The Scott Coker-version of Bellator is a thing to behold. Or, at least, it’s a thing to at least pay attention to, because, unlike Bjorn Rebney’s version, it’s way more entertaining spectacle. The whole “live by the tournament, die by the tournament” motif is gone, replaced instead by match-ups that fans truly want to see, and the roster has more names on it that actually means something.
Take Friday night’s Bellator 141 installment, for example. No one cared when TUF pioneer Melvin Guillard unceremoniously exited from the UFC, and his brief stint in WSOF barely registered in the collective minds of fans. But he’s fighting for Bellator tomorrow night, and dammit, I’m going to watch because I recognize him as someone with a history of hurting people. Should you watch? Heck yes, and not just because of Guillard. Here are five reasons why tuning in is worthwhile:
- Melvin Guillard - His best days are behind him and he’ll never make it past the elite of the division, but lightweight power puncher extraordinaire Guillard has still got some explosiveness left in him, and that’s more than enough to wreck a scrub or two. And guess what? His opponent, Brandon Girtz, has fought in Bellator six times already, and has established himself as a hardcore scrub!
- Patricky “Pitbull” Freire - The “lesser” of the two Pitbull Brothers, Patricky is still a pretty dangerous fighter capable of separating dudes from their consciousness. He’s also a top fighter in the 155-pound weight class, so he’s no slouch.
- Saad Awad - Bellator is hyping Awad as the only person to defeat champ Will Brooks (which is true, he KO’d Brooks once), but I prefer to think of Awad as a tough bastard who has yet to break through to the upper levels of the division. Since he’s taking on Freire, this could be that fight that does it for him one way or another.
- Justin Wren - He was a TUF washout ages ago, but Wren went on to become some sort of missionary in the Congo, so there’s that.
- Marloes Coenen - When she’s active, Coenen is considered a top female fighter. Sure, she’s lost to Cris Cyborg twice, and lost her Strikeforce belt to Miesha Tate, but she’s still one bad lady.
Did any of this convince you to watch on Friday? Well, whether you tune in or not, it will still be a good show.