Pat Curran put Shahbulat Shamhalaev to sleep at Bellator 95. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com


Pat Curran dropped the guillotine on Shahbulat Shamhalaev.

Curran rendered Shamhalaev unconscious with a first-round guillotine choke, as he retained the Bellator MMA featherweight championship with a technical submission in the Bellator 95 main event on Thursday at the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Shamhalaev (12-2-1, 3-1 Bellator MMA) went limp 2:38 into round one.

“I didn’t get hit once in the face,” Curran said. “I wanted to get in, get out, get back to the gym and rest up; on to the next one. Everyone coming up in the tournament has a lot of skills and huge talent.”

After a brief feeling-out process, Curran (19-4, 9-1 Bellator MMA) moved in for a sneaky takedown and caught an arm-in guillotine as Shamhalaev attempted to counter. The 29-year-old Russian fought valiantly to escape the choke but blacked out within the champion’s clutches. The defeat snaps Shamhalaev’s streak of six consecutive wins.

‘Frodo’ Outworks Richman, Wins Featherweight Tournament


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Frodo outpointed Richman in a close one.

Unfettered aggression, takedowns and heavy power punches and kicks spurred the surging Magomedrasul Khasbulaev to a unanimous decision over Mike Richman in the Bellator Season 8 featherweight tournament final. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 30-27 for Khasbulaev (21-5, 5-0 Bellator MMA).

The win, Khasbulaev’s ninth straight, brought him a $100,000 paycheck and a shot at the Bellator featherweight championship.

Richman (15-3, 4-2 Bellator MMA) had his moments, opening cuts near both of the Russian’s eyes in the second round. However, he had no answer for Khasbulaev’s relentless pressure and multi-pronged standup offensive. The 26-year-old sealed his latest triumph with a pair of takedowns and timely ground-and-pound in round three.

Marshall KOs Cooper in Middleweight Final


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Marshall sent Cooper packing.

Former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Doug Marshall knocked out Brett Cooper with a savage right hook and standing-to-ground punch in the Bellator Season 8 middleweight tournament final. Marshall (18-6, 4-0 Bellator MMA) left the Kings MMA export unconscious 3:39 into round one, banking a $100,000 payday and locking down his shot at reigning Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko.

The two finalists staggered one another during their initial exchange. Cooper (19-8, 6-3 Bellator MMA) mixed in a pair of takedowns but failed to keep “The Rhino” grounded and neutralized. After Marshall rose to his feet for a second time, he created some separation with a short elbow and then leveled Cooper with a right hook. Marshall dropped the finishing blow on the defenseless Cooper, hovered over his fallen foe with arms outstretched and left no doubt regarding the stoppage.

“If I catch you with the right hand, you’re going to sleep,” Marshall said. “Man, I hope he’s OK. I was trying to knock his beard off, but it didn’t come off. Maybe next time.”

Olympian Hawn Dismisses Parisyan


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Hawn left Parisyan dazed and confused.

Olympic judoka Rick Hawn wiped out Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Karo Parisyan with a searing overhand right and follow-up punches in the second round of their welterweight showcase. Parisyan (22-10, 0-1 Bellator MMA) met his end 1:55 into round two, his modest two-fight winning streak a thing of the past.

After the two men battled to a stalemate in the first round, Hawn (15-2, 7-2 Bellator MMA) came out firing in the second. The 36-year-old Tristar Gym representative wobbled Parisyan with an overhand right, followed it with a series of uppercuts and finished it with hammerfists.

“I wasn’t trying to look for [my right hand] the whole time,” Hawn said. “I knew that he knew I was waiting for that, so I had to wait until the second round to mix things up. [He is] a good judo guy. I felt him in the clinch, and I remember him from back in the old days. He’s good, so I had to be careful.”

Former Champion Good Outduels Rivera


A punishing clinch game carried former Bellator champion Lyman Good to his fourth win in five appearances, as he recorded a unanimous decision over Dante Rivera in a grueling welterweight match. All three cageside judges scored it for Good (15-3, 8-3 Bellator MMA): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

Good drew “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum into close quarters throughout the 15-minute battle, attacking him with short punches, knees and even a second-round takedown. Rivera (15-7, 0-1 Bellator MMA) tried in vain to answer but found himself outgunned against a bigger, stronger man.

Nover Outpoints Horcher; DeBlass Stops Brooks


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Rivera put Kelleher in 'wrestler mode' early on.

In preliminary action, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 finalist Phillipe Nover (8-5-1, 2-1 Bellator MMA) took a unanimous decision from the previously unbeaten Darrell Horcher (7-1, 2-1 Bellator MMA) at 155 pounds, earning 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scores; former two-division Ring of Combat titleholder Tom DeBlass (8-2, 1-0 Bellator MMA) dispatched Carlos Brooks (4-3, 0-1 Bellator MMA) on a doctor’s stoppage in between rounds two and three of their middleweight affair; onetime King of the Cage champion Jimmie Rivera (12-1, 4-0 Bellator MMA) earned a unanimous verdict over Brian Kelleher (8-4, 0-2 Bellator MMA) with 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 nods from the judges in a 140-pound catchweight match; Philadelphia Fight Factory representative Sam Oropeza (8-2, 1-1 Bellator MMA) was the beneficiary of a controversial stoppage by referee Bill Bookwalter, as he scored a technical knockout over Shedrick Goodridge (3-5, 0-1 Bellator MMA) 4:22 into the second round of their welterweight bout; Will Martinez (6-2-1, 3-0 Bellator MMA) knocked out Michael Brent Hess (3-2, 0-1 Bellator MMA) with brutal ground-and-pound 4:15 into round one of their featherweight duel; Kevin Roddy (13-14-1, 1-0 Bellator MMA) submitted Brylan Van Artsdalen (7-6, 1-6 Bellator MMA) with an armbar 64 seconds into the second round of their featherweight encounter; and Liam McGeary (4-0, 1-0 Bellator MMA) kept his perfect professional record intact, as he put away Anton Talamantes (5-4, 0-2 Bellator MMA) with punches and elbows 78 seconds into their light heavyweight scrap.
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