Bellator 116, as from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, has been concluded and recorded, and it was a night full of thrilling finishes.
The Spike TV broadcast featured six bouts, inclusive of the semi-final rounds of Bellator’s heavyweight tournament, and in each match fans got to see a finish; three T/KOs’ and three submissions. Truly, it was a good night.
The prettiest stoppages of the evening had to be those of Adam McDonough and Alexander Volkov. Both fighters cleanly KO’d their opponents in walk-off style. McDonough laid Nathan Coy low with a beautiful left hook, while Volkov dropped and stopped “Mighty Mo” Siliga with a beautiful left-high kick to the head. With both shots, the fighters’ respective opponents were dispatched and out cold.
The highlight of the evening had to be the submission win of heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov. The Bulgarian fighter was at death’s door in February of 2012 and to see him submit Lavar Johnson as easily as he did tonight, winning a spot in the BMMA heavyweight tournament finale, was a nice MMA moment. Sadly, the lowlight moment of the evening had to be Vladimir Matyushenko losing the last fight of his career; a third round subission defeat to Joey Beltran. Fans are sure to wish "The Janitor" all the best in his furture endeavors.
Up next for the promotion, Bellator 117 and a welterweight title fight between Douglas Lima and Rick Hawn. On the night, the pair will duke it out for Ben Askren’s vacated 170 pound title. The evening will also feature the lightweight tournament semi-finals, and matches between Patricky Freire and Derek Campos, as well as Marcin Held vs. Derek Anderson.
Here are the night’s results and recap:
Fight # 1: Alexander Volkov vs. Siala-Mou Siliga
Siliga came out and immediately went for a takedown. Grabbing Volkov’s extended leg as he the huge Russian tried to kick Siliga, “Mighty Mo” got hold of his opponent, but the best he could do was push him up against the fence and keep him there for a couple minutes. With no action and Siliga not advancing his position, referee Big John McCarthy separated the fighters. With that Volkov began to make use of his significant reach advantage and to Siliga’s detriment. Knowing that he couldn’t fight Volkov from range “Mighty Mo” tried to close the distance. However, in coming in Volkov threw a combination at Siliga’s head, and although it did little in the way of damage the flurry disguised a big left kick that Siliga never saw coming. Catching the fighter clean on the jaw, it’s all Volkov need to carry the day. Dropped and stopped, Siliga went down to the canvas and the fight was over; winner by way of head kick KO at the 2:44 mark of the first round, and moving on to the heavyweight tournament finale, Alexander Volkov.
Fight # 2: Adam McDonough vs. Nathan Coy
Coy came out fast and hard, and looked to be winning the first round by virtue of his aggression and Octagon generalship. From the moment the bell rang Coy was all over McDonough, and it was obvious that he wanted to take the fight to the ground. However, McDonough would prove impossible to take down. As such, the fight was forced to the feet and with that, McDonough began to prove that he was the better striker. Catching Coy late in the first with a big upper cut, McDonough dropped his opponent and then began beating on his head with some serious hammer-fists. But Coy hung in there and stayed active enough to prevent the referee from stopping the fight. Luckily for Coy, the bell stopped the beating. Round two came out and again Coy looked to come forward, but this time he had no success. Rocked by a solid left, Coy looked to be dazed and almost out on his feet. Seeing his opponent in trouble, McDonough seized the moment and hit Coy again with a thunderous left, and that was it; winner by way of KO at the thirty second mark of round two and moving on to the welterweight tournament finale, Adam McDonough.
Fight # 3: Ricky Rainey vs. Andy Murad
This was a short, but sweet fight. Murad came at Rainey and the pair immediately began to throw down, but after a brief exchanged Rainey looked to be the putter striker. Catching Murad with a big right, Rainey kept moving forward while hitting his opponent, and as Murad backed up against the cage Rainey caught him with a high head kick. With blood beginning to run down his face Murad had nothing to offer Rainey in the way of defense. A few shots more and referee Jason Herzog had seen enough, and stepped in to stop the fight; winner by way of TKO at the 1:11 mark of the first round, Ricky Rainey.
Fight # 4: Joey Beltran vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
The match was a little on the ugly side and not the most technical fight ever witnessed in the Octagon, but the two fighters gave it their all nonetheless. Beltran made the fight happen. He continually came forward all night eating Matyushenko jabs as he tried to impose his will, but to little success. Matyushenko appeared to be getting the better of Beltran, outscoring him over the first two rounds, but by the third Beltran started to turn it around. As the round wore on Matyushenko started to look exhausted. To the point, about have way through the third “VM” attempted an abysmal takedown in an effort to get away from Beltran’s punches, and in shooting in found himself on his knees and flipped on his back. With that, Beltran assumed a north-south position and began to sink in a submission. As the referee looked on Matyushenko took it for as long as he could, but inevitably raised his hand and tapped; winner by way of a north-south choke at the 3:06 mark of the third round, Joey Beltran.
Fight # 5: Blagoi Ivanov vs. Lavar Johnson
This was a great fight. Ivanov wanted to take the fight to the ground and in an effort to avoid Lavar Johnson’s power and reach. Accordingly, he pushed the fight up against the cage and began to grapple with Johnson. Having enough of it and in a demonstration of brute strength, Johnson picked the 250 pound Blagoi up and body slammed him to the ground. However, once there Johnson wasn’t able to do much with it and quickly, the fight was back to the feet and the fence. Landing a decent combination, Blagoi caught Johnson and looked to be hurting his opponent. Suddenly, Blagoi turned on Johnson and hip tossed him to the ground. With that, the grappling specialist immediately placed Johnson in a crucifix and with his two free hands began to crank Johnson’s arm. With referee John McCarthy checking Johnson for signs of a tap, the fighter raised his hand and conceded the match; winner by way of keylock submission at the 4:08mark of the first round, and moving on to the heavyweight tournament finale, Blagoi Ivanov.
Fight #6: Luiz Lins vs. Travis Clark
The two fighters met and Lins hit Clark with a big left. From there the fight moved to the ground where Clark had no answer for Lins’s grappling skills. With his back taken and flattened out on the mat, Clark found himself tapping to Lin’s choke; winner by way of rear-naked choke at the forty second mark of the first round, Luiz Lins.