After a week off, Bellator Fighting Championship returned to the Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada tonight for Bellator 67. The card was headlined by a super-fight between the Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler against Pride and UFC veteran Akihiro Gono.
The main card kicked off with a come from behind victory by Ryan Ford as he rebounded from a shaky opening round to finish Luis Santos in the second round. Santos hurt Ford halfway through the first round with a nicely placed head kick and controlled the rest of the round. Ford exploded in the second round and dropped Santos with a right knee to the temple, finishing the fight with some ground and pound.
Things slowed down in the second fight as the hard-hitting Dave Huckaba looked too tentative against Damian Grabowski, who won the fight via unanimous decision. The fight looked on paper to be an exciting fight that probably wouldn’t reach the judges but Huckaba was too worried about the takedown to throw the hands like he should have.
The lone tournament bout of the card was the co-main event between welterweights Ben Saunders and Byan Baker. With a shot in the tournament finals on the line but fighters left it all in the cage and put on the un-official fight of the night. Saunders went for several submissions but ended up on his back many times as a result, which hurt him in the judge’s eyes. Baker weathered the early storm from Saunders and slowly took control of the fight, winning a unanimous decision to advance into the season six welterweight finals.
The main event wouldn’t last very long but it would end the night with a bang. Making his fight appearance since winning the lightweight championship against Eddie Alvarez, Chandler needed only 56 seconds to defeat Gono with a flurry of strikes. The champion seems to be improving every time he steps into the cage and will now wait for the winner of the season six lightweight final between Brent Weedman and Rick Hawn. The loss was the third in a row for Gono who after the fight announced he’s retiring from MMA.
The Bellator 67 preliminary card featured five fights that streamed on Spike.com before and after the main card.
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
155 lbs. Non-Title Fight Michael Chandler defeated Akihiro Gono by 1st rd. TKO
170 lbs. Tournament Semifinal: Bryan Baker defeated Ben Saunders by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
265 lbs.: Damian Grabowski defeated Dave Huckaba by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
170 lbs.: Ryan Ford defeated Luis “Sapo” Santos by 2nd rd. TKO
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
170 lbs.: Dom O’Grady defeated Nathan Gunn by 2nd rd. Submission (Armbar)
180 lbs.: Nordine Taleb defeated Matt MacGrath by 2nd rd. TKO
145 lbs.: Will Romero defeated Matt Veal by 2nd rd. TKO
135 lbs.: David “Bo” Harris defeated Nick Kirk by Unanimous Decision
155 lbs.: Cosmo Alexander defeated Lorawnt Nelson by Unanimous Decision
Photo Courtesy of Bellator