Bellator MMA ended the month of July with a solid card on Wednesday evening. The event featured a tournament final and two title defenses that further pushed the stars of the number two mixed martial arts promotion in the industry.
In the main event of the evening lightweight champion and promotion poster boy needed just 44 seconds to put away David Rickels. Both fighters came out to feel each other out at the start of the first round but Chandler looked very loose in his movement and early jabs. A counter right cross dropped Rickels to his knees but he quickly tried to get back to his feet. A second right hand would drop David again giving Chandler the opportunity to jump on top to finish the fight.
This was Chandler’s 12th straight win to remain undefeated and second title defense since winning the belt in 2011.
Chandler’s former collegiate teammate, Ben Askren, set the tone in the co-main event by successfully defending his welterweight title against Andrey Koreshkov. He stopped his opponent in just under three minutes into the fourth round.
Askren used a solid dose of wrestling to keep his opponent on his back and under pressure. Akren was able to control the positioning for all four rounds before finishing the contest with a flurry from back mount.
This was also Askren’s 12th victory in his young MMA career and his fifth straight win since obtaining the title in 2010.
The light heavyweight tournament final was also featured on this card as Muhammed Lawal faced off against Jacob Noe. The former Strikeforce champion was able to earn a shot at the Bellator 205 title when he stopped his opponent in the third round.
“King Mo” kept the pressure up from the very beginning using his wrestling to take Noe to the mat and then employed his ground and pound tactics to do damage. In the third round Lawal would take Noe down once again and begin to pepper him with multiple stops that would force the stoppage of the bout.
Vitaly Minakov earned a title shot against Alexander Volkov when he defeated Ryan Martinez in the heavyweight tournament final. This fight was also finished in the third round when Minakov was able to take Martinez to the ground and finish him off with just 58 seconds remaining.
As Bellator MMA continues to try to build its brand into a recognizable organization, the fight card on July 31st went a long way in featuring their top talent. As both champions were victorious and the big name acquisition kept up his winning ways, Bellator MMA has set the stage for continued growth.
Full Fight Card
Will Brooks defeated Cris Leyva via TKO at 2:20 of round three.
Rafael Silva defeated Rodrigo Lima via Submission at 2:03 of round three.
Anthony Leone defeated Frank Baca via Submission at 1:07 of round three.
Bubba Jenkins defeated Mike Barreras via TKO at 1:05 of round two.
Patricio Freire defeated Jared Downing via TKO at 54 seconds of round one.
Vitaly Minakov defeated Ryan Martinez via TKO at 4:02 of round three.
Muhammed Lawal defeated Jacob Noe via Retirement at 2:51 of round three.
Ben Askren defeated Andrey Koreshkov via TKO at 2:58 of round four.
Michael Chandler defeated David Rickels via KO at 44 seconds of round one.
Jeremy Kimball defeated Keith Berry via KO at 1:45 of round two.
Shawn Bunch defeated Russell Wilson via Split Decision.
Javier Palacios defeated Richard Jacques via Unanimous Decision.
Adrian Cruz defeated Felipe Chavez via TKO at the start of the second round.