Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bellator 44: It's All About the Local Guys

First, the good news: this weekend, Bellator touches down at Caeser’s Resort in Atlantic City.  And now, the great news: the card features some pretty damn decent local talent.  Yeah, middleweight champ Hector Lombard is taking on UFC vet Falaniko Vitale, and the lightweight tournament final between Patricky Freire and Michael Chandler promises blood splatters and death for everyone, but the meat and potatoes of the card is all about the Northeast fighters who’ve worked their way up to the Bellator stage.  Let’s take a gander at them, shall we?

  • Anthony Morrison – This Philadelphia native can box and he can wrestle, and last year he went from ROC champ to WEC competitor, so you can say Morrison has “been there and done that”.  You can also say he’s going to kill bantamweight tournament washout Bryan Goldsby on Saturday night.  All would be accurate.
  • Sam Oropeza – Fight Factory exponent Oropeza has an interesting style.  He’s got devastating kicks, and his wrestling (or anti-wrestling to be exact) means he’s usually going to stay on his feet long enough to land something.  Oropeza should have his hands full with Giedrius Karavackas, though, who’s emerged as one of the tougher grapplers and beating-dispensers in the area.
  • Jeff Lentz – Lentz may have fallen to some wannabe on TUF 12, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a killer in the Northeast circuit.  He’s taking on WEC, Strikeforce and Bellator vet Anthony Leone, who’s been on a bit of a downward slide of late, so watch for the Kurt Pellegrino-trained Lentz to smash and smash hard.
  • Randy Smith – Smith is big.  That is all.
  • Jay Silva – His explosive striking got him into the UFC way too soon, and he got crushed by Bellator champ Lombard in six seconds last year, but Silva’s still very dangerous.  At Bellator 44 he’s taking on Gemiyale Adkins – a short and stocky heavyweight who likes to bang – so my crystal ball is telling me “flying knee, flying knee, flying knee”.

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