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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
APRIL 13, 2012
LIVE FROM ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
-I suppose it's fitting that I've been watching some Boardwalk Empire today, as tonight's Bellator card is coming live from Caesars in Atlantic City (though I doubt we're going to see any gun-toting bootleggers on the broadcast tonight).
-Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock welcome fans to the broadcast and break down the fights scheduled for tonight's card, then recapping what happened last week to kick off the bantamweight tournament. The quarterfinals continue tonight.
FIGHT ONE: ED WEST VS. MARCOS GALVAO (BANTAMWEIGHT QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: West took to the outside as Galvao came out to the center. West landed a nice two-kick combination, but Galvao shot in and slammed West. West grabbed for a guillotine on the way down but had to let it go. West worked to the fence and stood, but Galvao stayed on him, then tripped him up again and took his back. West got to his feet, and forced Galvao to release as he was off balance. Galvao landed a solid leg kick. Galvao got in a nice right. West threw a high kick but got dropped with a huge right hand. West survived and closed his guard as Galvao came in to follow up. Galvao stood and ate an upkick but completed the pass. Galvao attempted to set up a choke but couldn't get it. He stood, West got up, but ate a knee for doing so. Galvao went for a trip again, but West stayed upright that time. West finally got separation from the clinch. Galvao blocked a coupled of high kicks. He caught a kick but West got his foot free. West landed a good body kick. Galvao grabbed a clinch. West turned him around and landed a nice punch. Galvao then connected on a flurry as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Galvao. West has some success in the striking game, but was way behind in grappling and ate a number of big strikes himself.
ROUND TWO: Galvao missed a couple of early winging punched, then connected on a left. West got in a right. Galvao much slower than the first round. West landed a couple of kicks, but then Galvao shot in and secured the takedown. Again West grabbed a guillotine, but Galvao stayed patient and broke free. West got to his feet with the headlock still on, but Galvao got out, scored a trip, but then both popped back up. West landed a few body punches and foot stomps. Galvao landed a couple good knees to the body. West missed a spinning back fist. Galvao grazed him with a few short strikes. Galvao landed a nice jumping knee, but West grabbed a clinch and turned him around on the cage. West went for the takedown, but couldn't move Galvao. West separated with a few strikes. Galvao landed a leg kick. West landed a few short kicks and ate another right hand. West continued throwing kicks that were blocked. He missed a big counter punch. Galvao landed a leg kick. West pressed in and they traded kicks to the end of the round.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Galvao. West wasn't connecting on much, and got taken down again. Galvao slowed considerably, but did enough to edge the round.
ROUND THREE: West landed a head kick early. He connected on another short flurry. Galvao shot in again. West went for a guillotine, but Galvao again defended it. He scored the trip takedown. West went for his left arm, and Galvao landed some body strikes to break free. West went for an armbar, but Galvao stoop up and passed to half guard. He completed the pass nicely to side control. Galvao landed a couple of really nice knees to the body. West regained guard nicely himself. Good ground battle. West kicked Galvao out, but Galvao took his back. West was standing, though, and Galvao released. West landed a hard knee to the body. He landed a knee on the break. Galvao landed two hard rights. He grabbed a leg and dropped West with a punch and got into his guard. Galvao postured up with some ground and pound and kept position as West tried to fight him off. West kicked him off again and Galvao stayed on him. He tripped him with a body lock but West got up. Galvao landed a good knee to the body. They traded strikes in the clinch. Galvao went for the trip but West held it off. The crowd chanted for Galvao. They separated. West landed a body kick. They traded strikes at the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Galvao. Much better round for Galvao than the second. Good fight, too. West stayed in there, there were some really nice ground exchanges, but Galvao was just that much better tonight.
WINNER: Galvao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**+) That was an entertaining fight. West wasn't close on his guillotine attempts, and Galvao wasn't really in a position to finish, but the ground battle was good, and they each had some nice strikes in the fight as well. Good start to the broadcast.
FIGHT TWO: ALEXIS VILA VS. LUIS NOGUEIRA (BANTAMWEIGHT QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: Vila threw a hard kick up high, but it was blocked. Nogueira styed patient on the outside early. He finally jumped in with a knee, but missed. Nogueira lended an inside leg kick. Vila ducked under a punch and grabbed a single leg, but was held off. Very tentative beginning from both, with very little action through two minutes.Vila landed a left, but Nogueira countered with a short combo. Vila had a left blocked, and Nogueira missed the counter. Nogueira pressed in with a short combo and got Vila to back up. Vila then connected on a nice left. Nogueira held off another brief takedown attempt. Vila landed a left as Nogueira connected on a body kick. Vila landed a straight left. He connected on a leg kick. Nogueira landed a nice takedown and took Vila's back as Vila overshot with a punch. Vila worked his way up, but Nogueira stayed on him, landed a couple of knees to his thigh and picked him up for a takedown at the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Nogueira. The final minute shifted things in his favor. There wasn't much through the first four, but that takedown and position advantage at the end is going to give it to him.
ROUND TWO: Nogueira started the second round off a little quicker, but didn't really engage. Another tentative start here. Vila popped in with a left, but didn't follow up. Nogueira threw a few punches but they weren't getting through. Vila missed two wild, lopping punches. Vila shot in and scored a brief takedown. Nogueira got right back up and they traded strikes. Nogueira caught a kick from Vila but then let it go. Vila landed two nice strikes and shot in. He almost had Nogueira down, but Nogueira got up. Vila stayed on him, though, and completed the takedown at the cage. Nogueira eventually worked up again and broke free. They traded strikes and Nogueira pressed in. Nogueira threw a flurry and backed Vila up. Vila went for a takedown, but Nogueira went for a quick heel hook and stood back up. Vila slipped and grabbed a single leg. Nogueira held him off and finished the round in a stalemate.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. Neither really established themselves in that round. Vila got his takedown, but did nothing with it. Nogueira pressed the action in the second half, but didn't score on a ton. There just wasn't much offense actually connecting from either.
ROUND THREE: Another very tentative start from both. Neither has been too keen on engaging. Vila landed an inside leg kick. Nogueira landed an inside leg kick of his own 30 seconds later. Nogueira threw a short flurry but Vila backed out of the way. They each threw a few punches at each other, but nothing was really connecting. Nogueira landed a short left. Vila slipped and backed away. Nogueira rushed in and missed. missed punches thrown by each. Nogueira finally landed a nice left. Vila landed a right and then grabbed a single leg. Nogueira dropped to his back and Vila lost his grip so he got up. Nogueira landed a right. Vila landed a right. Vila grabbed for a takedown but Nogueira got out again. Nogueira shot in. Vila held him off and pressed the clinch to the cage. They held ground to the bell and the boos of the crowd.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. That was a bad round with even less action than the second. Not a good fight, neither did much of anything.
WINNER: Nogueira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*) That wasn't much of a fight. Three minutes of action and 12 minutes of tentative movement makes for a some less-than-enjoyable viewing, and the crowd reacted in kind at the end of the fight.
FIGHT THREE: MIKE COREY VS. DANIEL STRAUS (FEATHERWEIGHT SEMIFINALS)
ROUND ONE: Straus took the center and dropped Corey almost immediately with a big left. Corey popped back up, though, and got separation from the clinch. Corey landed a body punch. Straus landed a nice left again and Corey clinched. Straus landed a knee to the body and pressed Corey to the cage. They jockeyed for position on the cage. Straus landed a hard knee and followed with a short flurry. He connected on the straight left again. Corey through a head kick that was blocked. Straus did the same. Straus landed a leg kick. He kept pressure on Corey and shot in. Corey held it off, but it was a nice sequence from Straus. Good sprawl from Corey. He landed a knee as he grabbed a headlock, but Straus got free. Back to the clinch, Straus landed an uppercut and broke free. Cory landed a couple of body kicks. Straus slipped on a kick attempt but popped back up. He landed a quick flurry and then a body kick. Corey missed a spinning back fist and Straus landed a nice counter. They clinched with ten seconds left and Corey landed a few strikes to the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Straus. Great round for Straus. He's finding a home for his punches and Corey's face is a mess, causing the doctors to look at it after the round.
ROUND TWO: Straus went back to work with a short combo and a half-hearted takedown attempt. Corey then shot in and scored a takedown. He landed a fews strikes as Straus tried to get back to his feet. Corey did a good job trying to control, but then they were stood up. Pretty quick standup. Straus landed a nice right. Straus got in a body kick. He landed a nice hook as Corey got in close. Corey landed a body kick. Straus returned one. Straus landed a couple of good punches and avoided the counters. Corey shot in again but got stuffed. Straus nearly pulled off a throw, but Corey held it off and scored some strikes in the clinch. They continued to battle in the clinch and then separated. They traded strikes in a nice exchange. Corey landed a good punch. Back to the clinch, and Corey drove Straus to the cage. Cory worked in some nice short strikes, then dropped levels, but was stuffed again. They finally separated and exchanged punches. Cory landed a nice left. They started throwing bombs at one another, each exchanging nicely. Straus took Corey's back standing.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Corey. Great adjustments from Corey into the second round. He pressed the action, worked well in the clinch, and scored in the striking in addition to his brief takedown. Good fight.
ROUND THREE: Straus got in a good inside leg kick. He tried to turn on the offense but Corey grabbed a clinch. They traded knees. Corey's nose was bleeding badly, but he turned Straus around. Straus took Corey's back standing, and landed some nice knees to the thighs. Corey broke free finally and Straus reset in the center. Straus landed a nice leg kick, then connected on a few nice punches in a flurry exchange. They traded punches again. Straus landed a really hard left, but Corey absorbed it. Corey shot in and took Straus' back standing. Corey landed a couple of knees to the thigh. Straus got turned around and they each exploded with strikes. Corey landed a body kick. Straus landed a couple of strikes. Corey got in a good left, but Straus responded in kind as Corey grabbed a clinch. Straus lost his mouthpiece with 16 seconds left and the action was halted. As they restarted Straus landed a nice body kick and a big flurry. He shot for a single leg and they exchanged strikes as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Straus. Very good back and forth round, but Straus was connecting on the more damaging strikes throughout the round. Good fight.
WINNER: Straus via decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
-Straus was very emotional as he gave a rest in peace to his teammate Chris Smith, who passed away recently in a car accident. Condolences to that entire team and Smith's family and friends.
STAR RATING: (***) Really good fight. Very exciting with both fighters doing damage; had a knockdown from Straus right off the bat, some nice clinch work, and just a lot of action from start to finish. Really enjoyable bout.
MAIN EVEN FIGHT FOUR: ZACK MAKOVSKY VS. EDUARDO DANTAS (BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Dantas has a noticeable size advantage on the Champ. Makovsky threw an early high kick but it was blocked. Dantas landed a nice knee as he got in close but Makovsky took it. Dantas landed a hard body kick. Makovsky pressed in with a couple of kicks but didn't connect. Dantas landed another hard body kick. Makovsky then shot in for a single leg. Dantas tried to halt it, but Makovsky tripped him up. Dantas secured the omoplata, but Makovsky spun through and got back to guard. Dantas tried to kick him off, but Makovsky kept position. Dantas grabbed the omoplata briefly again, but Makovsky broke free. He stood and passed to half guard with a punch, but Dantas got back to his feet. Great ground work from his back for Dantas. He landed a nice right as things on the feet picked back up. Makovsky landed a leg kick, but Dantas continued walking him down. Makovsky shot in and scored another takedown. He landed a punch as Dantas got right back to his feet. Dantas went for a head kick as he separated. He landed another hard body kick as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Dantas. I have a feeling Makovsky's takedowns are going to take it from him, but Dantas had the edge striking and worked really well from his back. Solid opening round.
ROUND TWO: Dantas went back to some body kicks to start the second and he walked Makovsky down. Makovsky threw a kick that was blocked. Makovsky landed a nice short uppercut. Dantas seemed to hurt him with a right, then Makovsky shot in. Dantas then pulled off a switch during the takedown and took Makovsky down. He passed to side, then got full mount. Makovsky immediately got it back to half guard. Dantas continued to work from the top with some short strikes, but Makovsky got him back to a closed guard. Dantas popped up and dove back in with a big strike. He passed to side control and got back to full mount. Great passed from Dantas. He landed an elbow and Makovsky tried to buck him off. Makovsky turned but had to go back as Dantas stayed on him. Dantas smartly pulled Makovsky away from the cage. He tried to set up the arm triangle. He passed to side control with the choke on and Makovsky went out cold! Wow. That was an incredible performance in that second round by Dantas. Just awesome.
WINNER: Dantas via submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:26 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***+) That was such a fantastic performance by Dantas. He looked great off his back in the first, and was ridiculous with his top game in the second. That was a beautiful finish, and he set it up with such great top control. It was just immensely entertaining to watch, and the 23-year-old Dantas should gain a lot more recognition in the bantamweight division from this. He's a legit, legit talent at 135 lbs., that was excellent.
-Thanks for joining us here tonight for Bellator, hop over to Matt Pelkey's TUF Live coverage, and come join us tomorrow afternoon for UFC on Fuel 2 from Sweden!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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