If you've never been to a Bellator event or possibly skipped out on watching them on TV because they aren't your beloved UFC, well you should definitely rethink that opinion. I know when you've been sold a product for so long and it just keeps getting better you get use to it and you want to give it all of your love and affection. You want to commit all of your MMA heart to it like that girl who bakes you cookies and washes your stinky socks and even gives your socially awkward self sexual relations a few times a week. I'm here to tell you though, that your heart has room for other MMA organizations. In this case it is OK to love more than one at the same time. Your love of MMA should be like the concept of polyamory or living in Utah or the show Sister Wives: you can love many at once and it's perfectly OK. Only apply that to MMA though, please. I don't suggest trying to go home and convince your girlfriend that you need to be able to love four more chicks at the same time.
I've always enjoyed Bellator and the UFC, and ONE FC and (the now defunct) Strikeforce at the same time. Last night really sealed the love in my heart for Bellator though and I hope it continues to get love from more and more fans through the new reality show and new exposure on Spike TV. I attended the Middleweight Championship last night in Atlanta, GA and was thoroughly impressed with the entire show.
Bellator just keeps getting better and better. The skill and showmanship of their fighters is top notch. They come into a city and grab a few local fighters and give them a chance to really showcase their skills in a larger cage in front of their hometown crowd and gain some new fans via the internet preliminary streams. They don't just grab anyone though-they really look for some local fighters that will put it all out there in the cage and put on a show. Last night, one of the prelim fights really stands out to me thanks to the consistent action and spectacular between two area fighters Jerrid Burke out of Athens, GA and Joe Elmore out of X3 Sports in Atlanta. That fight was one of pleasant surprises of the night. Elmore ending up winning via a brutal big over hand KO in the second round.
Besides some really exciting and mostly action packed local fights, there was an impressive slugfest between two fighters out of Minnesota-Mike Richman and Mitch Jackson that also ended via nasty TKO when Jackson was knocked out via a head kick from Richman but then had to endure still more punches that made most of press row cringe and murmur for the beating to put to an end.
The rest of the night was like an International war of sorts-Brazil vs Russia. The accents and foreign words being yelled from the supporters in the crowd and corner men were in and of themselves a great addition to intermix with the twang filled cheers from a Southern American crowd. The Brazil vs Russia fights really were like international warfare. Frodo Khasbulaev defeated Fabricio Guerreiro after an extremely exciting fight that made Guerreiro appear at times to be made of rubber with all of the heel hooking and knee bar submission attempts Khasbulaev put on him.
In the end he had to succumb to a super tight arm triangle choke. Of the four Brazil vs Russia fights-Russia ended up the winner of two out of the three fights, with Marlon Sandro being the lone Brazilian victor. Shlemenko took out Maiquel Falcao via some shots at the end of the fight that sounded from press row at one point like if his opponent hadn't been made of titanium like Falcao obviously is, he might have snapped his sternum right in half.
All in all it was what some are calling the best night of fights yet for Bellator on Spike TV. Lots of spinning kicks and backfists from all fighters, lots of KO stoppages and submissions and Dan Miragliotta even stood fighters up multiple times and made them push the action. If last night is any indication of where Bellator is headed then we should all get excited for Thursday nights filled with quality MMA for a long time to come. Thanks a ton Bellator, keep the punches in bunches coming.