Bellator MMA returned to action tonight in Thackerville, Oklahoma for Bellator 111. The main event featured a Bellator MMA bantamweight title fight as Eduardo Dantas bested tournament champion Anthony Leone with a spectacular submission finish. Tonight’s card also featured the opening round of this season’s heavyweight tournament as Alexander Volkov, Lavar Johnson, Blagoi Ivanov, and “Mighty Mo” all advances to the semifinals.
Dantas Taps Leone
It may not have been his most dominant performance, but Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas retained his title tonight against Andrew Leone. The Brazilian fighter spent the majority of the first round on his back after Leone took him down but the Nova Unaio fighter quickly adjusted in the second round.
The fight hinged on a second round takedown attempt by Leone that instigated a scramble that saw the two fighters battle for position. Dantas used his superior quickness to quickly maneuver to his opponent’s back and sink in a deep rear-naked choke. While Leone tried to hold on, Dantas’ left him with no option but submission for his second straight victory.
Dantas will now fight tournament champion Joe Warren later this year in a bout that could find itself feature on Bellator MMA’s PPV debut this May.
Anarchy Reigns Supreme in Heavyweight Tournament
Bellator 111 also featured the opening round of the Season 10 heavyweight tournament. The first quarterfinal saw Blagoi Ivanov’s improbable return continue as he defeated Richard Hale in the tournament’s lone decision. The Bulgarian’s opponent will be be former UFC heavyweight Lavar Johnson after he bounced back in a big way tonight by flooring Ryan Martinez.
Bellator MMA’s heavyweight tournaments have seen their share of oddities and tonight was no different as former champion Alexander Volkov scored a delayed knockdown of Mark Holata before the quick finish in tonight’s opener. The tournament’s other oddity was a bout between Silia “Mighty Mo” Siliga and Peter Graham that saw the two distinguished kick boxer’s end up spending a lot of the time on the canvas before “Mighty Mo” pulled off the submission victory with an old school head-and-arm choke. Volkov and Siliga will now meet later this year.
Bellator 111 Results:
- Eduardo Dantas def. Anthony Leone via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:04 of round 2
- Lavar Johnson def. Ryan Martinez via TKO at 4:22 of Round 1
- Siala Siliga def. Peter Graham via submission (head-arm choke) at 2:31 of round 3
- Alexander Volkov def. Mark Holota via TKO at 1:21 of round 1
- Blagoi Ivanov def. Rich Hale via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Cortez Coleman def. Daniel Miller via verbal submission (strikes) at 4:49 of round 1
- Javy Ayala def. Eric Prindle via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 2:05 of round 3
- Abdul Razak def. Matt Jones via TKO (strikes) at 1:23 of round 1
- Brent Primus def. Chris Jones via TKO (strikes) at 1:45 of round 1
- Chris Guiterrez def. Justin McNally via TKO (strikes) at 2:50 of round 1