(6/19/2013)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (26 Total):
1. Justin McNally - 92.7
2. Vitaly Minakov - 92.7
3. Ryan Martinez - 92.6
4. Muhammed Lawal - 92.5
5. War Machine - 92.4
6. Damon Jackson - 92.2
7. Keith Berry - 92.0
8. Raphael Butler - 91.6
9. Cortez Coleman - 91.5
10. Jacob Noe - 90.3
Bellator 96: King Mo vs. Petruzelli
Location: Thackerville, Oklahoma
Elevation: 866'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Muhammed Lawal vs. Seth Petruzelli
90.4
Fighters & Matches 88.3
Top 10 Fighters 92.1
TOTAL 90.2
89.2
Submission
(Inverted Triangle Armbar)
2:44
     This fight started with both guys clashing like two 135 pound bulls, with McNally eventually securing a takedown, but Artoff immediately started working his rubber guard, looking for a possible Gogoplata? McNally slipped out of it, sort of got on the back of Artoff, locked on an inverted triangle choke, started cranking the arm of Artoff, and finished the fight via submission. This was a really interesting grappling match while it lasted, and a great second Bellator win via submission, by Justin McNally.
86.9
Decision
15:00
      I gave the first round to Girtz for securing a takedown early in the first round, but neither fighter really did much damage in the first round. Girtz secured another takedown in the second round, but wasn't able to do anything with it, so the referee stood them back up. Once they were back up on their feet, Campos stole the round with his striking. He even nearly finished him with some punches, and ended the round in full mount, looking for a guillotine choke. Girtz took the fight back to the ground again in the third round, busting up the forehead of Campos with some hard elbows, but Campos got back to his feet with about half the round left. Girtz secured another takedown, beating up Campos some more, they got back to their feet with about 10 seconds left, and Campos beat up Girtz. In the end, it was a close fight, and could have maybe gone either way, but I scored it 29-28 for Girtz. The judges all scored the fight 29-28 for Derek Campos. Bad decision in my opinion, but it was close enough, that I'm not going to complain too much about it.
86.5
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      Halsey slowly secured a takedown in the first round of this fight, and as usual, ended up in Yager's half guard, where Halsey battered him with punches and elbows. Yager sort of worked his way back to his feet, but Halsey took him back down without much of a problem. The second round started, and Yager kicked Halsey in the dick, dropping him for a few minutes. The referee then took a point away from Yager for the foul. Once the fight started back up, Halsey shot for a really slow takedown, sort of planting Yager on his ass, but it was more of a stalemate than a takedown. Halsey finally secured a takedown at the end of the round. 10-8 round for Halsey in my opinion. The final round had Halsey shooting for another shitty takedown, and Yager beat him up a little bit on the way in. Yager won the first half of the final round, punishing Halsey for his weak takedowns, but Halsey eventually secured a takedown, ending up in side control (as usual), leaving the fight a pretty clear 30-27 for Halsey in my opinion, that's IF you count that final round as a draw. 29-27 for Halsey, if you gave that final round to Yager. One dumb ass judge gave the fight to Yager, 30-28, which is impossible, since he lost a point due to the groin strike, so... I don't know what's up with these judges, but at least the other 2 judges were paying attention, so Halsey wins via split-decision.
89.7
KO
(Punch)
2:19
      Martinez spent the first two minutes of this fight just slowly plodding forward, as Hale picked him apart with random punches, and hard leg kicks. Martinez eventually shot in for a takedown, brought Hale to the ground, Hale tried to catch him with an armbar, Martinez stood up out of it, and knocked Hale unconscious with some BRUTAL punches directly to the chin on the ground. That was a slow start, but a brutal finish for Ryan Martinez.
87.2
TKO
(Punches & Elbows)
2:57
      O'Neal is short, and fat, and looks like he would benefit by cutting around 80 pounds or so, to get to a more appropriate weight class. With that being said, he did a decent job wrestling around, but for the most part, this fight consisted of Butler punching the shit out of him, looking like a big bully, and he was able to finish O'Neal with some ground & pound around the halfway mark of the first round. Butler looked decent, but O'Neal doesn't even really look like an actual fighter.
88.7
TKO
(Punches)
2:00
      Alright... So Keith Miner doesn't have a right hand... He threw a punch with it though, and Jackson ducked under it, and took him to the ground with ease. Jackson immediately got side control. From there, he cut open the head of Miner with some elbows. He continued to pound on him, forcing him against the cage, before posturing up, and exploding on him with some big right hands, forcing the referee to stop the fight. Solid performance by Damon Jackson, against the one-handed man.
88.8
TKO
(Punches)
3:55
      War Machine came out swinging, and Avena took him down, but they stood up a few seconds later. They traded some punches, and War Machine shot in for a takedown of his own. Avena climbed back up by the cage, and War Machine punched him in the face a few times on the way up. Avena blasted him with some knees from the clinch, and War Machine returned fire with some heavy punches. Avena clinched with him to slow down the pace, pressing him against the cage, but War Machine tripped him and ended up on top again. War Machine moved into the mounted crucifix, and dropped a series of left hands down on the face of Avena, eventually forcing the referee to stop the fight. Really solid Bellator debut for War Machine.
89.3
KO
(Punches)
0:32
      These guys were both testing the waters with a few random punches, not a lot landing for the first 30 seconds or so, until Minakov blasted Sparks in the face with a big right hand, putting him on his ass, and then Minakov pounced on him, and finished him off with a few punches on the ground. Nice quick KO victory for Vitaly Minakov.
86.9
TKO
(Punches)
13:32
      The first round reminded me of Goldberg vs. Lesnar, where they just clinched, "locking horns like two bulls", and nothing happened for 5 minutes. These guys traded a few random strikes, but for the most part, it was just a lot of circling around each other, and clinching here & there. Round one is probably a draw.
      The second round featured some more clinching, with Noe pressing Babalu up against the fence, while landing short knees, and working for a possible takedown. Babalu then landed his second knee to the groin of Noe. When the fight started back up, they traded some punches & kicks while circling around each other, but for the most part, neither fighter was making much progress. I guess I'll give that round to Noe.
      They circled around each other for a while in the final round, until Babalu shot for a takedown 90 seconds into the round. Noe stuffed it, with his back against the fence, until they reset in the center of the cage. Noe dropped Babalu with some punches halfway through the round, but Babalu sort of recovered and kept coming forward. Noe continued to batter Babalu, as Babalu's right cheek was bleeding from a bad cut. With around 90 seconds left in the fight, Noe landed a few more punches, and the referee decided to stop the fight, as Babalu was nearly out on his feet. Great win for Jacob Noe.
90.4
KO
(Punch)
1:35
      Petruzelli threw a few kicks, and King Mo took him to the ground. Once they were on the ground, Mo beat the shit out of him with some basic ground & pound, and then knocked him unconscious with an atomic bomb of a diving right hand, that looked like a typical bullet to the head, headshot from a videogame or some shit. Awesome quick victory for King Mo, against a guy that I don't really take very seriously at all.
86.5
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
2:27
      This fight started with Maldonado beating up Smith on the feet with some punches and kicks, cutting open his eyebrow early. Maldonado eventually shot in for a takedown, grabbed Smith's back, locked on a rear-naked choke, and finished the fight via submission, around the halfway mark of the first round.
90.3
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      These guys came out swinging violently, Berry put Coleman down with big punches, he mounted him, and unloaded on him with massive punches, but Coleman swept him, ending up on top inside Berry's guard, where he beat the shit out of Berry for a few seconds. That opening minute was extremely explosive for both fighters. They stood up, and continued to trade at an extremely violent pace, and Berry nearly knocked out Coleman halfway through the opening round. The round ended with Coleman back on top, beating up Berry on the ground. I would call that round a draw, but I scored it for Berry based on the fact that he nearly knocked out Coleman multiple times.
     The second round started with both fighters throwing brutal punches, and heavy knees from the clinch. Berry took Coleman to the ground with 2 minutes left in the round, after battering him with some knees from the clinch, he landed in full mount, and basically just smothered Coleman for a few seconds. Berry took his back with 90 seconds left in the round, and started working for a rear-naked choke. Coleman slowly spun around, ending up on top inside Berry's guard, finishing out the round landing short punches on the ground. Really great fight so far, but I have Berry ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
     They both looked tired coming out for the final round, and that allowed Coleman to press Berry into the cage and work some dirty boxing. Berry took him down 90 seconds into the round, but Coleman held him in a loose guillotine choke, while Berry's head was bleeding all over the place. Berry passed to full mount, and then landed some short punches to the body of Coleman. Coleman swept him halfway through the round, and spent the last half of the round beating up Berry with punches & elbows on the ground. I gave that round to Coleman, but still scored the fight 29-28 for Berry, and two of the judges agreed, giving him the hard fought split-decision.
87.5
Decision
15:00
      Skelly pretty much dominated Card during the first round, immediately grabbing his back, where he spent most of the round looking for a rear-naked choke, as well as a kneebar at one point. The second round was a pretty wild back & forth fight, with both guys landing some solid shots, and Skelly had trouble getting the fight to the ground, but eventually slammed Card, locked on a rear-naked choke, and almost got the finish, but Card escaped at the end of hte round. The final round finally started to swing in favor of Card, as he was able to land some solid punches, he then went for a guillotine, an armbar, and he got on Skelly's back and punched him for a few. This fight was a pretty clear 29-28 unanimous decision victory for Chas Skelly. Pretty decent fight overall.
OVERALL 90.2
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