June 22, 2009

Bellator XII Fight Analysis

Eddie Alvarez vs. Toby Imada (Lightweight Final)
Bellator’s top star shined brightly at the Seminole Hard Rock on June 19. Alvarez’s goal of a Bellator title was realized with a rear naked choke submission at 0:38 of round 2. After a cautious and feeling out process in round 1, Alvarez delivered a crunching right hand that floored Imada in round 2. Eddie then went for the kill, synching in a rear naked choke to end the fight. Alvarez has gotten better with each fight and is one of the best lightweights in the world. He has represented Bellator with dignity and class. He is more than worthy of being lightweight champion. It was a pleasure and honor to watch him win this tournament with these qualities. Congratulations Eddie Alvarez.

Hector Lombard vs. Jared Hess (Middleweight Final)
This fight again showed the awesome and accurate striking power of Lombard. For over three rounds, he pounded on Hess and left him a bloody mess. Hess tried to employ his wrestling skills but Lombard answered that tactic with great sprawling, and Hess could never take him down to neutralize his striking game. The fight was stopped due to doctor stoppage of a cut on Hess at 1:45 of round four.  Lombard could not have been more impressive and showed everyone in the MMA world that he is fighter on the rise in the middleweight division. He displays a relentless tenacity that results in resounding victories. Hess was as game as a fighter can be and should be commended for his true warrior attitude. He never gave up which is why he has a bright future in MMA. Hector was the most dominant fighter in this tournament. Congratulations Hector.

Eric Reynolds vs. Jorge Masvidal (Lightweight)
As expected, Masvidal rebounded from his shocking defeat at the hands of Toby Imada. He got better with each round and ended up with a rear naked choke victory at 3:33 of round 3. Masvidal has learned from his defeat and will be ready to climb back up the ladder of the lightweight rankings. This was a great first step.

Sergio Moraes vs. Josh Martin (Welterweight)
Moraes showed great aggressiveness and tactical know-how in his victory over Martin. He ended up with a triangle choke just 4:21 into the fight. It was just his fourth professional bout, and he showed the dominance and intelligence of a cage veteran. I look for great things to come Sergio’s way.

Rosie Sexton vs. Valerie Coolbaugh (Women’s)
Sexton showed that her Bellator debut was worth waiting for. She showed great MMA skills and finishing off abilities in her victory. She sunk in a beautiful arm bar just 3:40 into the bout. This is the type of fighter that can put women’s MMA on the map. Bellator has show cased some very talented women fighters in this tournament; Sexton looked like the best one.

Bellator can be proud of its first season and all of its champions. The tournament style produced memorable fights and a hunger to see more. Controlling your own destiny in MMA works.It brings integrity and a drive for all the fighters involved.  Bellator has found a nice niche in the MMA world.Congratulations Bellator on a great first season and I hope that there are many more to come.

June 20, 2009

Bellator XII Press Conference

We were able to catch the Bellator XII post-fight press conference with remarks from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, Eddie Alvarez, Hector Lombard, and the other fighters from the evening.

Rebney addressed the media with great excitement over the success of how the final night of the first season on Bellator played out. He congratulated Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard on respectively becoming the Lightweight and Middleweight World Champion and spoke highly of the contributions they have made to the inaugural season of Bellator Fighting Championships.

Eddie Alvarez share his thoughts on hectic fighting schedule, the challenge of tournament-style fighting and the culmination of his journey to winning his first championship belt.  Hector Lombard thanked the Bellator organization and his adopted country of Australia for its suppport in allowing him to fight and compete in a sport that he truly loves.

June 19, 2009

Eddie Alvarez vs. Toby Imada

Round 1

Imada scores first with a knee.  Alvarez chases with lunging punches but misses.  Attempted knee caught by Alvarez, as he clinches and forces Imada into the cage wall.  Alvarez lands a couple of body shots, countered by knee from Imada.  The fighters scramble to the mat, but bring the fight back to its feet.  Alvarez backs Imada into the cage wall as the fighters clinch again.  Imada gains double overhooks and lands a hip toss that takes Alvarez to the mat.  Alvarez scrambles quickly and gets back to his feet.  The fighters are in the clinch again along the wall.  Right cross landed by Alvarez as he breaks the clinch.  Imada lands a kick to the body, countered by a stiff left jab from Alvarez.  Both fighters continue to miss their mark.  The fighters clinch again along the cage wall.  Imada slips around with a duck under, but the bell rings to end the round.

Alvarez is the aggressor and gets the round.

Round 2

The round opens with a right cross from Alvarez that floors Imada.  Alvarez pounces to top mount and lands a flurry of punches.  Imada scrambles to defend the barrage and moves to his base.  Alvarez takes his back, goes for the rear naked choke and gets it. Imada has to top out. The crowd goes crazy as the fan favorite gets the belt. Alvarez is worthy of  being the Bellator Lightweight Champion!!

Official Result

Alvarez by rear naked choke submission at 5:38.


Jared Hess vs. Hector Lombard

Round 1

The bell sound and the clash for the Middleweight Championship is on.  The fighters come out cautiously and feel each other out.  The fighters clinch and Lombard gets a takedown along the cage wall.  Hess has a strong guard and kicks Lombard off , getting to his feet.  Hess lands a sharp leg kick.  The fighters clinch and Hess gets the advantage along the cage wall.  Right knee lands in the clinch by Lombard.  Hess breaks the clinch and follows with a double leg tackle.  Lombard sprawls and defends nicely.  Stiff left followed by a glancing right by Lombard.  Hess follows back with a leg kick.  Another leg kick landed by Hess.  Lombard seeks a clinch and Hess fends it off with a left jab.  Lombard connects on a left jab and right cross combo, dropping Hess to a knee, but he pops back up and lands a couple of left jabs.  Hess seeks the underhooks, Lombard breaks and lands a rocking combination.  Hess clinches to avoid further damage.  Lombard breaks the clinch and Hess is sporting a large mouse under the left eye, closing his eye half shut.  The bell sounds for the round.

Lombard wins the rounds in solid fashion.

Round 2

Lombard opens the round landing a stiff left.  Hess goes for the takedown, but Lombard overpowers him and they are back to their feet.  The referee stops the action after Hess is poked in the right eye as Hess’ left eye is closing tighter.   Another takedown attempt by Hess that Lombard defends with a sprawl.   Lombard peppers Hess with a combination.  Another takedown attempt by Hess fended off.  Hess goes for another takedown and Lombard catches in him mid-stride and takes him to his back.   Lombard is in top mount and Hess solid guard.  Lombard breaks the guard with an elbow shot.  Hess pulls Lombard back into guard and the referee stands them up.    Right kick to the midsection by Hess.  Stiff left by Lombard.  Hess goes underneath to counter the punches by Lombard as the round comes to an end.

Another solid round goes to Lombard.

Round 3

The fighters square off with Hess needing a big move to end it.  Hess attempts another takedown and is unable to get the leg.  Lombard grabs a clinch and slams Hess to the mat.  Lombard is in top mount and is attempting to posture up, but Hess once again defends well.   Hess has a nasty cut over the right eye that is spilling blood all over the mat, as Lombard begins to land punches.  Hess defends well as ref calls time to bring in the fight doctor to look at the cut.   The doctor reviews the cut and lets Hess continue.  Hess goes for a clinch takedown that Lombard breaks.  Hess is right side of his face is unrecognizable as it is covered in blood.  The ref calls time again for the fight doctor to review.  The doctor reviews and once again lets Hess continue.  The fighters clinch and Lombard pushed Hess into the cage, lifts and takes him down.  Lombard postures up and lands a barrage of punches to the head.  Lombard takes side mount, grabs a headlock and peppers away.  Hess scrambles out and Lombard takes a front headlock, landing shots to the ribs.  Hess escapes, the fighters scramble and Lombard is back on top.  The bell sounds to end the fight.

Lombard is up 3 round to zero.

Round 4

The fighters start off the round entering uncharted territory that will test their cardio.  Straight right by Lombard that rattles Hess and sends him underneath.  Lombard overpowers Hess and sends Hess to his back and gains top mount.  Lombard lands a series of rights to the head as the ref calls time for the doctor to check the cut.  The fight doctor stops the fight due to the cut and Lombard is the new Middleweight Champion.

Official Results

Lombard by doctor stoppage TKO at 16:45


Fabio Mello vs. Sami Aziz

Round 1

Mello opens the round with a left hook that floors Aziz.  Mello takes top mount and delivers a series of blows to the ribs.  Aziz defends by applying scissors as Mello attempts to posture up.  Mello lands another series of rights to the ribs.  Mello moves back into top mount and lands more blows to the ribs.  Mello postures up, breaks Aziz’ guard and unleashes a flurry of blows.  The referee is closing in on the action for a potential stoppage, but Aziz scrambles to save himself.  Mello takes a front headlock and goes for the guillotine choke.  Aziz reverses the action and postures over top of Mello, landing a series of blows to the head as the round comes to the end.

Mello takes the round solidly

Round 2

Mello lands a left leg kick to lead of the round that takes Aziz to one knee.  Aziz pops back up quickly.  Another leg kick by Mello that stumbles Aziz again.  Mello lands a glancing knee and Aziz maneuvers Mello into a clinch into the cage wall.  Straight leg kick to the stomach by Mello.  The fighters scramble into a clinch along the cage wall.  They break the clinch and move to the middle.  Aziz lands a glancing right followed by a shot to the stomach.  Aziz lands a jumping right knee to end the round.

Aziz takes a close round that could go either way.

Round 3

Mello shoots quickly to open up the round, moving the fight to the cage wall.  Aziz fends him off and grabs a front headlock.  Aziz spins, takes side mount ,and lands a couple of blows to the ribs.  Aziz moves to top mount and is looking to posture up.  Mello secures a  arm bar as Aziz attempts to posture up. Aziz taps out quickly.

Official Result

Mello by arm bar submission at 11:58.


Eric Reynolds vs. Jorge Masvidal

Round 1

Masvidal leads it off with a stiff jab.  Reynold's left kick to body caught by Masvidal.  Overhand right missed by Reynolds.  The fighters scramble and Masvidal gets the takedown.  Masvidal quickly postures but lands nothing as Reynolds gets to his feet.  Reynolds lands a solid right cross and Masvidal lands another stiff jab.  Both fighters appear to want to keep this on their feet.  Wild right missed by Reynolds.  The fighters are measuring each other up but cannot find the mark.  Masvidal lands a combination of left jabs.  Reynolds taunts Masvidal, calling on him to engage as the bell sounds.

An uneventful round goes to Masvidal due to the more accurate strikes.

Round 2

A glancing right by Reynolds leads off the round.  Masividal gets a takedown along the cage wall and unleashes a flurry as he goes for the kill.  Reynolds scrambles from the barrage and gets to his feet.  Masvidal takes him down quickly again, gains top mount and lands a nice combination of punches to the chin of Reynolds.  Masvidal postures, attempts a Superman punch but misses the mark.  Reynolds scrambles and Masvidal unleashes a flurry of punches again.  Reynolds works back to his feet and Masvidal lands a knee to face followed by a right cross that floors Reynolds.  Masvidal takes full mount and goes for a choke unsuccessfully.  Masvidal lands another flurry of shots but Reynolds scrambles to the cage wall to survive.  Masvidal lands a series of rights along the cage wall clinging for life as the bell sounds.

Dominating round for Masvidal

Round 3

A series of glancing and wild punches by Reynolds as he presses the action on Masvidal.  Wild overhand right missed by Masvidal.  Another takedown by Masvidal as he takes side mount on Reynolds.  Masvidal appears to be a little gassed and is looking to run out the clock, taking no chances.  Masvidal moves to full mount and lands a few blows to the head and ribs.  Reynolds works off his back and Masvidal takes rear mount.  Masvidal lands a couple of hammerfist while looking for the rear naked choke.   Masvidal cinches it in as Reynolds taps out.  A solid comeback win for Masvidal after his stunning submission loss to Imada.

Official Result

Masvidal by rear naked choke submission at 13:33.


Josh Martin vs. Sergio Moraes

Round 1

The first round begins with a spinning roundhouse kick by Moraes missing, but then drops for a single leg takedown.  Moraes gets takedown but Martin scrambles quickly back to his feet.   Moreas attempts a spinning back fist that fails to connect.  Moraes pulls in a single leg and Martin connects on a knee to the head to defend.   Moraes brings Martin to the mat and is posturing up but Martin gets leg scissors that defends it.  Moraes takes full mount and begins landing punches to the head of Martin.  Moraeis drops some nice scoring punches but nothing powerful is being landed.  Moreas spins off the full mount, duping Martin to sit up and quickly lays in a triangle choke.  A sweet tactical submission by Moreas.

Official Result

Moreas by triangle choke submission at  4:21.


Rosie Sexton vs. Valerie Coolbaugh

Round 1

The action starts with a glancing right by Coolbaugh.  The fighters clinch and back into the cage wall.  Sexton gets a trip takedown along the cage wall.   Sexton postures up and lands a couple of left to the head.  Sexton goes back into side mount.  Coolbaugh attempts to scramble as Sexton takes top mount and lands a flurry of punches to the head.  Coolbaugh defends off the cage wall moving back to her base and Sexton takes back mount.  Sexton attempts rear naked choke but is unable to cinch it in.  Coolbaugh scrambles and reverses to a top mount, but Sexton scrambles to side control.  Coolbaugh moves to her base again as Sexton takes back mount.  Sexton is trying to flatten out Coolbaugh to go for the naked choke, but quickly spins her around and lands a tight arm bar.  Coolbaugh taps out.

Official Result

Sexton by arm bar submission at 3:40 


Luis Palomino vs. Troy Gerhart

Round 1

The fight starts with an exchange by the fighters, followed by a leg kick by Palomino.  Gerhart dive tackles for the takedown, but Palomino sprawls effectively to defend.  Gerhart lands a glancing left and goes underneath for the takedown.  Palomino works his way out from underneath and escapes to his feet.  Gerhart lands quickly with a sharp, snapping leg kick.  Palomino starts his usual dance and the fans let out a boo.  Palomino lands a right leg kick as Gerhart counters immediately with a right cross.   Palomino attempts a swinging jump, but misses.  Gerhart takes advantage of Palomino’s miss and lands a deep single leg for the takedown.  Gerhart gets full mount but Palomino has full guard.  The referee brings them back to their feet.  Palomino lunges with a right that glances Gerhart and sends Palomino off balance. Gerhart takes advantage with another takedown as the round comes to an end

Round to Gerhart as he initiates the action

Round 2

The fighters feel each other out as Palomino is auditioning for “So You Think You Can Dance”.  Gerhart initiates the action with another takedown and gets top mount.  Palomino once again get full guard nullifying Gerhart.  The referee brings them back to their feet.  A fan contingent begins to chant for Gerhart.  Leg kick by Palomino lands sharply.  Wild roundhouse kick misses by Palomino sending him off balance again and Gerhart scrambles for the takedown.  Gerhart is in top mount, pulls off to posture, but Palomino pulls him back into his guard.  Gerhart lands a couple of soft lefts to the head as the round comes to an end.

Another round for Gerhart for being the aggressor and initiating the action

Round 3

Palomino lands a leg kick to start the round as Gerhart counters with a left.  Palomino continues with his listless inaction and calls out Gerhart to bring it on.   Palomino again misses with a roundhouse kick and Gerhart takes the off-balance Palomino down again.   Palomino scrambles to escape.  A wild left by Gerhart misses, the fighters scrambles as Gerhart gets underneath, lifts and slams Palomino to the canvas.  Gerhart has side mount and is delivering knees to the side.  Palomino scrambles to escape, lands an unexpected right to the head of Gerhart.  The punch stuns Gerhart and Palomino attacks.  Gerhart dive tackles to save himself.  Palomino lands five unanswered punches to the ribs and Gerhart scrambles.  Palmino clamps a triangle choke pulling Gerhart half over but Gerhart fends it off and breaks the hold.  The fighters scramble with Gerhart getting top mounts as the round comes to an end.

Palomino solidly wins the round, but it appears too little too late.

Official Result

Palomino by unanimous decision of 29-28 on all judges cards.


Stefanie Guimaraes vs. Yvonne Reis

Round 1

Our evening’s first matchup features a battle of the ages with 44 year-old Yvonne Reis taking on 19 year-old Stefanie Guimaraes.  The fighters feel each with out for a moment, and Guimaraes scores first with a kick to the ribs of Reis.  The fighters exchange wildly with neither connecting.  Guimaraes grabs a clinch around the head and lands a right knee blow to the chin that floors Reis.  The referee steps in to protect an unconscious Reis.  Knockout in under a minute!!! What a great start to tonight's fights!

Official Result

Guimaraes by TKO at :49


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