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Midnight Mania! Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix brackets set, with Rampage-Sonnen kicking it off

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BELLATOR 157 - Rampage v Ishi Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

The opening round of the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix, their 8-man heavyweight tournament, has been finalized, and the first bout is a fun one. Erstwhile light heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson faces off against former middleweight Chael Sonnen at Bellator 192 on January 20. That quarter-final bout will shortly be followed by Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione on February 16th, Frank Mir vs. Fedor Emelianenko in April, and Ryan Bader vs. Muhammad Lawal in May. These brackets were reported tonight by

The winner of Jackson-Sonnen will take on the winner of Fedor-Mir, while the winner of Lawal-Bader will face the winner of Nelson-Mitrione.

There are no shortage of people who want in on this throwback tournament, as Scott Coker, Bellator’s president, detailed.

"We've had a lot of interest from fighters all over the world who want to be a part of the Grand Prix," Coker said. "Everybody from Rory MacDonald to Linton Vassell. But I think when it comes down to it, the potential alternates that we'd seriously look at will be Bobby Lashley, Cheick Kongo, Javy Ayala, Justin Wren, Sergei Kharitonov and Shane Carwin. Carwin reached out to us, so we're talking to him now to see if we can make something happen."

Bellator’s heavyweight title is currently vacant; the two finalists of this tournament will fight for the honor of wrapping that belt around their waist. Do you like these matchups? Who do you think wins it all?


Who wins the Bellator heavyweight Grand Prix?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Fedor Emelianenko
    (312 votes)
  • 10%
    Frank Mir
    (241 votes)
  • 3%
    Chael Sonnen
    (86 votes)
  • 5%
    Rampage Jackson
    (127 votes)
  • 10%
    Roy Nelson
    (227 votes)
  • 27%
    Matt Mitrione
    (623 votes)
  • 18%
    Ryan Bader
    (428 votes)
  • 1%
    Muhammad Lawal
    (32 votes)
  • 8%
    An alternate
    (194 votes)
2270 votes total Vote Now


The Tony Ferguson-Khabib Nurmagomedov drama, which has yet to give us a single fight after at least 3 bookings, took another turn today. Nurmy said he was offered the fight with Tony, but Ferguson has made it clear he wants McGregor next.

To be fair, it would be stupid for him to take a lesser money fight while that possibility exists. He’s also been burned by Khabib before and then denied his purse on fight week

Cormier came out in support of Khabib’s claim:

Ferguson didn’t respond directly, but instead retweeted this reply from Ariel Helwani:

Cormier responded to that with his own crying GIF, which is... amazing.

Poirier wants in on the action too:

That’s some nice artwork for a fight coach’s wall right there.

This seems like a potentially bad idea, but her shins also must not have any nerve endings left.

Meisha Tate is keeping the hustle going post-MMA

A rare feeling:

l Sorry... was that supposed to be hard #BJJ #BecauseJitsu #BJJproblems

A post shared by Because jitsu (@because_jitsu) on

A) I’m really, REALLY looking forward to Justin Scoggins-Tim Elliot, and B) this is true

That is crazy: Muay Thai veteran John Wayne Parr got a depiction of his face with (nearly) all his stitches visualized at once. That’s a lot of head trauma.

MMA’s resident kook:

@eddiebravo10 #eddiebravo #10thplanet #10pjj #ufc #mma #bjj #rocketman

A post shared by Grappling Science (@grappling_science) on

Even Joe Rogan gets it:

I’m guessing the cross is supposed to be warped? That’s an artistic choice, right?

Jon Jones with the symbolism! Also, the replies to this are mostly just people referencing Jones snorting cocaine.

Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

He’s dead

Right on the end of his punches.

For some reason the physics of this knockout just grabbed my attention.

I’m not sure how you can get knocked out cold and be in such denial about it, but here you go:

Wheelchair fighting? I can dig it

Podcasts and Video

The MMA Outsiders Episode 8, with Nic Davenport. We discuss fight psychology, mental conditioning, why it is so difficult for fighters to retire, and a whole lot more. Nic does fight preparation for MMA fighters at American Top Team, including Dustin Poirier, Marc Diakese, and Santiago Ponzinibbio. That moment Dustin got poked in the eye by Anthony Pettis? They trained for that specifically.

Check us out on SoundCloud as well as iTunes and Stitcher on the official MMA Mania channel!

UFC Shanghai breakdown with Flyin Brian J:

Follow MMA Mania on Youtube

Heavy Hands

Fights Gone By with Jack Slack:

The Promotional Malpractice Live Chat:

Random Land

Is this real?

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

I know this is. Whoever runs the Denny’s account just wilds out every day:

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality... and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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