It's Friday night, so you know the drill: Bloody Elbow will feature live results and play by play for tonight's Bellator 116 event from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
The big boys share the spotlight as Heavyweight Tournament semifinal bouts punctuate the Spike TV broadcast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET. Lavar Johnson brawls with savvy Bulgarian and Sambo specialist Blagoi Ivanov in the main event while "Mighty Mo" squares off with recently unseated heavyweight champ Alexander Volkov. Savvy wrestle-strikers Adam McDonough and Nathan Coy battle in a Welterweight Tournament semifinal and Joey Beltran clashes with Vladimir Matyushenko in a light-heavyweight feature fight.
The preliminary card, which will stream live and free on Bloody Elbow, includes some gems as well. Old-school Judoka Karo Parisyan draws last season's welterweight surprise Ron Keslar, former TUF'er/UFC'er Rob Emerson meets Joe Taimanglo and Joe Pacheco fights Brandon Halsey in a Middleweight Tournament semifinal. The full lineup is listed below.
Bellator 116 Main Card (Spike TV at 9:00 p.m. ET)
R1: Ivanov times his clinch entry on Johnson's punch and puts him on the fence with underhooks, doggedly pursuing a single leg and eventually getting it. Ivanov drops back for a straight foot lock and then switches to a heel hook but Johnson sits up and clobbers him with right hands, persuading him to bail on it. They stand and Johnson pushes Ivanov on the cage but his head is too low and deep, allowing Ivanov to muscle him down from the front headlock.
Ivanov snakes his arms in for a guillotine and Johnson hoists him up with a high crotch takedown and slams him to the canvas. Ivanov stays with the guillotine and Johnson passes to mount, causing Ivanov to release the hold and they separate. They clinch and Ivanov drives Johnson into the fence and tags him with a hard shot. Head and arm hip throw from Ivanov, who lands in scarf hold position and traps the arm with his legs. With Johnson's right arm trapped, Ivanov attacks the far-side arm with a kimura and Johnson is forced to tap.
- Blagoi Ivanov defeats Lavar Johnson by submission (kimura), Round 1
Joey Beltran vs. Vladimir Matyushenko -- Light-Heavyweight feature fight
R1: Heavy right hand draws first blood for Matyushenko. Hard outside low kick from Matyushenko. They trade kicks. Matyushenko throwing everything with bad intentions, and he's the busier fighter. Right hand/left roundhouse kick from Beltran. Three-piece combo from Matyushenko and he steps back with a front kick. Beltran anticipates Matyushenko's takedown well and fends it off. Beltran catches Matyushenko on the temple with a wide right hook. A hefty left/right combo from Matyushenko is answered with a straight one-two from Beltran. Stiff jab from Beltran snaps Matyushenko's head back, and he follows it with a sharp right, gaining some rhythm. 10-10 for equally effective striking volume.
R2: Beltran goes downstairs with a right. Matyushenko fakes a takedown and comes high with punches. Beltran goes under Matyushenko's overhand with another right to the ribs. Matyushenko wades forward with a four-punch combo that backs Beltran up. Beltran loosens a fast combo with both hands, his speed starting to show. Left body kick from Beltran. Both fighters heaving leather at a steady pace, but Matyushenko is breathing heavy and Beltran's output is increasing. Matyushenko backpedaling more often, and doing so with his hands down. Beltran pours it on in the last 30 seconds and clearly takes the round. 10-9 Beltran.
R3: Beltran comes out busy, mixing lefts, rights, straights and hooks, and throwing them upstairs and down. Beltran touching up Matyushenko with his jab frequently and drowning him with his frenetic pace and pressure. More jabs and rights to the body from Beltran. Matyushenko still throwing but he's flat footed and there's not much on his punches. Snapping right hand from Beltran lands, and Matyushenko shoots a desperation takedown and falls onto his back -- Beltran moves into north-south position and taps "The Janitor" with a north-south choke.
- Joey Beltran defeats Vladimir Matyushenko by submission (north-south choke), Round 3
Ricky Rainy vs. Andy Murad
R1: Rainy capitalizes on his reach with some long stingers early. In sequence while trying to close distance, Murad gets tied up in the Thai plum and barely avoids a knee, eats a stiff one-two, gets a slicing high kick bounced off his forehead and wilts under the devastating burst of follow-up punches.
- Ricky Rainy defeats Andy Murad by TKO (punches and high kick), Round 1
R1: McDonough starts with a hard left over the top. Coy knifes in and nails a takedown, transitioning to McDonough's back and settling for the rear waist lock when he stands back up. Coy wrests McDonough back down but he's back up quickly and free. McDonough again connects with a left hook and Coy changes levels, securing a takedown.
McDonough is back up and Coy lands a straight left. Inside low kick and straight left from Coy. McDonough times a quick uppercut as Coy is shooting and it dazes Coy badly. McDonough swarms and lands unhindered ground strikes while Coy barely meets the definition of effective defense. Coy stands back up on rubbery legs but shoots a takedown, belying his wounded appearance. Coy persists and gets McDonough half down. 10-8 McDonough.
R2: Coy gets dinged with a stiff jab early and he's back on roller-skates. McDonough stays composed while head-hunting, sighting in another high left hook that lands square and ends Coy's night.
- Adam McDonough defeats Nathan Coy by KO (left hook), Round 2
Siala-Mou "Mighty Mo" Siliga vs. Alexander Volkov -- Heavyweight Tournament semifinals
R1: Volkov snaps off a front kick and Mighty Mo catches it and goes after a single, driving Volkov back into the fence. Mo changes angles beautifully and gets Volkov down with the single, but the lanky Russian is back up quickly and widening his base while holding the whizzer. Big John McCarthy steps in just after the three-minute mark.
Volkov assails with a steady barrage of sharp front kicks, lands a knee to the body when Mighty Mo tries to catch another, then breaks free with two punches and a lightning-fast left high kick, the latter of which completely pulls the curtains for Mighty Mo.
- Alexander Volkov defeats Mighty Mo by KO (left high kick), Round 1
Preliminary Card Results
- Brandon Halsey defeats Joe Pacheco by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Karo Parisyan defeats Ron Keslar by TKO (punches), Round 2
- Rob Emerson defeats Joe Taimanglo by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x 2)
- Ricky Rainey defeats Andy Murad by TKO (punches), Round 1
- defeats Travis Clark by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1
- Rodney Wallace defeats Carlos Eduardo by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x 2)