Welcome to our live coverage of the first round of the Bellator lightweight tournament featuring some veterans, some prospects. The winner will face the winner of an upcoming Michael Chandler vs. Rich Hawn title match which they are holding off until early next year on Spike.
Tiger Sarnavskiy comes in highly touted with a 20-0 and faces former UFC star Rich "No Love" Clementi in tonight's main event.
Plus we have Marcin Held who doesn't always win, but is always fun to watch.
RICARDO TIRLONI (14-2) VS. RENE NAZARE (10-2)
First round: Two black belts. Nazare landing with a right. He got a takedown but Tirloni right back up. Nazare working for another takedown. Tirloni looking for a guillotine. Now a front headlock. Another takedown by Nazare. Tirloni right back up. Both throwing punches and knees. Nazare tried a takedown, got caught with a knee, but it was Tirloni who slipped and went down. But Tirloni right back up. Tirloni with knees. More knees by Tirloni. Nazare landed some good punches late. 10-9 Nazare.
Second round: Nazare landed a good left hook. Nazare landing more punches. Tiroloni hurt him with a counter and Nazare going for a guillotine but Nazare out. Great first 40 seconds here. He's working for a D'arce choke and tapped him out. Nazare was a multiple time world champion in BJJ and he lost via submission here. 1:14
MURAD MACHAEV (9-0) VS. MARCIN HELD (13-2)
First round: They are in a clinch immeidately. Machaev said Held was a bad striker. Trading hard shots. Knee by Held. Held with a spinning back kick that didn't land clean. Machaev got his legs twisted moving away and got punched. Held then got a takedown. Machaev up but Held landed a knee. Held working to get him down but Machaev moved away. Held with a takedown, went for a choke, fell off, then tried a leglock but never dangerous. 10-9 Held.
Second round: Both trading and Machaev landed a left that stunned Held. Held now working for a takedown. Held still working for that taekdown and threw some knees. Machaev started to land. Held rolled on the ground and tried a leglock but didn't really come close. Machaev landed a good left. Hard right by Machaev. Machaev's round so 19-19.
Third round: Both missing punches. Held missed a spinning back fist. Machaev hurt him. Neither guy is doing anything to win this fight down the stretch. Machaaev is the one movnig forward and is throwing some. Held landed a left. Held grabbed a front headlock. Nobody clearly won the round, fight could go either way. I'd go with Machaev 29-28.
Scores: All three had 29-28 for Held, no complaints either way.
"Murad was a very tough opponent, I went tonight to fight standing. I want to see if I'm ready to fight in the best organization in the world in standing and I did it. My message is if I can't submit, I can fight standing and I can win."
DAVE JANSEN (17-2) VS. MAGOMED SAADULAEV (14-1)
First round: Saadulaev got the takedown right away. Saadulaev keeping him down. They are chanting "USA" right now. At least one of the guys is American. Jansen tried a reverse but Saadulaev wound up with back position. Jansen got a reverse with 1:10 left. He went from side position to mount but Saadulaev got up. Saadulaev throwing wild punches. He looks tired. Saadlulaev looks exahusteed but he got another takedown. Jansen tried a guillotine but Saadulaev out. 10-9 Saadulaev.
Second round: Saadulaev went for a takedown but Jansen sprawled. Saadlulaev landed some punches. Jansen got the takedown. Saadualev trying for a Kimura. Jansen tried an arm triangle but didnt have the leverage. Jansen now landing punches from the top late. This is the best offense of the fight. Jansen maintained top position for the rest of the round and landing a lot of punches in the final seconds. 10-9 Jansen to 19-19.
Third round: Jansen grabbing a guilltoine and dropped to the ground holding full guard and got the tap. :41
"It's a little slow start, took me a while to wake up, I don't know why but glad I got to get it together there at the end."
"I felt pretty confident because I knew I trapped his arm."
"You better keep on your toes and recognize I'm coming for it."
Michail Tsarev vs. Lyman Good plus Zoila Gurgel returns on next week's show.
ALEXANDER "TIGER" SARNAVSKIY (20-0) VS. RICH CLEMENTI (44-21-1)
First round: Nice spinning back kick by Sarnavskiy and a spinning back fist. Now a hard knee as Clementi shot in. Clementi got him down. Clementi has piggy back position and wants to get a choke from here. Clementi again going for a choke attempt. Clementi with more punches. Clementi is bleeding from the forehead. Clementi remains on his back working for a choke. He's got the choke with 25 seconds left. Sarnavskiy is in a ton of trouble with 20 seconds left. Savanasvly slipped out. Amazing that he survived that long in that position. 10-9 Clementi, you could argue 10-8 for the near finish.
Second round: Sarnavskiy landing punches and kicks. Clementi with another takedown. Clementi moved into side control but Sarnavskiy got guard. Clementi has his back. He's again working for a choke. Clementi throwing punches from back position. More punches. Clementi now bleeding from the nose. Clementi keeping back position. Clementi went for an armbar in transition as Sarnvaskiy turned to the top. Clementi tied him up from the bottom. Ref Mario Yamasaki ordered a standup. Sarvanskiy kicked him in the head and landed a spinning backfists. Sarnavskiy did well in the final seconds but I have to give the round to Clementi so up 20-18. Kind of sucked the standup could have turned things around since there was no reason for it.
Third round: Sarnavskiy started out with with punches that are landing. Clementi landed a right. Sarnavskiy dropped him. Clementi trying to tie him up and work for a heel hook but Sarnavskiy pulled free. Sarnavskiy on top in guard. Sarnavskiy landing punches to the face. Sarnavskiy landing. Yamasaki called for a standup. Clementi worked for a takedown but Sarnavskiy on top. Clement tried a sweep. Sarnavskiy with punches. Clementi with some up kicks. Sarnavskiy wanted him up. Clementi wanted to stall it out on the ground. Sarnavskiy knows he needs a knockout with time running out. Clementi dropped to the ground. Clementi went to the ground and Clementi swept to the top. Sarnavskiy had a triangle with ten seconds left but it's not tight. Sarnvaskiy's round for sure. 29-28 Clementi.
29-28 Clementi 29-28 Sarnavskiy can't believe it 29-28 Clementi
"Guns, that dude was shooting cannons, man."
Man I was praying to God, let me finish this quick, but a tough, tough dude, there's a reason he's 20-0. One thing about this ring is it does not lie. You can hype. You can do whatever but it all comes out when the door shuts."