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Bellator 53 Recap: Saunders to meet Lima in the Welterweight Tournament Finals

(Videos via IronForgesIron)

When you’re fighting a guy nicknamed “The Arm Collector”, who has won twelve of his sixteen victories by armbar, you might spend extra time working on your takedown defense. And maybe resist the urge to stick your arms out during the fight. I emphasize “you”, because Darryl Cobb, the middleweight who fought Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana on the undercard of Bellator 53 last night in Miami, Oklahoma, did not have the same gameplan. Giva Santana is now 17-1 in his MMA career, his only loss a split-decision at the hands of Bellator veteran Jaime Jara.

In main card action, Ben Saunders picked up his fourth straight victory since being bounced from the UFC by submitting Luis Santos in the third round.  Killa B showed off a much more well-rounded attack than what we’re accustomed to seeing from him, thoroughly out-grappling Santos for the entire fight. In other welterweight tournament action, Douglas Lima picked up a brutal second round knockout against Cleveland native Chris Lozano. Lima has now won eight straight fights, and will meet Ben Saunders at Bellator 56 on November 12 to determine the winner of the welterweight tournament.

In non-tournament action, Thiago Santos, originally set to fight Blagoi Ivanov in the heavyweight tournament before visa issues forced him off of Bellator 52, easily took care of Detroit heavyweight Josh Burns. The victory propels Thiago Santos back into the tournament to replace the injured Mike Hayes. Coincidentally, Mike Hayes was scheduled to meet Blagoi Ivanov  in the next round. Also, British prospect Ronnie Mann got back in the W column with a first round triangle choke over Kenny Foster. Mann dedicated the fight to his recently deceased trainer, Shawn Tompkins.

Full results, courtesy of


Ben Saunders def. Luis Santos via submission (keylock) – Round 3, 1:35 – welterweight-tourney semifinal
Doug Lima def. Chris Lozano via KO (punch) – Round 2, 3:14 – welterweight-tourney semifinal
Ronnie Mann def. Kenny Foster via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:52
Thiago Santos def. Josh Burns via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:23


Giva Santana def. Darryl Cobb via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:00
A.J. Matthews def. Rudy Bears via unanimous decision
Raphael Davis def. Myron Dennis via KO (punch) – Round 2, 0:29
David Rickels def. Levi Avera via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:06
Luis Nogueira def. Zak Laird via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:51

Cagepotato Comments

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Fried Taco- October 10, 2011 at 7:25 am
Looks like the judges had a very boring night.
linmmgg1- October 10, 2011 at 7:23 am
UFC service for the sex that everybody will like them,welcome to visit
ReX13- October 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm
Bellator continues to put on good shows, but they were outshined by a dynamite UFC card this weekend. Lima vs Saunders for the finals is going to be a very fun fight.
Santos-Ivanov is also worth looking forward to -- there's going to be so much grappling cred in that cage that some clueless ref in Florida is going to receive a blue belt just for being present.