This season, Bellator’s heavyweight tournament ended in the same place where it began – The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana – but with far less fireworks than anticipated.
With Bellator fixture Richard Hale facing off against Alexander Volkov, a twenty-four year old Russian prospect who used to train with Fedor Emelianenko, fans anticipated a wild brawl would ensue for the heavyweight championship Cole Konrad vacated through his retirement. Hale would bring the fight to Volkov early, dropping the Russian with a right hook in the first round. However, that hook would end up being the only significant strike that Hale would land for the rest of the fight.
For the rest of the bout, the 6’7” Volkov was content to jab his way to a unanimous decision victory. It certainly wasn’t pretty, as the boos from those in attendance demonstrated, but it was enough for Volkov to take home $100,000 and the promotion’s heavyweight championship.
Elsewhere on the card:
- We already explained why that the Season 7 featherweight tournament final between Rad Martinez and Shahbulat Shamhalaev will happen sometime in Season 8, but now the lightweight tournament final will also happen next season. The tournament final was supposed to feature twenty year old Marcin Held battling against Dave Jansen. However, in Indiana an athlete has to be at least twenty-one years old to fight in a casino, so the fight was scrapped at the last minute. I hate to be Captain Hindsight here, but shouldn’t the local commission have noticed Held was only twenty before allowing him to weigh in on Thursday? And shouldn’t Bellator have noticed this law a long time ago?
- Middleweight protege of Joaquin Hansen Daniel Vizcaya wrestled his way to a split-decision over Norwegian Jack Hermansson. Hermansson completely took over the fight in the third round, but it was too little too late, as he was unable to put away Vizcaya.
- Felice Herrig wanted to put on a good show for Bellator, and delivered with a unanimous decision over late replacement Patricia Vidonic. Herrig was in complete control over Vidonic, demonstrating that she’s ready for the poster-girl position Bellator seemingly wants her to fill. It’ll be interesting to see who Bellator finds for her to fight next.
- Remember Joe Vedepo? The party animal who has the distinction (I guess?) of being the only 0-2 fighter in UFC history to lose both of his fights within the first two minutes? Yeah, he followed up a win at Bellator 80 by getting knocked out by Louis Taylor in the first round of last night’s fight. But he lasted 4:12, so there’s always that.
Alexander Volkov def. Richard Hale by Unanimous Decision
Daniel Vizcaya def. Jack Hermansson by Split Decision
Felice Herrig def. Patricia Vidonic by Unanimous Decision
Louis Taylor def. Joe Vedepo by KO (Punch), 4:12, Round One
Christian Uflacker def. Cliff Wright by Technical Decision, 2:26, Round Three
Jerald Williams def. Joey Diehl by Unanimous Decision
Anthony Gomez def. Anton Talamantes by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), 3:30, Round One
Robert White def. Kenny Booker by Unanimous Decision