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Alvarez vs Neer in non title fight, Huerta and other tourney fighters and a lot of catchweights on the undercard:

All 16 fighters slated for Thursday's Bellator Fighting Championships 17 event, including lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (19-2 MMA, 3-0 BFC) and fellow co-headliner Josh Neer (27-9-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC), who meet in non-title fight, are now official for the event.

The weigh-ins took place Wednesday at the Citi Performing Arts Center's Wang Theatre in Boston, which also hosts Thursday's event.

Bellator 17 features the semifinals of the promotion's season-two lightweight tournament as eight fighters battle for the right to face Alvarez in a season-three title fight.

The event airs live on FOX Sports Net (or on a few hours' delay if preempted by local sports programming), and highlights packages air Saturday on NBC, Telemundo and mun2.

Alvarez and Neer meet in a 160-pound catchweight bout. Alvarez weighed 159.6 pounds, and Neer weighed 161.

Alvarez meets Neer after a busy 2009 that netted him the Bellator 155-pound title and four consecutive wins. In his most recent performance, he submitted Katsunori Kikuno at DREAM.12 this past October.

The Philadelphia native is happy to be back on the East Coast.

"[Neer is] a tough guy, a veteran," Alvarez said after hitting the scales. "I'm here to represent for the East Coast. I'm happy to be home again."

Meanwhile, Neer, who earned his shot at the Bellator champ with a two-fight streak on the regional circuit, reiterated his relief that Alvarez is known for his aggressive style.

"I'm just looking forward to fight a real fighter ... someone that doesn't want to lay on me," he said.

High-profile import Roger Huerta predicts an exciting scrap in his lightweight tournament semifinal bout with Pat Curran, who notched a devastating first-round knockout against Mike Ricci in the tournament's opening round.

"As soon as the fight starts, you're going to see fireworks from myself and Pat, so it's going to be a good show," Huerta said.

The full weigh-in results included:

MAIN CARD

* Champ Eddie Alvarez (159.6) vs. Josh Neer (161)
* Pat Curran (155.4) vs. Roger Huerta (155.6)
* Toby Imada (154.8) vs. Carey Vanier (154.6)
* Pat Bennett (243.2) vs. Cole Konrad (266)

PRELIMINARY CARD

* Lance Everson (187) vs. Justin Torrey (182.8)*
* John Doyle (188.4) vs. Greg Rebello (187.2)*
* Dan Bonnell (145.8) vs. Josh Laberge (145.4)
* Chuck O'Neil (171.6) vs. Damian Vitale (169.4)*

* - Fighters agreed to hold the bout at a catchweight
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
How they turned out with one shocker, read ahead for spoilers:

Part of the allure of Bellator Fighting Championship's tournament-style format is the potential for underdogs to earn their way to a title with positive results in the cage.

Nevertheless, when UFC import Roger Huerta signed with organization for its season-two lightweight bracket, most observers felt a spot in the finals – and likely a tournament win – was a near certainty.

Pat Curran had other ideas.

Curran defeated Huerta by unanimous decision on the main card of Thursday's Bellator 17 event at Boston's Wang Theatre. The bout aired on FOX Sports Net.

After a back-and-forth opening two rounds that saw both fighters look crisp in spots, the bout appeared to hang in the balance in the final frame. Both fighters responded to the demand of the moment, and the action stayed tight throughout. Both fighters earned takedowns, and both fighters worked striking effectively. At the close of the final frame, it was difficult to separate the two.

The judges didn't find it challenging at all, and Curran was awarded the unanimous-decision win, 29-28 on all three cards.

Curran (11-3 MMA, 2-0 BFC) earns a spot in the finals with the biggest win of his career, while Huerta (21-4-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC) falls to just 1-3 in his past four contests.

Later in the evening, lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez returned to the Bellator cage for the first time since winning the title in June 2009 and faced 10-time UFC veteran Josh Neer in a 160-pound non-title affair.

Neer once again showed his heart in absorbing punishment while continuing to battle back, but Alvarez proved his superiority from the early going.

Alvarez took Neer down frequently in the opening frame and delivered punishment from top position. When Neer proved unwilling to go to the canvas in the second round, Alvarez locked in a rear-naked choke from a standing position and followed his opponent to the floor as he fell victim to the hold.

Alvarez (20-2 MMA, 4-0 BFC) has now earned victories in 10 of his past 11 outings, including four-straight wins. Meanwhile, Neer (27-10-1 MMA, 0-1 BFC) falls to 2-3 in his past five.

The evening's final televised contest saw heavyweight prospect Cole Konrad earn the third-straight win of his young career in a unanimous-decision result over Patrick Bennett.

Konrad did the most damage in the opening round, and the ground-and-pound assault from the Brock Lesnar pupil was impressive. He controlled the second-round, as well, but it was obvious his gas tank was quickly depleting.

Bennett battled back in the final frame and took the round on one judge's card, but it was too little, too late. Konrad (3-0 MMA, 1-0 BFC) remains undefeated in his young career, while Bennett (1-1 MMA, 0-1 BFC) loses for the first time as a professional.

In the evening's first televised contest, submission wizard Toby Imada earned his fourth stoppage win in five Bellator bouts and booked his spot in his second-consecutive tournament finals at the expense of opponent Carey Vanier.

After defending several takedown attempts from Vanier in the first round, Imada began to grab control of the momentum in the closing seconds of the opening frame. He picked up where he left off in the second, and he dove to the floor while looking for a knee. Vanier defended the attempt, but a subsequent transition to an arm was timed perfectly, and Imada forced the tap at the 3:07 mark of the second frame.

Imada (25-13 MMA, 4-1 BFC) has now won 11 of his past 12 contests, and he'll look to book a rematch with Alvarez with a finals win. Meanwhile, Vanier (8-3 MMA, 1-1 BFC) loses for the first time in eight trips to the cage.

MAIN CARD

* Cole Konrad def. Pat Bennett via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 30-27)
* Eddie Alvarez def. Josh Neer via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:08
* Pat Curran def. Roger Huerta via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
* Toby Imada def. Carey Vanier via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:07

PRELIMINARY CARD

* Justin Torrey def. Lance Everson via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:55*
* Greg Rebello def. John Doyle via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)*
* Josh Laberge def. Dan Bonnell via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:40
* Chuck O'Neil def. Damien Vitale via TKO (cut) – Round 3 - 1:02
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It was a pretty good night of fights except for that last HW fight. The Huerta fight was almost to close to call, and Alvarez pretty much raped Neer. Imada is like an anaconda, everytime I see that inverted triangle I'm still amazed. Bellator consistantly has good cards, I'm impressed by them especially the commentating.
 
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