(7/31/2013)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (28 Total):
1. Bubba Jenkins - 93.8
2. Ben Askren - 93.3
3. Michael Chandler - 92.4
4. Muhammed Lawal - 92.4
5. Jeremy Kimball - 92.0
6. Patricio Freire - 92.0
7. Rafael Silva - 91.8
8. Vitaly Minakov - 91.4
9. Will Brooks - 90.9
10. Anthony Leone - 90.8
Bellator 97: Sanchez vs. Wright
Location: New Mexico, Mexico
Elevation: 5,700'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels
90.8
Fighters & Matches 89.3
Top 10 Fighters 92.1
TOTAL 90.7
87.0
TKO
(Punches)
12:20
     Leyva started this fight with something weird, maybe a flying knee or something, but Brooks immediately shot for a takedown, grabbed his back, and suplex the living shit out of Leyva, dumping him on his neck, Randleman vs. Fedor style. Brooks then pressed him against the cage, and beat him up with some random punches. Brooks eventually moved to side control, but never really got a lot going. Still, he clearly won the first round with some basic ground & pound, and one of the best suplexes I've ever seen.
     It only took 30 seconds for Brooks to take Leyva down again in the second round, pinning him back against the cage, where he beat him up with short punches for a while. They stood back up, Brooks beat up Leyva with punches & kicks for a while, and then took him down again with a minute left in the second round. Brooks is very clearly winning this fight 2-0 going into the final round. Leyva doesn't seem like he really has any business fighting guys at this level. It doesn't help that I've never heard of him before.
     Brooks came out in the final round in more of a Muay Thai stance, throwing a lot of punches & kicks, while walking down Leyva. This also gave Leyva a chance to land a few decent shots as well though. Brooks eventually mounted Leyva 2 minutes into the final round, he grabbed his back, postured up, and punched him in the head for several seconds without Leyva putting any effort into defense, which allowed Brooks to walk away with the TKO victory. Decent stoppage for Brooks, but I would have liked to see a LITTLE more killer instinct in there, especially since he was so clearly on another level compared to Leyva.
88.9
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
12:03
      Silva took down Lima in the first round, and Lima tied him up in a tight guard. Silva spent the rest of the round beating up Lima from inside his guard, but it's worth noting that I was impressed by Lima's ability to avoid damage using his defensive guard. I'm still going to score the first round for Silva though. Silva started the second round with another takedown, and continued to grind Lima against the cage. It ended up being another round of Silva beating up Lima from the top, while Lima was looking for submission from the bottom. I have Silva ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
     Silva started the final round by driving through with another takedown. After beating up Lima for a couple of minutes, Lima gave up his back while trying to stand back up. Silva slammed him, slapped on a rear-naked choke, and finished the fight via submission a few seconds later. That was an outstanding Bellator debut for Rafael Silva. He's a solid wrestler, with an ability to finish fights. I look forward to seeing him fight again in Bellator.
88.1
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
11:07
      The first round was basically a boxing match, with both guys trading strikes at a fairly even rate, until 90 seconds were left, and Baca dropped Leone and then mauled him on the ground with some big punches. Leone shot for a desperate takedown, but Baca continued to pound on him until the bell rang. Round one goes to Baca.
     Leone started the second round with some decent punch combinations, followed by another desperate takedown, where Baca beat him up for a while, as Leone was just clinging to a single leg. Leone FINALLY got Baca to the ground with 90 seconds left in the round, Leone grabbed his back, and started working for a choke, but Baca was saved by the bell. The fight is all tied up going into the final round.
     Leone took Baca down early in the third round, and continued from where he left off at the end of the second round, slapping on a rear-naked choke with plenty of time to work. He applied that squeeze, Baca tapped, and Leone walks away with the third round submission victory. Nice win for Leone.
90.8
TKO
(Punches)
6:05
      Jenkins ran in like a rabid animal, taking Barreras down once, he got back up, Jenkins continued to look for the takedown, Barreras locked on a TIGHT guillotine choke, and Jenkins slammed him repeatedly, showing some outstanding strength at 155. Barreras refused to give up that guillotine without a fight though, holding on for dear life, but Jenkins beat on him enough to force him to give up the choke. There was a wild scramble, Barreras landed a knee from the clinch, and Jenkins took him straight back down to the ground, but once again was caught inside a guillotine choke. Jenkins slipped out, and punched Barreras in the face, a lot. They got back to their feet, and Jenkins looked tired already, but they both kept throwing bombs, in a grinding fashion. With a minute left in the round, Barreras went for his trusty guillotine choke again, and Jenkins once again powered out of it. Great first round, and fun Bellator debut for both fighters, with Jenkins winning that first round in my opinion. The second round had Jenkins taking the fight to the ground again, where he beat the living shit out of Barreras with some EXTREMELY hard punches to the head, finishing the fight via TKO around the one minute mark of the second round. Great win for Bubba Jenkins.
88.8
TKO
(Punches)
5:54
      These guys came out swinging, and Pitbull rocked Downing in the first 20 seconds, knocked him to the ground, slapped on a guillotine choke, pulled guard, and Downing broke free. They clinched for a few seconds, and the referee eventually broke them apart. They traded punches at a moderate pace for a couple of minutes, and then Pitbull rocked Downing again late in the round, and then unloaded on him with big punches, but he wasn't able to put him away. Downing stalled out the final 40 seconds in the clinch. Round one clearly goes to Pitbull. The second round started with both guys trading some kicks at a slow rate. Pitbull rocked Downing 40 seconds in with some punches, he threw a flying knee, and then continued to throw punches, until Downing fell down, and the referee stopped the fight. Solid finish for Pitbull, even though the stoppage might have been a LITTLE fast.
89.5
TKO
(Punches)
14:02
      Minakov clinched early, and pressed Martinez against the cage. Minakov landed a few knees to the body, and then Martinez somehow tripped him, knocked him to the ground, and grabbed a front choke, but Minakov backed out of it and reset in the center of the cage. They threw a few punches, clinched again, and Minakov tripped Martinez to the ground, but they stood up again before anything happened on the ground. Minakov continued to press Martinez against the cage for most of the rest of the round. Minakov wins the first round, based mostly on cage control.
     The second round was another round of clinching, with Minakov pressing Martinez against the cage, and beating him up with short punches, and eventually the fight was paused, due to a knee being delivered to Martinez's groin. The referee took a point from Minakov, without a warning, turning this into a pretty clear 9-9 round. Minakov was pretty clearly winning this fight though, going into the final round.
     The final round had Minakov continuing to move forward, grinding Martinez to the ground, where he moved into full mount, and spent the last half of the round in top position, raining down punches to the head of Martinez, eventually finishing the fight with strikes. Solid hard fought one-sided victory for Vitaly Minakov, against a tough opponent.
90.1
TKO
(Retirement)
12:51
      King Mo shot in for a takedown early in the first round, smothering Noe against the cage, where he took him down repeatedly, draining the energy out of Noe. They stood back up, and King Mo blasted a wild takedown shot from across the cage, throwing Noe to the ground again. Noe REALLY needs to work on his takedown defense. The second round started, Noe threw some punches, and Mo took him to the ground again, with ease. Mo beat the shit out of him for a while, and then Noe went for an armbar, but Mo just punched his way out of that as well. King Mo continued to pound on Noe for the rest of the round, clearly dominating the entire fight for the first 10 minutes or so, maybe even earning a 10-8 round in that second round. Noe was clearly exhausted coming out for the third round. King Mo went straight back to the ground again in the third round, beat the shit out of Noe, popping open a mouse under Noe's left eye, causing blood to completely cover the face of Noe. King Mo took the fight to the ground AGAIN around the halfway mark of the second round. Noe looked at the referee and said he couldn't see, King Mo punched him a few times, and the referee stopped the fight. Really solid performance for King Mo Lawal.
90.0
TKO
(Punches)
17:58
      Holy shit man, I don't like Ben Askren, but he wrestled the shit out of Koreshkov in the first round, throwing out some wild wrestling moves, locking up Koreshkov's head, and arms, in various takedown positions, and he locked up a tight guillotine choke about halfway through the round. The rest of the fight was basically the same story, with Askren absolutely dominating Koreshkov on the ground. Koreshkov is a badass fighter, but Askren made him look like he's never been in a fight before, especially on the ground, because Koreshkov wasn't able to do ANYTHING to Ben Askren, he just kept getting taken down, dominated from awkward positions, and Askren beat the fuck out of him with hard punches on the ground, followed by tons of submission attempts. Really great performance by Ben Askren, and I was impressed that he didn't just grind out a win, he actually finished Koreshkov in the fourth round with a series of unanswered punches on the ground. Terrible performance for Koreshkov, but I'll give him a pass, because Askren's wrestling clearly is on another level.
90.8
KO
(Punches)
0:44
      This fight started with Rickels throwing some decent leg kicks, he was mixing in some boxing, Chandler landed a few random punches, they were both hopping around at a pretty good pace, until Chandler clipped Rickels with a series of punches that sent Rickels to the ground, 100% unconscious, in under one minute of the first round. That was a fantastic first round finish for Michael Chandler against one of the best fighters in Bellator's lightweight division.
88.5
KO
(Punches)
6:45
      Berry started this fight by taking Kimball down almost immediately. From there, Berry landed some decent punches from inside Kimball's open guard. They stood back up, traded a few punches, and then clinched, with Kimball scooping up Berry and slamming him to the ground near the cage, but Berry immediately got back to his feet. Kimball then shot for another double leg, this time taking Berry down in the center of the cage. Kimball spent the rest of the round beating up Berry with punches & elbows on the ground. Round one goes to Kimball.
      Kimball started the second round with a couple of flying knees that rocked Berry. Berry then dumped Kimball to the ground, giving him a chance to recover while on top inside Kimball's guard. They stood back up a few seconds later, and Kimball immediately took down Berry. Kimball passed to full mount, postured up, landed a pair of punches that knocked Berry the fuck out. Great win for Kimball in a pretty solid Bellator debut.
N/A
Decision
(Split)
15:00
(Unaired)
N/A
Decision
15:00
(Unaired)
N/A
TKO
(Punches)
5:00
(Unaired)
N/A
Decision
(Split)
15:00
(Unaired)
OVERALL 90.7
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