The final semifinal round of Bellator’s fifth season takes place at this weekend’s Bellator 56 with the heavyweights taking center stage. Following the opening round at Bellator 52, the bracket was hit with a medical suspension and an injury that forced two semifinalists out of the tournament.
The twisted mess starts off with Mike Hayes defeating Neil Grove in the opening round but suffering a fractured orbital bone. Thiago Santos, who was originally supposed to be in the tournament stepped in for Hayes to take on Blagoi Ivanov. Then it was Ivanov who suffered an undisclosed injury and was replaced by recently knocked out of the tournament Grove. So the Mike Hayes vs. Blagoi Ivanov bout turned into a Thiago Santos vs. Neil Grove that is set to go down on Saturday.
Luckily neither Eric Prindle nor Ron Sparks came up lame and their semifinal bout is still intact. These two massive heavyweights have similar styles and skill sets that should results in the fight of the night.
A fight that most likely won’t result in a fight of the night performance is the night’s main event and welterweight title fight between the champion Ben Askren and Jay Hieron. The champ will be making his first title defense after defeating Lyman Good at Bellator 33. Hieron won the season four welterweight tournament that arguably had one of the best tournament fields the promotion has put together.
Bellator 56 will only have three main card fights due the welterweight title fight, but the undercard which will stream live on Spike.com will consist of seven bouts.
Main Card (MTV2):
170 lbs. Championship bout: Ben Askren will defeat Jay Hieron by Unanimous Decision
- Jay Hieron is a tough dude and has never been submitted but Ben Askren is the closest thing to a human blanket. Expect a 25 minute, five round grind from Askren that will frustrate not only his opponent but the fans as well.
265 lbs. Semifinal bout: Ron Sparks will defeat Eric Prindle by 1st rd. KO
- Ron Sparks and Eric Prindle are near mirror images of each other and both like to stand and trade. This one is a coin flip as to who lands the big shot first and my quarter landed on Sparks.
265 lbs. Semifinal bout: Thiago Santos will defeat Neil Grove by 2nd rd. Submission
- Neil Grove wanted so badly to get back into the tournament after losing via split decision but Thiago Santos is a bad matchup for him. While not known for his jiu-jitsu, Santos has four submissions and will add a fifth one to advance to the finals.
Local Feature Fight (Spike.com):
265 lbs.: Daniel Gallemore will defeat Derrick Ruffin
170 lbs.: Rudy Bears will defeat Marcio Navarro
145 lbs.: Jeremy Spoon will defeat Adam Schindler
205 lbs.: Dan Spohn will defeat Kelvin Tiller
155 lbs.: E.J. Brooks will defeat Willian De Souza
145 lbs.: Jacob Aiken will defeat Jeimeson Saudino vs.
135 lbs.: Aaron Ely will defeat Owen Evinger
- Another Injury sends Neil Grove Back into the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament
- Bellator 52: Make Room for the Heavyweights
- Bellator 52 Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Results
- Bellator 54 Bold Predictions
- Bellator 40 Locks up Lightweight and Welterweight Finals
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