Welcome to the Thursday morning edition of the round-up. We’ve got the scoop on Bellator’s upcoming Summer Series, UFC featherweight title challenger Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, the departure of Cheick Kongo, and Dana White proves to us once again that he’s got a big heart underneath the rough exterior. Here’s your news:
• Bellator is scheduled to return on June 19 and the main event is a lightweight title bout between undefeated champion Michael Chandler and challenger Dave Jansen. Rounding out the main card are match-ups featuring Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and even the infamous fighter/convict/retired porn actor War Machine. It should make for a great night of MMA action on Spike TV.
• Pettis says his drop to the UFC featherweight division is only temporary and was motivated by a chance to win gold. “Showtime” is a worthy challenger for longtime champion and pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo Jr. and could be one of the only fighters in the world with the striking chops to pose a threat. How could anyone not be pumped for this fight?
• Kongo has not been re-signed by the UFC, marking the end of the line for one of the heavyweight division’s longest tenured competitors. But it appears that, in a rare turn of events, the decision for Kongo to move on was mutual. The Frenchman amassed a respectable 11-6-1 record during his time with the promotion, and at age 37, it could be that he’s seeking lighter competition to close out his career on a high note.
• Props to Dana White for his charitable work in the aftermath of the Boston bombing. The UFC President is often a polarizing figure but you have to respect his willingness to help people out in a time of need.