“It’s always darkest just before the dawn. Also during a knockout.” PicProps: Bellator.com
Another day at the office for those tournament-throwin’ characters in Bellator, with an earlier start time meant to stay out of Big Daddy Zuffa’s sun and results guaranteed to make us look like we have no friggin’ clue what we’re talking about. For the record, the CagePotato picks for the featherweight quarterfinals in Concho, Oklahoma were Larkin, Reis, Karakhanyan, and Straus. So who’s up, who’s down, and who choked? If necessary, re-introduce yourselves to the 145ers, then come on in for quick results from the event.
Just don’t mention last night’s UFC event. Some of us are wearing our Pride shirts in mourning.
Kenny Foster (8-2) is pretty ticked off about everyone calling him an underdog in his fight with Eric Larkin (3-0), but whatever–Larkin has his own website. I mean, how do you compete with that? Cage Announcer Michael C. Williams does not announce Foster as “The Tooth Fairy“, so–good, he’s getting away from that one.
Well, it turns out good technique and some stiff strikes can make an impression, particularly if you can open a nasty cut on Mr Website’s forehead in the first minute. Foster shows off some nice boxing footwork and a willingness to throw hands to start, then catches Larkin shooting in with a sharp knee. It’s really a straight domination; Larkin can’t control Foster’s body at all, and he’s outclassed by the Bomb Squad member on the feet. Foster fishes early for a guillotine and gives it up in an early sprawl, but he finds what he’s looking for off of another Larkin takedown, and pulls guard to stretch the wrestler out. Larkin taps. Kenny Foster defeats Eric Larkin via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:15 of the first round. Foster’s hit-and-submit game plan claims another victim, and he moves along to the next phase of competition.
By all rights, Daniel Straus (14-3) versus Nazareno Malegarie (19-0) would have been at the top of this post. It was an intriguing matchup, and the fighters put on an entertaining three-rounder. But the new deal with MTV and Viacom has put a firm kaibosh on Bellator’s habit of quickly uploading the nights best moments, and nobody sent me us a memo. Come to think of it, nobody asked us if this MTV move was cool at all.
Anyways, this was a very well matched, back and forth affair. Malegarie is well-rounded, and his non-stop barrage style of BJJ is fun to watch; Straus was technically sound enough to fend off twelve hundred submission attempts in fifteen minutes while scoring his own points with striking, takedowns, and sub attempts of his own. Daniel Straus defeats Nazareno Malegarie via unanimous decision (29-28 x3), and we’d pay to see either of these guys fight again. Expect Malegarie to pick up a couple of wins and try again next season.
Wilson Reis (11-2) made some quick work of Zac “The Red Devil” George (20-3) in their bout, stinging him on the feet, taking his back via ground and pound, and sinking a choke like a guy that won the Mundials as a brown belt. Wilson Reis defeats Zac George via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:09 of the first round. Damn, son. Looks like that long layoff hurt Zac George quite a bit–maybe a loser leaves town match with Larkin?
Last for the televised card was Patricio “Pitbull” Freire versus “Insane” Georgi Karakhanyan, which color commentator Jimmy Smith rightly points out could have been the finals matchup. These guys bring so much energy to the cage, the audience gets a tan when they fight. While these guys fought for eleven minutes, old ladies were breakdancing by the concession stand. When Larry Wachowski finally sees highlight videos of these two, he’ll have a dream about humans being used as sticky organic batteries and send The Matrix script back in time to himself via DMT and MyndSkype. While the roof of the Star Casino did not actually blow off, Pitbull did pop the top on a Karakhanyan early in the third, sending him reeling and swarming in for the stoppage. Patricio Pitbull defeats Georgi Karakhanyan via TKO (punches) at 53 seconds of the third round. Big brother Patricky Pitbull comes in and acts like he ain’t mad that little bro scored a quicker knockout, and just like that you have two Freires in the semifinals.
If you’re keeping track, that puts CagePotato’s official picks* at 50% for the night, meaning you could have flipped a coin and done as well, which kind of explains why no one consults with us about major entertainment business decisions.
*[Editor's Note: These picks are not official in any way.]
Jake Rosholt defeated John Bryant, via choking him out like a boss (rear naked choke) in the first round.
Jeremy Spoon defeated Jerrod Sanders via submission of the night (rear naked choke) at 26 seconds of the second round.
Roli Delgado defeated Jameel Massouh via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2).
Brandon Shelton didn’t get the RNC memo, and defeated Adam Snook via submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:45 of the first round.