Bellator Fighting Championships today announced the Local Feature Fights for Bellator 44 taking place at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ on May 14th.
“Bellator 44 from Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City is going to be an incredible night of fights,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “In addition to our televised fights on MTV2, we have a great undercard that is stacked with local talent.”
Headlining will be welterweight prospects Sam Orepeza and Giedrius Karavackas. Orepeza (4-1) is a veteran of both King of the Cage and Strikeforce and a regular training partner of Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez at the Philadelphia Fight Factory. A native of Lithuania and a Judo black belt, Karavackas (4-1) trains near Atlantic City.
Anthony Leone (8-2) squares off versus Team Pellegrino product Jeff Lentz, who appeared on the 12th season of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter. Residing in New York, Leone trains out of Team Bombsquad alongside Bellator’s Kenny “The Tooth Fairy” Foster.
A bantamweight matchup pits Philadelphia native Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison against Bryan Goldsby. Also, heavyweight prospect Azunna “Zu” Anyanwu debuts against Randy Smith (11-7) of Watertown, NY.
Finally, middleweight Jay Silva faces Armin Mrkanovic, a native of Croatia who now resides in Brooklyn, NY. Mrkanovic (2-0) is a veteran of Chuck Norris’ World Combat League and caught the attention of Bellator officials last year during the promotion’s Kansas City fighter tryouts.
In addition to the local feature fights, Bellator 44’s televised card includes: a non-title fight featuring reigning Bellator Middleweight World Champion and former Judo Olympian Hector Lombard against dangerous Hawaiian UFC veteran Falaniko Vitale; Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Championship fight between Brazilian Knockout artist Patricky Pitbull and undefeated NCAA Champion Mike Chandler; and a Bellator Season 5 welterweight tournament qualifier fight between former Bellator Welterweight World Champion Lyman “Cyborg” Good and Season 2 tournament finalist Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle. And, Middleweight title challenger Alexander Schlemenko faces Season 2 Tournament competitor Brett Cooper in a Middleweight showdown.