Last year, the Bellator “Summer Series” gave rise to the eventual Bellator Featherweight Champion in Pat Curran. This years “Summer Series” features eight light heavyweights who are looking to achieve what Pat Curran did. However, the preliminary card will get fans juiced up for the main card, as a few Bellator veterans are in action.
Kicking off the action is a lightweight division fight as EJ “The Pretty Boy” Brooks (7-0-0) competes against Joey “The Hitman” Holt (3-0-0). EJ Brooks has won four straight fights in Bellator competition, with a notable victory over Mikhail Malyutin. Joey Holt is also undefeated in Bellator competition, having defeated Clint Musser at Bellator 51 in September 2011. This is a pivotal battle of two undefeated fighters, but it will be EJ Brooks remaining undefeated in the end.
Featherweights will step into the cage next as Neil Johnson (6-4-0) does battle with Brylan Van Artsdalen (6-3-0). Neil Johnson has won two of his last three heading into this fight, with both of his victories coming by submission. Brylan Van Artsdalen is currently winless in Bellator competition, having loss all three of his fights in the promotion. This is essentially a do or die fight for Brylan Van Artsdalen in Bellator, but he will keep his job in the end as he notches up a victory.
A light heavyweight fight will occur next as Duane Bastress (5-1-0) has agreed to fight Jason Butcher (3-0-0). Duane Bastress is currently undefeated in Bellator competition, having defeated both Daniel Gracie and Plinio Cruz. Jason Butcher is an undefeated fighter who has achieved all of his career victories in the Spartan FC promotion. This will be an interesting fight to check out, but it will be Duane Bastress ending his opponents undefeated streak.
Up next is another light heavyweight division fight as Tim Carpenter (8-1-0) takes on John “Big” Hawk (7-4-0). Tim Carpenter made it all the way to the finals of the inaugural Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament before losing to Christian M’Pumbu. John Hawk has won two of three in Bellator competition, last defeating Marcus Vanttinen at Bellator 66. This is a pivotal fight for two fights not in the “Summer series” tournament, but it will be Tim Carpenter getting the victory.
Headlining this portion of the card is a light heavyweight division fight as Dan “Dragon” Spohn (6-2-0) faces Josh “The Sandman” Stansbury (3-2-0). Dan Spohn has lost two straight in Bellator competition, with his last loss coming to “Summer series” tournament fighter Atilla Vegh. Josh Stansbury has won three straight heading into this fight, with all the wins coming in the opening round. This is an excellent way to cap off the preliminary card and it will be Dan Spohn picking up a much needed win.
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