(Eric Prindle on top)
Bellator 61 tonight was supposed to set up the future and resolve the past dueto both the quarterfinals of the season 6 middleweight tournament and thefinals of the season 5 heavyweight tournament, unfortunately the HW finals havebeen postponed to next weekend’s BFC 62 show due to Prindle’s flu-like symptoms. BFC 61 takes place at the Horseshoe Riverdomein Bossier City, LA with a main card broadcast on MTV2 and undercardwebstreamed on Spike.com.
The middleweight tournament quarterfinals are rather interesting, arguably thestrongest of this season.
After one win in the Octagon Maiquel Falcao’s UFC career was cut short due tohis 2002 assault charge, a release he followed by going 2-1 in 2011 mostrecently defeating Douglas del Rio by TKO. Now in the main event he faces Norman Paraisy whose loss in his soleBellator fight back in April 2009 was followed with five wins (and one draw),most recently defeating Jack Mason in CWFC.
Brian Rogers is familiar to many fans for his Strikeforce win over Ian Rammeland his season 5 middleweight tournament quarterfinal match against VictorO’Donnell but he is coming off a loss to Alexander Shlemenko in the semifinalslast season. Now he faces one of themost impressive Bellator discoveries Vitor Vianna who also lost to Shlemenkobut prior was riding five wins.
On paper M-1 Global vet Vyacheslav Vasilevsky is the most impressive in thistournament as he is riding a fourteen-fight win streak of his 15-1 record, thedownside is his biggest name opponent was Xavier Foupa-Pokam. Victor O’Donnell on the other hand has a morerocky record but owns wins over Rafael Natal and Forrest Petz even if he iscoming off a loss to Rogers mentioned above.
Fans seem divided between those who think Giva Santana is too close toone-dimensional and those who look at him as one of the most efficientsubmission fighters in the sport at 17-1. Santana is coming off an armbar or Darryl Cobb at BFC 53s and also holdswins over Lodune Sincaid, Anthony Ruiz, and former WEC champion DougMarshall. 12-0 Bruno Santos is anotherone of Bellator’s prospects who looks solid on paper but hasn’t faced the levelof competition of for instance Santana, his most recent being a decision overPaulo Henrique Garcia Rodrigues at a show called WFE in September.
LW: Derek Campos vs. Patrick Cenoble
WW: Derrick Krantz vs. Eric Scallan
MW: Trey Houston vs. Jeremiah Riggs
LW: Quaint Kempf vs. Josh Quayhagen
MW tournament: Giva Santana vs. Bruno Santos
MW tournament: Vyacheslav Vasilevsky vs. Victor O’Donnell
MW tournament: Vitor Vianna vs. Brian Rogers
MW tournament: Maiquel Falcao vs. Norman Paraisy