Marlon Sandro (right) and Pat Curran will toe the line Saturday at Bellator 48. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Marlon Sandro has but one more bridge to cross before he captures mixed martial arts gold on American soil, and Pat Curran stands in his way.
Sandro checked in at 145 pounds for his showdown with Curran (145) in the Bellator Fighting Championships Summer Series featherweight tournament final at Bellator 48 on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The two featherweight contenders tipped the scales at Friday’s official weigh-in, which served as their last piece of pre-fight business. The winner will receive a $100,000 prize, along with a shot at current Bellator featherweight titleholder Joe Warren.
The reigning featherweight King of Pancrase, Sandro advanced to the tournament final with decision victories over Genair da Silva and Nazareno Malegarie. The 34-year-old Nova Uniao representative has posted five wins in his last six outings, a five-round decision loss to the world-ranked and supremely gifted Hatsu Hioki the lone hiccup. A potent finisher with devastating one-punch knockout power in his hands, Sandro has delivered five knockouts in 90 seconds or less. In 21 professional appearances, he has never been finished.
Curran won the promotion’s Season 2 lightweight draw and, with a win over Sandro, will become the first man to ever win Bellator tournaments in two different weight classes. The 23-year-old trains under his cousin, UFC, WEC and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Jeff Curran, and punched his ticket to the final with a Peruvian necktie submission against Luis Palomino and a unanimous decision over Ronnie Mann. He holds other notable victories against Daniel Straus, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 alum Amir Khillah and UFC veteran Roger Huerta.
The remainder of the televised card -- which will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV 2 -- will feature a non-title matchup pitting Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad (264.5) against Paul Buentello (255.25), a heavyweight tilt pairing former UFC titleholder Ricco Rodriguez (229.75) with Seth Petruzelli (224) and a lightweight duel matching the unbeaten Rene Nazare (156) with Juan Barrantes (155.25).
Saturday, Aug. 20
Mohegan Sun Arena
Bellator Summer Series Featherweight Tournament Final
Marlon Sandro (145) vs. Pat Curran (145)
Cole Konrad (264.5) vs. Paul Buentello (255.25)
Ricco Rodriguez (229.75) vs. Seth Petruzelli (224)
Rene Nazare (156) vs. Juan Barrantes (155.25)
Saul Almeida (146) vs. Tateki Matsuda (145.25)
Brett Oteri (170) vs. Ryan Quinn (170)
Andrew Calandrelli (155.5) vs. Matt Nice (155.5)
Nik Fekete (205) vs. Mark Griffin (205)
Dan Cramer (205) vs. Jeff Nader (204)