clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bellator's Biggest Card Yet Is Thursday Night

Bellator Fighting Championships will promote the 17th fight card in its two-year history Thursday night, and it has to be considered the best card the promotion has yet put together. With its lightweight champion taking on a well-known UFC veteran, its two semifinal bouts in the marquee lightweight tournament, and a bout featuring one of MMA's best heavyweight prospects, it's a show worth searching the Fox Sports Net listings to find.

The four fights:
Eddie Alvarez vs. Josh Neer
: Alvarez is the promotion's lightweight champion and generally considered the best fighter under contract to Bellator. Neer was let go by the UFC after losing two fights in a row in 2009, but he's now won two fights on small shows in 2010, and he has a big chance to prove himself to the MMA public against Alvarez. If Neer can get Alvarez down and get on top of him I wouldn't rule out an upset, but I do think Alvarez deserves to be a heavy favorite.

Roger Huerta vs. Pat Curran: Bellator really, really wants Huerta to win this fight. He's their golden boy and they very much want him to win the lightweight tournament and fight Alvarez for the title. Curran is an underdog, but he's not a pushover: As he showed in the Bellator tournament's first round (video above), he has one-punch knockout power. I expect Huerta to win by submission and move on to the lightweight tournament final to face the winner of ...

Toby Imada vs. Carey Vanier: Imada will always be known as the guy whose inverted triangle choke was the 2009 Submission of the Year, but in some ways I think that sells him short: People forget that he's won 10 of his last 11 fights, and the only loss was to Alvarez. Vanier was a good college wrestler who's stronger and more athletic than Imada, but I expect Imada to submit Vanier and set up a lightweight tournament final fight with Huerta.

Cole Konrad vs. Pat Bennett: Konrad just started fighting professionally in January, but he has MMA fans excited with his potential. In college he followed in Brock Lesnar's footsteps at Minnesota and actually accomplished even more than Lesnar did, winning two NCAA heavyweight titles. Konrad also won a gold medal at the Pan-Am Games. He's now turning his attention to MMA, and has built up a 2-0 record. Bennett is 1-0, so these guys are at similar MMA experience levels, but they're not even close to similar in their athletic backgrounds, and Konrad should win handily.

It's always a little tricky to figure out which Fox Sports Net stations are showing Bellator live, but if you're an MMA fan, this is a card you ought to seek out. You won't be sorry that you did.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting