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Why You Should Get Excited for Bellator

by on June 25, 2011

By Daniel Galvan

The summer series of Bellator is hours away, and it’s unbelievable how many people are unaware of it or the match-ups on it. It may be because of all the MMA that has been going on that the opening round for the Bellator summer series featherweight tournament has gone unnoticed. Although it really should not be as this tournament features some of the best featherweight fighters and prospects. This tournament also promises good fighters who have had a plethora of great fights in the past. The star of the tournament is the 17-2 Marlon Sandro who has had a highlight reel of knock-outs in the Sengoku promotion. His most gruesome knock-out has to be his uppercut destruction on Kanehara at Sengoku 13. Sandro is coming off a tough loss to Hioki where he was just overwhelmed by the future UFC bantamweight. A loss to Hioki isn’t too bad because Hioki has looked really great in his past couple of fights, and maybe one of the better Japanese fighters to debut in America. Marlon is still a guy that is a legitimate featherweight contender, training with the best featherweight in the world, Jose Aldo. Besides his powerful punches, Sandro is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


Ronnie Mann is the other fighter that is currently one of the top featherweights. Ronnie is one of those weird cases, as he is a British fighter that actually has…wait for it…wrestling and grappling abilities! Yes, I kid you not. Mann is actually a solid wrestler and fantastic Jiu-Jitsu artist. He is a 24 year-old with a lot of experience, winning two out of his three Sengoku fights. His one loss is similar to Sandro as he lost to Hatsu Hioki via Triangle Choke in 2009. Mann is coming off his Bellator debut where he just out-classed Josh Arocho. Ronnie is another favorite to take this tournament.


Bellator also has three former tournament fighters in this tournament that could very well take the whole thing. Luis Palomino competed in the first ever Bellator featherweight tournament at Bellator 1. Although losing, Palomino has grown from that loss, and has improved his striking. Luis is a relentless striker with superior boxing skills. Palomina completely overwhelmed Daron Cruickshank with a headkick and punches in one of his recent fights. Pat Curran is making his return to featherweight after a hard loss to Eddie Alvarez. Although a lot of people will lose to Eddie Alvarez. Curran is the cousin of Jeff Curran and is rapidly making a name for himself after he winning one of the Bellator lightweight tournaments. Curran used his superior striking to KO Canadian Prospect Mike Ricci and outstrike Roger Huerta. Although winning a controversial decision to Toby Imada, Curran was still impressive in that fight especially in the third round. Nazareno Malegarie was actually part of last season’s featherweight tournament in an awesome back and forth fight against Daniel Straus who went onto the finals of that tournament. Malegarie is an awesome grappler, and has a lot of experience for a young age. Nazareno also has unorthodox striking and is a fun fighter to watch. Anyone of those three fighters can win this tournament and take it to the winner of Joe Warren and Patricio Freire.


And it would not be a Bellator tournament if there weren’t any prospects that could easily steal the tournament and are dark-horses. The first is Adam Schindler who has had two wins on Strikeforce and Bellator under-cards. Schindler is an elite wrestler sporting his way to a 9-1 record. Schindler is definitely a sexy pick as a dark horse as he is similar to Michael Chandler in last season’s lightweight tournament. Jacob Devree is similar to Schindler, as he is a solid wrestler out of Arizona. Devree trains with Dolloway, Bader, and Simpson which promises strong wrestler and ground and pound. Genair de Silva is a quick featherweight who has a solid ground game. He has solid jiu-jitsu and clench-work, riding a 5 fight win streak. He probably has the longest odds to win the whole thing, but you never know with Bellator prospects. Just for fun I’ll give you my odds for each fighter on them winning this tournament in my opinion.


Marlon Sandro 3 to 1
Pat Curran 5 to 1
Ronnie Mann 7 to 1
Adam Schindler 9 to 1
Nazareno Malegarie 12 to 1
Jacob Devree 15 to 1
Luis Palomino 20 to 1
Genair de Silva 30 to 1


By Daniel Galvan
Send me an email at
Follow me on Twitter @Danielgal 

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