The third tournament of Bellator’s eighth season gets under way Thursday night as the lightweights take to the cage at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan to compete for a shot at 155lbs. championship gold. XFO veteran “Il Will” Will Brooks (8-0) puts his undefeated record on the line as he makes his promotional debut against crafty Bellator veteran Ricardo Tirloni (15-3). Former welterweight “The Caveman” David Rickels (11-1) and toughman “Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (12-2) will engage in a war of heavy-handed strikers as each man looks to take out the other with his fists. Top Russian lightweight “Tiger” Alexander Sarnavskiy (21-1) and Brazilian kickboxer Thiago Michel (11-3) will clash in a style-versus-style match-up between submission specialist and striker. In the main event “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (10-4) looks to get back to his winning ways when he faces XMMA veteran and Canadian knockout artist “Il Toro” Guillaume DeLorenzi (10-1). Eight contenders will step into the cage at Bellator 87 but only four will leave with a stamped ticket for the tournament semi-finals, and being that the 155lbs. division is arguably Bellator’s most dynamic, the evening is sure not to disappoint.
Friday night the Bellator Season 6 Lightweight Tournament Quarter-Finals went down at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas. Eight men entered the cage for the Bellator 62 main card on MTV2, just half of which left as victors and with a ticket to the semi-finals in hand. The 155lbs. tourney boasted several familiar faces as well as new faces teeing off in a quartet of bouts that had the crowd on their feet and the commentators flabbergasted. ”Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (12-1) took on the elder of the “Pitbull” brothers in Patricky Freire (10-3). Former 170lbs. tournament finalist and Judo Olympian Rick Hawn (12-1) made his debut at lightweight against Brazilian force Ricardo Tirloni (14-2). Another former welterweight tournament contender, Brent Weedman (19-7), made his 155lbs. debut against JJ Ambrose (17-4). “The Brazilian Bomber” Rene Nazare (10-2) and Thiago Michel Pereira Silva (10-2) kicked off the tournament as the opening match. Though the intended Bellator 62 main event – a twice-rescheduled rematch between ”Big Monster” Thiago Santos (10-1) and “The American Soldier” Eric Prindle (7-1) to determine the Bellator Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament Champion – was scratched due to Santos missing weight by nearly 13lbs, the lightweights brought the heat for the third event of Bellator’s sixth season.
The Lone Star State will host the third event of Bellator’s sixth season in Laredo, Texas at the Laredo Energy Arena. A restocked tournament of eight lightweight warriors are ready to go to battle for a shot at newly minted champion Mike Chandler (9-0), and the third-time’s-the-charm scheduled meeting of heavyweights “Big Monster” Thiago Santos (10-1) and “The American Soldier” Eric Prindle (7-1) is set for the main event. Bellator veteran “The Brazilian Bomber” Rene Nazare (10-1) faces knockout artist Thiago Michel Pereira Silva (9-2). Former welterweight tough man Brent Weedman (18-7) drops down to a new weight of 155lbs. to welcome newcomer and rising star JJ Ambrose (17-3). Olympic Judo powerhouse Rick Hawn (11-1) moves down to a more natural weight for his frame and looks to hand Brazilian Ricardo Tirloni (14-1) his first loss since 2008. The co-main event features two power punchers with a knack for nasty battles as “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (10-2) faces fellow iron chinned striker “Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (11-1). Tomorrow night only four competitors will move onward in the lightweight tournament, and either Prindle or Santos will rise to challenge “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (9-0) for the heavyweight crown. Undoubtedly all ten fighters on the Bellator 62 main card will put everything on the line to join those ranks.
Last night some of the most prominent names in mixed martial arts convened at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada to honor nominees in 22 categories at the 2011 World MMA Awards. The categories, which are selected by a nominations panel then voted on by fans, honor all things MMA, from fighters, to referees, to equipment, apparel, ring girls, and much more. The annual awards show, now in its fourth year, once again saw the UFC taking the majority of the honors. And the winners are…
It was the conclusion to yet another successful and entertaining season for Bellator Fighting Championships, last night docking in Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the bantamweight and heavyweight tournament finals and the return of UFC veteran and hometown fighter “Batman” Kurt Pellegrino (16-7) against heavy-handed Brazilian “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (4-1). ”The American Soldier” Eric Prindle (6-1) faced “Big Monster” Thiago Santos (6-1) for the Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament title and a shot against champion “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (8-0). Bantamweights “The Executioner” Alexis Vila (10-1) and Eduardo Dantas (9-2) faced off in the youth versus experience, speed versus power match-up. A late addition to the main card in TUF Season 8 runner-up “The Filipino Assassin” Phillipe Nover (5-4) and Polish prospect Marcin Held (12-2) started off the night with a three-round battle between the young fighters looking to steal the spotlight of the organization’s 155lbs. division. Controversial decisions and stoppages aside, the evening closed out Bellator’s fifth season with the bang that is sure to leave fans clamoring for the start of Season 6.
—MAIN CARD (on MTV2 and EPIX HD)—
Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament Finals Fight
Thiago Santos vs. Eric Prindle: Fight is ruled a No Contest due to Santos’ inadvertent groin strike
Lightweight Feature Fight
Patricky Freire vs. Kurt Pellegrino: Freire via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 0:50
Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament Finals Fight
Alexis Vila vs. Eduardo Dantas: Dantas via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Lightweight Feature Fight
Marcin Held vs. Phillipe Nover: Held via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The last of the Bellator Season 5 tournament finals are under way this Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey with the heavyweights and bantamweights taking to the cage determined to earn a bonus check to the tune of $100,000 as well as a shot at his division’s respective champion. Forty-year-old knockout artist and bantamweight underdog “The Exorcist” Alexis Vila (10-0) will face the young and wild Brazilian Eduardo Dantas (7-2) for the 135lbs. title shot against “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (14-2). Boxing stand-out ”The American Soldier” Eric Prindle (6-1) will face the giant from Brazil in “Big Monster” Thiago Santos (6-1) for a shot at Bellator Heavyweight Champion “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (7-0). A treat for the locals will be the return to the cage and Bellator debut of UFC veteran and New Jersey native “Batman” Kurt Pellegrino (16-6); welcoming him to the cage is heavy handed “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-1). A 170lbs. bout was scheduled between former Bellator Welterweight Champion “Cyborg” Lyman Good (11-2) and Michael Costa (10-5), however a last-minute injury forced the bout off the card. Now a lightweight showdown between UFC veteran and TUF Season 8 runner up ”The Filipino Assassin” Phillipe Nover (5-3) and returning one-time Bellator veteran and Polish prodigy Marcin Held (11-2) will take the honors of opening up the Bellator 59 main card on MTV2.
Mixed martial arts invaded the night life of Atlantic City, New Jersey last night with a stacked card that suffered several hiccups in regards to the supporting bouts, but nonetheless did not disappoint. Headlined by a superfight between Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2) and “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-9) and a supporting lightweight title contender bout between Season 4 finalists “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-1) and Michael Chandler (8-0), the card made promises of a stellar night of fights from the outset. Despite a bantamweight fight between Anthony Morrison (14-9) and Byran Goldsby (14-9) being cancelled due to Morrison missing weight by an astonishing 10lbs., the premium MMA organization from Chicago still had more than enough talent on its undercard to make good on those promises. “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (30-4) made his return to the cage against rising middleweight star Brett Cooper (12-6) and kicked off the night with a middleweight qualifying match that was followed by a pair of bouts that were every bit as exciting as the fans have come to expect from Bellator.
Falaniko Vitale vs. Hector Lombard: Lombard via KO (Punch), Round 3, 0:54
Patricky Freire vs. Michael Chandler: Chandler via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27), Round 3, 5:00
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper: Shlemenko via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The historic setting of Atlantic City, New Jersey, known for its casinos and night life, will host Bellator 44 tomorrow night with a locked and loaded main card that is perhaps the organization’s best offering to date. Even after the loss of “Cyborg” Lyman Good (11-2) to a hamstring injury last week that caused his fight with “The Handler” Dan Hornbuckle (18-4) to be put on hold, the card remains stacked with fighters known for their exciting styles. Bryan Goldsby (14-9) and Anthony Morrison (14-9) kick off the main card with a bantamweight fight that guarantees the winner the final spot in the Season 5 tournament, proceeded by returning title contender and self-proclaimed “pure striker” Russian-born kickboxer “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (29-4) meeting former welterweight Brett Cooper (12-5) who has found new life at a more natural weight of 185lbs. Then, Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament finalist “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-0) will meet Mike Chandler Jr. (7-0) for the title of tournament champion and to earn his place as the next man in line for reigning 155lbs. champion Eddie Alvarez’s (21-2) belt. The trio of promising bouts will prime the pump for an explosive main event superfight in the middleweight division pitting UFC, Strikeforce, and SUPERBRAWL veteran “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-8) against the dangerous king of the Bellator middleweight division “Shango” Hector Lombard (26-2). Vitale’s slick Jiu-Jitsu may be enough to end one of the longest win streaks in MMA, but he will have to get past Lombard’s aggressive sweet science first or end his night sleeping on the canvas.