Bellator MMA announce new broadcast deal ahead of Bellator Paris on Saturday, October 10th, 2020.
LONDON – Bellator MMA have today announced a new broadcast deal that will see live MMA broadcast on the BBC for the very first time.
Eleven fights from Bellator’s upcoming Paris show, which takes place on Saturday 10th October at the Accor Arena, will be available live on BBC iPlayer to viewers across the UK. In another first for Bellator, the Paris event will also make history by being the first major MMA event ever hosted in France.
Fights featuring on the BBC will include the highly anticipated welterweight bout between England’s Michael “Venom” Page (17-1), better known to fans as “MVP,” and the undefeated Scotsman Ross Houston (8-0,1 NC). MVP is one of the biggest names in MMA, known for his exciting fighting style and highlights reel of knockouts. Houston, a former MMA world champion, will be looking to make his mark on his Bellator debut.
David Green, Head of Bellator Europe, said; “We are thrilled that we will be bringing live action from our first ever show in France to fans across the UK on BBC iPlayer. The BBC is unparalleled in its reach with millions of people tuning in to its sports content every week. We therefore look forward to servicing our existing fans better than ever before as well as hoping to attracting new fans who will be able to tune in to this historic event. The card is stacked from top to bottom so those watching are in for a real treat come Saturday night.”
Scott Coker, President of Bellator MMA, said; “This is a really exciting broadcast deal for Bellator MMA as our presence in the European market goes from strength to strength. Having just put on three events in Milan and now heading to Paris to make history there, we are committed to providing fight fans across Europe with regular events, featuring the world’s best fighters, which are easily accessible to them via our first-class broadcast partners. We have signed more big names to our roster this week and are looking forward to an action packed 2021.”
The live broadcast starts on BBC iPlayer at 4.30pm BST on Saturday and will run through until 10pm BST.
A limited number of fans will be allowed in attendance at this history-making show. The event got the go ahead after the government granted permission for it to take place under the supervision of the French Boxing Federation. Bellator Paris will be the fourth event hosted by the promotion in Europe in the space of two weeks, following three shows held behind closed doors at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy.
On Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, Bellator MMA will be making their return to the SSE Arena in London.
Making her debut for the promotion will be U.K’s Bryony Tyrell, and if you had told her six years ago that she would be on one of the world’s largest MMA promotions and competing in front of her home crowd, I’m pretty sure she’d be laughing at just the thought.
Born and raised in Sevenoaks, Kent, Bryony has always enjoyed the thrill and excitement of extreme sports; from BASE jumping, Bungee jumping, and sky diving, to testing herself in mixed martial arts.
Holding a Masters Degree in nursing and a Degree in Molecular Cell Biology, the critical care nurse now based in Southampton has always had a passion for martial arts.
Starting in Kickboxing and Kung Fu 19 years ago, Bryony quickly fell in love with all aspects of martial arts so much, that, she added in Krav Maga, Japanese jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai before finally concentrating on Wrestling and Brazilian Jiujitsu, forming the mixed martial arts career she has today. “Martial arts are my passion in life. I love the contrast that they can be beautiful and deadly at the same time” Bryony said. “Anyone that practices a martial art to a high level knows that it involves incredible dedication and discipline, and also pushes your body and mind to the limits of endurance.”
Originally part of U.K MMA pioneer (and ex UFC athlete) Rosi Sexton’s mentoring scheme, Bryony went about taking Rosi’s advice on training, nutrition, competing and training with Rosi. “I was very privileged to be on a mentorship scheme with Rosi. I gained invaluable advice at the beginning of my amateur career” said Bryony.
The 18th of May 2013 is a day that Bryony will forever have as a fond memory. It was when she made her amateur debut and found out exactly what she is capable of in the cage. “I think the only way to truly know how good you are at fighting is to compete. Being locked in a cage with another trained fighter who can use pretty much any style or technique against you is the ultimate test”, Bryony said when recalling the first time she stepped into the cage.
Not only content with competing in amateur MMA bouts, but Bryony also tested her skills by competing in white-collar boxing bouts, Muay Thai bouts, and grappling matches to gain invaluable experience before turning pro in November 2015.
Holding a current professional record of 4 wins 3 losses and 1 draw, with all 3 of those losses coming from title fights with two of those athletes currently competing in the UFC and Bellator, Bryony is no stranger to adversity in the MMA industry.
Having started in her MMA career aged 33, Bryony was considered by some promotions and coaches to be ‘too old’ to be competing in the sport. Once Bryony turned pro at the age of 35 and started to win, it was only then that she began to believe in herself more and knew that ‘age was just a number’. At least, to her anyway, and she set about proving just that.
Having gone 4-3-1 in her pro career, taking short notice fights and a title fight in a weight class above her usual weight division, Bryony felt that her current gym, Exile, had let her down. “I felt like the industry had written me off for being too old, and some of the coaches at my gym had said I was too old and slow after I lost the Cage Warriors title fight against Molly McCann. When they wrote me off because of that loss, I didn’t think that was fair. It was quite demoralizing for me. The whole experience was quite demoralizing, and I just stopped the enjoyment of the sport.
On top of that, Cage Warriors wouldn’t give me a fight at strawweight, and I felt I was not valued as a fighter, and not being given significant opportunities. It just wasn’t worth the sacrifice anymore. So, I decided to retire in July 2018.”
Since retiring from competitive MMA, Bryony thought that she’d feel better because of the less stress involved and would have more time to spend with her husband and two children. However, she felt like there was a massive hole in her life and felt very down, having nothing to work towards with the Adrenalin rush that she always knew she had. “Having just a normal life is not good enough for me. I know it is quite a selfish attitude to have especially the fact that I have got young children and an amazing husband and a stressful job. I need that buzz to make me happy.”
Looking to replace that ‘buzz’ Bryony decided she would concentrate on achieving the top levels in grappling. After taking home silver at the IBJFF and silver at the UK ADCC, she didn’t have the same drive for grappling as she did in MMA, stating that “I didn’t put 100% in because I just didn’t have that kind of fear factor that someone is going to smash your face in if you don’t train properly, and it wasn’t dangerous for me.”
On May 30th, 2019 it was officially announced that Bryony had come out of retirement and will be competing on the Bellator London card on June 22nd at the SSE Arena, where she will face the current kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz in a flyweight MMA bout. A fight that has been over a year in the making, as Bryony initially accepted a short notice (1 week) fight against Denise back in February 2018 but had to withdraw due to being medically suspended after her fight with Molly McCann. It was suggested to Bryony that Denise wasn’t matched up for the London card and did she fancy another fight. It was at that point that Bryony messaged her managers, who then contacted Bellator, and they came back with a yes straight away.
With ten weeks to prepare for the bout, Bryony went to Cross Face gym in Watford, training with head coach Dave Lee and Charlie Leary who is also on the London card. For the final two weeks of her training camp, Bryony flew out to Thailand to train at UFC athlete Johnny Walker and Leo Gosling’s new gym Chokchai Muay Thai. “While Johnny and Leo were here in Southampton, I trained with them, so it made sense for me to go out and spend two weeks over at there new gym in Thailand. They have a few UFC athletes training there, and Jorge Kanella who is also on the London card. Being surrounded by world-class coaches and fighters, this fight camp has been on a different level to any other I’ve had. They treat me as an equal, and I’m keeping up with these guys who are top-level pro fighters, so it’s been a massive confidence boost to come back to fighting after people had written you off. I’ve got some amazing people around me that believe in me, and I know I can win this fight.”
With the advantage of having 16 MMA fights compared to Denise’s 4 MMA fights, and factoring in that Denise is Bellator’s kickboxing champion and has had numerous kickboxing bouts, Bryony realises that Denise is a superb striker, having watched a lot of her fights just purely to learn from her and improve her own striking. She is also a classy athlete and represents the sport incredibly well.
Feeling that this is a good match-up and an opportunity Bryony had been asking for throughout her MMA career, she now thinks that having dedicated her life to MMA and competing for the last five years, come June 22nd it will have paid off.
With the fact that Denise is a world champion kick-boxer, Bryony knows that it is unrealistic to think she could beat a multiple world champion striker on her feet, and therefore feels Denise will probably think that Bryony will want to get her to the ground as that is where she tends to do best. “She will be physically stronger than me and be powerful so it will be down to see who can implement their fight game, as always in MMA.
“It’s going to be a fair fight as we both have had a good preparation for this bout. I think I am probably going in there as the underdog and that’s fine with me as that’s normal, but the nice thing for me is she may well be a top striker in Bellator and the promotion, but we are fighting in London in front of my home crowd, which is nice for me because it’s rare that I get to fight in front of a home crowd. It is going to be amazing to have support there, and I’m also fighting on the same card as good friends of mine, Kate Jackson, Charlie Leary and Jorge Kanella, and Johnny and Leo are also going to be there. It is going to be amazing.”
Aiming for a submission win, Bryony has one last thing to say. “Last year my fire went out, this year it’s back with a vengeance! I am incredibly honoured and grateful for this opportunity on the world stage against such an impressive opponent. I got written off as a fighter. This year, I’m training alongside Bellator and UFC athletes treated as equal. Don’t let anyone crush your dreams if you surround yourself with the right people you will succeed!”
The sport of legalised Bare-Knuckle Boxing – British fighter Mark Godbeer is taking part Saturday, 21st, September 2019 live on FITE TV in the UK and PPV in North America.
Born and raised in Bridgwater, Somerset in England, 35-year-old Mark Godbeer had always felt that his ‘hands’ could do the talking – not in the way you’re thinking, but as in a career in combat sports.
Back in 2009, Mark embarked on that career in mixed martial arts.
His first competitive mixed martial arts fight was on a local show in Bath where not only was he the headlined event he won the contest in 2 minutes via TKO.
A year after that fight, Mark got the buzz and had a second fight in which he won again via TKO.
With another four fights that year, Mark won two contests via TKO and two via submission. The two fights Mark had in 2011 were a mixture where he won one via TKO and lost to a TKO himself, his first loss as a pro.
Having had been signed to now-defunct promotion BAMMA, Mark had more than his fair share of success winning all four of those contests and even winning the prestigious BAMMA World Title Belt.
After his success with BAMMA, Mark got called up to the UFC in 2016, which was an achievement and all hard work had paid off.
It was in the UFC (2017) that Mark had never gone the full three rounds and it was left in the judge’s hand to score the fight – they scored it in favour of Mark winning via unanimous decision.
After amassing a record of 13 wins (9 of those coming by way of TKO) and four losses, Mark decided to hang up his 4oz gloves. However, that retirement was short-lived as Mark signed to ACA – Absolute Championship Akhat (formerly known as ACB – Absolute Championship Berkut), which has also given himself another new goal to reach.
“My MMA contract with ACA is still active, and I can talk to my management (Duello Sports Management) they respect what I have to say “ stated Mark “They’ve been really good to me as they knew at that in my point in my career that I wanted to get as many fights in as possible and explore different adventures”
March 20th, 2019 will always be a date that Mark fondly recalls, as he was asked by the British Bare Knuckle Company who had been trying to contact him to fight one of their best guys at BKB16 at The O2 in London, which was also his BKB official debut event.
Mark won that contest against Mickey Parker who was 4-1 in BKB at the time and won the British Title, after that the offers came flooded in.
BKFC David Feldman who held the first legal promotion with it being sanctioned and commissioned since 1889 in June 2018 in Cheyenne, Wyoming had so many offers from people that he was inundated with prospects “someone reached out to me to fight in the heavyweight tournament that Valor was running” said Mark “They told me who was competing, and I was like they are all veterans of the sport, and I’m at the point of my career that I’m also a veteran, so yeah I said f**k let’s do this”.
“It has given me back the fire in my belly. I love to box, and I love the rawness of BKB and the bare-knuckle.”
There is a total miss conception of Bare Knuckle Boxing, and that is where the hands of the fighters get wrapped all around the knuckles, which defeats the object of ‘Bare Knuckle Boxing’, some promotions still use this route; however Mark is keen to put us straight “They are completely bare, the only thing we have wrapped is our wrists so we can punch harder and then say an inch to two inches to your knuckles so that they are complete bare.
“The British version and Valor do not cover knuckles anymore.”
Having decided to have his training camp out in Thailand at Phuket Top Team with Boyd Clarke, for the last five weeks was mainly due to ‘boxing politics’ back in the UK with his very good friend Marley Swindells, Mark felt right at home with Phuket Top Team “I felt that I fitted in straight away with them, having no egos, and I knew most of them from being on the circuit anyway – it was a no brainer.” He said.
“I’ve been out here for five weeks with Marley training my a** off, and now we are here we are all ready to go.”
The event will be the first inaugural promotion promoted by UFC Hall of Famer, four-time Heavyweight World Champion and WWE Legend Ken Shamrock.
“With the four-match tournament it is the first of many I believe on Ken Shamrocks Valor Bare Knuckle show, having selected four big heavyweights, we are all just going to battle it out for two fights all in one night.” Stated Mark “We will have our first fight, then, later on, we find out who we will be matched with for our 2nd fight and see who will become the First Heavyweight Valor Bare Knuckle Champion.”
With Bare Knuckle Boxing taking off all over the world for the past year, or so fans want to see two people go tow to tow in the middle of the ring, once the beer starts flowing, people do like to see a good old fashioned fistfight. Also, mutual respect is shown to each other after they have ‘beaten’ the ‘s**’t’ out of the other fighter after their contest regardless of the result. Two guys/girls have had the b*lls to step into the ring regardless and give their all to their opponent and the fans for a fight they will enjoy.
Lastly, I would like to thank Marley Swindells for helping me get ready for this incredible journey, Phuket Top Team for welcoming me, Booster Fight gear as my sponsor and my management team Duello Sports Management.
Bellator 174 took place Friday, March 3 at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. The main card aired on Spike TV.
Headlining the event was former Strikeforce champion, Marloes Coenen facing Julia Budd for the inaugural women’s featherweight title. It was, however, to be Julia Budd’s night after stopping Coenen in the fourth round to become the new featherweight champion.
Coenen then took the time to thank Scott Coker and Bellator before announcing her retirement from the sport.
“I have dreamt about this moment forever. When I was 21 and first started kickboxing, I dreamt about being a champion, and I didn’t make it, I lost.” Budd said. “So, this is my dream come true. The moment I signed with Bellator, I saw all the champions up there on the banners, and I said to myself that I want to be up there with them some day. Now it feels like everything has come together.”
“There’s only one message that I want to give out to all the fighters out there, and that is, please listen to your body. I am very proud of all the women in MMA, and I am very grateful for Bellator,” Coenen said. “This company picked me up when I was in a dark place, and Scott Coker has given me so many opportunities throughout my career. Bellator MMA will always be my home.”
Julia Budd (10-2) defeated Marloes Coenen (23-8) via TKO (punches) at 2:42 of round four to become the new inaugural women’s featherweight champion.
Bellator 154 took place Saturday, May 14th in San Jose, CA and was headlined a light heavyweight fight between Phil Davis and Muhammed Lawal.
Here are the full results:
Phil Davis Def. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Saad Awad Def. Evangelista Santos via TKO 4:31 Round 1
Adam Piccolotti Def. Ray Wood via Submission (RNC) 3:17 Round 1
Andre Fialho Def. Rick Reger via KO (punch) 2:11 Round 1
Josh San Diego Def. Jeremiah Labiano via Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
Mark Dickman Def. Thomas Diagne via TKO (strikes) 3:05 Round 3
Jaimelene Nievara Def. Stephanie Frausto via TKO (strikes) 2:43 Round 3
Joshua Hardwick Def. Jorge Acosta via Submission (Guillotine choke) 1:21 Round 1
Sam Spengler Def. Doyle Childs via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Bellator MMA signed sixth* ranked Light Heavyweight in the world, Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis (13-3, 1 NC), to an exclusive, multi-fight deal, who had this to say about his signing:
“I can’t wait to be fighting in Bellator and wreck shop on everyone. I am the absolute best and most dominant grappler to ever fight in MMA and I’m excited to get in there and compete at my new home.”
Born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Phil attended college close to home at Penn State University, where he became a four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler for the Nittany Lions.
Davis had his first professional MMA fight in 2008 and accrued nine wins in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, including victories against the likes of Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustafsson, Brian Stann and Glover Teixeira.
A member of Alliance MMA in San Diego, Calif., where he trains alongside Bellator stars like Michael Chandler and Joey Beltran, “Mr. Wonderful” joins the promotions Light Heavyweight division, which is currently upheld by British champion Liam McGeary.
“Phil is a world-class Mixed Martial Artist and we are very happy to be adding him to our roster of some of the best Light Heavyweights in the world,” said the promotion’s president, Scott Coker. “Bellator remains fully committed to building its world-class roster by signing top free agents like Davis, as well as grooming up-and-coming stars. We’ve got some amazing matchups in mind for ‘Mr. Wonderful’ that we will be announcing in the weeks to come.”
Bellator’s Light Heavyweight division is one of the deepest in the promotion, with stars like British champion Liam McGeary, Tito Ortiz, “King Mo” Lawal, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Emanuel Newton and Linton Vassell.
Bellator 134 dubbed ‘The British Invasion’ finally went down last night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Although one could argue it was not a full ‘British Invasion’ due to Michael Page and James Thompson having to withdraw from the card due to injury, it was at very best a fine result for the Brits involved.
Here are the full results:
Liam McGeary Def Emanuel Newton Via UD 48-46, 48-47, 48-47 and the new Bellator LHW champion
Muhammad ‘King Mo’ Lawal Def Cheick Kongo by split decision 30-27, 28-29, 29-28
Paul Daley Def Andre Santos via UD 29-27, 29-28, 29-28
Linton Vassell Def Sokoudjou via TKO (punches) 3 mins 18 secs Rnd 2
Brennan Ward Def Curtis Millender via RNC 1 min 37 secs Rnd 1
Dean Hancock Def Mike Mangan Via RNC 1 min 33 secs Rnd 1
Matt Bessette Def Josh LaBerge Via TKO (doctor stoppage) End of Rnd 2
Raphael Butler Def Josh Diekmann Via Standing Guillotine 1 min 04 sec Rnd 1
Tamdan McCrory Def Jason Butcher Via Armbar 1 min 06 sec Rnd 1
Neiman Gracie Def Bobby Flynn Via Neck Crank 2 mins 36 secs Rnd 1
Blair Tugman Def Marvin Maldonado Via UD 30-26, 30-27, 30-27