Houston Alexander owns nine first-round finishes. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Bellator MMA desires fireworks. Perhaps the promotion’s latest co-headliner will provide them.
Houston Alexander will collide with Virgil Zwicker at a 215-pound catchweight in the Bellator 129 co-main event on Friday at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Zwicker fills in on short notice for injured Pride Fighting Championships veteran James Thompson.
Alexander has recorded three wins in his past four outings, losing only to former International Fight League champion Vladimir Matyushenko. The 42-year-old Nebraskan last appeared at Bellator 117 in April, when he scored a second-round stoppage against Matt Uhde. Victories over Ultimate Fighting Championship vets Keith Jardine, Alessio Sakara, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Razak Al-Hassan anchor the Alexander resume. “The Assassin” has ended four fights inside 61 seconds.
Zwicker last fought at Bellator 122 in July, when he was victimized in a 67-second submission against Linton Vassell at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., the defeat snapping his modest two-fight winning streak. Operating out of Team Quest, the 32-year-old San Diego native has delivered 11 of his 12 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission, a December 2009 win over current UFC light heavyweight Ovince St. Preux included.
With the Alexander-Zwicker co-feature as a lure, here are 10 facts surrounding Bellator 129:
FACT 1: Josh Neer was a three-time “Fight of the Night” winner with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, pocketing bonuses in a loss to Nate Diaz (UFC Fight Night “Diaz vs. Neer) and wins over Melvin Guillard (UFC Fight Night “Sylvia vs. Silva”) and Mac Danzig (UFC Fight Night “Lauzon vs. Stephens”).
FACT 2: Alliance MMA’s Paul Bradley was a four-time letter winner and two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Iowa, where he won 88 matches.
FACT 3: Andre Santos sports 22 submissions on his resume: 15 via anaconda choke, four via arm-triangle choke and one each via guillotine choke, brabo choke and rear-naked choke.
FACT 4: The seven men to whom Strikeforce alum James Terry has lost -- Rick Reeves, Mike de la Torre, Bobby Green, Nah-Shon Burrell, Caros Fodor, Tarec Saffiedine and Jeremiah Metcalf -- have combined for 93 professional victories.
FACT 5: Anthony Smith has stopped nine opponents inside one round.
FACT 6: Joe Vedepo owns a January 2012 victory over Kenneth Allen, a fighter with a 1-35 career record.
FACT 7: A staggering 47 of journeyman Brian Green’s 50 pro bouts -- all 31 of his wins and 16 of his 19 losses -- have resulted in a finish.
FACT 8: Hard Drive MMA’s Chris Lane has never won or lost more than three fights in a row.
FACT 9: A California-based Canadian, Holly Lawson compiled a 5-2 record as a pro boxer.
FACT 10: Victor Moreno has fought in 26 different organizations during his 53-fight career: Midwest Cage Championship, Bellator, Driller Promotions, Victory Fighting Championship, World War Fighting Championship, Superior Cage Combat, The Cage Inc., 5150 Combat League, Max Fights DM, Glory Fighting Championships, MTX Audio, Titan Fighting Championship, Extreme Challenge, Title Fighting Championships, Cage Fighting Championships, Greensparks Full Contact Fighting, Fight Sport Global, International Fight League, Miletich Kombat Sports, Diesel Fighting Championships, King of the Cage, Freestyle Fighting Championship, Xtreme Kage Kombat, Downtown Destruction, Point of Impact and Gladiators.