(Uh…what? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
By DL “Remember the Lackland” Richardson
Bellator’s second season is winding down, as we complete another set of semifinals at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Even if you’ve been paying attention, though, you still may find it hard to predict what is going to happen when Bellator is on. BFCXX popped off last night, and if you forgot about it or your cable company is a bunch of greedy bastards, allow me to fill you in. Results and full recap after the jump, as well as my secret to wealth and attracting the most attractive sexual partners…
I have no secret to wealth and attracting the most attractive sexual partners, and I cannot believe you fell for that two weeks in a row.
Eddie “Manic Hispanic” Sanchez vs Marcus Sursa
Eddie Sanchez knocked Jay White out in ten seconds at Bellator VII, which is pretty awesome. Then Hector Lombard had to haul off and clobber Jay Silva in six seconds. Asshole. So Sanchez wants to go out and set a new new record, because eff that guy, right? His opponent is Marcus Sursa, who’s 6’2” and walks around at about 220 — only about fifteen pounds between them, but Sursa looks to be much smaller. He’s got an attitude, though: he jawed at Sanchez pretty good at the weigh-ins, and he works up a respectable mean face.
They meet in the center of the Bellator circle, and Sanchez wants to blast him one and take off, but Sursa throws a kick feint and shoots underneath. Sursa muscles the larger man all the way across the cage, then rebounds off of it and pulls guard so forcefully it looks like WWE move. Sanchez goes to the canvas face first, and Sursa slides out from underneath him, and starts working from top position, pushing Sanchez into the fence. Sanchez gains his feet, where they work for the clinch. These are heavyweights? These guys are doing work, son. Sursa throws some Thai knees, Sanchez answers with hooks, Sursa counters by dropping down and shooting. Down, back up, and work against the cage. Knees and fists fly, they clinch some more. As soon as Sachez starts to land anything significant, Sursa changes levels and takes him down. Sanchez stands again, and this time, leans on Sursa, and goes for his own takedown. The bigger guy is on top, and Sanchez wants to pound this out, but Sursa stays hyperactive off his back and lasts out the round.
They come out for Round 2, and Sursa has his dukes up and wants to use ‘em. He jacks Sanchez right on the jaw, and Sanchez makes a silly face, does a little crazy-legs jig, and flops to the canvas. Sursa swarms all over him, swinging more hammers than a roofer’s apprentice. I counted: Sursa throws sixty billion strikes in the first minute of Round 2, but Sanchez will not go out. Sursa decides to finish with a guillotine, rolling into guard to put his whole body into it, but he’s got no strength left in his arms. Sanchez pops his head out, and now he’s on top with three and a half minutes to beat up Sursa. So he does. Sanchez maintains top position and throws strikes for the rest of the round. He doesn’t catch Sursa cleanly, so they go back to their corners and think about what they’ve done. Sanchez is bleeding from his nose, Sursa is bleeding from his damn ear , plus he can barely sit upright on his stool. Sursa even gets a few extra seconds at the beginning of three to re-tape his gloves, but he’s whipped before the bell. Sanchez comes out in the third and throws a combo to the body, and Sursa folds like a cheap card table against the cage. The ref has seen enough, and calls it off. Eddie Sanchez defeats Marcus Sursa via TKO at 0:23 of Round 3.
Considering the intricacies of Russian-English translation, Alexander Shlemenko may not have his correct nickname: they call him “The Storm” but you can’t tell me that they don’t call him “The Tornado” at home. Maybe in Mother Russia, all storms have tornados. I can’t say either way. What I can say is that Shlemenko likes spinners more than the guys at West Coast Customs —dude can’t fight without a pirouette or twelve. It is fun to watch, though. Across from Shlemenko is Jared Hess, a finalist in the Season 1 middleweight tourney. He came up short against Hector Lombard last year, a loss in which he bled on pretty much every square inch of the canvas and sported an impressively swollen shiner. In Round 4, even with one eye and a waterfall of gore cascading down his face, Hess insisted he was ready to go on. The doctors called it off.
The first minute of Round 1 is a feeling-out process. Shlemenko doesn’t like fighting on the ground, and of course Hess wants to take him down. He does, too, as soon as Shlemenko commits to a high knee. Hess looks to control his opponent and work patiently, keeping Shlemenko on the defensive. There’s a lot of movement, but no damage in the first. Shlemenko does manage to get free briefly at the end of the first, and he goes all whirly kicky-punchy, but as predicted, his strikes are a bit sloppy. Hess tackles him once more before the bell.
Hess rushes for a double leg to begin the second, and Shlemenko applies a guillotine, but no dice. Hess is on top, and he likes it up there. He stays busy with punches, and Shlemenko is realizing that he’s going to have to fight laying down. He throws up a triangle, Hess works out. Hess attempts a rear naked choke, Shlemenko escapes. Storm applies a heel hook, and Test rolls out. Hess winds up on top, and they’ll run out the second with no damage.
Final round, and Hess uses Crane Technique. Just kidding, Shlemenko throws a spinning back kick, and Hess double-legs him to the mat. Shlemenko wall walks up the fence, and then pushes Hess off. With 4:05 left in Round 3, he throws the most effective strike of the bout, a scorching knee straight into The Test’s face. Hess crumples, and Shlemenko dives on top of him in sprawl position. Hess’s leg seems to do something funny, but the commentators are yelling about the huge knee and Hess may be dreaming. Nope, he’s awake, and he’s lively. Shlemenko stands and wings punches, and Hess manages to weave and make every strike miss while on his knees. He stands, and they go back up against the cage. Hess is still on rubber leg, and when Shlemenko tries a standing guillotine, Hess flops down again. Something about his leg…Anyway, Storm takes his back, and Test monkey flips into closed guard. Hess is throwing punches, staying busy, and Shlemenko just can’t figure out how to put this damn American away. He backs out, motioning for Hess to stand. And Hess tries. He really does. But his leg just won’t hold him up. The referee and the ring doc notice this alarming lack of stability, and finally call the fight at 2:20. Hess (of course) says he’s fine, so the doc demonstrates that his lower leg is not meaningfully connected to his knee, much to the horror of anyone watching. Hess would almost definitely have taken a judges’ decision, but Shlemenko wins at 2:20 of Round 3, officially a TKO, Referee Stoppage due to OH MY GOD THAT GUY’S KNEE (OMGTGK). During the replay, it becomes clear that Hess suffers a badly dislocated knee at that 4:05 mark, and dude never quit fighting. No word yet on where he gets a jock strap to fit his enormous balls.
These guys have some history. They’ve met before, where Baker won a split decision — the only loss on Schambari’s record. After winning their quarterfinal matchups, both fighters called one another out, and Bjorn “SuperFan” Rebney was more than willing to put them together. This was one to look forward to for a month, since it seemed as if either guy had a good shot at winning the whole tournament, and there’s a legit rivalry here. This is going to be epic. This is going to be two warriors meeting to settle their accounts, this is going to be two young titans clashing way better than that 3D remake crap. This is going to be….
An anticlimactic quick submission victory, Baker defeats Schambari at 2:29 of Round 1, by submission (triangle choke). Baker caught Schambari in a triangle as soon as they hit the ground, and Schambari hung out in it for a minute and a half before he finally tapped. He really didn’t want to, but he did.
Nik “Garfield” Mamalis vs Mark “The Shark” Oshiro
Bellator runs brief introductions for the little fellas, just so we know who to pull for. Mamalis failed all his coursework in Intimidation at Mean University: he has no mean mug, he mentions in his interview that he lost a board game to his grandmother (and held a grudge about it), and his nickname is “Garfield”. Look on his neon green manties, ye mighty, and despair! Oshiro already has a golden ticket to the 135 scrapdown in August, and he just welcomed a baby girl into the world. So he’s a happy guy. He hasn’t been training as much as he would normally, but shit, he’s been playing with his baby. How you gonna hate on that?
Round 1, and the boys start it off with some slugging. Looks like it might be a crowd-pleaser…and Mamalis scores the first takedown. Mamalis tries to score with some punches, but Oshiro has a good guard. He’s flexible, too, using rubber guard to keep Mamalis close. Garfield works in fists and elbows whenever he can, and scores a nice slam as well, but the first ends with no damage.
Round 2, and they again come out and wing a dozen hooks at one another. Mamalis seems to be getting the short end of the striking, so he weaves around one of Oshiro’s wilder punches and takes his back while standing, then dives to the ground. He works up to a full mount, and Oshiro rolls, giving up his back. Mamalis applies a standard rear naked choke, and squeezes. Nik Mamalis defeats Mark Oshiro at 1:29 of Round 2 via submission (rear naked choke), and he may have just earned himself a slot in the bantamweight tournament in Season 3.
On the undercard…
– Aaron Rosa def. Robert Villegas via unanimous decision
– Adam Schindler def. Brian Melancon via unanimous decision
– Andrew Chappelle def. Cedrick Marks via rear-naked choke, 3:18 of Round 2
– Jimmy Flick def. Humberto DeLeon via unanimous decision
– Fernando Rodriguez def. Kenneth Battle via rear-naked choke, 1:28 of Round 2
– Lyman Good would have had a SuperFight on this card, but he’s still recovering from an injury. Sorry ‘bout that.
– Alexander Shlemenko meets Bryan Baker in the middleweight finals. I still haven’t seen anything impressive from “The Russian Hurricane”, so I’m picking Baker. Baker should have no problem taking Shlemenko to the ground with his judo, and should easily sub him.
– Eddie Sanchez receives an invitation to the heavyweight tournament on the strength of his come-from-behind win over Marcus Sursa. He joins previously announced participants Cole Konrad, Dave Herman, and Scott Barrett. Sanchez showed nice recovery and a pretty good gas tank for a big fella — something some of the guys have not shown.
– Rebney threw out a handful of names for the women’s 115-pound tournament as well: Megumi Fujii, Rosi Sexton, Lisa Ward, and Jessica Pene. Fujii will debut at Bellator XXI against Sarah Schneider (R.I.P.) in Hollywood, Florida.