Source: McCullough-Freire, Vanier-Woodard Targeted for Bellator 36

By: Mike Whitman
Feb 13, 2011
“Razor” Rob McCullough will tangle with Patricky Freire at Bellator 36 | Jeff Sherwood/

All four lightweight quarterfinals for Bellator's upcoming fourth season are now set, as “Razor” Rob McCullough will meet Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Carey Vanier will clash with Lloyd Woodard at Bellator 36. learned of the matchups Saturday from a source close to the tournament. The bouts join two previously reported contests -- Marcin Held vs. Michael Chandler and Ferrid Kheder vs. Toby Imada -- in the eight-man bracket. None of the quarterfinal matchups have been officially announced by the promotion as of yet.

Bellator 36, which features all four 155-pound quarterfinals, will go down March 12 from a to-be-announced location and will kick off the promotion's third lightweight tournament. As with all of Bellator's competitions, the winner of the eight-man draw will be awarded $100,000 in total pay and a shot at the promotion's lightweight king in Eddie Alvarez.

A former WEC lightweight champion, McCullough began his career in 2001. In 2007, the muay Thai specialist defeated Kit Cope at WEC 25 to earn his first and only world title. Following three losses in five fights, the veteran was released by the promotion in 2009. McCullough has rebounded with back-to-back wins for Tachi Palace Fights, however, earning both victories in 2010.

Older brother to featherweight tournament competitor Patricio, Freire rides a three-fight winning streak heading into his bout with McCullough. “Pitbull,” who will make his Bellator debut on March 12, owns four of his seven career victories by knockout.

Vanier is 2-1 in Bellator competition and most recently earned a split decision over UFC veteran Rich Clementi to lock up his spot in the fourth-season tournament. A competitor in the promotion's second-season draw as well, Vanier was successful in the opening round only to fall to the aforementioned Imada in the semis.

Undefeated in 10 professional outings, Woodard holds six of his 10 career wins by submission. A member of the Dogpound Fight Team in Missoula, Mont., “Cupcake” is a veteran of CageSport and SportFight competition. The lightweight will take his first steps into the circular Bellator cage on March 12.

Jeff Sherwood contributed to this report

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