Lightweights are awesome. I think that’s been scientifically proven with quality talent at 155-pounds popping up everywhere in the most talent rich division in all of mixed martial arts.
Tonight Bellator 87 features the opening round of their lightweight tournament as the field of eight gets chopped in half as they vye to challenge for the crown that rests upon the head of Michael Chandler.
Thiago Michel vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy
The fight proceedings open with both men swinging leather and Sarnavskiy landing with a hard shot that wobbled Michel. They both begin to land shots but the Russian seems to be hitting with the harder and more effective strikes. Sarnaviskiy lands a body kick from the outside. Michel lands a push kick and follows up with a two-punch combo. Sarnavskiy lands a fierce overhand-right which is countered with a spinning-back-kick from Michel. Sarnavskiy floors him late momentarily before an outside trip from Michel and a near guillotine-choke attempt.
The rounds begins where it left off with both men exchanging and Sarnavskiy landing with that overhand right. ‘Tiger’ presses him against the cage looking for takedowns which he gets momentarily. The Russian gets the fight down eventually but Michel is active looking to get back to his feet wall-walking. ‘Tiger’ scrambles and gets the back of Michel with both hooks in as he hunts a rear-naked-choke. He shifts his hips and cranks on the neck and that’s all she wrote.
Saad Awad vs. Guillaume DeLorenzi
The American begins firing off leg kicks and DeLorenzi is quick to fire back with one of his own before a slip from DeLorenzi leaves him open to get eat a shot and the replacement fighter just pounces with a string of powerful shots that forced referee Jason Herzog to step in.
Will Brooks vs. Ricardo Tirloni
Brooks fires off a head kick and follows up with a foot to the leg before Tirloni gets in close with a two-punch combination. Brooks finds a home with his kick but missed upstairs before Tirloni fights to get the fight to the mat. With his back against the cage, Brooks attempts to wall-walk, gets it back to the feet and gets a takedown of his own. Tirloni attempts a triangle from his back before Brooks takes top position with ground-and-pound. Tirloni fights from his back and is active but Brooks doesn’t give him room to breathe.
Both men exchange early and fire off with a string of punches before Brooks gets a takedown but Tirloni fights to keep it on the feet. A clinch battle ensues with Tirloni landing effectve shots before Brooks gets a takedown. Brooks takes top position against the cage and fires off with punches but Tirloni pushes him off. Brooks pounces back down but almost gets caught in a hell-hook before he abandons and returns to the feet. A clinch battle ends with Brooks taking a nasty shot to the groin. Fight resets with less than a minute on the clock as Brooks circles and lands shots and a missed head kick. Tirloni presses the action, trips him to the floor but it gets back to the feet before the bell sounds.
Feeling out process early as they trade short punches and kicks. Failed high kick from Tirloni that has nothing on the footwork and head movement of his opponent. Tirloni fires upstairs and leaves the door wide open to be taken down. Tirloni works from his back as Brooks passes to half-guard and almost gets mount. Brooks lands some serious elbows. Tirloni gets Brooks off him and gets back to the feet. They exchange punches in a clinch before we return to a striking match in the center. Brooks gets another takedown into the closed guard of the former tournament runner-up. Tirloni throws up his legs looking for the submission but isn’t able to get it done as some short punches from Brooks closes the round.
MMASucka.com Score: Will Brooks def. Ricardo Tirloni by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Official score: Will Brooks def. Ricardo Tirloni by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
David Rickels vs. Lloyd Woodard
Woodward begins with punches before a kick from Rickels gives Woodward the chance to close the distance and looks for a takedown. Woodward takes the back of Rickels and executes a belly-to-back suplex. Scrambling ensues before Rickels winds up on bottom with Woodward in his guard. ‘Cupcake’ postures up and fires punches before Rickels looks for an armbar but is slammed by Woodward while he keeps a hold of his arm. Woodward gets his arm free and passes the guard. Dive in right-elbow from Woodward and Rickels again looks for the armbar on bottom but no success. Woodward sticks to him like glue and tackles him to the mat before Rickels looks for a heel hook. Rickels gets top position and fires punches in his guard in the final seconds.
Chants for Rickels open the round as an unorthodox striking battle ensues and Rickels lands a left-hook that seems to stun Woodward. Rickels thrusts a front-kick and starts unloading with a few punches that are met by Woodward. Rickels as the aggressor coming forward before Woodward tackles him to the floor. Rickels seeks an armbar and looks to go belly-down. Woodward powers out of the submission attempt. Woodward takes top position in guard before Rickels forces the fight back to the feet. Clinched against the cage Rickels is in charge and lands knees to the leg. Rickels lands shots before Woodward gets the late takedown. Rickels fought him off before eating an up-kick as the round concluded.
Rickels fires off with a high kick and keeps his distance with his leg kick. Rickels pushes forward and lands punches. Woodward comes in and eats a shot for it on two occasions, the second hurting him. Leg kick from Rickels who is the constant aggressor. Great counter-striking from Rickels who tags the Montana native. Woodward comes in with a knee and eats a left-hook. Woodward again comes in but lands a hard shot this time. ‘Caveman’ hits with his leg kick and Woodward fires back with one of his own. Rickels lands with his jab before Rickels attempts a kick and almost gets taken down for it. Rickels rushes with a flurry but eats a shot for it and Woodward comes in with punches and looks to get a takedown against the cage. Woodward throws him down but almost falls into a guillotine choke. Woodward on top with punches before a triangle attempt from Rickels as the fight concludes.
MMASucka.com score: David Rickels def. Lloyd Woodward by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Official score: David Rickels def. Lloyd Woodward by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)