As Bellator lurches into full promotional swing for their upcoming PPV, one question remained to be sorted. Who will be the reigning light heavyweight champion, for which King Mo and Quinton Jackson will be fighting for the opportunity to face. Now we know. Bellator 113 was an action packed night of fights filled with highlight finishes, TKOs, Subs, and back and fourth action. The bulk of the main card saw the opening round of season 10's lightweight tournament, featuring Marcin Held vs. Rodrigo Cavalheiro, and David Rickles vs. Patricky Friere. And of course the whole event was capped off by the light heavyweight title unification bout between champion Attila Vegh and interim champ Emanuel Newton. Check out all the action from the night's fights in GIF form, courtesy of Zombie Prophet.
Light heavyweight title unification bout: Emanuel Newton def. Attila Vegh via Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
What started out as a promising back and forth battle of top light heavyweights, eventually devolved into a bit of a patient point fight. Vegh landed many of the harder, cleaner blows, but couldn't match Newton for volume. The first two rounds were close, but as the fight went on, Vegh slowed and resorted more and more to backing away and circling out. Newton didn't have the footspeed to close the distance consistently and it kept the bout at a low simmer over all.
From the very start, Rickels looked a step behind Friere. It's hard to tell if it's due to a career resurgence of sorts for the larger Pitbull brother (who is now on a two fight win streak) or if this is the result of Rickels depending too much too long on his beard. Most likely the truth lies somewhere in between. Rickels was more than willing to come in trading hard with Pitbull, but Friere seems to have upped his defensive movement and was rarely on the end of punches to be hit. His great head movement and counter striking gave him all the tools he needed in the pocket to return fire over the top of Rickels hooks and eventually put him away.
Herzog demanding a blood sacrifice of Friere.
Lightweight tournament bout: Marcin Held def. Rodrigo Cavalheiro via Sub. (toe hold) at 1:56 of Round 1
For the first minute or so of this fight, Cavalheiro looked capable of delivering the kind of upset win his Muay Thai makes him capable of. Cavalheiro was able to counter Held's takedown attempts well early, landing hard strikes and catching Held well in wild exchanges. Eventually, however, Held drew Cavalheiro into a firefight, and shot a double once the Brazilian started committing to his punches. Once the fight was on the ground it was all Held's world and he made quick work of Cavalheiro chaining ankle locks and toe holds for the eventual tap.
Derek Campos delivered a fairly one sided beating to Tim Welch. After a fairly even first round, Campos started to find Welch's chin with more authority in the second. Eventually he hurt Welch and was able to get a takedown. In the third he was able to take Welch down again and spent most of the round in top position for a dominant decision win.
The narrative of this fight was Girtz's increasingly ineffective wrestling. Early in the fight he was able to take Anderson down several times with his bullish aggression and solid double leg. But he couldn't keep the larger fighter down. As he didn't have much to offer the rangier Anderson in striking, his shots became increasingly predictable. Finally, midway through the second, Anderson timed on perfectly and landed the one shot KO as Girtz moved in for the takedown.
A pretty unenthralling fight in which Giron's consistent pressure and grappling got him the decision nod.
Chalk one up to activity over position. despite spending the majority of the first round on his back, Wisely still earned a 30-27 on at least one judges scorecard due to the busy pace he set, even when on the bottom. The second saw Wisely land some hard leg kicks early, before getting taken down again. Wisely made his way back to his feet in the second half of the round and pot-shotted Bell with relative ease for the remaining two minutes, mixing leg kicks and straight punches effectively.
Early in the third, Bell claimed he got hit by a low blow, but the ref didn't call a pause to the action, and Wisely swarmed him with strikes. Wisely tried to remain elusive throughout the rest of the round, but Bell was able to clip him with one big bomb late and as Wisely turned away from the Bell latched on to back control. Bell didn't get his hooks in though, and Wisely peeled him off and got to his feet. The two traded fairly ineffective blows for the rest of the round.
In the night's first (and much more brutal) mauling, Daniel Gallemore did the sort of things to Frederick Brown that are usually reserved for HBO late night. Brown had some success early with takedowns and was able to rough up Gallemore a bit in the clinch. But, midway through the first he went for an ill advised RNC and gave up top control. Eventuall Gallemore made his way to his feet and when the hooked up in the clinch again he unleashed several kinds of hell on Brown. For whatever reason (perhaps a blood feud) the ref decided that Brown needed to have a near death experience, finally stopping the fight after 10 or 15 more blows than necessary.
Lightweight bout: Bobby Cooper def. Márcio Navarro via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
A pretty one sided performance from Cooper who dominated Navarro's more stagnant, defense heavy standup with his slicker boxing. Cooper did get hit a bit when Navarro finally chose to uncork strikes, however. The fact that two judges gave him a round seems a bit wild as he spent most of the fight eating punches behind his forearm guard.