This Weekend in Fights! (January 19th, 2013) featured the only two major North American based MMA promotions in Bellator and UFC, now that STRIKEFORCE is officially over. The weekend also featured TUF Alumni, Bellator, STRIKEFORCE, PRIDE, DREAM, and WEC veterans at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 6 in Missouri and Championship Fighting Alliance 4 in Florida.
Bellator will now be featured every Thursday night on Spike TV. Their debut episode kicked off this weekend with Bellator 85 from Bren Center in Irvine, California. The card featured two title bouts, including Lightweight champion Michael Chandler making his first defense against season 7 tournament winner Rick Hawn, and Featherweight champion Pat Curran defending his title against season 5 tournament winner Patricio Freire. The card also featured three of four season 8 Light Heavyweight tournament opening round bouts.
To open up the televised portion of the card was the Featherweight championship but. Pat Curran and Patricio Freire went the distance in a back-and-forth striking bout that saw Curran walk away with his title in a split decision. Curran and Friere landed a lot of single punches throughout the round, with few multi-strike combinations connecting. Curran threw a lot of head kicks that were mainly blocked, as Friere worked inside leg kicks. In the end, Friere’s face was swollen and damaged with a cut under his left eye and a bloody nose. Two judges saw the bout 48-47 for Curran, while the other saw it 48-47 for Friere, for the split decision.
Michael Chandler made his first Lightweight title defense in the main event against former Welterweight Rick Hawn. Chandler took Hawn down in the first round and controlled the pace of the fight, even though Hawn was never in any real trouble. Hawn did make it to his feet near the end of the round and attempted to use judo unsuccessfully. In the second round, the two battled against the cage, where Chandler secured a takedown. Once on the ground Chandler began to throw elbows from Hawn’s guard. In an attempt to improve his position Hawn used the cage to wall walk, but with the opening Chandler took his back and sunk in the rear-naked choke for the win. Chandler is now 8-o in Bellator with six stoppages.
The third Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinal matchup between M-1 Global veteran Mikhail Zayats and journeyman Renato “Babalu” Sobral. In the closing minute of the first frame, Zayats landed a huge spinning back fist that damaged Sobral. Zayats attempted to take him down, and landed shots in close distance. Those shots sent Sobral crashing to the round, where Zayats pounded him out with hammerfists with 11-seconds remaining in the round to win the fight and advance into the semifinals.
The other two Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinals saw Jacob Noe TKO Seth Petruzelli mid way through the first round, after Petruzelli got the better of him until a takedown attempt saw Noe land on top and end the bout when Petruzelli wasn’t intelligently defending himself. Noe advances into the semifinals. Emanuel Newton submitted Atanas Djambazov with a rear-naked choke submission in the second round to snap Djambazov’s 10-fight win streak and advance. UFC veterans Mike Guymon and Jamie Yager were both unsuccessful in their Bellator debuts. Guymon was knocked out by Savant Young, and Yager suffered a TKO loss to Joe Williams. (Full Bellator 85 event results below.)
The Friday night fights were aired on AXS TV with Resurrection Fighting Alliance 6 from the Kansas City Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri. The card featured UFC, Bellator, STRIKEFORCE, WEC, and M-1 Global veterans and TUF Alumni. The main event featured a Bellator 14 rematch between James Krause and Toby Imada. Unlike the first matchup which Imada submitted Krause in the second round with an armbar, the bout went to the judges score cards. Also different from their first bout Krause’s hand was raised. The three time Bellator tournament finalist was dominated for three rounds to lose a unanimous decision to Krause. Krause used a simple game plan of continuous jabs to keep his distance from Imada, winning 30-27 on all three judges score cards.
UFC and WEC veteran Brock Larson picked a third consecutive victory with a unanimous decision over M-1 Global and STRIKEFORCE veteran Eduardo Pamplona. The Minnesota Martial Arts team member used wrestling to keep Pamplona on the ground where he grinded his way to victory with ground and pound. With two rounds in the bag, Larson found himself almost losing the fight when he was on his back in the third and on the receiving end of ground and pound. Larson was able to tough it out and pick the decision 29-28 on all three judges score cards.
In another Bellator rematch Kevin Croom and Brian Davidson squared off once again. In their first bout at Bellator 26 Croom submitted Davidson in the second round. In this bout Croom knocked him out in 42-seconds. Croom is now 2-0 against Davidson.
TUF Alumni and gay porn star Dakota Cochrane picked up his third straight RFA victory with a third round TKO over Deivison Ribeiro. Cochrane withstood two low blows during the bout, but he’s use to that and finished the fight using his elbows with only 28-seconds remaining in the round. (Full RFA 6 – Krause vs. Imada 2 event results below.)
On Saturday night the UFC return to Brazil with UFC on FX 7 from the Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida in Sao Paulo. Stacked with Brazilian talent the main event featured Vitor Belfort versus Michael Bisping. Vitor Belfort only loses to the best fighters in the world, and that list doesn’t include Michael Bisping. Belfort and Bisping really felt each other for the majority of first round until Victor landed a kick and rushed in cause Bisping to back pedal. In the second round Belfort rushed in with another high kick which rocked Bisping sending him reeling. Belfort pounced on Bisping and pounded him out.
The co-main event featured the UFC debut TUF Brazil alumni Daniel Sarafian who squared off in Middleweight action against C.B. Dollaway. Sarafian controlled the pace of the first round with impressive standup and takedown defense. Mid way through second round Dolloway turn the tide of the bout and landed a huge strike that hurt Sarafian but he was saved by the bell. In the third round Sarafian looked visibly fatigued and Dolloway took him down with ease. Sarafian was able to escape tough positions, but didn’t do enough to convince the judges. Dolloway wins a split decision 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.
In the Heavyweight bout of the night Gabriel Gonzaga submitted Ben Rothwell with a guillotine choke in the second round. The first round was very even feeling out process and clinching against the cage. To start the second round Gonzaga landed 3 flush punches to Rothwell’s face. Following the third strie the two to clinch, where Gonzaga slapped on a guillotine choke and pulled guard. After a few seconds of attempting to pull out of the submission Rothwell tapped. Gonzaga is now 2-0 since returning to the UFC in January of 2012.
Khabib Nurmagomedov destroyed Thiago Tavares with a first round TKO. Nurmagomedov landed a leaping uppercut that sent Taveres crashing to the mat. Nurmagomedov pounced on Tavares and pounded him out cold with a 17 ground and pound elbows. Referee Dan Miragliotta was very late on the stoppage, the second mistake he made tonight. Nurmagomedov improves to 19-0, and 3-0 in the UFC, while Tavares’ 2-fight win streak is snapped, and he loses for the first time in Brazil.
On the FUEL TV prelims Godofredo “Pepey” Castro picked a split decision over Milton Vieira in controversial fashion. Vieira decisively won the first round with wrestling. In the second Pepey landed a huge kimura sweep and connected with some ground and pound from full mount. As Vieira attempted to improve position Pepey took his back and lock a body triangle. Pepey dominated the rest of the round with punches and rear-naked choke attempts. Vieira then connected with more strikes and takedowns in the third round, “winning” the round. However, the judges saw it differently and award Pepey his first UFC victory.
Ronny Markes handed Andrew Craig his first ever loss with a unanimous decision. Markes wrestling Craig to the ground and held him their for the first two rounds. Craig rebounded in the third round when he was in half guard landing a series of short elbows. Craig was unable to finish Markes before the bell, and lost the bout 1 round to 2. Markes remains undefeated in the UFC.
Nik Lentz picked up a unanimous decision over Diego Nunes by smothering him with his superior wrestling skills. Lentz hugged Nunes for the first round, sat on him for the second, and did both in the third while getting hit. Lentz threw the occasional punch in order to stay active and not be separated by the ref. He walks away with his second victory at Featherweight.
Edson Barboza made short work of the undefeated Lucas Martins with a first round submission due to strikes. Barboza landed a huge jab as Martins was rushing in, which caused his knees to buckle. Seeing his opponent was hurt Barboza pounced on him and rained down punches until Martins tapped out.
Yuri Alcantara was on his way to win his Bantamweight debut against the debuting Pedro Nobre. Alcantara was handling Nobre with a takedown into a kimura submission, which Nobre impressively escaped after his hand touched the back of his head. Alcantara transitioned in a back mount and was raining down punches until referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the action due to illegal strikes. All the strikes hit Nobre in the ear and not the back of the head. Nobre was unable to continue therefore the bout was declared a no contest. Alcantara’s brother Ildemar made his UFC debut prior to Yuri’s bout. Idlemar submitted Wagner Prado in the second round with an impressive knee lock.
In the only Facebook prelim, Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo ended his bout in impressive fashion with a belly to back suplex in an arm triangle choke submission, to submit C.J. Keith in under two minutes of the second round. (Full UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping event results below.)
CFA 9 Saturday (Luis Palomino, Alexis Vila) – BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida. The card featured the crowning of four championships, a Cage Fighting Alliance crowned inaugural champions in the Welterweight, Lightweight, Featherweight and Flyweight divisions. In the Lightweight title bout Pride & Dream veteran Luiz Buscape battled Bellator Luis Palomino for five rounds. The member of the Blackzillians camp Buscape the vacant CFA Lightweight championship title 49-46 on all three judges score cards. Another Blackzillian member became a CFA champion by decision as Sean Soriano won the interim Featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Victor Delgado. In the Welterweight Bellator and M-1 Global veteran Marcelo Alfaya knocked out Valdir Araujo in 25-seconds to win the vacant CFA Welterweight championship title. Josh Sampo won the inaugural CFA Flyweight title when he submitted Bellator veteran and Olympian Alexis Vila with a guillotine choke in the fifth round. (Full CFA 9 – Night of Champions event results below.)
Thursday Night Fights -
Michael Chandler def. Rick Hawn via submission (rear-naked choke) – 3:07 – Round 2 – to retain lightweight title
Mikhail Zayats def. Renato Sobral via TKO (strikes) – 4:49 – Round 1
Pat Curran def. Patricio Freire via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) – to retain featherweight title
Jacob Noe def. Seth Petruzelli via TKO (strikes) – 2:51 – Round 1
Aaron Miller def. Joe Camacho via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason Lambert def. Hector Ramirez via submission (armbar) – 3:59 – Round 1
J.J. Ambrose def. Brian Warren via submission (guillotine choke) – 0:50 – Round 2
Emanuel Newton def. Atanas Djambazov via submission (rear-naked choke) – 2:21 – Round 2
Savant Young def. Mike Guymon via KO (punch) – 0:48 – Round 2
Joe Williams def. Jamie Yager via TKO (strikes) – 4:02 – Round 1
Cleber Luciano def. Mario Navarro via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Friday Night Fights -
James Krause def. Toby Imada via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brock Larson def. Eduardo Pamplona via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kevin Croom def. Brian Davidson via TKO (strikes) – 0:42 – Round 1
Dustin Ortiz def. Aaron Ely via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Dakota Cochrane def. Deivison Ribeiro via TKO (strikes) – 4:32 – Round 3
Mark Dickman def. Aaron Derrow via TKO (strikes) – 4:35 – Round 2
Bobby Cooper def. Nick Compton via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Cody Peterson def. Tyler Stokes via submission (armbar) – 2:06 – Round 2
Trey Johnson def. Marques Jackson via TKO (strikes) – 0:57 – Round 3
Michael Waverek def. Dusty Spaulding via submission (triangle choke) – 2:04 – Round 2
Matt Waters def. Joey Estrada via submission (triangle choke) – 2:45 – Round 2
Saturday Night Fights -
Vitor Belfort def. Michael Bisping via TKO (punches) – 1:26 – Round 2
C.B. Dollaway def. Daniel Sarafian via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Ben Rothwell via submission (guillotine choke) – 1:01 – Round 2
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Thiago Tavares via KO (elbows) – 1:55 – Round 1
FUEL TV prelims:
Godofredo Castro def. Milton Vieira via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Ronny Markes def. Andrew Craig via unanimous decision (29-28 x3) b
Nik Lentz def. Diego Nunes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 30-26)
Edson Barboza def. Lucas Martins via submission (punches) – 2:38 – Round 1
Yuri Alcantara vs. Pedro Nobre ruled No Contest (Nobre can’t continue after being hit in the ear)
Ildemar Alcatara def. Wagner Pradio via submission (knee lock) – 2:39 – Round 2
Francisco Trinaldo def. C.J. Keith via submission (arm-triangle choke) – 1:50 – Round 2
Marcelo Alfaya def. Valdir Araujo via KO – 0:25 – Round 1 – to win the CFA Welterweight Championship
Josh Sampo def. Alexis Vila via submission (Guillotine choke) – 2:26 – Round 5 – to win the CFA Flyweight Championship
Luiz Buscape def. Luis Palomino via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) – to win the CFA Lightweight Championship
Michael King def. Billy Garris via submission (Strikes) – 2:05 – Round 1