Patricky Freire will be part of the Bellator 62 card in Laredo, Texas. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Bellator Fighting Championships officials Thursday announced more details on its upcoming sixth-season, as Bellator 62 will feature the lightweight tournament quarterfinals from Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
The main draw airs live on MTV2 and Epix immediately following the live preliminary card stream on Spike.com. All four lightweight quarterfinal bouts are official, as Patricky Freire faces Lloyd Woodard, Rick Hawn meets Ricardo Tirloni, Brent Weedman squares off with J.J. Ambrose and Rene Nazare battles Thiago Michel Pereira Silva.
“Laredo has been on our radar for three years now, and I’ve always believed that it could be a spectacular location for a large-scale, nationally and internationally televised Bellator event,” Bellator Chairman Bjorn Rebney stated in the official release. “This lightweight field is so loaded with talent and world class competitors that this event should be explosive from start to finish.”
Bellator previously announced the draws for both the featherweight and middleweight Season 6 tournaments but has yet to reveal the pairings for the upcoming bantamweight and welterweight competitions.
The elder “Pitbull” brother, Freire, 25, has lost only once in his last seven outings, falling in the Season 4 lightweight tournament final to future Bellator king Michael Chandler. The Brazilian rebounded from the May loss, however, knocking out UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino at Bellator 59 in November.
Like his upcoming opponent, Woodard suffered a decision defeat to Chandler during the Season 4 lightweight tournament, marking his first loss in his three years as a pro. Representing Missoula, Mont., “Cupcake” holds six of his 11 career wins by submission.
Previously competing at 170 pounds, Hawn fought his way to the Season 4 welterweight tournament finals before being outpointed by Jay Hieron. The onetime Olympic judoka began his MMA career impressively, rattling off 11 consecutive victories prior to his loss to “The Thoroughbred.”
Tirloni’s only career defeat came to current UFC title challenger Ben Henderson at MFC 17 in 2008. Since that setback, the Brazilian has posted 11 straight wins, most recently choking out Steve Gable in his Bellator debut on Oct. 22.
Another former welterweight, Weedman enters the cage on the heels of back-to-back Bellator losses. Riding a 10-fight winning streak heading into the Season 4 welterweight tournament semifinals, Weedman was turned away by Hieron at Bellator 40 and followed that loss with a defeat in the Season 5 quarterfinals to Chris Lozano.
Ambrose, meanwhile, will make his Bellator debut against Weedman. The Californian’s lone defeat in the last five years came to current UFC talent Mike Pyle, and he rides a seven-fight winning streak into his inaugural Bellator appearance.
Known for his powerful strikes and jiu-jitsu skills, Nazare recently suffered the first loss of his career when he was controlled by Jacob Kirwan at Bellator 54 on Oct. 15. Prior to that defeat, the Brazilian had been perfect in his first three Bellator appearances, finishing Luiz Azeredo, Kalvin Hackney and Juan Barrantes.
Known on the Brazilian circuit as Thiago Michel, Silva has finished six of his nine career victims in the first round and has never been to a decision. His two career losses came by submission, as Silva fell to Ivan Iberico in 2007 and Alessandro Ferreira in 2010. The 27-year-old was flawless in 2011, knocking out Erick Barbosa in April and Rodrigo Cavalheiro in September.