Olympic Judoka knock-out artist (Video: YouTube/BellatorMMA)
It just wouldn’t be a Friday night without a Santos-Prindle cancellation and an action-packed Bellator tournament. If you went dateless last night (or had a really awesome date) and managed to catch the opening round of the Season 6 Lightweight tourney, you were treated to some memorable scraps. For those who missed it: someone got concussed, someone’s in a cast, and we’ve got your cheat sheet right here.
Rene Nazare was looking to let his hands go from the onset, but once Thiago Michel rattled off a few front kicks to the grill his interest in a standup battle waned. Michel worked his kickboxing game all three rounds, using his long limbs to land combinations while keeping Nazare at bay. The BJJ specialist was denied takedowns throughout the fight, and when he did manage to pull Michel to the ground he was either short on time or short on action. Michel’s aggression on the feet and defense on the ground was enough to score the split decision win.
Brent Weedman found himself in several precarious positions last night, all of which he’d more or less placed himself in. Both men came out swinging for the fences, and only seconds into the bout Weedman sat JJ Ambrose down with a big left hand. Rather than pounce, Weedman backed off, giving Ambrose an opportunity to get back to his feet, secure a body lock, and slam him to the canvas. Weedman survived a D’Arce choke, guillotine, and kimura before landing a beautiful pair of upkicks that sent Ambrose’s mouthpiece flying. From there Weedman took control, securing JJ’s back and working for a rear naked choke to close out the round. The second stanza began with Weedman ceding position again as he pulled back on a tentative kick then fell to his back. Again Ambrose seized the moment with a D’Arce attempt, but Weedman escaped to side mount and went to work. After landing some ground and pound from the crucifix, Weedman saw an opening for the rarely-seen Von Flue choke. The crushing pressure was too great for Ambrose, who tapped at 3:26 of the second round.
Ricardo Tirloni said in his pre-fight interviews that he likes getting hit. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but he may not have cared for the way Rick Hawn throws down. The Olympic judoka worked his way through a bevy of hard knees and kicks from Tirloni, all the while looking for a home for his big right hand. Hawn corralled the Brazilian toward the cage halfway through the first round and landed a massive right hand that sent Tirloni and his eleven-fight win streak crashing down. A few follow-up shots on the ground punched Hawn’s ticket to the tournament semi-finals.
Patricky Freire and Lloyd Woodard threw down in a back and forth first round that was difficult to score; fortunately for the cageside judges, it was evident that this one wasn’t going to make it to the final bell. Woodard threw relentless knees as the two exchanged heavily right from the start. A well-timed straight left dropped “Pitbull” to the mat, but Freire would explode back to his feet and secure a pair of takedowns of his own before getting reversed. Back on their feet, Freire connected with a series of blows that had “Cupcake” in trouble. Freire dumped him on his back but was unable to complete a kimura attempt as the clock wound down. The leather continued to fly in the second round, with both men throwing without a thought of defense. Coming off a heavy exchange, “Pitbull” shot in for a double leg but was caught by a knee on the way in. Woodard took advantage of his stunned opponent, stuffing the takedown and landing in side-control. From here it was shades of Mir-Nogueira II, as Woodard slapped on a kimura, rolled Freire over, and drew the tap. Just like his mentor, Freire waited until his arm had snapped before admitting defeat. It was a huge upset for Woodard, who advances to the next round of the tourney.
Full Results: (via: FightoftheNight.com)
Lloyd Woodard def. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire via submission (kimura) – R2, 1:46
Rick Hawn def. Ricardo Tirloni via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:36
Brent Weedman def. J.J. Ambrose via submission (Von Flue choke) – R2, 3:26
Thiago Michel def. Rene Nazare via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Luis Vega def. Sonny Luque via submission (arm-triangle choke) – R1, 3:43
Chris Jones def. Steven Peterson via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Dave Jansen def. Jacob Kirwan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Rad Martinez def. Douglas Frey via TKO (punches) – R1, 4:08