Bellator Fighting Championship – Episode 44

Posted: May 15, 2011 by ksteets in MMA, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

We’re live from Ceaser’s in Atlantic City, New Jersey for Bellator Fighting Championship. Tonight is headlined by a middleweight super fight featuring champ Hector Lombard and Falaniko Vitale. Also tonight is the lightweight tournament finale between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Michael Chandler. In a middleweight tournament qualifier match we get Alexander Shlemenko taking on Brett Cooper.

Tonight was also supposed to feature a bantamweight match-up between Bryan Goldsby and Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison but Morrison decided to live up to his nickname and came in at 11.5 lbs over the 135 lb bantamweight cap. 11.5 lbs is two weightclasses over. Good job douchebag. Way to train.

This past week Bellator announced two more signings for their upcoming welterweight tournament. 18-4 Atlanta fighter Douglas Lima and another head instructor for Wand Fight Team, Michael Costa. Like last week’s signing of head jiu-jitsu instructor Vitor Vianna, Costa serves as Wanderlei Silva’s head Muay Thai instructor at his Las Vegas gym.

Now onto our fights. First up tonight is Brett Cooper (13-5) versus Alexander Shlemenko (29-5). Cooper was a quarter finalist is season two’s welterweight tournament. Shlemenko comes in having won Bellator’s season two middleweight tounament. He earned his title fight but lost to current champ Hector Lombard. The first round starts with both fighters swinging and Shlemenko landing a nice spinning back fist. Before we’re even a minute and half in Cooper’s eye is already showing damage. Another shot from the Russian and Cooper is down but Schlemenko does not follow him down and lets Cooper get back up. Schlemenko is a striker and wants to keep this fight standing up. Two spinning back kicks and a spinning back fist has Cooper retreating but he counter’s with a huge right and now Schlemenko is dazed and is cut over his left eye. Shlemnko basically pushes Cooper to the ground and is now striking from his feet. Cooper is able to wrap Schlemnko’s legs and slows him down. Back on their feet Cooper absorbs another spinning back fist and a few more punches are exchanged. We get to the bell with Schlemenko winning 10-9 on my card.

Cooper comes out in the 2nd throwing kicks and chasing Schlemenko back. Before long it’s Schlemnko pushing the action and Cooper retreating. As Schlemenko presses in Cooper nails him with a right a drops him. Cooper tries to take his back and suplex him but is unable to lift him. Cooper keeps his grip and keeps pressing his opponent against the cage, trying for two more suplex’s but neither are successful. Back in the center of the cage Cooper gets another spinning back fist in his face, that has to be the 4th one Schlemenko has landed. The bell for the 2nd round rings with both fighters throwing strikes. Cooper controlled the action for a while against the cage, while he didn’t get much done strike wise in that time, neither did Schlemenko. I give it 10-9 to Cooper.

Much of the same in the 3rd, Schlemenko keeps going to the spinning back fist, why not? Cooper can’t stop it. Cooper is getting his shots in too and tries to shoot in but is unable to complete the takedown. Schlemnko pounces in with vicious knees and Cooper is huddled over and gets a knee to the face. The fighters are separated now and are giving it everything. Great strikes with knees, back fists, upper cuts and kicks. Props to these guys. Great fight. This round the striking was won my Schlemenko 10-9. I scores the fight 29-28 for Schlemenko. I got one judge to agree with me. The other judges gave it to Schlemenko 30-28 and 30-27 and he’s entered into September’s middleweight tournament.

The second fight we get is at 170 lbs and features Giedrius Karavackas (4-1) taking on Sam Oropeza (5-1). Oropeza trains out of Philadelphia Fight Factory with Bellator Champ Eddie Alvarez and sports a nice burgeoning Cheri-fro.  The fight starts with both fighters circling. Oropeza bouncing a bit more and looking for strikes, while Karavackas looks for his opening to get close and use his judo skills. Oropeza keeps launching right leg kicks. Some are landing and some are being blocked. He’s pressing the action even almost landing a knee as Karavackas lunges in. Karavackas get’s Oropeza’s back and scores a brief takedown but the fighter’s are quickly back on their feet and pressed against the cage. With about a minute and a half left, Karavackas is able to throw his oppoenent to the ground but Oropeza is able to wiggle free and gets on top to work some ground and pound to close out the round. We’ll call this 10-9 for Oropeza.

Karavackas starts the 2nd gushing blood from either his nose or mouth or maybe both. We start out slow but soon Karavackas presses forward and has Oropeza pressed against the fence but is unable to do anything and the fighters separate. Karavackas gets a clinch and lands some strikes and knees before tossing Oropeza down. He tries to set up some submissions but Oropeza is able to manuever out but with the fighters back on their feet, Karavackas still has a hold on Oropeza and keeps him pressed to the cage. In the final minute Oropeza bursts out and takes Karavackas down. He ends the 2nd much like the first, striking down on his opponent. Despite his late takedown and offense I don’t think Oropeza was able to outscore his opponent. Giving this round to Karavackas 10-9.

Round 3 starts with Karavackas throwing Oropeza down and hammering down with strikes. He has a side headlock position and is pounding Oropeza’s face.  He locks Oropeza’s right arm between his legs and reigns down left’s. Oropeza’s can’t do much. The strikes are that heavy but constant and unchecked. Karavackas eventually tightens that headlock and starts a shoulder crank. Oropeza can’t do anything but tap. Solid win for Karavackas.

Up next is Hector Lombard (28-2-1) taking on Falaniko Vitale (29-9) in a non-title superfight. Slow start to the first. Both guys be cautious, both making use of their punches and kicks. About half way through we get a time out as Vitale hits Lombard down in his junk with a kick.  When we start back up some strikes are exchanged. Lombard ends up on his knee and Vitale come too close to nailing him with a knee to the head. Between that and the kick to the nuts I’m starting to wonder if he read the rule book. There’s a strong Philadelphia crowd as “boo’s” start reigning in. Neither fighter seems that affected by them and continue to feel each other out for the rest of the round. Lombard seemed a bit more aggressive. He wins the round 10-9.

Nothing new in the second, at some points both fighter’s are just standing still staring at each other. With two minutes left Lombard is able to score a takedown but Vitale stands up quickly. That’s about all that happened this round. Based on that takedown Lombard get’s this round 10-9.

It seems both guys realize they were supposed to be fighting as the first minute of the 3rd features more action than the first two rounds. 54 seconds into the round Lombard nails Vitale with a right hook and Vitale goes down, he tries to get back up but decides it would be better to lay down. Lombard wins at :54 into the 3rd round by KO. Did Lombard just thank Stanley Steamer in his post fight interview?

The lightweight champ, Eddie Alvarez joins the Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock for commentary for our final fight of the night. He’ll be defending his belt against the winner. The lightweight tournament finale features Michael Chandler (7-0) taking on Patricky Freire (9-1). Freire and Chandler are bouncing back and forth, landing a jab here and there. We get another nut shot. This time an errant kick from Chandler nails Freire. Within the last 2 minutes the action picks up a bit. Chandler gets in a sweet push kick and tries for a takedown. Chandler continues to press the action for the rest of the round. Chandler gets the first 10-9.

Chandler keeps it up and gets some good shots in to stun Freire a bit to start the round but Patricky counter and sends Chandler back. Chandler seems to slip a bit and Freire tries for a flying knee but doesn’t connect. Chandler again nails Freire in the nuts, this time with a knee. Freire takes a bit more time to shake this one off. The ref calls in unintentional so no point will be deducted yet. Back in the fight Chandler continues to strike and get out before Freire can counter. Chandler shoots in for a takedown about halfway through but fails to lock it up and the fighters remain on their feet. Freire starts connecting better  but when he goes for a kick, Chandler catches the leg and take Freire down. Some ground and pound from Chandler going with fists and elbows to end the round. Freire is bleeding from his mouth and Chandler’s left eye is jacked up but he takes this round 10-9 too.

Chandler is swinging right out of the gate and nails Freire in the balls again!! The referee has no choice and he deducts a point from Chandler. We start back up Freire is finally pressing forward but Chandler shoots in and eventually gets a big slam. On the ground Chandler stays on top and ties Freire up, keeping him away from the fence. Chandler starts in with some big elbows. Freire gets back up but Chandler remains wrapped around him and takes him down again. This time he reigns down some punches. Chandler did everything to keep this round 9-9 after loosing a point for the low blow. Chandler should win this fight 29-27. The judges agree. Michael Chandler wins the lightweight tournament and will face Eddie Alvarez next season.

We’ll be back next week with the final show of the season when we’ll see Daniel Straus take on Patrico Freire in the featherweight finals and Richard Hale verses Christian M’Pumbu to determine who become the new light heavyweight champion.

  1. frankthetank44 says:

    Cheri-fro! NICE!!!

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