- For those questioning Ryan Bader's power in the heavyweight division, the reigning Bellator light heavyweight champion showed them what's possible at Bellator 199 this past weekend. With one thunderous shot, Bader floored Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, advancing to the semifinals of the heavyweight grand prix.
Bader will now take on Matt Mitrione in one semifinal, with Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen set for the other. Saturday's card featuring Bader vs. Lawal aired live on Paramount Network from the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
- Bellator president Scott Coker has always been a fan of tournaments dating back to his Strikeforce days. And while his new promotion has moved away from that, he does believe there is room for more grand prix-style events going forward.
With the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix currently in the semifinals featuring Chael Sonnen, Fedor Emelianenko, Ryan Bader and Matt Mitrione, Coker revealed that another could be coming soon.
"I want to get through the heavyweight tournament first, but I think it's a great format for us," Coker said after Bellator 199 this past weekend (thanks to MMAjunkie for quotes). "I believe there is a place for tournaments in MMA, and I think this grand prix tournament proves that it's something worth doing. For us, it's great because it crowns our new heavyweight champion. But don't be surprised if you see another tournament or so next year."
Coker went on to mention both featherweight and welterweight as possible weight classes for future grand prix events.
- One of the biggest headlines coming out of UFC 224 involved Raquel Pennington and her comments made prior to the start of the fifth round vs. Amanda Nunes. With Nunes, the reigning bantamweight champion, in complete control, Pennington informed her coaches that she was done. Instead of stopping the fight, though, they sent Pennington back out and she was promptly finished by Nunes.
While many have questioned that decision, her fiance, fellow fighter and teammate Tecia Torres, took to social media to explain why that decision was made:
#Forever I am extremely proud of my lady. You are a warrior babe. Fought every second you possibly could. You continue to amaze me daily. You motivate me to work hard and one day too receive the same opportunity to fight for a UFC championship. We are the 1%ers. Very few will ever know what we go thru as fighters and an even smaller percentage will ever earn the chance to fight on such a big stage and for a world title. #RideOrDie #AlwaysProud PS: Both us and our coaches agree with the decision made to go into the 5th round. We know Raquel more than anyone else and know if we let her give up on herself going into the last round she would have always regretted it. She fought with heart and grit until the end. PSS: Exactly one year ago today you asked me to marry you, I can't freaking wait to wife you! ?? @raquel_pennington