Bellator Fighting Championships middleweight king Hector
Lombard thumped on his chest and blew kisses to the crowd after
he left yet another opponent in his destructive wake. His latest
attack was almost nuclear in nature.
Lombard knocked out UFC veteran Jay Silva just
six seconds into round one of their Bellator 18 non-title bout on
Thursday at the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, La. A
left-hook-right hook combination on the opening exchange sent Silva
-- a late replacement for former World Extreme Cagefighting
middleweight champion Paulo Filho
-- crashing face-first to the canvas before either man had broken a
“That was beautiful,” Lombard said.
Anchored at American Top Team, Lombard has won 14 fights in a row,
11 of them finishes. The 32-year-old Cuban judoka, a frightening
blend of speed, power and technique, figures to defend his Bellator
crown sometime in the fall.
“Everybody knows,” Lombard said. “I’m the Bellator middleweight
champion, and they have to respect that.”
Former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Joe Warren
leaned on takedowns, effective ground-and-pound and dogged
toughness, as he defeated Georgi
Karakhanyan by unanimous decision to advance to the 2010
Bellator featherweight tournament final. Scores were 30-27 across
the board for Warren.
Warren scored with multiple, high-impact takedowns in all three
rounds and fought off various submission attempts from Karakhanyan,
a Brazilian-jiu-jitsu brown belt who threatened him with a heel
hook in the first round, a straight armbar in the second and a
guillotine choke in the third. Karakhanyan opened a cut on Warren
with a flying knee in round three but failed to string together the
kind of offense he needed to put away the American.
The defeat snapped Karakhanyan’s nine-fight winning streak, which
dated back to his February 2008 split-decision loss to Chris David.
Warren, a semi-finalist in the 2009 Dream featherweight grand prix,
has rattled off back-to-back wins since his submission defeat to
the world-ranked Bibiano
Fernandes seven months ago.
Warren’s here to stay,” Warren said. “I knew he had good knees,
so I thought I’d take him down with whatever I could. I was the
better man today.”
Unbeaten Brazilian prospect Patricio “Pitbull” Freire outdueled
former EliteXC champion Wilson Reis
en route to a unanimous nod in the second of two featherweight
tournament semi-finals. All three judges scored it 29-28 for
Freire, who will collide with Warren in the final.
Freire and Reis fought to a standstill through the first five
minutes. Pitbull, however, found another gear in the second round,
as he piled up points with well-timed combinations, kicks to the
body and standing knees to the head, one of which cut his opponent
near the left eye. Unable to drag the battle to the ground, Reis
found himself at a distinct disadvantage on his feet.
The 23-year-old Freire, an Antonio
Rodrigo Nogueira understudy, widened his lead in the third
round, as he sprawled effectively and outworked Reis in the clinch.
Undefeated through 14 professional appearances, he also delivered a
stout right uppercut, several knees to the body and a beautiful
“My plan was to go for the knockout,” Freire said through his
translator. “Unfortunately, Wilson is a very tough guy.”
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