With only two events remaining in Bellator’s fourth season, the promotion made a stop at Caesar’s Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey for Bellator 44 with a non-title appearance from a divisional champion and a battle between the last two men standing in the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament.
In the finals of the lightweight tournament, Patricky Freire was outpointed by undefeated grappler Michael Chandler and earned the right to face Bellator 155-pound title holder Eddie Alvarez later in the year as a result. In addition to Chandler’s success, Bellator middleweight king Hector Lombard wiped out veteran competitor Falaniko Vitale in the third round of their promotional “super-fight”.
Read below for a full list of Bellator 44 results:
Jay Silva def. Gemiyale Adkins via Unanimous Decision
Jeff Lentz def. Anthony Leone via Unanimous Decision
Jamall Johnson def. Randy Smith via Submission Round 2 (Rear Naked Choke)
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper
Round One: Shlemenko hurt the left eye of Cooper early with a punch and had him blinking and toughing his eye throughout the round. Shlemenko battered Cooper with good punch combinations, body shots, and spinning back kicks. Shlemenko hurt Cooper with a spinning back fist but as he went after him, Cooper hurt him with a counter right hand. Shlemenko had success with knees in the clinch and he did a nice job stuffing the takedowns but Cooper stayed in the fight with a counter right every time Shlemenko stepped in to throw. By the end of the round Shlemko left eye started to swell. Very entertaining first round with the edge to Shlemenko based on damage. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Shlemenko.
Round Two: Cooper started the round aggressive and with a lot of leg kicks but Shlemeko didn’t back down and fired right back with good tight strikes. Cooper rocked Shlemenko with a right hand and then got the back standing. Cooper spent a lot of time on the back of Shlemenko but couldn’t get him down. Eventually Shlemenko escaped the position, got back to his feet, and damaged Cooper with strikes before Cooper was right back on him in the clinch. Very close round but a slight edge to Cooper because he didn’t stun Shlemenko and spent the majority of the round with back control. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Cooper.
Round Three: A relatively slow first part of the round but Shlemenko did have success with the spinning back fist and Cooper did land some good counter punches. Shlemenko hurt Cooper with a big knee to the body and followed it up with another knee but Cooper escaped and survived. Shlemenko continued to pour it on Cooper on the feet but Cooper hung tough and fired back. Cooper started to find a home with some good uppercuts on the inside. Cooper was the aggressor to end the fight but Shlemenko landed with more damage. Very entertaining fight. Third round goes to Shlemenko based on damage though. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Shlemenko and the fight 29-28 for Shlemenko.
Result: Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper via Unanimous Decision
Giedrius Karavackas vs. Sam Oropeza
Round One: Oropeza started very strong with good body kicks and jumping knees. Karavackas weathered the storm though and finally got the clinch, where he controlled the back of Oropeza standing. Karavackas finally managed to drag Oropeza down but Oropeza quickly turning into the guard of Karavackas where he hurt him with a big left hand and tried to finish but time ran out before he could put Karavackas away. Strong first round for Oropeza. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Oropeza.
Round Two: Karavackas did a nice job getting inside in this round, damaging Oropeza with knees to the body in the clinch, and managing a takedown into side control. Oropeza scrambled up but Karavackas stayed on him in the clinch. Oropeza got a late round takedown and ended the round with a flurry. Very close round thanks to the late takedown by Oropeza but Karavackas controlled for the majority of the round. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Karavackas.
Round Three: Karavackas scored immediately with a takedown, landed a big right hand, and passed to side control. Karavackas locked up the arm of Oropeza with his legs, trapping it in a kimura position while holding Oropeza’s head in a headlock. Karavackas just continued to punch Oropeza in the face as Oropeza struggled to get out of the position. Karavackas finally locked up the shoulder lock and forced Oropeza to tap out. Great submission victory.
Result: Giedrius Karavackas def. Sam Oropeza via Submission Round 3 (Shoulder Lock/Neck Crank)
Hector Lombard vs. Falaniko Vitale
Round One: Slow start to the fight with Lombard swinging and missing while Vitale would land but his punches were few and far between. Vitale caught Lombard with a cup kick but Lombard shook it off and fought on. Vitale had success with a quick right hand and then moved out before Lomard could counter. Very slow round with not much action. Slight edge to Vitale since he did land the cleaner strikes. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Vitale.
Round Two: Lombard tried pressing the action early but couldn’t land with anything clean as Vitale did a nice job covering up. Lombard continued to throw with more regularity but nothing landed too clean. Lombard managed a takedown but Vitale was immediately back up. Another slow round ends with the crowd booing. This time Lombard was more aggressive and landed the better strikes, even if they didn’t fully connect. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Lombard.
Round Three: A much faster start by both men in this round. Vitale had success with the right hand but in the middle of the exchange, Lombard caught Vitale with a right hook. Vitale went to a knee and when he tried to get up, he fell back down and the ref jumped in. Great KO for Lombard after a rather dull fight.
Result: Hector Lombard def. Falaniko Vitale via KO Round 3 (Right Hand)
Patricky Freire vs. Michael Chandler
Round One: Both men active to start but neither could find their range and land anything too clean. Chandler caught Freire with a cup kick but Freire took a short rest and fought on. Chandler did a nice job throwing one punch and then getting out before Freire could land the counter. Chandler started to find a home for his jab as the round wore on. Close round but Chandler was the aggressor and did land the cleaner punches. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Chandler.
Round Two: Chandler came out strong in round two, landing a very good right hand. Freire came right back with a jumping knee. Chandler answered with a flurry ending with a jumping side kick but Freire took it, came with a flurry of his own, and landed another jumping knee. They ended up in a clinch where Chandler landed a big knee to the cup of Freire. The action came to a halt but Freire fought on after taking a rest. Chandler continued to stick the jab in the face of Freire while avoiding the counter. Freire started coming back with a jab of his own but his was much stiffer than Chandler’s. Freire bleeding from the mouth while Chandler bleeding near his left eye. Chandler managed a takedown with just over a minute remaining and damaged Freire with elbows and punches for the rest of the round. Very good round with Chandler stealing it with the takedown. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Chandler.
Round Three: Chandler immediately caught Freire with a cup kick, the third of the fight. The referee ended up taking a point away from Chandler. Freire came on strong with some good strikes but Chandler was able to push Freire against the cage and score with a big takedown. Chandler roughed up Freire a bit on the ground but Freire was able to get up. Chandler put him right back down though, moved to half guard, and was relentless with punches and elbows for the remaining portion of the round. Very strong round for Chandler despite the point deduction. 5OZ scores the round 9-9 for Chandler and the fight 29-27 for Chandler.
Result: Michael Chandler def. Patricky Freire via Unanimous Decision
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR