Archive for March, 2013

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Olympic gold medalist and feel good story Henry Cejudo continued his ascent into the MMA world by winning his second professional fight in very impressive fashion. At 125 lbs his wrestling is already at the top of the division (in any promotion), but as you will see in the video it was his striking that was on display early.


Cejudo utilized his superior athleticism to counter his opponents long range, with effective movement and foot work. Often moving in and out of striking range, to delivery punches.

Then of course there was the take downs. Every time Cejudo was able to secure a leg, the fight went to the ground. Once there, Cejudo did well to avoid getting caught in any submissions. He will need to work on his guard position though, as he seemed more comfortable in half guard, very much like other wrestlers such as Randy Couture.

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After a late take down, Cejudo was able to land some heavy ground strikes that put his opponent on dream street. After a few academic shots, because the referee was late to stop the action, Cejudo’s hand once again was raised.

This performance solidifies Cejudo as a legitimate threat in the 125 lbs division. Now 2-0 as a professional his pedigree in MMA seems to be familiar. Like many of the wrestling legends before, Cejudo’s future with a big promotion seems to be only a few Gladiator Challenge wins away!


TUF 17 - Wear What the Fighters Wear


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The Fire Burns Once Again For Karo ‘The Heat’ Parisyan.

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Interviewed by Karisa Winett The Clinch Report

Contributions by Jonathan King and John Walsh

The fire of competition is built on years of training, and is fueled by many motivations. For many fighters, these motivations change. They become infected with injury, or influenced by family and friends. Often the pure love of competition is lost in the search for a paycheck, or for recognition. Talent alone is not enough to counter life’s heavy hands, but it does serve for a starting point, should the fire begin to burn again. For Karo ‘The Heat’ Parisyan, the furnace is once again stoked, fueled, and ‘The Heat’ is back on!

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At one time, Karo Parisyan was one of the most talented fighters on the UFC roster. His judo pedigree coupled with his brazilian jujitsu back-round made him one of the deadliest ground fighters in the game. With notable wins over Josh Thompson, Nick Diaz, Matt Serra, and Chris Lytle, Parisyan earned himself a shot for the #1 contender position against Diego Sanchez. Although losing the fight via decision in a back and forth affair, Parisyan solidified his reputation as the fight earned a Fight of the Year nod.

Everything seemed to be going great, but then slowly the fire began to go out. Injuries mounted, that led to poor performances and an addiction pain killers arose in attempt to keep himself fighting. After being cut from the UFC, Parisyan continued fighting injured, and soon found himself a memory in terms of relevance in the MMA world.

Then in 2012 Parisyan began the slow process of rebuilding the fire that once fueled him. Slowly under the watchful eye of Team Hayastan leader Gokor Chivichyan, ‘The Heat’ began feeling healthy again, and with two wins in less than two months, he appeared to be in great form.

With the return to form, Parisyan was able to secure a deal with Bellator. His first fight however, would not be a tune up, he would be fighting former Judo rival Rick Hawn at Bellator 95 April 4th at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey. The fight will air live on Spike TV. Hawn, is returning to the 170 lbs division after his loss to Michael Chandler in a 155 lbs title fight. Although the two have never fought in MMA before, they have competed against each other in Judo, and have built quite a rivalry.

“I don’t like Rick Hawn” Parisyan said. “He has said alot of bad things about me, saying he didn’t want to be compared to me!” [in reference a statement Rick Hawn made before transitioning to MMA when he was compared to Karo for his Judo back-round by a reporter Hawn Responded :”“I wouldn’t want to compare myself to him, kind of just because I can’t stand the guy,” said Hawn. “I’ll be better than he was. He had a base with judo but he wasn’t as good. My judo is a little more advanced.”] “He should be happy to compared to me, I helped put Judo on the map for guys like him.” Parisyan said

Although Parisyan does not like Hawn, he does respect his ability. “His right hand is really good, he has been knocking guys out with that, and he is a really strong athlete.” Parisyan said. “But I’m walking around heavier, and have built more strength I used to walk around at 172 and fight at 170, but now I’m closer to 190.” The new strength has shown in the gym, as he is now sparring with bigger guys, and pushing them around.

For Parisyan the future is uncertain, but his focus is clearly placed on his April 4th fight. “I have a three fight deal with Bellator, maybe I will enter a tournament, we will see what they say after this fight.” Parisyan said. For now, the fire will continue to grow. Fueled solely by the motivation too “Shut a few people up…and to kick Rick Hawns ass!”  Parisyan said.


TUF 17 - Wear What the Fighters Wear

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Anybody in this world has the right to be whatever, or whoever they want to be. Transgender people deserve the respect that everyone in life is entitled too. As Rogan states, “In violent competition” Physical structure matters. Although Fallon Fox is technically a female, now, her male attribute have not disappeared. Her frame is still that of a man, and that could give her a huge advantage!

“When it comes to  competitive athletics , thats when you have to draw the line!” No fighter should ever have an unfair advantage over another. Male or Female.


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Video is care of the Joe Rogan Podcast. We are simply re posting one of the best podcasts ever!

By: The Clinch Report Jonathan King

Mike Ricci -280    v    Colin Fletcher 240

Analysis: Mike Ricci is coming off of a very impressive showing on ‘TUF’, and will be looking to win in front of his hometown Montreal crowd. Standing in his way is an extremely unorthodox submission fighter Colin Fletcher who himself is coming off of a loss. With the UFC’s current spate of roster cuts, it would not be far from the imagination to think the loser of this fight might be handed his walking paper.

Prediction: Ricci via Decision (UD)

Chris Camozzi -105    v     Nick Ring -115

Analysis: Both fighters are looking to stick to their winning ways in the UFC. Nick Ring is looking to build off a win over Court McGee, while Camozzi is in the midst of a 3 fight winning streak that includes 2 stopages (1tko 1sub). For Camozzi a win will certainly move him close to the top ten in the division, while Ring will look to make a name for himself by betting a fighter of that caliber.

Prediction: Camozzi via Decision (UD)

Jake Ellenberger -165    v    Nate Marquardt 145
 Analysis: Jake Ellenberger has transitioned very well from a grappler to a striker.  His wrestling ability, will most certainly be needed against the very heavy handed Nate Marquadt. For Marquadt, this will be his first fight back in the UFC, since his first stint ended rather unceremoniously, due to a failed drug test. In his last fight, Marquardt lost the now defunct Strikeforce title to Tarec Saffedine in a surprising upset.  He will certainly be looking to make a statement at the expense of Ellenburger. However, Ellenberger should be able to utilize his wrestling to keep the strikes of Marquardt relegated to the ground.

Prediction: Ellenberger via TKO rd 3

Carlos Condit 115    v    Johny Hendricks -135 Co Main Event

Analysis: This is the most interesting match up of the night. Both fighters are well versed on the ground, however both prefer to stand. Johny Hendricks may maintain the edge on power, but Carlos Condit has more diverse striking, more experience, and one hell of a chin! Hendricks will certainly be looking to land that trade mark ‘Big Rig’ left hand, but if he telegraphs it, or loads up too much he could very easily get picked apart. Condit, is known for being very difficult to track down, as in he was in the Diaz fight.

Prediction: Condit via Decision (Split)

Georges St-Pierre -550    v    Nick Diaz 425 

Analysis: Finally MMA fans around the world will get to see the fight they have been waiting for, for over 3 years. With the feud coming to a head at the press conference and the weigh in, both fighters seem to be chomping at the bit to get at each other. This kind of behavior is nothing new for Nick Diaz, but the outbursts and anger are something new for the normally reserved champion GSP. Diaz has apparently succeeded in getting under St. Pierre’s skin, and if he can goad him into a slug fest he actually has a very good chance of winning! If GSP decideds to grind down the brash challenger with his wrestling, he will not be free from danger either, as Diaz is an accomplished Brazilian Jujitsu Black Belt under Cesar Gracie, and has 8 wins via submission in his career, many of those were from his back. For St. Pierre, he will need to rely on his athleticism, to move in and out of the slower Diaz’s range. If he can use his jab, and his take downs the way he did against Josh Koscheck, Nick Diaz is in for a very long and frustrating night.

Prediction: GSP via Decision (UD)

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By Jonathan King The Clinch Report Photos by: John Walsh The Clinch Report

According to some the earth was created in 7 days. If it was, that would be a pretty productive week for a god. For a mixed martial artist 7 days after a fight usually finds them healing, re-charging or simply put; in lazy mode. For Bellator heavyweight Josh Appelt (10-2 MMA), 7 days is all that separates two very impressive wins in the Bellator Cage.


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Appelt is currently riding a 6 fight win streak that has seen him rise in the heavyweight rankings from virtual unknown, to possible Bellator Tournament contender.

On February 28, Appelt’s impressive TKO win over Josh Lanier (7-7 MMA) left him virtually unscathed. When the opportunity to fight Manny Lara on short notice arose, Appelt gamely stepped up to answer the call. Although he was taking the fight on short notice, ‘The Juggernaut’ felt ready.”I knew he was tough (Lara), after watching his fight with Martinez, but I was confident.” Appelt said.

Although this fight did not end as quickly, it definitely solidified Appelt’s status in the burgeoning Bellator Heavyweight division. For three rounds, Appelt dominated the heavy handed Lara, on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Utilizing his superior wrestling, Appelt was able to keep Lara pinned on one hip where his vicious ground strikes scored heavily on the judges scorecard.


Lara at times did land some heavy shots, but ‘The Juggernaut”  continued his relentless assault.  “I didnt feel rocked at all really, only when i took the knee did i feel hurt at all.” Appelt said “But that guy does has heavy hands!”

For Appelt, the key to the dominant performance was his superior grappling.  “He (Lara) told me he was surprised by my wrestling ability… he didnt realize I had been a wrestler, he though I was just a striker, but i actually like the ground!” Appelt said.

The win over Lara puts Appelt (3-0 in Bellator) in a interesting free agent situation, as it was the last fight on his contract. However, if he has his way he won’t be going anywhere. “I like Bellator, and am hoping to get in the tournament.” Appelt said. However the two battles in 7 days have left the ‘Juggernaut’ with some minor wounds that need to heal up first.

For Bellator, Appelt seems to be the perfect fit. If you were to cut a fighter from the Bellator cloth it would be hard to find a better representative than Appelt. “I like the Bellator tournament format, it tests a fighter not just physically but mentally, you have to try and stay healthy, and not get hurt!”  Appelt said. Unfortunately for the eager Appelt, in the Bellator tournament the fights are more spread out than 7 days!


Hopefully his recent success will enable the former collegiate football player to become a full time fighter, however his family obligations and full time equipment operator on a gold dredge fuel his hunger to succeed in the Bellator cage. “I’m a dad first, and always will be.” Appelt said. But the glare of gold outside of his sluice box and around his waste is clearly obvious. “I’ll fight whoever, wherever, whenever!” Appelt said. “But then, we can hang out afterwards!”

Josh Appelt: “I want to thank my son Braden and my wife Amanda. Tyson, Mikey, and Jeremy my coaches and my manager Dave Hirschbein of MMA Gold.”

Sponsored by: Lanas Egg Whites, West Coast Nutrition, Certified Royalty, Golden Bear Alarms, Jacco, Century MMA, and Mike Santos Body Shop My Boxing Body, “We don’t care about the head we hunt for the body.”

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Kudos to former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans for speaking up this week about gay rights. Evans, recently became the latest pro athlete to petition the Supreme Court to over turn bans on same sex marriage. By speaking up as a hetero sexual male, in a very masculine sport Evans has stepped outside the stereo-typical shadow cast by combat athletes in a world where ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ has become the norm.

Evans makes the point in his statement that marriage is about “love”, not sexuality.

Read his statement below!

Rashad Evans issued this statement:

“I’ve never been a homophobe, never understood what that is all about. I knew some people who were gay and never cared about their sexuality. But at the same time, I didn’t fully understand the issues around gay people until my friend BA started telling me about his full public support for gay marriage. We talked about the issue and I decided its not enough to not be against a minority, if you want things to go better for them you have to speak up with them.”

“I’m a UFC fighter, a macho-type sport. I am a heterosexual guy in a tough macho sport, which is exactly the reason I feel a duty to say I support gay marriage and gay rights.”

“I have nothing to gain personally from supporting this issue, and that’s the point. Society as a whole is better when there is equality, and I want to live in a country where everyone has the same rights because we all benefit from that.”

“What people overlook is that is isn’t a sex issue, its a love issue. There’s no justifiable reason for trying to get in the way of two people who love each other. 

I have kids. I don’t want them growing up in a society where they, or their friends, could be second class citizens based on which person they fall in love with or who they want to be happy with.”

Marlon Sandro is a warrior!

Marlon Sandro is a warrior!

The Clinch Report by Jonathan King Photos by: John Walsh

Bellator MMA Championship tournaments have been on an exciting run of late showcasing some of the best MMA fights ever to be seen on live television. Since the company has moved over to Spike TV, the organization has seen a revolving door of exciting fights, and stunning upsets, most of which have ended in highlight real KO’s. Can this trend continue?  The Bellator matchmakers seem to think so, but maybe that is because they are sitting on a “Golden Goose” so to speak.

Since Bellator joined the foray on SpikeTV, filling the vacancy left by the UFC, it seems almost ever single fight has been an exciting one. One reason for that is the matchmakers at Bellator seem to have discovered a hidden vault of  vicious unheard of fighters from the “New Brazil” as Bjorn Rebeny said. Where is the “New Brazil”? It very well could be Russia.

For years the Heavyweight division in MMA was dominated by one man. Fedor Emelianenko may be the most popular Russian mixed martial artist of all time, but following him are a cadre of talented fighters, with varying styles. Most of these fighters seem to be ending up in Bellator.

With Bellator’s debut on SpikeTV the world became exposed to this Russian invasion for the first time, and many including most ring side reporters were shocked. Heading into that night MMA legend Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral was the favorite to win the light heavyweight tournament. That night he was supposed to run through his unknown opponent, however Mikhail Zayats had other plans. The heavy handed Russian dispatched ‘Babalu’ with vicious strikes that left the legend in a crumpled heap, and the fans with their mouths agape. The only people who were not surprised, were the Bellator match makers who all week were lauding the power and skill of the underdog Zayats.

Last nights Bellator 92 featherweight and Middleweight tournament Semi finals featured more of the same. Akop Stepanyan started the Russians contingent off on the right foot, by laying heavy hands on Chris Saunders early and often. Eventually finishing the fight with a liver splitting kick that Saunders complained caught him low. After the ref said fight on, Stepanyan dropped some academic ground strikes that forced the stoppage, but the highlight reel kick is what finished the fight.

Sultan Aliev was next set to face Doug Marshall in a battle for the Middleweight Tournament Finals. Aliev used his impressive wrestling and sambo skill, to smother the explosive Marshall. With the crowd booing and Marshall complaining to the Ref, Aliev seemed content to grind out a decision against the heavy handed striker. However, he stopped advancing positions, and began to receive warnings from referee Herb Dean.  As the second round wore on, several times the ref stopped the action to restart the fighters standing. On the restarts, Marshall showed his explosive power often landing heavy hands before again being dragged to the mat. The third round saw a much more aggressive Marshall swinging for the fences. As the round came to an end, Marshall dropped some heavy hands on Aliev as he pulled guard. Once the split decision was read in favor of Marshall he seemed more surprised than anyone. Aliev, although dominant like his fellow Russians, fell short on the judges score cards, but most who saw thought he won the fight.

The headline fight of the evening featured Marlon Sandro vs ‘Frodo’ Khasbulaev. The winner of the fight would move on to the featherweight semi finals. For Sandro, this is a familiar position. In the past he had come up one fight short, in tournaments past. His return to the finals, was being blocked by a relatively unknown fighter, once again from Russia. Both fighters were extremely strategic, with their positioning, and soon it became clear that a Sambo v BJJ clinic would ensue. An inadvertent early low blow by Sandro almost stopped the fight, as Khasbulaev rolled in agony for several minutes. But after 5 minutes he was able to continue.

Both fighters used effective sweeps to gain control, Khasbulaev at one point used a kimura sweep to put Sandro in deep trouble as he cranked the arm. Sandro however used his own sweeps to attack a triangle that ‘Frodo’ escaped quickly. The second round saw more take downs by Khasbulaev but again Sandro seemed to escape every precarious situation including a crucifix position, that saw multiple right hands bounce off of his forehead. The third round was more of the same, but now Sandro seemed to be tired. Khasbulaev controlled the Brazilian on the ground, and again secured an arm that left Sandro defenseless against several right hands, prompting Referee John McCarthy to stop the fight.

With the win, Khasbulaev secures his spot in the featherweight finals, and for a chance at the 100,000 dollar prize for winning the most exciting tournament in all of Mixed Martial Arts. With Khasbulaev, and Zayats in the finals of their tournaments, and with Alexander Shlemenko as a champion, Bellator may have found the new Brazil buried in the arctic landscape of Russia.

Rocky Ramirez  (204) Vs  Brandon Halsey (205) Light Heavyweight

Rd 1: Big left hand from Ramirez, prompts Halsey to shoot, and he lands the takedown in side control now. Mount as Ramirez rolls, Halsey lands big elbows, Vicicous ground and pound by Halsey. Ramierez gives up his back, both hooks are in as the chokes is applied, but Ramirez defends well. Ramirez escapes but Halsey wont let him up, and again is looking for the back.  Stuck half way between the back and mount,  the round comes to an end. We give it to Halsey 10-9 Halsey but easily could have been 10 -8

Rd2: Round starts with both fighters pawing jabs. Halsey shoots again and immediately returns to a dominant position. Now in Side control, Halsey again starts the ground and pound.  Big elbows for Halsey land. Halsey dominating once again. Ramirez seems to have no answer for Halsey’s ground game. Halsey with more elbows, that seem to have caused a Huge hemmatoma over Ramirez’s eye. Round comes to an end, another dominant round for Halsey. 10-8

Rd3. Immediately Halsey takes the fight to the ground. This time he is able to secure an arm in choke. Ramirez taps at .50 of round 3.

Winner: Brandon Halsey via Arm in Triangle Choke :50 rd 3

Shad Smith  Vs Aaron Miller Featherweight Bout

Rd1: Smith pushes the early action as Miller lands leg kicks moving backwards. Still moving forward Smith lands a big one, two. More leg kicks from Miller, this time to the outside. Smith starting to land with more consistency, as Miller continues to back pedal. Fight goes to the ground, with Miler landing in side control. Miller looking for a kimura, but Smith defends well. The round comes to an end tough round to score. 10-9 Smith

Rd2: Miller able to secure an early take down. Now in Smith’s guard, but not much happening. Miller transitions to the back, Smith defending well, but no Miller flattens him out. Big elbows to the side of Smiths head. More elbows, but Smith covering up well. Miller than grabs a hold of a leg, and starts looking for the knee bar. Looks deep as the round ends. 10-9 Miller

Rd3: Again Miller able to secure a take down, as Smith pulls guard. Miller looking to transition to the mount, but defended well by Smith. Smith turns the table and momentarily looks for the arm bar. Miller escapes, and now back in Smith’s guard. Smith is able to transition to the back. Again looking for the knee bar, but Miller lets it go and decides to pursue the choke instead. Miller looks for an arm, and softens Smith up with a few hammer fists as the fight comes to an end. Miller 10-9

Winner: Aaron Miller via Unanimous Decision

Josh Appelt  Vs Manny Lara Heavyweight Bout

Rd1: Lara slams Appelt agaisnt the cage looking for an early take down. Appelt defends well, But Lara has a double leg, and immediately parlays it into a take down. Appelt back to his feet, and lands a big right hand. Appelt now on Lara’s back as both fighters go to the ground. Appelt Postures and lands big punches from the side. lara back to his feet as the clinch ensues. Appelt switches positions and gets another take down, and begins to land left hands to the head of his grounded opponent. Lara storms back landing heavy hands that has Appelt on his bicycle. Lara catches him again with an illegal blow, and referee Big John stops the action. Action resumes and Appelt again in side control as the round comes to an end. 10-9

Rd2: Apelt looks for another take down, as Lara lands Hammer fists in response. Appelt  on top again, and landing elbows and left hands to the mid section of Lara. More ground and pound from Appelt, as Lara looks to get back to his feet. Lara reversed and starts to land lefts and rights as he takes Appelts back. Late flurry may have stole the round for Lara, however Appelt controlled most of the round so we see it 10-9 Appelt

Rd3: Fighters hug to start the round. Appelt with a nice jab. Lara responds with a front kick and leg kick combo that lands. Lara with his back against the cage seems to be playing possum, but Appelt isnt buying it. More jabs from Appelt,and a nice right cross. Appelt again able to drag Lara to the mat. Appelt landing punches to the head of Lara as Lara flails he clips  Appelt low stopping the action again. Appelt bull rushes on the restart pushing Lara against the fence. Lara jockeying for an escape, but Appelt wont let him go, and takes him back to the mat. Now in side control, But Lara is gets back to his feet and starts swinging for the fences, some of them land clean as Appelt retreats. Too little to late. Appelt 10-9

Winner: Appelt via Unanimous Decision 30-24 (two fouls)

Richard Rigmaden Vs Keith Berry Middleweight Bout

Rd1: Big right hand by Rigmaden gets Berry’s attention as he shoots and immediately drags the fight to the ground. Berry working in Rigmaden’s loose guard. Berry grabs an arm, and rolls to the opposite hip, forcing the tap.

Winner: Berry via Submission (Kimura) 1:20 Rd 1

Akop Stepanyan  Vs Chris Saunders Lightweight Bout

Rd1: Both fighters feeling each other out, as action starts off slow. Stepanyan landing snapping kicks, as Saunders is moving to his right, then starts moving to his left. Stepanyan looking to load up on his right hand, but Saunders moving swiftly. Head kick by Stepanyan lands, as Saunders starts to work his own leg kicks. Stepanyan countering well, and landing the heavier shots so far. Spinning back fist by Saunders just misses. Big liver kick by Stepanyan. and follows with a high kick to the face. Stepanyan with a standing guillotine, but the round comes to an end. Stepanyan 10-9

Rd2: Saunders again starts with the leg kicks as Stepanyan counters with a jab cross combo. Saunders mid section showing the sings of Stepanyan’s kicks.  Kick lands low on Saunders and Referee John McCarthy stops the action. Touch of the gloves, and action resumes. More kicks from Stepanyan find their mark.Spin kick just misses, as Stepanyan chops a leg that momentarily drops Saunders. Another head kick from Stepanyan, prompts a shot from Saunders but, Stepanyan gets away. More kicks from Stepanyan have Saunders midsection looking very red. Saunders lands a nice leg kick as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Stepanyan

Rd3: Saunders starts the round with some urgency, and catches Stepanyan dropping him with a left momentarily. Now Stepanyan drops Saunders for a second with a counter right hand. Both fighters trade kicks, and Saunders with another to Stepanyan’s liver. Saunders now the much busier fighter, as Stepanyan is picking his shots methodically. Saunders goes down from a low blow, but Big John doesnt see it, Stepanyan re engages, and starts dropping lefts and rights to the grounded Saunders, they seem academic. Big John Stops the fight.

Winner: Stepanyan via TKO 3:50 rd 3

Sabah Homasi Vs Ricky Legere Welterweight Bout *Legere missed weight(sacrafices 20% of his purse)

Rd1: Homasi takes the center of the cage only to be pushed back by Legere. Big knee by Homasi lands, but Legere still in control. Another knee y Homasi stagger Legere momentarily. Inside elbow by Homasi lands. Followed by a pne two combination. Legere shoots, and slams Homasi to the mat. Transitioning to the back Legere has both hooks in. Elbows from Legere land, as Homasi covers up. More hammer fists as Herb Dean looks in. Homasi is in trouble. Legere looking to choke, but then decides to soften him up with punches. End of the round finds Legere on top and in control 10-9 Legere.

Rd2: Homasi starts with a leg kick jab, that pushes Legere back. More heavy hands from Homasi force Legere to shoot, and he successfully get Homasi down, and achieves mount. Legere stuck in half guard, looks to mount and does. Hip escape by Homasi fails. Legere transitions to the back, and again starts softening Homasi up with hooks to the side of the head. The choke looks like its deep, and it is. Homasi is forced to tap.

Rd3:

Nick Piedmont (146) Vs Cleber Luciano (144.6)

Popo Bezerra  Vs Mike Richman Featherweight Tournament Semi Finals

Rd1: Popo starts out with a leg kick, as Richman switches stances. Popo shoots, but Richman defends well momentarily, than lands on his back but pops up quickly. Popo holding on to the single leg, as Richman looks to escape. Popo drags Richman to the mat, but again Richman wall walks back to his feet. Popo brings it back donwn to the ground and takes Richmans back,. Richman defending the choke well. Richman sitting up, often to avoid the choke, but time ticks away and the round comes to an end. Popo Bezerra 10-9 in a very slow first round.

Rd2: Richman starts the round well landing jabs and crosses, but Popo counters well with movement. More straight lefts from Richman find their mark, as Pop is breathing with his mouth open. Richman finding success with straight punches. Popo is looking to load up, but is already showing signs of fatigue. Blood from Popo’s nose. Head kick by Popo lands. Fighters are trading single shots, with Richman looking the sharper of the two. Giving that frame to Richman 10-9

Rd3: Both fighters trading punches two and three at a time. Richman still utiliing those straight punches. Popo shoots, and gets a takedown transitionin from north south position to side control. Richman defending the mount, but Popo is scoring. Swiftly Popo transitions to the back, but Richman is hand fighting and using the cage well to avoid any damage. Richman reverses landing in Popo’s closed guard. Richman stands forcing Popo to rise.  More straight punched from Richman find their mark. No Popo is landing with the jab, Richman rocks Popo with a right. One two from Richman, Both fighter trade to the bell. Tough round and fight to score. We have the round and the fight going to Richman.

Winner: Via Split Decision Mike Richman 

Dan Cramer  Vs Brett Cooper Welterweight Tournament Semi Finals

Rd1: Cramer drops Cooper right away, but the ground game is underway. Cooper looking to scramble but  Cramer keeps him smothered. Cramer now transitions to the back and has both hooks in, however Cooper defending well. Cramer still looking to sink the choke, but Cooper with the switch, reverses position as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Cramer

Rd2: Round begins with both fighters engaged in a clinch. Cramers back to the fence, very little action, Cramer now reverses and begins to land lefts and rights. But back to the clinch. Knees from Cramer land, as Cooper starting to bleed. More big shots from Cramer. Cooper is in trouble, but will survive the round. 10-9 Cramer

Rd3: Cramer counters a looping Cooper right with one two. As Cooper retreats Cramer follows with a stiff left hand. Cooper secures a take down after a brief clinch, and lands momentarily in  Cramers closed guard before returning to their feet. Cooper lands a big right hand a left that has Cramer on dream street. He tries to stand but falls again, and again as Big John has seen enough, and steps in to halt the contest at 3:19 of rd 3.

Winner Brett Cooper via KO 3:19

Sultan Aliev  Vs Doug Marshall Middleweight Tournament Semi Finals

Rd1: Marshall starts out the aggressor, but Aliev drags the fight to the ground. Marshall trying to land from his back.  But Aliev is smothering him up against the cage. Marshall closes the guard and is looking for a triangle, but Aliev shrugs it off. Hammerfists land on Marshall’s jaw. Marshall trying his best to control Aliev’s posture. Marshall back to his feet as he glances at the clock. Knee to the body by Marshall. Back to the mat, where Aliev continues to control Marshall. Herb Dean looking for action, stands up the fighters. Marshall bull rushes but is sent to his back again as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Aliev

Rd2: Big head kick by Marshall rocks Aliev. Who looks to shoot again, as he again brings the fight to the ground. Now inside the closed guard of Marshall, Aliev begins jockeying for position.Herb Dean again calls for acton as both fighters are brought back to their feet. Marshall landing ones and twos, as Aliev again shoots successfully  but Marshall springs back to his feet. The round comes to an end, as both fighters look exhausted. 10-9 Aliev

Rd3: Both fighters touch gloves, as Marshall pursues Aliev across the cage. Aliev taking Mrashall’s back, but he is able to pop back up and lands a few hooks, as Aliev again looks for the take down. Marshall pressed against the fence as the crowd calls for action. Once again Herb Dean stands them up, and Aliev on his bicycle. Marshall again falls into the clinch of Aliev who again takes him down. Marshall busy from the bottom, landing lefts and rights. Big right hand drops Aliev and another as the bell sounds. 10-9 Aliev despite the late flurry by Marshall.

Winner via Split Decision Doug Marshall moves on to the tournament finals against Brett Cooper

Froddo Khasbulaev  Vs Marlon Sandro Featherweight Tournament Semi Finals

Rd1: Start of the round finds both fighters in the clinch. Low blow  by Sandro forces an early stoppage. Khasbulaev in obvious pain, as he is taking quite a bit of time to recover. Finally back to his feet, he looks like he is ready. Here we go. Sandro lands a nice left, but Khasbulaev scores a take down. Sandro back up, as he separates. Big right hand by Khasbulaev, who immediately grabs an arm. Armbar looks deep by Khasbalaev, But Sandro spins free. Sandro now working inside the guard of Sandro. Khasbalaev rollsm abd ends up on top with a deep Kimura that Sandro escapes. Now in the mount Khasbalaev rains down hammerfists as the round draws to a close. Khasbalaev 10-9

Rd2: Spinning heel kick by Khasbalaev misses. Left hand leg kick by Khasbalaev is countered by a left from Sandro. Back in the clinch, Khasbalaev again controls the Brazillian on the ground. Nice sweep by Sandro, finds him in Khasbalaev’s half guard. Sandro flattening out Khasbalaev and looking for the choke. Now transfers to the arm in choke, but Khasbulaev breaks free. Both fighters standing again. Three punch combo by Khasbulaev followe by another take down. The Russian is now posturing up and landing good strikes on the ground. Again Khasbulaev isolates an arm, but Sandro breaks away and grabs a single leg. Khasbulaev is able to sweep int half guard where the round comes to an end. 10-9 Khasbulaev

Rd3: Inside trip by Khasbulaev from the clinch finds the fight in familiar position. Sandro is in a tough position as Khasbulaev traps an arm and begins to land right hands to the side of Sandro’s head. Now standing Sandro cannot get away. Again Khasbalaev takes the fight down.  More ground strikes land, as referee Big John McCarthy steps in to stop the fight.

Winner: Khasbulaev via TKO Rd 3

 

 

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Location: Pechanga Resort and Casino

Temecula, California

Bellator MMA has returned to Southern California with the Middleweight Tournament Semi Finals, that are set to take place at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula California. Only one fighter needed extra time to make weight, as Ricky Legere was 2 lbs over the 171 lbs limit. He will be given 2 hours to make weight.

The only other incident of note was chaotic exchange between ‘Popo’ Bezerra and Mike Richman. As both fighters approached  for the stare down, “Popo’ seemed to push a little too aggressively and Richman responded by shoving him. Quickly Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney created space by separating the featherweight combatants with one swift shove.

Results:

Rocky Ramirez  (204) Vs  Brandon Halsey (205)

Shad Smith (146) Vs Aaron Miller(146)

Josh Appelt (247) Vs Manny Lara (254.2)

Richard Rigmaden (178.6) Vs Keith Berry (186)

Akop Stepanyan (156) Vs Chris Saunders (154.5)

Sabah Homasi (170.6) Vs Ricky Legere (173)* 2 hours to make weight

Nick Piedmont (146) Vs Cleber Luciano (144.6)

Popo Bezerra (146) Vs Mike Richman (145.4)

Dan Cramer (185.6) Vs Brett Cooper (185.1)

Sultan Aliev (185.8) Vs Doug Marshall (185.1)

Froddo Khasbulaev (145.8) Vs Marlon Sandro (145.8)