Bellator 88 Fight Card
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88, which is headlined by four featherweight tournament
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Will Fisher is the referee for tonight’s opening bout. The
featherweights clash legs as they go for low kicks inside. Hickman
lands a few low kicks from the southpaw stance and then switches to
orthodox. Hickman gets off a body kick, waits for Upchurch to come
in and ducks a punch for a double-leg. Almost as soon as they hit
the ground, Hickman has Upchurch’s back secured, then rolls him
over. Hickman works for the rear-naked choke, gets his arm under
Upchurch’s throat and coaxes the tap at 2:19 of round one.
Hickman got revenge on Upchurch with a
George Allen is the referee for this bout. Harvison spends a minute
trying to chase Rodrigues down, lobbing long punches as the
Brazilian backpedals. Rodrigues eventually comes forward, changes
levels and begins working for a single-leg on the cage. He can’t
get it and switches to a double, but Harvison continues to sprawl
ably. Rodrigues lets go and, just as he does, catches a wild,
swiping right hand from Harvison on the jaw. Rodrigues hits the
deck but gets his wits about him just in time to catch Harvison in
his guard. Harvison is unable to pound out Rodrigues, who moves
forward to hit a takedown. It only lasts a moment, as Harvison gets
back to his feet and defends the next shot. Harvison closes in on
Rodrigues and takes a kick square on the groin. The “Ultimate
Fighter” alum takes a moment to recover; when they resume, it’s
Harvison landing right hands, then sprawling on another takedown
attempt to close the frame.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Harvison
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Harvison
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Harvison
Rodrigues throws some wild punches, trying to trap Harvison on the
fence, but doesn’t land anything clean. Harvison repays the favor
with a kick to Rodrigues’ cup, but they’re quick to resume again.
Nice lead uppercut from Harvison lands as he explodes off the
fence. Rodrigues is mostly throwing single overhand rights; he
starts throwing some combinations toward the middle of the round,
but Harvison is able to back away from most of the wild strikes.
Harvison isn’t doing much offensively, but he’s not taking any real
damage from his wide-swinging opponent. Kick to the body lands for
Harvison, then he turns away another takedown try. Rodrigues comes
right back with another shot, holds Harvison on the fence for a
second and backs out. Rodrigues lands a couple outside leg kicks,
his only real effective offense of the round, then gets stuffed on
a shot again to finish the round.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rodrigues
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-10
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Rodrigues
Slow start to the final round with Rodrigues waiting on the
outside, not showing his aggression of the previous frame. Harvison
works his jab to begin, then gets some leg kicks going inside. More
wild overhand rights from Rodrigues miss or are deflected by
Harvison, who himself misses with a charging uppercut-hook combo.
Lots of missed strikes going on, but Rodrigues has a hard left hook
partially get through while Harvison lands a couple kicks inside.
Rodrigues thinks punch from Harvison and ducks... right into a knee
between the eyes. Rodrigues hits the ground in a daze, and Harvison
only gets off one punch before ref Allen intervenes at 3:34 of
Harvison knocked Rodrigues silly late
in the fight.
Dan Miragliotta is the referee for this bout. Crenshaw gets inside
on a double-leg but Rogers defends against the fence. Now it’s
Rogers looking to clinch, but Crenshaw tries to arm-drag Rogers
over his shoulder. The throw is botched and Rogers uses the
opportunity to latch onto Crenshaw’s back and sink in a rear-naked
choke. It looks like a wrap for Crenshaw, but he defends with
two-on-one and peels off Rogers’ wrist. Crenshaw gets up and the
middle of the round is spent circling and feinting. Crenshaw hits a
takedown with 45 seconds to go and tries to ground-and-pound from
open guard, at first without much success. Crenshaw gets to side
control and drops a couple hard, short elbows on Rogers’ face
before trying for full mount. Rogers denies him and Crenshaw
finishes the round on top in half-guard.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rogers
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Rogers
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-10
Crenshaw dives on a single-leg from way out and gets stuffed by
Rogers. Neither man is really pulling the trigger through the first
half of the second round, mostly circling and trying to navigate
the distance. Rogers is landing inside leg kicks at will, though
they come sporadically. Crenshaw tries a few shots, always from a
mile out and always defended by Rogers. A leg kick from Rogers
turns Crenshaw around, so Crenshaw decides to shoot behind a wild
right hand. Rogers shuts it down and they go back to circling and
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rogers
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Rogers
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Rogers
Crenshaw wastes no time in shooting, pressing Rogers against the
fence but still unable to drag “Bam Bam” to the ground. Rogers
shoves him off and backs him away with a hook, then shuts down
another long shot. A nice knee to the body lands for Rogers as they
disengage from the clinch. Rogers looks the fresher of the two;
even though Crenshaw is circling the outside, he’s doing so with
his mount open and his hands by his side. Rogers turns him around
with another low kick. Crenshaw wades in for another shot and gets
slugged by Rogers. The next shot attempt is successful at last, and
Crenshaw lands in north-south position with 90 seconds to go.
Rogers stayed active on the bottom and
was rewarded for it.
Crenshaw tries to pass to side control and instead nearly carwheels
into a triangle choke. Rogers puts him in closed guard and lands
elbows to the faded Crenshaw, who is just winging blind punches
with his face buried in Rogers’ chest as the fight ends.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rogers (30-27 Rogers)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Rogers (30-27 Rogers)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Rogers (30-28 Rogers)
Official result: All three judges score the bout 29-28 for
the winner by unanimous decision, Ronnie Rogers.
Will Fisher is the referee for this bout. Burke catches the
crouching Elmore off-balance with a probing punch, but Elmore keeps
chasing him around the outside. Elmore misses a spinning backfist
as he tries to catch Burke against the fence. Burke tries to kick
inside and catches Elmore on the cup. Elmore recovers and gets back
to chasing Burke around, looking to knock his block off with wild
punches over the top. Burke is on his bike, dashing away from the
chopping inside leg kicks of the smaller man. With a minute left in
the round, Burke sticks his man with a stiff jab, prompting Elmore
to charge in and hit a double-leg against the fence. Elmore stands
above the lanky Burke and eats an upkick. Now Elmore takes a knee
and slugs Burke with a couple hard right hands. He briefly catches
Burke with a front headlock, gives it up and finishes on top.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Burke
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Burke
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Burke
Burke jumps guard with a guillotine choke and squeezes to try and
put Elmore out. Elmore gets his head loose as Burke tries to roll
him over, but Burke stays in control and moves right into full
mount. Burke has head-and-arm control and could possibly hop off to
try an arm-triangle; instead, he postures up and slams Elmore a few
times. A syrupy battle ensues from mount as Elmore nearly gives up
his back and Burke spends a minute trying to secure the position.
Elmore bucks Burke off, gets to his feet and starts chasing Burke,
catching him with a right hand and a left high kick that bloodies
Burke’s face at the corner of his right eye. Burke misses on a pair
of punches, but swings a wild left hand that clubs Burke on the
face. Burke falls backward in a daze and ref Fisher is running in
to stop the bout before Elmore can follow up. The surprising
knockout finish comes at 4:11 of the second round.
Elmore knocked Burke dead in round two.
George Allen is the referee for this featherweight tournament
quarterfinal. The smaller Khasbulaev ducks low and kicks at the
legs of the Brazilian, who comes forward swinging wide punches.
Khasbulaev catches a kick, can’t counter but manages to get out of
the way of Guerreiro’s counters. Nice, short punch in the clinch
lands for Khasbulaev, marking up the face of Guerreiro. Both men
are swinging for the fences in close quarters, Guerreiro now
finding his range. Khasbulaev clinches and tries a throw, but
instead pulls Guerreiroon top of him. Seconds later, Khasbulaev
sweeps on top but is immediately forced to defend two armbar
attempts from Guerreiro. Khasbulaev tries a no-hooks rear-naked
choke in a scramble; it doesn’t work, but he keeps Guerreiro on his
back and lands some thumping punches to the Brazilian’s body.
Khasbulaev goes to the ground and socks Guerreiro in the face with
another punch, and this one seems to make Guerreiro cover up a bit.
Guerreiro throws ups a triangle and Khasbulaev slams his way out.
Khasbulaev drops for a heel hook, rolls with it, but loses it.
Khasbulaev is still on top, so he tries for a kneebar, but
Guerreiro defends this as well. With 15 seconds left, Khasbulaev
drops back for another heel hook try but runs out of time.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Khasbulaev
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Khasbulaev
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Khasbulaev
Guerreiro gets Khasbulaev’s back against the fence, but it’s
Khasbulaev who hits the takedown and puts the Brazilian on his back
once again. Khasbulaev quickly frames up an arm-triangle choke and
hops off to Guerreiro’s right side. Guerreiro resists for a moment
but the choke is sunk in all the way and he’s forced to tap out at
1:15 of round two.
George Allen is the referee for tonight’s first main card bout.
Bezerra staggers da Silva with a stiff jab and hops on the back of
the standing “PQD” in the ensuing scramble. Da Silva tries to peel
him off but “Popo” won’t be shaken. Eventually, Bezerra slips off
the side and da Silva winds up on top in his opponent’s guard. A
couple good hammerfists come from da Silva on top, but just as
quickly, Bezerra swings his legs up and catches da Silva in an
armbar. It’s deep and the upside-down da Silva quickly taps out at
the 1:40 mark.
Bellator Featherweight Tournament Quarterfinal:
Richman vs. Mitch
Dan Miragliotta is the referee for this bout. Jackson tries to
shoot from too far out and gets stood up by Richman, who goes back
to switching stances in the center of the cage. Richman eats a jab
but walks right through it and drops Jackson with a right hook.
Jackson hops back up and has another takedown attempt thwarted by
Richman, who is bloodied underneath his right eye. Richman drops
Jackson with a left hook, but again Jackson stands. Another
knockdown follows and this time Richman goes down to Jackson’s open
guard with half the round to go. Richman works some punches to the
body but the pace is slower on the ground and ref Miragliotta
orders them up with a minute remaining. With seconds left in the
round, Richman floors Jackson with a left high kick. Jackson is in
trouble, trying to hang on as Richman uses punches and elbows to
pound him out. Jackson’s lights go off and on, and Miragliotta
finally sees fit to wave it off at 4:57 of round one, giving Mike
Richman the win via TKO.
Sandro quickly gets inside and grabs hold of Stepanyan, who scoots
over to the fence and tries to ward off the takedown. They spend a
minute in the position, with Stepanyan grabbing the fence more than
once and drawing a warning from referee George Allen. Stepanyan
keeps Sandro at range with spinning back-kicks and front kicks,
though Sandro manages some leg kicks as he moves around the outside
and tries to find an opening for his big right hand. Sandro steps
in to throw at the same time as Stepanyan throws a spinning kick
and neither lands clean. With 20 seconds left in the round, Sandro
gets under Stepanyan and puts him on the fence. Stepanyan can’t
grab the fence this time and gets elevated, then slammed to finish
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Sandro
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Stepanyan
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Stepanyan
Stepanyan goes after Sandro, chasing the Brazilian to the outside
of the cage with spinning kicks and snappy punches. One kick finds
Stepanyan’s heel landing on Sandro’s head, and the Nova Uniao
representative is visibly dazed. Stepanyan rushes him and tries to
finish, but instead gets the takedown and lands on top. The action
slows and ref Allen orders the featherweights back up. Sandro again
sets up on the outside, eats a body kick from Stepanyan and fails
on a takedown attempt. Stepanyan is rolling his hands, luring
Sandro in and throwing kicks to the body, playing matador when
Sandro looks to wrap up. Sandro goes for a leglock with seconds to
go and Stepanyan rides out the attack. Before the start of the
third round, the ref docks one point from Stepanyan for grabbing
Jordan Breen scores the round 9-9
Chris Nelson scores the round 9-9
Mike Whitman scores the round 9-8 Stepanyan
Sandro takes Stepanyan down in the middle of the cage and works
from half-guard, his right leg trapped between the Russian’s.
Sandro’s head is being controlled as well, and he can manage only a
few right hands to the body from the position before ref Allen
stands them up. Just under three minutes remaining in the bout,
which is suddenly up for grabs after the point deduction. They’re
only on their feet a few seconds before Sandro catches a Stepanyan
kick and brings him down again. Sandro repeatedly picks up and
slams Stepanyan, who is controlling the Brazilian’s wrists from
guard. Scooting Stepanyan over to the fence, Sandro is finally able
to get off some hard punches, though mostly to the body.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Sandro (29-27 Sandro)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Sandro (28-28 Draw)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Sandro (28-27 Stepanyan)
Official result: Judge Joey Harnist scores the bout 28-28,
ruling the bout a draw. However, judges Ken Coffey and Derek Cleary
both score the bout 29-27 for the winner by majority decision,
Referee Dan Miragliotta is in charge of tonight’s main event.
Shlemenko tries to keep Falcao at bay with punches and even a
spinning backfist, but Falcao works his way inside, clinches up and
puts Shlemenko on the fence. Shlemenko gets loose and starts
throwing again, but Falcao is doing well with his counters, first
sticking the Russian with a left hook and then a snappy right hand.
Shlemenko puts Falcao on the ground but the Brazilian has overhooks
and quickly gets the stand-up. Falcao gets another takedown but
Shlemenko is immediately back on his feet, being pushed against the
cage. Shlemenko busts out with 30 seconds to go, misses with
another spinning attack but now gets the outside position, pushing
Falcao into the cage.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Falcao
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Falcao
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Falcao
Shlemenko lands a hook and a kick to the body, going after Falcao
as the second round begins. Falcao weathers a minute of striking on
his back foot before wrapping Shlemenko up and clinching on the
fence. Shlemenko gets out and swings a murderous left hook at the
Brazilian’s face. He catches a kick from Falcao and sticks a right
hand down the pipe, but Falcao comes right back, punishing the body
with hooks as Shlemenko covers up. Now it’s Shlemenko’s turn,
grabbing the Thai plum and kneeing Falcao’s body. A hook to the
liver hurts Falcao, and a short right hook puts him on the ground.
Falcao already appears to be surrendering when Shlemenko drops more
punches down and knocks him out cold. Alexander Shlemenko becomes
the new Bellator middleweight champion at 2:18 of round two.