Bellator 111 being able to build off Bellator 110‘s momentum was questionable. After all, three fourths of 111′s main card was comprised of heavyweights with questionable cardiovascular conditioning. What could’ve turned into a disaster instead turned into a decent night of fights (though some were not so decent), with the Bellator bantamweight title up for grabs between champion Eduardo Dantas and challenger Anthony Leone.
On the prelims: Up-and-comers Brent Primus and Abdul Razak both looked impressive. We will watch their next fights with interest. However, we can’t say that we’ll do the same for Eric Prindle, a mainstay in Bellator’s heavyweight division. In his loss to Javy Alaya, he displayed a ground game so awful it made James Toney look like Marcelo Garcia.
In the first fight on the televised portion of the card, former Bellator heavyweight champ Alexander Volkov defeated Mark Holata via TKO. The Russian started off shaky, getting rocked early on in the first round. After some time in the clinch, Volkov managed to floor Holata with a knee and then followed up with brutal ground and pound. It was all over in 81 seconds.
In the next match, kickboxers Peter Graham and Mighty Mo squared off. The first round of this fight wasn’t terrible, but the second and third round were less than spectacular. Mighty Mo and Graham displayed some Eric Prindle-level grappling in those rounds. Mo finally put Graham out of his misery with a half-assed head and arm choke late midway through the third. If you DVR’d the fights, watch this one on fast forward.
The night’s co-main event pitted UFC and Strikeforce vet Lavar Johnson against Ryan Martinez. Martinez wrestled Johnson to the mat early on, making the UFC vet’s chances look grim. Johnson managed to return to his feet. A few of the wildest exchanges we’ve ever seen ensued (like both guys were missing by miles but still swinging anyway). Johnson managed to connect before Martinez, and it was over before the the first round ended.
So the next round of the Bellator heavyweight tournament will look like this:
Mighty Mo vs. Alexander Volkov.
Lavar Johnson vs. Blagoi Ivanov.
Now, onto the main event. Eduardo Dantas pulled off the slickest rear naked choke off all time against Anthony Leone, submitting him in the second round. Our words don’t do the martial artistry justice. You’ll just have to check out the GIF (via @ZProphet_MMA). Trust us, it’s worth it. Dantas’ submission is immediately a candidate for submission of the year (so far). Fortunately, there were no staged scuffles afterwards.
Eduardo Dantas def. Anthony Leone via submission (rear naked choke), 2:04 of round 2
Lavar Johnson def. Ryan Martinez via TKO (punches), 4:22 of round 1
Mighty Mo def. Peter Graham via submission (head and arm choke), 2:31 of round 3
Alexander Volkov def. Mark Holata (punches), 1:21 of round 1
Blagoi Ivanov def. Rich Hale via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cortez Coleman def. Daniel Miller via verbal submission (strikes), 4:49 of round 2
Javy Ayala def. Eric Prindle via TKO (doctor stoppage), 2:05 of round 3
Abdul Razak def. Matt Jones via TKO (punches), 1:23 of round 1
Brent Primus def. Chris Jones via TKO (punches), 1:45 of round 1
Chris Gutierrez def. Justin McNally via TKO (strikes), 2:50 of round 1