Let’s get a few things straight before we even start to analyze this one: Yes, Cole Konrad picked up the quickest stoppage of the evening at last night’s Bellator 70 from New Orleans. No, that isn’t our way of saying that the entire card was full of decisions. And no, we aren’t lying to you.
But before we get to that, let’s talk about the evening’s main event. Despite having a heavyweight title fight on the card, the main event of the evening was the lightweight tournament finals between former welterweight standouts Rick Hawn and Brent Weedman. While the first two rounds were razor thin, the third round was all Rick Hawn. Hawn took Weedman down numerous times throughout the round and utilized elbows from inside Weedman’s guard. Weedman put together some late offense, but it was too little, too late. Rick Hawn will meet Michael Chandler next season for a shot at the lightweight title.
When a champion who goes out and earns the quickest stoppage of his career in his first heavyweight title defense, that speaks volumes on how quickly that fighter is developing. Cole Konrad immediately put the dangerous boxer Eric Prindle on his back and locked in a kimura, earning the tap exactly one minute into the fight. If you were interested in seeing how the Team Deathclutch prospect’s standup has improved, you’ll have to wait for his next fight. Obviously, his submissions seem to be coming along. If Konrad continues to develop into a balanced, complete fighter, he’ll be a tough matchup for anyone in the heavyweight division.
And likewise, it’s hard to be too critical of Eric Prindle. For starters, stepping up to fight a teammate in the first place deserves respect from the fans. As for his performance, preventing a takedown from such a huge, yet technically solid wrestler like Konrad is no easy task. He was taken down and overpowered on his way to the early stoppage. There’s no doubt that Prindle will be back, as Bjorn Rebney already confirmed in last night’s post-event press conference that Prindle will be fighting in the next heavyweight tournament. Hopefully he’ll be back with better takedown defense next time around.
In the bantamweight tournament semifinals, Luis Alberto Nogueira was simply on a different level than Hiroshi Nakamura. Save for an early low blow to Nakamura, Nogueira’s performance was flawless. Nakamura simply had no answers for the Brazilian’s crisp standup, getting outpointed on his way to a third round TKO defeat. Props to Nakamura for almost making it the entire fight, but Nogueira was simply too much for him last night. Luis Nogueira will meet Marcos Galvao for the Season Six Tournament Championship and a shot at Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas.
Also of note, Louisiana’s own Rich Clementi picked up a quick submission victory over Derek Campos. Campos managed to catch Clementi early on, using his superior standup to control the fight. However, the fight quickly changed once Clementi earned a takedown. Once “No Love” got the fight to the ground, the fight was essentially over, as Clementi’s jiu jitsu was simply too much for Derek Campos. Clementi improves to 43-21-1 with the victory.
Lightweight Tournament Final: Rick Hawn def. Brent Weedman via unanimous decision
Heavyweight Title Fight: Cole Konrad def. Eric Prindle via submission (kimura), 1:00 of Round One
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: Luis Nogueira def. Hiroshi Nakamura via KO (punches), 1:58 of Round Three
Rich Clementi def. Derek Campos via submission (guillotine choke), 4:18 of Round One
A.J. Matthews def. Charlie Rader via KO (kick), 3:34 of Round Two
Kelvin Tiller def. Jeremiah Riggs via verbal submission (kimura), 3:38 of Round Three
Jonas Billstein def. Mike Seal via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:55 of Round One
Derek Arcement def. Blake Dufour via unanimous decision