Bellator 81 goes live tonight and you can watch the entire card right here on Bloody Elbow. The finalists will be determined in the Lightweight Tournament as Rich Clementi meets Marcin Held and Ricardo Tirloni draws Dave Jansen in semifinal action. Rounding out the main card is an intriguing featherweight bout that pits Nova Uniao slugger Marlon Sandro against recent TUF entry Dustin Neace and a middleweight scrap between Jonas Billstein and Perry Filkins.
The live video stream is embedded below. Live play-by-play will start with the main card at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Bellator 81 -- Main Card
Lightweight Feature Fight: Paul Barrow vs. Matt Bessette
Middleweight Feature Fight: Sam McCoy vs. Brennan Ward
Catchweight Feature Fight (210): Matt Uhde vs. Mike Mucitelli
Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Lamoureux vs. Dan Cramer
Lightweight Feature Fight: Andrew Calandrelli vs. Eric Brown
Catchweight Feature Fight (165): Murad Machaev vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson
Hi! Dallas here. The main card of Bellator 81 is about to go off. The round by round action will follow below in reverse chronological order.
Rich Clementi vs. Marcin Held -- lightweight semifinal bout
R1: Clementi draws first blood with an overhand left and a body kick. They tie up and Held immediately rolls into a kneebar. Held looks to switch more towards a heel hook and then switches to the figure four ankle lock. Clementi rolls into a neutral position and they're both in counter leg lock position and playing footsies. Clementi wisely grabs Held's wrist and pulls himself up with it, but Held drops back for a leg again; this time for the inverted heel hook.
Clementi breaks free but Held merely transitions to yet another leg lock. Held is wrenching a kneebar but he's way too low on the leg. Clementi escapes and goes for a guillotine but Held defends and assumes top position. Half spider guard by Clementi, who can't angle for the armbar. 10-9 Held for initiating submissions and chaining his attempts together.
R2: Clementi gets risky with a set of waist-level left hands but Held can't counter and is taken down. "No Love" climbs to a high half guard and pins Held's right arm to pass to side control. No -- he's still in half guard but working a Gable grip guillotine from the top. Unsurprisingly, Held spins for a leg lock. It's a low percentage tactic but it does get him out of the choke. Scratch that; reverse it. Held is able to isolate Clementi's leg and goes right back to the figure four ankle lock, and gets it this time. Impressive performance by Held, who was a killer in transitions.
- Marcin Held defeats Rich Clementi by submission (toe hold), Round 2.
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Dave Jansen -- lightweight semifinal bout
R1: Tirloni comes out berserker style, winging big hooks and throwing a flying knee. Jansen weathers the storm and touches Tirloni's chin with a stiff punch that wobbles him. Tirloni recovers well and is back sticking counter punches a few seconds later. Both are swinging for the fences here. Jansen with a lunging 1-2. Tirloni stays in the pocket and counters with a beefy set of left and right hooks.
Jansen's low kick lands hard and he keeps the pressure on with a jab and overhand right. Another overhand right from Jansen. Tirloni's high kick is blocked and he's backed up with more punches and another inside low kick from Jansen. Tirloni has his head kick blocked but plants an explosion of short punches to Jansen's face. Tirloni's eye is swelling from the overhand right and Jansen's eye is bleeding from the recent barrage. Tirloni wings a few high kicks and Jansen times his takedown perfectly between the attempts. He spins around to the rear waistlock and hits a belly-to-back suplex, then another after Tirloni stands back up. 10-9 Jansen for the higher volume of effective strikes, though by a narrow margin.
R2: The mutual head-hunting continues in the 2nd. Tirloni finds the mark with his counter left. They both connect on an exchange in the center. Tirloni seems to be going on the attack more with Jansen assuming the counter-punching role. Low kick to Jansen's upper thigh. Right hand and left hook connect for Jansen.
Now a right hand over Tirloni's jab hits home for Jansen, but Tirloni answers with a left punch and kick. Jansen grabs the leg on the kick but can't turn it into a takedown. Left and right hooks land again for Tirloni. Jansen drops levels but Tirloni easily stuffs it. Tirloni rips the body with a lead left hook. A 3rd telegraphed takedown from Jansen may indicate some fatigue, as Tirloni is clearly dictating the 2nd round exchanges. Jansen gets plugged hard with a right hand but slips a long jab through. 10-9 Tirloni.
R3: Jansen opens the last frame with a high kick and left hand. Tirloni bangs a series of knees to the midsection on a brief clinch exchange. Monster right uppercut by Tirloni, who's keying on the way Jansen drops his head in the pocket. Left hook, right hook combo is money for Tirloni again. Tirloni's weeping left hook blasts through Jansen's guard. Now a left hook from Tirloni, who's got Jansen's timing down.
Double left jabs from Tirloni. Jansen with an ugly takedown attempt that Tirloni brushes off with crisp counter-fire. Jansen charges with a double and can't transition to the single leg. Tirloni dabbing him up with left jabs and hooks. Jansen sneaks in an uppercut and jab. Another Tirloni left hand before staving off a takedown attempt. Left and right hook medley lands for Tirloni, who shoots but backs off from Jansen's guillotine attempt. Jansen clinches and once again slips behind to the waist lock and hits a suplex. 10-9 Tirloni in a definitive round for a 29-28 nod his way on my card.
- One judge has it 29-28 for Tirloni, the other two see it the same for Dave Jansen, who defeats Ricardo Tirloni by split decision.
Marlon Sandro vs. Dustin Neace -- featherweight bout
R1: Sandro pulls back on his overhand right and a left roundhouse kick, but commits to the next overhand when Neace is cornered. Neace ties up and falls back for a guillotine that Sandro patiently defends. Neace smoothly transitions to a heel hook; he's too low and below the knee but still torques it. Sandro spins out and leeches onto Neace, taking his back in a flash. He sinks in the mata leao and Neace goes limp a few seconds later.
- Marlon Sandro defeats Dustin Neace by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1.
R1. Filkins cracks off a nice combo right off the bat. Billstein swings a low kick that's partially checked. Filkins popping a nice 1-2-3 counter as Billstein attacks and landing the hook nicely. Billstein isn't digging the stand up and initiates a clinch and they stalemate a moment in the 50/50 position. Dominant head position by Billstein, who sandwiches Filkins on the cage but doesn't do much with it.
Filkins circles off the fence and they separate. Another quick counter left hook lands for Filkins, then another. Billstein connects on a moderate body kick but chews on another Filkins left. Now Filkins starts leading and backs Billstein up with a flurry, then clips him with a 1-2 on the follow up. Billstein clinches up again but gets ripped with a pair of body shots. Billstein drops levels and Filkins reverses with an underhook to end the round on top. 10-9 Filkins.
R2: Billstein opens up with a stiff right hand. Filkins tries a slow head kick that Billstein easily blocks. Filkins looks to have lost some mustard on his punches and has slowed in output. Billstein comes in unscathed and lands a 3-punch combo on the flat-footed Filkins. An accidental eye poke to Filkins results in a brief pause. One exchange later and the same occurs for Billstein, who shakes off the unintentional eye poke and restarts right away.
Filkins closes off his punches with a sharp roundhouse kick to the upper thigh that digs in deep. Now Filkins is back to blazing the cannons; he lands a left hook and then wheels out a crisp high kick that's mostly blocked. Billstein answers with a stiff 1-2-3 of his own and stuffs a Filkins takedown attempt. Billstein ducks under the next set of punches and nails a power double before the bell. Filkins didn't come on until the 1:30 mark and Billstein landed a higher volume of punches: 10-9 Billstein.
R3: Filkins doubles up left hands. Billstein shoots but with no set up and Filkins counters with a body lock to stay afoot. Knees to the thigh from Filkins, who then tries an outside trip. Now we have a 3rd timeout for a spearing knee to Billstein's cup. He walks it off and they're back it. Filkins is a killer with his left hand: he stings with a jab, goes downstairs with it twice and comes back up with another.
Billstein drills a long front kick through Filkins guard that lands cleanly, causing Filkins to over-react with fist pumping and wolf-like howling before he attacks with a medley of heaters. Billstein shoots a sloppy double that Filkins again counters with underhooks. Billstein goes after an arm but Filkins scrambles free and they restart on the feet. A weary Billstein half-asses a takedown and just falls onto his back when Filkins defends, and Filkins pounces with heavy shots, moves into the full mount and hammers down a vicious barrage of forearms to close the frame. 10-9 Filkins for striking and grappling domination, giving Filkins a 29-27 nod on my score card.
- The judges have it 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Perry Filkins, who defeats Jordan Billstein by unanimous decision.
Preliminary Card Results
- Andrew Calandrelli defeats Eric Brown by submission (spinning armbar), Round 2
- Dan Cramer defeats Joseph Lamoreaux by KO (punches), Round 1
- Murad Machaev defeats Lorawn-T Nelson by unanimous decision
- Mike Mucitelli defeats Matt Uhde by submission (armbar), Round 1
- Brennan Ward defeats Sam McCoy by KO (punches), Round 1
- Matt Bessette defeats Paul Barrow by unanimous decision