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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
APRIL 4, 2014
LIVE FROM RENO, NEVADA
In the cage to kick off the night are Johnny Cisneros and Mikkel Parlo. Let's get to it!
FIGHT ONE: JOHNNY CISNEROS VS. MIKKEL PARLO (195 lb. CATCHWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Parlo closed the distance early with a couple of strikes and then immediately clinched. He drove Cisneros to the cage with a couple of body strikes. Cisneros tried to land a few strikes but it gave Parlo an opening to take him down. Parlo tossed out some knees, but Cisneros got to his feet. Parlo landed a hard uppercut. Cisneros fired out some big shots to the body. They went back to the clinch battle, each of them landing some strikes. Parlo went for a thai clinch. He landed a hard elbow, ducked down, and scored the takedown. Cisneros worked up again but ate some strikes. Parlo tossed out a few strikes. Parlo missed a couple, but then shot in and scored a takedown. Cisneros defended on the ground, then kicked Parlo off and got to his feet. Cisneros backed him off with a solid combination. Parlo fired back. Cisneros shot in but Parlo held him off. They ended the round with a clinch striking exchange.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Parlo. Cisneros is hanging in there, but he's taking more shots than he's throwing and got taken down several times.
ROUND TWO: Parlo came out swinging and landed a few strikes. Cisneros fired back. Parlo landed a hard body kick. Cisneros connected on several strikes and closed the distance. He picked Parlo up and threw him down, but let Parlo get to his knees and take him right down. Parlo tried to stay busy in that position, but Cisneros turned and got to a knee. Parlo tried to pull him down. Cisneros gave up his back. Cisneros turned and Parlo got to mount. Cisneros gave up his back again and tried to cover up. Parlo landed a few strikes, the tried to slowly work to a choke. Cisneros got to his knees, but Parlo held position. Parlo went for the choke, but as Cisneros tried to roll out Parlo got to mount. Cisneros tried to cover up and defend, which he did fairly well, though Parlo remained on top. Parlo landed more strikes to ride out the round, though a lot were defended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Parlo. Close to a 10-8, but not a ton of damage done. Cisneros is exhausted at this point.
ROUND THREE: Parlo landed a hard leg kick early. He got in a jab. He landed an overhand right. Cisneros fired in with an uppercut. He covered up as Parlo swung. Cisneros tried to stuff a takedown, then picked Parlo up to a sprawl, but then just fell back as Parlo got back on top. Cisneros let him pass easily again. He got him back to half guard after briefly giving up his back. The crowd booed the tentative ground action as both were fairly worn down. Parlo landed a couple of strikes to stay busy and hold position after being warned to work by the ref. Cisneros tried to work to his feet but Parlo popped behind him and got his hooks in. Cisneros tried to use the cage to roll out, but he was stuck. Parlo rolled him over but Cisneros got back to half guard. Parlo was just staying busy enough not to get stood up. Parlo moved to mount again and Cisneros tried to hold him. He landed an elbow from the bottom and covered up as Parlo tossed strikes at him. Parlo postured up finally and landed some big strikes. He got in some elbows as Cisneros turned around and the fight ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Parlo. Again, not enough damage for a 10-8, as he just didn't do a ton with the positions he had.
WINNER: Parlo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) One sided, not all that interesting. Parlo can take a punch, and he can smother guys, but he's proven to not be much of a finisher in his Bellator run at this stage.
FIGHT TWO: VOLKAN OEZDEMIR VS. KELLY ANUNDSON (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Oezdemir came in early and landed a hard leg kick. Anundson got to his feet. There was a lot of rinse and repeat with Anundson scoring takedowns, but Oezdemir getting back to his feet. There's been no offense on the ground from Anundson, just takedowns and trying to hold him down to no avail. Oezdemir couldn't do anything else himself, though, as he kept getting taken down. Oezdemir again got to his feet with Anundson sticking to him.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Anundson. He's not doing a thing with the constant takedowns, but Oezdemir also isn't stopping them at all.
ROUND TWO: Anundson landed a couple of early strikes in combination. Oezdemir missed a strike and got taken right down. Oezdemir closed his guard, then kicked out and crawled to the cage. Anundson kept him on the ground and threw a few half hearted strikes. Oezdemir got up but got taken right back down. More rinse and repeat here. Anundson went for a kimura but Oezdemir got his arm loose after it nearly got caught for good. Oezdemir tried to crawl to the cage again as Anundson stayed on him with a body lock. Anundson then locked wrenched a neck crank and forced Oezdemir to tap. Nice finish after doing very little on those takedowns for most of the fight.
WINNER: Anundson via submission (neck crank) at 3:19 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**-) The first seven and a half minutes were just the worst. Fighters with bad takedown defense against guys who can only take them down does not make for enjoyable MMA. Thankfully, Anundson finally secured a finish off one of those takedowns to put an end to things. Awful performance from the previously undefeated Oezdemir.
FIGHT THREE: HERMAN TERRADO VS. JUSTIN BAESMAN (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Terrado closed the distance immediately and tried to get the takedown. Baesman did a really good job avoiding it early. Two minutes in Terrado finally secured a takedown, but had to defend a guillotine attempt which allowed Baesman back up. Baesman grabbed a front headlock and turned Terrado around. They jockeyed for position a bit. Baesman grabbed the front headlock again but had to let it go. Terrado scored a takedown again, then quickly passed to mount. Baesman gave up his back and Terrado got both hooks in. Baesman turned back a couple of times. Terrado tried to lock on a hold, then threw down some big strikes to the side of the head. He flattened him out again and landed a strike. He continued working from back mount as Baesman got to his knees. As they rolled, Baesman got on top and landed a couple elbows before the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Terrado. Baesman did a solid job defensively, but Terrado's ground work gets him the round.
ROUND TWO: Terrado came in with a couple strikes and a kick. Baesman fired back with a few strikes. Terrado checked a kick. Terrado landed a nice left. He missed a jumping knee. Baesman landed a jumping kick to the face, then closed the distance, but Terrado grabbed a clinch. Baesman grabbed for a front choke, but Terrado turned him around. Terrado popped his head out and slipped behind Baesman briefly. Baesman landed a hard knee and got Terrado down and tried to take his back. Terrado got back to his feet, then rolled for a knee bar. Baesman landed a couple of strikes, but grabbed the cage and got loose, forcing Terrado to stand. Baesman landed a hard body kick. Terrado looked worn out. Baesman landed a few strikes and then went for that front choke but turned it into a takedown. Terrado got to guard. Baesman landed a hard right hand and stayed busy from the top. Baesman postured up and rained down lots of strikes in combination. Terrado tried to work to an armbar as he took a bunch of damage. Baesman continued landing a big series of forearms. Terrado grabbed for an armbar. Baesman continued unleashing those forearm strikes, but Terrado was saved by the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-8 Baesman. Was leaning 10-9 until that final 30 seconds, as Baesman nearly finished the fight with a brutal ground and pound attack there.
ROUND THREE: Terrado almost didn't answer the third round as they said he didn't go to his stool immediately. He took a deep breath and grabbed some water. Baesman landed a strike and Terrado landed a nice right hand. He got in with a short combo. Baesman landed a body kick and Terrado threw a few strikes. Baesman landed a couple of kicks as Terrado moved forward. Terrado landed a right hand. Baesman appears to be the more tired fighter here; he also though the fight was over, may not have heard the bell. Terrado stalked and landed an nice series of strikes at the cage. Baesman threw out a few strikes but they were blocked. Baesman took Terrado down, but Terrado countered and rolled to grab for an armbar. Baesman fought it, then got out and to his feet. That was almost done there. Terrado was breathing very heavily. Baesman missed a spinning strike. Terrado blocked the spinning back fist. He ducked under the next attempt. Terrado landed a combination.He scored a late takedown. He landed some strikes from the top. Terrado stayed busy and finished out the round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Terrado. That's a draw on my scorecard, but given how many refs fail to score 10-8s, Baesman may lose this fight.
STAR RATING: (**+) Surprised two judges actually got that right. Baesman said "you all know I won that" in an interview with Jimmy Smith in the cage after, but that's just not the case when you lose two rounds. He's lucky he got the 10-8 from two judges.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: VITALY MINAKOV VS. CHEICK KONGO (HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Right off the bat and Minakov landed a low blow. Given Kongo's history with that sort of thing, that's just karma. Herb Dean did not take a point, and they restarted. Minakov moved forward to attack. Minakov scored a takedown. Kongo tried to move to his feet but Minakov held him down and landed a big series of strikes. Kongo moved to his feet and Kongo took a knee to the cup. The action was halted and Kongo took his time on this one. Kongo was finally ready and Herb Dean took a point from Minakov. Kongo came in with a few hard strikes. Minakov then dropped Kongo. He landed a strike and then grabbed for a leg lock instead. Kongo defended and then tried to grab his own leg lock. Kongo landed a couple of strikes and they traded shots. Minakov gave up on the leg and moved to half guard. He landed some strikes and ended the round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 9-9. The point deduction hurts him, but that was a fairly strong round for the Champ otherwise.
ROUND TWO: Kongo moved in and scored a takedown after a tentative opening minute. Minakov got back to his feet and turned Kongo around. Minakov landed a knee. He got in another to the body. Kongo reacted like it was a groin shot but Herb Dean said it wasn't. Minakov could have attacked but didn't understand that Dean wasn't stopping it. Kongo got off lucky there and the clock kept running. Kongo landed a jab. Minakov got in a kick. Minakov went back on the attack. He landed a hard right to the back of the ear and Kongo was wobbled. Minakov didn't attack, though, and let him recover. He landed a hard right that hurt him again. Kongo fired out a right. Minakov shot and took him down. He stepped right into mount. Kongo gave up his back. Minakov tossed out strikes under the arm, but Kongo circled out and got to a sprawl. They stood before the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Minakov. He's landing the better strikes, but now he's tiring out, and not taking advantage of a hurt Kongo.
ROUND THREE: Kongo landed a right hand to start the round. He connected with it again. Minakov backed up and Kongo rushed in. He avoided a few strikes, clinched, and scored a takedown into half guard. Kongo got his back to the cage. Minakov held position, but Kongo was sitting upright and not much was being done by either fighter. The crowd started booing. Herb Dean told them to work. Minakov then set back and started unleashing hard strikes that were doing damage. Kongo got to his knees and Minakov lined him up for a knee. He landed one to the body, but Kongo turned him around to get on top himself. Kongo landed a hard knee to the body. Kongo was grabbing Minakov's shorts and Dean kept telling him to stop. Point should have been taken there. Minakov got to his feet and Kongo shot in. Minakov tried to lock him down and they hit a stalemate. Minakov then reversed and got on top into side control. He landed strikes to the body. Kongo was throwing knees back and a few hit Minakov in the head illegally with no warnings. Minakov continued landing body strikes to the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Minakov. He's got all of the legitimate offense in this fight. And Herb Dean really should have taken a point from Kongo that round.
ROUND FOUR: They met at the center of the cage and Kongo wound up scoring the takedown out of the clinch. Minakov got to his knees and tried to reach for a leg. Minakov got to his feet, but Kongo picked him up and dropped him. Kongo landed some short strikes. Dean commented on the short grabbing again, still no point taken! Minakov got to his feet briefly, only to get dragged back down. Kongo landed elbows to the thigh. The action slowed down considerably. Dean gave him a last warning on the shorts. He got in close as Minakov was complaining about the shorts grabbing. Minakov tried to get up, then got taken down again. Kongo did nothing with the position. Minakov again tried to get up only to get dragged down. They were stood up, then Minakov scored a takedown at the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Kongo. He did nothing. Minakov did less.
ROUND FIVE: Minakov came straight in, grabbed a leg, and took Kongo down. Kongo just held on tight and tried to force a stand up. Minakov threw some strikes in the half guard as Kongo tried to hold on tight. Minakov landed some body strikes but didn't look to pass at all. The crowd booed mercilessly. This is such a terrible fight. Minakov landed a right, but there was little going on as he just held half guard. Kongo blocked a few strikes. Minakov went back to the body. Minakov finally passed to mount and landed some strikes. Kongo covered up, though. Minakov tried to set up an arm triangle, but lost it, though he got back to mount. Minakov postured up for a few strikes. Kongo continued covering up. Minakov sat up for a few strikes. He ended the round and fight on top, and both guys just stayed down a few beats in exhaustion. Just objectively awful.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Minakov. Had he actually done much damage I'd go 10-8, and I suppose with Kongo doing next to nothing you could go that route. Minakov wins regardless.
WINNER: Minakov via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
STAR RATING: (*-) One of the worst fights of the year, between the complete exhaustion, the stalled ground action through much of the fight, the poor reffing job from Herb Dean regarding Kongo. It was just bad any way you look at it, and could actually hurt how people look at Minakov even though he dominated the fight.
That's our event tonight! No major MMA the rest of the weekend, but both the UFC and Bellator hit screens next Friday. The UFC is on Fight Pass with UFC Fight Night 39 from Abu Dhabi, with Bellator 116 from California next week on Spike.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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