Bellator season seven kicked off with the welterweight tournament quarterfinals last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The night saw plenty of action, some good, some bad, and even a oh-no moment.
Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra defeating Matt McCook by rear naked choke decisively. Bezerra said he felt he wasn’t aggressive enough in his loss to Marlon Sandro earlier this year and that’s what cost him the split decision. Wanting to show that he is hungry and able to go on the attack, he came out with head kicks and never let up the pressure on McCook. When he took him down and took McCook’s back, it was just a matter of time for him to lock in the rear naked choke and secure the victory.
Marius Zaromskis defeated Nordine Taleb in a very close back and forth battle. Zaromskis seemed unfazed by Taleb’s kicks and was always ready to block them. Every now and then a short punch would slip by his defenses and get through, but Zaromskis seemed to remain calm through out the fight. The heavy handed striker kept coming forward at Taleb, even when Taleb seemed to land a punch that stopped Zaromskis mid-combo. The fight was a close battle but Zaromskis pulled the decision.
Derrick Kennington not tapping out to Phillipe Nover’s rear naked choke. Yes Kennington did put up a good fight in the first round, but Nover was relentless in the second. And when Nover was able to get his arm under the chin of Kennington, there was no escaping. But Kennington didn’t even seem to try and fight off the submission, he just laid there and was rendered unconscious by the choke. I get the not wanting to tap part, but he should have at least tried to escape rather than just sit in the choke.
Lyman Good getting a point deducted with just two seconds left in his fight with Jim Wallhead. He was already warned once for an accidental low blow and in the final seconds he rushed forward to try and end the fight in an exciting fashion. The only problem was he landed another low knee, and this time a point was taken away. While the fight was close, all three rounds were in Good’s favor thankfully. Had just one round gone towards Wallhead, the result would have been a draw.
Michail Tsarev not knowing the rules that were being used in Bellator. When Tim Welch opponent took him down and was working from within the guard, Tsarev kicked Welch not once, but twice in the head. Both times Welch was clearly a grounded opponent, and the second kick was a full on upkick sending Welch backwards. A timeout was called and the rules were reviewed again with Tsarev and his translator. Tsarev even was asking about an opponent on a single knee as he was unclear on the ruling. Even the commentators mentioned that the rules were gone over in the back and this shouldn’t have been an issue. We nearly had a fighter move onto the semi-finals due to a disqualification.