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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
MARCH 21, 2014
LIVE FROM MULVANE, KANSAS
-Tonight's main card kicks off at 9PM. Before we get to that, however, I have to comment on referee Chuck Wolfe, who put forth the single worst officiating effort I've ever seen in a fight from a major MMA organization ever. During the prelim bout between Daniel Gallemore and Fredrick Brown - who took the fight on 12 hours notice today - Wolfe allowed more damage to be done after a fighter was knocked out than I've ever seen. Brown took a few big strikes against the cage and face planted, and Wolfe didn't step in. Then Brown rolled to his back, where he proceeded to take 15-20 more strikes that were entirely undefended before Wolfe finally stepped in to stop the fight. Commentator Jimmy Smith was so incensed he couldn't hold it in, and he rightfully ripped into Wolfe's conduct at the end of that fight. Wolfe should never referee an MMA fight again.
With that out of the way, let's get on to tonight's main card!
FIGHT ONE: TIM WELCH VS. DEREK CAMPOS (LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: Welch circled on the outside as Campos pushed ahead. Welch missed an overhand right. Campos connected on an overhand right. They clinched briefly and separated. Welch landed a left. Welch landed a right hand and awkwardly circled around. Campos landed a left. He connected on the right hand as well. Welch landed a left and slipped. Campos landed a couple of jabs. Campos got in a knee to the body in a brief clinch. Campos landed a couple of solid strikes in close and pressed Welch to the cage. He landed a hard left as he separated. Both fighters missed a couple of strikes. Campos landed a couple of jabs. Campos threw a hard overhand right that was partially blocked. He landed a hard jab. Welch landed a short left. Campos grabbed a brief clinch and landed a few strikes. He avoided a couple of jabs from Welch. He landed another short combo. Welch slipped again late.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Campos. Pressing the action, more effective offense. Clear round for Campos.
ROUND TWO: Campos started where he left off, pressing in and landing strikes while avoiding many of the counters. Welch missed a right and ate a left hook. Campos hurt Welch with a right hand and had him loopy on the feet. Welch went down from a follow up strike, but regained his wits as Campos didn't go for broke there. Campos scored a takedown into half guard and tried to set up an arm triangle. He passed to mount and then to side control with the hold. He had to let it go as he was up against the cage, and Welch survived. Welch tried to get his back to the cage. He worked to his feet off a guillotine attempt. Campos missed an uppercut. Campos got in a nice knee to the body and a right hand. Welch threw a front kick. Campos got in a kick to the body. They traded punches in the center. Welch landed a solid right hand. Campos connected on a big left hand to end a sequence. Campos scored another takedown. Welch grabbed an arm and held to the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Campos. He may have worn himself out going for that arm triangle. He's dominating on the feet, may have screwed himself out of a finish by going for the takedown.
ROUND THREE: Campos threw Welch to the ground early and went to work in top position. Welch tried to get off his back, but Campos held position in half guard. Welch avoided a lot of the offense and got to his feet. He got knocked off balance almost immediately and Campos stood over him. He tried to attack with upkicks, but Campos dropped down with a strike and powered him down again. After a short time in half guard with little offense, Welch regained guard. Campos was relatively inactive from the top, leading to boos from the crowd. He finally postured up and landed a couple of big left hand strikes. He landed some more each time he postured up. He finally stod and landed a couple of kicks to the outside of Welch's legs. Welch threw a couple of leg kicks. Welch wound up getting Campos to his back late and ended the round in top position. Too little, too late.
WINNER: Campos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Could have been even bigger in Campos' favor with close to a 10-8 in the second round. Campos' fight all the way, not that great nor that competitive.
FIGHT TWO: MARCIN HELD VS. RODRIGO CAVALHEIRO (LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: Held rushed early with a wild flurry that didn't connect much. He came forward again. He suckered Cavalheiro into a wild exchange and scored a takedown. Cavalheiro controlled Held's arms and nearly got to his feet, but Held got loose and attacked for a heel hook. Held turned it into an ankle lock/toe hold and forced the tap. Slick work.
WINNER: Held via submission (toe hold/ankle lock) at 1:56 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) When Marcin Held is in against guys who can't match him on the ground, you're going to get something really fun, and that's what happened here tonight. Great work. No one other than Rousimar Palhares works those leg locks as well as Held.
-A replay of the Derek Anderson vs. Brandon Girtz lightweight quarterfinal hits the Spike broadcast, with Anderson scoring a sick second round KO with a standing knee to the jaw.
FIGHT THREE: DAVID RICKELS VS. PATRICKY "PITBULL" FREIRE (LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: Both fighters ran to the center, but then settled into testing the distance. Rickels sent out a straight kick. He landed a hard left in a short exchange. Pitbull missed a right and ate a knee to the body. Rickels got in a punch and a knee to the face. A right hand got through for Rickels. Pitbull landed a hard leg kick. They traded punches. Rickels went outside with a kick. Pitbull landed a really hard left in a short exchange. They traded strikes again. Pitbull landed a nice jab. Pitbull got the better of another exchange. Pitbull landed the overhand right again. Rickels tossed out a push kick. Rickels landed a few strikes swinging wildly, but Pitbull caught him with a couple of punches. Pitbull landed a knee and Rickels clinched up. Rickels got in some knees to the body. Pitbull landed some body strikes. Rickels backed off with a couple of strikes. He landed a couple more and kept the pressure on at the cage. Rickels backed off with a combo that was mostly blocked. Pitbull scored a late trip takedown. Rickels threw some elbows and open palm strikes from his back before the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. Really close, really competitive opening round. Pitbull was getting the better of the early exchanges, then Rickels began taking control. Pitbull's late takedown is probably going to swing it for him for the judges, but this could go either way here easily.
ROUND TWO: Rickels tossed out a few kicks to start the second. Pitbull jumped in with a kick that was blocked. Pitbull rocked Rickels with a two punch combo, and Rickels was wobbly. Pitbull stayed on him at the cage and rocked him again. Pitbull then landed a big strike and Rickels went down. Ref Jason Herzog allowed one more strike on the ground despite Rickels being completely out. At least it wasn't anything close to what Chuck Wolfe allowed earlier. Still shouldn't have been necessary though, Pitbull wanted to hold up knowing it was over. That's one of Patricky's best performances in Bellator.
WINNER: Freire via KO at :54 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**+) Really good performance from Freire, honestly his best in the Bellator cage. He looked very good, and scored a vicious and decisive finish. Nice win.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: ATTILA VEGH VS. EMANUEL NEWTON (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Newton was the more active in the opening minute, landing a few strikes as Vegh stood in front of him. Newton continued throwing short kicks and punches whenever Vegh was in range. Newton landed a hard right hand. Vegh landed a hard kick up high and tried to press in, but Newton got out of trouble quickly. Newton switched stance a number of times and landed some kicks. Vegh got in another hard body strike and closed distance, then landed a nice strike on the way out of a brief clinch. Vegh got Newton to the cage and landed a hard right hand. Newton landed a body punch. Newton missed a winging overhand right. He tagged Vegh with some outside leg kicks. Newton landed a hard right hand. Vegh went high with a kick that was blocked. Newton pressed in late and clinched. He landed a couple of knees but Vegh held him off to the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Newton. Close round, and I can see 10-9 Vegh here as well. Newton was a bit more active, scored a bit more offense overall, but Vegh had the more powerful strikes in that opening frame.
ROUND TWO: Vegh landed a hard left in an early exchange, with Newton trying to fire back, but Vegh had the better of it. Newton landed a leg kick. He missed a few kicks. They traded strikes, but Vegh got the better of it again. Newton landed another hard kick. Newton closed distance and grabbed a body lock, but he landed a knee low and the action was halted. He was quick to continue. Newton came straight in to grapple. He couldn't throw Vegh down but kept him to the cage and landed some knees. Vegh then broke free. Vegh landed a right hand. Vegh landed a right as Newton missed. Newton landed a hard right after they collided in the center. Vegh connected on a hard right in the next exchange. Newton landed that outside leg kick again. Newton just missed a big overhand right. He landed a hard body kick and clinched. Vegh separated and they traded strikes. Stand off to the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Newton. More convincing round for Newton, even though Vegh's corner tells him he's up 2-0. Vegh just doesn't have a ton of output right now.
ROUND THREE: Slow start to the round. Newton scores the first significant strikes with a punch and a body kick. Newton scored a hard jab. Vegh landed a right hand. Newton scored an outside leg kick and a couple of grazing strikes. Newton spun for a kick that was blocked. He scored with a right hand and a body kick in combination. They traded shots in the center. Vegh landed an uppercut. He pressed in and scored a knee. He landed a hard jab. Newton fired back with a right. He landed the uppercut to the forehead again. Vegh slowed down again. Newton connected on a couple of strikes. They traded right hands. The crowd booed some of the tentative striking action. Newton pressed in and tried for a takedown but got stuffed. Vegh broke free qyickly. Newton was bleeding around the nose. Newton missed a strike before the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Vegh. He did more damage that round, while Newton missed a lot of his strikes. Vegh's corner tells him he's up 3-0 right now, though, which is ridiculous because he could easily be down 2-1, possibly even 3-0. Really irresponsible corner work.
ROUND FOUR: Newton clinched early and landed a few short strikes as he drove Vegh to the cage. Vegh separated and circled. They traded a few jabs in the center. Vegh avoided a few strikes. Newton grabbed a leg and clinched. Vegh stuffed the takedown at the cage. Newton ate a knee and landed a right in separating. Newton landed a right hand. Vegh got in a jab. Newton landed the outside leg kick, then went inside, and they traded punches. Newton landed a right and a body kick behind it. Newton landed a hard jab. Newton landed a body kick lightly. Vegh connected on the jab. Newton landed a hard right hand. Newton landed a hard leg kick. Newton threw a few more strikes, landing a couple. Vegh shot in late but got stuffed and threw a knee. Newton pressed late and missed a high kick before the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Newton. Really not a lot happened that round. Vegh just isn't doing much offensively, and Newton is missing a majority of what he's throwing out there. This isn't a good fight right now.
ROUND FIVE:They hugged to start the round and the crowd booed. Newton then came in aggressively and they both threw wild strikes, neither connecting on much with any significance. Newton closed the distance and tried for a takedown at the cage. Vegh held off the attempt, but Newton stayed on the single leg. They traded knees as Vegh shook him off. He separated and Newton came forward with a short combo. Vegh landed a hard right hand. Newton closed the distance again after a few strikes and landed a couple of knees. Vegh broke free again. Newton landed a hard straight right and avoided the power on the counter. Newton stayed the aggressor. Vegh shot in but got stuffed. Newton tried to fire away but Vegh landed a right. Newton again closed the distance and clinched at the cage. Newton stepped back and landed a couple of strikes. Vegh fired a couple in. Newton landed a hard jumping knee and kept the aggression up. Vegh landed a hard step in knee. Newton tried for the takedown but got stuffed again. Newton landed a knee. Vegh separated as the crowd booed. They traded strikes. Newton shot in but Vegh sprawled. Vegh missed a few strikes, as did Newton, before the bell, with the crowd booing.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Newton. Vegh just did nearly zero offensively through most of that fight.
WINNER: Newton via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
STAR RATING: (*) Really not a good title fight at all. Very little in the way of redeeming quality there. Vegh's corner did him a disservice telling him he was up through the first three rounds. That just wasn't the case, and he fought like he was ahead down the stretch and just needed to coast to a decision. Bad fight.
-Thanks for joining us here tonight. We're back with live fight coverage Sunday night as the UFC hits Brazil with UFC Fight Night 38!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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