Split Decision Sends Sandro to Bellator Semifinals

By Brian Knapp Jun 25, 2011
Marlon Sandro (right) took a split decision in his Bellator debut. | Photo: Keith Mills

Reigning featherweight King of Pancrase and former Sengoku Raiden Championship titleholder Marlon Sandro made his first appearance on American soil, and it was a productive one.

Sandro defeated Renovacao Fight Team representative Genair da Silva by split decision in the Bellator Fighting Championships Summer Series featherweight tournament quarterfinals at Bellator 46 on Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Two of the three cageside judges -- Barry Luxenberg, 30-27, and Rich Green, 29-28 -- scored it for Sandro. Ric Bays cast a dissenting 29-28 scorecard in Da Silva’s favor.

The world-ranked Sandro (18-2, 1-0 BFC) attacked at the heart of his countryman’s defense, firing power punches up the middle, often splitting Da Silva’s hands with clubbing straight rights. The 34-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt nearly finished it inside the first round, when he buckled Da Silva with a right hand and dropped him with a follow-up left hook. Sandro swarmed with punches but surrendered his dominant position in favor of an attempted guillotine choke. Da Silva -- who was most effective throwing kicks to the legs and body at a distance -- freed himself and survived, but it was clear he was faced with an uphill battle. By round two, he was reduced to wild windmill punches, most of which only found air.

Sandro punctuated the victory, his fourth in five appearances, with a trip takedown late in round three. He moved to half guard and dropped punches, but the wiry Da Silva (10-4, 0-1 BFC) escaped and returned to his feet.

“I respect everybody,” Sandro said. “I want to fight the best here. I want to fight for the belt.”

Curran’s Peruvian Necktie Taps Palomino

K. Mills

Curran tapped out Palomino.
Former lightweight title contender Pat Curran was spectacular in his return to 145 pounds, as he submitted Luis Palomino with a Peruvian necktie 3:49 into the first round, advancing to the Bellator Summer Series featherweight tournament semifinals.

Curran (14-4, 4-1 BFC) was too smart and too skilled for the man they call the “Baboon.” After a few standup exchanges between the two, Curran turned the tide in his favor. He dropped Palomino with a beautiful counter right hand and swarmed like a madman, ultimately landing in top position. Curran first tried for a brabo choke, but he transitioned seamlessly to the necktie for the finish. Palomino (16-7, 3-3 BFC) had no choice but to submit.

“I was just glad I got a chance to show [my jiu-jitsu] off,” Curran said. “Once I sunk it in, I just went for it. I practice it all the time in the gym.”

Malegarie Guillotine Submits Devree

K. Mills

Malegarie took out Devree.
The once-beaten Nazareno Malegarie submitted Jacob Devree with a third-round arm-in guillotine choke in the Bellator Summer Series featherweight tournament quarterfinals. The Brazil-based Argentinian secured the tapout 1:25 into round three.

Devree was on his heels from the start, as Malegarie (20-1, 1-1 BFC) employed takedowns and a heavy top game, complimented nicely with repeated submission attempts and ground-and-pound to the head and body. The 25-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt threatened Devree (10-2, 0-1 BFC) with guillotines in each of the first two rounds. The third time was the charm, as Malegarie rolled into top position and finished it there.

“I’m feeling great,” Malegarie said. “This is the real Nazareno Malegarie, what you’ve seen tonight.”

Sengoku Vet Mann KOs Schindler

K. Mills

Mann (top) pounded out Schindler.
Sengoku Raiden Championship veteran Ronnie Mann scored a brutal first-round knockout over Adam Schindler, as he advanced to the Bellator Summer Series featherweight tournament semifinals. The end came 4:14 into round one, and it was definitive.

Schindler pressed the clinch after a brief exchange but abandoned it in favor of a firefight. Mann (20-2-1, 2-0 BFC), the more technical standup fighter of the two, made him pay, as he folded the Strikeforce alum with a crackling counter left hook. Schindler fell to his back, where he was met with a few punches and series of wicked hammerfists that bounced his head off the canvas and left him unconscious in the center of the cage. Schindler (9-2, 1-1 BFC) had never before been finished.

“I don’t care who’s next,” said Mann, who will carry a four-fight winning streak into the semifinals. “I’m just here to win it.”

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