The promotion's first welterweight champion, Lyman Good, battled Russian Michail Tsarev in the headliner, while former Dream champion Marius Zaromskis met another Russian prospect, Andrey Koreshkov, in the second welterweight tournament semifinal match. The back-half of the main card consisted of a pair of feature fights: Brian Rogers vs. Dominique Steel in a middleweight bout and Daniel Straus vs. Alvin Robinson in the featherweight division.
The full Bellator 78 card is listed below and followed by complete results and a collection of accompanying Zombie Prophet gifs.
Bellator 78 Fight Card
Lyman Good defeats Michail Tsarev by TKO (punches), Round 2.
Michail Tsarev is a grappling specialist with a 24-3 record and 19 wins by submission, but that didn't stop Lyman Good from enforcing gorilla-like takedowns and top control throughout the entire opening frame. Good vaulted out of his corner at the sound of the bell, cracked off a 1-2 and nailed a power double. With an exceptionally heavy base and strong posture, Good sandwiched Tsarev against the cage and peppered him with short right hands. Tsarev was forced into a nonstop state of defending as Good only increased his output and power every time the Russian angled for a sweep.
Good opted to hang out on the fringe and trade with Tsarev in the next stanza. Tsarev unreeled a medley of high roundhouse kicks, all of which were blocked by Good. As depicted in the animation above, Tsarev appeared to take an unintentional finger in the eye and tries to motion to the ref. In an awkward moment of indecision, the referee rushed forward as if to intervene but Good beat him to the spot and pounced. Tsarev crumpled a few monstrous uppercuts and right hooks later, and Lyman Good advances to the finals with the 2nd-round TKO.
Andrey Koreshkov defeats Marius Zaromskis by TKO (punches), Round 1.
While the main event was only semi-affected, poor officiating definitely marred a devastating performance by Russian Andrey Koreshkov. Capitalizing on a hefty reach advantage, Koreshkov refused to let Marius Zaromskis find his range by pawing with a long jab to set up his blistering right hand. Koreshkov rose up and flattened Zaromskis with a killer left hook and proceeded to unload on the dazed Lithuanian with ungodly left hands.
Unfortunately, the referee stood idle while a half-limp Zaromskis was assaulted with exactly 11 unhindered punches to the face. Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith was outraged and labeled the officiating "shameful," which is hard to dispute as Zaromskis was far from intelligently defending. Regardless of the blunder, Andrey Koreshkov makes a violent and definitive statement to advance to the welterweight finals, where he'll meet Lyman Good.
Daniel Straus defeats Alvin Robinson by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2
Hot off his upset over Marlon Sandro in May, featherweight Daniel Straus squared off with former UFC lightweight Alvin Robinson. The first round was a high-paced scramble-fest with Straus driving the action with takedowns and Robinson cleverly countering with submission attempts and slick escapes. The back and forth action favored Straus slightly but was a genuine pleasure to watch.
Straus set the tone with more takedowns in the second. Robinson defended well, using the kimura grip to keep Straus at bay and then to create space and stand. Straus slipped behind Robinson when he got his back to his feet and secured the rear waist cinch, then heaved Robinson overhead with a belly to back suplex. Straus quickly got both hooks in and began to alternate his attack between the rear-naked choke and hammering right hands. He kept switching between the strategies until Robinson was late in protecting his neck and forced to tap.
Brian Rogers defeats Dominique Steele by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Heralded first-round finisher Brian Rogers drew Bellator newcomer Dominique Steele in a middleweight bout. Rogers was coming off a tough TKO loss to Andreas Spang in April after he'd controlled the action with his boxing, and showed mature restraint and tighter delivery in his striking against Steele. "The Predator" held his ground and cracked Steele with a crisp and powerful straight right throughout the first ten minutes, shucking off the occasional takedown attempt and slamming home his left hook and knees to the body when he wasn't sailing his right hand through.
Rogers connected on a salvo in the 3rd round that wobbled Steele and dislodged his mouthpiece, but Steele showed admirable valiance in hanging tough and slinging leather right back at Rogers to end the fight. His late courage wasn't enough, as Rogers earned 30-27 scores across the board to snare the unanimous decision.
The preliminary card results and matching gifs can be found below.
Justin McNally defeats Dave Blattman by submission (triangle choke), Round 1
Dominique Steel's pre-fight hygiene (or diet?) routine.
Thanks to Zombie Prophet for providing the stellar giffage. We'll see you next Friday for Bellator 79.