The main event of last night’s Bellator 79 produced one of the oddest instances of an athlete giving up mid-contest since Bob Hamelin retired during a minor league baseball game. Santos dominates the fight from the beginning, rocking him with early combinations and controlling him on the ground. Yet as the fighters are separated, Santos takes out his mouth guard and appears disinterested in continuing. A few half-assed punches later, Hale counters Santos, who drops to the canvas and turtles up until the fight is waived off.
Was this just a case of Thiago Santos having conditioning issues? Probably, although gassing out halfway through the first round is pathetic even at the amateur levels. Is Richard Hale’s striking just that underrated? Maybe – Santos lost a tooth during the fight, which explains why his mouth was bleeding, although don’t ask me to point out the punch that caused it. Regardless of the reason, Hale earned a victory last night because Santos essentially gave up during the fight, and will now face the winner of Vinicius Queiroz vs. Alexander Volkov for the promotion’s heavyweight championship.
After the jump – Shahbulat Shamhalaev knocks out Mike Richman at Bellator 79 in a far more traditional fashion.