After a mini hiatus Weekend in Fights! is back! This Weekend in Fights!(December 8th, 2012) featured Bellator 83 in Atlantic City, XFC 21: Night of Champions in Nashville on Friday night. Saturday night featured UFC on FOX 5 in Seattle, and Cage Warriors 50 in Glasgow.
Bellator 83 kicked off the weekend at the Caesars Atlantic City in New Jersey on Friday. The Rad Martinez versus Shahbulat Shamhalaev for the Bellator Season 7 Featherweight tournament final, however Shamhalaev became very sick due to food poisoning and the bout was postponed to Bellator 84 on Dec. 14.
Anthony Leone played spoiler to Zach Makovsky’s return since losing the Bellator Bantamweight title. Formally undefeated in Bellator, Makovsky drops two straight as Leone picks up a split decision.
The performance of the night went to Jessica Eye, who made extremely short work of Bellator Straweight champion Zoila Gurgel in a Flyweight bout. Eye dropped Gurgel, then slapped on standing arm triangle choke, rendering Grugel unconscious in under a minute. (Full Bellator 83 event results below.)
Also on Friday night XFC 21: Night of Champions emanated from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. In the main event undefeated congenital amputee with just one fully-formed arm Nick Newell submitted Eric Reynolds with a rear-naked choke to claim the XFC Lightweight title. This win makes him the first handicap MMA fighter to win gold, and he remains a perfect 9-0, snapping Reynolds’ three fight win streak. (Full XFC 21: Night of Champions event results below.)
The UFC’s fifth installment on FOX 5 took place at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington.The UFC Lightweight title was on the line in the main event, as champion Benson Henderson went five rounds with challenger Nate Diaz. Henderson dominated Diaz over the five round winning 50-45, 50-45, and 50-43 on one judge’s score card, giving “Bendo” two 10-8 rounds. Henderson was able to clinch and takedown Diaz with ease, ground and punding his way to victory. Diaz pulled off a few submission attempts, but they unsuccessful. Henderson’s gameplan was perfect by shutting down Diaz’ stealer boxing offense., in fact it was one of Diaz’ worst “striking” performances to date. With the victory Henderson remains a perfect 6-0 in the UFC and successfully defended his championship for the second time.
The co-main event featured the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua squaring off against the Swedish standup specialist Alexander Gustafsson. This exciting three round war saw Gustafsson capture his biggest career win with a unanimous decision. In what was a very back and forth affair, Gustafsson’s lankiness and powerful knees are what helped him pick up the win. Escaping from leglock submission attempts and delivering devastating knees, Gustafsson rendered Rua a bloody mess. Rua continued to battle on and prove his toughness and high threshold for pain by not being finish, but was visibly hurt and fatigued in the final frame. With the victory Gustafsson picks up his sixth victory in a row and a “guaranteed” title shot for the winner of UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones versus Chael Sonnen, which takes place on April 27th, 2012 at UFC 158 in Newark, New Jersey.
In another “changing of the guard” bout, 23-year-old Welterweight Rory MacDonald picked his biggest victory to date with a three round beat down of B.J. Penn. In a semi stalemate first round Penn attempted takedowns on the much larger MacDonald. In the second round Rory Mac had Penn in visible danger with combinations to the body and the head. Hesitant to get counter struck, MacDonald didn’t move in for the kill, but displayed an abundance of cockiness by shuffling his feet Muhammad Ali style. The third round was filled with clinching, and a very demoralized Penn. MacDonald picked up two 30-26’s and a 30-27 in three rounds. Post fight MacDonald called out Carlos Condit, wanting a rematch for his only career blemish.
Opening up the card on FOX, was a Welterweight battle between two strikers, and Mike Swick took on Matt Brown. The first round was a feeling out process for the two fighters. In the second the grinding Brown caught Swick with a devastating right to score the knockout, but connected with a left for assure his forth straight victory.
Also on the card, 15-year veteran Yves Edwards handed Jeremy Stephens his knockout first ever career loss. Raphael Assuncao stopped Mike Easton’s eight fight win streak with a unanimous decision, and Daron Cruickshank head kick knocked out Henry Martinez. (Full UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz event results below.)
Cage Warriors 50 took place at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday night. In the main event Brandon Hempleman defeated Paul McVeigh via unanimous decision in a three round war. Also on the card, Bellator veteran Wilson Reis submitted Owen Roddy with a rear-naked choke in the third round. (Full Cage Warriors 50 event results below.)
Friday Night Fights –
Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (fight postponed to Dec. 14 after Shamhalaev ruled out due to food poisoning)
Anthony Leone def. Zach Makovsky via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Jessica Eye def. Zoila Gurgel via arm triangle choke submission, Rd. 1 (0:58)
Darrell Horcher def. Chris Liguori via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mike Wessel def. Alexei Kudin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jimmie Rivera def. Jesse Brock via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Terrell Hobbs def. Brylan Van Artsdalen via rear naked choke submission, Rd. 1 (3:07)
Tuan Phan def. Matthew Lozano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Claudio Ledesma def. Bo Harris via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nick Newell def. Eric Reynolds via Submission – Round 1 – claims XFC Lightweight title
Ryan Thomas defeated Corey Hill via Submission Round 1
Stephanie Eggink def. Heather Clark via unanimous decision
Marcus Finch def. Dustin West via TKO – Round 1
Ricky Rainey def. Donny Wallace via TKO – Round 1
Jarrod Card def. Keith Richardson via Submission Round 2
Gerric Hayes def. Jason Blackford via TKO – Round 2
Tommy Roberts def. Josh Phelps via TKO – Round 1
Jorge Medina def. DJ Sidthilaw-Browning via Submission Round 3
Cromwell Stewart def. Zachary Hicks via split decision
Ben Henderson def. Nate Diaz via unanimous decision (50-43, 50-45, 50-45) – to retain UFC lightweight title
Alexander Gustafsson def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Rory MacDonald def. B.J. Penn via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Matt Brown def. Mike Swick via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:31
Yves Edwards def. Jeremy Stephens via knockout (punch and elbows) – Round 1, 1:55
Raphael Assuncao def. Mike Easton via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ramsey Nijem def. Joe Proctor via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Daron Cruickshank def. Henry Martinez via knockout (kick) – Round 2, 2:57
Abel Trujillo def. Marcus LeVesseur via TKO (knees) – Round 2, 3:56
Dennis Siver def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-26)
Scott Jorgensen def. John Albert via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:59
Cage Warriors 50 results:
Brandon Hempleman def. Paul McVeigh via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Wilson Reis def. Owen Roddy by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:32
Alan Johnston def. Aaron Wilkinson via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Scott Askham def. Denniston Sutherland via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Graham Turner def. Nathan Beer via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:30
Dan Hope def. Avi Jack via unanimous (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Alex Enlund def. Ahsan Gilani via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:39
Mark Connor def. Andy Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alex Davidson def. Sean McDonald via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:58