Bellator MMA Changes Course; Coker Replaces Rebney

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is leaving the company he founded, according to a press release from Spike TV on Tuesday.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise, at least on the surface.

Rebney has lead Bellator from an obscure start-up to the world’s number two MMA organization in the world in a span of five years. He founded the promotion in 2008 with the help of hedge fund capital, rapidly built the Bellator brand and subsequently sold a majority stake in the company to Viacom in 2011.

Algieri Upsets Provodnikov on HBO Boxing After Dark

In what has to be the upset of the year, unheralded hometown fighter Chris Algieri (W20, KO8) from New York City stunned the boxing world by scoring a split decision victory over the defending WBO junior-welterweight world champion Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov (W23, KO16, L3) after 12 rounds of exciting action at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

SHIFT E3 2014 Round-Up: Best and Worst Of

I may not have physically been in Los Angeles for 2014’s E3 Expo, but I was there in spirit and in mind. My apartment has been a little warm, so it’s been kind of like a mock LA. I also haven’t had much reason to shower or shave or wear clean clothes. I’ve been sitting, sometimes laying, watching press conference after press conference, trailer after trailer. I went 12 hours straight the one day. If someone reading this article could kindly go grocery shopping for me and bring me to the laundromat, I would greatly appreciate it.

KounterMove Picks – UFC 174: Stars, Sleepers & Duds

The UFC heads north of the border this weekend when Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov headline a stacked night of fights at UFC 174.

Demetrious Johnson, the UFC’s first flyweight champion, defends his title for an impressive fourth consecutive outing when he faces Dagestani fighter, Ali Bagautinov in the main event. If able to put a stop to the reigning champ, Bagautinov would be the first Russian to snag a UFC title.

UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Saturday night for UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov, headlined by a flyweight championship clash between reigning king Demetrious Johnson and surging Russian contender Ali Bagautinov.

Despite some meaningful fights in various weight classes, the fight card ultimately lacks the star power typically associated with pay-per-view caliber shows and the buyrate will undoubtedly suffer as a result.

A Brief History of Canadian UFC Title Fights

When Demetrious Johnson squares off with Ali Bagautinov this Saturday in Vancouver at UFC 174, it will mark the 15th UFC title fight to take place on Canadian soil in the promotion’s history.

Cotto Shines at Middleweight, Destroys Martinez

This past Saturday, June 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Miguel Angel Cotto put on a performance for the ages that will long be remembered for many years to come. Cotto knocked down the heavily favored undisputed world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez thrice in the opening round.

SHIFT Review – Edge of Tomorrow

I’m a huge movie guy. I’m really quite content seeing a movie every weekend — even more than that if it’s a competitive release window. And even with my “will watch anything” attitude, I nearly passed on seeing ‘Edge of Tomorrow’. That’s how bad the marketing has been, in my opinion: it was able to turn a man who loves Tom Cruise and sci-fi indifferent.

UFC Fight Night: Henderson-Khabilov Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship finally touches down in the fight hub of Albuquerque, N.M. for the first time on Saturday night, as UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov emanates from Tingley Coliseum.

Greg Jackson’s Albuquerque-based camp has produced numerous world champions and top contenders throughout the years, so it’s only fitting one of its highly touted prospects tops the bill.

Cotto’s Last Chance for Glory Saturday Against Martinez

Two future Hall of Fame fighters are meeting each other this coming Saturday, June 7 in New York City at the original Mecca of professional boxing, Madison Square Garden. WBC world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (W51, KO28, L2, D2) will defend his crown against the very eager but rather faded Miguel Cotto (W38, KO31, L4) in a fight that most experts believe has virtually no chance of going the distance. Or, more to the point, most experts believe that Cotto has no chance of going the distance. This time those experts may very well be right.

SHIFT Round-Up: Doctor Strange Update, Arkham Knight Delayed

​Marvel has about one thousand… and nine films in production between now and the end of times, one of which is the debut theatrical adventure of one Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. I’ll admit to not knowing much about the character, a guy who goes from surgeon to battling otherworldly foes, but he sounds interesting — particularly because he’s a different brand of superhero.

Khabilov, Bagautinov and UFC’s Dagestani Invasion

Detractors say it’s pointless, but the “pound for pound” argument persists among the water cooler fight fans nonetheless.

Instead of applying the argument to fighters, let’s apply it to countries and regions of the world. As far as generating MMA talent goes, what part of the world is the “pound for pound” best?

Froch Removes All Doubt, KOs Groves in Rematch

There can be no controversy this time around concerning the rematch between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and his arch nemesis George “Saint George” Groves. The defending WBA/IBF super middleweight world champion Froch retained his titles and ended the fight by pulverizing Groves with one single devastating straight right hand that dropped Groves to the canvas in round eight as if he had been shot at close range.

Full Preview – Groves Gets His Second Chance at Froch

This coming Saturday at Wembley Stadium in London, England, a grudge rematch for the ages will take place with both combatants expressing genuine dislike for each other. The current and immensely popular IBF/WBA super middleweight world champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch (W32, KO23, L2) will defend his world titles once again in a rematch with fellow Brit, the formidable George “Saint George” Groves (W19, KO15, L1).

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale Preview & Predictions

Part 2 of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s doubleheader on Saturday takes place at Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Boxing standouts are showcased in the main event on FOX Sports 1, as Stipe Miocic welcomes late fill-in Fabio Maldonado to the heavyweight ranks.

And of course, The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale will crown “TUF” champions in the middleweight and heavyweight divisions.

UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Germany for the first time in nearly four years as UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi emanates from Berlin’s 02 World Arena this Saturday, exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

In the middleweight main event, Filipino-American “Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz battles Dutch-Armenian former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi.

SHIFT Review – Wolfenstein: Is Multiplayer a Must?

I’m a weird guy. I like to sit alone in a room and immerse myself in a single player game. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll play the occasional round of ‘Super Smash Bros.’, ‘Mario Kart’ or ‘Call of Duty’ with a buddy, but nothing quite hooks me like playing by myself… you know, in reference to video games. I remember one time when I was living with a buddy of mine, I was in my room playing ‘Ni No Kuni’ (Google it, if you’re not familiar). Buddy walks in my room, takes one look at the screen, looks to me and says, “Man, do I have to call the police?”

Journey to Thailand Blog – Two Fight Nights in Two Weeks

It has been a really busy month for me. Two fights in two weeks. So, here are all the details in one shin-splitting-blog. When I got to the venue, I looked at the program and noticed I was fighting a Thai that had just TKO’d another guy from our gym. I had seen him fight only two rounds, but tried to come up with a game plan as quickly as I could.

Remembering Matthew Saad Muhammad (1954-2014)

Flags have been flying at half-staff at the International Boxing Hall of Fame since Sunday in memory of Matthew Saad Muhammad, the former undisputed WBC light-heavyweight champion of the world who died on May 25 from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) in his native Philadelphia. He was just 59 years old.

What to Make of UFC’s Continued Card Expansion

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as YouTube or Twitter and the UFC was struggling in obscurity to produce a half dozen fight cars in a calendar year.

This Saturday, the UFC will be promoting its 16th and 17th shows of the year on the same day.

George Groves Special Pre-Fight Blog

“Everything for a reason” has been my mantra throughout this training camp and I strongly believe in its message. Everything I have done during preparation, whether in the gym or at press conferences, has been for a reason. Every punch I throw on May 31 will be for a very specific reason. And the fight itself is happening and was mandated by the IBF for a very good reason.

Anybody who saw our first fight will know why the rematch is happening. Only the referee Howard Foster believed the stoppage was correct. Even Carl Froch, the beneficiary of the stoppage, eventually agreed with the consensus opinion that it was wrong. Most importantly, though, the IBF deemed it unfair and that’s why we’re getting ready to do it all over again.

Carl Froch Special Pre-Fight Blog

For me to be involved in such a big event like this, it’s a very proud moment.

Through my whole career as a professional, I’ve never fought at a stadium. It ticks one of the boxes for me. Not many boxers get the chance to fight in an outdoor event, especially a stadium as fantastic as Wembley.

Sergio Martinez Special Pre-Fight Blog

My loss to Margarito was probably the best thing that happened to me. It humbled me and made me realize that this is a serious sport and I needed to mature as a fighter and as a person. It also made me realize that I needed to change. I had to cut out the negative people that surrounded me at that time and find people that would be positive for my career.

I knew that I would return to Vegas and be a champion after that loss because I had the desire to be a champion and was willing to put the time and effort to get to that level.

Miguel Cotto Special Pre-Fight Blog

Puerto Rico has been a hot-bed for boxing for a long time and has given the Island some of its most memorable moments in sports. The people there love their boxing and their boxing history from the first world champion in Sixto Escobar to the more than 50 champions that have after him the people of this tiny island have supported us without reservation.

My beautiful Puerto Rico for a long time has been one of the greatest boxing nations in the sport. We have a big legacy from big fighters that were the inspiration of many generations. I have always wanted to write my own history with my own hands. I will never pretend to be better than anyone. I just want to be the one who accomplished a feat that other legends could not.

SHIFT Review: In the Blood

​I’m not going to act like budget isn’t a huge determining factor in whether or not a film is going to be good. If you’re going for scope, the money simply has to come with it. No matter how good a filmmaker you are, you’re not getting ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, for example, with $10 million. All to say, when I watch something that’s straight to video, I keep its lesser-than-theatrical budget in mind — I can’t help it — but I don’t give it a free pass to be garbage, either. Film isn’t a pity party, “oh, well you did your best” type of thing — it’s either an enjoyable watch or it’s not.

SHIFT Round-Up: Star Wars, Batman and Stephen King

Director Gareth Edwards, the director of the big budget ‘Godzilla’ reboot, has been named as the director of a ‘Star Wars’ spin-off by Lucasfilm and Disney. The press release reads:

“In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out December 16, 2016.”

UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw Preview & Predictions

According to UFC president Dana White, no English, no problem, but that remains to be seen.

UFC bantamweight patriarch Renan Barao’s skills have yet to translate to pay-per-view success, though a heavy marketing campaign pushing him as the sport’s pound-for-pound king could pay off when the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Las Vegas for UFC 173 on Saturday night.

SHIFT Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

If only time travel were a real thing in life. It’s the perfect retcon for anything. Made a mistake in a relationship that has left you bitter and alone? Time travel. Have a crippling guilt because you went out to a party the night a loved one passed away? Time travel. Forgot to pick up milk at the grocery store on the drive home? Oh, you damn well better believe time travel.

Fox’s ‘X-Men’ franchise is one of the original old dogs. As crazy as it is for me to come to terms with, as we are entering the time most films used as dystopian backdrops, the year 2000 was 14 years ago. In that time, ‘X-Men’ has gone up and dowm, from a clever commentary paralleling real world issues to superhero shlock.

Dan Henderson and the Murky Post-TRT MMA Landscape

MMA’s post-testosterone replacement therapy era begins in earnest this Saturday night at UFC 173.

Dan Henderson takes on Daniel Cormier in Henderson’s first post-TRT fight after being on the controversial treatment since 2007.

Marquez Brilliant in Schooling of Alvarado

Juan Manuel Marquez (W56, KO40, L7, D1) dominated Mike Alvarado (W34, KO23, L3) by a very wide margin to capture the vacant WBO international welterweight title at the Los Angeles Forum this past Saturday night. Perhaps even more incredible is that several hours after the fight card was over, many fans from the sold-out crowd were still sitting in their seats mouths agape in stunned astonishment at Marquez’s display of fist-fighting brilliance.

Precious few athletes are so talented that they can elevate the sport in which they participate. That is exactly what Marquez did in his all-encompassing victory over Mike Alvarado. Marquez showed the world what it really means to be a master of your chosen craft.

SHIFT Review: Godzilla

​Back when Gareth Edwards was named as the director of ‘Godzilla’, I reacted with tentativeness. After seeing the film that landed him the gig, the low budget ‘Monsters’, it was obvious the guy had some artistic vision and an unquestionable talent, but I couldn’t help thinking that his style was too sombre and too subtle for the spectacle I believe the King of all monsters should be.

After being bombarded with such beautiful visuals and well-done promo material over the last year, that tentativeness had all but left me. I figured, “Ah, he did what he could with the budget of ‘Monsters’. ‘Godzilla’ is going to be an entirely different kind of animal.” But that initial reaction of mine kept nipping away at my mind as the moody, Godzilla-less minutes of the film kept racking up. As the final credit rolled, I sat there thinking, “Damn… I was right.”