Pat Curran put fellow featherweights on notice at Bellator 48, knocking out top ranked 145 fighter and former Sengoku featherweight king Marlon Sandro in the second round with a devastating head kick. The bout was closely contested for the most part, but Sandro always seemed one step ahead of Curran with his speed and head movement. All that head movement got him in trouble in the end though, when he dropped his hands and ducked right into the high kick of Curran. The victory is Curran’s second Bellator tournament win and earns him a shot at the Bellator featherweight title in the near future.
In the co-main event, Cole Konrad remained unbeaten in MMA, picking up a unanimous decision victory over veteran Paul Buentello. The fight was not what fans expected, as Konrad stood with Buentello for most of the fight, but neither man seemed very willing to engage in leather throwing. “The Polar Bear” nearly finished “The Headhunter” in the third round with a rear-naked choke, but Buentello was able to survive to see the unfavorable scorecards. Fans were displeased throughout the fight, booing the majority of the contest.
Read below for complete results of the evening’s action:
Saul Almeida def. Tateki Matsuda via Unanimous Decision
Ryan Quinn def. Brett Oteri via Submission Round 1 (Rear Naked Choke)
Andrew Calandrelli def. Matt Nice via Submission Round 1 (Keylock)
Nik Fekete def. Mark Griffin via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Jeff Nader def. Dan Cramer via TKO Round 3 (Strikes)
Juan Barrantes vs. Renê Nazare
Round One: Nazare came out very aggressive and landed some big flurries on Barrantes. Nazare rocked Barrantes a couple of times with right hands but Barrantes was able to hang in there. Nazare really lit up Barantes with a lead uppercut-straight right combo. Barrantes ended up getting his nose busted from the punches of Nazare. Nazare got a takedown and roughed up Barrantes with punches and elbows. Barrantes did a nice job moving in order to remain in the fight but he took a beating for over two minutes on the ground. Nazare went for a guillotine choke at the end of the round but Barrantes was able to escape as the bell rang. A dominant round for Nazara. 5OZ scores the round 10-8 for Nazare.
Round Two: Barrantes tried to turn up the aggression to start the round but Nazae fired right back and had more power in his strikes, along with being more technical. Nazare scored a takedown just over a minute into the round and spent over two minutes pounding on Barrantes from the guard. He didn’t do as much damage as he did in the first round but he still roughed up Barrantes with punches and elbows. Barrantes landed a beautiful sweep but Nazare got up, landed some short punches, and scored another takedown. The round ended with Nazare on top, landing some short strikes. Not quite as dominate as round one, but still all Nazara. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Nazare.
The doctor stopped the fight after the second round as Barrantes’ right was swollen shut. Barrantes is disappointed with the stoppage but it’s a good call.
Result: Renê Nazare def. Juan Barrantes via TKO Round 2 (Doctor Stoppage)
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Seth Petruzelli
Round One: After some wild striking that went nowhere, Petruzelli caught Rodriguez with a spinning back kick that grazed the cup of Ricco. Rodriguez took a short break and fought on though. Petruzelli got a takedown but Rodriguez was up without taking much damage. Petruzelli landed some good right hands and leg kicks before Rodriguez pushed him against the cage. Petruzelli broke off though and continued to pick apart Rodriguez with strikes. Petruzelli landed a couple of spinning back kicks that got the attention of Rodriguez. As Rodriguez lept in, Petruzelli caught him with a big right hand that put him down and Petruzelli followed up with a series of hammerfists that put Rodriguez out cold.
Result: Seth Petruzelli def. Ricco Rodriguez via KO Round 1 (Strikes)
Cole Konrad vs. Paul Buentello
Round One: Konrad flashed a nice jab early but otherwise nothing happened on the feet for the first three minutes or so. Buentello really never committed to his strikes and Konrad was rather passive on the feet as well outside of his jab and inside leg kicks. Konrad grew frustrated as Buentello kept moving away and not engaging. The round was all on the feet and maybe five punches total were landed. Konrad wins the round though just because he threw more and controlled the center. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Konrad.
Round Two: Buentello was a bit more aggressive in the second round but still never really found the chin of Konrad early one. Konrad continued to use his jab and inside leg kick. Konrad finally went to clinch but Buentello was able to avoid it. Once again, not much happened in terms of significance but Konrad seemed to be more in control. Tough round to score though due to the lack of action. Slight edge to Konrad thanks to his aggression and ring control. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Konrad.
Round Three: Buentello landed a good combo but then either slipped or got caught and when down. Konrad immediately pounced on him, got his back, and went for a rear naked choke but couldn’t sink it in. Buentello managed to roll into half guard but Konrad was still on top of him. Konrad landed short shots from the half guard but not doing much damage or staying busy enough for the ref, who stood them up with a minute left. Buentello tried to push the action but Konrad clinched and rode out the round. Easiest round to score as Konrad was on top for most of the round. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Konrad and the fight 30-27 for Konrad.
Result: Cole Konrad def. Paul Buentello via Unanimous Decision
Pat Curran vs. Marlon Sandro
Round One: Curran throwing push kicks early while Sandro having success with leg kicks. Both men looking for the overhand right but neither connecting. Sandro really using the right uppercut-left hook combo effectively early. Curran staying patient but can’t find the chin of Sandro when he does throw. Sandro is the more aggressive of the two but he’s not landing too much clean outside of the leg kicks. Sandro went for a late round takedown but Curran sprawled to stuff it as the bell rang. Close round but Sandro seemed to be more effective with his striking. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Sandro.
Round Two: Curran doing a better job early in the second, landing some good kicks to the body and legs along with the counter right. Sandro winging his punches a bit but he’s finding the chin of Curran more often this round, especially with the jab-overhand right. Curran cut near his eye. Curran clinched and looked for a takedown but Sandro stayed upright. Sandro might not be landing but he’s getting Curran to cover and back up with his aggression. Curran having success with the body kick but not using it too often. Curran landed a HUGE head kick as Sandro was moving his head and Sandro went out cold. Curran landed a couple more strikes on the ground as the ref jumped in to push him away. Outstanding finish.
Result: Pat Curran def. Marlon Sandro via KO Round 2 (Head Kick/Punches)
*PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR*