Bellator 79 featured a pair of semi-final match-ups in the Season 7 Heavyweight and Featherweight Tournaments as well as two welterweight fights to treat the crowd at the Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, Canada to a night of toe-to-toe mixed martial arts action. Heavyweights “Rare Breed” Rich Hale (21-4) and “Big Monster” Thiago Santos (11-2) squared off in the marquee bout of the evening and the first of two Season 7 heavyweight semi-final tilts. “The Marine” Mike Richman (13-2) faced “Sha” Shahbulat Shamhalaev (11-1) in the co-main event for a spot in the 145lbs. tourney finals. Former MFC Welterweight Champion and Season 5 Welterweight Tournament Champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (21-5) returned to action against Kobe Ortiz (13-4) at a catchweight of 180lbs. In the starting fight of the night, Canada native “The Real Deal” Ryan Ford (19-4) faced tough Bellator newcomer “Alley Cat” Kyle Baker (12-7).
—MAIN CARD (on MTV 2 @ 8:00pm ET)—
Season 7 Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Finals Fight
Rich Hale vs. Thiago Santos: Hale via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:31
Season 7 Featherweight Tournament Semi-Finals Fight
Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Mike Richman: Shamhalaev via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:45
Catchweight (180lbs.) Feature Fight
Douglas Lima vs. Kobe Ortiz: Lima via TKO (Head Kick and Knee), Round 3, 4:50
Welterweight Feature Fight
Ryan Ford vs. Kyle Baker: Ford via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Bellator makes its second stop in Canada in the Season 7 tournament, dropping in at the Casino Rama of Orillia, Ontario. A Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final match-up is designated for Friday’s Bellator 79 main event slot preceded by a second semi-final bout, in the featherweight tourney, as well as a pair of welterweight affairs featuring two well-known faces to the Rama native fans. Former MFC star “The Real Deal” Ryan Ford (18-4) returns to home soil to face “Alley Cat” Kyle Baker (12-6) with both 170lbs. contenders hoping to seal his place in the next tournament with a victory. Season 5 welterweight tourney winner and former MFC champ ”The Phenom” Douglas Lima (21-5) steps back onto his old stomping grounds against well-rounded Kobe Ortiz (13-3), who is looking for the biggest win of his career against Lima. Bellator vet ”The Marine” Mike Richman (13-1) and Russian-born Shahbulat Shamhalaev (10-1-1) battle it out in the featherweight tournament semi-finals. Finally, Brazilian heavyweight ”Big Monster” Thiago Santos (11-1) will face former 205er and KO artist “The Rare Breed” Rich Hale (20-4) in a don’t-blink style of fight.
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.
—MAIN CARD (on MTV2)—
Lightweight Feature Fight
Michael Chandler vs. Akihiro Gono: Chandler via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 0:56
Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Bryan Baker vs. Ben Saunders: Baker via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Heavyweight Feature Fight
Damian Grabowski vs. Dave Huckaba: Grabowski via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Welterweight Feature Fight
Luis Santos vs. Ryan Ford: Ford via TKO (Knee and Punches), Round 2, 1:24
It’s back to Rama, Ontario, Canada for a second time as Bellator 67 docks at Casino Rama tomorrow night. Returning to the cage to begin his newly minted championship reign is relentless lightweight king Michael Chandler (9-0). Chandler will take on the most experienced fighter of his career when he welcomes long-time Japanese superstar and Pancrase, Shooto, PRIDE, Sengoku, and UFC veteran Akihiro Gono (32-17). One of the Season 6 Welterweight Tournament semi-finals will take place as finishing machine ”Killa B” Ben Saunders (13-4) takes on the reborn giant “The Beast” Bryan Baker (17-3). MFC veteran and Edmonton native “The Real Deal” Ryan Ford (17-4) makes his Bellator debut against powerhouse “Sapo” Luis Santos (50-7). Two-time Bellator veteran “Polish Pitbull” Damian Grabowski (15-1) returns to Bellator against heavy-handed newcomer “Bad Man” Dave Huckaba (17-4).
With less than two weeks to go until Unfinished Business at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Aggression MMA has released the full fight card. The main event features recent Bellator acquisition and former MFC welterweight champ “The Real Deal” Ryan Ford (15-3) taking on the equally experienced “Hollywood” Dave Hulett (14-10). Also on the main card, UFC vet “Thrashing Machine” Tim Hague (10-5) makes his return to the cage after being released by the UFC following a loss to “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-0). Tim is looking to bounce back by knocking out Vince Lucero (20-19) in the co-main event of the evening. Hague isn’t the only UFC vet on this card as “Kid” Alvin Robinson (12-6) faces off against top Canadian featherweight Adam Lorenz (9-1) for the Aggression MMA Featherweight Championship.
Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) and The Fight Club (TFC) veteran “The Real Deal” Ryan Ford (15-3) has officially signed with Bellator Fighting Championships. The Canadian-born welterweight made his name under the MFC banner as well as fellow Canadian promotion The Fight Club where he currently holds the 170lbs. championship title.
Ford is mostly remembered for his war with fellow welterweight scrapper and The Ultimate Fighter alum “The Secret Weapon” Pete Spratt (21-19) as well as his aggressive go-for-broke style. With 14 finishes and one decision in his four-year career it’s easy to see why “The Real Deal” is adored in his home land of Canada. Along with making his Bellator debut, his new flagship promotion will bring Ford stateside for the first time, as he has yet to fight outside of the Great White North.
“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” — Bob Dylan
So after last week’s exciting showdown between Josh Koscheck and MMA’s most famous male nurse, Brad Tate, this weeks’ TUF had nary a glimpse of Brad. Talk about loose ends. That’s just bad storytelling. Was Brad asked to leave? Did he leave on his own? Was he there but they chose to cut him out as to not take focus away from the two fights on the show? Whatever, but you can’t just build your story up to such a dramatic showdown as TUF did last week and then just drop it like it never happened.
Douglas Lima vs. Jesse Juarez: Lima via Submission (Triangle Armbar), Round 3, 2:37*
Pete Spratt vs. Ryan Ford: Ford via Submission Rear Naked Choke, Round 2, 3:07
David Heath vs. Rodney Wallace: Wallace via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Dwayne Lewis vs. Razak Al-Hassan: Lewis via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Kajan Johnson vs. Ryan Healy: Johnson via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Bill Fraser vs. Dheigo Lima: Lima via KO, Round 2, 2:36
Musa Tolliver vs. Brad Cardinal: Cardinal via Submission (Triangle Choke), Round 2, 1:22
Jordan Beecroft vs. Nick Hrynchyshyn: Beecroft via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Matt Veal vs. Spencer Rohovie: Rohovie via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 3:45
*Middleweight title fight