and Marlon Sandro
advanced to the final of the Bellator
Fighting Championships Summer Series featherweight tournament on Saturday night, both winning their semifinal bouts by unanimous decision.
Curran overwhelmed Ronnie Mann in a bout that was largely fought standing up, connecting with hard punches and several flying knees in the early going, and always pushing forward while Mann was backing up. By the third round Curran's leg kicks appeared to be doing significant damage to Mann, and Mann had nothing left by the end of the fight. The judges scored it 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Sandro won a lopsided unanimous decision over Nazareno Malegarie, 30-27 on all three judges' scorecards. Sandro's striking was far more effective than Malegarie's, and in a bit of a surprise Sandro actually got the better of Malegarie during the brief times they were on the ground as well. Sandro showed once again that he's one of the best featherweights in the world, and that his exciting, hard-hitting style is a pleasure to watch.
Sandro and Curran will face off at Bellator 48 on August 20 in the tournament final, in what should be an excellent fight.
In a heavyweight fight that started the MTV2 broadcast off with a bang, Neil Grove
beat Zak Jensen by first-round TKO in a heavyweight brawl that was a lot of fun for as long as it lasted, which was exactly two minutes. At one point Grove and Jensen were on the ground and both holding each other in leg locks with one hand while punching each other with the other hand. Eventually Grove got into the superior position and started raining punches down on Jensen, and when Jensen stopped blocking the shots, referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop the fight.
And in lightweight action, Chris Horodecki
won an easy unanimous decision over Chris Saunders, 30-27 on all three judges' scorecards. Horodecki never had Saunders in any serious danger of being submitted, but he showed off good top control on the ground and was the superior fighter throughout. It was a solid if not spectacular Bellator debut for Horodecki, the 23-year-old lightweight who's trying to get his career back on track.