Bellator 89 was main evented by the big teammate vs. teammate Bantamweight title fight between Eduardo Dantas and Marcos Galvao. And it was the young champion Dantas who walked away victorious, making his first successful defense of his Bellator crown. The two men were closely matched, but it was the superior speed and striking technique of Dantas that made the difference as he was finally able to KO his mentor in round 2.
Post fight, Dantas was very emotional and clearly unhappy about having needed to knock Galvao out. Sadly, while Dantas looked to make amends post-fight, Galvao and his corner wanted nothing to do with it, treating Dantas like an enemy, not a friend. It was a truly emotional ending to an otherwise thrilling fight.
The other main point of the show was the Middleweight tournament, which featured some explosive action. Brian Rogers and Dan Cramer turned in one of the best fights of Bellator's season - a wild fight and gutsy showing from both men. Meanwhile, former WEC champion Doug Marshall opened the show with another big KO. Good tournament fights overall to close out the season 8 quarterfinal rounds.
Get all the results from Bellator 89, with gifs from Zombie Prophet, are below.
Eduardo Dantas defeats Marcos Galvao by KO (uppercut) round 2 3:01
Dan Cramer defeats Brian Rogers by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
Great show of heart and grit here from both men in an excellent fight. This was a tough, brutal fight start to finish, with both men giving their all. The first two rounds were close, but by round 3, things looked more firmly in Cramer's control, as Rogers did not seem to have much left. Still, he kept trying, bringing some high drama to the final minutes with a late rally on the feet. But ultimately, Cramer was able to better control the fight on the mat and in the clinch. Rogers may have gotten a slight advantage in the striking battle, but it wasn't quite enough to earn him the win. Great stuff here, well worth a watch if you missed it. Cramer advances to the semifinals with the win.
Brett Cooper defeats Norman Paraisy by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Totally one sided fight here as Paraisy was simply dominated by the veteran. Cooper wore Paraisy down all fight, controlling virtually every aspect of the fight by utilizing both striking and wrestling. Outside of a few successful striking exchanges in round 1, Paraisy just could not get anything together. Cooper nearly finished him early in round 2 with strikes, but Paraisy survived, leaving the last 9 minutes to be mostly a grinding Cooper wrestling game. It wasn't a bell to bell thrilling fight, but it was another solid performance from Cooper, though I still don't love the technique in his striking game. He now moves on to the semifinals to face Dan Cramer.
Doug Marshall defeats Andreas Spang by KO (punch) round 1 3:03
Doug Marshall showed once again that he is a fighter you can never count out. For the second time in Bellator, he showed off his one punch KO power, catching Spang with a right hand that put his lights out. Marshall added an extra cool factor with the walk away KO before Big Dan got in there to stop the fight. I don't know just how far this Middleweight run can take Marshall, but for now, I'm impressed. He'll now take on Sultan Aliev in a Middleweight tournament semifinal next.
Next week for Bellator is a full show with Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev in last season's delayed Featherweight final, King Mo and both Light Heavyweight semifinals, plus Lima vs. Baker in the first Welterweight semifinal.
Preliminary Card Results:
Mike Maldonado defeats Tim Goodwin by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
Johnny Buck defeats by Chris Mierzwiak unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Joseph Pacheco defeats Kyle Bolt by KO (elbows) round 2 4:02
Sultan Aliev defeats Mikkel Parlo by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Aaron Johnson defeats Brennan Ward by submission (armbar) round 1 0:15
David Mejia defeats Mont McMullens by KO (punches) round 1 4:15