2012 World MMA Featherweight Scouting Report: #3 - Brandon Bender

Brandon_bender_01_large_medium

Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Brandon Bender
Nickname: --
Age: 24
Height: 5'8"
Location:
Rancho Cucamonga, California

A quick glance at the résumé of California-native Brandon Bender (8-0) might shock some fans. After a decision victory in his debut at King of the Cage: Rapid Fire in August of ‘06, Bender rattled off seven consecutive victories, all by submission. That isn't an unfathomable feat considering a fight normally lasts fifteen minutes, and Bender has been training in the arts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since he was a teenager. The fact that all seven opponents tapped inside the opening frame of action raises eyebrows.

It comes as no surprise that Bender has found success quickly. He began training in Tae Kwon Do when he was seven, took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu during his teenage years, and wrestled in high school. He also trains at Millenia MMA in Rancho Cucamonga, California, a camp that houses WEC veterans Charlie Valencia and Manny Tapia, Bellator veteran Georgi Karakhanyan, Tachi Palace Fights' flyweight Darrell Montague, and UFC veteran Gabe Ruediger.

The 24-year-old Italian, who ranks as a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is a highly-effective submission specialist, as evident in his aforementioned streak of seven consecutive first round submission victories. Don't let that fool you. He is far from a top heavy, one-dimensional fighter who relies solely on his grappling prowess to win fights.

On the feet, Bender can hold his own, preferring to strike from range and pick apart more aggressive opposition. His stand-up game still needs tuning as he's a bit robotic and flat-footed at times, but there is strong evidence that he's evolving into a well-balanced fighter in his more recent battles.

Bender's last bout took place on the preliminary card of Bellator 35 in March. There's no word yet whether Bender has signed a long-term deal with Bellator that could put him into next season's featherweight tournament. If I had to take a guess, however, I'd say that it's almost a certainty Bender will participate. If Bellator doesn't pounce, the UFC most certainly will.

Check out more video footage of Brandon Bender after the jump...

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#1 - Rony Mariano
#2 - Aljamain Sterling
#3 - Chris Holdsworth
#4 - Josh Hill
#5 - Fabiano Fernandes
#6 - Claudio Ledesma
#7 - Sirwan Kakai
#8 - Kyoji Horiguchi
#9 - Leandro Hygo
#10 - Pedro Munhoz
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#4 - Lance Palmer
#5 - Jim Alers
#6 - Anthony Gutierrez
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#10 - Bubba Jenkins
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Scouting_report_medium

Brandon Bender vs. Isaac Gutierrez
BAMMA USA - Bad Beat MMA - September 24, 2010

Brandon Bender vs. Mike Palo
MEZ Sports - Pandemonium 3 - November 19, 2010

Brandon Bender Highlight

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