(Michael Page vs. Ryan Sanders — strong front-runner for Phantom Punch of 2013. Props: videosei.)
Despite losing some of its star power due to injuries, last night’s Bellator 93 event in Lewiston, Maine, turned out to be a mostly-satisfying affair, with eight of the ten scheduled matches ending within the first-round, and three ending within the first 20 seconds. But two unfortunate moments cast a shadow on the event.
First off, Michael Page‘s hotly-anticipated Bellator debut ended with a 10-second KO victory over Ryan Sanders, as the flashy British striker caught Sanders with a straight right as his victim was charging in…or so it seemed. Upon closer inspection, there was something a little fishy about the stoppage. Watch the replays in the video above, and you’ll see that Page either barely touched Sanders, or didn’t touch him at all. At any rate, the strike didn’t seem to justify the reaction of Sanders, who immediately flopped to the mat, clutching his head in agony. He was back on his feet moments later, looking somewhat disappointed. We’re not going to accuse Bellator of some vast conspiracy; it’s more likely that Sanders simply didn’t want to be there. And unfortunately, he may have robbed us of the opportunity to see Page produce another classic no-walk-off knockout.
Speaking of let-downs, the guaranteed barnburner between Marcus Davis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf ended in a no-contest in the first round, after Davis nailed Spiritwolf with a knee to the groin; Spiritwolf couldn’t continue after the foul. (Sound familiar?) Though the Lewiston crowd chanted “Bullshit!” and booed Spiritwolf in an apparent indictment of his bitchassness, there was nothing fake about that low-blow. Check out the GIF below, via BloodyElbow…
In other main card action, can-crusher extraordinaire Travis Wiuff‘s return to the heavyweight division ended up with him getting crushed in just 18 seconds. The GIF below tells the entire story of the fight, pretty much — southpaw Ryan Martinez landed a heavy straight left early, and didn’t stop swinging until Big Dan was pulling him off. It was the third consecutive loss for Wiuff.
Finally, in the main event, Dave Jansen and Marcin Held battled for three rounds to determine Bellator’s Season 7 Lightweight Tournament winner. Though he’s primarily known as a submission ace with a taste for leg-locks, Held looked very comfortable keeping the fight standing in the first round, getting the better of Jansen in most of their striking exchanges. Ironically, Held was much less effective on the mat, as his attempts to tie Jansen up in the second round were consistently met with escapes and ground-and-pound. As the Polish prodigy began to fade in the third, Jansen turned up the heat, beating him up in the standup exchanges and keeping his knees/ankles well out of danger. Jansen took the fight by unanimous decision, upping his Bellator record to a perfect 6-0, and earning a future title shot against Michael Chandler.
Full results from Bellator 93 are below…
- Dave Jansen def. Marcin Held via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Ryan Martinez def. Travis Wiuff via KO, 0:18 of round 1
- Marcus Davis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf declared a no contest (unintentional low blow), 3:05 of round 1
- Dave Vitkay def. Jesse Peterson via technical submission (guillotine choke), 0:18 of round 1
- Michael Page def. Ryan Sanders via KO, 0:10 of round 1
- Jason Butcher def. Jack Hermansson via submission (triangle choke), 2:24 of round 1
- Mike Mucitelli def. Brett Dillingham via submission (armbar), 2:48 of round 1
- Joe Pacheco def. Pierry Pierre via submission (Americana), 1:54 of round 1
- Vince Murdock def. John Raio via TKO, 4:01 of round 3
- Jon Lemke def. Jesse Erickson via TKO, 2:50 of round 1