Some people watch The Ultimate Fighter purely for the fights and don’t like the reality TV element. These people tend to be party-pooping wet blankets who think that they’re too good for a little mindless voyeuristic entertainment. Either way, the stuffy “purists” were treated to almost two hours of nothing but fights on the Season 14 premiere of TUF on Wednesday. The fights were pretty solid – as to be expected from bantamweight and featherweight fighters.
This Saturday night Bellator Fighting Championships takes the northeastern US by storm with Bellator 39 in Uncasville, Connecticut. Headlining the event is Bellator Lightweight Champion and top five 155lbs. fighter Eddie Alvarez (19-2) putting his belt on the line for the first time against No.1 contender and Season 2 tournament winner Pat Curran (12-3). Supporting the highly electric main event though is former Bellator Welterweight Champion “Cyborg” Lyman Good (11-1) fighting former Judo Olympian Rick Hawn (10-0) in the first match of Bellator’s Season 4 Welterweight Tournament semi-finals, and “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (2-0) will go to war with two-time tournament finalist and submission wizard Toby Imada (18-15) in Bellator’s first Season 4 Lightweight Tournament semi-final fight. All four semi-finalists have one thing in mind: a shot at the tournament finals and owning Bellator gold, and with four hungry fighters ready to go, there’s no way Bellator 39 won’t deliver. Who will advance to the next round? Let’s take a look at how this Saturday night could unfold.
So, the big news this week in MMA was that UFC parent company ZUFFA, LLC. purchased Strikeforce. Surprising, yes. I can only assume that this happened rather quickly since a secret that big doesn’t stay secret very long and no one seemed to have even heard rumors to this effect prior to the deal being announced by Dana White. However, considering the fact that contracts with fighters and deals with Showtime are already in place and Dana’s assertion that it’ll be “business as usual”, I don’t think we can expect to see any real changes or fallout for the immediate time being. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an eventual merger but I think that’s at least a few years off. Still, I see why it’s a big deal. Zuffa now owns most of MMA – aside from DREAM and Bellator and the much smaller regional organizations. With so few options outside of the Zuffa umbrella can a fighter’s union be on the horizon for the future? I dunno, man… just thinking out loud. I don’t mean to piss off King Dana by any means. Just Nick Diaz needs to have his ADHD medicine (aka: weed) covered by a health care plan, not to mention Diego Sanchez’s face and Brandon Vera’s nose.
This Saturday night Bellator Fighting Championships’ Season 4 Lightweight Tournament kicked off in Shreveport, Louisiana and presented seven solid finishes on both the main and preliminary cards. Top lightweight prospects “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (8-1), Toby Imada (29-15), “Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (11-0), and Mike Chandler (6-0) each finished his opponent and put on solid performances, despite two noted upsets, and all move on to the semi-finals in the Tournament .
—MAIN CARD / LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNAMENT QUARTER-FINAL MATCH-UPS—
“Razor” Rob McCullough vs. “Pitbull” Patricky Freire: Freire via TKO (Punches), Round 3, 3:11
Josh Shockley vs. Toby Imada: Imada via Verbal Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 1:19
Carey Vanier vs. Lloyd Woodard: Woodard via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 0:46
Marcin Held vs. Michael Chandler: Chandler via Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:56
Bellator Fighting Championships stops in at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana for the first round of its Season 4 Lightweight Tournament tonight. Former WEC Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough (19-6) takes on ”Pitbull” Patricky Freire (1-0, 7-1 NSF) in the main event and two-time tournament finalist Toby Imada (27-15) returns for a “third time’s the charm” run at the belt, but first he must get past his new opponent, alternate Josh Shockley (6-0), who joins the roster due to Ferrid Kheder (16-3) missing weight and bolting from the weigh-ins. Season 2 semi-finalist Carey Vanier (8-2) looks to rematch Imada in the semis but first he has to prove his worth against the undefeated submission expert Lloyd Woodard (10-0) while Polish import Marcin Held (0-0, 10-1NSF) makes his debut on U.S. soil against Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Mike Chandler (5-0) who has finished all five of his opponents and all but one of those in the first round. Overall Bellator again delivers a set of brackets filled with intriguing story lines and stylistic match-ups to ensure that the MMA community will be tuning in to MTV2 for every episode of their live mixed martial arts offerings.
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.
Bellator Fighting Championships just got another name added to its stacked lightweight division roster. Former WEC Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough (19-6) has joined Bellator and will compete in the promotion’s Season Four Lightweight Tournament in early 2011 for a title shot at Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2).
A 7-4 run in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) saw him with the lightweight title belt wrapped around his waist and successfully defending his title before losing the belt to Jamie Varner (16-4) in February 2008. Since then he has had mixed success, alternating wins and losses in his bouts until a lackluster fight against Karen Darabedyan (9-4) led to “Razor” finally being cut from the promotion.