OCTOBER 12, 2012
LIVE FROM WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA
-Bellator's season seven featherweight tournament begins tonight on MTV2, and we'll have live round by round coverage of tonight's televised event as it begins at 8PM ET. The card will also feature what could be the final fight for Eddie Alvarez in the Bellator cage as he takes on Patricky "Pitbull" Freire in the night's main event. Follow along with our coverage right here!
-Prior to the MTV2 broadcast, Shahbulat Shamhalaev took out Cody Bollinger by TKO in the first round to advance to the featherweight tournament semifinals.
FIGHT ONE: MIKE RICHMAN VS. JEREMY SPOON (FEATHERWEIGHT TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: Richman walked Spoon back early, but Spoon came forward with a couple of punches. Richman then threw a head kick that clipped Spoon behind the ear and he crumpled down. Richman landed one more punch on the ground and McCarthy stopped the bout.
WINNER: Richman via TKO (head kick) at :23 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Excellent finish from Richman, and he should be considered one of the most dangerous in this 145 lb. field this season. Not much more to say about that fight considering it only took 23 seconds.
-Looks like they'll put the Shamhalaev victory on the broadcast at some point, because the graphic posted didn't show that he had moved on already.
FIGHT TWO: AKOP STEPANYAN VS. WAGNNEY FABIANO (FEATHERWEIGHT TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL)
ROUND ONE: Stepanyan took the center. Fabiano shot in and ate a couple of decent shots before getting stuffed. Stepanyan tried to walk him down against the cage and went for a flying knee. Fabiano blocked it. Stepanyan landed a nice short combo in counter. He got in a hard body kick. Fabiano shot in and drove Stepanyan across the cage. He got a body lock, and finally scored a takedown into side control. Stepanyan did a good job holding it off, but ultimately got taken down. Stepanyan got loose, but Fabiano held onto him and dragged him back down. Fabiano worked to the full mount, then went for an armbar. He torqued the arm badly, but Stepanyan continued fighting it. Fabiano continued working and tweaking it, but Stepanyan was finally forced to tap. Wow. He may have messed up his arm trying to work out of the hold.
WINNER: Fabiano via submission (armbar) at 3:24 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Really good work from Fabiano on the ground once he got the takedown, but he had to fight through some big combinations from Stepanyan on the feet before he got there. I can't believe Stepanyan held on as long as he did, but credit to Fabiano for staying with it and continuing to tweak the hold until he got it.
-Shahbulat Shamhalaev's victory over Cody Bollinger made the broadcast next after two first round finishes. Two fights left for the live broadcast.
FIGHT THREE: RAD MARTINEZ VS. NAZARENO MALEGARIE (FEATHERWEIGHT TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL
ROUND ONE: Malegarie pressed the action early with several strikes. Martinez got in a decent counter left. He missed a few punches and closed the distance. After a brief clinch they separated. Malegarie landed a few nice strikes, but Martinez clipped him and his nose began bleeding. Martinez landed another nice short combo. Malegarie grabbed a head lock briefly in a scramble, but Martinez stood. Martinez landed a left. He threw a kick high that was blocked, then blocked a couple of counter punches. Malegarie landed a couple of strikes. Martinez landed a nice left. Martinez with a couple more from the left. Malegarie landed a few nice punches, but he got hit by a counter in the exchange as well. Martinez landed an inside leg kick. Martinez landed several strikes as Malegarie clinched. Martinez landed a brief knockdown after eating a knee. Martinez hurt Malegarie again with several strikes. Malegarie continued moving fighting on. He landed a couple of punches. Martinez landed another brief knockdown, could have been a slip as Malegarie got to his feet. Martinez rushed him to the cage, and landed a punch on the break. He landed a couple more strikes as he backed out. Martinez shot in and scored a late takedown, ending the round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez. Was a close round for a time, but Martinez's power and damage took over as things wore on.
ROUND TWO: Martinez ate a punch to connect on a kick and a left hook. He got in a kick to the body. Malegarie tried to shoot in but got stuffed. His nose began bleeding again. Martinez held him off and broke free. Malegarie got the better of an exchange, landing a few nice strikes. Malegarie landed a couple more but got hit by a counter punch. Malegarie closed the distance again, landed a couple of strikes, and worked for the takedown. He landed a few big strikes as Martinez walked up the cage. Martinez tried to walk him down. He shot in himself for a single leg. Malegarie grabbed for a guillotine and Martinez popped out and away. Martinez was breathing heavily. They exchanged big punches and Malegarie again landed more. Martinez got in a kick to the body. Martinez landed another hard left. He connected on a couple more that briefly backed Malegarie up. Martinez landed another hard left hook to the jaw. He connected again with the left. Malegarie connected on a couple strikes. Martinez with another left. Malegarie closed the distance, but Martinez turned him around and backed off. Martinez landed a couple strikes before the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Malegarie. Really hard round to score, and really could be Martinez's based on power strikes. However, I think Malegarie picked up the pace that round and landed more strikes overall by a decent margin.
ROUND THREE: Both fighters came out looking to strike again. They each landed a few strikes, then got in a big exchange. Martinez scored a takedown. Malegarie pulled off a nice sweep, though, and then Martinez got to his feet. Martinez found a home for the left hook again. Malegarie again closed the distance, but Martinez stuffed him. Martinez then went for a single leg of his own and scored the brief takedown. However, Malegarie popped right back up. Malegarie landed a nice right in an exchange. He got in a left after blocking a kick. Martinez was exhausted. Malegarie grabbed a clinch. Martinez held him off and they separated. They traded strikes in the center again. Martinez landed a nice left again. Malegarie landed several punches. He pressed Martinez to the cage again, but again got turned around.Martinez landed a big left on the break. He got in a couple more and pressed Malegarie back. He continued landing as Malegarie backed up. Malegarie got in a brief knee and a couple of strikes. Martinez landed a left and shot in. He took Malegarie's back standing and finally backed off. He landed a left. Martinez scored a late knockdown with a left but Malegarie got up. They traded punches. Martinez shot in and scored another takedown late. He ended the round with strikes on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez. Malegarie was looking like he was ahead through the first two minutes of the round, but Martinez buckled down despite being very tired and he finished strong. He landed several big shots, scored a knockdown, and finished the fight with one more takedown. Decent brawl.
WINNER: Martinez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**) It was an enjoyable sloppy brawl between a couple of decent featherweights. No more, no less. Not something to go out of your way to see, but both guys showed a lot of heart, and fought tough through a brutal and draining 15-minute fight.
-Magomedrasul Khasbulaev's 24 second win over Nayeb Hezam was shown next. Khasbulaev is the season seven tournament reserve fighter.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: EDDIE ALVAREZ VS. PATRICKY FREIRE (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Alvarez looked to cut the cage down early with feints. He landed the first strike with an inside leg kick. They collided and Alvarez landed a couple of strikes as he backed off. Alvarez landed a huge left that sent Pitbull to the ground. Pitbull popped back up and then rocked Alvarez! Alvarez backed away and Pitbull tried to swarm him. Alvarez grabbed a clinch and regained his bearings. Pitbull landed a couple of hard knees to the body. Alvarez landed a body punch. He got in some knees to the thigh. Pitbull finally broke free and separated. They traded punches again in the center. Alvarez landed a nice right, but ate a counter in return. Alvarez was cut under his left eyebrow. Alvarez landed a couple of rights as he ate a knee to the body. Alvarez connected on another strike. Alvarez dropped Pitbull with a head kick and finished him with a few punches on the ground before the round ended! He then jumped over the cage and into the crowd. Beautiful finish to a crazy round!
WINNER: Alvarez via KO (head kick) at 4:54 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***+) That's right up there for round of the year, if only for two sequences in the fight. Alvarez knocking Pitbull down, then getting rocked himself was such a crazy moment early, and that head kick to finish things off was just absolutely beautiful. Fantastic finish to Alvarez's time in Bellator if that was his last fight in the organization. He deserves to be in against the best of the best, so hopefully we see him inside the Octagon by 2013. 145 lbs. may be the home for him because of his chin, but he'll be a welcome addition to the roster if he makes his way there.
-Thanks for joining us for live coverage tonight; we'll be back with even more fight coverage tomorrow night with UFC 153 on pay-per-view!