Bellator Fighting Championships secures 12-0 Brazilian featherweight phenom Patricio Pitbull

Photo by Sherdog.com - Patricio "Pitbull" Freire

CHICAGO, Ill. (January 13, 2010) Bellator Fighting Championships’ search for its next great featherweight has moved south to Brazil, where it was announced today that undefeated MMA phenom Patricio Pitbull has signed a long-term promotional agreement and will compete in Bellator’s Season 2 tournament.

The 23-year-old Pitbull is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is known throughout his home country for his devastating striking ability. He boasts a perfect 12-0 record with all but two of his fights finishing via KO, TKO or submission. Six of these 10 early finishes occurred in Round 1.

“In Bellator Season 1, Joe Soto came from nowhere to win our featherweight tournament and a six-figure check in just 90 days” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “I believe Patricio Pitbull has the chance to do the same thing in Season 2. While he may be undiscovered by most U.S. fans, I can tell you that he is the real deal.  I encourage you to go to YouTube and check him out for yourself.”

Read moreBellator Fighting Championships secures 12-0 Brazilian featherweight phenom Patricio Pitbull

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Undefeated Canadian Featherweight William Romero signs exclusive agreement with Bellator Fighting Championships

CHICAGO, Ill. (January 7, 2010) – Bellator Fighting Championships announced yet another major offseason addition on Thursday with the signing of undefeated featherweight William Romero.

Romero, 27, one of Canada’s most talked-about young mixed martial artists, boasts an unblemished pro MMA record of 5-0. He was recently touted by MMAcanada.net – one of that country’s top MMA news sources – as “the real deal.” His most recent fight ended by KO after just 17 seconds.

“MMA fans north of the border know the name William Romero and now fans in the U.S. are going to have the chance to know it too,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “We are excited to welcome him to our organization.”

Read moreUndefeated Canadian Featherweight William Romero signs exclusive agreement with Bellator Fighting Championships

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Bellator Fighting Championships signs featherweight Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan to exclusive agreement

CHICAGO (January 5, 2010) – Bellator Fighting Championships announced today the exclusive signing of top mixed martial artist Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan, a former professional soccer player and emerging MMA star, to compete in the featherweight (145 lb.) division during Bellator Season 2.

Karakhanyan, 24, has compiled a record of 12-1-1 since making his professional MMA debut in 2006, and was rated by multiple websites as the top unsigned featherweight in the world prior to his signing with Bellator. His only loss came via a 2008 split decision.

“With 12 wins and just one loss under his belt, Georgi is a proven winner” said Bjorn Rebney, founder and CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships. “He brings an explosive style to the cage that makes for great fights. We are excited to welcome Georgi to Bellator.”

Read moreBellator Fighting Championships signs featherweight Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan to exclusive agreement

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ProMMA.info Submission of 2009: Toby Imada’s Inverted Triangle Choke

When Bellator Fighting Championships released the brackets for their first lightweight tournament almost everyone looked forward to an eventual final between Eddie Alvarez and Jorge Masvidal.

One of the few people not interested in the match up was Toby Imada. In the end he actually inserted himself into that final with a brilliant submission hold also known as the ProMMA.info Submission of 2009.

On May 1, 2009, Toby Imada faced off with Jorge Masvidal for a chance to fight for the Bellator lightweight championship. Throughout the first two rounds, and most of the third, Masvidal basically landed at will. He seemingly had the answer for all of Imada’s offense.

Read moreProMMA.info Submission of 2009: Toby Imada’s Inverted Triangle Choke

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ProMMA.info exclusive interview: Jacob “Tick-Tock” McClintock- It’s just a matter of time

Original Photo by Tracy Lee, modified by "The Mad One"

April 8, 2010, will be a huge day for welterweight Jacob “Tick-Tock” McClintock. That is the day that Bellator Fighting Championships will kickoff season two of their highly anticipated MMA tournament format which will run for 12 weeks, culminating in the crowning of their latest champions.

Bellator has signed some big names for the 2010 welterweight tournament in addition to McClintock, including Dan Hornbuckle, Ben Askren and Jim Wallhead, along with returning Bellator Season 1 champion Lyman Good.

With Bellator’s shows for season 2 being shown live and in prime time on Fox Sports Net on Thursday nights, the fights will be available to a much larger audience, giving maximum exposure to the organization and fighters, not to mention a HUGE paycheck for the eventual champion.

Read moreProMMA.info exclusive interview: Jacob “Tick-Tock” McClintock- It’s just a matter of time

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Bellator’s Toby Imada receives 2009 World MMA Award: Submission of the Year

Imada’s Inverted Triangle Choke of Jorge Masvidal at Bellator V Takes Top Honors

Las Vegas, NV – Dec. 30, 2009 –Tonight, at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Bellator Fighting Championships’ Toby Imada won a 2009 World Mixed Martial Arts Award for “Submission of the Year” for his astonishing inverted triangle choke submission of Jorge Masvidal at Bellator V.

Coined as the “backpack of doom” by Sherdog’s and ESPN.com’s Jake Rossen, Imada submitted striking artist Masvidal in the third round of Bellator’s season 1 lightweight tournament semi-final in Dayton, Ohio on May 1, 2009.

Read moreBellator’s Toby Imada receives 2009 World MMA Award: Submission of the Year

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Iraq War veteran and welterweight standout Steve Carl signs with Bellator Fighting Championships

Steve Carl is Bellator's newest addition.

CHICAGO, Ill. (Dec. 28, 2009) – In the latest addition to its much-heralded Season 2 roster, Bellator Fighting Championships announced Monday the acquisition of emerging MMA star Steve Carl, who will compete in the promotion’s upcoming eight-man welterweight tournament beginning in April.

Carl, 25, a U.S. Army sergeant who served in the Iraq War, took up MMA about five years ago while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and has since compiled a professional record of 10-1. His rear naked choke submission of the previously undefeated Ivan Ivanoff at the M-1 Challenge in Bulgaria earlier this year won him international acclaim and drew the attention of matchmakers from all of the top MMA promotions.

“I was getting offers from the UFC and others, but Bellator was just a better opportunity for me,” Carl said. “I’m really excited about the exposure that Bellator’s TV deal will bring me and the chance to fight against some awesome competition.”

Read moreIraq War veteran and welterweight standout Steve Carl signs with Bellator Fighting Championships

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British welterweight star Jim Wallhead inks multi-fight deal with Bellator Fighting Championships

"Judo Jim" is on a six-fight win streak.

CHICAGO, Ill. (December 21, 2009) – In yet another off-season coup, Bellator Fighting Championships announced Monday the acquisition of one of the top free-agent mixed martial artists in all of Europe, 18-5 British welterweight Jim Wallhead.

Wallhead-also known as “Judo Jim”-has won each of his last six fights and nine out of his last 11. He was recently lauded by Sherdog.com as “the top 170-pound fighter in Europe yet to be signed by a major promotion.”

With his signing, Wallhead has been invited to compete in Bellator’s upcoming eight-man welterweight tournament, which commences during Bellator’s Season 2 kickoff on April 8, 2010. Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 145, 155, and 185 lbs. with the winners of this year’s tournaments being declared No. 1 contenders to Bellator’s current roster of champions.

Read moreBritish welterweight star Jim Wallhead inks multi-fight deal with Bellator Fighting Championships

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Dan Hornbuckle signs multi-fight contract with Bellator Fighting Championships

Photo: Sherdog

Chicago, Ill. (December 17, 2009) Bellator Fighting Championships continued its active offseason on Thursday when it announced the acquisition of one of MMA’s most heralded free agents, 19-2 welterweight standout Dan Hornbuckle.

“When we began the recruiting process for Season 2 and beyond, Dan Hornbuckle was one of our top targets,” said Bjorn Rebney, founder and CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships. “To be able to land a fighter like Dan is another sign of our commitment to bring world class fights to MMA fans on a weekly basis.”

Rebney has confirmed that, with Hornbuckle’s signing, he has also received an invitation to compete in Bellator’s upcoming eight-man welterweight tournament, which commences during Bellator’s Season 2 kickoff on April 8, 2010. Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 145, 155, and 185 lbs. with the winners of this year’s tournaments being declared number one contenders to Bellator’s current cache of champions.

Read moreDan Hornbuckle signs multi-fight contract with Bellator Fighting Championships

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Mann Talk – Ben Askren’s 2009

With MMA, Askren won't be selling shirts anymore
With MMA, Askren won't be selling shirts anymore

Last week Bellator FC announced the signing of welterweight prospect Ben Askren. The 2008 Olympian is seen as a quality signing for the budding promotion. A lot has been made about American wrestlers moving into MMA since there is very little money in pure wrestling. However, Askren intends to continue to compete in both sports. The dual desire left him with one of busiest schedules of 2009. 2010 should be just as busy. In addition to the BFC tournament, “Funky” also recently announced that he intends to compete for the U.S. in the freestyle world championships. Let’s take a look back at Ben Askren’s 2009.

2/7/2009 MMA Debut against Josh Flowers
Six months after competing in the 2008 Olympic Games, Askren made his MMA debut on a card he also promoted. He quickly dispatched Josh Flowers in the first round. After an early takedown, he moved the mount and then the back. Heavy strikes forced the referee to stop the fight after 1:25. (video)

Read moreMann Talk – Ben Askren’s 2009

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