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Thread: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

      
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    Default Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    By far the most well-known fighter on the Bellator roster is not one of the champions from last season's tournament. Instead, it's a late entrant on this year's lightweight bracket.

    Former UFC poster boy Roger Huerta last month became Bellator's biggest star with the inking of an exclusive deal. So expect all the attention to be on Huerta as he enters a field against seven other fighters with much less mainstream exposure.

    Check out my preview below along with MMAFighting.com staff predictions of this year's Bellator lightweight tournament.

    Roger Huerta (20-3) vs. Chad Hinton (6-0) - April 8

    Despite coming off two losses, Roger Huerta is the clear favorite (all four of us at MMAFighting.com are picking him to take the entire tournament). As a member of the UFC roster, he won his first six fights before falling to top-ranked Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard. There were rumors that he would sign with Strikeforce, but Huerta says he ultimately chose Bellator for the opportunity to fight on a consistent basis. And he will: There will be four fights for him by fall if he keeps winning.

    Chad Hinton of Cleveland, Ohio is taking a huge step up in competition considering his previous experience of only local cards in Indiana and Ohio. A notable win for Hinton was a year ago when he knocked out former UFC fighter Jeff Cox.

    Ray's Pick: Huerta
    MDS' Pick: Huerta
    Ariel Helwani's Pick: Huerta
    Mike Chiappetta's Pick: Huerta

    Janne Tulirinta (12-3) vs. Carey Vanier (7-2) - April 8

    Carey Vanier has fought mostly out of nearby cards in Minnesota and his one notable opponent is UFC fighter Nik Lentz. Only one of his fights have gone to a decision.

    Janne Tulirinta out of Finland has been fighting the last two years on M-1 Challenge cards. He's finished six of the seven M-1 Challenge fights.

    My Pick: Tullrinta
    MDS' Pick: Vanier
    Ariel's Pick: Vanier
    Chiappetta's Pick: Vanier

    Mike Ricci (5-0) vs. Pat Curran (9-3) - April 15

    Canada's Mike Ricci has finished four out of five of his fights and benefits from being a training partner of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

    Pat Curran, the cousin of former WEC contender Jeff Curran, is a 22-year-old with a wrestling background. Curran carries a record of 9-3, mostly through Jeff's local XFO cards in Illinois. In his most recent fight, Curran defeated former Cage Rage champ Robbie Olivier by unanimous decision.

    My Pick: Curran
    MDS' Pick: Curran
    Ariel's Pick: Ricci
    Chiappetta's Pick: Curran

    Toby Imada (23-13) vs. Ferrid Kheder (16-5) - April 22

    Toby Imada is the only returning lightweight and was a finalist last year before he was submitted by Alvarez. He's most known for one of the best submissions in MMA history, the inverted triangle choke performed last May in Bellator against Jorge Masvidal.

    Ferrid Kheder, who currently fights out of the TapouT Training Center in Las Vegas under Shawn Tompkins, is a judo specialist who has fought all around the world. In 2000, Kheder finished seventh in the Olympics for France.

    My Pick: Kheder
    MDS' Pick: Imada
    Ariel's Pick: Kheder
    Chiappetta's Pick: Kheder

    MMAFighting.com's Overall Picks:

    Ray's Tournament Favorite: Huerta
    MDS' Tournament Favorite: Huerta
    Ariel's Tournament Favorite: : Huerta
    Chiappetta's Tournament Favorite: : Huerta

  2. #2
    Twisted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    i really like bellator. they are possibly the most intelligently run promotion in MMA.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    ahh yes

    our mma talk is now here

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    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    Bellator is awesome. I'd love to have seen Roger Huerta in WEC or the UFC so I can have a better chance to see him fight but as long as he is fighting somewhere I suppose.

    ...btw, glad to have more people now to talk mma. There are only three of us currently that really talk mma...myself, Les and Shannon.

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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    we have been talking it daily for almost 3 years

    we are addicts I guess lol

    Twisted and I will discuss and debate the history of mma along with today's fighters

    thank you for the welcome

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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    Quote Originally Posted by sjdrewk View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Bellator is awesome. I'd love to have seen Roger Huerta in WEC or the UFC so I can have a better chance to see him fight but as long as he is fighting somewhere I suppose.

    ...btw, glad to have more people now to talk mma. There are only three of us currently that really talk mma...myself, Les and Shannon.
    huerta was in the UFC for a while. here's a link to his career and some of his fights and other stuff.

    Roger Huerta

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    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted View Post
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    huerta was in the UFC for a while. here's a link to his career and some of his fights and other stuff.

    Roger Huerta
    Thanks, I have seen him fight in the early UFC's so I am aware of his early UFC days. I've followed MMA since the beginning with the UFC and then Pride in 1997 when they started. I have seen thousands of fights own hundreds of mma pay per views. Pretty welled rounded knowledge of all the orgs....I prefer Dream and Sengoku and Strikeforce and WEC to the UFC now that Pride is gone. I hate Dana White and Joe Rogan.

  • #8
    Twisted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    sweet.

    from your earlier comments, i took it as you didn't know about roger in the UFC.

    that is a really good site for MMA videos and stuff. if i want to see a specific fight, i can usually find it there.

  • #9
    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted View Post
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    sweet.

    from your earlier comments, i took it as you didn't know about roger in the UFC.

    that is a really good site for MMA videos and stuff. if i want to see a specific fight, i can usually find it there.
    Oh it's cool, we are not familiar with each other yet and we are all getting use to each other so I appreciate you extending a link to me.

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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    plenty more where that came from. i'm an MMA jukie. i can watch all day, every day. literally.

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    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted View Post
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    plenty more where that came from. i'm an MMA jukie. i can watch all day, every day. literally.
    Same here! And do sometimes. I think we are going to get along really well!
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  • #12
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    me too.

    heretic and strummer are the same way. this could get fun.

  • #13
    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted View Post
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    me too.

    heretic and strummer are the same way. this could get fun.
    -this is really going to be fun. I am glad you guys found your way here!

  • #14
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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    me too

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    Default Re: Bellator Lightweight Tournament Preview: All Eyes on Roger Huerta

    and now our ***** Hoge is here

    Let the games begin

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