As with every major show, Bloody Elbow will be here to bring you live results and commentary for Bellator 44: Lombard vs. Vitale. Our live blog will start with the beginning of the MTV2 broadcast (9 p.m. ET) so be sure to make Bloody Elbow your home for this event.
I will be posting live play-by-play and results here as well as at my usual home, Gals Guide to MMA.
Tonight we will see the lightweight tournament final between Patricky Freire and Michael Chandler, a super fight featurning middleweight champ Hector Lombard and MMA vet Falaniko Vitale, and two season five tournament qualifiers: Alexander Shlemenko taking on Brett Cooper at middleweight and Bryan Goldsby facing Anthony Morrison at bantamweight. The winner of Freire/Chandler will go on to face lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez for the title.
UPDATE: Looks like Morrison vs. Goldsby is off. Morrison failed to make weight. And by failed I mean didn't even come close - he was 11.5 lbs over. The fight has since been canceled.
We're live, so let's get started!
Round 1 - Cooper looks intense before they get started. Shlemenko looks serious. Cooper comes out throwing several kicks, Shlemenko catches one and trips him. Cooper is right back up though. Shlemenko lands one of his spinning back fists, and clinches up for a minute and lands several punches. Cooper's eye is messed up. Cooper throws another kick, Shlemenko catches it again and drops him. Shlemenko connects with a spinning back kick to the body. Cooper is landing leg kicks. Another spinning back kick, and a spinning back fist that rocks Cooper. Cooper comes back with a good shot to Shlemenko's face, now his eye is swollen. Shlemenko gets a takedown but Cooper tries to take Shlemenko down. He can't quite do it, though. Another exchange, then the round is over. I give it to Shlemenko 10-9.
Round 2 - Cooper shoots, can't get the TD and eats some shots for his trouble. Cooper is moving forward more, but he's taking a lot of damage in the process. Cooper will land a kick or a punch, and Shlemenko responds with combos. Cooper drops Shlemenko with a right, Shlemenko gets up and Cooper gets his back trying to take him down. Cooper is holding him on the cage, landing knees. Cooper tries a suplex but has no luck with it. He's still got hold of Shlemenko though. Again tries a suplex and can't get it. Shlemenko is just waiting for the standup. Now Shlemenko spins and is on top, he backs up to let Cooper stand. Shlemenko lands another spinning back fist. He tries another, Cooper ducks and shoots but once again can't quite get the takedown. The round ends with Shlemenko getting free and a quick exchange of shots. Close round, I'd have to say Cooper 10-9.
Round 3 - Shlemenko with another spinning back fist, and kick. He has some nice combos and is now making Cooper back up. Cooper it throwing some lazy kicks and punches. Shlemenko with yet another spinning back fist, and another. Cooper is looking tired. He shoots, can't get the takedown. Now Cooper is turning up his striking a bit. Shlemenko lands a fantastic right, then a spinning back fist again. Shlemenko with a knee that rocks Cooper, then another. Shlemenko connects again with the spinning back fist. Cooper is trying to rally but isn't hitting as hard. Most of his shots have nothing behind them, but he's definitely taking a lot of punishment. I'm amazed he's on his feet. The round ends with some heavy shots traded, both fighters are bloodied. Great fight, that round I give to Shlemenko 10-9, and the fight to him 29-28.
Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper via unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-28, 29-28.
Round 1 - Oropeza opens with some body kicks, Karavackas answers with a flurry of punches and follows with a good kick. Oropeza is throwing several head kicks that don't connect. Oropeza lands a head kick, then unloads a combo that backs Karavackas up to the cage. Karavackas ends up hanging on to Oropeza's back but can't get him down for a good while. When he does, Oropeza is right back up. He finally gets Oropeza down and has his back, then Oropeza spins and ends up in Karavackas' guard. Oropeza lands some nasty ground and pound as the round ends. I give it to Oropeza 10-9 just for doing more actual damage.
Round 2 - Karavackas is backing up and looking hesitant this round. He's bleeding from the nose pretty badly. He finally comes forward, connecting with several punches and getting Oropeza clinched on the cage. Karavackas lands a couple of knees before they separate. Oropeza lands a loud leg kick, then a body kick. Karavackas clinches up and lands about 4 good knees, then trips Oropeza and gets the takedown. Oropeza finally gets up, only to be pushed into the cage again. He gets enough space to land a good left, then he gets Karavackas down and lands several hard punches/elbows as the round ends. That one was really close, I think I might have to score it 10-10...
Round 3 - Karavackas comes forward and gets a takedown immediately. Oropeza can't get up, now Karavackas is in side control and landing really good ground and pound. Now he's working a submission and is punching Oropeza's face and head at will. Oropeza is just trapped there eating shots an trying to work his way out. Finally Karavackas cranks the arm and gets the tap. Giedruis Karavackas def. Sam Oropeza via submission, 3:59 of round 3.
Round 1 - Lombard lands a good body kick early. He throws a couple of his nasty rights, but they miss. He throws again, Vitale clinches him and lands a knee before they separate. Vitale is doing a good job of staying away from Lombard's hands. Vitale throws a kick that catches Lombard in the groin. Owie. And back to the action. Lombard manages to land a good right, and Vitale is attempting kicks but can't connect. Both fighters are holding off until the end of the round, drawing some boos from the crowd. Round ends. I score it 10-9 Lombard, I think he was being more aggressive.
Round 2 - Lombard has decided to fight now, and runs Vitale back to the cage with punches. He clinches and lands a knee. Vitale is hesitating to come in on Lombard, who lands a punch/hook kick combo that sounds painful. Lombard lands some body kicks, and Vitale comes in with a couple of punches that connect. He lands another right, then Lombard takes him down. He stands back up pretty quickly. Lombard so far is out-striking Vitale, just landing a lot more. That's the round. I give it to Lombard again, 10-9.
Round 3 - Vitale comes forward aggressively to start the round. Now we have a really good exchange, but Lombard lands a perfect right and Vitale is out! Hector Lombard def. Falaniko Vitale via KO, 0:54 of round 3.
Round 1 - Chandler opens up just a bit more aggressively, but Freire is answering back punch for punch. Neither fighter has an advantage so far. And Chandler lands an inadvertent groin kick, Patricky is walking it off. Back to the action. Chandler clinches up then lets go. Chandler finally shoots but Freire gets away. Chandler goes for a couple of shots, and backs Freire up, but misses. End of the round. Not sure, I think Freire landed just a little bit better. 10-9 Patricky.
Round 2 - Chandler lands a good shot to Freire, and Freire comes back hard. Chandler comes forward with a crazy flying kick that just misses. They clinch and Chandler gets Freire with a really bad knee to the groin. Freire just crumbles. And we're back. Freire comes back in throwing kicks but they don't really connect. He lands a nice uppercut and follows up with a kick. Chandler shoots, Freire escapes. They're trading pretty evenly now. Both fighters bleeding from the nose now. Freire lands several lefts in a row, then throws a kick that Chandler catches and gets a takedown. He lands one good elbow. He manages a couple more shots before the round ends. Have to give that one to Chandler, 10-9.
Round 3 - Chandler manages another groin shot to start the round, and that one looked BAD. Surely the ref will take a point - yep, he does. Ok, finally back to the fight. Now both guys are trading some great punches, then Chandler shoots again. Patricky stays up but Chandler keeps trying. He picks Freire up and slams him, ending up on top. Chandler picks him up again and moves him away from the cage. Now Chandler lands some nasty elbows. Freire is trying to get up again, lands some elbows of his own. Freire gets up with Chandler still trying to get him down. He picks Freire up again and slams him. Now he lands some nice ground and pound. And even more gnp. And the fight is over. That round was Chandler 10-9 to me, but he lost a point early on. I guess we'll see...
Michael Chandler def. Patricky Freire by unanimous decision, 29-27.