Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 3/10/12
Gif courtesy of MMA Mania
The featherweight division might be the most exciting division in all of MMA.  The 145ers were on full display Friday night as the sixth season of Bellator took to MTV2 for Bellator 60.  It featured the first round of the Featherweight tournament as well as the Featherweight championship clash between Joe Warren and Pat Curran.  Here’s what went down in Hammond, IN at the Horseshoe.
In the first tournament fight, that took place on the undercard, Alexandre “PoPo” Bezerra taking on Kenny Foster who was a very late replacement for Genair da Silva who was forced out of the tournament when he missed weight the day before.  It was an opportunity lost for da Silva, but that loss was Foster’s gain when he entered the tourney with an opportunity to win it all.  That wouldn’t come to pass. 



Alexandre used solid striking and kicks in the first frame to control the action.  In the second frame Bezerra utilized an effective counter punching style and repeatedly got the better of exchanges.  Bezerra also utilized powerful leg kicks throughout the fight to keep Foster off balance and unable to set anything up.  Foster did finally take "Popo" down, but it was the beginning of the end for him, as he was reversed and ate a ton of punishment.  Eventually, Bezerra decided enough was enough and applied a rear naked choke that Foster was all too happy to tap to, just three seconds shy of the end of the second round.  
To kick off the televised card, Marlon Sandro faced off with Roberto Vargas, in a one-sided clash that was never in doubt.  Marlon Sandro celebrated his birthday a day late this year, delivering a first round submission victory over Vargas after sending Vargas down as a result of a wicked combination of punches.  
Vargas is game, but was out of his depth here and Sandro capitalized by dropping Vargas standing, then hurting him again with a series of knees and punches.  Vargas had no answers for the onslaught and eventually found himself on the mat eating heavy leather before giving up his back as a way to avoid punishment.  Once he did so, Sandro locked up the Rear Naked Choke and Vargas tapped at 3:34 of the first frame.  
In the second televised fight, Ronnie Mann faced off against Mike Corey, who utilized his wrestling background to grind Mann down for a unanimous decision victory.  Mann did his best work in the first frame, where he landed some blistering kicks and combinations, but wound up on his back after a takedown by Corey.  Corey’s strategy the entire first round was to close the distance and look to take the fight down.  He was able to do so, but it might not have been enough to win the first round.
The second and third rounds were Mike Corey taking Mann down and hammer-fisting and using position to keep him in place and avoid danger.  It’s a smart game-plan, but not always entertaining to the fans.  Say what you will about the lack of excitement, there was certainly not lack of control, and Corey won the second and third rounds easily to carry the fight.  Corey will be a handful against fighters who are unable to get off of their backs when taken down.  
Up next it was time for Jeremy Spoon to take on Daniel Strauss to determine the last piece of the semifinal puzzle.  Daniel Straus is an experienced fighter and was telling anyone who’d listen that he was looking for a stoppage in this contest.  In the end, it didn’t happen, but he did do enough to win the fight on the judges’ scorecards, 30-27 and 29-28 (twice).  
Though the stoppage eluded Straus, he did do a lot of good things in the cage, and was clearly the stronger man in there as he rag-dolled Spoon to the mat seemingly at ease.  Spoon didn’t get a lot going in the first round, but was the victim of takedowns and some pretty potent ground and pound.  When the fight stood up, he didn’t fare much better and was on the end of some jabs and one really solid left by Straus who worked his record 18-4 with the victory.
The rest of the fight was not much better for Spoon who fought the entire time for takedowns.  He didn’t seem to have an answer for Straus’ strength and takedown defense, and when he did get a takedown, he was swept and ate additional ground and pound.  The third round was a slower paced version of the second round, and when it was over, it was clear who’d won the fight.  With the victory, Daniel Straus joins Marlon Sandro, Alexandre Bezerra, and Mike Corey in the semi-finals of the Featherweight tournament. 

Up next it was time for the main event.  Pat Curran was going to face Joe Warren and try to strip him of his Featherweight championship.  Joe Warren was clearly the smaller fighter in there, and that size difference would play a part in Warren’s inability to keep Curran on the mat.  
The two fighters traded some shots in the first round, with Curran getting the better of it. Warren did take Curran down early in the first, but wasn’t able to keep him there.  Curran was looking to unload strikes while Warren held on and looked for takedowns.  Curran was able to connect with the first telling strike of the fight, a stiff headkick at one point that had Warren in trouble.  Warren was able to survive the kick and ate a huge knee to the head for his troubles.  
Joe Warren was finally able to get his game going a touch in the second round, utilizing some takedowns that resulted in little more than fighting for position and Curran popping back to his feet.  The inability of Joe Warren to keep Curran down would be his undoing tonight.  Despite landing a couple nice shots standing, Joe Warren was outsized and outgunned.  
In the third round, it would all come to a crashing stop in a whirlwind of violence and referee ineptitude.  Curran hurt Warren with some big shots standing, and followed it up with some knees, and some additional shots against the cage while Joe Warren was stumbling around, hitting the cage walls multiple times. 
Curran continued to deliver hellacious shots while the referee kept a close eye on the action...somewhere in the third row.  The end miraculously came once Warren was separated completely from consciousness and the referee waived it off.  For Curran, it was a career defining performance.  He has done it all in Strikeforce, and you can add the Featherweight title to his list of accomplishments.   
Here's the Prelim results:
    Jake Nauracy def. Cory Galloway via submission - Round 2     Travis Wiuff def. Anthony Gomez via unanimous decision      Alexandre Bezerra def. Kenny Foster via submission - Round 2     Sean McCorkle defeats Richard White via submission - Round 1      Josh Shockley def. Shamar Bailey via unanimous decision      Genair da Silva def. Bobby Reardanz by TKO - Round 3



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