Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Bellator XXI at the HArdrock in the wondeful state of Florida. This was the first ever MMA event I have ever been to, and I have to say that it is much more intense in person. I had pretty good seats in the fourth row so i could see all the action.
The night had a showcase of local fights showcasing South Florida prospects. The two best fights (IMO) from these fights were Eckstein vs. Chamale and Figueroa vs. Palomino.
Eckstein vs. Chamale
I liked this fight a lot. Both are really good prospects, but as the fight started it was easy to see that Chamale should be fighting at FlyWeight not Bantam, and it didn't help that Eckstein was a good size Bantam weight. From the opening bell Eckstein dominated the standup and used his size to bully the smaller Chameal to an easy 30-27 decision.
Figueroa vs. Palomino
This was the last fight of the night so by now everyone was drunk and rowdy. Palomino's nickname was "Babau" and by the chants of "Babau" filling the stadium it sounded as if he brought all of his family and friends. It started of slow on account of the fact that Figueroa had over a foot of height on Palomino. Palomino has some scary leg kicks, and fast hands. Figueroa did a decent job of keeping the much faster Palomino at bay. In the second round everything started falling apart for Figueroa. He threw a high kick, Palomino ducked under the high kick and chopped his leg with a kick for a takedown. After a premature stand up (one of many throughout the night) Palomino closed the distance and punished Figueroa with some fast overhands. The Third round brought more of the same for Figueroa, as he made the mistake of throwing another highkick. Palomino cut his leg out from under him again and threw a few punches on the ground to finish the round. Well earned Decision win for "Babau"
Mike Hayes def. Steve Banks
By far the worst fight of the night. Not much to say other than that Hayes needs to pull the trigger. Multiple times in that fight Banks just sat there with his hands on his hips begging for some punches.
Megumi Fujii def. Sarah Schneider
Stoppage was a little strange to say the least, but a good preformance for Fujii. The only thing I can say is that Barnett yelling "CATCH WRESTLE CATCH WRESTLE" at the top of his lungs during the fight was rather annoying.
Pat Curran def. Toby Imada
Well the main point of interest is the judging. I had it 29-28 for Imada. Most had it 30-27 for him. I was rooting for Curran in this fight, but he fought terribly. Although he showcased his wrestling by getting up quickly almost everytime Toby took him down. The most significant shot was that punch in the third round. It sounded like someone chopped a coconut with a machete. Why didn't Curran pressure him after that? What was with the Takedown attempts at the end? The only thing I can come up with was that he was tired. Most of the people I talked to thought it was a close fight.
Dan Hornbuckle is a huge WW, and is a funny guy.
Eddie's son is hysterical, and after he went crazy during that interview was out like a light for the rest of the night.
Hector Lombard should be fighting at WW, his frame is too small for MW IMO.