Freire-Guerreiro, Taimanglo-Wilcox set for featherweight semis at Bellator 103


joe-taimanglo.jpgWith Friday’s Bellator 99 in the books, the semifinals now are set for the promotion’s Season 9 featherweight tournament.

Bellator 103 will host the final four of the 145-pound field, which now features Friday winners Patricio Freire (19-2 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) vs. Fabricio Guerreiro (18-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Joe Taimanglo (19-4-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) vs. Justin Wilcox (12-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). Promotion officials made the announcement during Friday’s telecast.

Bellator 99 took place at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. The event’s main card aired on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com. Bellator 103 will take place Oct. 11 at Kansas Star Arena at Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, just south of Wichita with a main card, as usual, on Spike TV after the online prelims.

“Pitbull” Freire made quick work of UFC and WEC vet Diego Nunes (18-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), who was making his Bellator debut, in Friday’s main event. Freire handed Nunes the first knockout loss of his career just 79 seconds into the fight. He caught “The Gun” with a left hand below the ear that sent him to the canvas and follow-up punches earned the stoppage. He’ll meet Guerreiro, who outworked Desmond Green (8-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) for unanimous decision victory – his first win for Bellator.

Wilcox had to rally to stun Akop Stepanyan (13-6 MMA, 1-3 BMMA). He ate a bunch of leg kicks, then ate a spinning back kick to the head. But he stayed in the game, managed to take Stepanyan’s back and sank in a rear-naked choke to put Stepanyan to sleep in arguably one of the best comebacks in recent Bellator memory. Wilcox will take on Taimanglo on the other side of the featherweight bracket. Taimanglo was pretty much constant motion on his way to a unanimous decision win over British fighter Andrew Fisher (12-5-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA, taking a pair of 30-27 scores in the first fight on the main card.

With the additions, the Bellator 103 card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Patricio Freire vs. Fabricio Guerreiro – featherweight tournament semifinal
  • Joe Taimanglo vs. Justin Wilcox – featherweight tournament semifinal
  • J.J. Ambrose vs. David Rickels

PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com (7 p.m. ET)

For the latest on Bellator 103, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Joe Taimanglo)

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