Sports

MMA Analysis: Season 5 Ends Poorly with Bellator 59

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What a difference a week makes. Following last week’s Bellator 58 that featured a fight of the year candidate, Bellator 59 ended season five on an unfortunate sour note. Featuring two tournament finals and two exciting lightweight bouts on the main card, things looked promising on paper.

Then the fights happened and things got odd with the main card on MTV2.

It all started with Phillipe Nover making his Bellator debut against Marcin Held in a fight that saw more grappling then damage. Held dove for several submission attempts that would fail and put him on his back for most of the fight. When the judges scores were read it came down to a split decision that somehow went in the favor of Held. The crowd and Nover were stunned and upset by the decision, while Held celebrated the controversial win.

The first tournament bout of the night was in the bantamweight division between Eduardo Dantas and Alexis Vila. Things started out good for the wrestler Vila but Dantas made the correct adjustments between rounds and turned the fight around in his favor.

Next up was Patricky Freire taking on Kurt Pellegrino and this fight ended way too quickly. Freire dropped Pellegrino with a pretty combination and had his opponent in real trouble, but was it enough to warrant a stop to the fight? The referee thought it was and called a stop to the fight, which brought on a chorus of boos from the New Jersey crowd. Pellegrino was in a bad spot and in trouble for sure but he wasn’t out and it would have been nice to let the fight go a little longer. Pellegrino is one of the sports “good guys” and made no excuses about the defeat and even offered to help Freire in his next Bellator tournament run.

Closing the show was the heavyweight tournament finale and for the first time in Bellator’s history a tournament finale ends in a no contest. The fight only lasted just over a minute and it ended with an unintentional illegal blow by Thiago Santos in which Eric Prindle was unable to recover from. The two will now have to do this all over again early next season to find out who will fight Cole Konrad for the title.

Sometimes you hit a home run but sometime you strikeout and Bellator followed last weeks epic fight with a swing and a miss.

Main Card (MTV2):

265 lbs. Tournament Final bout: Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle ends in a No-contest

  • Right away Santos grabs a hold of Prindle and takes him to the ground. Prindle explodes out and back to his feet only to be taken down before even a single strike could be thrown. With Prindle on his back, Santos kicks Prindle right between the legs that grinds the fight to a halt just 84 second into the fight. After the five minutes Prindle tells the NJSAC that “he feels like he’s going to throw-up” and shortly after that the bell sounds to end the fight.

155 lbs.: Patricky Freire defeated Kurt Pellegrino by 1st rd TKO

  • After a feeling out period, Freire lands a left hook followed by a right hand that drops Pellegrino. Freire drops some hammer fists as Pellegrino scrambles for a leg but the “Pitbull” escapes and continues to punch the former UFC fighter. Freire is relentless with the strikes and even though Pellegrino wasn’t out and looked to be trying to circle and escape the referee stops the fight.
  • Kurt Pellegrino retires after the fight, telling the crowd “This will be the last time you’ll ever see me fight again.”

135 lbs. Tournament Final bout: Eduardo Dantas defeated Alexis Vila by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Alexis Vila controls the whole round with an early takedown, control against the cage and a late takedown as well. Not a lot a damage done but Dantas spent the whole round defending the takedown. Dantas turns it around in round two as he was able to defend the takedown attempts by Vila and pick him apart from the outside. Dantas comes out the fresher of the two fighters and it shows with a sloppy single leg attempt from Vila that Dantas reverses and takes the back of Vila. Dantas cannot get the rear naked choke but dominates the round and remaining three plus minutes of the fight.

155 lbs.: Marcin Held defeats Phillipe Nover by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Marcin Held rolls into a knee bar/ankle lock attempt that has Nover scrambling to escape multiple times. After the failed attempts, Nover spends the majority of the round in top position. Several submission attempts from Held that never appeared to have Nover in trouble. Held pulls guard (bad idea) and spends the majority of round two on his back eating ground and pound while unsuccessfully looking for submissions. In the final round Held rushes in and gets a takedown but does nothing and eventually gets reversed. The two would flurry at the midpoint of the round but Nover would close the fight out with a double leg takedown. Crowd doesn’t like the call and Nover is shocked by the judge’s decision.

Local Card (Spike.com):

180 lbs.: Karl Amoussou defeated Jesus Martinez by 1st rd. TKO

170 lbs.: LeVon Maynard defeated Christopher Wing by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

175 lbs.: Lucas Pimenta Borges defeated Doug Gordon by 1st rd. KO

145 lbs.: Scott Heckman defeated Brylan Van Artsdalen by 1st rd. Submission (Guillotine)

185 lbs.: Gregory Milliard defeated Brandon Saling by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)