Bellator’s welterweight division just became far more interesting.
Earlier this morning, the organization announced that it had signed Marcus “Lelo” Aurelio (no, not Maximus), an explosive Capoeira fighter from Brazil. If the name sounds familiar, it should: He’s the guy from the infamous Capoeira kick knockout video from 2009. And the equally awesome flying switch kick from last August, for that matter.
After getting caught in a triangle choke during his first professional fight, Lelo has gone on to win six straight. None of his fights have ever gone the distance, and his only submission victory was a rear-naked choke over Canadian Muay Thai champion Ken Tran at Battlefield Fight League 7 last March. His most recent effort saw him KO Matt Dwyer with a slam just thirty seconds into their bout in April.
In a press release sent out by Bellator, Bjorn Rebney had this to say about the signing:
“Marcus is an absolute explosive anomaly in our sport,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “If you have never seen him fight, you are missing something totally unique and special. Marcus brings a completely unique style and confidence to the cage that I’ve never seen before. It will be great to see how his explosive Capoeira translates in the Bellator cage.”
Aurelio is set to make his promotional debut at Bellator 73 on August 24, although an opponent has not been named at this time. By the way, Bellator 73 also features both the bantamweight and featherweight tournament finals and Pat Curran defending his featherweight title against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
In a division of solid strikers, Aurelio should have some entertaining battles with the likes of Bryan Baker, David Rickels and Chris Lozano. But how will his ground game hold up against the deep end of the welterweight division? And is he elusive enough to to prevent a five round snoozer against Ben Askren? Tell us what you think.