Bellator 48: Aftermath

 

Uncasville, Conn. (August 20, 2011) – Bellator Fighting Championships put on another exciting event this past weekend from the Mohegan Sun Arena. This was the promotions final event for their summer series which showcased a feather weight tournament. A two time tournament champion has been crowned, The Heavyweight champion has rounded out his game,  And a veteran further attempts to redefine his career.

Pat Curran def. Marlon Sandro via second-round KO

This fight was to crown the winner of the featherweight tournament that started in June. It started off slow, but that can be expected from Pat Curran. His counter striking style has been the poison for all who come in agressively, and Marlon Sandro was no exception.  The whole first round was a feeling out round as neither fighter wanted to press the action or engage in the pocket for more than one or two strikes at a time.  Once the second round started, Sandro pushed the pace and bloodied up one of Curran’s eyes, but the increase in aggression also left Sandro open to the fight ending head kick.

Curran has once again earned a title shot, but unfortunately he has to wait for another featherweight tournament winner, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire to get a shot at current title holder Joe Warren.  They were suppose to fight in July but Freire was required to pull out due to a hand injury. To add to the delay, Warren has also entered the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament that begins this fall in an attempt to be Bellator’s first champion in two different divisions.

In a way, this may be good timing for Curran as he has already fought four times this year and deserves a break, but if Warren goes all the way to the end of the tournament, Curran may not get his shot until mid 2012.  The next fight decision he may need to make is if he is willing to remain active and jeopardize his title shot.

Cole Konrad def. Paul Buentello via unanimous decision

It was obvious that the Bellator heavyweight champion, Cole Konrad versus MMA veteran Paul Buentello fight was not the most esthetically pleasing fight on the card as the crowed showed their displeasure for the slow pace.  Uncharacteristically, Buentello looked tentative to engage into a brawl like he is known for.  It also looked like Konrad did come out to prove a point.  Through the first two rounds the division 1 wrestling champion showed he could out strike the striker.  Konrad controlled the distance with his jab and kept Buentello’s power at bay.

Konrad’s improvement in striking can be attributed to the addition of kickboxing champion, and current UFC fighter Pat Barry to the Deathclutch camp.  It was great to see that Konrad has been attempting to diversify his game.  Hopefully he will be able to put it all together and also become a champion who consistently finishes fights.
Seth Petruzelli def. Ricco Rodriguez via first-round KO

This was both Seth Petruzelli and Ricco Rodriguez first fight for Bellator and both had to prove they belong in the promotion.  Petruzelli’s unorthodox kicks kept Rodriguez from establishing any striking to  create openings for take downs.  Rodriguez eventually rushed Petruzelli with a looping left hook, but Petruzelli came forward with a straight, knocking down the former UFC heavyweight champion, and eventually Petruzelli finished the fight with strikes from top position.

Petruzelli is best known for his KO of internet sensation Kimbo Slice.  Since then, he has jumped between several promotions, including a 0-2 stint in the UFC.  Now with this win in Bellator, it looks like he might have finally found a home.  During his post fight interview he made it known that he has intentions in competing in the light heavyweight tournament starting in Febuary 2012 and challenging Christian M’Pumbu for the belt.

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