Bellator’s seventh season continues Friday with BFC 75, the quarterfinals of the heavyweight tournament. Bellator’s HW title is vacant with the retirement of Kole Conrad earlier this year while so far Bellator have not found a true standout at the weight class making this a bit of a “do or die” for the division in Bellator, a situation bound to build drama if not “fight of the night” prospects. BFC 75 takes place at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN with a main card broadcast live in the US on MTV 2.
The main event itself between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos is either a long time coming or difficult to get worked up over. In November 2011 these two faced off in the season 5 tournament finals only to have the fight ruled a “no contest” early in the first round when Santos fired off a groin kick that prevented Prindle from being able to continue. Twice during season 6 the rematch was set and twice the fight was scratched, first with Prindle showing “flu like symptoms” then Santos missing weight by 12 pounds. After the second scratch Prindle was handed the tournament championship but his performance against defending champion (and former training partner) Cole Konrad for the title was so one-sided it seemed suspicious. Going back to Prindle vs. Santos definitely seems a step backwards but at least it will settle the loose strings once and for all.
The most interesting fight in the tournament could be Brett Rogers vs. Alexander Volkov. Volkov is one of this season’s Russian fighters with little known about them in the US, in Volkov’s case riding a seven-fight win streak most recently defeating first Ricco Rodriguez then Stefan Stankovic so far this year. Rogers has a spottier record at 12-4 with his four losses (and one “no contest”) being in his last seven fights however those losses were to some of the top non-UFC fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem. Rogers’ Bellator debut wasn’t very impressive as he looked a little slower and out of shape but he did retain his power while showing a new penchant for taking the fight to the ground.
On the undercard the main news is former WEC champion Chase Beebe as he takes on the much less experienced but impressive David Harris. 21-8-1 Beebe so far this year is 3-0 with wins over David Love, Corey Mahon, and Mike Baskis, the Mahon win being Beebe’s first KO/TKO ever. While Beebe is mainly known for his grappling Harris is mainly known for his striking which he showed in his Bellator debut in May, a unanimous decision over Nick Kirk.
From a scouting perspective an interesting match from the undercard is Brandon Delprado vs. Joe Williams. 5-1 Delprado is coming off his first loss, a rear-naked choke at the hands of Daniel Vizcaya in XFO in April. Williams is also coming off his first loss ever, his being a unanimous decision to Andy Uhrich in BFC 73 in August.
BFC 75 card:
Cliff Wright vs. Bobby Reardanz
Anthony Gomez vs. Jose Medina
Jason Graves vs. Rafal Skibinski
Brandon Delprado vs. Joe Williams
David Harris vs. Chase Beebe
HW tournament: Mark Holata vs. Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz
HW tournament: Richard Hale vs. Mike Wessel
HW tournament: Brett Rogers vs. Alexander Volkov
HW tournament: Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos