(3/7/2013)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (22 Total):
1. Akop Stepanyan - 92.8
2. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev - 92.3
3. Josh Appelt - 92.1
4. Brandon Halsey - 91.7
5. Brett Cooper - 91.2
6. Keith Berry - 90.8
7. Nick Piedmont - 90.8
8. Ricky Legere Jr. - 90.7
9. Aaron Miller - 90.7
10. Mike Richman - 90.0
Bellator 92: Khasbulaev vs. Sandro
Location: Temecula, California
Elevation: 1,017'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Brett Cooper vs. Dan Cramer
90.3
Fighters & Matches 88.3
Top 10 Fighters 91.3
TOTAL 89.8
88.4
Technical Submission
(Arm-Triangle Choke)
10:50
     Halsey secured an easy takedown early in the first round. From there, he beat up Ramirez for a couple of minutes from side control, but he wasn't really doing a ton of damage until he started dropping big elbows. Ramirez eventually rolled over onto his stomach to avoid the shots, and Halsey went for a rear-naked choke, about halfway through the round. Ramirez escaped the choke, but he spent the rest of the round getting bullied by Halsey. The second round was a repeat of the first round, with Halsey securing a takedown early, and beating up Ramirez from side control, landing big elbows, and causing a giant lump to form on Ramirez's forehead. The third round had Ramirez shooting in for a ridiculous takedown, Halsey stuffed it, ended up in side mount again, and he put Ramirez to sleep with an arm-triangle choke. Nice technical submission victory for Halsey, after dominating Ramirez for 10 minutes with ground & pound.
87.0
Decision
15:00
      This fight was all about Miller dancing around the outside, circling Smith while picking him apart with punches. Smith just plodded forward, while winging big punches that failed to connect. Miller took him down in the first round and flipped him around with a Kimura attempt, which he turned into an armbar attempt at the end of the round. The second round had Miller taking down Smith 30 seconds into the round, and then he dominated him on the ground for the rest of the round with a rear-naked choke attempt, followed by some ground & pound from back mount. With 2 minutes left in the round, Miller landed a series of brutal elbows to the side of the head from back mount, before working toward an awkward banana split/kneebar while clinging to Smith's back. The final round had Miller taking down Smith 30 seconds into the round again. He continued to dominate Smith for the rest of the fight. Solid 30-27 unanimous decision victory for Aaron Miller.
89.3
Decision
15:00
      Appelt started this fight with a couple of jabs, and then Lara shot in for a takedown, eventually dumping Appelt to the ground. Appelt wrestled his way back to his feet, Lara rushed in for another takedown, and Appelt used his momentum to throw Lara to the ground against the cage. From there, Appelt beat the shit out of Lara with punches to the head on the ground while Lara turtled up. They stood back up, Lara was looking for another takedown, and Appelt threw him down again, and continued to punch him in the head while Lara did the turtle thing again. They both stood back up with a minute left in the round, and then they both unloaded on each other with some massive punch combinations, looking to kill each other, Lara mauled Appelt, and then hit him with a knee to the head while Appelt was on the ground, so the referee took a point from Lara. Crazy round, but I'm scoring it 10-8 for Appelt.
     The second round was similar to the first, with Appelt bullying Lara on the ground, beating him up with big punches while Lara turtled up. Lara went for a kneebar at one point, and beat up Appelt a little bit, but by the end of the round, Appelt was back in control, beating Lara's ass against the cage on the ground. This fight is shockingly good so far, with Appelt ahead 20-17 going into the final round.
     The final round started with both guys hopping around throwing jabs at each other, and then Appelt took down Lara again, and beat him up on the ground from that same turtle position, and to escape, Lara threw a backfist to Appelt's groin, which was weird & ridiculous. Big John took away TWO points from Lara for that low blow, saying it was intentional, and he told him to stop doing stupid shit and be a God damned MMA competitor. Once the fight started back up, Appelt pressed Lara against the cage, and beat him up for the rest of the round. Josh Appelt wins this fight 30-24 on all 3 scorecards. Solid performance by Appelt, and decent performance by Lara, minus the multiple illegal shots.
87.0
Submission
(Kimura)
1:31
      These guys threw some wild punches, Berry clinched, and then took Rigmaden to the ground. It's worth noting that Rigmaden was 6 pounds light for this fight, which is significant, since I'm assuming Berry had to cut a decent amount of weight just to make the 185 limit. After Berry controlled the wrestling game for a minute or so, he slapped on a Kimura from side control, cranked the shit out of it, and Rigmaden was forced to tap just 90 seconds into the first round.
90.3
TKO
(Kick to the Body and Punches)
13:55
      The entire first round took place on the feet, with both guys trading strikes, and Stepanyan was clearly outstriking Saunders, with some hard kicks, and some great footwork. Saunders landed a few decent strikes, but every time he would land something, Stepanyan would counter with something 5x's harder. Saunders shot for a takedown at the end of the round, and Stepanyan caught him in a tight guillotine. Saunders was saved by the bell.
     The second round was more of the same, with Saunders getting schooled on the feet by Stepanyan's superior striking. About 90 seconds into the round, Stepanyan threw a MASSIVE kick, JUST above the cup of Saunders, which caused Saunders to go to the ground due to the "groin strike", where his cup lifted into his balls a little bit. Not a true groin shot, but it had a similar effect. Once the fight started back up, Stepanyan continued to kick the shit out of Saunders, even knocking him to the ground with a massive leg kick, followed by a spinning back kick to the body as he was trying to get back up. Saunders finally shot in for a takedown with 90 seconds left in the round, but Stepanyan showed some outstanding takedown defense. This is hands down the best Stepanyan I've ever seen. Stepanyan is insanely fast for 155.
     The final round started, and Saunders knew he needed to get the knockout, so he was throwing bombs, and he dropped Stepanyan with a nice combination. Stepanyan popped right back up though, and continued to throw kicks. At one point, Saunders threw a flying knee, and Stepanyan punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. He got back up, and Stepanyan continued to hit him with a variety of strikes. Saunders looked solid in that final round, but eventually, Stepanyan threw a BRUTAL spinning back kick, Saunders fell to the ground like he had just been blasted by a shotgun, Stepanyan was going to do the walk off KO thing, but the referee told him to continue, so Stepanyan jumped on him and punched him in the head a few times, forcing the referee to finally stop the fight. Awesome display of striking by Akop Stepanyan.
88.0
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      Bezerra started this fight by shooting for a takedown, and a minute into the round, he finally got Richman down against the cage. Bezerra threw a few short punches, and basically just smothered Richman for a little while. He moved into full mount, grabbed Richman's back, and started looking for the rear-naked choke halfway through the round. Bezerra landed a lot of punches while riding Richman's back with the body triangle. Round one clearly goes to Alexandre Bezerra.
     The second round had both guys standing & trading with each other, with Richman slightly outboxing Bezerra for most of the round. By comparison, you might call the first round 10-8 for Bezerra, and the second round was a 10-9 for Richman. Richman's right cheek was scuffed from punches, and Bezerra's nose was busted up & bloody.
     The final round was another 90 seconids or so of relatively even boxing, before Bezerra took Richman down again, beating his ass for a couple of minutes with some ground & pound from side control. Bezerra grabbed Richman's back with 2 minutes left, but Richman was able to roll out of that, ending up on top inside Bezerra's guard with 90 seconds to go. They stood back up, and Richman beat up Bezerra on the feet for the final minute of the fight. That round was probably a 10-10 round, so I scored this fight 29-28 in favor of Alexandre Bezerra, or I would be fine with a draw as well. Instead, two judges disagreed, giving the fight to Richman by split-decision.
90.3
KO
(Punches)
13:19
      Cramer dropped Cooper 10 seconds into the first round with some punches. He jumped down into his guard, and beat him up with some short punches on the ground. Cramer passde to side control, and then grabbed Cooper's back. Cramer clearly won that round, but he never really came close to finishing it, outside of the punch that rocked Cooper 10 seconds in. Cooper fought his way into top position with 20 seconds left in the round, and landed a few decent punches.
     The second round started with Cooper shooting for a takedown, but Cramer was able to stuff it with his back against the cage. Cramer landed a few knees from the clinch, and Cooper continued to push forward for a takedown, and Cramer continued to blast him with knees, while stuffing those shots. Cramer wins another round, with some excellent punches & knees, and Cooper fails miserably with an entire round full of failed takedown attempts.
     Cooper finally brought the fight to the ground, 2 minutes into the final round, where he landed a few decent punches before Cramer stood back up. Cramer pressed him against the cage, landed a few tired punches, and Cooper slipped out and reset in the center of the cage. Cramer continued to work some decent punches and knees, until Cooper unloaded on him with some bombs, Cramer was clearly rocked, and then Cooper knocked him the fuck out. That was a pretty impressive comeback KO by Brett Cooper against one of the top guys in Bellator's Middleweight Division.
87.9
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      Aliev took down the Rhino in the first round, and beat him up on the ground against the cage for most of the round. Pretty easy round to score in favor of Aliev. Marshall stood back up at one point, but Aliev just brought him right back down and continued to bully him. The referee stood them up, Aliev took Marshall down again. No question that the first round goes to Aliev.
     Marshall threw some big punches in the second round, but didn't connect with much, before Aliev took him down again in the center of the cage. Aliev continued to take down Marshall throughout the round, beating him up on the ground. Marshall did a slightly better job this round staying on his feet, landing a few decent shots, and by the end of the round, he was walking down Aliev, bullying him against the cage. That round could potentially go either way.
     The Rhino was stalking Aliev for the first minute of the final round, but Aliev then grabbed his back and took him to the ground, where he punched him in the side of the head repeatedly. Aliev tried to stretch him out for a rear-naked choke, but Marshall did a decent job defending, eventually getting back to his feet 2 minutes into the round. Aliev was looking for another takedown, Marshall landed a few short punches, before Aliev put him on the ground again. This was a competitive fight, but I feel like it should have been a clear 29-28 decision for Aliev. Rhino had a nice little explosion in the final seconds of the fight, missing with a flying knee, Aliev fell to his back, and Rhino blasted him with a couple of heavy punches. I guess I'm ok with a split-decision, but I really feel like Aliev probably deserved to win this one. Two judges gave it to Marshall instead.
89.8
TKO
(Punches)
12:38
      These guys clinched for a minute or so to start the fight, until Sandro dropped Khasbulaev with a knee to the groin. After several minutes to recover, Khasbulaev took Sandro to the ground, and they ended up in an awkward grappling exchange, before splitting up and resetting on the feet. The fight went to the ground again, and Khasbulaev slapped on an armbar, but Sandro spun out of it. Khasbulaev cranked on a Kimura near the end of the round from full mount, and then finished the round by punching Sandro in the face a lot. Round one goes to Khasbulaev.
     The second round was another round full of wild scrambling, with both guys rolling around on the ground like maniacs, trading top position, with Sandro ending up on top for a good portion of the round. He grabbed Khasbulaev's back, turned that into an arm-triangle choke, and then Khasbulaev stood back up. By the end of the round, Khasbulaev mounted Sandro, and went back to looking for a variety of arm locks, ending the round on Sandro's back, throwing punches at him while he turtled up. I have Khasbulaev ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
     The final round started with Khasbulaev taking the fight to the ground again, landing in half mount. He moved to side control while throwing short punches. He was kind of teasing with a mounted crucifix, while punching Sandro in the face. Khasbulaev eventually opened up, mounted Sandro, and continued to punch him in the head for a minute or so, he grabbed Sandro's back again, they stood up clinching, with Khasbulaev on Sandro's back, he threw him to the ground, mounted him again, unloaded with some heavy punches, and the referee stopped the fight. Great win for Magomedrasul Khasbulaev.
86.5
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
7:52
      Homasi looked decent in the first half of the opening round, working some decent boxing while stuffing Legere's takedown attempts. Eventually, Legere slammed Homasi, took his back, and threw a lot of punches & elbows, beating up Homasi on the ground for the rest of the round, before looking for a rear-naked choke. Round one goes to Legere.
     The second round had Legere landing a few decent strikes, before Homasi clipped him with some punches, which lead to Legere taking him down again. Legere moved to full mount, and then grabbed his back, beat up Homasi on the ground for a little while, and eventually slapped on the rear-naked choke for the submission victory halfway through the second round. Solid performance by Legere.
86.5
TKO
(Punches)
0:55
      Piedmont started this fight with a few leg kicks, Luciano tried to move in on him, Piedmont put him down with a big right hand, and then followed up with a few punches on the ground, forcing the referee to stop the fight in under a minute. Nice quick finish for Nick Piedmont.
OVERALL 89.8
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