Friday nights tend to be quite the busy time period for pretty much any average American, but not for us hard-core MMA fans. So if you’re sitting down to watch some Bellator action this Friday, then I recommend checking out the under-card on Spike.com UFC quality under-card it is not, but there are still plenty of intriguing aspects about it that justify spending an hour or two of your life watching it. Here are five reasons why you should check out the prelims of Bellator LXI this Friday.
If you’re a pro wrestling fan then this name sounds familiar. Riggs competed on WWE’s Tough Enough reality show, WWE’s version of The Ultimate Fighter. He made it to the top three but was eliminated due to his lack of experience. Tough Enough wasn’t his only reality TV stint, he also was eliminated in the elimination rounds of TUF Season 7 and appeared on VH1’s Daisy of Love. Riggs has entertaining personality and was a stand-out on Tough Enough.
While Riggs has plenty of natural charisma, he still has serious deficiencies in his MMA game. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Bob Sapp. He could very well be a Bellator main-stay, but the chances of him being a top middleweight are slim unless he continues to refine his raw MMA game. Riggs also understands the idea of being entertaining, and I would be shocked if his fight against Trey Houston wasn’t a fun one to watch.
Josh Quayhagen is the intriguing lightweight prospect to watch here. He pulled off quite the upset over kickboxing veteran Cosmo Alexander by beating him at his own game with strikes at Bellator 52. Quaint Kempf would love nothing more than to put a stop to the momentum of Quayhagen. He is an aggressive fighter that promises an entertaining bout as four of his six fights have ended in the first round.
You’ll probably need some eye drops after this fight because you won’t be blinking much until it’s over. Both fighters enjoy the striking game and would love to make it on TV with a quick finish. A win here for Quayhagen would continue his rise up the lightweight ranks while a win for Kempf would put him back in the win column track losing at Shark Fights 17.
3. Referee Stoppages
Last week we saw one of the worst stoppages of all time in the modern era of Mixed Martial Arts. For those that didn’t catch last week’s Bellator, I’m talking about the refereeing in the Joe Warren/Pat Curran fight. He allowed over thirty strikes to the clearly out of it Joe Warren, putting Warren’s life and long-term health in danger.
Most of the time I’ll give the referee the benefit of the doubt due to most of their decisions being based off of a split second, but that referee has no excuse and should be held accountable for his incompetence.
With that being said, there has to be a ripple effect from the terrible stoppage at the last event. It’ll be interesting to see if that moronic stoppage will influence the referee’s actions on Friday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a couple of early stoppages on the under-card.
This bout features two more talented, young lightweight up-and-comers. Campos has a good resume with wins over Cody Pfister and Adam Schindler. 22 year-old Cenoble was on quite a roll with eight straight wins until his undefeated streak was snapped by (6-0) Yoislandy Izquierdo who has a bout against Reza Madadi on UFC on Fuel 2.
Cenoble is a powerful striker winning seven of his fights in KO/TKO fashion. He has a long reach and a lot of potential at 155. Campos is a Texan that has been successful on the Texas scene by taking the fight to the ground and beating his opponents there. Both fighters have potential to be in the UFC, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to rave about one of these guys. Who knows, they might be the next Jeremy Lin. Actually, they probably won’t.
5. Possible Main Card Bout
Last week Bellator put Alexandre Bezerra vs Kenny Foster on the under-card due to time constraints. There’s a possibility that they will move one of the middleweight tournament quarter-finals to the under-card to be on the safe side of things timing-wise, and you’ll regret missing one of the four bouts that promise to be action-packed.
Whether it is Vianna/Rogers, Santos/Santana, Falcao/Paraisy, or Vasilevsky/O’Donnell any of those fights would be well worth the time spent watching the under-card on your computer.
If you had no interest in watching Bellator LXI’s under-card before reading this then I hope you have some motivation to check it out. It has quality fighters and could serve as a prelude to the TV portion of Bellator LXI.
Non-MMA Sports Thought: Today was a sad day for me sports wise. I’m a devout Texans fanatic, and the news of Eric Winston’s release gave me a lot of emotions, all of them negative. Aside from the fact that he is an elite right tackle, he seemed like a great guy. Texans GM Rick Smith better make up for it with a great FA move or else I’m going to write him a really long, nasty letter.