On March 9, 2012, Bellator finally returned, close to home with a stacked Featherweight tournament card and a championship fight as well. The small, but beautiful venue at the Horseshoe Casino was filled with local fans cheering on their friends or family members who are now established mixed martial artist.
Here is what transpired that night.
Genair da Silva vs Bobby Reardanz – 148 lbs.
Ref – Jeff Melot
Small crowd to start the undercard. Kicks to start for Reardanz, large distance between the two to start. Silva opened up with kicks. Knees against the cage from Silva. Silva gave pressure against the cage wall. Reardanz worked knees to counter. Reardanz was unable to switch positions with Silva. Good inside leg trip from Silva for the takedown. Reardanz retained guard, but punches and elbows from Silva landed from the top. Brief triangle attempt from the bottom from Reardanz. Silva scourged it off and began to work the leg kicks while standing. Reardanz found an opportunity to stand up. Flying knee attempt from Silva that was blocked from Reardanz. Heavy right hook from Reardanz to swing momentum for himself that pushed back Silva. Reardanz pushed the action against the cage and Silva stuffed the takedown against the fence. Good exchange between the two after the break. Reardanz slips and Silva gains a dominate position from the opportunity. Silva delivered hammer fits that didn’t land solidly. Dominate position from Silva as he rained down punishment. Reardanz had good control with his feet on Silva’s hips and was able to push him away. Leg kicks while standing from Silva again. Silva tried to swing past the legs after grabbing the ankles as soon as the round ends.
Round two started with leg kicks from Silva again. Silva went high and low on Reardanz with his strikes. Knocked Reardanz down with a outside leg kick. Silva pinned Reardanz against the cage and continue his campaign with punches. Silva let him stand back up. Reardanz was stuffed by Silva from the takedown attempt. Silva went for a darius choke for a second, but then abandoned it. Silva pushed forward and ended up in Reardanz’s guard against the cage. Reardanz was able to stall, but not long enough for a stand up. Silva broke from wrist control to land a few more punches. Silva backed away for Reardanz to stand up. Another leg sweep from Silva for the knockdown, but stand back up afterwards. Another inside leg kick from Silva for the knockdown. Silva was working the legs hard. Reardanz can hardly stand. Silva with heavy leg attack, another flying knee attempt, blocked by Reardanz. Another outside leg kick from Silva and another knockdown. Reardanz grabbed a desperate single leg and Silva landed heavy hammer fits to the right side of Reardanz’s head. Silva defended the takedown to end up in side control to end the round.
Round three: More kicks from Silva to start, Reardanz looked uncertain on what to do. Another outside Silva kick from Silva and Reardanz falls to the ground. Unanswered punches from Silva and the ref called the fight.
Result: Silva via TKO at .51 of round three
Kenny Foster vs. Alexandre Bezerra
Ref – Rob Hines
A lot of feeling out process at the beginning of the fight. Bezerra with light jabs just to checks his distance. Some hand holding out in front of each other, then a close head kick from Bezerra. Strong and heavy left hand from Foster, but the strike just missed the target. Bezerra punched the action back against the cage and secures the double leg takedown. Foster answered quickly with a stand up and punched Bezerra against the cage. A lot of heavy work on wrist control and dirty boxing. The fighters broke clean and restart in the center. A deep inside leg kick from Bezerra landed. Foster with a high leg kick and falls, but defended the takedown from Bezerra smartly. A wild exchange, both fired off uppercuts and hooks, but nothing lands. Bezerra attempted a hip toss that was defending well from Foster. Another inside leg kick that lands from Bezerra. Bezerra with center control and Foster moving on the outside of the cage. A flying knee attempt from Bezerra that didn’t land. Foster blocking head kicks well.
Round two: Foster came out strong with combos to start the second. Bezerra again with center control. Foster started out as the busier fighter in this round. Fighters kept a good distance from each other, until Bezerra dived in for a takedown, but reversed by Foster and took Bezerra’s back. Bezerra was able to escape with no damage. Many strikes from both fighters are not landing because of the distance issue. Both fighters are standing just out of reach of each other. A diving takedown attempt from Foster, but stuffed from Bezerra and Bezerra reversed to grab the back of Foster. Bezerra landed many left handed punches and Foster was not fighting back. Bezerra sunk in his arms for the choke at the closing seconds of the round. Foster was forced to tap.
Result: Bezerra via Tapout due to a RNC at 4.52 of round two
SHAMAR BAILEY (13-5) Chicago, IL VS JOSH SHOCKLEY (8-1) Hobart, IN
Ref – Gary Cokland
Quick exchange of punches early from both fighters. A strong head kick from Bailey that was blocked. Kick and punch combo lands from Bailey to stun Shockley. Bailey over extended from a punch and Shockley reached in for the clinch position. Shockley worked for a takedown against the cage. Bailey with great defense as he pushed Shockley’s head down, but Shockley grabbed a double leg takedown for a huge body slam. Bailey fought off the advances and got back to his feet. Another over extension from Bailey and Shockley pushed the fight to the cage. A quick grappling exchange and reversals from both fighters but Shockley won as he moved to the mount. Bailey quickly retained half guard. But landing soft and infrequent strikes. Bailey working hard to reverse the position, but Shockley maintained control and ended in north-south from the knees. Body blows from Shockley and Bailey tried to create a scramble. Shockley still maintained control until the horn sounded.
Round two: Both threw faints to regain their distance. Shockley tagged Bailey early. Bailey caught Shockley with a left hook, but Shockley walked through it and pushed forward. Shockley countered well, but didn’t follow up afterwards. Low blow from Bailey. Shockley was down for the full five minutes. Puck bucket was brought in for a few minutes, but later was returned. Action resumed with Bailey landing strikes on the chin of Shockley. Shockley caught with a left hook and dropped in on Bailey guard. He quickly moved to side control. Bailey reversed with a takedown of his own, but reversed by Shockley into half guard. Shockley was now in Bailey’s half guard landing a few strikes to the ribs. Bailey landing more strikes from the bottom; elbows to the body. The crowd was loudly giving instructions. Shockley content to end the round in a dominate position, but not landing damaging strikes.
Round three: Bailey with early center control, but over extended and Shockley pushed in for a double leg takedown in to Bailey’s butterfly guard. More elbows from the bottom from Bailey. Shockley moved to half guard by pushing down the right knee and stepping over it. Punches from the top, but look soft. Shockley moved to side control by stepping over Bailey’s hips. Shockley went for the mount and almost left enough space for Bailey to get out and up. Shockley back in half guard. Shockley went back and forth between side control and half guard. Landed a few punches in between. Shockley holding Bailey against the cage for several seconds. Bailey from the bottom wanted to get a kimura but abandoned it. With thirty seconds left in the fight, Bailey gets back to his feet, but Shockley had his hips with his hands and scored another takedown. Bailey secured a guillotine, but Shockley was unaffected. Waved to the crowd to let them know he was okay as the horn sounded.
Result: Josh Shockley via unanimous decision
FEATHERWEIGHT QUARTER FINAL
RONNIE MANN (21-4-1) Cheltenham, UK VS MIKE COREY (11-2) Crystal Lake, IL
Ref – Gary Coklan
Crowd was to be behind Corey. Leg kick to open from Mann and with center cage control. Mann with a one-two combo with the cross landing. Punch combo ended with a head kick attempt from Mann. Corey pushed the action to the cage for a single leg, but Mann with a guillotine as a counter. They break cleanly and start over in the center. Corey had a quick one-two down the pipe of Mann that landed with one of them. Corey pushed forward more often than Mann at this point. Corey pushed in and got caught with a right hook from Mann while stepping backwards. Mann with a follow up punchs to the chin that dropped Corey. Mann was in the guard of Corey for an in stand and Corey trapped the arm looking for a shoulder lock and Mann backs up and wanted to restart in the center. Corey attacked forward with punches to answer for the two punches that dropped him. Small punching combos that push the fighters back and forth. Corey scores a takedown late in the round and gets half guard. Started to land right hammer fits as the round ended.
Round two: Corey showing the damage on his face. Mann opened up with an outside leg kick. Corey pushed forward with punch combos and landing a few. Mann answered with a quick one-two combo and Corey quickly swung out from the fence. Mann with another punch-kick combo that landed. Corey with a quick jab-takedown combo and secured into half guard. More punches from Corey on the face of Mann. Mann regained half guard. Mann worked for full guard now. Corey landed more punches against the cage. Mann using the fence to swing his hips over to look for an arm bar from the bottom. Corey putting his weight on to Mann that stalled the submission attempt. Corey escapes danger and landed more punches from the top. Corey was in side control and Mann rolled into him with thirty seconds left in the second. More punches from Corey that landed. Another last arm bar attempt, but Corey deafened well.
Round three: Crowd was still behind Corey. Mann caught Corey with a stiff jab to open the round. Corey quickly answered with strikes of his own to the body and face. Both fighters swung and landed a few jabs and hooks alike. Both men looking good and pushed forward. Corey with a takedown from a clinch that ended in half guard. Corey looked to advance his position with an arm triangle attempt. More punches from the top from Corey and landing on Mann’s face. Corey looked to pass to full mount, but good defense from Mann on the bottom. More punches from Corey from the top. Not doing much damage, but he stayed busy. Mann retained gull guard, but Corey still threw punches. Corey worked the head and body. Mann rolled over in the turtle and more punishment from Corey. Mann rolled forward looked for a leg lock or knee bar. Corey smartly spun out and reversed to regained side control. More punches followed. The crowd fully behind Corey as the fight ends.
Result: Mike Corey via Unanimous Decision (29-28)
FEATHERWEIGHT QUARTER FINAL
JEREMY SPOON (12-0) Tuttle, OK VS DANIEL STRAUS (17-4) Cincinnati, OH on
Ref – Jeff Melot
Straus quickly took the center and made Spoon move along the outside. Kicks from Spoon to start. Straus ducked under punches and captured the head under the arm of Spoon for what looked like the arm triangle while standing. Spoon spun out when Straus moved to take the back. They moved back to the center and they went and started kick boxing again. Spoon used a two punch combo and Straus throwing single strikes. Landing on Spoon’s chin to stun him. Straus pushed forward for a double leg takedown against the cage. Straus ended up in half guard after Spoon tried to stand up again the cage. Straus now with Spoon face down and kneed the left ribs of Spoon. Spoon stood up with wrist control and delivered a low blow. All is forgiven as they restart. Straus with level changes to stalk Spoon down against the cage. A flying kneed from Straus countered with a looping right hook, but Straus moved forward. Straus dived in for a takedown but Spoon deafened well and narrowly missed Straus. Head kick and left hook from Straus to end the round.
Round two: Started with fast action from both. Spoon dived in for at single, but Straus defended it off. Still in the over under position, Spoon pushed the action to the cage. Dirty boxing from here. Spoon worked the legs with his knees. Straus with a half hip toss, but Spoon back to his feet. Straus landed a heavy left hand followed by a blocked kick. Low blow from Straus. Action restarts and they both traded punches. Straus with an inside leg kick and Spoon countered with the same. Spoon came in and ate a right hand from Straus that sent him stumbling back. Straus missed a strike and Spoon ran forward for the clinch and moved the action to the cage wall. A focused battle for wrist control until Straus broke away with a knee to the head attempt, but missed. Straus swung with punches and Spoon ducked under for a single leg to move the action from the center to the cage. More knees and wrist control. Spoon with a spinning leg trip takedown. Straus unfazed and back to his feet, but Spoon was still close. Straus down for a double leg takedown against the cage. Punches followed from Straus. Spoon holding the body to escape punches. A rare ax kick to the abdomen from Straus while Spoon is down as the round ended.
Round three: Quick combo from Straus to open the round. Straus still in control of the center and Spoon on the outside. Spoon counters with a straight right hand that ‘oohs’ the crowd. Jab-takedown combo from Straus that is stuffed by Spoon and they bounce back to their feet. A quick right hook form Straus to briefly stun Spoon while against the cage. Spoon, again, fighting for wrist control while pressed Straus against the cage. Straus caught Spoon with a soft left hook on the break. Quick exchanges from both fighter, but nothing significant lands. Another takedown stuffed by Straus. They were standing in the middle and threw combos. The clinched and moved to the wall. More dirty boxing landing from both fighters and another game of wrist control. From the break Straus caught Spoon with a strong left hook. As Straus stalked down Spoon, Spoon pushed him against the cage. Round ends with both men on the floor fighting for position.
Result: Daniel Straus via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
BOUT 5 FEATHERWEIGHT QUARTERFINAL
ROBERTO VARGAS (12-1) San Bernardino, CA VS MARLON SANDRO (20-3) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ref – Rob Hines
Single strikes from both fighters that did not land to start the fight. Vargas is reaching out for that jab, but did not land it. Sandro ducked his head and swung out to the right with left hook. A great inside leg kick from Sandro. Sandro with center control and pushed back Vargas. Sandro caught Vargas with an uppercut and right hook to stumble Vargas backwards. Smelled blood and swarmed on him. Vargas was not easily put away. Vargas fought back with punches and takedown defense. Another let hook to Vargas and he was down again. Sandro takes the back easily and sinks in the choke; Vargas tapped.
Result: Marlon Sandro gets the Tapout 3.35 via guillotine at of round one.
RICHARD WHITE (18-12) Daytona Beach, FL VS SEAN MCCORKLE (13-2) Indianapolis, IN
McCorkle took the center and pushed White’s back against the cage. Leg trip takedown in to half guard from McCorkle. Punches and elbows from the top. White rolled into McCorkle’s postured up guard. McCorkle worked slowly on the ground. McCorkle took his right forearm around the forehead of White and pulls back for the tapout.
Result: McCorkle via Tapout due to a neck crank at 1.02 of round one.
TRAVIS WIUFF (65-14) Rochester, MN VS ANTHONY GOMEZ (8-1) Hammond, IN
Ref – Jeff Melot
Wiuff came out strong with punches from every angel. Gomez takes to the ground but Wiuff is all over him. Gomez retains guard and hand control to stop the punches and worked his way back up to his feet by using the cage. Wiuff is pushing all of his weight against him for a sweet judo toss to the ground right in side control. Crowd cheering Gomez while he was on the bottom and could not get up. Wiuff slips back into half guard. Gomez rolls into Wiuff halfway. Wiuff stepped over the legs and took the back of Gomez. Wiuff now with a body lock against the cage and Gomez swung his arm over to face his opponent. Wiuff dropped down for an easy single leg and in Gomez’s full guard. Gomez works back to his feet and crowd loved it.
Round two: Heavy swings from Wiuff to create a clinch position and pushed Gomez against the cage. Dirty boxing while fighting for wrist control. Wiuff sucks out the hips for a takedown against the cage. Wiuff in the half guard looked to pass. Some elbows from Wiuff landed. Gomez reversed a key lock submission attempt and ended up in full guard of Wiuff. Gomez landing punches and the crowd is back into this one. Hammer fists from both hands from Gomez. Gomez slips to half guard after some punches form the bottom. More elbows from Gomez and refs stand them up due to one stray elbow to the back of the head. Wiuff pushed forward with wild looping hands to set up another takedown. Wiuff making Gomez carry all of his weight against the cage. Some knees land from Wiuff as the round ends.
Round three: Nice jab to open the third round from Wiuff. Both were willing to exchange. More looping punches form Wiuff to push the action to a clinch position. A few knees from Gomez, but nothing significant landed. Some dirty boxing and upper cuts from Wiuff. More counter uppercuts from Wiuff that land on Gomez. Good Thai clinch where knees from Gomez land, and Wiuff seemed unfazed. Another takedown off the fence for Wiuff; in open guard of Gomez, but sill landing punches from the top. Gomez has moved to butterfly guard. Gomez spins to stand up, but Wiuff takes the back. Gomez spins back into Wiuff. Wiuff judo trips him again in the center of the cage in side control. Wiuff content on lying in Gomez’s open half guard and throw small punches. Gomez worked back into open guard. More punches from Wiuff on top. The fight ends with Wiuff on top throwing punches.
Result: Travis Wiuff (29-28) via Unanimous Decision
CORY GALLOWAY (DEBUT) Crystal Lake, IL VS JAKE NAURACY (DEBUT) Hammond, IN
Ref – Gary Coplan
Galloway takes the center and they both swung at each other. Nothing significant landed. Both fighters just missing each other’s chins. Nauracy with a quick one-hook combo dropped Galloway and Nauracy jumped on the down opponent. Nauracy with full guard and trying to control the busy top fighter. Nauracy trying to pass Galloway’s guard. Nauracy fought for half guard, but Galloway counters with a guillotine threat. Nauracy worked out of that with punches and then looked for an arm triangle. Nauracy reversed and ended up in Nauracys guard, but wants out and off the ground. They stand up and start over. Galloway now in the center of the cage until Nauracy pushed forward with combos. Another right hook landed from Galloway and Nauracy with a takedown attempt. Galloway pushed the action to the cage and worked for a kimura. From the break Nauracy lands a solid knee on the chin, but Galloway pushes forward. The round ends as Galloway pushed forward with a last second combo.
Round two: good and quick exchanges from both fighters. Good body shots traded from each. High kick goes wrong for Galloway and slips to the ground. Nauracy looked for another arm triangle attempt. Galloway showed good defense. Galloway punched from the bottom to the ribs of Nauracy. Nauracy had control of the hands and landed punches from the top. Galloway tried to buck out from the bottom, but Nauracy got the back instead. Naurcy started going for the RNC, but Galloway was hand fighting well. Nauracy with a body triangle. Galloway with his head turning colors until he pushed the elbow away. Galloway could not get Nauracy off his back. Nauracy tried again for the RNC and sunk it in for the tap.
Result: Jake Nauracy via RNC at 4.22 in the second round.
Genair da Silva via TKO at .51 of round three
Alexandre Bezerra via Tapout due to a RNC at 4.52 of round two
Josh Shockley via Unanimous Decision (30-27)
Mike Corey via Unanimous Decision (29-28)
Daniel Straus via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Marlon Sandro via Tapout due to a guillotine chock at 3.35 of round one
Sean McCorkle via Tapout due to a neck crank at 1.02 of round one
Travis Wiuff (29-28) via Unanimous Decision
Jake Nauracy via RNC at 4.22 of the second round