You know how sometimes you work on something for a long time, but toward the end you’re just making it worse, but you’ve already put time and energy into it so you don’t want to trash it? Yeah, that’s never happened to me before.
From Wikipedia: The Casino of the Sky has a functional planetarium utilizing fiber optics to display the sun, moon, and stars accompanying the lighting effects of the Wombi Rock, which is a three-story high crystal mountain crafted of alabaster and more than 12,000 individual plates of hand-selected onyx from quarries in Iran, Pakistan, and Mexico; which were transported to Carrara, Italy and fused into glass.
Now look, we may not be able to fully comprehend the functional value of this “Wombi Rock” but that sounds fucking BALLER. Turns out the Mohegan Sun Casino outside Uncasville, Connecticut is the second largest casino in the United States, and we have some extravagant casinos.
So when Bellator pops off for the third and last time of the summer this Saturday, don’t talk to me about “minor league” and “small potatoes”. With a talent pool that is constantly getting deeper with the excellent scouting from the BFC office, a tournament format that keeps fans coming back, and a spot waiting for them on SpikeTV (*fingers crossed*) Bellator is big time, baby.
Come on in and let’s run down the show, starting off with that Featherweight Tournament Final…
Curran had an unlikely (some would say controversial) run through the 155 pound tournament last year that led him to an unsuccessful bid to become Bellator’s lightweight champ. His progress through the featherweight brackets has been much smoother, including a sweet peruvian necktie on Peruvian Luis Palomino and a three round beatdown on a twelve year old English boy. Curran has blossomed as a striker in Bellator, using punches, kicks, and knees to good effect since he joined the roster, but his wrestling background will be important in the Sandro fight. Curran must avoid Sandro’s bombs, stay smart on defense, and use his speed to jump off his offense. If he can wrestle Sandro down and maintain control, he can be the first guy to win Bellator tournaments in two weight classes.
Marlon Sandro has made his way through the tournament comfortably as well, after entertaining scraps with Genair da Silva and Nazareno Malegarie. The former Sengoku kingpin was expected to be the challenger for the featherweight title Joe Warren. After his surprising upset loss to Hatsu Hioki, Sandro will have to deal with fighters trying to grind him down with defensive wrestling and take away his thunderous power on the feet. Sandro is durable, well-rounded, and experienced, and he needs very little opportunity to land a KO punch. Sandro has the power to test Curran’s chin as it has never been tested before — Curran has never been knocked out, but the Monster from Rio is absolutely capable of leaving Paddy Mike staring up at Wombi Rock when the fight is over.
Cole Konrad claimed the Bellator heavyweight title by doing his best impression of the proverbial immovable object. He’s a huge athlete with a very good wrestling pedigree, but his striking is rudimentary at best, his cardio is unimpressive, and his submission game is a work in progress, polar bear choke or not. Perhaps the biggest question mark for Konrad is how training has been going at Team DeathClutch since Lesnar has been out.
Across from him in the cage, Paul Buentello holds a significant advantage in the stand up game, with better technique and power than Konrad. Thing is, Buentello probably will not be standing for most of this fight. Once on the ground, the Headhunter doesn’t have the strength to get out from under 300 pounds of Konrad, nor does he have the BJJ skills to win off his back. If Buentello can’t stop the takedowns from Konrad, it’s going to be a long night for everyone.
Pay attention to where Rodriguez weighs in — he’s been talking about hitting light heavy for about a year now, and this is his third catchweight in a row. It looks like 205 is a bit too far down for Suave, and the biggest boys at 265 have too much size on him. That won’t be a problem for Rodriguez in this bout, as the Silverback is a jumped-up 205er himself. With a bit of a size advantage and a very solid ground game, Rodriguez should be able to stay away from any Kimbo Killers and work his own game.
Also on the card: BJJ champ Rene Nazare returns to action in Bellator, expect him to show off against Juan Barrantes. Nazare is 9-0 with 7 stoppage wins, and he continues to improve at 28. Something tells us this fight will not go the full fifteen.
On the undercard:
John Clarke vs. Dan Cramer
Andrew Calandrelli vs. Matt Nice
Brett Oteri vs. Ryan Quinn
Nik Fekete vs. Mark Griffin
Saul Almeida vs. Tateki Matsuda