As with every major show, Bloody Elbow will be here to bring you live results and commentary from Bellator 59. Our live blog will begin with the start of the MTV2 broadcast (9 p.m. EST) so be sure to make Bloody Elbow your home for this event.
Tonight's event includes the tournament finals in the heavyweight and bantamweight divisions, plus a welterweight tourney qualifier and a lightweight feature fight.
Heavyweights Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos will be battling for a $100,000 check and a title shot against current champ Cole Konrad. Prindle made it to the final with victories over Abe Wagner and Ron Sparks, while Santos earned his place here by defeating first Josh Burns and then Neil Grove.
The bantamweight final is set with Eduardo Dantas facing off against Alexis Vila. Both of these men won their quarterfinal fights with highlight reel knockouts: Dantas with a flying knee against Wilson Reis, and Vila with a solid left that laid Joe Warren out flat. In the semifinals Dantas took a decision over Ed West while Vila carried a spit decision over Marcos Galvao. The winner of this bout will take home the $100,000 check and earn their chance to take the belt away from current champ Zach Makovsky.
In a qualifier for the next featherweight tournament, Marcin Held will be facing Phillipe Nover. This is Held's second fight for Bellator and his first at 145 - he lost in the quarterfinal round of the lightweight tournament to Michael Chandler. Nover, after an unsuccessful stint in the UFC, is making his debut for Bellator tonight.
Finally we have a feature fight between season 4 lightweight tournament finalist Patricky Freire and UFC vet Kurt Pellegrino. Freire lost a decision to Michael Chandler in the final of last season's 155 tourney, leaving Chandler to challenge and ultimately defeat champ Eddie Alvarez. Pellegrino is making his Bellator debut with this fight and, if victorious, will likely secure a spot in the next lightweight tournament.
We'll be live when the action starts at 9 p.m, so join us then!
Round one: We get underway with a flurry from Held, then Nover almost drops him with a good shot but Held recovers quickly. Held misses with a head kick then shoots, and after a good scramble they're back up. Held tries a trip, and goes for a heel hook, Nover is trying one of his own but loses it.. Held goes for a kneebar, then a heel hook again, but Nover gets away. Held comes in for a kick but Nover catches him with a punch. Nover lands a solid body kick. Held moves in to clinch and gets Nover on the cage, trying to get a takedown. Held eats a knee to the body then pulls guard. Nover is landing some ground and pound, then stands up. Held rolls in for a kneebar but loses it. Nover tries an armbar, can't get it, and the round ends. 10-9 Held just for being more aggressive in my book.
Round two: Held gets Nover down quickly but it ends up with Nover in half guard. Held is trying to get up but can't. Nover is landing some elbows and is holding half guard. Held is landing a lot of shots to Nover's head from the bottom. Held tries for an armbar but Nover gets out and stands up. Held lands some upckicks but nothing damaging. Nover lets him up. Held shoots and gets a takedown. Nover goes for a kimura, then lets it go. Nover can't get full mount so he stands, then dives in with a solid punch. Nover landing good ground and pound and the round ends. 10-9 Nover that time.
Round three: Held comes forward immediately and gets a takedown. Held being very active in the ground, finally gets half guard. Held lands a bunch of little punches but Nover is trying to power his way out. Nover spins, and gets on top of Held against the cage. Back on their feet, then Held gets Nover down again and is going for an ankle but Nover gets loose. They're up, Nover lands a left then Held clinches him on the cage. Nover goes for a double and gets Held down. Nover in half guard now, landing shots to the body and legs. Held is trying to turn but Nover keeps him down. End of the fight. I give it to Nover, 2 rounds to 1.
Marcin Held def. Phillipe Nover via split decision ... somehow.
Round one: Vila comes forward immediately and gets a takedown. Dantas tries to turn as Vila tries a couple of submissions, then stands while Dantas throws upkicks. Back on the feet, and Dantas lands a jumping knee. Dantas with a head kick that glances. Vila comes in and clinches Dantas on the cage. Dantas lands some knees from the clinch, then Vila lands a few of his own. Dantas tries to trip Vila but can't. Vila keeps Dantas on the cage but can't get him down. Vila finally gets Dantas down. Dantas rolls and stands up, end of the round. 10-9 Vila for controlling Dantas almost the whole round.
Round two: Vila shoots immediately. He has a single but Dantas is defending the takedown very well. Dantas unloads on Vila until Vila lets go of the leg and backs off. Dantas lands a solid body kick. Vila lands a body shot, then eats a leg kick. Vila comes in with a good combo then goes for a single again. He lets go of the leg and clinches Dantas on the cage, but Dantas spins and moves away. Dantas lands a knee, then a body kick. Vila shoots again. Vila has a single, then Dantas goes for a guillotine. Vila gets loose. Dantas throws a push kick and eats some shots from Vila. Vila goes for a single and Dantas has a guillotine again. Dantas loses the guillotine. Now Dantas has Vila on the cage. They separate. Dantas with a jumping knee, then a right. End of the round. I think Dantas took it 10-9.
Round three: Solid body kick from Dantas, followed by a leg kick. Dantas landed a knee and Vila slips but is back up quickly. Vila dodges a punch then eats a knee. Vila shoots but Dantas takes his back. Trying for the rnc, he has both hooks in but can't sink the choke. Vila trying to spin out but can't get away. Dantas has a body triangle now but so far Vila is defending pretty well. Vila is throwing some backward punches but they're not really doing anything. Dantas still going for the rnc. He's not going to get it... end of the fight. I give it to Dantas 29-28.
Eduardo Dantas def. Alexis Vila via unanimous decision
Round one: Pellegrino comes in swinging early, but Freire lands a right that staggers him. Pellegrino is down, Friere is landing shots, and the ref steps in. Early stoppage... Pellegrino was still in the fight, though it could possibly be argued that it was only a matter of time. Patricky Freire def. Kurt Pellegrino via TKO, :50 of round one
Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos
Round one: Prindle comes forward swinging, and Santos gets a takedown. Santos is landing some nasty shots from half guard. Prindle gets to his feet, but Santos gets him down quickly. Half guard again. Now Santos is landing gnp. He stands, then blatantly kicks Prindle in the crotch while Prindle is down. Time called. Prindle's corner is urging him to take the full 5 minutes. Ok, the fight has been called, Prindle can't continue. And the result is: The fight is ruled a No Contest at 1:41 of round one
Well, Bellator certainly ended season 5 on an interesting note. Wow. Thanks for hanging out, as always I had a blast!