The Bellator 109 Prelims showcased three impressive prospects catching three stoppage victories in. Bubba Jenkins, Goiti Yamauchi and Blagoi Ivanov are relevant mma fighters in their respective weight divisions.
First, Bubba Jenkins showed that he improved his cardio. The commentators believed this to be the reason he has one loss on his record to Bubba LaRue. Against Ian Rammel, Jenkins was able to display his NCAA Division One Champion pedigree in a workman like victory. Jenkins used double leg takedowns, often with slams, to ground Rammel. He then went on to pound out Rammel in the third round. Now that Jenkins has addressed his cardio and pacing, it will be interesting where his next fight is. Hopefully, Bellator will put him in the lightweight tournament.
Goiti Yamauchi was seven pounds overweight for his clash with Saul Almeida. Normally a grappling whiz, Yamauchi was able to show off some precise, strong striking that sent Almeida crashing to the canvas in the first round. Earlier in the fight, Yamauchi showed off a thai clinch and knees that looked like they were straight out of Yamauchi's hometown of Curitiba. It was like Wanderlei Silva when he trained at Chute Box. At a young twnety years old, Yamauchi now holds a 16-1 record and could be lined up in the Bellator featherweight tournament in the future.
In a heavyweight clash, Blagoi Ivanov was rocked by a flying knee from Keith Bell. Bell was also able to land some nice counter rights as Ivanov closed the distance. Ivanov's nose seemed to be broken, as the fighters clinched against the cage, at the half way mark of the fight. The Bulgarian's spirit was not broken. Ivanov was able to catch a knee and ground Bell and quickly sneak in a rear-naked choke. At only 5'11", Ivanov's not the biggest heavyweight around. Do some research on these three fighters. I am personally willing to bet, at least figuratively, that at least one of the three will at least be a title contender in Bellator. One may even possibly crossover to the UFC. Either way, the three prospects are very skilled and it will be exciting for anyone willing to follow their careers.