its own feet, it very well could be.”

On if a Bellator bonus structure is going to come to fruition in the future…

“It is something we’re working on but we’re just a little bit different, because we’re a premium TV model so it’s something that has been considered, but right now it’s something that is still just in dialogue.”

Rafael Carvalho

“I am excited and really think this could be historical. It’s going to be a lot of strikes and it’s going to be a kickboxing fight with MMA gloves.”

“Every fight you’ve got to show what you got. In this fight, it’s going to be no different [now that I’m a champ]. I’m going to show everything I’ve got and I am always looking forward to the next fight.

“People recognize me more now and I have gained more respect now as the champion…Winning the belt for the first time is one thing, but the real deal is when you defend the belt and keep the belt. That’s when you become the real champion.

On overcoming challenges of living in Rio…

“There are good people as well as bad but the only thing that is going to dictate your future is you and how hard you work for it. It doesn’t matter where you live or what kind of clothing you wear, if you put your mind into it and are willing to work hard for it.

Melvin Manhoef

“I look forward to making a kickboxing with small gloves. I am prepared for anything so it doesn’t matter what’s going to happen. I am looking forward to being there and doing what I do best, which is the striking, so for me it’s very nice that he wants to do the kickboxing in the cage with me.

Do you feel like people are counting you out heading into this fight?

“I don’t know what people are thinking but it all depends on what me and my team think and the fans who are supporting me think. I feel like the fight is still in me and I showed it at my last fight. I trained real hard for this fight and my goal is to show it again that you cannot count me out… You know my fight style; I do everything to knock people out so I am glad if [Carvalho] wants to make a kick boxing fight out of it.”

What would winning the Bellator title mean to you?

“It means a lot, with all of the hard work and a lot of people writing me off, but I think this is like a new era or new beginning for me and I could become a world champion. I think that being a fighter that’s been in the business so long, it has been an achievement already.”

Pat Curran

“I am really excited to step in there on Friday and put on a dominant performance. I have made a lot of changes in my life, in my camp and everything is falling into place right now and I’m excited to showcase that on Friday.”

Do the stakes of this fight change for you as they would for a title?

“I feel like every fight at this point in your career, especially in this division is do-or-die and if you win you’re going to get that much pull-through coming or having the chance to fight for the title again and I feel like over and over George and I have been that much closer to another title shot.”

Georgi Karakhanyan

“I can’t wait for Friday night. I am going out there with nothing to lose, just going 100 percent and fighting my fight and come out with a victory.”

On this being a potential title eliminator and going up against two-time champ Curran…

“I know everybody is talking about the title but to me I don’t think about that, right now I have a good opponent in front of me with Pat Curran, a former champion and I can’t ask for a better opponent than him. I am very excited, I cannot wait and I am ready to put on a great show and I’m for sure coming out with my hands right.”

On coming back from surgery and making adjustments…

“I treat everything the same, I got about five surgeries last year and the last surgery was just a meniscus tear but after that, Bellator took good care of me. They put me in a very good rehab place and I’ve started my training and feel 100 percent.”

Dana White

Check out the fifth episode in the reality series “Lookin’ for a Fight” with Dana White, Matt Serra and Nick the Tooth.

The guys attempt to cowboy up on horseback and then upgrade to bull riding. They also meet up with former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, make a batch of guacamole and check out a flyweight prospect at some local fights.

vitor belfort

Over 45,000 rapid MMA fans turned out for UFC 198 Saturday night.

All it took to silence 45,000 screaming Brazilians was one punch, as Stipe Miocic knocked Fabricio Werdum out cold in the main event.

Miocic caught Werdum charging in wildly, connecting with a right. Werdum dropped face-first to the canvas and Miocic jumped over the cage to celebrate with his team.

As Werdum was going after Miocic, the pride of Cleveland landed backing up. He hit Werdum with a few more shots on the ground, but the damage was already done.

It was all Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the co-main event, as the former Strikeforce champion got back on track with a dominating first round finish of Vitor Belfort.

Souza landed a takedown, busted Belfort open with elbows and finished him shortly there after. He now has 17 first round finishes and is 6-1 overall in his UFC career.

Different promotion, same result for Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The Invicta FC featherweight champion delighted the Brazilian crowd, storming right through Leslie Smith in earning another quick finish. The contest landed just 81 seconds before the ref stepped in.

Smith protested the stoppage, but her face was already badly swollen and bruised from the 21 strikes that Cyborg landed in a minute-plus.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua made a triumphant return to Curitiba, earning a win over Corey Anderson. This marked the first time Rua has fought in his hometown since 2003.

American Bryan Barberena ruined the Brazilian run, handing Warlley Alves his first pro loss with a decision victory. Barberena was a 5-to-1 underdog, but improved to 9-1 over his last 10 fights with the win.

Former title contender Demian Maia capped the prelims in strong fashion for the Brazilians, earning a third round submission. Maia and his countrymen went a perfect 4-0 on the early portion of the card. The finish was the 11th submission victory in his career.

Thiago Santos scored his seventh first round finish, taking out former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt. After rocking Marquardt once, he followed up with another shot that floored him. The win was his fourth straight in the UFC middleweight division, behind only Yoel Romero and champion Luke Rockhold.

Nothing could stop Yancy Medeiros or Francisco Trinaldo, as the two lightweights stood and went toe-to-toe for 15 minutes. Trinaldo dropped Medeiros several times, only to see the Hawaiian storm back. In the end the judges ruled in favor of the Brazilian, giving Trinaldo his sixth consecutive victory.

John Lineker might have had troubles cutting to flyweight, but he showed no signs of issue bumping up to bantamweight. The Brazilian scored a dominating win over the red-hot Rob Font, likely positioning himself for a top contender next in the division.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira got the fans going early, scoring a first round TKO over Patrick Cummins. The win was the first for Nogueira since a 2013 finish of Rashad Evans. After stunning the former wrestler, “Lil’ Nog” followed up with several shots until the ref stepped in.

One of two all-Brazilian fights ended in a split draw between Sergio Moraes and Luis Chagas. It was a strong performance for Chagas, who accepted the fight on short notice after stepping in for an injured Kamaru Usman.

In the opening bout, Renato Carneiro got the night going strong for Brazil with a split decision victory over Zubaira Tukhugov. Carneiro remained unbeaten in his career, improving to 10-0-1 with the win.

Souza and Miocic each earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses, while Trinaldo and Medeiros were “Fight of the Night.” The attendance checked in at 45,207 for the night.

Complete play-by-play of the card can be found on FightLine, with quick results below:

Stipe Miocic def. Fabricio Werdum via KO (right-hand) 2:47 of Round 1 to become new UFC heavyweight champion

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Vitor Belfort via TKO (strikes) at 4:38 of Round 1

Cris “Cyborg” Justino def. Leslie Smith via TKO (strikes) at 1:21 of Round 1

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Corey Anderson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Bryan Barberena def. Warlley Alves via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Demian Maia def. Matt Brown via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:31 of Round 3

Thiago Santos def. Nate Marquardt via KO (strike) at 3:39 of Round 1

Francisco Trinaldo def. Yancy Medeiros via unanimous decision (29-26, 30-27, 30-26)

John Lineker def. Rob Font via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Patrick Cummins via TKO (strikes) at 4:52 of Round 1

Sergio Moraes vs. Luis Chagas declared a split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)

Renato Carneiro def. Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

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Bellator 154 will go head-to-head with UFC 198 Saturday night, featuring a No. 1 contender match in the main event.

Phil Davis and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal anchor the Spike TV program from the SAP Center in San Jose.

The two were scheduled to meet in a tournament finale before Lawal was removed. Davis went on to win it all that evening, but will put his title shot on the line in this battle of former college wrestlers.

A planned co-main event between Sergei Kharitonov and Josh Appelt was scrapped earlier in the week after Kharitonov fell ill. He was set to make his Bellator debut.

Check out the following slideshow for fight predictions:

UFC 198 Fight Card Set, Start Times Announced For May 14

The Brazilian fans are an interesting – and passionate – bunch.

UFC 198 will feature several fights with Brazil vs. the world, including a main event for the UFC heavyweight title between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic.

Also planned for the night are bouts between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Vitor Belfort, Anderson Silva and Uriah Hall, Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Leslie Smith, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Corey Anderson.

Check out the following slideshow for fight-by-fight predictions, and remember to come back for live coverage of the entire card:

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