Welcome to the Madman Roundtable for BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS XLIV on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at Caesars Atlantic City in New Jersey. The main card will air live on MTV2 starting at 9:00 pm EST.
OILMEN'S PURE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP 7: SPRING BREAK-UP was held Friday, May 13, 2011, at the Westerner Park Stockman's Pavillion in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Pure FC is promoted by UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald.
In the main event, local Canadian fighter Ryan Machan submitted American David "Hollywood" Hulett with a triangle choke in the second round. This fight ended up being a major momentum shifter for both athletes. Machan rebounded from back-to-back losses, while Hulett had won back-to-back fights in the United States before tapping out in The Great White North. Hulett was a late replacement in this fight for former UFC fighter Rob Yundt.
XTREME FIGHTING ORGANIZATION 39: CURRAN VS VAUGHAN was held Friday, May 13, 2011, at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
In the main event, local fighter Jeff "Big Frog" Curran, outpointed late replacement Billy Vaughan. Curran is a veteran of almost every major MMA promotion including the UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Bellator, PRIDE and King of the Cage. Vaughan, fresh off a 44-second submission loss to Jorge Gurgel at lightweight in Strikeforce, took this featherweight fight on late notice after the original headliner Joe Pearson was in an automobile accident. Vaughan has now lost 3 straight fights.
In the co-main event, former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner scored a quick submission win over Tyler "Superman" Combs, who was sleeping just a minute and a half into the first round after he chose to pass out rather than tap out to a north-south choke. This was Varner's first win in over 2 years. For the past half decade, Varner has only fought in the UFC and WEC, but things fell apart at the end when he went winless in his last 4 WEC fights. This XFO fight marks the first step in a journey that Varner hopes will lead him back to Zuffaland.
MIXED FIGHTING ALLIANCE: NEW GENERATION V was held Saturday, May 7, 2011, at the La Ley Sports Complex in Homestead, Florida, a suburb of Miami.
In the main event, former EliteXC and Bellator fighter Yosmany "The Spartan" Cabezas handled late replacement Mike Jackson with ease. The Floridian Cabezas TKO'd the HIT Squad journeyman Jackson in 77 seconds. Jackson has now lost 4 straight fights.
In the co-main event, top Pablo Popovitch prospect Vagner Rocha also finished his opponent in the first round. Rocha used an armbar to submit KOTC mainstay Jacob Clark. Clark started his career 6-0, but has now lost 3 out of his last 4 fights.
The beautiful assassin Angela Magana (pictured below) rebounded from her second-round submission loss to Jessica Penne to score her own submission victory. The more well-rounded Magana forced an armbar tapout from karateka Elsie "The Sweetheart" Henri.
ELITE 1 MMA: HIGH VOLTAGE was held Saturday, May 7, 2011, at the Casino New Brunswick in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
In the main event, former Toughman kingpin and professional boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch won the vacant Elite 1 Super Heavyweight Championship with a second-round technical knockout victory over Dean Storey, who was making his MMA debut. Storey is also a former pro boxer, although his 8-16 boxing record pales in comparison to Butterbean's 77-8 pro boxing record. This was Butterbean's first MMA win since 2009. Butterbean lost twice in 2010, including tapping out due to strikes to Polish strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski.
BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS 43 was held Saturday, May 7, 2011, at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma.
In the main event, Jay "The Thoroughbred" Hieron won the Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament with a split decision victory over Rick Hawn, which marked the first career MMA loss for the Olympic judoka. Both fighters had very competitive semifinal fights and that trend continued in this tournament finale. Hieron will now challenge Ben Askren for the Bellator Welterweight Championship.
In the special attraction co-main event, leukemia survivor Bryan "The Beast" Baker knocked out veteran fighter Joe "Diesel" Riggs in the second round of their middleweight bout. Baker is now 5-1 in Bellator with 3 of those wins coming over former UFC fighters.
NORTH AMERICAN FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP: MAYHEM was held Friday, May 6, 2011, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Expo Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In the main event, current UFC lightweight Daniel "Danny Boy" Downes picked up a first-round submission victory over Taurean "Tory" Bogguess. Downes went 1-1 in the WEC, including a huge upset win over the previously undefeated Tiequan "The Mongolian Wolf" Zhang. After the WEC was absorbed by the UFC, Downes' contract was transferred to the UFC, however, Downes has yet to fight in the UFC due to their deep lightweight roster and limited number of available fight spots. Downes was given permission by the UFC to take this fight while he waits to be booked in the Octagon. Had Downes lost this fight, he risked being released from the UFC, so this was a very important win for Danny Boy despite the fact that he fought an overmatched opponent.
CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHTING ALLIANCE 1: THE TITLE was held Friday, May 6, 2011, at the US Century Bank Arena in Miami, Florida.
In the main event, Bellator veteran Luis "Baboon" Palomino became the inaugural CFA Featherweight Champion with an armbar submission victory over Peter Grimes, who tapped out with just one second left in the fourth round.
In the co-main event, American Top Team fighter Joe Ray rebounded from his first career loss (by split decision to Jeremy Smith at XFC 13) to win the vacant CFA Middleweight Championship with a first-round submission victory over local Miami fighter John Kelly. The Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Kelly won his first 4 pro MMA fights, but has now lost 3 out of his last 4 fights.