In other action, Bellator middleweight Hector Lombard made up for a lackluster first two rounds and knocked out Falaniko Vitale, Giedrius Karavackus rebounded to submit Sam Oropeza, and Alexander Shlemenko edged Brett Cooper.
Michael Chandler vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire
Chandler managed to overcome a penalty point due to low blows en route to a solid unanimous decision over Patricky Freire. Despite the accidental low blows, Chandler showed improved striking in addition to his impressive NCAA wrestling pedigree. Freire fought well but everytime he began to get the better of the striking game Chandler wisely grounded him. Chandler’s gas tank was a big factor, as he looked fresh throughout the fight while Freire looked exhausted by the end. Had the judges called for a fourth round, Freire would have likely would have labored to the end.
Chandler now faces Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in what should be a fantastic title fight. Alvarez has a sizeable experience and striking advantage but Chandler will be bringing the best wrestling pedigree Alvarez has faced along with with a Clay Guida-type motor.
Hector Lombard vs. Falaniko Vitale
Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard and Falaniko Vitale got off to slow start but the champion added to his resume of one punch knockouts in the end. Lombard was looking for the knockout the entire fight but telegraphed most of his punches throughout the night. Vitale countered well most of the night but made a critical error in the third as he dropped his guard exiting the clinch and was dropped by a power shot from Lombard. Lombard improved his winning streak to 18, though it should be noted that his streak has mostly been over subpar competition.
Giedrius Karavackus vs. Sam Oropeza
Judoka Giedrius Karavackus engineered an impressive comeback over Sam Oropeza in a hard fought welterweight fight. Karavackus showed his inexperience with his striking and got in trouble on the ground in both the first and second rounds. In the third, Karavackus gained head and arm control from side control and pinned Oropeza’s arm before blasting him with strikes. Referee Dan Miraglotta nearly ended the fight multiple times due to strikes but Oropeza held on until Karavackus applied pressure to Oropeza’s shoulder by lifting his head and forcing Oropeza to tap.
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper
Russian striker Alexander Shlemenko and Brett Cooper squared off with a Bellator Season Five middleweight tournament spot on the line to open the MTV2 card. Shlemenko won the striking exchanges with multiple spinning attacks and managed to stifle most of Cooper’s attempts at mounting any serious offense on the ground. In the third, Cooper’s attempts at getting the fight to the ground ended abruptly after eating a flying knee from Shlemenko and the rest of the fight turned into a slugfest. After the fight, Shlemenko apologized for losing to Lombard and vowed to win the tournament to get another shot at the Bellator champion.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
- Michael Chandler def. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)*
Lightweight tournament final
- Champ Hector Lombard def. Falaniko Vitale via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 0:54 (non-title fight)
- Giedrius Karavackas def. Sam Oropeza via submission (scarf-hold arm-lever) – Round 3, 3:59
- Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)
- Jamall Johnson def. Randy Smith via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2**
- Jeff Lentz def. Anthony Leone via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jay Silva def. Gemiyale Adkins via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
* Chandler lost a point for multiple unintentional low blows
** Bout happened after televised card
Pictured: Michael Chandler