The last two weeks have delivered a trio of title-fights from Bellator, setting Season 8 up to be one of the most exciting in promotional history with the added bonus of exposure on Spike TV. Though Bellator 87 didn’t feature any gold up for grabs, the lineup marked the opening round of the lightweight tournament aimed at awarding one man a crack at the champion.
Tonight’s match-ups included Saad Awad-Guillaume DeLorenzi, Will Brooks-Ricardo Tirloni, Alexander Sarnavskiy-Thiago Michel, and David Rickels-Lloyd Woodard. Injecting a bit of fun into the mix, Rickels and Woodard also agreed that the loser of their bout will have to shear off his trademark facial hair.
Coming away clean-shaven in their clash was Woodard after losing a Unanimous Decision to “The Caveman”. A spirited first frame saw Woodard keep relentless pressure on Rickels who responded with a number of submission attempts, locking up a Triangle Choke the Montana native had to fight his way out of. The following period was equally entertaining with a bit more stand-up involved including each man eating some stiff shots. Rickels was able to build off the damage in the final round, landing combos at will despite being unable to actually drop the tremendously tough Woodard.
Also victorious at the event, Brooks maintained his unbeaten record by outpointing BJJer Tirloni due to his takedowns and top control, while Awad cleaned DeLorenzi’s clock in the opening round of action and Sarnavskiy submitted Michel to improve his overall record to 22-1.
Read below for a rundown of Bellator 87 winners/losers:
Tony Zelinski def.Nick Kirk via Split Decision
Sam Quito def. Ben Lagman via Submission Round 2 (Kneebar)
J.P. Reese def. David Shepherd via Unanimous Decision
Amir Killah def. John Schulz via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke/Neck Crank)
Karl Etherington def. Jason Fish via Verbal Submission Round 1 (Strikes)
Jason Fischer def. Sevak Magakian via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Alexander Sarnavskiy def. Thiago Michel via Submission Round 2 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Saad Awad def. Guillaume DeLorenzi via Knockout Round 1 (Strikes)
Will Brooks def. Ricardo Tirloni via Unanimous Decision
David Rickels def. Lloyd Woodard via Unanimous Decision
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR