Posts Tagged ‘Bellator’

Michael Chandler (above) likes his chances against
Eddie Alvarez. | Photo: Keith Mills/


Michael Chandler dove headfirst into the world of mixed  martial arts from the wrestling mats of the University of Missouri. In two short years, he was able to earn his
way into Bellator Fighting Championships’ fourth-season lightweight tournament. Saturday night in Atlantic City, N.J., Chandler firmly engraved his name into
the minds of MMA fans as he laid a beat down on favorite Patricky “Pitbull” Freire to claim the tourney title and a shot at reigning Bellator 155-pound champ Eddie Alvarez.

Chandler’s drive toward MMA was strong: the High Ridge, Mo., native began his fighting career before even completing his undergraduate studies at Missouri.

“I started getting into MMA in my junior year,” Chandler told on Saturday. “I was blessed to have good guys in my life like Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren.”

Woodley was especially instrumental in Chandler’s growth as a mixed martial artist. In late 2009, the Strikeforce welterweight was able to secure Chandler two
fights in his home promotion; Chandler won both decisively, earning a TKO in the first and a rear-naked choke submission in the second.

After signing with Bellator, Chandler made the decision to train full-time with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. True to form, once his choice was made, Chandler invested himself completely.

“It was the best decision I’ve made thus far,” Chandler said. “I realized I wanted to fight full time, so I threw everything in my car for Las Vegas. I needed that structure like I had gotten in
the past five years in college wrestling. I can get a workout 24 hours a day, whenever I want, at the best gym in the world for a lightweight.”

His training with striking coach Gil Martinez was particularly evident in Saturday’s fight with Freire, as Chandler displayed improved hands and was able to outstrike the dangerous Brazilian.
Friere had turned his last opponent, Toby Imada, into a walking zombie with a brutal flying knee and Chandler was aware of the dangers posed by the “Pitbull.”

“He definitely hit me a couple of times. He does have some power. I think he punched me in my eye,” Chandler smiled, wincing through his swollen-shut left eye.

Martinez developed a sharp boxing  gameplan with Chandler, emphasizing footwork and speed to keep Friere away from the former Mizzou Tiger.

“We worked a lot of movement and in-and-out. We worked on keeping that jab long and keeping that hook long. I wanted to keep the distance between him and I,” Chandler said.

Chandler simply had too many weapons for Friere to handle.

In the last round of their encounter, Chandler was able to secure a takedown, which served as the final blow to Friere. The wrestler rained down elbows and punches onto his opponent until he felt his Freire begin to give.

“I got the takedown in the third and I wanted to break him. I think he was heading that way. I’ve competed so much in combat sports that you now when someone is broken. You know when someone doesn’t want to win anymore.
I wanted this tournament title,” he said.

Chandler’s first remarks in the post-fight news conference after defeating Friere were words of humility and thankfulness. For Chandler, family comes first and he does not forget where he came from or how
important his family is to his continued success.

“It’s not very often you see someone who has family and friends who are willing to travel around the country,” he commented. Certainly these family values are central to Chandler not only as a
fighter, but also as a person. He acknowledges the bright spotlight that could come with a lightweight title and his potential stardom as his young career begins to unfold.

“I knew that people didn’t know my name going into this tournament. Now, hopefully, some people do,” said Chandler. “I’ll be put on a platform to reach a lot of people and I want to
carry myself the right way.”

His upcoming title fight with Alvarez, whom Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney calls “the best 155-pound fighter in the world,” represents Chandler’s most
formidable challenge to date.

Though Chandler dealt with a dangerous striker in Friere, he will have an entirely different challenge with Alvarez, whose speed and boxing ability rank among the best in the lightweight division. The Philadelphian is also known for his relentless pace over the course of five rounds, a distance Chandler has never faced in his career.

Not shockingly, Chandler is undaunted by the new challenge ahead of him and is confident in his trainers at Xtreme Couture. He was excited to see the fruits of his hard work in the gym pay off against Friere. After a relatively short amount of time training, the 25-year-old has already achieved quite a bit in such an unforgiving sport. Much like the previous challenges he has faced, Chandler has  no fear of Alvarez and insists he will not be intimidated by the champion.

“A lot of people have been a little bit scared of Eddie. I’m in the cage with Gray Maynard a couple times a week. I’m training with guys like that. I’m kind of a grinder and brawler by nature. That is what wrestling
has made me,” said Chandler.

Like a true wrestler, Chandler noted that hard work and dedication will be the key to dethroning the champ.

“I know I’m going to be training my butt off. We’re going to go into those championship rounds and see if Eddie can hang with us,” Chandler said, before adding a bit of swagger and bravado regarding his chances against Alvarez.

“I think in four months, I will match up extremely well. I’m going to come at him,” Chandler said, smiling. “You guys better not blink for 25 minutes.”

Xtreme Couture’s Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron punched his ticket to the Bellator Welterweight Tournament finals with a tough-fought decision win over a game Brent Weedman.  Hieron is an extremely tough guy who doesn’t mind mixing it up with anyone.   With the win, Hieron now meets Olympian Rick Hawn in next month’s tourney finale.  Hieron (21-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC) now has won nine consecutive fights.

Xtreme Couture’s Mike Chandler dominated his way to victory on Saturday night.  The former University of Missouri wrestler’s takedown and ground skills have led him to another victory and a ticket to the lightweight tourney’s finale. Using his improved and fearless striking to set up at least four takedowns in each frame, Chandler dominated the first and third rounds to earn a unanimous-decision victory over fellow semifinalist Lloyd Woodard via scores of 29-28. With his victory, Chandler now meets KO artist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the tourney finale next month.

Instructors from Xtreme Couture teamed up at the North American Grapplng Association (NAGA) in Las Vegas on March 4th to demonstrate grappling techniques to the crowd.  NAGA holds events all over the United States and is one of the largest grappling tournaments in the world.  Pictured below are (far left)-John Hahn, Jimmy Jones, Kui Gonsalves, Dennis Davis and students.  Pictured (far right)-Kui Gonsalves, Dennis Davis, John Hahn and Jimmy Jones with student participant.


Join MMA Legend and UFC Hall of Fame Fighter Randy Couture Saturday May 7th, 2011 for a two wheel event – Charity Poker Run.

Event Registration Starts at 9am – 10:30am – Randy’s group leaves at 10am sharp. 

O School Choppers
5725 South Valley View
Las Vegas, NV 89118 

If you ride, then come out to support the men and women who protect this country everyday.  Brave soldiers who get injured need additional help above what the government can provide and that’s where the Xtreme Couture G.I. Foundation comes into play.

Ride with:

Randy Couture – 6x UFC Champ
Cast of  “The Expendables”
Jay Glazer  – NFL (Fox)
Chris Angel – Illusionist
“BIG” John McCarthy  – MMA Referee
Tom Atencio – Affliction
David Zayas – Actor
Sean Flanery – Actor
Mike Austin – Musician
+Plus Many, Many More!

The Xtreme Couture G.I. Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, was founded by Randy Couture to honor the veterans of America’s Armed Forces. The foundation was especially formed to raise money and awareness for those wounded in action and their families. To date, more than 24,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in the war against terrorism, which doesn’t include the many more suffering the mental effects.

Many of the injuries are traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries that will retire these brave men and woman from the armed forces. Even though some of these men and woman are severely injured, they have the courage, strength and determination to win this battle.

The Xtreme Couture G.I. Foundation’s goal is to help these brave men and women fulfill any of their unmet needs as they return back to civilian life.

Photos from our last event/

UFC 127 Viewing Party

When: Saturday, Feb 26th

Time: 6pm – PPV @ 7PM

Join us to watch UFC 127 on our huge 20ft. screen!
Watch from inside our cage or kick back on our mat area.

Ya we are not a bar and that’s how we like it!

Members Free – Guests $10.

Xtreme Couture’s Michael Chandler Confirmed for Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament
Bellator Fighting Championships confirmed the addition of undefeated Bellator veteran Michael Chandler to its upcoming Season 4 Lightweight Tournament, airing LIVE on MTV2 starting March 5th. With a pair of impressive wins under the Bellator banner in 2010, Chandler’s opponents have never made past the second round, as the Missouri native is a perfect 5-0 in his professional career with all of his victories coming by way of (T)KO or submission. Watch Chandler knock out Scott Stapp here:           

Michael Chandler (5-0) is scheduled to fight Patricky “Pitbull”Freire (7-1)

“Mike was very impressive at Bellator 31 and 32, finishing both  opponents in the first round.  He’s got extreme strength and power for a Lightweight and  I’m excited to see how far he can go in this tournament LIVE on MTV2,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Training alongside UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard and Bellator welterweight Jay Hieron at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, the former Division I All American is ready to break the mold of many wrestlers who have transitioned to MMA.

“I never want to be known as the typical “lay and pray” wrestler,” said Chandler. “I want to break away from the traditional wrestling mold that a lot of guys have. People say that all wrestlers just want to take their opponents down and lay on them for three rounds, but I want to go out there and finish them. I don’t want to just go out there and win, I want to go out there and dominate.”

Undefeated at 5-0, Chandler has been completely dominant up to this point in his career, and will look to continue his impressive run when the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament kicks off in March. Not only is a huge $100,000 payday on the line for the fast-rising 24-year-old lightweight, but the chance to face current Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez has been Chandler’s goal since the day he signed with Bellator.

“I’ve had my eyes set on capturing that Bellator World Lightweight Championship since the moment I signed with Bellator,” Chandler said. “It’s not to take away from anybody or that I just think I’m going to smash all of these guys on my way to [Eddie] Alvarez, it’s just that I’m really excited about the journey I’m about to go through. I’m excited about the next three months of training, and I’m excited about being able to go out there and dominate fight after fight. This is the opportunity of a lifetime in a young fighter’s career.”


Press Release –  Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron has been officially confirmed as the last, but certainly not the least, 170 lbs. fighter in Bellator’s upcoming Season 4 Welterweight Tournament which is set to air LIVE on MTV2. The highly regarded UFC, IFL and Strikeforce veteran will enter the talent-rich tournament looking for a shot at current Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren coupled with a $100,000 pay day for his 90 days work. But, first Hieron will first have to make his way through arguably the most talented welterweight tournament in MMA to date.

“Jay’s the perfect fighter to round out our stacked welterweight tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He’s a true mixed martial artist who has very few weaknesses and a ton of strengths inside the cage. Jay will be a tremendous test for anyone and everyone in this talent rich tournament.”

The Xtreme Couture trained fighter has not lost a fight in over three years and is currently riding a seven-fight win streak. Hieron enters the welterweight tournament with an impressive 19-4 professional record and holds notable victories over the likes of UFC veteran Jake Ellenberger, UFC/DREAM veteran Jason High, and newly signed Bellator middleweight Joe “Diesel” Riggs.

Eager to return to the cage for the first time in just over a year, Hieron promises a better version of “The Thoroughbred” than ever before under the Bellator banner in 2011.

“I feel great right now. I turned a negative into a positive with my time off and just took the opportunity to sharpen my skills,” said Hieron. “When you’re training for a fight, the pressure’s on, so it’s hard to learn and evolve. It’s straight business. With this time off I’ve been able to focus on a lot of new techniques. Now I’m just excited to get back in there and show off my new arsenal.”

Growing up near Long Island, New York, Hieron found an outlet for his aggression through high school and college wrestling. Years later, Hieron now finds himself as one of the most dangerous fighters in MMA’s welterweight division. Looking toward the next chapter of his MMA career, Hieron says that Bellator’s unique tournament format is just what he’s been searching for.

“This is the exact type of situation I wanted to be in right now. With the tournament format, there’s no politics, no golden boys, and nobody getting protected, there’s none of that. If you win you move forward, and that’s that. That’s the bottom line and that’s exactly what I was looking for,” said Hieron. “I feel like I’ve been through as bad a situation that somebody can go through in their career, and I’m still here. Not only that, but my body’s right, I’m healthy, and I feel like it’s my time.”

Hieron joins former Bellator Welterweight World Champion Lyman Good, Season 2 finalist Dan Hornbuckle, undefeated Judo Olympian Rick Hawn, Season 2 semifinalist Steve Carl, undefeated knockout artist Chris Lozano, UK standout “Judo” Jim Wallhead, and fast-rising finisher Brent Weedman in the Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament which will be aired LIVE on MTV2.

About Bellator Fighting Championships

Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company headquartered in Chicago. Bellator’s founder/CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment professional with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships’ executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production, television production, fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.

The questions about Jay Hieron’s future finally have been answered.

After spinning his wheels in Strikeforce and never getting a title shot that always seemed within arm’s reach, the UFC veteran and former IFL champion has joined Bellator Fighting Championships.

He’s one of eight competitors who compete in the upcoming season-four welterweight tournament, which commences in early 2011.

Other confirmed participants include Dan Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Steve Carl, Chris Lozano, Jim Wallhead and Brent Weedman. The winner of the 12-week tournament gets a shot at current Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren.

“It’s just a great fit for me,” stated Hieron, who hasn’t fought since January. “At this point in my career, I want to stay as active as possible, and the tournament format allows me to do that. It’s a great organization, and it’s just the perfect fit.”

Hieron (19-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) enters Bellator with a seven-fight win streak and nine wins in his past 10 fights. Most recently, he scored decision wins over Strikeforce fighters Jesse Taylor and Joe Riggs, but the former state high-school wrestling champion and JUCO national champ never was booked for the highly anticipated title fight with champion Nick Diaz.

“Jay Hieron is a fantastic signing for us at 170 pounds,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “Jay is a world-class fighter with serious talent. I can’t wait to see him back on national television competing against other top fighters where he belongs. He is a spectacular addition to our upcoming season-four welterweight tournament.”

The New Yorker currently lives in Las Vegas and trains with Xtreme Couture.