As with every major show, Bloody Elbow will be here to bring you live results and commentary for Bellator 54. Our live blog will start with the beginning of the MTV2 broadcast (9 p.m. ET) so be sure to make Bloody Elbow your home for this event.
Tonight's card features the semifinal fights in the middleweight tournament: Bryan Baker vs. Vitor Vianna and Brian Rogers vs. Alexander Shlemenko. The eventual winner of this tournament will take home $100,000 and earn a fight with champ Hector Lombard for the middleweight belt. Also on the card tonight, we'll see current bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky in a non-title super fight with Ryan Roberts, and a feature fight between Rene Nazare and Jacob Kirwan. This will be Kirwan's Bellator debut. Roberts and Nazare, however, have fought for the promotion previously, and Nazare will likely be taking part in the next lightweight tournament.
Round one: Nazare opens with some nasty leg kicks and is being way more aggressive with his striking. Kirwan shoots, but Nazare sprawls. Kirwan manages a trip and gets Nazare down. Nazare sweeps him. Kirwan can't do much with Nazare on him, but Nazare isn't doing much while he's there. Nazare in half guard. Kirwan gets full guard, and still Nazare isn't doing much but holding him down. Now we see some body shots from Nazare. Now the ref stands them up. Nazare again being the aggressor on the feet. He throws a body kick that Kirwan catches, and gets Nazare down again. Kirwan is cut and bleeding, and attempts to isolate an arm but can't. End of the round. I score it 10-9 Nazare.
Round two: Nazare lands a couple of good shots, Kirwan throws a couple of his own before shooting again. He gets the takedown pretty easily. Kirwan in half guard, and is keeping Nazare from doing much. But he's not doing doing much himself at this point. He flirts with trying to get an arm but gives up. Kirwan lands a couple of shots, but is mainly concerned with keeping Nazare helpless. The ref finally stands it up. Nazare lands some leg kicks, then Kirwan shoots again and is back in half guard. Kirwan lands a few punches, then Nazare stands up... only to shoot and get Kirwan down. Kirwan is holding full guard and tries to get Nazare in a guillotine. Nazare gets out of it. End of the round. Gotta give that one to Kirwan, 10-9.
Round three: Kirwan waits for almost 30 seconds before shooting. He ends up with Nazare holding half guard and working for a guillotine, but he lets it go. Kirwan is actually trying to do more damage from the top this time, lots of head and body shots. Nazare isn't able to do much but try to tie Kirwan up and get the standup. Kirwan moves to side control for a little bit, then back to half guard. Kirwan lands some decent elbows to Nazare's head. Nazare needs to really pull something out or he's lost this one. Now Nazare is landing some elbows from the bottom. He manages to spin to his feet... and shoots immediately. That's the fight. I have to score that one 29-28 for Kirwan.
Jacob Kirwan def. Rene Nazare via unanimous decision
Zach Makovsky vs. Ryan Roberts
Round one: Roberts lands a leg kick, Makovsky catches it and gets him down. Makovsky moves easily to side control, then briefly north/south. Roberts catches Makovsky in a head scissors and is holding him there. They stand up, and Makovsky lands a leg kick. He comes in and lands one punch, then backs off. Roberts throws a kick but Makovsky moves away. Makovsky lands a combo, then a leg kick. He moves in and Roberts catches him with a right. Makovsky catches Roberts with a left and looks like he staggered Roberts a bit. Another good shot from the champ. Roberts throws a kick, Makovsky catches it and gets the takedown. He moves quickly to side control, then north/south again. Makovsky locks in a north/south choke, and Roberts taps. Zach Makovsky def. Ryan Roberts via submission (north/south choke) at 4:48 of round one
Round one: Baker comes out swinging, and Vianna is just kind of backing up and only throwing a couple of punches. Baker rushes in and catches a right from Vianna that puts him down. Vianna comes in with hammerfists and the ref stops it. Vitor Vianna def. Bryan Baker via TKO at :54 of round one
Brian Rogers vs. Alexander Shlemenko
Round one: Shlemenko lands a body kick, Rogers misses a leg kick. Shlemenko comes in with a flurry and catches Rogers. Now Rogers has Shlemenko against the cage, then they break. Shlemenko lands a spinning back kick, then Rogers comes in and eats a shot in order to land a couple. Rogers lands a good combo, and Shlemenko gets in a body kick. Rogers lands a right that rocks Alex a little bit. Rogers comes in to clinch Shlemenko on the cage. Rogers throws Alex and ends up in closed guard. Shlemenko gets to his feet. Rogers lands several punches, Shlemenko gets him with a knee. Rogers might just be landing the more accurate strikes here. End of the round, I dunno. Looked to me like Rogers edged Alex in the striking game. 10-9 Rogers but I could almost see a 10-10.
Round two: Shlemenko coming forward a little more this time. He throws a spinning back fist, but Rogers ducks and gets a takedown. They stand up and Rogers lands some nasty body shots. Another spinning back fist from Shlemenko, he follows it up with some solid punches and knees. Rogers is in trouble. Rogers ducks another spinning back fist and lands a good shot but Shlemenko comes forward and is landing knees to the head over and over. The ref stops it! Alexander Shlemenko def. Brian Rogers via TKO, 2:30 of round two
So the middleweight final is going to be Vitor Vianna vs. Alexander Shlemenko. And whoever wins that fight will go up against Hector Lombard for the belt. Ought to be a great fight!
Thanks for being here, guys. As always, it was a blast!