Bellator Jumps Into The MMA Time Machine At Bellator 101

By Raphael Garcia

Bellator has firmly established itself as the number two mixed martial arts promotion in the industry. As it works to maintain that position, one of the efforts that Bellator President Bjorn Rebney works hard to maintain is the notion that the organization will not focus on signing fighters who were “cast off” from the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Well that stance may have softened over the last few months, and Bellator 101 is a prime example.

Three of the four contests in the first round of this season’s lightweight tournament, the focal point of tonight’s bill, involve fighters who were once members of the UFC roster. Marcus Davis, Rich Clementi, and John Alessio will all appear on the card. Although Davis is probably the closest out of the bunch to being seen as a “major name” from the UFC, these fighters still may be recognizable to the more hardcore fan, which could draw some extra interest to the card. Alessio will be making his Bellator debut, while Clementi and Davis will step into the circular cage for the second time.

John Alessio attained a 5-6 record while under Zuffa employ, bouncing back and forth between the UFC and WEC, and his resume includes Diego Sanchez, Carlos Condit, Thiago Alves, and others. At 34 years of age and with 51 total professional fights, its true that his best days are behind him, but he can still have a flair for the dramatic due to his finishing skills.

Clementi was a tough lightweight while a part of the UFC, but he was never able to make it to main event status. He is probably best known for his rivalry with Melvin Guillard in 2007, which resulted in Clementi tapping Guillard in the first round of their bout, and then the two nearly fighting for a second time after the final horn sounded. He had a decent Octagon record of 7-4, with his best wins being Guillard, Anthony Johnson, and Terry Etim.

Marcus Davis was cut from the UFC in 2011, but he has been faring pretty well for himself outside of the Zuffa banner. He was once considered a welterweight contender after putting together six straight wins in the Octagon, but that was before running into Mike Swick at UFC 85. His overall UFC record was 9-5, with signature wins over Chris Lytle, Shonie Carter, and Pete Spratt.

While Rebney has said that Bellator won’t sign fighters who are cut from the UFC, it seems as if they will make exceptions for those who have spent time outside of the Octagon. However, do not be fooled, as the promotion will surely highlight that experience at some point. It would be best for Bellator if these individuals came in and put on great fights in defeat to their homegrown prospects, as that would give Bellator the opportunity to add some recognizable names to their respective resumes, while building their star power slowly.

Bellator 101 does not feature a title fight or any of the promotion’s major names, with the exception of Joe Warren. However, for those MMA fans who were watching the sport before and during the early phase of its growth, John Alessio, Rich Clementi, and Marcus Davis may be familiar faces worth watching on Friday night.


Bellator 101 will take place on September 27, 2013 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon.

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