According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, number two-ranked lightweight prospect on the 2011 World MMA Scouting Report, Ricardo Tirloni, has verbally agreed to a multi-fight deal with Bellator. The 28-year-old Brazilian has amassed a 13-1 record over the course of his six-year career in mixed martial arts, only succumbing to current UFC fighter Ben Henderson at MFC 17 in his fourth professional bout. It is rumored in the report that Tirloni will debut in a non-tournament bout during Bellator's fifth season.
A recent foot break sidelined the Ataque Duplo-product for a lengthy period of time from late last year and most of the early portion of 2011. In his most recent performance, he knocked out Mauro Chalet at Centurion MMA II on July 7th. While his strength of competition has been lacking in recent performances, it's fair to say that he's stepped it down a notch in order to rehab his foot and battle ring rust.
As we noted back in November in the scouting report, Tirloni garnered a high ranking due to his exciting style and swagger inside the ring:
Offensive Skills: Tirloni's arsenal of weapons includes what you would typically find in a successful Brazilian fighter's repertoire: Muay Thai boxing and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. While we've seen plenty of fighters come and go in the UFC with a similar resumé, Tirloni separates himself from the pack with a highly offensive submission game that is supported by a damaging striking game. He's brutalized numerous opponents with devastating leg kicks and knees in the clinch, and an aggressive striking style. That style normally leads to opponents trying to take him down to avoid strikes, and Tirloni is equally good, if not better, on the ground.
Front choke attempts have been one of the keys for Tirloni in more recent battles, and he's used those threatening submission attempts to stave off takedowns. But when he's found himself on his back, he's proven to be just as dangerous as he is in top control.
I tend to think the ground is a safer place for him to work, but it's hard not to love his striking game. Aggressive and hungry, Tirloni hunts his opponents down and pounces at the first glimpse of danger, and while some would say his boxing is suicidal in nature because he wades into the line of fire -- it's hard to deduct points for attempting to finish a fight.
If that wasn't enough to get you excited, the man should have "baller" status among MMA fans as he is currently dating Aline Zermiani. Get jealous. Keep an eye out for Ricardo Tirloni stateside this fall.