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Battles at Bellator 82: The Season 7 Championship Begins

Koreshkov wins Welterweight tournament, now has shot for belt against Askren

 

by John Peter Daly

 

Fri., Nov., 30—The beginning of Bellator 82’s 7th Season championship tournament finals went down at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

 

At the top of the main card, Welterweight Andrey Koreshkov won by unanimous decision (29-28) in an evenly matched fight against former world champion Lyman Good, walking away with the $100,000 prize. Koreshkov now has the chance to vie for the belt againt the current champion Ben Askren.

 

Charged with excitement from the start, Koreshkov floored Good with an upper cut half way through the first round. Koreshkov was able to use impressive speed from quite a distance to land a few upper cuts on Good who normally is the superior striker. The second round ended without resolution: Good took Koreshkov down in a body triangle position, ultimately not able to maintain his hooks deep enough on Koreshkov. Koreshkov was able to get back to his feet, ending the round with a head kick. In round 3, Koreshkov’s uppercut was met by Good’s knee. A spinning back kick by Koreshkov failed to land and Good took him to the ground—both fighters stood up with Koreshkov securing a quality double leg take down, ending up in Good’s guard until the end of the fight.

 

The next match was a close Catchweight fight taken by David “the Caveman” Rickels by unanimous decision (29-28) against Jason Fischer. Rickels was successful in dropping down from 170 lbs. and was able to match Fischer’s speed who got his jabs past Rickels’ guard several times. The electrifying exchanges included Rickels slipping out of a mean foot lock, Fischer standing on Rickels face to break himself out of an arm bar and ground and pound by Rickels at the very end.

Both short, stocky Middleweights looking for a KO got just that—in the first 22 seconds. Both fighters came out swinging. Kala “Kolohe” Hose jumped in with a knee, but with his hands down took a hard left hook that ended the fight by Doug Marshall—his 11th career win in the 1st round.

Lightweight Russian Alexander Sarnavskiy won by unanimous decision (30-27) against Tony Hervey. Sarnavskiy dominated all three rounds on the ground, Hervey did stay in the fight after a beautiful defense in round 1, breaking out of Sarnavskiy’s arm bar by turning and getting his head over Sarnavskiy’s thigh to escape. Sarnavskiy’s high mount and heavy bombs only allowed for Hervey to stand one more time, but never able to gain enough separation against the technically skilled Sarnavskiy.

Preliminary fights

Featherweight Mario Navarro won by leg triangle choke at 3:18 minutes in round 2 against Anthony Bain. Navarro sought submissions right off the bat—all that didn’t go his way. After spending most of round 2 on his back eating heavy leather and elbows, Navarro gained the angle needed to complete a triangle resulting in Bain tapping out.

 

Bantamweight Shawn Bunch, a two time Olympic wrestling hopeful, won his first professional MMA fight against the six-inch taller Chad Coon by unanimous decision (30-27). Rare in MMA, Bunch threw a right hand and then went straight onto Coon’s back for a take down in round 2.

 

Middleweight Brazilian Giva Santana, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, submitted Brendan Seguin at 2:33 in the second round with a verbal tap out by Seguin trapped in knee bar. It looked like Santana was going to submit his opponent in an arm bar earlier, but Seguin powered out. Santana gained several very high mounts during the two rounds against Seguin who had hoped to use his boxing skills.

 

At just 15 seconds in the first round, light heavyweight Terry Davinney avoided a low kick by Matt Van Buren, landing a heavy left-handed bomb right on Van Buren’s jaw, taking him down and throwing a cross, ending the fight.

 

Home-state rivals since their amateur MMA days, lightweight Jeremy Czarnecki won by unanimous judges scores of 29 to 28 against Justin Houghton. Czarnecki, backing up through much of the fight and not successfully landing most of his kicks, did end each round strong, exemplified in the second round with a leaping overhand right and then a clean jab against the taller Houghton.

 

Lightweight John Schulz won by TKO after the referee called in the fight at 2:45 of round 3 as Hector Garcia spent most of the rounds on his back with Schulz’ sporadic strikes increasing more and more toward the end call by the referee.

 

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