Photo by Joe Harrington/

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (May 4, 2010) Saul “The Spider” Almeida, who has compiled a perfect 8-0 record on the Boston-area regional circuit since turning pro less than 18 months ago, was the unanimous winner of an open tryout held earlier today by Bellator Fighting Championships, earning him the right to fight during one of Bellator’s Season 3 events later this year.

The tryout, which was held at Mark DellaGrotte’s famed Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy just outside of Boston, drew several dozen free-agent fighters from throughout New England and as far away as California. They included several veterans of Strikeforce, EliteXC and other promotions.

“Once again, a very impressive group of fighters turned out for our open tryout and the chance to fight for Bellator.” Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Among this group, though, Saul Almeida rose to the top. He has a great background that combines karate, jiu-jitsu and wrestling and he’s yet to lose a fight as a pro. I’m excited to watch him fight under the Bellator banner later this year.”

The 20-year-old Almeida was born in Brazil and moved to the Boston area at the age of 8. Shortly thereafter, he began training in karate and eventually earned his black belt. He was a standout high school wrestler at Framingham High School and, since graduating, has expanded his arsenal to include Brazilian jiu-jitsu (he now has a purple belt) and boxing.

He turned pro at the age of 18 and has notched a perfect 8-0 record against some of New England’s top-ranked fighters.

“I’m just very, very happy,” he said shortly after being announced as the winner. “Bellator is a great organization and I’m excited to get to the next level of my career and excited to see what I can do.”

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