The long awaited Bellator MMA Welterweight Tournament Final between Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima will take place Friday, September 20, 2013, at Phoenix’s Grand Canyon University Arena. That same evening Bellator Fighting Championships will include the opening rounds of their new Welterweight Tournament in which San Diego will have two dogs in the fight, Herman Terrado and War Machine. Both are currently trainers at the Und1sputed Gym in Downtown San Diego. The event is to be broadcast live starting at 6 p.m. PST on Spike, as well as in the Spanish language on mun2.
Why should we care? San Diegans will have two of our local brethren featured in this prestigious tournament. War Machine (13-4, 8 KOs, 5 submissions) and Herman Terrado (11-2, 7 KOs, 4 submissions) are two of the best Mixed Martial Artists in the world. Both gentlemen are revered locally. Now they have an opportunity to be lionized on the world stage.
Since injuries have forced Mark Scanlon and Matt Riddle out of Bellator’s Season 9 Welterweight Tournament, they were replaced by Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar.
Hawn moves back to welterweight after an impressive run at lightweight that saw the former Olympian win the Season 6 Lightweight Tournament and fight for the Bellator Lightweight Title against Michael Chandler in January. After suffering defeat at the hands of Chandler, Hawn battled long time veteran Karo Parisyan in April and collected another finish with a devastating knockout victory. With a 15-2 record and a Bellator Tournament run already under his belt, Hawn knows he’ll have a target on his back. He’ll now face Terrado, while Vaughn Anderson is set to face War Machine.
Keslar joins Bellator riding a four fight win streak. A standout at the famed American Kickboxing Academy, Keslar will have his hands full when he goes up against Brazilian submission ace Sergio Junior.
After all is said and done, this is still an incredibly deep field of talent, and Friday will be the beginning of this great elimination tournament.
Bellator Welterweight Tournament Final: Douglas Lima (24-5) vs. Ben Saunders (16-5)
Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: War Machine (13-4) vs. Vaughn Anderson (16-1-1)
Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: Rick Hawn (15-2) vs. Herman Terrado (11-2)
Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: Brent Weedman (21-8-1) vs. Justin Baesman (14-3)
Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: Ron Keslar (10-3) vs. Sergio Junior (29-11)
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: Travis Marx (20-4) vs. Brandon Bender (11-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Bubba Jenkins (4-0) vs. LaRue Burley (2-0)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Beau Tribolet (7-2) vs. Liam McGeary (4-0)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Mighty Mo (3-2) vs. Dan Charles (6-0)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Johnny Buck (12-8) vs. Adam McDonough (8-0)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Joe Yager (5-2) vs. Clifford Starks (8-2)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Efrain Escudero (19-7) vs. Zack Surdyka (5-1)
His only real handicap appears to be his muscle size which holds him back from being quicker and using his legs as weapons. The high kicks and knees to the head used in Muay Thai are not part of his arsenal. When you look at the talent in this tournament, San Diego now has two, realistic finalists, whose courage is undeniable and whose laudable warrior instincts just might make them the next Bellator champion.
What are the characteristics/qualifications needed to become a champion? 1) Your stamina has to be better than your opponent’s to win by attrition. The strategy of imposing your weight on your opponent, leaning on him or having him fight while back-peddling is paramount. 2) Versatility has become so important. Since this sport has evolved so quickly, you can forget the notion that one Royce Gracie Armbar or one Junior Dos Santos punch in the face is going to get you the title. Future champions will need to be: not only great boxers, but great wrestlers, great kickboxers, and great Martial Artists. 3) Getting off to a quick start is important. The toughest obstacle for a fighter to overcome is a slow start and an early injury. The fighter who inflicts the first wound is likely to win every time.