Saturday Night, Bellator again took it to the cage on MTV2 and delivered a great night of action. The fighters on the main card did their best to keep decisions away from the judges, and in the main event, we found out why. Joe Warren was out-struck and out-wrestled for most of the 15 minutes spent in the cage with Marcos Galvao and was given a gift of a decision from the judges at ringside. It was the lone lowlight of a tremendous event.
Joe Warren came into his fight with Marcos Galvao he was the Bellator Featherweight Champion. This fight was at a catch-weight of 137 pounds, and this was the first fight on his way to 135 pounds and his bid for the Bantamweight crown. Funny thing is, he had to get past Marcos Galvao first. That wouldn’t prove easy.
Joe Warren always finds a way to get himself in trouble early in his fights, and tonight was no exception. He was nearly immediately mounted, had his back taken and was visibly shaken as a result of some solid Galvao ground and pound. Warren survived that and went on to fight a fairly even round. He got out boxed from time to time, and his wrestling was stunted, but overall, Galvao did enough to win the round, but it wasn’t overwhelming.
The second round of the fight was pretty much all Galvao. He clearly was stinging Warren with standup as well as knees to the chin, landing three in the round. He outwrestled Warren, denying the takedown time and again, and getting the better of scrambles throughout the second frame. When it came to a close, it appeared Galvao had two rounds in his pocket and was on his way to a victory.
As the third round opened, it was another clear advantage for Galvao standing, as he landed a clean right and then kicked Warren’s leg out from under him. Joe Warren took the fight to the mat, but fell into a triangle and armbar attempt, but fought both off. The remainder of the round consisted of Joe Warren getting Galvao’s back on the mat and then pounding him with some serious ground and pound. The bell ended the fight, and Galvao looked as if he’d won the fight, at the minimum of two rounds to one.
Judges will screw things up, as they sometimes do and they returned with scores in favor of Joe Warren, (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28) all for Joe Warren, who stole this one from Marco Galvao. The judging in the sport needs to be addressed, as this is a clear example of what’s wrong with MMA judging.
In a Bellator Featherweight tournament semifinal, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Wilson Reis met for a rematch and to decide who would advance to the finals. The fight started with Freire stinging Reis and causing him to clinch. The spent a couple minutes against the cage, with Reis pinned against the fence, until he spun off and threw a punch, and dove for another single leg takedown attempt that was again met by a defiant “Pitbull.” The two fighters exchanged shots, including a knee from Reis to Freire and a picture perfect counter left hand by Freire.
The second round was a lot more of the same, the two pushing the pace standing and putting on an exciting fight. The two fighters clinched frequently and took turns landing knees and strikes, but Freire landed the more meaningful strikes. Freire appeared to hurt Reis with a knee to the body, and as the bell rang to end the second, Freire was in control on the scorecards.
The third round wouldn’t reach the end and Reis was immediately stung with a one-two and began to wilt under the constant pressure of Freire. A pair of hooks hurt Reis, and from that time, it was a matter of time. The end came when a series of unanswered heavy hooks sent Reis to the mat in a heap. It was a tremendous finish to an outstanding fight. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire moves to (16-1) as a professional and his lone loss was a very questionable split decision loss to Joe Warren. He’s absolutely one of the fighters to watch in the Featherweight division.
Bantamweights Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky extended his record to 13-2 with a third round TKO of Chad Robichaux at Bellator 41. This fight with Robichaux was a non-title fight but Chad entered the fight with a perfect 11-0 record. It was apparent pretty early however that “Fun Size” was going to be too much for Chad Robichaux and he out-wrestled him, out maneuvered him and ground him down for two plus rounds.
In the third round, after both fighters missed on spinning back fists, tripped Chad and took him to the ground. He worked for position and locked on a very tight Arm Triangle but somehow Chad Robichaux was able to fight it off and escape the position. Makovsky slips to back mount and unloads with a series of brutal lefts that cause referee Jason Herzog to jump in and wave it off. It was a tremendous performance for the champion Makovsky.
The first fight of the televised show featured the other Featherweight Tournament Semifinal between Kenny Foster and Daniel Straus. Straus has a good first round; he tossed Foster to the ground and drilled Foster with knees. The round ended with Foster on his back and Straus punching from the top position. It was clearly a round scored for Straus.
The second round saw Foster hurt Straus with a shot to the body. The two wind up on the mat again, with Straus again trying to work for mount. Straus teases with a guillotine but nothing comes of it. After a scramble Straus takes Foster’s back and flattens him out, but Foster turns and frees himself getting back to his feet. As the bell rings to end the round, Foster is immediately taken back down.
The third round opened with a Straus high kick landing on Foster and stinging him. Straus moves in for a takedown and after some work, finishes it putting Foster down on the mat. He tries to choke Foster but he’s unable to as Foster slips out. Straus immediately changes the choke into a guillotine and submits Foster at 3:48 of the third round.
It was a solid of night of fights, and was only slightly marred by the horrible decision on the Joe Warren/Marcos Galvao fight. The fights that were not televised went as follows.
Rudy Aguilar was defeated by Carlos Flores by TKO at 1:19 of Round 1
Tyler Bialecki was defeated by Anthony Birchak by Submission (Choke) at 4:05 of Round 1
Michael Parker was defeated by Nick Piedmont by Split Decision
Dano Moore was defeated by Brendan Tierney by Submission (Armbar) at :49 of Round 1