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Lombard’s first-frame TKO, Fujii’s 21st straight win highlight exciting Bellator 24 card

PRESS RELEASE / HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (August 12, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships kicked off its highly anticipated third season tonight in front of a boisterous crowd at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Once again fans were treated to a full card of electrifying fights that included shocking finishes in nearly every fight.

In the night’s main event Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard took on former NFL player Herbert “Whisper” Goodman in a non-title “Super Fight”. In his last outing Lombard needed just six seconds to KO his opponent, this time it took only 38 seconds. Lombard overwhelmed his opponent early with right hook that wobbled Goodman before following up with a brutal flurry that left Whisper unconscious on the canvas just 38 seconds into round one.

When asked about his ability to take opponents out early Lombard stated,“I train hard, I train hard every day as hard I can.”

“I’m a knock-out artist, this is what I do”

Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney echoed his previous sentiment about Bellator’s Middleweight Champion.

“I think Hector Lombard is the best middleweight in the world. I believe he beats anybody he steps in the change with,” said Rebney.

In an opening round World Heavyweight Tournament fight British knockout artist Neil “The Goliath” Grove took on UFC veteran Eddie Sanchez. Grove’s striking skills were on display early when he connected with a devastating left hand that sent Sanchez to the canvas. Grove followed up with brutal ground and pound before eventually letting a weary Sanchez back to his feat. Standing, Grove continued to batter Sanchez with precise strikes that eventually forced the referee to halt the fight less than a minute into the opening round.

In Season 3 Women’s Tournament quarterfinal action, female pound-for-pound queen Megumi Fujii met late tournament replacement Carla Esparza. Fujii elected to stand and trade early with the wrestling specialist. The fight hit the ground for the first time midway through the first round with “Mega Megu” going for an ankle lock that Esparza painstakingly twisted out of. Round 2 saw Fujii bring Esparza down early and secure a slick fight ending arm-bar just 57 seconds into round 2 with the Japanese sensation again flexing her submission skills and subsequently improving her record to 21-0 while moving on to the Semi-final round of the tournament.

Also in Women’s Tournament action South Florida native Jessica Aguilar took on Lynn “Lights Out” Alvarez. Aguilar easily took Alvarez down early in the first round where she transitioned between ground and pound and submission attempts while in side guard. Aguilar was eventually able to secure an arm-triangle choke at 4:01 into the first round.

“Winning in front of my fans is all I could ask for,” said Aguilar. “I was planning to finishing it as quickly as possible with little energy expended and no injuries.”

The “Local Feature Fight” between hometown favorite Luis “Baboon” Palomino and dangerous MMA veteran Yves Edwards proved to be an entertaining match-up with back and forth action that left Edwards with his hand raised after three rounds. Edwards now holds an astounding 38 wins in his MMA career.

“Tonight proved to be another great night of fights at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. We love coming here and can not wait for our return in October when Hector Lombard will face Alexander Shlemenko for the Bellator Middleweight Championship,” said Bellator’s chief-executive, Rebney.

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