Wombat Watercooler January 16: Bellator Sets up 2017; Morgan Retires

wmma-awards-2016Wombat Sports has been nominated for the Awakening Fighter Awards for the fourth straight year.

We are up for three award: Best MMA Media Resource; Best MMA Jounralist (MarQ Piocos) & Best Muay Thai Media Resource.

You can vote for the Awakening Ladies MMA Awards here.

You can vote for the Awakening Ladies Muay Thai Awards here.


We are also up for the Promoting Real Women Awards for Best MMA Website.

You can vote here.


InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp broke the news on Phone Booth Fighting this past week the promotion’s 22nd event will be March 25 in Kansas City with the main event being a rematch between champion Tonya Evinger and challenger Yana Kunitskaya.

Kunitskaya submitted Evinger in their last outing, but the match was later rules a no-contest because the referee misinformed Evinger she couldn’t step on the opponent’s head to defend an armbar.

More announcements are expected from Invicta Saturday.


Invicta and UFC vet Peggy Morgan has announced she is hanging up her gloves.

Morgan went to facebook and twitter to announce her retirement from MMA.

“I decided after my last fight that I was ready to stop fighting,” Morgan wrote. “I’m happy that I did it and deeply grateful for all the amazing opportunities I had. I’m ready to move onto the next phase of my existence, though.”

Morgan debuted in MMA in 2012 and was soon cast on season 18 of the Ultimate Fighter. After a brief stint in the UFC, she headed to Invicta finding a little success. She lost to Invicta title contender Megan Anderson in what would be her last fight.

We wish her luck in her future endeavors.


The UFC announced former champion Carla Esparza will return to action facing Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night Nova Scotia  February 19th in Halifax.

Esparza is coming off a win over Juliana Lima last April and is looking to get back into the title hunt.

Markos is coming off a submission loss to Cortney Casey.

The match will air in Fox Sports 1.


Bellator has set up some female fights for the first few cards of 2017.

  • January 27th Jessica Middleton (1-0) will return to the Bellator cage as she faces promotional debuter Alice Yauger (4-4) in a flyweight bout in Kansas City. This will air on Spike TV. Also announces, Bruna Ellen (2-1) will take on Carmella James (3-0 amateur) in the prelims which will stream on Bellator.com.
  • Amateur prospect Brooke Mayo (8-2) will make her pro debut in San Jose February 18th in San Jose.
  • As we announced earlier this week, Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd will battle for the inaugural 145 title March 3 in  Thackerville, Oklahoma.

The Bellator women’s divisions will kick off with Colleen Schneider facing a yet to be name opponent in Los Angeles January 21st. We will be covering the event on site. An interview with Schneider will be posted this weekend.


We will also be covering Glory Kickboxing on site for the first time, as Zoila Frausto makes her promotional debut taking on Daniela Graf. The event will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Opening the show will be WOW pro wrestling as Stephy Slays takes on Keta Rush.


IMMAF champion Minna Grusander will look for her second pro win as she takes on Japanese star Syuri Kondo at Pancrase in Tokyo February 5th live on UFC Fight Pass.

Grusander (1-0) won the 2015 IMMAF World championship at strawweight and made her pro debut last year with a decision win over Iman Darabi.

Kondo (3-0) made a successful transition from pro wrestling and shootboxing to MMA. Her last win was a TKO this last November.


IMMAF World Silver Medalist Aleksandra Rola tested positive for canrenone and 7α-thiomethylspironolactone, metabolites of spironolactone. Her medal has been stripped and won’t be available to compete at IMMAF events for two years.


The show Wimp2Warrior will be shooting an American season in Las Vegas this spring.

The show, which takes ordinary people and makes them into MMA fighters, will use Syndicate MMA as their home base for the shot, and announced InvictaFC star Jessy Jerss will be one of the head coaches.

Tryouts will start in March with shooting beginning shortly after.


Super Fight League has announced their return to regular show in India and are changing their format to a team competition.

Eight cities have formed teams for several weight classes. One division is dedicated to female talent.

The season begins January 20th.


The Eddie Bravo Invitational grappling promotion has announced they are officially starting a female flyweight division and will crown its first champion this spring.


This weekend will be busy with several fights available for viewing. UFC Fight Pass will also be free this weekend.

Friday

  • 3 p.m. pst/6 p.m. est – TKO MMA will have two female bouts as Lindsay Garbatt takes on Griet Eeckhout and Ashley Letourneau battles Ashley Nichols. This  will stream on UFC Fight Pass.
  • 6 p.m. pst/9 p.m. est – Legacy Fighting Alliance kicks off their first card with Montana Stewart taking on Cynthia Calvillo .

Saturday

  • 4 p.m. pst/7 p.m. est – ShoExtreme will begin the year with a female Super bantamweight boxing world title bout as WBO champion Amanda Serrano takes on Yazmin Rivas.
  • 5 p.m. pst/8 p.m. est – InvictaFC will hold its 21st card with the main event crowning an interim featherweight champion. The seven fight card will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Sunday

  • 3:15 p.m. pst/6:15 p.m. est – UFC Fight Night sees Nina Ansaroff take on Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger in a strawweight tilt. Will stream on UFC Fight Pass.
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