“I believe you yanks call this a mean mug?” PicProps: Bellator.com
Since we mentioned it yesterday in that blatant vanity post, we’ll go ahead and fill you in with some of the details about Bellator’s plans for the summer. As you may remember, a BFC press release announcing the deal with MTV2 made a vague mention of “a collection of special feature events” on top of two full seasons a year. Details at the time were sketchy, and we weren’t really sure what those special feature events would entail. As the season four tournaments unfolded, we heard more and more about tournament action between seasons, initially referred to as a “mini-tournament”. We’d been thinking that this meant perhaps a couple of four-man brackets, maybe some of those Super Fights that Bellator digs so much.
Man, we were way off. Bjorn Rebney, head honcho of the BFC, has put together another intriguing tournament at 145, and that, ladies and germs, will be your main course for the summer series. If you are interested in that kind of thing, we’ve prepared a short primer on the featherweight tourney, plus a preview of Bellator 46, where the four quarterfinals will kick off in that other Hollywood.
Although we suppose you could come in and just throw poop at the new guy. Whatever.
Marlon Sandro (17-2) vs Genair “Junior PQD” da Silva (10-3)
Of course you guys remember Marlon Sandro, the Zombifier in Chief out of Brazil’s Nova Uniao, and you of course remember that he consensus Top-5 here in the office, will match firepower with Brazilian Genair da Silva, a Renovacao Fight Team rep who likes knockouts, puppy breath, knockouts, long walks on the beach, knees on the ground, and knockouts. There’s a bit of a rivalry between the two styles (no really), so have your popcorn ready.
Ronnie “Kid Ninja” Mann (19-2-1) vs Adam Schindler (9-1)
When Ronnie Mann made his Bellator debut a month ago, we thought it was some guy’s fifteen year old son that snuck into the cage. While he managed to do very unkind things to the face of some poor guy whose name escapes us at this time, he failed to actually end the fight, instead earning a lopsided decision and a spot in this tournament. Mann did make a good impression with his wrestling prowess–not something you expect from a Brit– and some serious offense on the ground. Meeting him will be submission wrestler Adam Schindler, a West Virgina native who won the state’s wrestling championship twice. An Air Force vet (My man! -RX), Schindler has victories at StrikeForce and Bellator, and it will be interesting to see how Mann’s wrestling matches up. The fight will be Schindler’s first at 145, after fighting at lightweight since his 2007 debut.
Pat Curran (13-4) vs Luis “Baboon” Palomino (16-6)
We passed along the news that Pat Curran was dropping down to 145, after a controversial Cinderella run through the season two brackets and subsequent loss to fade model and all-around BAMF Eddie Alvarez. Now fighting at a more natural weight, expect Curran to be a force to be reckoned with. Curran draws Peruvian-American contender Luis Palomino, who frequently competes at 155, including wins over Jorge Masvidal and Jose Figueroa and losses to Yves Edwards and Johnathan Brookins. Palomino took part in the first Bellator featherweight tournament, losing a split decision at Bellator 1 just two short years ago. On paper, it seems like an easy win for Curran, but Baboon has the tools to make it interesting.
Nazareno Malegarie (19-1) vs Jacob Devree (10-1)
After the 24 year old Argentine’s battle with eventual tourney finalist Daniel Straus, we reported that we would pay to see him fight again. Since Bellator listens to its fans, here’s Naza again in tournament action. Now carrying his first loss at 19-1 (which is still, you know, pretty alright as far as pro fighting record go), the Thiago Tavares training partner will be hungry for a win. His opponent is Jacob Devree, who we’ll admit not being familiar with. Apparently the PR folks at Bellator aren’t too sharp on his background either, since he rates exactly one sentence in the press release they sent to us. He’s probably legit though: they totally referred to him as “fast-rising”.
Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (10-4) vs Carla Esparza (5-1)
Also slated for action at Bellator 46 is a return to the women’s 125, with tournament vets Carla Esparza and Jessica Aguilar set to lock horns. Esparza had an excellent showing against Megumi Fujii at Bellator 24, despite being a relative MMA n00b at 3-0 and taking the fight on just three days notice (replacing an injured Angela Magana). Now with two wins between her and that first loss, the former high school wrestler has an intriguing matchup with Jag. Aguilar rebounded with a submission victory in November after her screwjob-loss to Zoila Frausto-Gurgel, and she will bring her fierce intelligence and unending positivity to the cage for this one. Oh wait, she’s also one of the most complete fighters in WMMA, repping American Top Team. If you still believe that women don’t have the skills for MMA, go ahead and DVR this fight. Then we’ll accept your apology.