Wilcox and Pitbull Advance at Bellator 103

| October 11, 2013 | 9:59 pm | Reply

Bellator 103 boxThe featherweights were on display tonight at Bellator 103 with the tournament semi-finals, and all four men brought their best effort to cage. We can only have one tournament winner though and with Wilcox and Pitbull having fought very different fights, it’ll take some deep thinking to figure out the outcome of their eventual clash.

I’m all about the strategy and thought behind the fights though, so take a gander at what caught my eye tonight.

David Rickles: An impressive performance from Rickles saw him destroy a gritty veteran in JJ Ambrose.  Rickles is really turning the corner in his career and taking a similar career path to Matt “The Immortal” Brown; transforming from hard-nosed brawler to efficient killer. Rickles might not have an ounce of flash, but everything he throws is pin-point and powerful, with a never-ending gas tank to keep those hammers swinging. While the true technicians will find ways to exploit holes still present in Rickle’s game, he’s simply too much for the majority of the Bellator roster right now.

Justin Wilcox: While his last fight was an amazing come from behind win against Akop Stephanyan, Wilcox didn’t need a miracle to beat Guam fighter Taimanglo in the semi-finals. Wilcox isn’t shaping up like I thought he would at Featherweight; losing his speed advantage and seeming to forget about his massive strength advantage at key moments in the fight. While it’s commendable that he played the game with Taimanglo standing and came away largely unhurt, this is a fight he should have run away with on the mat early. This, combined with a telling knee brace, says he won’t fare so well in the tournament finals.

Patricio Pitbull: If you didn’t know this guy was dangerous, you haven’t been paying attention, and he showed his multifaceted game through three rounds against Guerrerio. The word of tonight was “timing”, as Pitbull has it in everything he does.  His punches landed flush and head movement kept him safe, but it was the timing on the mat that really surprised me. Despite a size advantage and plenty of talent in the grappling realm, Guerrerio was hustled constantly by Pitbull; hitting sweeps and reversals with minimal effort. Even in unorthodox positions, Pitbull read his opponent’s balance perfectly, placing hands and feet where they were needed to upset his opponent’s plans on the mat.  It’s this sense of timing that will allow him to walk through the majority of grapplers in this division if they can’t plant him immediately, and sets up a tournament final that should make Wilcox concerned for his chances.

Complete Bellator 103 Results:

145 lbs. Tournament Semifinals: Patricio Freire defeated Fabricio Guerreiro by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

145 lbs. Tournament Semifinals: Justin Wilcox defeated Joe Taimanglo by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

David Rickels defeated JJ Ambrose by 3rd rd. TKO (2:37)

Mikhail Zayats defeated Aaron Rosa by 1st rd. Kimura Submission (0:047)

Preliminary Card:

Carlos Eduardo defeated Wayman Carter by 1st rd. Rear-Naked Choke Submission (2:06)

Remy Bussieres defeated Blake Pool by Unanimous Decision

Maurice Jackson defeated Matt Uhde by 1st rd. TKO (0:52)

Donnie Bell defeated Marcio Navarro by 1st rd. Neck Crank Submission (2:06)

Jeimeson Saudino defeated Jesse Thornton by Split Decision

Ricky Musgrave defeated Cody Carrillo by 1st rd. Kimura Submission (2:59)

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Category: Bellator, Featured, MMA, Results

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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