The race for $100,000 begings for 8 fighters tonight as Bellator kicks off this year's lightweight tournament in Shreveport Louisiana at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. The card features the official Bellator debut of "Razor" Rob McCullough when he takes on scrappy Brazilian Patricky Freire. Also in action will be season one runner-up Toby Imada as he was originally set to face Ferrid Kheder but after issues at the weigh-in, Josh Shockley has stepped in to take his place. In addition to the $100,000 the winner of the tournament will earn the opportunity to face the winner of the matchup between current champion and top ranked lightweight Eddie Alvarez when he takes on last season's winner Pat Curran next month at Bellator 39.
BloodyElbow.com will have full results and round-by-round coverage starting with the main card live on MTV2 at 9 p.m. ET.
Duane Finley here with you on the live blog and we are about to get started!
Round 1: Freire lands a sharp 1-2 to start the acdtion and lands another left that rocks McCullough. The fighters get into a firefight against the cage and McCullough lands one but Freire lands several. Freire drops McCullough with a big shot and Freire follows him to the ground and takes his back. McCullough is cut up Freire locks in the body triangle. McCullough survives the choke but is still in big trouble as he controls Freire's wrist. Freire continues to land clean shots from behind but McCullough pulls the quick switch and escapes. At the 10 second mark McCullough dives and lands several shots as the round ends. Freire dominates the first round and Bloody Elbow scores 10-9 Freire.
Round 2: McCullough's face looks smashed up going into the second and Freire lands a right to start the action. Rob lands an outside leg kick and then an inside leg kick. Freire returns the favor with a leg kick of his own and McCullough lands another kick and a right hand. Left hook from Freire and a right cross. Huge right from Razor but Patrikcy keeps coming. Jab/right/legkick combo from McCullough and he looks like he's finding his range. McCullough puts another combination on Freire and with two minutes to go Rob is winning the round. Freire shoots in for the takedown and gets McCullough against the fence and takes Rob down. Rob gives up his back up agianst the fence and Freire looking the steal the round. Rob rolls out beautifully and into top. McCullough landing big hammerfists and punches and finishes the second strong. Rob McCullough battles back to take second round on my card 10-9.
Round 3: Final round and it's one frame apiece. Rob lands a double jab to startr the action and a hard outside legkick. Another double jab combination and finishes with a hard legkick. Another huge unchecked kick and a smashing straight right from McCullough. Rob puts another legkick and a spinning kick from Freire. Rob puts another combo on Freire and a left hook counter. Uppercut from McCullough and a right from Freire. Right hand from McCullough and a left from Freire. Double jab from Rob and a left from McCullough. Straight left from McCullough and a huge right hand counter drops McCullough slumping to the canvas. Referee jumps in and the fight is over.
Patricky "Pitbull" Freire knockouts Rob McCullough late in the Rnd 3.
Round 1: Shockley was an alternate and he lands to punches before clinching up and scoring the takedown. Imada works from his back to get Shockley back to full guard. Imada goes for the armbar and Shockley picks up Imada and slams him down hard. When they hit referee Gary Copeland jumps in and waves off the fight. It looks like Shockley's arm is broken. Cage side update arm is not broken but there is some type of injury to Shockley's arm.
Toby Imada wins via verbal submission (armbar) Rnd 1 1:14.
Carey Varnier vs. Lloyd Woodward
Round 1: Vanier lands a straight punch and they immediately move into the clinch. Woodard shoots a knee and Vanier shoots in for the takedown to no avail. They return to their feet and trade short shots in the clinch against the fence. Vanier with an outside legkick and a push kick that both land. Woodard lands a straight right hand and Vanier shoots in for a takedown that is initially stuffed but after sticking with it lands the takedown. Woodard shows some good scramble as he works out and gets the top. Vanier pushes off and now they return to the center of the cage. Woodard lands another straight right hand and it stung Vanier. Woodard lands two knees in the clinch and Vanier lands a left off the break. The fighters exchange knees in the clinch and once again the action hits the cage. Vanier lands two outside leg kicks and once again he shoots for the double. Woodard stuffs Carey's attempt and muscles him into the cage. Vanier pushes Woodard into the fence and with 30 seconds left its a close round. Vanier shoots a final knee up the middle and Woodard leaps for a left hook and hits the mat as he misses big. It was a close round but Bloody Elbow scored 10-9 for Vanier.
Round 2: The second round opens up with Woodard landing a big left hand that drops Vanier. Woodard pounces and Vanier attempts to scramble for safety. He escapes but Woodard is relentless on his pursuit and he drops Vanier again. Woodard ontop pounding away and at 4:14 the referee steps into stop the action.
Lloyd Woodard pulls off the upset and wins via TKO in Rnd 2.
Mike Chandler vs. Marcin Held
Round 1: Chandler lands a straight punch and Held answers back wit a counterpunch of his own. Chandler scores a powerful takedown and Held locks onto kneebar. It's hard to tell how much trouble Chandler is in but after dropping down he was able to turn out of it. Back to his feet Chandler dives back into Held's guard and begins the ground and pound. Held is doing his best to keep his legs up and make space but Chandler's top control is tough. Held throws his legs up looking for an armbar or triangle but Chandler is just too strong. Chandler in Held's open guard as he continues to move. Chandler lands a sharp right hand from inside the open guard. 1:30 left in the fight and there is bloody flowing butit's hard to tell which one is cut. Chandler moves around to side control and locks on for an arm triangle. Held attempted to make space but Chandler just too strong and the referee steps in to stop the fight with 1:03 left in the fight.
Mike Chandler wins via submission (arm triangle) Rnd 1