The much-anticipated unveiling of Bellator on Spike TV took place tonight, ushering in a new era of MMA on the former broadcasting home of the UFC. The card for Bellator 85 lived up to the billing as well, delivering a pair of entertaining title-fights in addition to light heavyweight tournament action.
At the show, lightweight champion Michael Chandler (11-0) put his belt on the line against Rick Hawn (14-2), while featherweight king Pat Curran (18-4) is slated to return after an injury-related layoff and will see his gold up for grabs against polished Brazilian Patricio Freire (17-2). Both champs came out with their reigns intact with Curran narrowly outpointing “Pitbull” and Chandler scoring a submission win in the second round against the Olympic judoka.
Also seeing action were 205ers Seth Petruzelli and Renato Sobral. Neither veteran fared well come showtime with each suffering strike-based defeats to Jacob Noe and Mikhail Zayats respectively. Both Zayats and Noe, along with Emanuel Newton, advanced to the semifinal round of the Season 8 light heavyweight tournament as a result. The fourth spot will be filled next weekend when Mo Lawal faces Przemyslaw Mysiala.
A full breakdown of Bellator 85 winners/losers can be found below:
Cleber Luciano def. Mario Navarro via Unanimous Decision
Joe Williams def. Jamie Yager via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Savant Young def. Mike Guymon via Knockout Round 2 (Strikes)
Emanuel Newton def. Atanas Djambazov via Submission Round 2 (Rear-Naked Choke)
J.J. Ambrose def. Brian Warren via Submission Round 2 (Guillotine Choke)
Jason Lambert def. Hector Ramirez via Submission Round 1 (Inverted Armbar)
Aaron Miller def. Joe Camacho via Unanimous Decision
Pat Curran def. Patricio Freire via Split Decision
Mikhail Zayats def. Renato Sobral via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Jacob Noe def. Seth Petruzelli via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Michael Chandler def. Rick Hawn via Submission Round 2 (Rear-Naked Choke)
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR