Bellator 68 took place tonight from Atlantic City, New Jersey, featuring the Season 6 Featherweight Tournament Championship between Marlon Sandro and Daniel Straus. Seth Petruzelli was forced out of his catch-weight bout with Carmelo Marrero earlier this evening, and left the following explanation on his Facebook page:
“Guys, I have unbelievable news. The doc wouldn’t clear me to fight. I have been feeling sick for past week but haven’t told anyone. When the doc checked me he said he heard weezing and fluid in my lungs. Got a 2nd doc for another opinion and he said same thing. I am so sorry…I feel like I’m in a nightmare.”
After a protracted pause when Straus’ opening kick landed viciously low on Sandro, Straus laid out a methodical game-plan consisting of a busy jab and crisp one-twos with timely takedown attempts mixed in. Sandro chucked his typical offering of high-velocity uppercuts, lead left hooks and overhand rights. In the first two frames, Straus pestered with clinch-fighting and double leg attempts, but Sandro was resilient enough to shuck most of them off or scramble back to his feet shortly after. The striking battle was high-paced and closely contested, with Straus pinging the straighter shots and Sandro compensating with power-punches and a slicing lead-knee.
The action seesawed in the third. Sandro gave Straus a taste of his own medicine by initiating a clinch, pursuing a low single and then slipping to a rear waist lock. Sandro dug in a hook with his left foot and threatened to take Straus’ back, effectively baiting him into a standing arm-triangle. Straus “answered the phone” to defend the choke and the position resumed for nearly a minute. Straus was able to disengage, and capitalized by ducking under Sandro’s flurry to nail a powerful slam. Straus deftly advanced to Sandro’s back and tried to lock in a rear-naked choke, but couldn’t get both hooks in before time expired.
One judge gave Sandro a round, the other two saw all three for Straus, giving him the unanimous decision to win the 2012 Featherweight Tournament Championship. Straus will advance to a title bout against reigning Bellator featherweight champ Pat Curran.
The rest of the main card recap is posted in the full entry.
As expected, Marcos Galvao came out heaving leather in his Bantamweight Tournament semifinal match against Travis Marx. Much like the dynamics with Galvao’s Nova Uniao teammate in the main event, it was Galvao launching heaters and defending takedowns while Marx, a southpaw-stanced wrestler like Straus, flitted in and out of range with jabs and takedown attempts.
Galvao’s power influenced the first round, but a turnaround by Marx halfway through the second made things interesting. Marx cranked up his output and changed the flow with a series of tight combinations. Though he didn’t succeed on or benefit from his smattering of takedown attempts, Marx seemed to regain some momentum going into the third. This time it was Marx who was busy early and Galvao who re-established himself late. The Brazilian walked Marx down with a stream of big punches and the occasional step-in knee to the body. The result was a unanimous 29-28 vote for Galvao, who advances to the Bantamweight Tournament finals.
Dream Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis rematched Waachiim Spiritwolf at a 172-pound catch-weight. The idea was to settle the score after their 2010 Strikeforce Challengers 12 meeting ended in a No Contest when Spiritwolf was accidentally poked in the eye just six-seconds in. Zaromskis literally drew blood early by cleaving Spiritwolf with an innovative back-elbow strike that opened a cut around his eye, and pressured for most of the round with aggressive strikes.
Zaromskis did his best to repeat in the second, but got a little carried away with his onslaught of high kicks. Spiritwolf dodged a wild kick and unloaded a series of jackhammers that wobbled Zaromskis. Spiritwolf pounced with a right hand that dropped Zaromskis, and seemed to be on the verge of finishing with ground-and-pound. Zaromskis gathered his wits and regained full guard to stifle the attack and survive the round. Before the third could begin, the ringside physician recommended referee “Big” Dan Miragliotta to halt the bout because of the cut over Spiritwolf’s eye.
There was a slight uproar from the crowd and the commentary booth, as the cut appeared to be quite manageable in severity and location, but regardless, Zaromskis was awarded the 2nd-round TKO via cut stoppage.
Supplanting the Petruzelli vs. Marrero bout that was scratched, Derrick Kennington took on Marcin Held in a lightweight match. Kennington clipped Held with an early combination that sent him to the canvas. Held quickly angled for submissions from his guard to keep Kennington at bay and escaped back to his feet. Kennington attacked fearlessly with punches until Held fired off a combination and followed behind it to clinch up. Held pursued a double leg with Kennington’s back on the fence, then brilliantly dropped back to wrench in a heel hook and elicit the tapout.
Bellator 68 Main Card Results
Daniel Straus defeats Marlon Sandro by unanimous decision
Marcos Galvao defeats Travis Marx by unanimous decision
Marius Zaromskis defeats Waachiim Spiritwolf by TKO (cut), Round 2
Marcin Held defeats Derrick Kennington by submission (heel hook), Round 1
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