Friday night fights have come and gone with a big end of the season card from Bellator which saw Alexander Shlemenko put his title on the line against Doug Marshall, Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Will Brooks, and Rick Hawn vs. Ron Keslar. With appearances from Blagoi Ivanov, Terry Etim, and Goti Yamaguchi. There was plenty of good action with some exciting knockouts, a couple of strong submission finishes and soem all out wars. Check out all the action and the highlight gifs via our own Zombie Prophet.
This was a decent fight, Haas and Caslow traded one and two punch combinations from the outside for most of the first round, with Caslow landing with a bit more regularity and pop. The second started the same way, but midway through the round Caslow got a takedown and worked some decent ground-and-pound and top control. He went for a Peruvian necktie late in the the round, but lost the submission right before the bell. In the third Caslow really started to push the action and after a bit of clinching on the fence created a little space and caught Haas with a hard right hand. He locked up the guillotine soon after to end the fight.
Primus came out throwing fast one-two combinations at Glass early, who was holding his chin a bit high. After a bit of inconsequential exchanging Primus shot in and took Glass down. Glass looked pretty lost on bottom, gave up mount, rolled and gave up back mount and got choked out.
Much hyped prospect Bubba Jenkins returned after his first career loss. He looked way more powerful than Rammel early, but ducked into a hard kick going for a shot. Rammel went for a takedown, got stuffed and spent a lot of time on the bottom. After a stand up Jenkins shot in and took him down again. The second saw Jenkins once again out-grapple Rammel for most of the round. In the third he hurt Rammel early with strikes and Rammel went for another sloppy takedown. Jenkins jumped on top of him and was eventually able to pour on the strikes from top control for the win.
Potential illegal knee right before the end:
Yamauchi came out like a house on fire and just started winging hooks at Almeida who seemed totally overwhelmed by the onslaught. Eventually Yamauchi caught him with several hard shots and put him away.
Bell came out aggressively trying to pop in and out of range with hard strikes, he caught Ivanov watching him early and stunned him a bit. Ivanov backed into the cage and Bell charged in with a flying knee that sent Ivanov crashing to the canvas. Ivanov was able to regain his composure but seemed tentative, he eventually got Bell into the clinch where he was able to drag him to the canvas and take his back for the rear naked choke finish.
Lightweight Bout: Mike Bannon def. Ahsan Abdulla via Technical Sub (arm-triangle choke) at 1:51 of Round 1
Bannon started the round with some crisp boxing. He was able to box his way into the clinch where he got the takedown. On the ground he was able to secure the mount where he locked up the arm triangle and move to side control. Abdulla gave the thumbs up that he was fine and then passed out a few seconds later.
Lightweight Bout: Terry Etim def. Patrick Cenoble via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)
Etim shot for the takedown immediately to start the round and chained together a nice double, single, to trip string to get it. He kept clinging top control for a good minute before standing for some ground and pound. After a bit of scrambling Etim regained back control and rode out the round looking for the submission. After some tentative striking early in the second Etim shot under a wild uppercut from Cenoble and took him down. After a standup Etim was able to control the fight at range. Etim had another largely controlling round in the third and though he ended up on bottom to end the fight he maintained strong grappling control for the win.
Brooks shot in for an early takedown which got stuffed. After the failed takedown he and Sarnavskiy spent a lot of time exchanging at range with Sarnavskiy landing the harder shots. Eventually Brooks shot again, got stuffed and the fighter clinched against the fence. After a solid 30 seconds of clinching the Brooks finally got the double and took Sarnavskiy down. Sarnavskiy got back to his feet and the fighters traded hard knees in the clinch. Brooks got another takedown and finished the round in top control. Brooks pressed for the takedown at the start of round 2 and secured it. He spent the remainder of the round landing consistent shots from top control. Brooks got another takedown early in round three and spent the round landing brutal shots to Sarnavskiy who had blood pouring into his eyes from cuts. Brooks tried for a RNC late, but couldn't get it.
Welterweight Tournament Finale: Rick Hawn def. Ron Keslar via KO (punches) at 0:55 of Round 3
Keslar caught Hawn early with a couple of early hooks pressing the standup. He landed a hard knee to the body as Hawn backed up and Hawn folded up. Keslar stood over him to keep him on the ground and landed a few more hard shots, but couldn't create the consistent offense. Hawn made it back to his feet and started finding his range. Hawn and Keslar traded in and out at range for a couple minutes until Keslar found the clinch and landed a few hard knees along the cage to end the round. They continued to circle at range in the second with Hawn finding better timing on his jab and keeping Keslar at bay. Hawn popped Keslar a bit at range, moved in with his right hand behind Keslar's head and threw a gaggle of short upprecuts in the clinch that badly rocked Keslar. Hawn followed up with a couple hooks, and a similar series of left uppercuts. Keslar circled out into a big right hook which put him down and ended the fight.
Shlemenko started tentatively and shot for an instant takedown, Marshall shook his head and sprung back to his feet. They traded a few lunging strikes from the outside and Shlemenko dived in for another takedown, which Marshall stuffed. After a few wild strikes from both fighters Shlemenko lunged in and caught a double leg takdown, but Marshall exploded quickly back to his feet. Marshall threw a low blow, but no break in the action and Shlemenko hit him with a couple hard kicks and knees to the body. A lot of single strikes traded. Marshall tried to unload a series of right hooks and Shlemenko hit him hard to the liver with a hook and Marshall doubled over. Several more hooks to the body and Marshall was done.
That's all from a big night of fights for Bellator that saw Alexander Shlemenko set the record for MW title defenses and two new tournament champions crowned. That's also the Bellator season finale, but be sure to stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for MMA news, updates, fight announcements and pre & post fight breakdowns.
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