Friday, March 4, 2011

Sandro, elite featherweight free agent, coming to U.S. with Bellator

Sengoku continues to leak oil. The struggling Japanese fight promotion lost one its biggest stars when Marlon Sandro signed with the U.S.-based Bellator Fighting Championships.

Sandro, the former Sengoku 145-pound champ, is 17-2 with his only two losses coming in his last fight against Hatsu Hioki, and current UFC fighter Michihiro Omigawa. The loss to Omigawa was scored a majority draw, but the promotion had a "must win" provision and awarded the fight to the Japanese fighter. Some rankings had him as high as No. 2 in the world before the December loss to Hioki.

"Marlon Sandro is a phenomenal talent at 145," Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. "Our featherweight division is absolutely stacked, and Sandro pushes that talent pool to an even higher level. I'm thrilled to have him on board."

Before the Hioki loss, he'd scored three straight knockout victories. The one below in nine seconds against Masenori Kanehara (1:51 mark), 38 seconds against Tomonari Kanomata (1:41 mark) and another first rounder against Yuji Hoshino (1:29 mark). 

According to MMAjunkie, Sandro is slated to appear on Bellator's upcoming MTV2 cards.

Sandro won't compete in the organization's upcoming 145-pound tourney but will compete in season-four non-tourney fights on MTV2. The Brazilian fighter and Nova Uniao team member never has competed in the U.S.

Sengoku recently granted a release to its middleweight champ, Jorge Santiago, who recently signed with the UFC.  The promotion recently cancelled an Apr. 23 event, is at risking of losing major sponsors and being ripped by some of the Japanese media

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