Marcin Held (left) made UFC veteran Rich Clementi cry uncle. |
Polish prodigy Marcin Held
stakes his success on leg attacks. So far, so good.
Held submitted UFC veteran Rich
Clementi with a toe hold in the Bellator Fighting Championships
Season 7 lightweight tournament semifinals at
Bellator 81 on Friday at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I.
Clementi (45-22-1, 2-1 Bellator) conceded defeat 3:04 into round
two, his modest three-fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Held painfully tapped out Clementi.
The 20-year-old Held (15-2, 4-1 Bellator) was relentless in his
pursuit of the finish. The two semifinalists spent virtually the
entire first round trading attempted leg locks, Held moving from
the heel hook to the toe hold to the kneebar. None were successful.
In round two, Clementi scored with a powerful takedown, only to
leave the slightest of openings. Held threaded his leg into
position from the bottom, secured the toe hold and forced Clementi
“Rich is a very good, very tough opponent,” Held said. “This is the
best feeling in the world.”
Jansen slipped by Tirloni via split decision.
Split Verdict Sends Jansen to Final
His game plan heavy on aggression and light on caution,
World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Dave Jansen
eked out a controversial split decision over Ricardo
Tirloni in the Bellator Season 7 lightweight tournament
semifinals. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them
siding with the 33-year-old Oregonian.
Jansen (18-2, 5-0 Bellator) did his best work in the first round,
where he floored his Brazilian counterpart with a clean left hook
and scored with a pair of takedowns.
Tirloni (15-3, 2-2 Bellator) seemed to bounce back in the second,
as he cracked the Sports Lab representative repeatedly with left
hooks, right crosses and a stiff left jab.
Round three followed a similar narrative, as Tirloni stayed one
step ahead in the standup, beating the American to the punch.
Jansen made his final plea to the judges in the closing seconds, as
he transitioned to Tirloni’s back and scored with a belly-to-back
“I’m feeling great,” Jansen said. “I kind of pictured the fight
like that. Tirloni’s definitely got heavy hands. I felt like I was
able to make him miss and make him pay.”
Sandro choked Neace out cold.
Sandro Choke Finishes Neace
Sandro needed a little more than two minutes to dispatch
Neace, as he rendered “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 alum
unconscious with a rear-naked choke 2:05 into the first round of
their featherweight showcase.
Sandro (23-4, 6-2 Bellator) backed up a left hook with a takedown
and moved immediately to side control. The situation only grew more
troubling for Neace (23-19-1, 0-1 Bellator). Sandro transitioned to
his back after an ill-advised heel hook attempt, snaked his arms
around the neck and brought the bout to a close.
The 35-year-old Sandro still has never suffered back-to-back
defeats as a professional.
Filkins took two rounds from Billstein.
Filkins Stuns German Prospect Billstein
Team Link’s Perry
Filkins recorded the most significant victory of his career, as
he took a unanimous decision from highly touted German prospect
Billstein in a featured middleweight battle. All three cageside
judges scored it for Filkins (7-1, 1-0 Bellator) by 30-27, 29-28
and 29-28 counts.
The two middleweights appeared to split the first two rounds,
giving way to a decisive third. There, a Billstein front kick to
the face seemed to get Filkins’ adrenaline pumping. The 24-year-old
American channeled his inner Ric Flair, ramped up his aggression
and stayed busy with heavy power punches.
Filkins sealed it in the final half minute when he moved to full
mount after a fatigued Billstein (10-3, 1-2 Bellator) inexplicably
pulled guard. Punches and elbows were unleashed, sending Filkins to
his fifth consecutive victory.
Ward pounded out McCoy in 2:49.
Cramer KOs Lamoureux; Calandrelli Armbars Brown
In preliminary action,
American Top Team’s Dan Cramer
knocked out Joseph
Lamoureux with a series of savage right hands 3:26 into round
one of their middleweight duel; Ring of
Combat veteran Andrew
Calandrelli submitted Eric Brown
with an armbar 3:10 into the second round of their lightweight
bout; Russian import Murad
Machaev captured a unanimous verdict from Lorawnt-T
Nelson in 167-pound catchweight battle, sweeping the scorecards
by matching 30-27 counts; Mike
Mucitelli stayed undefeated and submitted Shark Fights veteran
Uhde with an armbar 26 seconds into round one of their
210-pound catchweight tilt; Brennan
Ward kept his perfect professional record intact, as he put
McCoy with punches 2:49 into the first round of their
middleweight encounter; and Matt
Bessette recorded his seventh win in nine appearances with a
unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 alum
Barrow at 155 pounds, earning 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 nods from