Bellator Fighting Championships kicked off its Featherweight Summer Series Tournament with a bang, as Ronnie Mann, Pat Curran, Marlon Sandro, and Nazareno Malegarie all moved on to the Bellator Featherweight Summer Series Semifinals, which take place on July 23 live on MTV2 from Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada.
Ronnie “Kid Ninja” Mann kicked off the night with a first-round knockout of Air Force veteran Adam Schindler. After trading blows to open up the fight, Mann took control and delivered a crushing left hook that dropped Schindler. A killer barrage of ground and pound strikes followed, and just like that Mann had punched his ticket to the Featherweight Semifinals, which will take place at Bellator 47 from Rama, Ontario.
Argentinian finisher Nazareno Malegarie was up next, taking on Arizona native Jacob Devree, who entered the fight riding a seven-fight win streak. It was clear early on that Malegarie was set on making up for his only career loss and Devree would be his victim. The first two rounds were controlled by Malegarie, but he failed to put away the tough Devree. The third round was a different story, as Malegarie was determined to finish the fight and did just that with a guillotine submission that earned him a spot in next month’s Featherweight Semifinals.
Former Sengoku Champion Marlon Sandro then took on fellow Brazilian Genair da Silva in one of the more intriguing fights of the night. Sandro administered a mix of leg kicks and combinations throughout the fight, putting da Silva on the defensive for most of the fight. As the fight moved into the later stages, both fighters wanted a finish and left it all in the cage by exchanging devastating punches. The fight ended up going the distance, and Sandro was awarded the split decision and a ticket to the Featherweight Semifinals.
The final fight of the night saw former Season 2 Lightweight Tournament Champion Pat Curran take on long time Bellator veteran Luis Palomino. The two fighters came out attacking, but the real excitement came when the capacity crowd at Seminole Hard Rock and the viewers watching on MTV2 saw one of the more thrilling and rare submissions in MMA when Curran ended it in round one with a Peruvian necktie to earn a coveted spot in the Featherweight Semifinals.
“Tonight our featherweights put on just an incredible display for our fans, and I couldn’t be happier with what we saw here tonight from the Seminole Hard Rock,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Pat, Marlon, Ronnie, and Nazareno are four very deserving semifinalists, and I can’t wait for Bellator 47 in July.”
It was announced after the fight Ronnie “Kid Ninja” Mann will take on Pat Curran in the first Featherweight Semifinal fight, with Marlon Sandro taking on Nazareno Malegarie in the other semifinal fight at Bellator 47 from Casino Rama on July 23.