For a card that lost its headliner at the weigh-ins, Bellator 62 turned out to be an extremely entertaining and action-packed MMA event. The headliner was lost when Thiago Santos missed weight for his season 5 heavyweight tournament final bout against Eric Prindle and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney declared the tournament over. Prindle will get to challenge Bellator heavyweight champ Cole Konrad in the "next couple of months" per Rebney.
As is so often the case in MMA, when the big men disappoint, the little guys come through. The quarterfinals of Bellator's season six lightweight tournament delivered everything an MMA fan could want: a brutal KO, two sick submissions and a knock-down, drag out brawl that went to a decision.
Former welterweight and Team USA Olympic Judoka Rick Hawn scored the big KO when he finished Ricardo Tirloni in the first round of their bout. Tirloni, the #2 LW in this year's BE Scouting Report, came out aggressive with a flying knee attempt and seemed to be holding his own in the clinch with Hawn early. Once Hawn connected with a right hand to the chin it was all over quickly however. Hawn followed the dropped Brazilian to the mat and finished him quickly with some nasty ground and pound. Hawn is looking like the tournament favorite at this point.
Brent Weedman, another emigrant from Bellator's welterweight class, found fighting at 155lbs to his liking last night against Thailand-trained prospect J.J. Ambrose. Weedman dropped Ambrose quickly with punches -- surprising everyone watching since Ambrose was the fighter with the Muay Thai credentials. Ambrose survived the early scare and threatened with a couple of arm triangle attempts from the front headlock position. The third time Ambrose hung on to a choke attempt too long, Weedman was able to counter with the unorthodox Von Flue choke for the finish.
The rest of the tournament bouts and complete results after the jump.
Patricky "Pitbull" Freire, a finalist in last season's tournament, came into his bout against Lloyd Woodard as the favorite, but someone forgot to tell Woodard as he showed no signs of being intimidated. Freire and Woodard put on a barn-burner of a first round, exchanging knock downs and take downs without an iota of letup throughout the frame. In the second Woodard caught Freire with a knee, followed him down and slapped on a kimura that left the slow-to-tap Freire lying on the canvass with a visibly dislocated elbow.
In the remaining tournament bout, #1 ranked Bloody Elbow Scouting Report 2012 lightweight Thiago Michel and fellow Brazilian Rene Nazare fought a back-and-forth bout that saw Michel get the edge on the feet and Nazare dominate the take downs and ground fighting. Neither man got a huge edge and after Michel coasted through the third round he was lucky to advance with a split-decision win.
The LW tourny will continue at Bellator 66 on April 20th. Hawn will meet Woodard and Weedman will get his chance to derail Michel's hype train.
Lightweight Quarterfinal Results: