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  • All in all, Colleen Schneider happy just to compete at Bellator 170

    LOS ANGELES -- A lesser person than Colleen Schneider might get mad about being placed on the opening bout of the preliminary card at Bellator 170.

    There are, after all, 19 fighters who don’t even have Wikipedia pages on the prelim card at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday night. But Schneider, who has 17 pro matchups under the belt, finds herself working in the curtain-jerker fight.

    Schneider, who brings a 4-1 record in her past five fights into her Bellator debut, is taking the high road on something other veterans might consider a slight.

    “It’s not disrespectful,” says Schneider (10-7), who makes her flyweight debut on the card. “Of course I want to be on the main card, but this is a huge card, this isn’t some small card that I’m on, if it was I’m sure I’d be on the main card, but this is an absolutely giant event for them. So I don’t take it as a slight of any kind.”

    Of course, by the time Thursday’s Bellator 170 media day at Viacom’s West Coast HQ in Hollywood rolled around, Schneider was happy simply to have an opponent at all. Her originally scheduled foe, Rebecca Ruth, pulled out a week before the bout due to an injury, leaving promoters scrambling to find a replacement. They found one in Michigan’s Chrissie Daniels (2-2), who is coming up from strawweight to take the fight.

    “[Ruth] got hurt a little over a week ago and Bellator was working really hard to find someone, whether going up in weight or staying at 125, whatever it took to get the fight,” Schneider said. “I had a full camp, I feel great, I don’t really care who I’m in here with, I just want to take the fight, it doesn’t matter to me.”

    Regardless who is on the opposite side of the cage when the door locks on Saturday, this marks the beginning of the next chapter in Schneider’s. The Fullerton, Calif.-based competitor shook off a 1-4 start to her career and won eight of her next 10 before earning a shot at Invicta bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger last May.

    Evinger won that fight via unanimous decision, and Schneider decided it was time to give 125 pounds a shot, given that Bellator seems to be making a point of building up the division.

    “I wanted to fight here,” Schneider said. “They don’t have bantamweight, I can make flyweight, so I decided to do flyweight. A lot of it has to do with wanting to fight for Bellator. I’ll be on weight. It’s never fun, but it’s part of the job."

    In the meantime, Schneider plans on opening the show at the Forum and leaving no doubt that next time out, she’s much higher up on the card.

    “I take it as a challenge,” Schneider said. “I take it as, okay, I’m going to go out there and put on a show and get the show off to a great start so that the next time, I’m on the main card.”

  • Ex-Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers charged with three counts of sexual misconduct

    A former Strikeforce heavyweight star has been charged with three counts of sexual misconduct, MMA Fighting confirmed Thursday.

    Brett Rogers, best known for fighting Fedor Emelianenko in 2009, is currently in custody at Ramsey County (Minn.) jail after allegedly groping two men in downtown St. Paul, per the criminal complaints obtained from Minnesota Second Judicial District Court. A former cellmate of Rogers has also accused him of touching him sexually, which tacked on a third count.

    The news was first reported by the Pioneer Press.

    Rogers, who has done jail time on domestic violence charges since the end of his Strikeforce run, allegedly grabbed the crotch area of a man’s pants and his penis in an elevator at a downtown library on Nov. 15. On Jan. 4, Rogers is being accused of grabbing a man’s butt while he was using a bathroom urinal. The man also alleged that Rogers offered to take him into a stall for a “handjob.”

    There is surveillance video of Rogers and the man entering and leaving the restroom, per the complaint.

    Rogers, 35, was arrested following the second incident. He was described in the complaint as “homeless” and “causing many problems as of late in the downtown area.”

    Another man is also alleging that, on Nov. 22, Rogers grabbed the man’s hand and pulled it toward his groin after asking the man if he wanted to go hang out or go to an apartment.

    While being held at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, Rogers allegedly groped his cellmate’s penis through his prison uniform twice while the man was asleep Jan. 11. The cellmate said he didn’t immediately call for correctional officers to come, because he feared Rogers, whom he described as “the biggest, strongest dude in the jail,” would injure him.

    Rogers has denied these charges, per the complaint. Rogers told jail officers that he tapped his cellmate’s leg, but didn’t fondle him as the man has alleged. Rogers said when he talks to people, he touches or taps them, referring to it as a “a black thing.” Rogers said his former cellmate was lying and he was upset by that.

    “I wish he was in front of me, so I could beat his f*cking ass,” Rogers told correctional officers, according to the complaint.

    Rogers has not fought professionally since a March 2015 loss to Derrick Mehmen in Abu Dhabi. He has fought for Bellator and Titan FC and in countries like Japan, Russia and Ecuador since his days with Strikeforce and EliteXC. Rogers, a Chicago native who was working in Sam’s Club before his MMA career, owns wins over Andrei Arlovski and James Thompson.

  • Bellator 170 staredowns

    HOLLYWOOD -- Chael Sonnen, Tito Ortiz, and the rest of the top fighters of Bellator 170 squared off Thursday after Bellator 170's pre-fight press conference.

  • Chael Sonnen brings up Tito Ortiz’s ex in ‘nasty’ round of trash talk before Bellator 170

    LOS ANGELES — Chael Sonnen just dialed up the trash talk to 11, as he has been known to do.

    After Tito Ortiz said at the Bellator 170 pre-fight press conference Thursday that Sonnen has earned his big fights with his mouth, Sonnen weaponized Ortiz’s past relationship with famous porn star Jenna Jameson.

    “Tito always says I’m using my mouth to get my opportunities,” Sonnen said at the event in Hollywood. “The only person that I know that made money using their mouth is his ex-wife.”

    Ortiz was visibly angered by the line. For minutes after it was made, Ortiz stared at Sonnen from across the dais while shaking.

    “Just to correct you, there was never no marriage,” Ortiz said. “You’re a f*cking punk, dude. That’s what you call class, right here, compared to no class.”

    Meanwhile, Sonnen laughed it off.

    “That was a nasty line by me,” Sonnen said. “They don’t call you The Bad Guy for nothing.”

    Jameson reacted on Twitter and didn’t seem to be happy with being brought into the conversation.

    First dumb thing I've heard Chael say... it's like stating the sky is blue and expecting that to be a revelation

    — Jenna Jameson (@jennajameson) January 19, 2017

    (Update: Jameson tweeted later that she wasn’t upset at all by Sonnen’s comment.)

    To everyone thinking @ChaelSonnen 's remark at the press conference for his fight with Tito bothered me, it didn't... he stated the obvious

    — Jenna Jameson (@jennajameson) January 19, 2017

    Sonnen and Ortiz will finally meet in the main event of Bellator 170 on Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The two have been going back and forth on social media and in the press for months, with pretty entertaining trash talk.

    Ortiz, 41, will retire after this fight after a storied, UFC Hall of Fame career. He said Thursday that the trash talk is not getting to him; it’s actually fueling him. Ortiz said he has fought based on emotions his entire career.

    “This ain’t a competition,” Ortiz said. “This ain’t a wrestling match. This is a fight. I’m gonna hurt that man.”

    Sonnen, 39, is making his return after more than three years away from the cage. The top-drawing former middleweight UFC contender was saddled with a doping suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) and vowed to retire. But “The American Gangster” said he’s back now, in Bellator, to go on a “legend’s ass-whooping tour.” First up is Ortiz and then Sonnen wants Wanderlei Silva next.

    The other thing motivating Sonnen is that Ortiz had a long run as the UFC light heavyweight champion at a time when Sonnen felt like he just didn’t get his opportunity. Sonnen felt like he could beat Ortiz then and he feels like he could beat him now.

    “I have made a contention since the ’90s that I’m the baddest dude in the world,” Sonnen said. “On Saturday, we’ll find out.”

    Ortiz embarked on a long promo about him being a lion and Sonnen being a jackal during the press conference. Sonnen countered by snoring into the microphone.

    “You hear that snoring noise?” Ortiz said. “He’s going to be making that in the second round.”

    Sonnen gave Ortiz props for that line and said he believes Ortiz is a legend. Ortiz doesn’t feel the same way about Sonnen, asking what Sonnen has ever done legendary.

    “[He’s] not even a man, he’s a child,” Ortiz said.

    Sonnen, though, got the last laugh, literally, joking during the staredown while Ortiz was dead serious. Sonnen got in some more ribs, too.

    “This show is free on Spike TV,” Sonnen said. “That means everyone can afford it — except for Tito. Because he’s broke. Get it?”

  • Johnson vs. Omielanczuk, Lansberg vs. Macedo added to UFC Fight Night 107 in London

    UFC Fight Night 107 keeps taking shape, as the promotion has added two new bouts to the card.

    On Thursday, the UFC announced a women’s bantamweight bout between Lina Lansberg and Veronica Macedo, and a heavyweight fight pitting Daniel Omielanczuk and Timothy Johnson to be the latest additions to their London event in March.

    Poland’s Omielanczuk will be looking to get back on the winning column, as he’s coming off a submission loss to Stefan Struve at UFC 204. His opponent, Johnson, is in a similar situation, as his last performance was a decision loss to former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 99. Both these fighters are currently just outside the top 10 of the UFC heavyweight rankings.

    In the women’s bantamweight bout, both Lansberg and Macedo will be looking for their first UFC victory. Sweden’s Lansberg made her UFC debut back in September when she fought Cris Cyborg at an 140-pound catchweight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 95 back in September. She lost that fight via second-round technical knockout. Macedo also failed to make a successful UFC debut, as she lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith at UFC Fight Night 93.

    Additionally, the UFC made official Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson, and Joseph Duffy vs. Reza Madadi, which MMA Fighting had previously reported.

    UFC Fight Night 107 will take place on March 18 at The O2 Arena in London, England. The promotion has yet to announce an official main event for the card.

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