Bellator 27 will be held tonight at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. This is the best card Bellator has put together so far in their third season. Bellator 27 has Pan American and World Championship Greco-Roman wrestler Joe Warren fighting Bellator Featherwight Champion Joe Soto in the main event of the evening. On the undercard Bellator will have the first round of their Bantamweight tournament.
I will break down the fights after the jump, but I want to touch on some of Bellator's problems first. First of all they have an on going lawsuit with MMA giant Zuffa LLC. Bellator has achieved a minor victory in getting the lawsuit moved to Federal court rather than the proceedings taking place in Nevada. Zuffa is asking for at least $10,000 and Bellator is trying to come "forward with evidence that the value of the injunctive relief requested."
Another lawsuit Bellator is caught up in is the Dave Herman contract. Herman signed a exclusive North American deal with Bellator and many of you will remember he was set to fight at Shark Fights 13. Bellator's lawyers quickly laid out a cease and desist to Shark Fights and the bout will not happen.
Next you have the fact that Bellator can't draw in crowds. The last time Bellator went to San Antoino they had a gate of 1,000! And Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is "hoping" for 2,300 this time around! Do I need to remind everyone that the finalist for every tournament makes 175,000!? Bellator is burning through money and they need to establish a dedicated and motovaited fan base very quickly. I don't know how long FSN and UB.net is going to keep Bellator afloat.
Joe Soto (c) vs Joe Warren
The battle of the Joe's will be the best and most competitive fight any of Bellator's champions has had to fight so far in company history. Warren is a tank that keeps coming forward. He has got a great chin and the best wrestling in the division. Warren's aggressiveness and strenth has brought him to a 5-1 record in MMA so far. Yet those same attributes highlight his weakness. In Warren's last fight against Patricio Freire, Warren was almost knocked out and submitted and came back to win the fight. (Although I had it a 28-28 draw.) Warren gets tired and a five round fight is not conducive to his style. Soto is a good counter striker that changes levels very well. Stylistically this is a great fight for Soto, I see him dropping the first two rounds. Only to come back and win on the cards. Warren has shown he is very hittable and I personally think Warren is to small for Featherweight.
Ulysses Gomez vs. Travis Reddinger
In the co-main event top 5 Flyweight fighter Ulysses "Useless" Gomez fights Mid-Western veteran Travis Reddinger. I want to get this out of the way first. Personally I really like Gomez. Talked to him he has a great story and is a wonderful person. I don't like him in this fight though. Gomez is a true 125'er and Reddinger is big for Bantamweight. Although Reddinger has fought some awful competition and I don't really know how good he is. Gomez on the other hand has fought really good opposition and is 6-1. I think size beats technique in this fight. I think Reddinger takes down Gomez and wins a decision.
Ed West vs. Bryan Goldsby
I have seen Bryan Goldsby fight in person and the two things I took away was a) his technique is awful and b) He is really fun to watch. Jon Queiroz should be competing in this tournament instead of him. Queiroz (4-0) is one of the best Bantamweight (Who could easily make 125) that nobody is taking about and that sucks. Goldsby is going to go out there and throw some crazy looking kicks and then West will take him down. Although I don't think highly so there is actually a really good chance Goldsby could land an outrageous strike on West and make this card really memorable. If Ed West is any good he will beat Goldsby.
Nick Mamalis vs. Zack Makovsky
A very well matched fight to start the card off. Two great nicknames going head to head, Nick "Garfield" Mamalis vs. Zack "fun size" Makovsky. Makovsky is a pretty good submission artist that trains with Eddie Alverez at the Philadelphia Fight Factory. Makovsky doesn't have the striking game of Eddie Alverez, but he is a good top position grappler. Mamalis trains with the big names at the Grudge Training Center. Mamalishas better wrestling and should takedown Makovsky and work from top position. I also think Mamalis has the striking advantage. Anywhere this fight goes I see Mamalis having the advantage and he should take a judges decision.
Undercard guys to watch out for are Rodrigo Pinheiro (3-0) he hasn't fought in 2 years but he should sub Andrew Craig's face right off. I like Joe Christopher (10-4). He is really fun to watch, he will never be a champion, but he is extremely entertaining win or lose. Ernest De La Cruz is making his pro debut. Watched this kid as a amateur and I liked what I saw. He should get the win tonight.