In terms of a season-opener, you couldn’t ask much more from Bellator 60. We had entertaining fights featuring some of Bellator’s best lighter-weight stars, and the cherry on top was Pat Curran’s KTFO’ing of Joe Warren to win Bellator’s Featherweight Championship.
But which stars shined brightest, and what moments will fans be talking about in the following weeks? Here’s my take on the matter: my top five best moments of Bellator 60.
5. Welcome Back, Bellator!
It’s become a bit of a tradition to do a “welcome back, Bellator” bit when I do a “Top 5” post on whichever Bellator event starts the season. The gist is simple: Whenever I watch a new Bellator season, it immediately makes me remember how much I’ve missed this promotion. It’s one thing to host a series of live MMA shows every week for a few months straight. That’s impressive, for sure, but it’s nothing if the fights don’t deliver.
But in Bellator, the fights do deliver, and they deliver a bigger bang for your buck than virtually any other promotion.
Bellator may still be No. 3 in the grand scheme of MMA promotions, but it’s a promotion with a look, feel and soul of its own that has carved out an impressive niche amongst hardcore fans and fans of highlight reel moments. I’m more than happy to consider myself a hardcore Bellator fan.
4. I Now Know Who Mike Corey Is
I won’t lie: I really wanted Ronnie Mann to win this fight. If he had, I think Bellator would’ve made the smart move and made Ronnie Mann vs. Marlon Sandro a reality. That fight would’ve been a pretty epic stand-up war.
But alas, it was not to be. I can’t blame Mike Corey for that, though. Mike Corey is still the dark horse of this tournament, but I now know he’s got very good wrestling and takedown ability. The man that holds the No. 3 spot on this list was in the exact same position when he entered Bellator as an unknown, and now he’s one of my favorite Bellator fighters. I’ll be paying close attention to Mike Corey.
3. Daniel Straus May Be the Best Lighter-Weight Wrestler in Bellator
Every time I see Daniel Straus, I notice improvements. Maybe it’s the way his stand-up has changed bit by bit to the point where he’s more or less holding his own against anyone. Maybe it’s the way he constantly fights to get out of guard so he can posture up and throw some serious hurt.
Straus hasn’t made a giant leap in any one area since debuting in Bellator, but to be honest, he was already pretty good to begin with, as evidenced by his fighting to the finals of Season 4.
It’s been a joy to watch Daniel Straus perform in Bellator, and I’ll continue to watch and cheer for him.
2. Marlon Sandro’s Performance Was One of the Best He’s Ever Put in under the Bellator Banner
I don’t know enough about Roberto Vargas to have an opinion on him, but from what I saw, it was clearly evident that Sandro was many, many levels above him.
What’s so important to note about this fight was that Sandro dominated his opponent no matter where the fight went. After a performance like that, it’s obvious that Sandro is a heavy favorite to fight to the finals and maybe even win it all.
And my personal pick for the best moment of Bellator 60 is…
1. Pat Curran KO’ing Joe Warren
I say this without hyperbole: It’s fights like this that both remind me of why I’m an MMA fan and make me proud to be an MMA fan.
It’s possible, even probable, that this fight wasn’t called off quickly enough and Warren took a lot of unneeded punishment. But it’s the story and the culmination of that story that made me literally jump out of my seat and cheer: the eager young upstart who rose from obscurity versus the cocky veteran who considers himself the “baddest man on the planet.”
It was an amazing victory and an amazing moment, and I think Curran winning the Bellator Featherweight Championship is officially the benchmark for Bellator’s sixth season in terms of highlight reel moments.
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.
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