It took former Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight
Alvarez a little more than two minutes to erase the memories of
his December 2008 encounter with Shinya
Alvarez (23-3, 7-1 Bellator) stopped the Japanese standout on
first-round punches in the
Bellator 66 main event on Friday at the I-X Center in
Cleveland, Ohio. Aoki (30-6, 0-1 Bellator) ceded to a hailstorm of
blows 2:14 into round one, his seven-fight winning streak a thing
of the past.
Aoki invited Alvarez, whom he submitted with a heel hook in their
first bout, into his spidery guard early in the first round. The
Philadelphia fighter refused and forced Aoki to stand. From there,
it was no contest. Alvarez backed him into the cage and answered an
ill-advised standing elbow with a pair of right uppercuts that
drove a retreating Aoki to the ground. Alvarez then connected on a
wicked standing-to-ground punch, compromising his opponent’s
defenses. Aoki covered up in an attempt to shield himself from
further punishment, and Alvarez unleashed his fists until the
referee had seen enough.
Spang Stuns Rogers in Semifinals
Spang wiped out Brian
Rogers with a brilliant counter left hook and follow-up
hammerfist in the Bellator Season 6 middleweight tournament
semifinals. Rogers (9-4, 2-2 Bellator) met his end 3:34 into round
two, sending Spang, a late replacement for original semifinalist
Santos, deeper into the draw.
Spang shocked Rogers.
Spang (8-1, 1-0 Bellator) nearly finished the fight it in the first
round when he threatened Rogers with a standing rear-naked choke
after the Ohioan slipped on a kick. Rogers freed himself from the
choke, turned to face the Swede and went back to striking. His
straight right hand caught Spang clean more than once.
In the second round, Rogers rocked his opponent with a right
uppercut, a searing left hook and a flurry of follow-up punches.
Somehow, Spang stayed on his feet. The 33-year-old pressed forward
and countered Rogers with a left hook of his own.
The Strong Style Fight Team representative fell backwards, his head
bouncing off the canvas. Spang pounced for the finish, landing one
final blow for good measure.
“He’s very tough,” Spang said. “He caught me with some really good
shots. I love to fight. I’m here to win. My left hook is my go-to
weapon when I get hurt or when I get into trouble.”
Goncalves Halts Vasilevsky Streak
Heavy power punches, a stout clinch game and brutal
ground-and-pound carried UFC veteran
Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves to a unanimous decision over
Vasilevsky in the Bellator Season 6 middleweight tournament
semifinals. Goncalves (30-4, 2-0 Bellator) swept the scorecards by
identical 29-28 counts.
Falcao found a way to advance.
Vasilevsky (16-2, 1-1 Bellator), who entered the cage on a 15-fight
winning streak, was effective out of the gate with a series of
beautiful trip takedowns. However, he did little damage while in
top position, and Goncalves escaped the first round unscathed.
Vasilevsky picked his spots from the outside early in frame two and
struck for another takedown. However, Goncalves maneuvered into top
position and spent the last 90 seconds of the round grinding away
at the 23-year-old Russian with punches, hammerfists and forearms
to the head and body.
Goncalves had Vasilevsky in serious trouble in the third round, as
he uncorked his clubbing right hand and brutalized his wobbly foe
in the clinch with knees and short punches.
The Russian turned to takedowns in response and mounted Goncalves
briefly, only to surrender the position and eat more
ground-and-pound for his troubles.
Hawn Stops Woodard, Advances to Final
capitalized on an overaggressive Lloyd
Woodard and stopped the man they call “Cupcake” on a series of
brutal second-round punches in the Bellator Season 6 lightweight
tournament semifinals. Woodard (12-2, 2-2 Bellator) succumbed to
the blows 10 seconds into round two.
Hawn punched out Woodard.
Hawn (13-1, 5-1 Bellator) refused to play Woodard’s game, inviting
the Montanan into his clinch and scoring with a trip takedown in
the first round. The 2004 Olympic judoka met the oncoming Woodard
with a clean right hand to start round two. Woodard collapsed, ate
a few hammerfists and left the referee no choice but to step in on
“We had a game plan for this guy,” Hawn said. “We knew what he was
going to do. He was going to come out strong, and you can’t get
sucked into that. Just got to play a smart fight, a chess match,
and that’s what I did.”
Weedman Earns Split Verdict, Ousts Silva
Takedowns and an active top game carried Brent
Weedman to a close split decision over Thiago
Michel Pereira Silva in the Bellator Season 6 lightweight
tournament semifinals. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28,
two of them in favor of Weedman (20-7, 6-2 Bellator).
Weedman outlasted Michel.
Weedman moved into top position in all three rounds, attacking the
Brazilian kickboxer’s body with knees from side control. However,
he did not escape unscathed. Silva was clearly the superior standup
practitioner and did plenty of damage when the two lightweights
were on their feet, raising a horrendous swelling over Weedman’s
right eye and opening a cut near the other.
Silva (10-3, 1-1 Bellator) was at his best in the third round, as
he unleashed his entire arsenal: spinning back fists, spinning back
kicks, front kicks and other more traditional strikes. Weedman
weathered the onslaught to win for the 12th time in 14
“I thought it was a close fight,” he said. “All the respect to
Thiago, one of the toughest opponents I’ve ever had.”
Hawk Upends Finnish Prospect Vanttinen
Strong Style Fight Team representative John Hawk
handed Finnish prospect Marcus
Vanttinen just his second loss in his past 14 fights, as he
took a split decision in an undercard matchup at 205 pounds. Two of
the three cageside judges scored it for Hawk (7-4, 2-1 Bellator) by
29-28 counts; a third inexplicably gave Vanttinen (21-4, 0-1
Bellator) all three rounds.
Hawk bested Vanttinen.
Hawk turned to a high-volume approach with his hands and kept
Vanttinen out of his comfort zone for much of their encounter. The
24-year-old Fin score with a takedown in the second round, only to
find himself in bottom position once Hawk sprang a reversal. Though
his output diminished in round three, Hawk sprawled effectively and
did enough work with his fists to keep victory in his corner.
ATT’s Vegh Outpoints Spohn at 205
Top Team’s Attilla Vegh was successful in his promotional
debut, as he captured a split decision from Dan Spohn in a
preliminary light heavyweight tilt. Two of the three cageside
judges scored it for Veigh (25-4, 1-0 Bellator) by 29-28 and 30-27
counts. A third cast a dissenting 29-28 verdict in favor of Spohn
(6-2, 1-2 Bellator).
Vegh outworked Spohn.
Vegh neutralized his Ohio-based opponent with takedowns and a
strong clinch game. Spohn made his play for victory and did his
best work in round three, but he could not keep himself out of the
Slovakian prospect’s clutches long enough for it to swing the
decision to his side. Vegh has rattled off five consecutive
Caraballo Knee Flattens Walker
North American Allied Fight Series featherweight
Caraballo knocked out UFC veteran Donny
Walker with a beautiful jumping knee in the fourth round, as he
retained his 145-pound crown in a one-sided undercard scrap. An
unconscious Walker (15-9, 0-1 Bellator) fell to the canvas 2:25
into round four.
Caraballo flattened Walker.
Clearly the more capable striker, Caraballo (9-4, 2-1 Bellator)
exploited his advantage throughout the match. By round two, the
punishment he had unleashed had begun to take its toll on his
opponent. Walker was cut beneath the left eye and was unable to
defend Caraballo’s multi-level attack, which featured, among other
weapons, a string of leg kicks.
Walker’s situation did not improve as the bout entered the
championship rounds, and Caraballo put quite the exclamation point
on his fourth straight win.
Lane Guillotine Submits Heiland
Wreckroom Athletics representative Julian Lane
kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted
Heiland with a first-round guillotine choke in a preliminary
lightweight encounter. Heiland (6-1, 0-1 Bellator) succumbed to the
submission 2:49 into round one.
Lane guillotined Heiland.
Lane (4-0, 1-0 Bellator) has stopped all four of his opponents,
three of them with guillotines. A Strong Style Fight Team
representative, Heiland had never before been finished.
Finally, Strong Style Fight Team prospect Jessica Eye
recorded her fourth win in as many outings, as she posted a
unanimous decision over Anita
Rodriguez in a preliminary women’s battle at 130 pounds. All
three judges scored it 30-27 for Eye (7-1, 2-0 Bellator). Rodriguez
(5-3, 0-1 Bellator) has lost two of her last three fights.