Tonight the Bellator Fighting Championships will offer up its finest card so far this year. Bellator 66 will be going down tonight at 8pm ET in Cleveland, Ohio. Sadly it is largely being buried in the build up to UFC 145: Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans.
This card headline will feature a rematch between two of the best lightweights outside of the UFC. Dream Lightweight champion Shinya Aoki squares off with former Bellator Lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez. Aoki defeated Alavrez with an impressive heel hook the first time the two met and Alavrez has spent years lobbying for a rematch.
The rest of the main card will feature Lightweight and Middleweight tournament semifinals. Thiago Michel will face Brent Weedman in the opening bout of the evening. Olympic Judkoa Rick Hawn will take on the man who upset tournament favorite Patricky Freire, Llyod Woodard in the other Lightweight match.
At Middleweight the hyper-violent Maiquel Falcao will be matched with combat Sambo stand out Vyacheslav Vasilevsky. And in the other Middleweight match native Ohioan and knockout artist Brain Rogers will look to put his heavy hands on Andreas Spang.
Here is the full card for the evening:
Note we will not be doing live results for the preliminary card, but join us here at Bloody Elbow for main card action and discussion.
Lightweight Semifinal: Thiago Michel vs. Brent Weedman
Fighters touch gloves and we under way. Weedman takes center of the cage and is jabbing. Weedman working combos and pushing forward, now throwing leg kicks. Michel seems to be finding his timing, throwing a jab, snap kick. Weedman slips under a punch and clinches up, goes for hiptoss but it is Michel that ends up on top. Weedman trying to stand out of half guard but Michel uses whizzer to stuff it. Weedman tries again and gets a sweep. Weedman passes to side control. Michel locks up inverted triangle and is working for an straight armlock, but Weedman escapes both submissions and is back in side control. Now Weedman is throwing knees to the body and is now working for a D'arce choke, Michel stands and escapes choke. They are back in the center of the cage. Head kick does land for Michel. Weedman keeping his guard high but gets caught with a counter left and now teeps are forcing Weedman back. Hard body kick caught by Weedman, Michel slips out. Another body kick by Michel and Weedman shoots for takedown to end round. Weedman had side control for a bit, but Michel did more meaningful offense on the feet. A narrow round for Michel. 10-9 for Thiago Michel
Fighters back in the center of the cage, Michel is pushing Weedman back. Weedman is working kicks and Michel is looking to counter with hands. Right hand lands for Weedman, outside leg kick and straight left for Michel. Another right hand lands for Weedman, Michel slips on counter kick. Weedman shoots for takedown Michel sprawls and now working a head lock choke. It appears to be a D'arce and Michel has hooked the leg in half guard. Weedman punching the to the body and appears to be ok. Weedman pops out into side control and is landing knees to the body again. Michel is making Weedman work for control, but Weedman is keeping things at side control. Michel rolling into Weedman and Weedman looks for front headiock choke and looses it. Michel in the guard punching. Weedman punching back from the guard, but Michel is landing. Weedman scrambles to knees, looking for double and gets it into side control. More knees to the body. This round is positionally dominated by Weedman. 10-9 for Brent Weedman
Tied fight on my card, this round will decide it. Weedman stalking Michel against the cage, Michel looking to strike to a mouse over Weedman's right eye. Michel throwing jabs at that eye, right hand and body kick answer by Weedman. Head kick by Weedman blocked and Weedman slips, Michel jumps into his guard and punches and then backs out. They are standing again, Michel now working his striking to that swollen eye. Weedman pressing Michel against the cage kneeing to legs and then an outside trip to the mat. Weedman in side control again. Michel escapes to feet and breaks clinch striking. Spinning back kick lands to Weedman's midsection. Weedman pushes forward with jab. Body kick and snap kick by Michel. Both fighters throw lefts, Michel lands and slips Weedman's punch. Michel throwing kicks from the outside now. Timing running out and Weedman's corner calling for takedown. Weedman dives for double leg, switches to single leg, spins under for leg lock. Bell rings, I give Michel the round and the fight. 10-9 for Thiago Michel.
Unofficial Score Card: Thiago Michel over Brent Weedman 29-28
Official Result: Brent Weedman defeats Thiago Michel by Split Decision
Lightweight Semifinal: Rick Hawn vs. Lloyd Woodard
Woodard is pumped up in his corner, he looks ready to go. Fighters clinch almost instantly, ref missed a low blow knee to Hawn's cup. Fighters break apart and Woodard is aggressively stalking Hawn, they clinch and Hawn puts Woodard's back to the cage. Hawn working an underhook and is looking for a takedown. They are struggling in the clinch, Woodard throwing short punches to Hawn's temple. Another low blow by Woodard, ref steps in but was breaking them for stalling not for low blow. Outside leg kick by Hawn, and Hawn is keeping his distance and Woodard is getting wild. Hawn ducks under a strike, gets to the clinch and scores a nice outside leg trip. Woodard bucks and escapes to feet. Chases Hawn down, clinches and attempts to throw but Hawn lands on all four and stands. They clinch, Hawn has him pushed against the cage again. Ref breaks them up again *eye roll*. Hawn looking for another outside trip. Woodard talking in the clinch but little else. 10-9 for Rick Hawn
Woodard comes out aggressive and gets caught by a straight right by Hawn. Woodard drops and Hawn pounces to get the stoppage.
Official Result : Rick Hawn defeats Lloyd Woodard by TKO, :10 of Round 2
Middleweight Semifinal: Maiquel Falcao vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
Here comes some violence folks! Falcao looks stone calm in his corner, it is kind of scary and Jimmy Smith agrees. Vasilevsky pushing forward, Falcao countering with jabs and leg kicks. Vasilevsky lands a right hand and Falcao falls, the Russian dives into the guard. Falcao working for an armbar, now trying to get a triangle. Vasilevsky doesn't seem to be in serious danger and back to guard. The Russian postures to throw strikes, Falcao using the scissor guard to try to stand, doesn't work back to closed guard. Vasilevsky pushes Falcao against the fence. The Russian stands in the guard and trying to strike but Falcao stands. Vasilevsky very quickly gets a trip to side control but is only there a few seconds before Falcao stands again. Now they are clinched against the fence. Another trip attempt by Vasilevsky, Falcao defends but gets caught with another trip. The Russian in guard again pushing the Brazilian against the fence. Falcao doing a great job defending strikes but unable to escape, but the ref does it for him with a stand up with seconds left. Outside leg kick ends the round. 10-9 for Vyachesiav Vailevsky
Vasilevsky jabbing out of the corner but Falcao letting his hands go more, throwing punches and mixing kicks. Nice counter right by Vasilevsky. Falcao has stopped throwing as Vasilevsky is keeping him at range. Falcao is getting frustrated and is lunging for punches. Vasilevsky is just plain out boxing Falcao right now, but mixes it up with a clinch. Nice outside reap takedown by the Russian to side control. Falcao spins to knees and works for double leg. Vasilevsky goes for headlock choke, nothing to it. They break apart and Falcao strikes right out of the break, punches partially blocked. Vasilevsky goes for trip and a blatant fence grab allows Falcao to land on top. Russian has a very loose guard and Falcao is doing some damage from top. Good work from the top here by Falco but not enough to balance out the rest of round. 10-9 for Vyachesiav Vailevsky
Falcao comes out throwing and Vasilevsky seems content to strike with him. Falcao looking to land a left hook over the jab and now a right hand rocks Vasilevsky. The Russian looks wobbled as Falcao is landing punches and knees in the clinch. Vasilevsky looks really shaky, they are in clinch with Falcao driving forward. Vasilevsky seems to be recovering somewhat, but now at range again the Russian looks slower. Straight left counter lands for Falcao, and Vasilevsky slips another left hand and shoots a double leg. Now Falcao is holding on to a loose half guard. Vasilevsky moves to mount, Falcao reverses to half guard. Falcao working the body from half guard. Falcao not looking to pass, odd considering he is down two round. Falcao now working for a choke, but lets it go quickly. Fighters back to the feet and a big knee to the body shudders Vasilevsky. Russian gets a double leg back to guard. The fight ends, Falcao wins the round but looses the fight. 10-9 for Maiquel Falcao
Unofficial Score Card: Vyacheslav Vasilevsky over Maiquel Falcao 29-28
Official Result: Maiquel Falcao defeats Vyacheslav Vasilevsky by Unanimous Decision (29-28)
Middleweight Semifinal: Brian Rogers vs. Andreas Spang
Rogers throwing hicks early. Spang responds with a hard outside leg kick. Spang goes for a spinning back fist, Rogers ducks under. Both fighters throw kicks, Spang gets caught in the cup. Rogers connects with straight left, throws wild right and slips, Spang jumps on the back. Spang tries to lock in a rear naked choke, looks right but Rogers has a little bit of space. Rogers peels the choke loose. Rogers suddenly slams Spang to the mat and gets on top and stand ups. A hard counter right lands for Rogers, Spang is hurt again and covers up as Rogers flurries. Spang survives and slips away to center of cage. Spang trying to play in and out, throwing single shots. Spang knocked down again, goes for leg lock but Rogers escapes. Rogers ends up on back going for choke, doesn't get it. Rogers now on his back playing guard. Spang postures in the guard and lands hard punches, and now works the body as the round ends. Very narrow round for Rogers. 10-9 for Brian Rogers
Rogers comes out swinging and connecting. Spang backs off and they exchange at range. Rogers catches kick and throws two right hands that are blocked. Spang trying to work in and out but is getting hit hard every time he comes in to range. Jab lands on Rogers, and Rogers rips to the body. Spang is starting to fight a home for the counter jab. Spang circling away from that right hand. Upper cut by Rogers hurts Spang, who backs against fence and now Rogers is letting go with his hands. Spang escapes punishment just to get trapped against the cage again. He covers up and escapees but Rogers is stalking. Rogers appears to be slowing down a little, but is still throwing hard. Rogers throws a wild right and sweet counter left hook by Spang catches Rogers clean and drops him. Diving hammer fist ends the fight.
Official Result : Andreas Spang defeats Brian Rogers by TKO, 3:34 in Round 2
Falcao is brought into the cage some pre-fight verbal sparring with Spang, but it turned into real sparring as the two attempted to brawl in the cage. Cornermen separated the two before blows could land. Sometimes these things happen in MMA, I guess.
Super-fight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki
Alavrez jabbing right away and moving in and out. Throwing jab-cross to the body. Alavrez looking very confident on the feet, trying to set up big right hand, working the body right now. Aoki shoots, fails and Alavrez keeps his distance. A counter right by Aoki gives Alvarez pause. Aoki throws a elbow and gets caught with a hard counter, Alavrez flurries and the fight is ended.
Official Result : Eddie Alvarez defeats Shinya Aoki by TKO, 2:14 in Round 1.
Huge win for Alavrez and a crushing loss for Aoki. Thanks for joining me tonight guys, enjoy your night!