Marlon_Sandro_BELLATOR

 

Bellator FC has announced they've acquired former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro, though he will not participate in the promotion's upcoming 145-pound tournament in March.

Now 17-2, the Nova Uniao fighter began his career by blazing a 12-0 trail, earning most of those wins in the Shooto Brazil and Pancrase organizations.  Sandro was then picked up by Sengoku Raiden Championships (SRC) in Japan as a participant in their 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix.  Sandro quickly became a tournament favorite after submitting Matt Jaggers and blitzing Nick Denis, advancing to a semifinal matchup against former WEC and current UFC fighter Michihiro Omigawa.

Omigawa, a wily Yoshida Dojo judoka, handed Sandro his first loss in the form of a split "must decision"; an outcome made highly controversial due to Omigawa's coach holding a seat on the judging panel.  Speaking to TheGARV.com after the fight, Sandro offered the following statement on his first loss.

Your loss to Omigawa was very controversial, and many feel that you should've won the fight.  How much do you think the decision for Omigawa was influenced by the scoring of the judge Ioshida, whom Omigawa is a student of?

MS: "I´m certain this fact was an influence.  That result can happen anywhere in the world that allows someone to be a judge in an organization who stays close to the fighter as a coach."

Sandro returned to action with a vengeance, reeling off three lightning fast knockouts in the first round, a vicious uppercut being his preferred weapon of choice.  The biggest win during this streak came over Masanori Kanehara, who ended up besting Omigawa in the SRC FW tournament finals.  In his last outing, Sandro was paired with crafty veteran Hatsu Hioki at the year's end "Soul of Fight" event, and lost a unanimous decision.

The press release from Bellator.com on Sandro's North American MMA debut follows.

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CHICAGO, Ill. (February 23, 2011) - World number six-ranked [1] featherweight and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Marlon Sandro will make his U.S debut under the Bellator Fighting Championships banner, officials announced today.  The Sengoku, Pancrase, and Shooto veteran will not participate in the upcoming Season 4 Featherweight Tournament which airs LIVE beginning in March, but will make his debut in 2011.

"Marlon Sandro is a phenomenal talent at 145," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "Our Featherweight division is absolutely stacked and Sandro pushes that talent pool to an even higher level, I'm thrilled to have him on board."

The former Sengoku Featherweight Champion and reigning Featherweight King of Pancrase brings an extremely impressive 17-2 professional record to Bellator, which includes seven TKO or KOs and three submission victories.  Taking his first professional MMA fight in 2004, Sandro maintained a 5 year, 14 fight win-streak prior to his first career loss - a must-decide split decision to Michihiro Omigawa in the Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix Semifinals.

Recently compiling a string of devastating knockouts, Sandro's last four victories have come via TKO or KO, - all in the first round - with a total fight time of just 3:39.

Residing and fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Sandro currently trains along side UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo with Team Nova Uniao.

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator

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