The Bellator Summer Series Featherweight Tournament is coming to a close tonight in Uncasville, Connecticut as finalists Pat Curran (14-4) and Marlon Sandro (19-2) meet in the main event to decide who will take on the winner of Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (7-1) vs. “Pitbull” Patricio Freire (9-1). Supporting the main event is a match-up in the heavyweight division that was originally scheduled to take place several months ago but was forced back due to injury as Bellator Heavyweight Champion “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (7-0) makes his return to the cage after capturing the title last fall against UFC and Strikeforce veteran “The Headhunter” Paul Buentello (28-13) in a non-title bout. Buentello is 1-3 in his past four fights while Konrad is coming in undefeated with the hunger to defeat a veteran like Buentello. “The Headhunter” will have to pull the rabbit out of his hat and gain a win in order to breathe life back into his career. In the 205lbs. division former UFC Heavyweight Champion and re-amped “Suave” Ricco Rodriguez (47-11), will meet King of the Cage, EliteXC, and UFC veteran “The Silverback” Seth Petruzelli (13-6). With Rodriguez riding a 12-fight win streak and Petruzelli finally snapping his recent two-fight skid with a first-round TKO victory this match has all the makings of a “Fight of the Night”.
Did you miss me? Well, dry your tears icemigos. I have returned. There was a rough few weeks with no MMA events – at least none that I was able to see. And now… now… I have three events to draw from. Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson, Strikeforce Challengers: Voelker vs. Bowling III, and Bellator 47.
Let’s start from the top. What’s up with Fedor? Sure, anyone can get knocked out by Dan Henderson but before that Fedor was swinging wildly. Yes, Fedor is known to try and finish a fight when he has someone hurt but there was an almost desperate recklessness in Fedor’s attempt to finish – not the precision timing that KO’d Andrei Arlovski in mid-air.
Hello, Icemigos. How was your blah, blah, blah? Yeah and how’s that thing that you do going? Really? That’s interesting. You know how I feel about that. I mean it should go without saying, right?
So with the niceties out of the way let’s get right to the awards! What awards? The first ever SBoI Awards for the week of MMA fights that I saw! “The Iceys®” as they’re called – as of now.
Hollywood, Florida played host to Bellator Fighting Championships as a stacked Bellator 46 card kicked off the Season 5 Featherweight Tournament. “Kid Ninja” Ronnie Mann (20-2) and Adam Schindler (9-2) opened the night at the Seminole Hard Rock while the rest of the featherweights followed. Jacob Devree (10-2) and returning 145lbs. competitor Nazareno Malegarie (20-1) each had a statement to make to prove they have what it takes to be in Bellator. Former Sengoku Featherweight Champion Marlon Sandro (18-2) made his Bellator debut against fellow Brazilian Genair Da Silva (9-4). The main event and closing act of the night featured former lightweight title challenger Pat Curran (14-4) and Luis Palomino (16-7). It was a night of action that the fans have come to expect from Bellator, and the new Summer Series did not disappoint.
Luis Palomino vs. Pat Curran: Curran via Submission (Peruvian Necktie), Round 1, 3:49
Genair da Silva vs. Marlon Sandro: Sandro via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Jacob Devree vs. Nazareno Malegarie: Nazareno via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 1:25
Adam Schindler vs. Ronnie Mann: Mann via KO (Punch), Round 1, 4:14
It’s the official start of the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 5 Tournament series at the famed Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The promotion already promises fireworks with the featherweights going to war for a shot at Bellator gold. Eight fighters will battle each other in the Bellator cage for the right to challenge the winner of current champion Joe Warren (7-1) and “Pitbull” Patricio Freire (9-1) that takes place at Bellator 47 on July 23. With the signings of two international superstars in Cage Rage veteran and Shark Fights 145lbs. champion Ronnie Mann (19-2), who looked nothing but dominant in his Bellator debut, and former Sengoku Featherweight Champion Marlon Sandro (17-2) who not only brings experience to the cage but also insane knockout power, US fans are sure to be on the edge of their seats while observing the first installment of another killer season of MMA action courtesy of the country’s only remaining national promotion outside of the Zuffa banner. Another notable 145er is former lightweight title challenger Pat Curran (13-4) who decided to drop down after his one-sided decision defeat at the hands of 155lbs. king Eddie Alvarez (21-2). Alongside these men are five other explosive featherweights that are looking to make their mark in Bellator history. Returning from Season 4 is the experienced Jiu-Jitsu wizard Nazareno Malegarie (19-1) taking on Jacob Devree (10-1) in the opening match-up of the night. Bellator veteran Luis Palomino (16-6) will have his hands full as he goes against the aforementioned Pat Curran and submission specialist Adam Schindler (9-1) will look to continue his six-fight win streak with an upset over Ronnie Mann in the opening match-ups. Fury FC veteran and heavy handed Genair da Silva Jr. (9-3) will meet Marlon Sandro in the main event of the evening and seek to knockout one of the top ten featherweights in the world.