The third tournament of Bellator’s eighth season gets under way Thursday night as the lightweights take to the cage at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan to compete for a shot at 155lbs. championship gold. XFO veteran “Il Will” Will Brooks (8-0) puts his undefeated record on the line as he makes his promotional debut against crafty Bellator veteran Ricardo Tirloni (15-3). Former welterweight “The Caveman” David Rickels (11-1) and toughman “Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (12-2) will engage in a war of heavy-handed strikers as each man looks to take out the other with his fists. Top Russian lightweight “Tiger” Alexander Sarnavskiy (21-1) and Brazilian kickboxer Thiago Michel (11-3) will clash in a style-versus-style match-up between submission specialist and striker. In the main event “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (10-4) looks to get back to his winning ways when he faces XMMA veteran and Canadian knockout artist “Il Toro” Guillaume DeLorenzi (10-1). Eight contenders will step into the cage at Bellator 87 but only four will leave with a stamped ticket for the tournament semi-finals, and being that the 155lbs. division is arguably Bellator’s most dynamic, the evening is sure not to disappoint.
Casino Rama and the Canadian fans of Ontario welcomed Bellator and its warriors with open arms for Bellator 67 Friday, May 4 and in return the fighters gave them a show. The main event featured the Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler (10-0), fresh off his fourth-round submission win against former champion and top lightweight Eddie Alvarez (22-3), taking on the most experienced opponent of his career in Japanese superstar Akihiro Gono (32-18-7). Two welterweight semi-finalists faced off in an all-out war as “Killa B” Ben Saunders (13-5) and former middleweight finalist “The Beast” Bryan Baker (18-3) tangled. Heavyweight finishers from two different worlds clashed as submission specialist “Polish Pitbull” Damian Grabowski (16-1) took on knockout artist “Bad Man” David Huckaba (17-5) and Canada’s own finishing machine, “The Real Deal” Ryan Ford (18-4), made his Bellator debut against Brazilian prestige fighter “Sapo” Luis Santos (50-8) in a welterweight match-up that started of the main card for MTV2.
Bellator Fighting Championships made its debut in Cleveland, Ohio with Bellator 66. Friday night’s stacked card was filled with explosive warriors, four Season 6 tourney semi-finals match-ups, and a rematch three years in the making. Submission specialist Brent Weedman (21-7) duked it out with Brazilian kickboxer Thiago Michel Pereira Silva (10-3) and Judo Olympian Rick Hawn (12-1) faced the tough “Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (12-1) to determine who would meet in the 155lbs. tournament finals. Four middleweights faced off in the 185lbs. tournament semi-finals as Russian boxer “Slava” Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (16-1) locked horns with Brazilian powerhouse “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (29-4) and Ohio’s knockout artist “The Predator” Brian Rogers (9-3) faced late replacement “Sweet Swede” Andreas Spang (7-1). Since New Year’s Eve 2008 fans have chanted for the rematch of former Bellator lightweight king Eddie Alvarez (22-3) and DREAM Lightweight Champion “Tobikan Judan” Shinya Aoki (30-5). That match finally happened inside the Bellator cage for last night’s main event, and disappoint it did not.
—MAIN CARD (on MTV2)—
Lightweight Super Fight
Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki: Alvarez via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 2:14
Season 6 Middleweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Andreas Spang vs. Brian Rogers: Spang via TKO (Punch), Round 2, 3:34
Season 6 Middleweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Vyacheslav Vasilevsky vs. Maiquel Falcao: Falcao via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Season 6 Lightweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Lloyd Woodard vs. Rick Hawn: Hawn via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 0:10
Season 6 Lightweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Thiago Michel Pereira Silva vs. Brent Weedman: Weedman via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
It was New Year’s Eve 2008 when former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (22-3) submitted to a crippling Heel Hook by Japanese superstar “Tobikan Judan” Shinya Aoki (30-5) just 92 seconds into their K-1 event “Dynamite!! 2008″ match-up, crowning Aoki the inaugural WAMMA lightweight champ. Over three years have passed and the rematch will finally take place in the Bellator cage this Friday night. Bellator 66 at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio will host not only one of the most sought after rematches in lightweight history but also a stacked card of Season 6 tournament semi-final match-ups in both the middleweight and lightweight divisions. Ohio’s own “The Predator” Brian Rogers (9-3) brings his knockout power against a last-minute replacement in MFC and Strikeforce veteran ”Sweet Swede” Andreas Spang (7-1). Russian fighting sensation “Slava” Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (16-1) takes on the powerful “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (29-4). Colorful yet dangerous “Cupcake” Lloyd Woodard (12-1) takes on former Judo Olympian Rick Hawn (12-1) in one of two 155lbs. semi-final bouts, the second being Thiago Michael Pereira Silva (10-2) and Brent Weedman (19-7), which will take place on the event’s undercard hosted by Spike.com.
Perhaps one of the greatest nights of MMA history was witnessed on Saturday, November 19. Among the historic events was Bellator 58 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, featuring the long awaited title defense of top-ranked Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-3) against relentless challenger Michael Chandler (9-0). With the title fight as the event’s main attraction there was more star power to support the 155lbs. title bout. Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (29-2) met UFC and Strikeforce veteran Trevor Prangley (23-8) in a non-title catchweight bout of 195lbs. Two of the top five in Women’s MMA went to war in a rematch that had been five years in the making as “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (12-4) and Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-6) faced off in the cage. Starting off the action was former Sengoku featherweight king Marlon Sandro (20-3) and WEC veteran Rafael Dias (15-5) in a 145lbs. match-up with the hopes of the winner earning his way into the next featherweight tournament.
Lightweight Championship Fight
Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler: Chandler via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 4, 3:06
Catchweight (195lbs.) Feature Fight
Hector Lombard vs. Trevor Prangley: Lombard via KO (Punches), Round 2, 1:06
Women’s Feature Fight
Lisa Ellis vs. Jessica Aguilar: Aguilar via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Featherweight Feature Fight
Marlon Sandro vs. Rafael Dias: Sandro via Submission (Standing Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:56
Tonight the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida will host what is perhaps Bellator Fighting Championship’s most impressive card of the season. Reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2) is coming off a minor injury that sidelined him at Bellator 54 and he is finally meeting Season 4 lightweight tournament winner Michael Chandler (8-0). With the 155lbs. title up for grabs in the marquis event, only a solid main card can shoulder the weight and who better to do so than Bellator Middleweight Champion and powerhouse striker “Shango” Hector Lombard (28-2)? Fresh off his submission victory over “JT Money” Jesse Taylor (14-5) at AFC 2, Lombard meets UFC, Strikeforce, IFL, and Bodog Fight veteran and Shark Fights Light Heavyweight Champion Trevor Prangley (23-7). The non-title fight will be at a catchweight of 195lbs. Lombard’s current win streak of 20 is the longest active streak in the MMA world and the South African fighter will try to end it doing what no man has done, stop the man called “Shango”. Former Sengoku Featherweight Champion and Featherweight tournament finalist “The Monster from Rio” Marlon Sandro (19-3) is returning to the cage after his knockout loss to tournament winner Pat Curran (15-4) and is looking to rebound by taking on WEC veteran submission fighter Rafael Dias (16-8). Women’s MMA will kick off the action as “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (11-4) looks to take revenge against the woman who handed her her first defeat, Lisa Ward (14-5).
The Bellator Season 5 Middleweight Tournament semi-finals went off with a bang in Atlantic City, New Jersey as Bellator 54 anchored ship last night at the Boardwalk Hall. “The Beast” Bryan Baker (13-3) took on Vitor Vianna (12-1) and “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (32-4) slugged it out with “The Predator” Brian Rogers (8-3) for a chance to advance to the finals and a shot at Bellator gold. Bellator Bantamweight Champion “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (14-2) stepped back into the cage for another non-title fight against the powerhouse Ryan Roberts (16-11). The main card featured on MTV2 was started off in the lightweight division with a bout featuring Bellator veteran “The Brazilian Bomber” Rene Nazare (8-1) and the Bellator first-timer “The Hunter” Jacob Kirwan (9-3).
After an injury left Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2) sitting on the sidelines rather than defending his belt against Michael Chandler (8-0) at Bellator 54, the Chicago-based promotion’s inaugural 155lbs. champ is now ready to spring back into action. Alvarez is slated to take on Chandler in a rescheduled championship bout scheduled for November 19 at Bellator 58.
The undefeated Missouri native Chandler earned his title shot by bullying his way through the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament in which he claimed victories over Marcin Held (11-1), “Cupcake” Llyod Woodard (11-1), and “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-1). Chandler showed excellent wrestling and an unrelenting pace that broke his opponents down as the fight wore on. The champion Alvarez hasn’t seen cage time since his first title defense against Pat Curran (15-4) at Bellator 39 in April. The five-round affair showcased the same signature slick boxing and counter wrestling that have punished and given opponents fits throughout his career.
Last night the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida saw the return of the middleweights as the Bellator Season 5 185lbs. tournament went underway. The reemergence of previous contenders and several newcomers went to battle for the right to stamp their place in the Final Four. “Smiling” Sam Alvey (14-3) and Wand Fight Team’s Vitor Vianna (11-1) started off the tournament bracket. “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (31-4) took on fellow striker Zelg Galesic (9-6) in a bout that was sure not to make it out of the first round. Bellator newcomers “The Predator” Brian Rogers (8-2) of Team Strong Style and fellow Ohioan Victor O’Donnell (12-2) looked to impress in their debuts and raise their stock as high profile middleweights. The main event saw “The Beast” Bryan Baker (13-2) take on Jared Hess (12-3) in a lock out battle to determine who would move on. Here is a quick look at how the night went down.