Ultimate Fighting Championship is not the only high level MMA organisation in the United States. There is also a smaller one - but definitely not less exciting - Bellator MMA. The fact is that UFC is the most important organisation in the world. But Bellator is the second important federation, not only in the America but also in the world, and because the United States are an immense market, there is also space for them. They often organise their events in such places as Santa Barbara (CA) or Irvine (CA), where UFC does not arrive. Bellator currently is run by Scott Coker, who is a very dynamic bussinesman. He was a founder and CEO of, unexisting nowadays, Strikeforce. Once it grew up fast, and started to be a serious rival for the UFC, was bought by Zuffa LLC. - a company which purchased the UFC.
Coker recently put really interesting fightcard on Bellator 136 event, including bouts such as polish Held vs. Sarnavskiy, Joe Schilling vs. Rafael Carvalho or a lightweight title fight between, the reigning champion, Will Brooks and Dave Jansen. The event was organised 10th april of 2015 in the Bren Events Center, Irvine, California. I would like to present those three interesting figts, starting with the polish excellent grappler, Marcin Held who faced the russian Alexander Sarnavskiy.
MARCIN HELD vs. ALEXANDER SARNAVSKIY
|Marcin Held (fot. chokes.pl)|
Marcin Held is one of the best submission artist in the world. He is well known for his leg locks. Having a jiu-jitsu background, the polish fighter still works on his striking game. Stepping in the cage to face Sarnavskiy he risked a lot. By winning the Bellator lightweight tournament he earned a right to fight Will Brooks for a lightweight championship. Being only 23 years old, Held decided not to wait for a title-shot, but he told the Bellator's president he wanted to fight twice in 2015, in order to improve as a fighter. Losing to Sarnavskiy he could also loose a chance to face Brooks. And Sarnavskiy was a real deal. He won 10 of 11 fights, losing to the mentioned Brooks.
Marcin Held knew his limits in striking, so he was closing the distance right from the beginning, attempting takedowns and trying to submit Sarnovskiy. He showed some world class jiu-jitsu, rolling with his opponents. He was controlling the fight, most of the time being in the dominant position. Finally in the 3rd round he caught Sarnavskiy with the knee bar and referee, John McCarthy, stopped the contest. Another Held's win by submission.