Michael Chandler squeezed Rick Hawn’s neck until he cried uncle.
| Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The gulf between Michael
and the rest of the
Bellator Fighting Championships
lightweight division appears to
Chandler (11-0, 8-0 Bellator) kept his 155-pound title with a
second-round submission of Rick Hawn at
Bellator 85 on Thursday at the UCI Bren Events Center in
Irvine, Calif. Hawn tapped out 3:07 into round two, finished for
the first time as a professional mixed martial artist.
“I’ve got a lot of improving to do, I’ll tell you that much,”
Chandler said. “You’ve got to surround yourself with the best
people you can and try to be the best person you can. If you’re not
moving forward, you’re moving backward. That’s me.”
The undefeated champion never allowed Hawn (14-2, 6-2 Bellator) to
gain a foothold in the match. He struck for his first takedown less
than 90 seconds into round one, kept the judoka pinned to the
canvas and methodically established his superiority. In the second
round, Chandler delivered another double-leg takedown, transitioned
to Hawn’s back during a scramble and cinched the choke in a blink,
bending the challenger backwards and elicited the tapout.
“This is a crazy game,” Chandler said, “but I love it.”
Curran Carries Scorecards, Retains Title
Curran edged Pitbull on two scorecards.
In the first of two title bouts, Pat Curran
retained his featherweight crown with a narrow split decision over
. Two of the three cageside judges, Michael
Bell and Ron McCarthy, scored it 48-47 for the champion; a third,
, cast a dissenting nod in favor of Freire (17-2, 5-2
Curran’s stiff left jab was his weapon of choice and left the
Brazilian challenger bloodied and swollen by fight’s end. Freire
was the more active of the two men for vast stretches of the
25-minute battle -- he wobbled his foe with a head kick in the
third round and a counter right hook in the fifth -- but his
aggression came at a price, as he left openings through which
Curran (18-4, 8-1 Bellator) could attack up the middle.
Jabs, two and three at a time, kept Freire off-balance and out of a
comfortable rhythm. Curran mixed in nice counter punches and blows
the body, ultimately forcing the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt to
attempt takedowns in the fourth and fifth rounds. Both tries
failed, and Curran resumed firing his punches and knees down the
Zayats Upsets ‘Babalu’ Sobral
Zayats pounded out "Babalu."
stopped Renato “Babalu”
on first-round punches in the Bellator Season 8 light
heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. Sobral (37-10, 0-1 Bellator)
met his end 4:49 into round one, an upset victim in his first
appearance with the promotion.
Sobral was in control, up until the Russian landed a perfectly
timed and exquisitely placed spinning-back fist in the final minute
of the first round. The blow staggered the Brazilian, and Zayats
(20-6, 1-0 Bellator) pounced. A left hook sent Sobral to the
canvas, and a series of hammerfists left referee “Big” John
McCarthy no choice but to intervene.
Newton Choke Finishes Djambazov
Newton grabbed a bulldog choke to win.
kept up his resurgence, as he submitted Bulgarian import
with a second-round rear-naked choke in the Bellator
Season 8 light heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. Djambazov
(17-3, 0-1 Bellator), who entered the cage on a 10-fight winning
streak, conceded defeat 2:21 into round two.
Newton (19-7-1, 1-1-1 Bellator) wore down the European newcomer
with a steady diet of body kicks, takedowns and ground-and-pound.
By the second round, Djambazov had little left in the tank. There,
Newton assumed full mount, punched his foe into a vulnerable
position and locked down the choke for the finish.
Noe Dispatches Petruzelli in Quarters
Noe defeated Petruzelli in round one.
Once-beaten Tennessee native Jacob Noe stopped
veteran Seth Petruzelli on first-round punches in the
Bellator Season 8 light heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. Noe
(10-1, 2-0 Bellator) put the finishing touches on the most
significant victory of his career 2:51 into round one.
Petruzelli (14-7, 1-1 Bellator) failed twice to secure takedowns.
Noe moved to full mount on his second attempt and unleashed a
series of left hands. Petruzelli, perhaps stricken by a knee
injury, offered nothing in terms of defense, forcing referee Jason
Herzog to call a stop to the bout. Noe will enter the semifinals on
the strength of an eight-fight winning streak.
BJJ Ace Luciano Decisions Navarro
Luciano (top) shut out Navarro.
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and superb positional
grappling carried Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Cleber
to a unanimous decision over Mario
in an undercard duel at 145 pounds. All three cageside
judges struck the same ruling: 30-27 for Luciano.
The California-based Luciano (8-4, 1-0 Bellator) secured takedowns
in all three rounds, passed his opponent’s guard at will and piled
up points with punches from top position. Navarro (4-3, 1-1
Bellator) stayed active from the bottom and did what he could to
stay upright, but Luciano was relentless in his pursuit of
Young KOs Guymon; Lambert Submits Ramirez
Lambert's straight armbar was tight.
(11-9, 1-0 Bellator) knocked out UFC veteran Michael
(14-6-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a haymaker left hand and
follow-up ground strike 42 seconds into the second round of their
lightweight matchup; Jason
(26-12, 1-0 Bellator), in his first appearance since
2010, submitted fellow UFC castaway Hector
(9-5-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a straight armbar 3:59 into
the first round light heavyweight clash; J.J. Ambrose
(19-4, 1-1 Bellator) won for the eighth time in nine outings, as he
submitted Brian Warren
(18-17-1, 0-2 Bellator) with a guillotine choke 50 seconds into
round two of catchweight battle; Empire Training Center
(8-1, 2-1 Bellator) put away “The Ultimate Fighter”
Season 11 alum Jamie Yager
(6-4, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 4:02 into round one of their
welterweight encounter; and Aaron
(13-8, 1-0 Bellator) cruised to a unanimous verdict over
(13-18-3, 0-1 Bellator) in a preliminary featherweight bout,
earning 30-27 nods from all three judges.
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