The mixed martial arts community has been getting fed a wealth of action in the last few weeks. This Friday Bellator jumps back into the fray with another helping of the circle cage for fight fans to enjoy. While the card may not present a lot of top name talent that mainstream and even some hardcore fans will recognize; the main event has the potential to be the best fight of the weekend.
Diego Nunes will make his first appearance outside of a Zuffa cage. Welcoming him will be Bellator perennial featherweight contender in Patricio Freire. This fight takes two athletes who are well versed in multiple areas of fighting to create a captivating bout that should not be missed by MMA fans.
Grappling and striking play a vital role in both of these fighters skill sets. Nunes and Freire have a combined 12 wins by knockout and 13 by submission. Nunes has not finished an opponent since 2008 before he stepped into the WEC and eventually the UFC to face the highest level of competition. Freire, on the other hand, has remained a top contender in Bellator's featherweight division but has failed to grab the title on two separate occasions.
Expect for much of this bout to be contested on the feet. Both Nunes and Freire have solid takedown defense abilities to counter attack each others' wrestling. Patricio has shown to be the more aggressive of the two but that leaves him open to the counter striking skills that Nunes has displayed in the past. For example, he rocked Kenny Florian during their 2011 bout so we could see him lay back and wait to pounce on his opponent.
Though this is the main event of the evening, the matchup between Nunes and Freire is an opening round contest for the next featherweight tournament competition. This series features Justin Wilcox, Akop Stepanyan, Desmond Green, Fabricio Guerreiro, Andrew Fisher and Joe Taimanglo – all of which will appear on Friday's card. Placing these two individuals together is an odd matchup because it certainly could have been the finals of this tournament and created a must see fight for current champion Pat Curran.
Even though World Series of Fighting will host their fifth event and Floyd Mayweather defends his title; the Bellator MMA showcase bout of Diego Nunes against Patricio Freire is the closest matchup in a competition sense. Expect to see some back and forth action as these country mates look to move one step closer to the featherweight crown.