Before Bellator MMA makes its way into Rio Rancho, New Mexico it will make a pit stop in Utah for Bellator 91 which features a featherweight tournament final between Rad Martinez and Shahbulat Shamhalaev. It will also be the perfect lead into next week’s Bellator 91 which features several local New Mexico fighters. The show on February 21st will also feature other New Mexico based fighters competing for the promotion.
Three Jackson’s-Winklejohn’s fighters will be featured in the events fight card. It will all begin with the first fight of the night when Lionel Lanham (4-1) will take on Joe Rodriguez (pro debut) in a middleweight bout. Lanham is very strong and physically imposing 185-pounder and his striking acumen and grappling prowess has earned him a very reputable image around the New Mexico fighting community.
While Lanham has only fought five times in his career and has already fought for several top promotions like Strikeforce, Shark Fights and World MMA. Winning four fights by way of knockout, Lanham will be looking to make his name known for the Bellator promotion.
Later, in the middle of the fight card another Albuquerque fighter will compete and he will draw a notable name as an opponent. Utah native and New Mexico based fighter Travis “T-Train” Marx (19-4) will face veteran Chase Beebe (24-8-1) in a 135-pound bantamweight bout. Marx will be returning to action for the first time since losing a decision to top Bellator contender Marcos Galvao last May.
Marx is an exceptional athlete with the ability to push the pace for the full 15-minute time frame. His ability to score with technical striking and very dominant grappling has carried him to the prospect ladder at 135-pounds. His opponent, Beebe, was at one time considered one of the top fighters in the world and captured championship glory in the WEC promotion. Currently on a six fight win streak, Beebe is poised for his run in the Bellator rankings.
The match up should be a very competitive grappling match as both fighters have good strong wrestling skills and can both grind to the very last minute of the fight. The winner re-emerges back into the tournament talk at 135-pounds and for Marx it will be a chance for redemption coming off his loss to Galvao.
During the main card of Bellator 90, Covina, California’s Albuquerque trained, Bryan Baker (18-4) will also be seeking his own redemption after a quick heel hook submission loss to Karl Amoussou this past July when he faces a very formidable Douglas Lima (23-5). Lima is the former number one contender at 170-pounds and the two welterweights have plenty on the line on their way back the ladder for a chance to fight Bellator Champion Ben Askren.
Baker is a WEC veteran and a Bellator fighter for nearly four years and brings with him all the talent and skills to make another title run. His win over Ben Saunders cemented his status as a top contender and a win over Lima would get him right back in title discussion. Lima challenged Askren for the title nearly one year ago and since has gone 2-0 with his last win coming in January where he stopped his opponent with leg kicks.
The fight should be a fun one for fight fans as the style contrast between Baker and the strong striking of Lima will be interesting to watch. Baker will have his powerful ground and pound game to compliment his powerful standing strikes and slick takedowns to counter Lima and his world class submission defense. It isn’t an easy fight to call as both fighters have top notch skills to edge their opponent.
Stay tuned to SWFight.com for event news and updates as well as making sure to tune in and watch the Bellator 90 show on Spike TV to support our local New Mexico athletes.