One of the most exciting Bellator lineups in recent history arrived earlier tonight, kicking off this weekend’s MMA action off on the right note with a few solid tournament scraps and a main event featuring highly-touted lightweights Eddie Alvarez (22-3) and Shinya Aoki (30-5). The two tussled once before with Aoki coming out with his hand raised due to an early submission though years have passed since their initial pairing.
This time around the exact opposite came to pass after Alvarez dropped Aoki early, then pounced on top to pound the Japanese superstar out. While Aoki’s Heel Hook victory over Alvarez came at 92 seconds into the first frame, Alvarez couldn’t quite top the feat but put a stamp on the “Tobikan Judan” all the same with the win a little over two minutes into the round.
“It means Bjorn Rebney, show me the money,” said an excited Alvarez after the fight when asked what the win meant to him.
In addition to the headlining bout, Bellator 66 also featured 155-pounders going at it for a spot in the Season 6 final with fights between Brent Weedman-Thiago Michel and Lloyd Woodard-Rick Hawn, as well as middleweight semis between Maiquel Falcao-Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Brian Rogers-Andreas Spang.
Weedman and Michael went at it for fifteen ferocious minutes with the former eeking out a Split Decision victory. The performance marked the first of two major moments in Weedman’s life this weekend, as he’ll be leaving the arena to drive home directly after the show to join his wife who is expected to have their son on Sunday. Hawn’s win was far more dominant, knocking out Woodard in the second round after catching him with a beautiful counter-shot.
Meanwhile, in middleweight action, Falcao came out with a Unanimous Decision win leaving many fans scratching their heads after it appeared Vasilsevsky had done enough to earn the judges’ nod, while Spang stopped hometown favorite Rogers with strikes in the second stanza with a beautiful left hook despite absorbing a decent amount of damage in the preceding minutes.
The event also featured an impromptu preview of Falcao vs. Spang after the two nearly came to blows during a post-fight staredown. Spang pushed the hot-blooded Brazilian who responded by rushing him, faking a shot, and ultimately throwing a knee to the body. Announcer Jimmy Smith quickly stepped in, even-keeled as ever, and pulled Falcao back while the situation cooled off during a commercial break.
Read below for a highlights video followed by full list of Bellator 66 outcomes:
Jessica Eye def. Anita Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Julian Lane def. Joe Heiland via Submission Round 1 (Guillotine Choke)
Frank Caraballo def. Donny Walker via Knockout Round 4 (Flying Knee)
Attila Vegh def. Dan Spohn via Split Decision
John Hawk def. Marcus Vanttinen via Split Decision
Brent Weedman def. Thiago Michel via Split Decision
Rick Hawn def. Lloyd Woodard via Knockout Round 1 (Strikes)
Maiquel Falcao def. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky via Unanimous Decision
Andreas Spang def. Brian Rogers via Knockout Round 2 (Strikes)
Eddie Alvarez def. Shinya Aoki via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)