The whistling of Conor McGregor‘s hypetrain heading into UFC 178 made it easy to forget about Bellator 126. However, as always, CagePotato has you covered with a Bellator recap post.
Here’s a rundown of the fight card, with GIFs courtesy @ZProphet_MMA.
In the opener, Mike Richman knocked Ed West OUT COLD. Richman had control of the stand-up throughout the fight. He masterfully cut off the cage, forcing West to literally run from him at points. Late in the first round, West couldn’t run anymore. Richman landed a massive two-punch combo while West was against the cage that sucked the life out of him. See the GIF after the jump.
Given that his last fight resulted in a loss to Travis Wiuff, Christian M’Pumbu was something of a paper-champion coming into his first official Bellator title defense against Attila Vegh. By the end of the match, M’Pumbu wasn’t a champion at all.
The two light-heavyweights met in the main event of last night’s Bellator 91 event at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, with the Slovak challenger out-hustling his French-Congolese opponent over five rounds. Vegh directed the pace, landed harder punches — leading to a knockdown in round 1 — and slashed open M’Pumbu’s head with some elbows from the top in round 3.
Though the championship rounds didn’t offer much in terms of excitement, momentum was already in the favor of Vegh, who cruised to a unanimous decision victory. Vegh becomes Bellator’s new light-heavyweight champion, and will make his first title defense against…well, not King Mo, that’s for sure.
Bellator 91′s main card also featured the semi-finals of its Season 8 lightweight tournament. Leading off the Spike broadcast was a rematch between David Rickels and Jason Fischer, who had previously met in a non-tournament bout at Bellator 82; Fischer had come in as a short-notice injury replacement for Alexander Sarnavskiy. Though the final result was the same as their last meeting — Rickels by unanimous decision — the Caveman’s performance was even more dominant this time, as he outclassed Fischer with his striking and submission attempts.
Rickels’s win books him a ticket to the Season 8 lightweight finals against Saad Awad, who steamrolled Will Brooks in just 43 seconds on the other side of the lightweight bracket last night. Awad previously KO’d Guillaume DeLorenzi in 31 seconds during the lightweight quarterfinals at Bellator 87. Fun fact (or scary fact, if you’re David Rickels): Awad’s current six-fight win streak includes four knockouts in under a minute.
Before I even begin to analyze this card, let’s get a few things out of the way: No, there were not as many decisions on this card as last week’s smothering performances; the main event ended by submission. No, the card overall was not comparable to a ProElite event, although there was a light sparring session thrown in with the fights that we could have done without. Simply put, the main card of Bellator 65 brought a lot of decisions, but was overall an entertaining event.
The evening kicked off with the opening bouts of the season six bantamweight tournament. The first bout saw Marcos Galvao outwork Ed West on his way to a unanimous decision victory. West attempted to keep Galvao outside with kicks throughout the fight, but Galvao was able to consistently take West down and avoid submission attempts. When the fight would find its way back to the feet, Marcos Galvao threw flying knees and hard rights to win over the judges, 30-27 on all scorecards.
As for the other opening bout of the bantamweight tournament- it happened. That’s about all there is to say about Luis Nogueira vs. Alexis Vila. In a fight that saw very little action, Nogueira managed to avoid Vila’s wild strikes throughout the first round and take Vila’s back. And that’s about it; neither fighter landed anything of significance for the rest of the bout, although Vila was more active than Nogueira for the rest of the fight. Controversial decision? If there was more action, maybe. But since Vila’s offensive output was equally non-existent, it’s hard to say that either fighter deserved a victory.
Vila vs. Galvao, part one. Part two is after the jump. All videos in this post via YouTube.com/BFCLUB
Last night’s Bellator 55 in Yuma, Arizona, didn’t have the quick finishes of last week’s card, but still left fans in attendance with some interesting, if not controversial, fights. In case you couldn’t tell by the headline, the bantamweight tournament semifinals gave us Eduardo Dantas vs. Alexis Vila as the bantamweight tournament finale. Yet both fights seemed to involve controversial decisions made by the judges.
In the main event of the evening, WEC veteran Marcos Galvao took on Alexis Vila, who you may remember as the guy that practically zombified Joe Warren in the bantamweight quarterfinals. In an extremely fast paced fight, Galvao seemed to land more strikes, and as the fight went on, stuff Vila’s takedown attempts. However, the strikes that Vila landed seemed much harder. The judges gave the fight to Alexis Vila, which warranted boos from those in attendance. Watch the fight and judge for yourself whether or not the boos were justifiable.
Above is the decidedly high-def looking promo for Bellator’s fifth season, kicking off on September 10th in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I mention the spiffyness of the visuals because one of the few complaints that I’ve ever leveled at BFC is the standard definition broadcasting. When the trailer was released a few weeks ago, I honestly thought it was just a little accidental irony.
Nope. A couple of days ago, it was announced that Bellator season five tournaments will be broadcast in HD baby! Now go dig out your cable programming guide and try to determine if you have EPIX. I’ve never heard of it, but apparently it’s an actual channel somewhere, so I’m going to call DISH Network and start offering them money until they can confirm that I’ll see Bellator in 1080p.
If you’re not excited about the upcoming season, watch that video again. You may not realize it, but that’s Bruce Lee talking about being like water. It’s some deep philosophical type shit, and it’s pretty much him guaranteeing that he’s going to join a tournament and wreck shop. Seeing the founder of Jeet Kun Do step away from his acting career and FINALLY step into the cage is going to be sick, and I’m looking forward to putting an end to all that speculation about how good he’d be.
(For an actual preview of two of the four planned tournaments this season, come on in past the jump.)
(I like how they put "Season #3 Tournament Purses" in the memo line, so that Cole doesn’t get confused when he’s going through his stack of $100,000 novelty-checks at home. PicProps: MMAFrenzy)
By ReX “Write Pride” Richardson
Bellator’s third season just came out of the seventh inning stretch, visiting the Kansas City Power & Light District with a couple of championship matches on hand and two more events on the calendar. Unfortunately, you probably missed it due to either incompetence or fuckery most foul; the event was broadcast late, if at all, by every Fox affiliate in the multiverse. On top of that, it appears that the Fox-Dish Network pissing match has gone into perpetual death overtime, so essentially I’m saying that sometimes these things happen in MMA, and I was unable to watch and then come tell you guys about it. Sorry, bro. Since I feel bad about missing the last event (Bellator XXXI.V, at Talking Pines Casino, BFE), I’ve included this drawing of a spider, plus some other stuff after the jump.