This is truly a nightmare scenario. Game of Thrones season 2 starts in April, the same time as my final exams. If that was all I had to contend with, it would be ok, but on top of the ever growing UFC schedule, Strikeforce events, Pro Elite and One FC, we also have the start of Bellator season 6 in March. We’re all going to have to make tough decisions in the coming months. If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones before, it follows the constant power struggle for the Iron Throne in the land of Westeros and the families looking to gain power and influence over the whole kingdom. Over in the real world, Bellator sees eight hopefuls pitting their skill in battle against each other for their chance to take on the champion and reign supreme over the whole kingdom/division. Bellator and Game of Thrones are ridiculously stacked with players so it can be hard to follow both. Bellator season 6 starts on March 9th with the featherweight quarter finals so to better acquaint you, our loyal readers with the cast of each, we present to you this guide to Bellator’s featherweight tournament, with copious amounts of Game of Thrones references.
Ned Stark is the head of the Stark family and good friends with the current King, Robert Baratheon. Starks are tough as nails and are well known for their honour; Ned is no different. A proud man, he will keep his word and take care of business with no complaints. Similarly, Marlon Sandro represents a famous family, Nova Uniao and goes in to every fight as if it is a battle that he must win for his family. This is Sandro’s second attempt at Bellator gold after making it to the finals of the promotion’s 2011 Summer Series Featherweight Tournament and he will face Roberto Vargas in the opening round.
The main thing that Roberto Vargas has in common with Jaime Lannister, the twin brother of Queen Cerci Baratheon is that he hates defeat just as much as he likes winning. Since his only career loss to Wilson Reis back in 2009 ‘Beto’ has gone on a tear, winning all six of his subsequent fights. Another thing the two have in common is the ability to win by any means necessary. Jaime Lannister will fight hand-to-hand, with swords, jousting lance or anything else you give him and if you dropped him in to Westeros, I’d imagine Vargas could do the same given his record of winning by various submissions, KO’s TKO’s and decisions. Vargas is definitely well-rounded but is taking a step up in class fighting Sandro; will his versatility see him come out victorious?
As a well-traveled and experienced fighter, I’m sure Ronnie Mann would have no problems being called a ronin, but since we’re also talking about Game of Thrones here I’m inclined to call him a sellsword; a skilled fighter who will remain loyal to the highest bidder. In the game of Thrones universe Mann would be Bronn, a mercenary hired by Tyrion Lannister, dwarf brother to Jaime and Cerci. Mann is the current Shark Fights Feather weight champion and has previously had a run in Bellator, competing in season 5 after a non-tournament win with Josh Arocha at Bellator 46. His season 6 participation was cemented with a win over season 4 semi-finalist Kenny Foster at Bellator 53.
It might sound a bit weird comparing Mike Corey to a female character but bear with me, there are similarities. Daenerys is somewhat of a mystery to those who have watched season 1 of Game of Thrones as opposed to reading the books and without wanting to spoil anything, I can tell you she comes out of nowhere and becomes a major player. This is exactly how I see Mike Corey. Coming out of the shadows, he fought to a draw with Chis Horodecki at Bellator 57 and now replaces Wagnney Fabiano to face Ronnie Mann.
Bran Stark, the second youngest of Ned Stark’s legitimate children yearns for nothing more than the ability to climb the castle walls. This is forbidden however so he must be furtive like a ninja. I’m sure that given the chance, Bran would make an excellent assassin. I also think Alexandre Bezerra would make an excellent assassin given his propensity for winning fights quickly and safely, since nine of his twelve wins have finished in the first round and most of these by submission. Bezerra could be classed as Bellator veteran, with four wins under his belt however this is his first tournament appearance.
Genair da Silva has a score to settle with Marlon Sandro after he lost out in the opening round of Bellator’s 2011 Summer Series Featherweight Tournament and so does Ser Jorah Mormont, a former knight who was banished in disgrace by Ned Stark for selling slaves while serving as a knight. Both da Silva and Ser Jorah have been plotting revenge from distant lands but da Silva will have to make it all the way to the finals if he wants to best Sandro in a rematch. Well played Bjorn Rebney, well played.
Considered one of the best wrestlers of the decade (2001 - 2010) and the greatest Ohio high school wrestlers to never win a state title according to Wikipedia, you could say that Daniel Straus is looking for validation as a mixed martial artist. This search has lead him to Bellator just as the same search lead Ned Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow, a strong and able warrior to The Wall. Straus fought his way to the final of Bellator’s season 4 tournament, only to lose a unanimous decision to Patricio Freire. Will he find validation in this season’s tournament?
Jeremy Spoon may well be undefeated but for many he is also an unknown entity. Nonetheless, being a former champion in another land (KOTC) stands him in good stead to score an upset in the opening round of this tournament against Daniel Straus. I see Spoon playing the role of Khal Drogo, a Dothraki from across the water who is also an undefeated yet relatively unknown warrior. Khal is determined to cross the water to Westeros to claim the throne for himself and no doubt Spoon wouldn’t have entered the tournament if he didn’t intend to claim the Bellator featherweight crown for himself.
If the above mentioned tournament bouts weren’t enough, Bellator 60 will be headlined by a Featherweight Championship bout between champion Joe Warren and season 5 tournament winner Pat Curran. A ridiculously stacked card like this makes you forget we’re about to go through a UFC drought. Bellator’s 6th season kicks off on MTV 2 on March 9th live from The Venue at Horeshoe Casino, Hammond, Indiana.