On a weekend with no UFC cards, Bellator 39 had the MMA community all too them self’s, allowing them to showcase their talent to the masses. With two tournament bouts and a lightweight title fight gracing the main televised card on MTV2 this was the perfect card to have the full fans attention.
The card started off with two explosive bouts that hand the fans there in at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and the viewers at home glued. The night would close with two decisions that would lose the fans attention from time to time. Overall though Bellator 39 scored a win for the promotion at a time they needed it and a good start to the semifinal rounds.
Local Fight Card (undercard):
John McLaughlin vs. Blair Tugman – John McLaughlin by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Matt Veach vs. Rene Nazare – Rene Nazare by 1st round TKO
Dave Jansen vs. Scott McAfee – Dave Jansen by 1st round submission (Choke)
Mike Winters vs. Ryan Quinn – Ryan Quinn by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Ben Saunders vs. Matt Lee
Saunders opens the fight up with back to back left high kicks setting the tone for the bout. Lee is standing very straight up and Saunders begins to land pretty much when he wants too. Saunders clinches with Lee moves hands to a Thai clinch and begins landing multiple knees to the mid section of Lee, then dropping back to the clinch and punishing the legs. Lee is taking a large amount of damage from Saunders with the round being contested mainly in the clinch and when the round ends, Lee’s face beginning to look the part.
Round two and Saunders has assumed the role of offense while Lee is all defense right now. The face of Lee is now bloody and continues to eat knees, yet somehow is still standing. Saunders is throwing everything at Lee from the clinch and Thai clinch, basically putting on a clinic with the face of Lee as the punching bag. The round ends and the doctor is going to have to look at the face of Lee, this one might get stopped.
Somehow the doctor lets Lee continue and the third round starts with Lee face a swollen mess. Fight goes right to the clinch (shocking) and Saunders continues to punish the face of Lee. Standing elbows by Saunders cuts open another cut around the left eye of Lee that is pouring out blood. The referee steps in to have the doctor look at the cut and the doctor stops the fight.
Ben Saunders by 3rd round TKO (doctor stoppage)
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal: Toby Imada vs. Patricky Freire
You had to figure this fight would hit the canvas at some point for some grappling but when the bell singled the start of the round; both fighters went toe to toe. Imada comes out with lots of head movement and foot work, while Freire methodically walks his opponent down. About the halfway point in the round Imada ducks in an eats a lethal knee by Freire, knocking out on his feet. After a weeble and a wooble, Freire lands another shot and down goes Imada, followed by the ref.
Patricky Freire by 1st round TKO
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal: Lyman Good vs. Rick Hawn
After the two circle looking to find the range, the two clinch with Hawn holding Good along the cage. Hawn is looking to get position to take the fight down, while Good is landing some knees and Hawn. The two break, good landing the left jamb and connects with a right uppercut that rocks Hawn followed by another. Back in the clinch, Hawn goes for a takedown but doesn’t get it and the round closes with Good bettering Hawn in the striking.
Round two opens with the fighters coming together in the clinch and Hawn finally gets to use his Judo and gets a trip on Good. Hawn on top in the closed guard of Good landing a few shots but keeping his head down. Hawn with stand up trying to land a big shot but good wouldn’t allow and Hawn ends up back in full guard. The remainder of the round would be like this a Han clearly wins the round.
Third round and it appears each fighter has won a round so it might come down to this final round. Good is scared of the possible takedown/clinch so looks to be backing up. Good lands a nice right hand, along with another right. Hawn is following Good around the cage and finally get the clinch but the two separate. Good catches the leg of Hawn while attempting a kick and Good lands a few shots. Good opening up on Hawn now mixing up the attack and keeping the fight standing. With a minute left Good appears to be getting the better of the round but with 13 seconds Hawn gets a single leg and eats an up kick from Good as the bell sounds. Close fight but I have Good un-officially winning 29-28
Rick Hawn by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Lightweight Championship: Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran
Eddie Alvarez by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45)
Local Fight Card (undercard):
Greg Rebello vs. Dan Cramer – Dan Cramer by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)