Last night, upstart promotion Bellator Fighting Championships continued its quest for the No. 2 spot in the world of MMA promotions with the start of another new season live on MTV2.
With a move to Spike TV more or less confirmed, one would think that Bellator might make the safe choice and opt into a holding pattern of “good but not great” shows until they can put all their efforts into a Spike TV mega-event. That’s not the case at all, as Bellator 60 had one of the best “Bellator moments” I’ve ever seen. Here are the full results with some early commentary.
- Pat Curran defeats Joe Warren by KO at 1:25 of Round 3.
- Daniel Straus defeats Jeremy Spoon by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
- Mike Corey defeats Ronnie Mann by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
- Marlon Sandro defeats Roberto Vargas by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:35 of Round 1.
- Jake Nauracy defeats Cory Galloway by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:22 of Round 2.
- Travis Wiuff defeats Anthony Gomez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
- Sean McCorkle defeats Richard White by submission (neck crank) at 1:02 of Round 1.
- Josh Shockley defeats Shamar Bailey by unanimous decision (scores not announced).
- Alexandre Bezerra defeats Kenny Foster via submission (rear naked choke) 4:57 of Round 2.
- Genair da Silva defeats Bobby Reardanz TKO (strikes) 0:51 of Round 3.
The start of Bellator 60 was an incredibly dominant performance by Marlon Sandro—unquestionably the night’s most dominant victory.
Sandro is still fighting to get out of the shadow of his KO loss to Pat Curran, and he took a big step towards getting back his aura of a monster with this victory. The way he totally dominated his opponent on the feet and then submitted him with a slick choke was nothing short of super-impressive and awesomely entertaining.
Ronnie Mann, unfortunately, continues to see his hype die in Bellator. I’m a fan of Mann and definitely a fan of the way he comes in looking to knock his opponent out, but this fight clearly demonstrated that his ground game needs serious work in one key area: getting back to his feet.
I hesitate to call this a boring fight or call Mike Corey a “Lay and Pray” wrestler. Corey was always fishing for something, Mann’s ground game was simply good enough for him to threaten with submissions and, if all else failed, get Corey back into his guard.
I’ve always believed that you deserve to get taken down if you can’t defend the takedown, so props to Mike Corey for knowing his opponent’s weaknesses and taking full advantage of them.
It’s always nice to see Daniel Straus win. He’s become one of my biggest “dark horse favorites” in Bellator. He’s incredibly humble, but he’s a diamond in the rough. He’s not just another grinding wrestler. There’s something about him that leads me to believe that one day he’ll be a Bellator champion. I’ll keep cheering for Straus and hoping that he gets his shot at Bellator gold one day.
And in the main event, Pat Curran KO’ing Joe Warren gave me the kind of raw, super-charged emotional reaction that I normally only reserve for big-time UFC main event mega-matches.
It’s simple math, actually: a fighter I really like and respect plus a fighter I really don’t like plus an amazing finish featuring the good guy beating the bad guy in highlight-reel fashion equals me jumping out of my chair shouting “YEAH!” at the top of my lungs.
All in all, Bellator continues its track of excellent shows with Bellator 60. Bellator’s been on a good roll for a good while now, and I’m seriously thinking about reversing my stance and making Bellator my official “dark horse favorite” promotion.
I’ll leave you with this: with the amount of good things happening to Bellator lately coupled with the amount of blows Strikeforce has been hit with following Zuffa purchasing them, Bellator may surpass Strikeforce as the No. 2 promotion by the end of 2012.
Even if Strikeforce makes more money, Bellator could still take the No. 2 spot (at least in my eyes), thanks to their consistently superb shows, especially since Strikeforce’s events have been very “hit and miss” since the Zuffa purchase.
Oliver Saenz, also known as PdW2kX, is a freelance journalist, opinion columnist, hardcore MMA fan, and lifelong video game nerd. For more news, views, previews, and reviews on all things Mixed Martial Arts as well as video games, be sure to visit FightGamesBlog.net.