MMA Junkie Reports:
– 7-1-0 MMA/ Bellator Debut
– 3 Fight Win Streak
– Notable Wins:
– 19-6-0 MMA Record/ Bellator Debut
– 2 Fight Win Streak
– Notable Wins: Marcus Hicks, Rich Crunkilton, Corey Hill
– 28-15-0 MMA/ 4-2 Bellator Record
– Won 4 of last 5 Fights
– Notable Wins: Jorge Masvidal, Carey Vanier, James Krause
– 18-5-0 MMA/ Bellator Debut
– 5 Fight Wins Streak
– Notable Wins: Drew Fickett
– 10-3-0 MMA/ 2-1 Bellator Record
– Won 8 of last 9 Fights
– Notable Wins: Joe Duarte, Rich Clementi
– 10-0-0 MMA/ Bellator Debut
– 2 TKO, 6 Sub, 2 Decision Victories
– Notable Wins: Alonzo Martinez, Ryan Healy
– 5-0-0 MMA/ 2-0 Bellator Record
– 3 TKO, 2 Sub Victory
– Notable Wins: Sal Woods, Scott Stapp, Chris Page
– 10-1-0 MMA / Bellator Debut
– 2 Fight Win Streak
– Notable Wins: Jean Silva
Bellator officials have announced all four lightweight quarterfinal match-ups that will all take place next Saturday at Bellator 36. Rob McCullough vs Patricky Freire, Toby Imada vs Ferrid Kheder, Carey Vanier vs Lloyd Woodard, and Mike Chandler vs Marcin Held will all take place on the televised main card. Bellator 36 takes place on March 12th at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Patricky Freire made his mixed martial arts debut in 2005 and started out 4-0. He then lost a technical decision to former UFC roster member Willamy Freire, and took over a two and a half year break from the sport. Freire returned to MMA in April of 2010 and has since won three straight fights, most recently a unanimous decision victory against Yure Machado at Arena Gold Fights 2 last July.
Rob McCullough has picked up two consecutive victories since being released by the WEC back in November of 2009, following a loss to Karen Darabedyan. McCullough competed twice for the California-based promotion, Tachi Palace Fights, picking up wins against Isaac de Jesus and Corey Hill.
Two-time tournament runner-up, Toby Imada will get another chance at Bellator gold this year. In season one, Imada reached the finals by defeating Alonzo Martinez and Jorge Masvidal. He won the “Submission of the Year” trophy at the World MMA Awards with his spectacular inverted-triangle choke that left Masvidal unconscious. Imada ended up losing in the finals to Eddie Alvarez by second round rear naked choke. In season two’s tournament, Imada once again reached the finals after second round submission wins against James Krause and Carey Vanier. Pat Curran got the split decision victory over Imada in the finals, contrary to many observer’s opinions.
Ferrid Kheder was expected to partake in last year’s tournament, but he suffered an injury during training and was forced to withdraw. He will make his Bellator debut carrying a five-fight win streak with him. Kheder’s last fight was troubled with controversy. After three rounds of action, Kheder was awarded a unanimous decision in a fight that most observers saw as a clear-cut victory for UFC veteran Hermes Franca. It was later reported that the show’s promoter swayed the judges decision, giving the fight to Kheder. The bout was later turned to a no contest because of the promoter’s shenanigans.
Vanier was a semifinalist in last year’s tournament, beating ‘Ultimate Fighter’ alum Joe Duarte with a third round TKO stoppage. He came up short against Toby Imada in the next round, getting caught in an armbar in the second round. Vanier came back later that season to face Rich Clementi in a non-tournament bout, earning a split decision victory.
Lloyd Woodard has stayed busy since making his MMA debut in October of 2008. He has fought ten times, winning all ten fights in just a little over two years as a professional. Most recently Woodard beat 40-fight veteran, Alonzo Martinez by first round submission at an Extreme Challenge event in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Mike Chandler is a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from the University of Missouri. He went pro in mixed martial arts in 2009 and has since amassed a 5-0 record. Chandler was signed by Bellator in September of last year and has stopped both Scott Stapp and Chris Page within two minutes of the opening round.
Nineteen-year-old Polish prospect, Marcin Held makes his first appearance in the United States as the final entrant in Bellator’s tournament. He made his MMA debut in September of 2008 and has since gone 10-1 as a professional. Held’s only defeat was a unanimous decision loss to fellow 155- pound prospect, Lukasz Sajewski at AOF 7 in May of last year. Most recently, Held submitted Bojan Kosednar in the second round with kneebar.