Competition will always make those involved much better and the same will stay true in the world of mixed martial arts promotions. Next weekend Bellator Fighting Championships will finally make their debut on Spike television. In preparation for this show the organization has put together quite the card that has some potential to be a big showcase event for the organization.
At the top of the card is the lightweight title fight in which budding star Michael Chandler makes his first defense of the title against tournament winner Rick Hawn.
At 10-0 Chandler has become the darling of the organization, especially with the apparent exit of Eddie Alvarez. The former wrestling standout has his work in place for him as he faces off against Hawn, who is a former Olympic competitor. In MMA styles are known for making fights interesting and the fact that both of these individuals bring staunch takedowns and defense to the cage; this bout has the potential to become a striking affair that can steal the show.
Another title defense is set to occur on the card as well as Pat Curran will defend his title against Patricio Freire.
Curran is coming off of his vicious smashing of Joe Warren this past March, where we saw the champion deliver a nauseating beat down to rest the title away from Warren. Against Freire, Curran is going to have to deal with an opponent who has the ability to finish opponents in a multitude of ways. With 17 wins in 18 bouts, “Pitbull” has found a way to finish 13 of those opponents with a mix of knockouts and submissions. Curran also has a diverse resume when you look at his ability to finish bouts so it would not be shocking if this featherweight bout ended on a sudden counter blow or through a scramble that leads to a submission for either fighter.
Along with these two bouts, fans will get to see the return of Renato “Babalu” Sobral as he debuts for Bellator against Mikhail Zayats. The long time veteran has only competed once since 2010, but at 37 years of age one has to wonder if this is nothing more than an opportunity for Bellator to gain a moment of notoriety from an established star; or Zayats use this moment to create a highlight reel knockout over a big name in the sport.
For the past few weeks we have seen the Bellator commercials running during UFC events and now we are just a week away from seeing Bellator’s debut on Spike. Support from the masses on the network that played a major part in the development of today’s MMA world is pivotal for the company to succeed and this show is the first step in that direction.