MMA: Bellator Purchased, KenFlo Not Done, Anik to UFC & the Week's Biggest News
Kenny Florian (R) - Josh Hedges/Zuffa, LLC
The landscape of the MMA world changed this week as the Bellator promotion was purchased by its broadcast partner, Viacom. As part of the deal, the promotion will leave MTV2 for Spike TV in 2013.
Recent UFC featherweight title challenger Kenny Florian has announced that he will not retire despite his third failed attempt at UFC gold. The catch? He'll be returning to the lightweight division.
Also of note, MMA Live host Jon Anik will be leaving ESPN to join the UFC as a member of its broadcast team.
Viacom Buys Bellator, Announces Move to Spike in 2013
The parent company of both MTV2 and Spike TV, Viacom, has announced that it has bought a majority stake in the Bellator promotion. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney will remain in charge of the promotion.
As part of the deal, the promotion will move to the Spike network in 2013, when their broadcast deal with the UFC expires.
Spike is expected to air Bellator's two seasons each year, as well as highlight shows and related content, both on TV and online.
MTV2 has been the home for Bellator since March. In September, preliminary fights began streaming on Spike's website.
Source: USA Today
Kenny Florian Not Retiring; Returns to Lightweight
After failing in his third bid for a UFC title, Boston-based fighter Kenny Florian has decided not to retire.
Florian had dropped both of his attempts at the lightweight title against Sean Sherk and BJ Penn, and was recently outclassed by featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo at UFC 136 on Oct. 8.
As a result, Florian revealed that he will return to the 155-pound division for his next bout.
Source: Boston Herald
Jon Anik to Leave ESPN, Joins UFC Broadcast Team
UFC President Dana White has spilled the news that current ESPN "MMA Live" host, Jon Anik, will be joining the UFC's broadcast team in January.
Anik will serve as the play-by-play commentator for UFC programming on FX. The cable channel will air the promotion's Fight Night cards, as well as the "The Ultimate Fighter."
Previously, Anik served as the play-by-play announcer for Bellator, when the promotion aired on ESPN during 2009.
Illinois Commission Denies Kraniotakes License, Then Reverses Decision
Following a bizarre sequence of events, it appears as if Andreas Kraniotakes will, in fact, face Tim Sylvia on Nov. 5.
The Illinois Athletic Commission initially denied the German fighter a license due to a lack of sanctioned fights, but reversed course shortly thereafter.
The heavyweight bout is a co-headlining bout of Pro Elite 2 which takes place from the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill. The main card airs on HDNet.
Bobby Lashley Now Meets Dave Huckaba at Shark Fights 21
Bobby Lashley - Esther Lin/Showtime
Bobby Lashley has yet another new opponent for his Shark Fight debut. The former WWE superstar will now take on Dave Huckaba for the promotion's heavyweight strap on Nov. 11.
Until recently, Lashley was expected to face Ultimate Fighter alum Darrill Schoonover, but Schoonover was forced out of the bout.
Shark Fights 21 takes place from the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas. It will air via delay on FUEL TV starting Dec. 23.
Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou Set for UFC 140
Jared Hamman - Rob Tatum/Bleacher Report
A pair of middleweights coming off huge wins will collide on Dec. 10 in Toronto.
Jared Hamman, who dismantled CB Dollaway, will take on Constantinos Philippou, who played spoiler against Jorge Rivera in August.
UFC 140 takes place from the Air Canada Centre and is headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida.
Lightweights Jacob Volkmann and T.J. Grant Battle at UFC 141
TJ Grant - Rob Tatum/Bleacher Report
Grappling specialists Jacob Volkmann and T.J. Grant have been tabbed for the UFC's end of year event.
Grant used his slick submission skills to dispatch of Shane Roller in his 155-pound debut at UFC on Versus 6. Volkmann is now 4-0 since making the drop to the lightweight division.
Caros Fodor vs. Justin Wilcox Added to “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal”
Justin Wilcox - Esther Lin/Strikeforce
Rising lightweight prospects Caros Fodor and Justin Wilcox will meet on Dec. 17 in San Diego.
Both fighters are undefeated in their last seven bouts. With the uncertainty of Strikeforce's future, this bout could serve as a showcase for the fighters moving to the UFC.
The event, “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal," takes place at the Valley View Casino Center.
Vila, Dantas Fight in Bantamweight Final at Bellator 59
Alexis Vila delivers a kick (L) - Bellator
Bellator's bantamweight tournament final is set as undefeated Cuban wrestler Alexis Vila will take on Brazilian Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 59.
The two fighters are competing for a $100,000 pay day as well as a crack at current Bellator champ Zach Makovsky.
Bellator 59 takes place Nov. 26 from Caesar's Atlantic City in New Jersey.
Brett Rogers Arrested Yet Again
Former Strikeforce title challenger Brett Rogers is in trouble with law enforcement again and has been arrested follow a warrant.
The fighter pleaded guilty to felony third-degree assault in June after an altercation with his wife. Immediately after the incident, Rogers was released from his Strikeforce contract.
Rogers went on to compete for the Titan Fighting Championship, where he dropped a decision to Eddie Sanchez in September.
Source: Apple Valley Patch