Marlon Sandro's Blogs

  • Video: Curran Drops Sandro at Bellator 48

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  • ESPN MMA Hot Button: Who is Bellator's 145 Tourney Favorite? By: Staff

    Who is Bellator's 145-pound tournament favorite? | Photo: Keith Mills/

    Every week inside's MMA section, two scribes debate the most pressing issues in the sport in the Hot Button.

    This week, as Bellator's Summer Series nears its semifinal round, Administrative Editor Jordan Breen and's Josh Gross debate who deserves to be considered the featherweight tournament favorite.

    Does Pat Curran's success at 155 pounds make him the odds-on-favorite to take tournament glory come August, or is Marlon Sandro's massive one-hit knockout power the gamechanger? What circumstances will dictate who emerges as a future Bellator title contender at 145 pounds?

    Click here to read the latest ESPN MMA Hot Button.

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  • Primer: New Year’s in Japan By: Jake Rossen

    Kazushi Sakuraba | Daniel Herbertson/

    If Ryan Seacrest happened to be a major celebrity in Japan, he would eventually be offered a substantial sum to be beaten severely in any number of the country’s traditional New Year’s Eve fighting events. The Japanese watch television in huge numbers that night, and promotions have hired everyone from actors to pro wrestlers to fighters dressed in costumes in order to draw attention away from the standard music and variety programming.

    Does it work? For a long time, it did: any combination of Sumo, Bob Sapp, or Olympic champions would usually produce tremendous ratings. But the decline of real fighters and the increasing reluctance (possibly related to the shrinking pay stubs) of the “special attractions” has taken its toll.

    It’s a real sign of MMA’s erosion in Japan that only one event -- K-1’s Dynamite -- is actually airing New Year’s Eve; the more serious Sengoku takes place Dec. 30. In both cases, fans can see a series of competitive fights. But in K-1’s arena, the need for ratings will prompt the usual stunt work: Shinya Aoki will be facing Yuichiro Nagashima in a fight that alternates kickboxing rounds with MMA rules and Bob Sapp will be wrestling Sumo great Shinichi Suzukawa in an orchestrated entertainment-only intermission. Both are likely to dwarf the night’s most legitimate bout, a lightweight meeting between Strikeforce’s Josh Thomson and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

    Stateside, most of the attention has been directed at Todd Duffee taking a late-notice bout against Alistair Overeem. Duffee was touted as a UFC prospect before a shock KO at the hands of Mike Russow; reported head-butting with UFC management led to his release. But Duffee can strike, and he’s a few levels above the kind of competition you’d expect Overeem to accept only three weeks after a grueling K-1 tournament. Too good to believe, actually. Like most of the Japanese product, it’s subject to change.

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