Bellator 101 took place tonight from Portland, Oregon, featuring a Bantamweight Tournament semifinal between Joe Warren and Nick Kirk and all four quarterfinal matches for this season's Lightweight Tournament. Our digital messiah Zombie Prophet is on vacation so we're unable to provide animated gifs for these results.
Joe Warren defeats Nick Kirk by submission (reverse triangle armbar), Round 2
The self-touted "World's Baddest Man" unveiled some new facets of his game in a solid showing against Nick Kirk. Warren showed some angles and in-and-out motion on the feet early, and was more fluid in his striking. His first takedown attempt, however, was somewhat telegraphed and Kirk tossed it aside easily and continued to sit down on heavy combinations to counter Warren's pressure. Kirk was landing slightly cleaner on the feet after he settled in but Warren dumped him with a double leg and finished the round throwing punches.
Warren immediately jumped on another double leg to start the second round and passed from half guard to side control, then trapped Kirk's arm in the crucifix position. Kirk exploded out and -- quite uncharacteristically -- Warren anticipated the counter and snatched up an armbar while securing a reverse triangle with his legs to finish with a reverse triangle armbar.
"Tiger" Sarnavskiy embodies the young lion against old bull Marcus Davis in the most dominant performance of the tournament. The lanky Sarnavskiy uncorked a noodley right hand that floored Davis early, then pounced, passed to back mount, cinched in the body triangle and punched his way into a rear-naked choke.
This fight was much closer than the final score reflects and, even as a stanch supporter of 10-8 rounds, the 30-26 tally here was a head-scratcher. Clementi was busy on the feet and used his quickness, angles and footwork to pressure Tirloni, but the Brazilian's left hook and noticeable power advantage was the story of this encounter. Clementi sustained a nasty cut over his right eye in the opening moments that I attributed to an accidental clash of heads. Every round of this fight was close and Clementi might have even landed the higher volume in the first two stanzas, but Tirloni's punching heft was responsible for most of the memorable moments.
Brooks, a wrestler by trade, imposed his physicality and athleticism as usual, but his fierce control was nicely supplemented by sharp low kicks, a front-leg side kick, leaping knees and a noticeable enhancement of Jiu-Jitsu technique on the mat. Alessio, a crafty and battle-hardened vet who attracts dominant wrestlers for some unknown reason, was impressively game, as expected. But this was a case of Brooks being too big, strong, explosive and diverse for Alessio. "Ill Will" had opened a cut over one eye and bashed open the other with a pair of nasty knees in the final stanza.
Saad Awad defeats Martin Stapleton by submission (modified rear-naked choke), Round 1
Chapter 2 of Awad's violence began tonight. Last year's underdog and surprise tournament finalist continued his penchant for 1st-round stoppages by tagging Stapleton with a big punch early and then, after being taken down, relying on his ground venom to finish. Awad reversed position, hopped over Stapleton's butterfly guard to take full mount, then took his back on the scramble and secured a rear-naked choke, adding a nasty torque to the choke to coax the tapout.
Preliminary Card Results