Last night in Ontario, Canada, Bellator put on another exciting card of mixed martial arts action. As usual, all eyes are pointed to the UFC’s event on Saturday and as usual, Bellator quietly go about the business of convincing fans that they are worth a watch.
Chandler Retires Akihiro Gono
I wrote earlier in the week that this card represented the good and bad side of Bellator’s tournament format. This match up represented the ugly side, an impressive champion against an underwhelming opponent in a non-title bout.
As expected, Chandler won the bout with some ease. He landed one brilliant right hand to drop Gono and swarmed on him to finish the fight with ground and pound within the first minute. Pride and UFC veteran Akihiro Gono announced his retirement after the fight.
Brian Baker Decisions Ben Saunders
Ben Saunders has a great guard. Unfortunately in MMA, people who are comfortable in their guards often get squashed by strong wrestlers who can hold them in position and avoid submission attempts.
In the first round of this fight, it was Saunders who took the fight to the ground, pulling Baker into a triangle attempt. Saunders spent the round on the bottom, throwing up another wonderful triangle and attempting to transition to an armbar, then an omaplata.
By the second round, Baker managed to take control and get on top of Saunders, while avoiding submission attempts and causing damage. Baker managed the same in the third to win an impressive decision against a dangerous opponent and moves on to the Bellator welterweight tournament final.
Heavyweights Go To Decision
Damien Grabowski defeated Dave Huckaba by unanimous decision in a pretty odd match. Grabowski looked to take down Huckaba, where his superior grappling acumen would give him the disinct advantage. Throughout the fight he had mixed success and much of the fight was spent standing.
On the feet Grabowski attacked with wild, sloppy punches, while Huckaba attacked with big, sharp punches. Despite appearing to hurt Grabowski with those punches, and despite being obviously behind in the score cards, Huckaba continued to land one shot and back away. This bizarrely casual approach cost him the fight.
Ryan Ford Makes Incredible Come Back
Luis Santos is an incredibly experienced and dangerous mixed martial artist. This fight represented a big step up in competition for home town favourite Ryan Ford. As Santos spent the first round picking Ford apart and hurting him badly with a high kick, it seemed that Santos would quickly demolish Ford in the second. In the end, Ford managed to clear the cobwebs and land some solid knees from the clinch to finish Santos and complete a brilliant turn around.
Cosmo Alexandre defeats LorawntT Nelson by UD.
William Romero defeats Matt Veal by TKO in round 2.
David Harris defeats Nick Kirk by UD.
Dom O’Grady defeats Nathan Gunn by submission in round 2.
Nordine Taleb defeats Matt MacGrath by TKO in round 2.