Bellator 111 kicked off their Spike TV broadcast with a bout between Mark Holata and Alexander Volkov. Volkov, the former Bellator heavyweight champ, was able to score a first round TKO after a competitive open to the bout. Holata came out and landed a few solid strikes before digging hard to the body with some punches. Volkov came back with his own knees to the body before throwing some short punches that hurt and dropped Holata.
Volkov got on top of Holata and pounded him out with punches. But the finish wasn’t without some degree of controversy as replays showed Holata’s head snapping around in ways that seemed unnatural for the way he was getting hit.
The consensus from people on Twitter seemed to be that Holata likely felt something from Volkov that made him want out and maybe he acted it up a bit. Or, maybe he just was getting hit with shots that weren’t easy for the camera to catch from the available angles.
This replay (gif by Zombie Prophet) doesn’t have the angle that made it appear so strange, but does showcase the finish:
Either way, Volkov advances in the Bellator heavyweight tournament.
Another heavyweight tournament bout was up next as Peter Graham took on “Mighty Mo” Siala Siliga. The first round saw the two kickboxers taking it to each other with Graham working some very strong leg kicks while Mo loaded up on big punches, many of which landed to Graham’s head.
Things changed in the second round when Mo began using some simple wrestling to score takedowns and work from top position. It wasn’t pretty, but Graham was worse on the ground than Mo and that was very clear.
In the third round it was more of the same, except this time Mo was able to get side control where he worked a sort of head and arm headlock smother…thing. Graham had no clue how to defend so he tapped out, allowing Mo to advance in the tournament.
Another gif via Zombie Prophet:
Lavar Johnson was the next man to advance in the heavyweight tournament, coming back from some bad positions in the first round of his bout with Ryan Martinez to score a TKO.
Martinez scored a takedown early and was working over Johnson before the fight worked its way back to the feet.
As they stood, both men threw wild power shots at each other, neither really landing until Johnson caught Martinez right behind the ear. Martinez dropped, Johnson followed up with another big shot and forced the referee stoppage.
Eduardo Dantas retained his title in the main event of the evening, submitting Anthony Leone with a rear naked choke.
Leone, a heavy underdog, took the first round after catching a kick and using it to get a takedown where he held position for the entire round.
Leone was doing well again in round two, Dantas looking a bit off his game. But then, when Leone was scrambling trying to get a takedown, Dantas stepped back over him right into position to lock in and finish a rear naked choke. It’s hard to explain, but amazing to see (catch the gif here).
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