There would be no controversy this time around.
Hale advanced to the Season 7 heavyweight tournament finals
with a first-round technical knockout victory over Thiago
Santos. Referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the bout at the 3:31
mark of the opening frame.
Hale (21-4-1, 6-1 Bellator) hung tough during a furious opening
salvo from Santos (11-2, 3-1, 1 NC, Bellator), who appeared to have
his adversary reeling with a series of heavy punches in the opening
moments. The Brazilian then attempted a standing guillotine before
executing a takedown and moving to side control. Unable to earn a
finish, Santos slowed considerably from there.
“He definitely rocked me. It’s nice to be back at heavyweight,”
said Hale, who had previously competed at 205 pounds. “The big
question before this fight is can I get hit by a heavyweight. I’m
here to stay; I’m here for the belt.”
Santos was bleeding from the mouth and appeared to spit out a tooth
during a tie-up against the fence. After Miragliotta restarted the
bout, Santos desperately lunged forward to engage, and Hale took
control, landing a series of strikes as a defenseless “Big Monster”
turtled up on the canvas.
Shamhalaev folded Richman with a punch.
Shamhalaev KOs Richman
Shamhalaev punched his ticket to the Bellator Season 7
featherweight tournament finals in emphatic fashion, knocking out
Richman with a beautifully timed counter right hand.
The stoppage came 1:45 into the opening frame, giving Shamhalaev
the fourth recorded knockout of his MMA career. The 29-year-old
Russian will face the winner of the Wagnney
Martinez matchup at a later date.
“I’m ready to take on just about anybody,” Shamhalaev (11-1-1, 2-0
Bellator) said through a translator.
Both fighters entered the bout with no shortage of confidence in
their hands, but it was Richman (13-2, 2-1 Bellator) who made a
As “The Marine” threw a punch to the body, Shamhalaev took
advantage of the opening and dropped his man with an overhand
right. He needed just two more follow-up punches on the ground
before referee Yves Lavigne called a halt to the bout.
Lima dispatched Ortiz in the third frame.
Lima Overwhelms Ortiz
Lima showed no lasting effects from his Bellator 64 loss to
Askren, as he scored a third-round technical knockout victory
over Jacob Ortiz
in a 180-pound catch-weight affair.
Lima stunned his foe with a head kick and then finished the job
with vicious ground-and-pound from top position with just 10
seconds remaining in the final frame.
The Season 5 welterweight tournament champion had opportunities to
finish the bout in both the first and second periods. Ortiz came
out with his hands low and paid the price when Lima floored him
with a right hand early in the opening round. It was all Lima from
there, as the Brazilian controlled much of the frame on the ground,
taking back mount and hunting for a rear-naked choke. Lima had
another chance for a stoppage in round two after hurting Ortiz with
a right hand, but the Power MMA product was saved by the horn.
“All the respect [to Ortiz]. The guy has a head made of bricks,”
said Lima, who has won 10 of his last 11 fights.
Ford (top) pounded on Baker for three rounds.
Ford Bloodies, Outpoints Baker
Ford started with a flurry, then held on to earn a unanimous
decision over the gritty Kyle Baker in
a welterweight contest. Judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27 and
29-28 in favor of Ford (19-4, 2-0 Bellator), who went the distance
for just the second time in 19 professional victories.
“It was a little bit wild. I want to thank Kyle Baker for taking
the fight on such short notice,” said Ford, who stepped in when UFC
veteran Paul Daley
couldn’t compete due to via issues. “Out of all my 23 fights, he’s
the toughest guy for sure.”
Baker (12-7, 0-1 Bellator) somehow survived a physical assault from
Ford in the opening stanza. The TriStar Gym product pummeled his
foe with heavy ground-and-pound, opening a cut and causing visible
swelling around Baker’s right eye. Despite absorbing heavy fire
from Ford, Baker never wilted.
Ford’s pace slowed significantly over the bout’s final 10 minutes,
but the Canadian did enough to maintain control as a determined
Baker continued to press forward.
Franck Earns Split Nod Over Capoeira Ace Aurelio
In preliminary action, Frenchman Christ
Franck wore down Marcus
Aurelio, earning a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over
the capoeira specialist in a welterweight clash; Russian
Minakov earned a technical knockout victory over Vladimir
Starcencov 27 seconds into round two; Magomedrasul
Khasbulaev submitted Josh
Pulsifer with a rear-naked choke at the 3:30 mark of round one
in a featherweight duel; Josh Appelt
got by Ed
Carpenter with a first round TKO at 3:20; Guillaume
DeLorenzi rear-naked choked Johnny
Carson at 4:49 of the opening period.