It was another night of success for Bellator Fighting Championships as the welterweight tournament began the promotion’s fifth season. The action took place at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, New Jersey as eight welterweights stepped into the Bellator cage but only four would continue on to the semi-final rounds. Opening the tournament was Bellator veteran and former US Army member Steve Carl (14-3) and former MFC Welterweight Champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (17-4). The return of fan favorite “The Handler” Dan Hornbuckle (18-5) was soured by the strength of “Sapo” Luis Santos (48-6). UFC veteran and American Top Team stand-out “Killa B” Ben Saunders (11-3) did what he does best and laid down a beating against Chris Cisneros (11-5). In the main event “The Cleveland Assassin” Chris Lozano (9-1) and Brent Weedman (18-7) gave the fans what they wanted for three rounds, a hard fought war.
The Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix delivered its semi-final offerings last night before a stoked Cincinnati crowd. The card was full of upsets and unexpected results as well as a few tried and true performances from the fighters MMA fans have come to know over lengthy careers. The night opened with Sengoku vet Maximo Blanco (5-2) showing he still has never been awake during a rules meeting in his loss to former IFL stand-out “Bam Bam” Pat Healy (23-15) and continued with several bouts that raised more than a few eyebrows. “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal (8-1) handed submission grappling messiah figure Roger Gracie (4-1) his first loss in a match that saw neither ground specialist attempt a takedown. Luke Rockhold (8-1) took possession of the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship after winning a very debatable decision against “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (13-3) and Daniel Cormier (8-0) played bracket buster in the Grand Prix by destroying heavily favored “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (15-3) in their semi-final bout. About the only match that went according to the status quo was “The Babyfaced Assassin” Josh Barnett’s (23-5) widely predicted submission win over K-1 kickboxer Sergei Kharitonov (17-5).