Source: Keith Mills, Sherdog.com

Bellator 68: The Rise of Straus, Galvao Wins

Another week of Bellator has passed and another contender for a title was crowned.  After losing in the season four featherweight tournament final against Patricio Freire, Daniel Straus made sure that there would be no deja vu in season six’s featherweight tournament as he outpointed Marlon Sandro to earned unanimous decision victory.

The win promises Straus a shot at Bellator’s featherweight champion who will either be Pat Curran or Patricio Freire depending on the outcome of their fight that will probably take place in season seven.  Straus probably won’t be too picky on who his opponent because he has unfinished business with both men who have victories over him.

The fight against Sandro wasn’t pretty, but honestly, is any Daniel Straus fight pretty?  Straus implored his relentless grinding style to edge out Sandro in the first two rounds.  Although the beginning of the third round began to foreshadow a controversial decision when Sandro had Straus in a standing arm triangle choke, Straus silenced the potential doubters by ending the round with a rear-naked choke locked on the Nova Uniao product.

It may be too late to buy stock in Daniel Straus, but he still hasn’t hit his ceiling.  The combination of raw athleticism, great wrestling ability, and relentlessness could prove to be a deadly one in the featherweight division.  Straus is the kind of fighter that would be competitive against practically any opponent as few fighters can keep up with his pace.

In the bantamweight semi-finals, Marcos Galvao squeaked out a close 29-28 unanimous decision victory.  After the controversial decision losses to Joe Warren and Alexis Vila, you’d think that last thing Galvao would want is for the fight to be decided by the judges, but this time they ruled in his favor.

Instead of showcasing his excellent jiu-jitsu game, Galvao decided to have a technical stand-up battle against Travis Marx which was a bit too close for comfort for fans of Galvao.  Galvao still showcased some quality stand-up, and his ability to be competitive no matter where the fight goes is a huge positive.

The finals in the bantamweight tournament will be Marcos Galvao against the winner of the Luis Alberto Nogueira/Hiroshi Nakamura semi-final.  Whoever his opponent is, Galvao has a great chance to be the winner of the bantamweight tournament and get a shot at Eduardo Dantas’ crown.

Marcin Held’s fight against Derrick Kennington was moved up to the main card after the Seth Petruzelli and Carmelo Marello bout was canceled due to Petruzelli not being cleared to fight because of an illness.  Held made sure to make a short statement as he submitted Kennington in the first round with a heel hook.  The dominant, swift victory by the 20 year-old Polish fighter was quite the application for the next lightweight tournament.

Despite the action-packed fights, Bellator could not escape a negative.  That negative was what seemed like the most sure thing to be a fight of the night kind of bout, but it instead followed the footsteps of the freak first fight between both men.  The show opened with the re-match of Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis, a re-match of their fight in Strikeforce that ended in six seconds due to an inadvertent eye poke from the latter.

The first round was a bit lackluster, but Spiritwolf brought the fight in the second round where he thrashed Zaromskis for five minutes.  Unfortunately, Spiritwolf suffered a cut in the fight and in between the second and third rounds the doctor called the fight to be stopped because of Spiritwolf’s cut.  It was an anti-climatic, controversial win by Zaromskis, and the only bout that makes sense is a trilogy fight to end all of the controversy.

It was another fun show from Bellator’s end with more fighters moving up their weight class’ food chain as more potential stars grew.  Although the present may be grim from a television ratings perspective for Bellator, the future looks bright.

Tags: Bantamweight Bellator Bellator 68 Daniel Straus Marcin Held Marcos Galvao Marius Zaromskis Marlon Sandro Mma Results Straus Travis Marx Waachiim Spiritwolf

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