In MMA Gospel’s first installment of Bellator: The Draft, the women, bantamweights, and featherweights were covered. This time, MMA Gospel looks to Bellator Fighting Championship’s (BFC) two strongest divisions: lightweight and welterweight. With top class fighters like Eddie Alvarez (19-2), “El Matador” Roger Huerta (21-5-1), Pat Curran (12-3), Ben Askren (7-0), and “The Assassin” Chris Lozano (6-0), BFC could be said to rival or even surpass Strikeforce and DREAM in these divisions. However, there is always room for improvement and the fighters listed below are exactly the kind of men Bellator needs to solidify a position as a promotion that belongs in the same league as its bigger rivals.
There’s no doubt “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (13-1) shocked a lot of people with his win over the now former WEC Lightweight Champion “Smooth” Ben Henderson (11-2) last Thursday night to claim the honors of being the very last ever WEC 155lb. title holder and earn his spot as the first man in line to face the winner of “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1) vs. “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0). Pettis came into the WEC 53 main event bout as the underdog, but it sure didn’t appear that way as “Showtime” controlled the pace and consistently landed the more damaging shots through much of the fight. And, in what will surely make MMA highlight reels for years to come, in the final round Pettis delivered an astonishing Matrix style off-the-cage kick that connected hard to the left side of Henderson’s skull and momentarily dropped the champion to the canvas. It is safe to say that his match against “Smooth” showcased Pettis’ best performance to date and proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that he indeed has earned his moniker “Showtime”.
Pettis’ next big task in his only three-year-old professional fighting career is to face either Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard in hopes of dethroning the current champion or giving the top contender his first loss in order to unify the lightweight belt between the two promotions once they merge in 2011. One of these three men – “Showtime”, “The Answer”, or “The Bully” – will be the undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion. Both of the UFC fighters have unique fighting styles and each pose different threats to Pettis. How will “Showtime” fare against the upper echelon of the talent pool boasted by the UFC? What challenges does he face, and how will he overcome them? Let’s take a closer look at the potential match-ups for Anthony Pettis.