Bellator 99 live coverage & results: Pitbull Freire KOs Nunes
By Josh Nason
It's Bellator 99 and on this Friday night, we kick off the 145-pound tournament that is headlined by "Pitbull" Freire against former UFC talent Diego Nunes, in addition to another UFC veteran, light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko, making his promotional debut.
If you decided to watch this on DVR, I'll add in a 'Skip Or Watch' designation as well. Just because I'm home on a Friday night watching this doesn't mean you have to suffer when you come home from the bars.145-pound tourney opening round: Joe Taimanglo def. Andrew Fisher by u/d (29-28, 30-27 x 2)***SKIP!***
Yeah, I haven't heard of these guys either. Fisher has a massive size advantage in height and reach over Taimanglo, who got a nice reaction during the introductions. Both guys were warned about a clash of heads after knocking noggins in the first round. Halfway through the second, Taimanglo was already dropping his hands by his sides but was having no issues sneaking in punches to a stoic Fisher. Blah fight. Fisher fought with zero urgency and paid the price. For a smaller 145'er, Taimanglo was awful slow and would be much better served in the bantamweight division.
Herb Dean was a judge for this fight, calling it 29-28 for J.T.
145-pound tourney opening round: Justin Wilcox submitted Akop Stepanyan (2nd round - 2:20)
The opening video package focused on Wilcox dropping 22 pounds so he could make weight. Anyone else get the feeling that years from now, we're going to have a run of fighters that start having major medical issues due to the cuts? Wilcox is the former Strikeforce fighter who was one of the few to not make it to Zuffa after losing his last fight before the merger.
Stepanyan chopped away at Wilcox's legs and ankles, throwing in some spinning kicks for good measure. One such kick to the leg opened up the second round, tilt-a-whirling Wilcox completely. A nasty gash opened up on the back of Wilcox's head in the second round thanks to a nice spinning back kick, but he worked for a takedown. That eventually led to a tight, tight, rear naked choke by Wilcox that put Stepanyan out completely. The announcers played this up as a huge come from behind win. Wilcox definitely lost the first, but he wasn't in any major trouble at any point.
So I guess the reason he dropped so much weight was he took this fight on 7 days notice, a late swap for the injured Shabulat Shamalaev. That makes a lot more sense now.
Vlad Matyushenko def. Houston Alexander by u/d (29-28, 30-27 x 2)
***SKIP SKIP SKIP - Could Be Used As Torture Device****
Rampage Jackson is doing some guest commentary. He said that camp hasn't really started out like we wanted due to a knee injury. However, Bjorn Rebney sent him to the same guy that helped out with Kobe Bryant's knee, and things feel great now. I believe it's the guy talked about here and the same guy that helped out Dana White with his Meniere's disease.
R1: Both are guys are over 40 and it's showing. Alexander scored a takedown in the first (yes), but the fight didn't last long there. Vlad got a nice toss as well and got full mount, but Alexander escaped. Alexander started wincing with about a minute to go, so he might have pulled something. Meh first round. 10-9 Vlad
R2: There is definitely something going on with Alexander's left leg or ankle as he's moving on it funny. In any case, this was like Alexander vs. Kimbo Slice: lots of circling and not much else. The killer that once looked like he'd be a force in the UFC has been gone for a while. Awful round. 10-9 Vlad, but it could have been 10-8 due to Alexander doing nothing.
R3: Vlad got a takedown, Alexander reversed and then Vlad reversed. I get that Alexander was an injury sub for Christian M'Pumbu, but this fight was terrible. Bellator has got to be better than this. Interesting to note that the clock disappeared completely with about two minutes to go. Intentional? 10-9 Vlad.
145-pound tourney opening round: Fabricio Guerreiro def. Des Green by u/d (29-28 x 3)
They did a feature on the relationship between Green and his mom. The hilarious part? The namebar they used to show her afterward said 'Shelly'. No last name. Guerreiro is a former Bloody Elbow No. 1 featherweight prospect and is 17-2, while Green is 9-1. Green has great dreadlocks, even superior to the fight's referee, Herb Dean. I see Jason Herzog judging, so the refs are swapping in and out tonight.
To sum up this fight: Guerreiro was superior to Green, but still managed to give up takedowns at the end of the first two rounds. Neither guy hurt each other, and overall, this was a very non-descript fight where we didn't learn anything about either guy. Meh. Green thought he won. No one cared. Are you still reading this?
145-pound tourney opening round: Patricio Pitbull def. Diego Nunes by 1st round KO (1:19)
***Watch (I Guess)***
Well, that was quick. Nunes threw a few kicks that didn't land, and Pitbull hit a left hand that put Nunes down. A few glancing shots later and it was done. Looked fairly light, but the announcers played it off like a big shot. Nunes has lost two in a row and three of his last four.
Semifinals are Taimanglo vs. Wilcox and Guerreiro vs. Pitbull. Overall, this was a bad show that was mainly a promotional vehicle for the Rampage vs. Tito PPV.
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