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Bellator 59 Recap: Dantas wins Bantamweight Tournament, Heavyweight Finale No Contest

Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos, fight ending low blow comes at the 2:07 mark. All videos in this post props to

Coming fresh off of Last week’s action packed show, Bellator looked to keep building momentum last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The good news for Bellator is that, for the most part, the card delivered exciting, entertaining fights. The bad news for Bellator? That above video not only happened, but was supposed to be this season’s heavyweight tournament finale.

Rather, this season’s heavyweight tournament ends with a controversial no contest. On one hand, it would be anti-climatic to name a number one contender by disqualification from to an illegal kick. On the other hand, if Santos was aiming for the inside of Prindle’s thigh, it sure didn’t look like it. Prindle will meet Santos again to determine a contender for Cole Konrad, although a date for their next meeting hasn’t been announced yet.

Fortunately for Bellator, this season’s bantamweight tournament ended with a much more exciting, much less controversial fight. While Alexis Vila managed to push the pace and earn takedowns in the first round, twenty two year old Brazilian prospect Eduardo Dantas came back to take the unanimous decision victory. Dantas utilized his reach advantage to keep Vila at bay and threatened with numerous submission attempts in the second and third rounds. Dantas will meet bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky for a title shot next season.

Also of note, New Jersey native Kurt Pellegrino was knocked out in just fifty seconds by Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. Pellegrino got caught early, and appeared to be working for a takedown while the fight was called. The Atlantic City crowd began chanting bullshit, but after the fight, Kurt announced that he had lost “fair and square” and that this fight would be his last. At thirty two years old, coming off of a loss to a promising lightweight prospect, it’s hard not to believe Pellegrino when he says that he’s retiring for real this time. Thanks for the memories, Batman.


Full results, courtesy of MMA Junkie:


Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos declared a no contest (unintentional foul) – Round 1, 1:24  
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire def. Kurt Pellegrino via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:50
Eduardo Dantas def. Alexis Vila via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Marcin Held def. Phillipe Nover via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)


Karl Amoussou def. Jesus Martinez via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:20
LeVon Maynard def. Chris Wing via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Lucas Pimenta def. Doug Gordon via knockout (elbows) – Round 1, 0:40
Scott Heckman def. Brylan Van Artsdalen via submission (standing guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:38
Gregory Milliard def. Brandon Saling via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Cagepotato Comments

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linhaifengdier- November 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm
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chzhyy- November 28, 2011 at 10:26 am
top boxing films
KINGMADE- November 28, 2011 at 9:40 am
The replay at 3:16 screams the guy on the ground is a Giant Pussy. Unless a toe went up his butthole of course... but I don't think you would grab your balls for that.
Punchthedonky- November 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm
Get Off Me makes a very good point. It's either that or Prindle was more concerned about a torn rectum!
Get Off Me- November 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Prindle, who has no ground game, was taken down twice in the span of one minute and found himself being dominated early in the fight.
Santos's foot disapears under Prindle's body, unless Prindle's nuts hang lower than an 80 yr old man's , he was not hit in the balls and although he may have been hurt, I think he took advantage of the situation to get out of the fight without losing.
NO WAY Santos should have been DQ'd, the referee did not stop the fighters, Prindle winched and Santos backed off and Prindle negotiated with the referee and doctors in order to get out of this fight.
RoJoegan- November 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm
Prindle had the look of a man whose testicles were destroyed, even if he did ham it up a bit, but the kick looked like it was a big toe straight to the rectum.
Payday- November 27, 2011 at 11:23 am
Any word on Prindle's condition? From the way he was trying to bounce up and down me thinks a gonad might have tried to escape back into his body...makes my stomach hurt just thinking about that.
HankRollins- November 27, 2011 at 11:00 am
Santos was controlling the action before he booted Prindle in the junk....

Sometimes fighter's will foul (eye pokes, groin shots, headbutts, etc) regardless of their standing in the fight just to soften up opponents...The difference is that a lot of 'intentional' fouls at least have the appearance or could be argued to be 'unintentional'...

Regardless, when have you ever seen kicks to a downed opponent straight up the middle like that? Never.

This guy should have been DQ'd...
SethF- November 27, 2011 at 8:47 am
@Pen Fifteen
That's the most confusing part: He WAS dominating Prindle up to that point. There's no reason to believe the kick was intentional...until you see the kick.
Pen Fifteen- November 27, 2011 at 8:38 am
No doubt the kick looked dirty, but what did Santos stand to gain from that? Was he behind on the cards? He was pretty much dominating the round up to that point, so more context might be helpful here.