Bellator MMA took to the airwaves tonight on SPIKE TV and with the climax to their welterweight tournament finale, as well as the kick-off to its new (divisional tournament) season, all at the Grand Canyon University Arena, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Fans were treated to a very solid and entertaining card; particularly in its main and co-main matches. If you missed the event, it’s a definite must see in re-play on SPIKE TV, this week.
The co-main, witnessed a bout between former TUF alumnus and UFC fighter, War Machine and Vaughn Anderson. War Machine looked great, tonight. He attened to be focused, in shape and ready to take it all. He came out strong and after getting a (little) flustered near the end of round one, came out in the second and just put it on his opponent. To be blunt, War Machine dominated his advisary to the point of calling it a clinic, finally choking him out to a state of unconsciousness. I’ll say this about Vaughn Anderson though, he’s a good fighter and the only guy I’ve ever seen work his way out of a crucifix, particularly while being elbowed in the face. For that move alone, the bout and broadcast are worth catching.
The main was a solid first, but a beautiful second. The way Douglas Lima put Ben Saunders down was stunning in its beauty, technique and execution. If you missed it, you have to see it. Beyond that, Lima's huge right upper-cut that set it all up was a sight to behold.
Overall, it was a great night for Bellator MMA and it certainly had a couple of fights on its card that the UFC would have been more than proud to have put on. Two things are most certainly true of it, War Machine has both stand-up power and a ground game, and Douglas Lima has significant technical stand-up, timing and true KO power at 170 pounds; he's a force to be reckoned with in either the junior or senior promotions.
Main Card Results:
Fight 1: Brent Weedman vs. Justin Baesman (welterweight)
This fight was all Brent Weedman. The longer, taller fighter came out and chose not to use his range, but rather keep the fight close and begin to hit on Baseman. With the fight moving to the ground, Weedman worked his Jiu Jitsu game and put Baseman in a nasty arm bar. With Baseman looking like he was almost out of the submission, Weedman rolled over to his stomach and Baseman tapped; winner by arm-bar at the 3:21 mark of the first round, Brent Weedman; advances to the semi-finals.
Fight 2: Ron Keslar vs. Luis Sergio Teotonio 'Sergio Junior' da Fonseca Melo Jr. (welterweight)
Round one was all about Keslar closing the distance and using the clinch, but in doing so he did little with it. The second round saw Keslar rock and drop Jr. with a big right, bouncing his head off the canvas. Keslar followed and took Jr.’s back, but Jr. was able to easily avoid any submission attempts and delivered a lot of elbows and punches to Keslar as he defended. Most of the action of round three revolved around a jumped-guard guillotine attempt by Jr., but regardless of the effort and time, he secured nothing and then gave up position and his back for the rest of the fight; winner by way of split decision Ron Keslar; advances to the semi-finals.
Fight 3: Rick Hawn vs. Herman Terrado (welterweight)
The match was more spar than fight. Hawn used a lot of faints and his considerable speed advantage to outwork and out-strike his opponent. For his part, Terrado was just throwing bombs and hoping something would land. For the whole fight, the significantly larger Terrado was looking for that one punch that would raise his hand, however, the illusive Hawn proved too quick on every throw, leaving Terrado zero for the night on attempts thrown and a loser on the night; winner by unanimous decision Rick Hawn; advances to the semi-finals.
Fight 4: War Machine vs. Vaughn Anderson
This was an exciting fight. If you’re a War Machine fan, then you must have loved this bout. War Machine came out and immediately began imposing his authority in the ring. He easily took the fight to the ground and began working position and control, on Vaughn Anderson. However, VA proved to be an elusive foe on the ground and after a minute or so, it was War Machine that was on his back and Vaughn Anderson being pursued. War Machine came out for the second with a determined attitude and focused as if he had taken VA too lightly. Shooting for the takedown, War Machine took the fight to the ground and began to own Vaughn Anderson. At one point he had VA in a nasty crucifix, but somehow and to be honest, I’ve never seen it happen before, VA worked his way out of it, withstanding the beating he had taken. Sadly for VA, he found himself with his back to War Machine and WM sunk in a rear naked choke; winner by RNC in the second round, War Machine; advances to the semi-finals.
Fight 5: Douglas Lima vs. Ben Saunders (welterweight tournament finale)
Wow! In a re-match fight from November of 2011, Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders got it on. Saunders came out and moved forward as the Octagon’s general and Lima was more than happy to oblige in counter. The two followed suit throughout the round in what amounted to a kicking war. Of the exchanges, it would be safe to say that Lima landed the more significant blows. He was the quicker of the two and seemed to be able to “be there and not be there”, at the same time; all the while delivering stiff shots, but not taking any in return. Round two broke and Saunders came out being the general, again. Yet, in the middle of one of the exchanges, Lima issued forth with a huge upper-cut and dropped Saunders to the floor. The damage to Saunders left eye was significant and could well have had the ringside physician stopping the fight at round’s end.
Lima sat in the guard of his downed opponent and friend, and grinded on him, but nothing in the way of trying to truly capitalize on his advantage. More to the point, Lima appeared to go out of his way to avoid his former teammate’s (left) eye. Lima relented on the ground and gave up position. Back on the feet, Lima seemed to be running out the clock and not attempting to put away the seriously damaged Saunders. Just as the gathered audience began to surmise that Lima might be looking to let his damaged buddy off the hook, he stepped in with a devastating left-hook to Ben’s liver and in a one-two combination, laid Saunders out cold with a right high-kick to the head. In a word, it was beautiful; winner by KO kick to the head at the 4:33 mark of the second round, Douglas Lima; wins the welterweight tournament finale, advances to the championship round and collects 100K (US).
Adam McDonough def. Johnny Buck via TKO, round one, at the 4:51 mark.
Siala-Mou Siliga def. Dan Charles via TKO, round three, at the 1:26 mark
Liam McGeary def. Beau Tribolet via knockout round one, at the 0:26
Clifford Starks def. Joe Yager via unanimous decision
LaRue Burley def. Bubba Jenkins via TKO, round three, at the 3:40 mark
Travis Marx def. Brandon Bender via TKO, round two, at the 4:28 mark.