Inside MMA TV report: Tito Ortiz, Eddie Alvarez, Dan Henderson and more



***This week, Dan Henderson talks life without TRT and why he didn’t want to fight Cormier.

Tito Ortiz talks his future in fighting, Eddie Alvarez explains why he pulled out of the Chandler fight, and the Lions Fight President explains how his co-promotion with UFC came to be.

And finally we get another bizarre tapout finish, a referee loses it and chokes out a fighter, and a World champion misses show because they couldn’t get off from day job.  All this and much more, this week on Inside MMA!***

Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai

Originally aired LIVE Friday, May 16 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV

With your special guest host Ron Kruck and co-host Bas Rutten

Bellator show still on PPV

They recap how an injury to main eventer Tito Oritz changed the PPV status of Bellator’s first supercard, and in an eerie coincidence, PPV main eventer Eddie Alvarez had to pull out of this show with an injury too, however the PPV status will remain, with Quinton Jackson vs. Mo Lawal being moved up as the new official main event.  Also tournament winner Will Brooks will take Alvarez’ spot to challenge Michael Chandler, and Tito Ortiz faces Alexander Schlemenko.

Eddie Alvarez suffered a concussion during a wrestling session in training and pulled out.  He was diagnosed as having issues with the part of his brain that controls his vision.  He won’t change the intense training methods since that is his recipe for success in beating everyone he ever faced at lightweight.

Alvarez says he will have his rubber match with Chandler on PPV in August or September.

Bjorn Rebney LIVE

The Bellator President joins us live from outside the cage in Memphis, TN.  He talks up the card.  He never questioned changing this from PPV since there was so much depth on this card and puts over Will Brooks for stepping up on such short notice.

He considers incredible fights and fans feeling it was a spectacular show as the measure of success not buys.  However he does realize they have no real competition with no NBA or the NFL and they “own the night”.

He thinks Rampage-King Mo has the best chance to be fight of the night, with a three year build ever since the incident in the van that spawned their feud.  Then he hypes the other fights.

There is a distinct possibility they’ll have another PPV, but he makes it clear that they aren’t the company that will throw PPVs at you every three weeks whether they have crap or a great show.  They’ll do it when they have a lot of meat on the bone and is value-laden.  When they have that they’ll do it, but in the meantime they draw a million–plus every week on Spike.

Bas Rutten’s Keys to Victory

Firstly, they show a clip from the Lawal-Jackson weigh-ins where they yelled at each other and Rampage shoved him.

--Quinton Jackson needs to do what he always do and that’s strike.  He is superior at that, so should keep it on his feet.  But he should be lighter on his feet since Mo is so good at takedowns and needs to strike and move. 

--King Mo needs to set up takedowns with strikes and use hooks, then shoot when Quinton blocks.

Bas loves the Ivanov-Volkov fight with the cool story of how Ivanov was literally stabbed in the heart and was in a coma for three days, then comes back and has been terrorizing the division ever since.

Michael Chandler LIVE

Chandler joins us on the big screen live from Memphis outside the cage.

He says he was immediately frustrated upon news that Eddie was out and Brooks was in.  But after talking to management he decided to focus on Brooks.  His training camp went great and they had a great plan for Eddie, but now it’s on Brooks.

He says Brooks’ biggest strength is his confidence and athleticism.  He does know how to win fights, but he’s never fought someone like him.  So he’s going to go out there and show why he should be considered one of the best lightweights in the world.

It is different to switch to Brooks, but at the end of the day, a fight is basically the same and you just have to execute.  It is encouraging that Brooks’ lone loss was due to knockout so he wants to do it again.

He definitely learned from his Alvarez loss.   He got more cerebral with his training and generally learned more skill-wise.  We will see a very much improved Michael Chandler this weekend, it’s just unfortunate that it won’t be against Eddie Alvarez.

He doesn’t think this will go the distance and expects a submission if they’re on the ground or a knockout on their feet, and is very confident.

Friday Finishes

GE Fights 17: 

--Jonathan Griffen finished Daniel Hudson with RNC

Aggressive Combat 6: 

--Tino Nalpantidis finished Danny Rayside with an armbar

--Danny Rodriguez Issias Guera with a knockout punch

MFC 40:

--Shane Campbell finished Jerrid Burke with a classic liver kick

Talent MMA

-- Rafael Carvalho finished Mauri Roque with punches

--Juliano Santos finished Alexandre Sangue with a KO punch to the head

MFC Highlights

--Tom Gallicchio choked out Kurt Southern (they showed their previous fight ended with Callicchio choking out Southern)

--Sam Alvey w/wife in corner KO’d Wes Swofford w/wife in corner

--Jesse Brock over Kevin Croom (Brock will now face Anthony Birchak for the 135 belt)

Lion Fights President ON SET

Scott Kent joins us on the set to talk LF 23 next Friday night.

People had asked for LF for a show on the East Coast, so friends of their’s at Foxwoods Casino jumped at that chance so this show will be in Connecticut.

He looks forward to seeing Mark Holz fight, whose had some KO wins over some big names.  He also wants to see Cosmo Alexandre who is a phenom.

He explains that he was having coffee with friend, former WEC President and current UFC employee, Reed Harris and he suggested Lion Fights being part of the UFC International Fight Week in July, and this turned into lunch with Dana and he brought in Lorenzo and chatted.  Felt LF was a Vegas-based organization that wasn’t competition to MMA and since all fighters train Muay-Thai anyway, what better way to tie it all together than International Fight Week.

The conqueror of Cyborg, Jorina Barrs, couldn’t get off of work (Bas reveals she’s a bouncer in Holland) on this 4th of July week, so they’d like to get her for the Fall.

 Cyborg should be back at some point for Lion Fights.  He calls her a pure fighter who loves the competition and the challenge and went in there with a world champion she’s so competitive.

Dan Henderson with Ron Kruck

Kruck spoke with Hendo at his gym in Temecula, CA.  They talk about the idea of coming up with a gameplan against someone who is so similar to him in style.  Cormier can wrestle well, defend takedowns, and knock you out at the same time.  He’s been doing a lot of training looking in the mirror.  He is a fan of Cormier’s so he’s looking forward to testing himself against him.

He says Dana told him that winner gets a title shot, and is probably the main reason he took this fight, since he likes Cormier otherwise.  This is a real important fight to get that shot again which will likely be his last chance at the title.  He sees his advantage over Cormier as experience and “grit” since he has no quit in him.

He’s not thinking about if he’d retire if he won the belt.  He’d see what happens after he gets to that point.  He still feels healthy and is fairly quick and can compete with these guys so.

He felt the NSAC wasn’t as educated as they could’ve been on the TRT issues, and didn’t tackle the real problems of people abusing drugs.  They dropped the hammer on those tested a lot, instead of implementing random and no-advance drug testing across the board, which is the way to clean up the sport.  Either they weren’t educated on it, or just didn’t care.

He feels pretty good, and maybe lays around on the couch a little more than he used to, but it’s about training hard and smart.  He did that before TRT, during, and after, and has won and lost fights with it and without.  He doesn’t notice a different competition-wise, but hopefully he can make a statement that it doesn’t matter.

They also show pictures from Dan Henderson’s house where his giant trampoline somehow blew up onto his roof, and he had to climb up to take it down.  (Why does he have a trampoline anyway?  There was no mention of kids, he’s a grown man…)

MMA in New York

For the 5th consecutive year a bill to end the MMA ban passed the State Senate by a healthy margin, but it always gets stopped by the State Assembly, and some feel it might make it through since it is an election year.

UFC Signing-Marcin Bandel

He signed a 4-fight deal and will drop to lightweight.  IMMA brags how they picked him for UFC in the past month or so.  He speaks with IMMA on the phone and says while in the UFC he noticed how big guys cut so much weight.  He also liked how training was full MMA in the US which was very good for him.

UFC fighter Johnny Eduardo was suspended for 30-days in Ohio for chucking his mouth guard into the crowd after his win, as a sanitary issue.  (Yeah that’s pretty gross, not sure a suspension was in order though.)

Bas Rutten vs. Jon Jones

A lot of people reacted to Bas’ remarks last week when he described how Jones is technically a “dirty fighter”.  He backed that up again despite upsetting “everyone in the internet world” …

Friday Finishes 2

Ascend Combat

--Dan Street finished Josh Thompson with punches

EFC Africa

--Henry Fadipe finished Dino Bagattin with a big punch to the head

Superior Challenge:

--Efrain Escudero finished Juha Pekka Vainikainen with a triangle/bionic elbows

Bellator

--Liam McGeary finished Mike Mucitelli with a walkoff KO punch

--Andrey Koreshkov finished Justin Baesman with a flying knee inot the cage

EFC International

--Will Galvao finished Cairo Rocha with a flying head kick and punches on the ground

Prison City Fight League

--Jeremy Rasner defeated Mike Pantangco via verbal tapout in an unusual finish.  Pantangco was actually dominating Rasner striking him at will, and then out of nowhere he steps back and taps the mat to end the fight.  He explained on the phone after that this was an amateur fight so the result didn’t matter so much, but it was obvious that Rasner didn’t train to fight him, so there was no victory in beating him, and the only way he saw this fight end was with his opponent in the hospital so he felt terrible and ended the fight on the own and gave Rasner the win.

Bas loved that move, and Kruck praises it too for that sort of sportsmanship.

Viewer Submissions

--Prison City Fight League:  Nate Caves over Justin Lancaster

--Warrior Nations: Nate Russell Jesse Gutierrez

--Gladiator Challenge:  James Barnes beat Josh Mason when Barnes took him for a simple body slam, and instead of taking the flat bump, Mason tried to brace the fall by putting his stupid arm down, which immediately snapped behind his back like a pretzel and the fight was over.  More reason why MMA fighters and NFL QBs should take at least one day of pro-wrestling training since so many are convinced if they land flat on their backs they will die so they always stick their arms out and they are always broken.

--Ultimate Challenge MMA:  Ben Schneider over Marian Rusu

--Blackout FC:  David Hammons over Derk Bohi

Tito Ortiz LIVE

A new slim and trim healthy looking Tito Ortiz joins us from Memphis, TN.

He wasn’t concerned with proving people wrong who said he couldn’t fight again, it was more about proving people right like himself and his doctors. 

Tito talks about Shlemenko who called him out.  He has a strong record, but those are only numbers.  He’s healthy and has always fought the top contenders and that’s what he’s doing now.

At fight time, he’ll be about 220-221 which has been his camp weight.  Shlemenko is 201 soaking wet and has been eating chocolate cake all week to make weight, and he’s really quick, so they’re going to find out if he can handle a true light heavyweight on top of him and delivering true heavy strikes.

He has 5 fights on his contract and would like to win the title in that span.  He’s healthy, his mind is straight, and everything is lined up well at home with his kids and he’s about entertaining his fans.

He was with UFC from the start.  He feels Bellator knows what they’re doing and if they work as a team Bellator will continue to grow.

WTF?! Ref

At Fight UK MMA, amatuers Natias Frederick KO’d Ahmad Oswalk with abig punch and followed up with too many punches and when the ref, Leon Roberts, tried to pull him off he kept on punching, so the ref went all out and put the fighter in a RNC and spun him around with his legs wrapped around his waist and everything and successfully peeled the fighter off until another official could get in there.  (This guy needs to referee Rousimar Palhares’ fights!)

Upcoming Fight shows on AXS.TV

--May 23.  Lion Fight 15 (Tiffany Van Soest vs. Lucy Payne)

--June 6.  RFA 15

--June 13.  Legacy 31

So like Bas always says, Godspeed and party on!

I am now on Twitter.  So go ahead and follow me at https://twitter.com/SteveTeTai Here you can see archived links to past Inside MMA reports along with other articles I wrote for the Observer site and some old pictures of Batista before WWE when he was about 330 pounds of solid muscle.


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Which of these main events would draw the best?

 

What are you planning on watching on Friday?