Tonight, the 'Summer Series' of Bellator began with the onset of the Featherweight tournament. Some people prefer the heavyweights; to see the big boys slug it out with hay-makers until someone goes unconscious.
I personally love watching the little guys fly around the cage with speed and precision. Bellator's "little guys" were on display at Bellator 46, and it was an impressive advertisement to be sure.
In the first televised fight of the night, veteran Ronnie Mann took on Adam Schindler. As I watched both fighters walk out to the cage, I couldn't help but feel like Schindler was being offered up to Mann like a lamb to the slaughter. Unfortunately for Schindler, I wasn't too far off the mark.
The fight started off with a flurry of punches. Schindler was able to get some of his strikes through Mann's defense, but it was clear that he was outmatched in the standup game. Mann attacked his opponent with some precise striking, and with about a minute left in Round 1, he was able to clip Schindler with one of his punches, and then pounce on him, knocking him out with subsequent blows. Mann earned the KO victory at 4:14 of R1 officially.
In the second match-up, Nazareno Malegarie's ground game was just too much for Jacob DeVrees. DeVrees scored a few decent takedowns, but after each one, he found himself in some sort of submission. DeVrees was having to defend against subs almost the entire fight. He finally ran out of escape maneuvers at 1:25 of R3 when Malegarie was able to get the takedown, and then got DeVrees to tap to a guillotine from the top.
Sengoku veteran Marlon Sandro made his stateside debut against fellow Brazilian Genair da Silva. The fight started off brilliantly with both fighters looking for the instant knockout. Da Silva was holding his own, but Sandro was throwing and landing a TON of punches, some of which clearly rocked da Silva.
In the 2nd round, it became obvious that da Silva wanted no part of the middle of the ring exchanges with Sandro. It's hard to blame him, but it definitely slowed the pace, resulting in a fight that ended up being a little boring. By the end of the fight, Sandro was seen throwing his hands up in frustration over da Silva's strategy to be elusive.
Sandro earned the split decision victory, which really was controversial due to the fact that it did not appear at all that da Silva had any chance of winning the fight. It's possible da Silva won Round 2, but there's no way that he won the first or third round. MMA judging at its finest, once again.
In the final televised FW tourney matchup, Pat Curran took on Luis Palomino. There's really no other way to say it other than to say that Palomino was just completely out of his depth chart. Curran came right after him from the opening bell, clipped him, go him down, worked for the submission, and finally finished him with a beautiful peruvian necktie at 3:50 of the opening round. Very well done.
It will be interesting to see the way the fighters get paired up in the next fights. Either way, with Mann, Malegarie, Sandro and Curran, we will see two super exciting semi-final fights.