100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (18 Total):
1. Rich Hale - 93.3
2. Shahbulat Shamhalaev - 92.0
3. Vitaly Minakov - 91.5
4. Douglas Lima - 91.3
5. Ryan Ford - 91.3
6. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev - 91.0
7. Guillaume DeLorenzi - 90.4
8. Christ Franck - 90.4
9. Thiago Santos (Bellator) - 90.3
10. Marcus Aurelio (Bellator) - 89.9
Bellator 79: Hale vs. Santos
Location: Ontario, Canada
Elevation: 1,000'
-Fight of the Night-
Rich Hale vs. Thiago Santos (Bellator)
Fighters & Matches 88.0
Top 10 Fighters 91.1
TOTAL 89.6
(Rear-Naked Choke)
     These guys clinched early, Khasbulaev took Pulsifer to the ground, he beat the shit out of him for a couple of minutes, wrapped around Pulsifer's back, and finished him with the rear-naked choke with 90 seconds or so left in the opening round. Solid performance by Magomedrasul Khasbulaev.
      Minakov got the takedown early, where he ended up in the half guard of Starcencov. He then proceeded to beat him up with light ground & pound for the duration of the first round, with Starcencov spinning into Minakov's guard for the final 30 seconds. The second round started with a flury from Starcencov, and a failed takedown, which Minakov followed up with a series of hard punches of his own, finishing Starcencov 27 seconds into the second round.
      Aurelio came out throwing wild kicks, trying to work some capoeira or some shit. The fight turned into a wild brawl, with both guys swinging for the fences, eventually resulting in a clinch, with Aurelio pressing Franck against the cage. Aurelio secured a takedown 2 minutes into the round, he ended up mounting Franck and beating the shit out of him for the rest of the first round. Round one clearly goes to Aurelio.
     Franck came out more aggressive in the second round, they traded some wild punches, and then Franck took the fight to the ground, where he beat the shit out of Aurelio for a little while, as Aurelio was trying to figure out a way to slap on an armbar. Aurelio wrestled his way to top position 90 seconds into the round. Franck flipped him back over, and they continued the back & forth wrestling for the rest of the round. Franck ended up back on top, worked some solid ground & pound, but with one minute left in the round, Aurelio mounted him, beat the shit out of him, and finished the round on Franck's back, looking for a rear-naked choke. Close round, but I scored that round for Aurelio, based on the fact that he ended the round in a dominant position.
     Franck took the fight to the ground early in the final round, pressed Aurelio against the cage, beat him up for 90 seconds or so, and then Aurelio flipped him over, mounted him, hit him with some elbows, and then tried to take his back again, but Franck was able to flip him over and get back on top. Franck beat up Aurelio with some more ground & pound, until the referee stood them back up with 90 seconds left in the fight. They traded a few strikes, the fight went to the ground again, with Franck on top, he blasted Aurelio with some knees, and won the round. In the end, I think Aurelio deserved to win this fight, 29-28, but two of the judges gave it to Franck, for the split-decision victory.
      Ford came out, violently beat the shit out of Baker with some heavy punches & knees, and then took Baker down 30 seconds into the opening round. Ford spent the rest of the round smothering Baker against the cage, while brutally beating him with heavy punches and elbows. Baker got side control with 90 seconds left in the round, but wasn't able to do much with it. They stood back up with a minute left in the round, and Ford continued to slaughter Baker on the feet. Round one very clearly goes to Ford.
     They spent a decent portion of the second round working some dirty boxing from the clinch. Baker eventually got Ford to the ground, where he beat him up for a while. Ford was able to get back on top near the end of the round, but I scored that round for Baker, since he seemed to control a good portion of it.
      Ford took Baker down in the third round, repeatedly, and Baker mostly just tied him up to avoid damage. Baker mounted Ford with 2 minutes left in the fight, and even grabbed his back, working for a rear-naked choke. Ford spun out of that with a minute left in the fight, and beat up Baker from inside his guard for the rest of the fight. That fight was pretty close, but I scored it 29-28 in favor of Ford. One judge agreed, and the other two gave him all 3 rounds. Solid fight overall.
(Head Kick and Knee)
      Ortiz was standing with his hands down by his waist for some reason in the first round, so Lima blasted him in the chin with that huge right hand, knocking Ortiz down. Once they were on the ground, Lima got on his back, looking for the rear-naked choke, and wasn't able to get it, but he pretty much dominated Ortiz for most of the round from the back mount. Eventually Ortiz slipped out, and ended up in the guard of Lima, but he wasn't able to do anything from there. Nice round for Lima. The second round goes to Lima as well, but it wasn't a very exciting round. In the final 10 seconds, Lima basically slaughtered Ortiz, and the bell sounded (sort of) with a little *clink* sound, and there was some confusion, so a few seconds after the round had ended, the referee finally separated them. Another nice round for Lima. Lima continued to pick apart Ortiz with strikes in the third round, Ortiz's face was bleeding quite a bit, and with 10 seconds left, Lima blasted Ortiz with a big right hand, followed by a kick to the head, and a flying knee, Ortiz collapsed, and Lima finished him with punches on the ground. Nice performance by Douglas Lima.
      These fighters were trading punches for most of this fight. Richman was moving forward, throwing combinations, and Shamhalaev was mostly waiting to counter with the perfect shot. That's exactly what he did, throwing a big right hand counter that knocked Richman on his ass. Shamhalaev landed a couple more shots and the referee jumped in to stop the fight. Great win for Shahbulat Shamhalaev.
      Santos rocked Hale early with some massive punch combinations, as he was swinging with all of his bodyweight behind his shots. Hale somehow was able to survive, but was clearly looking to clinch to try to regain his composure. Santos drove through and took him to the ground. Hale got back to his feet, but Santos continued to press him against the cage. The referee broke them up halfway through the round. Santos was clearly exhausted at this point, which allowed Hale to maul him, knocking him to the ground, Santos turtled up, Hale got on his back and punched him in the head a LOT, forcing the referee to stop the fight. That was an AWESOME comeback TKO for Hale.
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      Lorenzi landed a few kicks, Carson tried to take him down, Lorenzi ended up on top, he beat up Carson a little bit, Carson got him into his guard, went for a Kimura, DeLorenzi escaped, got on Carson's back, and finished him with a rear-naked choke near the end of the first round. Decent Bellator debut for Guillaume DeLorenzi.
(Rear-Naked Choke)