3 Under-the-Radar Bouts: Bellator 211
One of the fastest-growing regional MMA countries, Italy is set to host Bellator 211 on Saturday, December 1, 2018 in the city of Genoa. The RDS Stadium will play host when long-standing Italian MMA pioneer Alessio Sakara takes on the powerful puncher Kent Kauppinen. As expected, many hungry Italian fighters are featured on the card and as always, there are bouts flying under the radar.
Giorgio Pietrini vs. Nemanja Milaković
Making his long-anticipated return to the cage, Italy’s Giorgio Pietrini (14-4-1 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) will get the Italian fans out of their seats early when he kicks off the Bellator 211 card against Nemanja Milaković (5-3 MMA, 0-0 Bellator). Considered by many to be Italy’s next MMA star, Pietrini suffered a setback in 2018 having undergone surgery for a serious leg injury (more details from MMA Today’s Stefano Summa here). Pietrini had won four straight prior to a 2017 draw against former Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion Stefano Paterno. Pietrini’s only loss since 2015 came to the UFC’s Marvin Vettori. This will be an opportunity to land Pietrini back on the top prospects lists across the MMA media world. However, he’ll have to get through the heavy-handed Milaković who’s part of the growing MMA talent pool coming out of Bosnia. Two talents from growing MMA talent-pools, this should be a fun one, folks.
(Credit: Andrea Stavola – MMA Today)
Luca Vitali vs. Pedro Carvalho
Winner of five straight, Italy’s own Luca Vitali (11-4 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) should have the crowd behind him against the visiting Pedro Carvalho (8-3 MMA, 1-0 Bellator). The 26-year-old “Ace” Vitali has won four-straight via submission including his most recent victory via the rare toe hold. Carvalho comes in to this fight on merely five-days notice replacing Luka Jelčić, his teammate at the illustrious Straight Blast Gym (SBG) Ireland, home of “The Notorious” Conor McGregor. Under coach John Kavanaugh, expect Carvalho to come in prepared and ready for battle in his sophomore Bellator outing. In his Bellator debut, Carvalho knocked off high-profile signing Daniel Crawford with a split-decision victory running his win-streak to three. For Vitali, it’s a chance to showcase the ever-growing talent pool out of Italy and to chalk one up for Italian crowd. MMA Today’s Stefano Summa caught up with Vitali ahead of his Predator FC 4 bout earlier this year.
Ibrahim Mané vs. Alen Amedovski
With a lot of eyes on the middleweight division worldwide these days, one bout that stands out at Bellator 211 is a battle of fan-friendly 185lb. fighters. On one side is Ibrahim Mané (7-1 MMA, 0-0 Bellator), a Frenchman with a knock for seeking the finish. While he hasn’t faced top-level competition, Mané gained valuable experience competing on The Fighter, an MMA reality show in South Africa. One the other hand is a talent that the hardcore fans have been eager to see return. Alen Amedovski (7-0 MMA, 1-0 Bellator) absolutely steamrolled SBG Ireland prospect Will Fleury in his promotional debut this past July. The 30-year-old Macedonian trains and has mostly competed in Italy. Both combatants may engage in a firefight here and the Italian faithful could be in for a treat.
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Honorable Mention: Walter Pugliesi vs. Andrea Fusi
One of the country’s most talked-about welterweight, Walter Pugliesi (4-0 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) will undoubtedly have a lot of eyes on him (and his ink) when he takes on his fellow countryman Andrea Fusi (6-4 MMA, 0-0 Bellator). With the split crowd, which Italian will emerge victorious on the evening’s undercard?