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Bellator 65 Recap: Improvements Abound

Before I even begin to analyze this card, let’s get a few things out of the way: No, there were not as many decisions on this card as last week’s smothering performances; the main event ended by submission. No, the card overall was not comparable to a ProElite event, although there was a light sparring session thrown in with the fights that we could have done without. Simply put, the main card of Bellator 65 brought a lot of decisions, but was overall an entertaining event.

The evening kicked off with the opening bouts of the season six bantamweight tournament. The first bout saw Marcos Galvao outwork Ed West on his way to a unanimous decision victory. West attempted to keep Galvao outside with kicks throughout the fight, but Galvao was able to consistently take West down and avoid submission attempts. When the fight would find its way back to the feet, Marcos Galvao threw flying knees and hard rights to win over the judges, 30-27 on all scorecards.

As for the other opening bout of the bantamweight tournament- it happened. That’s about all there is to say about Luis Nogueira vs. Alexis Vila. In a fight that saw very little action, Nogueira managed to avoid Vila’s wild strikes throughout the first round and take Vila’s back. And that’s about it; neither fighter landed anything of significance for the rest of the bout, although Vila was more active than Nogueira for the rest of the fight. Controversial decision? If there was more action, maybe. But since Vila’s offensive output was equally non-existent, it’s hard to say that either fighter deserved a victory.

In the featherweight tournament semifinals, Daniel Straus picked up a unanimous decision over Mike Corey, despite having Corey in danger early and often throughout the fight. Mike Corey fought zombie-style against Straus, walking through Straus’ offense in an attempt to bring the fight to the ground. Straus was clearly tired and frustrated by the end of the fight, spitting out his mouthpiece in an effort to buy time.

This isn’t to say that Straus didn’t impress; as hard as Corey worked for the takedown, he was only successful with one takedown attempt. Straus improves to 5-1 in Bellator and 19-4 overall with the victory.

In the evening’s main event, Eduardo Dantas proved his legitimacy in the bantamweight division with a dominant victory over bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky. Makovsky found early success with his takedowns, yet was unable to do much of anything in Dantas’ guard. Meanwhile, Dantas had Makovsky looking timid on his feet, catching the champion with hard kicks throughout the opening frame.

Dantas continued to press the action in the second round, capitalizing on a Makovsky takedown with a reversal and eventually mounting the champion. Once Dantas earned full mount, the fight was all but over. Dantas set up an arm-triangle choke that put Makovsky to sleep, winning the bantamweight title. Dantas improves to 14-2 overall, including a 4-0 run in Bellator.

All videos props to

One final note: Lyman Good has qualified for next season’s welterweight tournament. Rather than attempt to describe his fight, let’s just show you the video. It won’t take long.

Full Results:

Main Card
Eduardo Dantas def. Zach Makovsky via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 3:26
Daniel Straus def. Mike Corey via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) featherweight-tournament semifinal
Luis Nogueira def. Alexis Vila via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – bantamweight-tournament opening round
Marcos Galvao def. Ed West via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – bantamweight-tournament opening round

Preliminary Card
Duane Bastress def. Plinio Cruz via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:52
Will Martinez def. Terrell Hobbs via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:13
Scott Heckman def. Lester Caslow via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:40
Kris McCray def. Ailton Barbosa via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Lyman Good def. LeVon Maynard via KO (punch) – Round 1, 0:13 – welterweight-tournament qualifier
E.J. Brooks def. Mikhail Malyutin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

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