By Matt Saccaro
Bellator 104 was one of the promotion’s most stacked cards this season. When Bellator mainstay Karl Amoussou and three UFC vets (Paul Sass, Rob Emerson, and Paul Bradley) are relegated to the prelims, there’s some good or at least decent fights on the main card.
The prelims were exciting and had a few notable happenings.
Cliff Wright vs. Derek Loffer was a thrilling back-and-forth match that saw Wright win via armbar late in the second round.
After that, Brandon Girtz pulled a Chris Leben. No, he didn’t urinate in a bed or fail a drug test. He fought twice in two weeks and won both matches like Leben did back in 2010. Girtz submitted Poppies Martinez and Mike Estus at Bellator 102 and Bellator 104, respectively. And these weren’t Hail Mary submissions; Girtz controlled both guys before torquing their arms.
Paul Sass, too, won in short order, this time with a toe hold. His opponent Rod Montoya was seemingly ignorant of the fact that Sass has an amazing guard since he kept taking Sass down. Surprise, surprise, Montoya was submitted.
Unfortunately, Karl Amoussou vs. Paul Bradley couldn’t live up to the exciting standard set by the night’s previous bouts. Bradley won a unanimous decision that saw him lay in a gassed Amoussou’s guard for two out of three rounds.
That ended the prelims and brought us into the main card on Spike, which started with *gulps* a Bellator heavyweight fight between Eric Prindle and Peter Graham. It started out alright enough, with Graham nearly finishing Prindle, but then it quickly descended into the usual Bellator heavyweight routine: Heavy breathing, long periods of inactivity, and looping, exhausted punches. At the last second, Graham hit Prindle with a front kick to the face that floored him. Graham won via unanimous decision.
Kendall Grove made his return to mainstream American MMA (looking life Rufio from Hook) versus Joe Vedepo. Grove controlled the fight from bell to bell. Vedepo spent most of the fight about to be submitted or knocked out. It was one of those fights where the winner looked good but the loser did such a great job of getting his ass beat that everyone can’t shut up about his “heart.”
In the night’s first welterweight tournament semifinal, Ron Keslar upset War Machine in decisive fashion. He took War Machine down immediately, took his back, and choked him unconscious at 3:31. We’re still debating at the CagePotato offices as to whether Christy Mack will leave War Machine for Keslar now.
In the second welterweight tournament semifinal, which was Bellator 104′s main event, Brent Weedman and Rick Hawn faced off. It wasn’t the first time these two fighters met. They fought back in May 2012, with Hawn winning. Hawn won via unanimous decision this time too, but it was a ho-hum affair. This season’s welterweight final will therefore be Rick Hawn vs. Ron Keslar.
Here are the complete Bellator 104 results:
Rick Hawn def. Brent Weedman via Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ron Keslar def. War Machine via technical submission (rear naked choke), 3:31 of Round 1
Kendall Grove def. Joe Vedepo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Peter Graham def. Eric Prindle via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Paul Bradley def. Karl Amoussou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Paul Sass def. Rod Montoya via submission (toe hold), 2:01 of Round 1
Robert Emerson def. Jared Downing via submission (heel hook), 1:44 of Round 1
Brandon Girtz def. Mike Estus via submission (armbar), 4:25 of Round 1
Cliff Wright def. Derek Loffer via submission (armbar), 4:28 of Round 2
Andre Tieva def. Chris Lane via TKO (punches), 2:14 of Round 1