Bryan Baker Jared Hess Bellator 50″ src=”http://www.cagepotato.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Bryan-Baker-Jared-Hess-Bell.gif” alt=” width=”490″ height=”327″ />“Man, I just can’t tell you how much stronger I feel since I got my leukocyte count under control, you know? I feel like I could do this all day!” PicProps: Keith Mills for Sherdog
Since we all know that you didn’t watch Bellator last night, how about a recap? Come on inside for accounts of the event, plus videos of the middleweight tournament bouts, courtesy of Zee2TehPee and ArnForgesArn.com – massive props to those guys. Boo boo on the crowd in Hollywood, Florida, which seemed just a little too quick to rain down boos on a good night of fights. Come on inside and I’ll tell you all about it.
Victor O’Donnell vs Brian Rogers
Man, Victor O’Donnell looks like the little brother of Bronan the Barbarian. Ok, there was a bit of a stoppage controversy on this one, kids, but it’s the kind where you kind of feel bad for everyone involved. Brian Rogers has a streak going of putting a quick smashing on his opponents, so when he wobbles O’Donnell with a headkick and a flurry of hooks, then follows him to the canvas with hammerfists, you can’t really blame referee Troy Waugh for diving it to stop it. Unfortunately, O’Donnell still has plenty of fight left in him, since he was busy establishing guard and wrist control when Waugh waves it off. Brian “The Predator” Rogers scores another TKO victory (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 1:56 in the first, but the crowd turns on him, booing the stoppage. Rogers, who comes off as an extremely nice guy, goes full-on heel with them in the interview. Very strange fight.
Sam Alvey vs Vitor Vianna
Speaking of strange fights, there’s this. Sam Alvey has his model girlfriend in his corner, gloves on and everything. Vitor Vianna has BJJ championships like Joe Johnson has shoes, but he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to take Alvey down and introduce us all to the Portuguese Pretzel Choke. So they stay standing, but neither fighter shows much in the way of killer instinct, and 90% of the action is in the last two minutes of the fight. Alvey moves forward most of the fight, defends takedowns well, and scores some damage on Vianna, but Alvey winds up losing a split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29). The crowd turns on Vianna as well, who seems to have learned English from Wanderlei, if nothing else. Poor fella. Vianna promises better next time, and I hope so.
Bryan Baker vs Jared Hess
The Battle of Dudes Fresh Off of Expensive Surgeries was going to be a lose-lose for me, because I like both of them. Both Baker and Hess had tune-up fights for the tournament, but this would be their first real competition, and it turned out to be a fantastic fight: a really technical grappling exchange with a good tempo. Hess did not look like his pre-surgery self — the limitless gas tank that helped him grind through opponents started to run out by the end of the first, he made quite a few technical errors on the ground, and he did look wobbly and awkward on his feet through the second and third. True to form, though, Hess never quit. The referee stopped the fight because Baker had him back mounted, hooks in, fully extended and dropping big hooks to his cranium region. (Oh, and Baker’s wife still wails like a banshee in the crowd the entire damn fight, and this time she had back-up.) Bryan Baker defeats Jared Hess by TKO (referee stoppage due to ground and pound) at 2:52 of round 3.
Alexander Shlemenko lied to our faces … and I have new respect for him. The Russian whirlwind has expressed open disdain for submission grappling on the ground pretty much anytime someone comes near him with a camera and a translator, and he chases knockouts . Then he comes out to fight Croatian kickboxer Zelg Galesic and goes for a clinch like he’s a heat seeking judo missile. It took less than two minutes for Shlemenko to secure a nasty standing guillotine/neck crank that was right up there with Dan Miller‘s. Props to Shlemenko for actually working to improve and roundout his skill set, plus more props for playing it close to the vest. More props on top of that for that monster submission. The big knock against The Storm has been that he was one-dimensional and anyone with some high school wrestling could take him down. If Shlemenko can bring his wrestling and submission defense up to par, suddenly that crazy striking style of his becomes a whole lot scarier. Alexander Shlemenko defeats Zelg Galesic via Submission (Standing Guillotine/Neck Crank) at 1:55 of round 1.
Brett Cooper defeats Valdir Araujo via TKO (punches) at 0:35 of round 3.
Radley Martinez defeats Brian van Hoven via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3).
Ailton Barbosa defeats Ryan Keenan via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:55 of round 1.
Christian Souza defeats John Kelly via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3).
J.P. Reese defeats Martin Brown via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3).
Marcelo Goncalves defeats Dietter Navarro via submission (armbar) at 2:01 of round 1.
Shah Babonis defeats Marcos de Matta via KO (punch) at 2:04 of round 3.