UFC gets all the print, but Bellator and DREAM put on two fucking fantastic shows over the weekend, and I got all inspired to browsercrash the shit out of them.
Clint Musser vs. Joey Holt
Holt with the flying knee KO action from the prelims.
Dane Bonnigson vs. Dan Spohn
Another awesome knee KO from the prelims. Gotta love Mazzagatti Jr. swooping in with the save.
~~more giffiness after the jump~~
Eduardo Dantas vs. Wilson Reis
Dantas knocks Reis out of the BW tournament with a flying knee. The 22 year-old Nova União disciple tore through Reis with sharp muay thai striking. This kid is one to keep an eye on. Excellent use of range, striking defense, and killer instinct. Didn’t get to see him on the ground but I’m sure he’s awesome there too. Oh and that wasn’t the only jump knee he landed in the fight.
Marcos Galvão vs. Chase Beebe
This was basically a dogfight with flashes of brilliance on the ground. Galvão also comes from Nova União, but you wouldn’t know it by his striking game, which basically consists of winging overhands. Fortunately for him, those were more than enough to secure a victory over Beebe. Not pretty, but effective against this particular opponent. I can see this shit causing him a little trouble against ANY of the other semi-finalists. Beebe’s only real effective offense came in the form of two pretty nasty guillotine attempts.
Ed West vs. Luis Nogueira
I think Patricky Pitbull inspired all these guys to throw jumping knees. West flashily decisions his way into the semi-finals.
Joe Warren vs. Alexis Vila
It wouldn’t be a Bellator without at least two ref tackles. Warren got lamped in epic fashion, but he got lamped pretty epically a few moments before the KO as well. Vila is a much better striker as well as a better wrestler… I don’t know why the fuck I didn’t pick him to win this fight.
Caol Uno vs. Lion Takeshi
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Takafumi Otsuka
Fernandes puts him out without throwing a strike.
Gerald Harris vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura
Not a particularly exciting fight, but it was surprisingly even. Favorite moment is Naka getting in his judo throw.
Minowaman vs. Baru Harn
Scarf Hold Shoulder Lock for the emeff’ing WIN. But Harn is a big fat Mongolian can, you say? DON’T CARE.
Rodolpho Marques vs. Yusup Saadulaev
This fight is grappling porn. I’ve never seen anybody do that particular move before, but Saadulaev did it TWICE in the same fight. Here he uses it to sweep Marques. That’s pretty awesome. And how about this sweet trip/lateral drop thingamajig? Marques won the decision, but Saadulaev won my heart.
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Yan Cabral
Saku is my favorite fighter so I don’t want to highlight him getting pwned :( Click the links below for that.
Hideo Tokoro vs. Antonio Banuelos
Took a while to get going, but these two always deliver.
Masakazu Imanari vs. Abel Cullum
When you get within hugging distance of Imanari, he’s going to pull you into his guard of death and methodically set up ways to snap your ligaments. He has exactly two strikes in his arsenal; leaping hooks from his waist, and jumping front kicks. You know all this, but you can’t stop it. He’s a jiu-jitsu robot. He has the exact same facial expression when he’s getting punched in the face as when they’re calling his name in victory. Fuck well-roundedness. Sometimes being entertaining is enough. This was my favorite fight of the night and I gif’d the shit out of it. I had to speed most of them up since they’re long as hell. This one is a favorite. Look at how he grabs hold of Cullum’s neck and then lets loose of the omoplata, hooking Cullum’s bicep with his left hand so Abel basically pulls him into back control. He didn’t hold it long but it was nice. And soo many gogoplatas!
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Joachim Hansen
Pretty badass fight, highlighted by Hansen’s sweeps and strikes, and Crusher’s Saku-like kimura throw.
Shinya Aoki vs. Rob McCullough
Yeah so they fed him a guy with no ground game… You could say the same thing about Nagashima. What really shone through in this fight was how fucking MEAN Aoki is. Hirota knows this well, but Aoki has really stepped up his viciousness. He was pulling out every shady-but-still-legal move in the book. And I love him for it. Look at Rob’s face after the fight. Ear cuffing, palm strikes to the nose, cross-facing, mouth-covering, chinning… nearly all of that in one gif! He could have submitted Rob at any point in the fight, but he wanted to torture the poor guy first. Click the links below for more Aoki assholishness.