Bellator 58 took place tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida and once again, the promotion put on an amazing display of MMA. In the main event, Season 4 lightweight tournament champion Michael Chandler upset Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in an incredible fight.
Elsewhere on the card, Hector Lombard, Jessica Aguilar, and Marlon Sandro all scored victories.
Chandler upsets Alvarez in “Fight of the Year” contender
On any other night, Bellator’s lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and champion Eddie Alvarez would have likely been the hands-down selection for “Fight of the Night” and an easy front-runner for “Fight of the Year.”
Chandler came out intent on leveling the Top Ten with a barrage of punches and kocked down the champ with a superman punch. Alvarez recovered but was quickly dropped again by the former wrestling standout. Alvarez finally stifled the assault with a hard combination of his own that forced Chandler to shoot. Alvarez recovered on the ground and then rocked Chandler after escaping. Chandler bombed back though and he Alvarez traded ferociously to end the first.
In the second round the two picked up where they left off as Chandler pressure Alvarez with his power strikes and wrestling, while Alvarez showed more technical striking in addition to some serious power shots and a submission attempt. The fighters battled hard to the bell again with both tagging each other as the round ended.
Both fighters answered the third showing the results of their battle with damage above their left eye. Alvarez exploded in this round with a varying assault that put Chandler on skates most of the round. Chandler attempted desparate takedowns and threw wild power shots that barely missed Alvarez. The round was all Alvarez but Chandler’s heart pushed the fight to the deciding round.
Chandler somehow managed to recover between rounds and came out looking fresher in the fourth. The fight then took a dramatic shift as a Chandler takedown attempt was stuffed by Alvarez but it caused the champ to lose his balance. Chandler pounced brilliantly with a pair of rights that sent Alvarez into the cage. Chandler exploded looking for the finish and forced Alvarez into side control. A continuing barrage of shots forced Alvarez to give up his back and Chandler immediately moved to a rear-naked choke which forced Alvarez to tap at the 3:06 mark of the fourth.
The back and forth battle was truly one of the best fights in Bellator history and will hopefully be released on YouTube or shown on MTV2 again soon. Plainly put, if you are a longtime fan of MMA or new to the sport, you need to see this fight.
In other action
Elsewhere on the card, Hector Lombard extended his current win-streak to 20 as he defeated MMA journeyman Trevor Prangley. The fight was never in doubt as the Cuban fighter eventually won in the second round. Lombard will likely face Season 5 tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko in a rematch of their 2010 championship fight.
Jessica Aguilar was dominant against Lisa Ellis-Ward from start to finish. Aguilar used a good blend of strikes and takedowns to neutralize her opponent. With the win, “Jag” avenged a loss suffered in the first fight of her career.
Marlon Sandro started off the card with some fireworks as he survived an early knockdown to pull out an impressive first round submission on a strong fighter in Rafael Dias. Dias rockerd Sandro early and recklessly swarmed the Nova Unaio fighter. Sandro regained his composure however and reversed Dias. Dias managed to escape but Sandro pressured forward before landing a standing arm-triangle that brought Dias to the mat and eventually ended the fight.
As an added note, the card did have one drawback on the Spike.com preliminary bouts as Jonas Billstein demonstrated why soccer kicks have been banned under the unified rules. Billstein dropped Herbert Goodman and then fired an uncalled for soccer kick to the head of Goodman. Billstein was disqualified for the kick and Goodman was immediately treated by the ringside doctors and had to be administered oxygen in the cage.
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
- Lightweight title fight – Michael Chandler def. Eddie Alvarez (c) via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 3:06
- Non-title feature fight -(c) Hector Lombard def. Trevor Prangley by TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:06
- Jessica Aguilar def. Lisa Ellis-Ward by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Marlon Sandro def. Rafael Dias via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:56
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
- Brett Cooper def. Jared Hess by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Valdir Araujo def. Ailton Barbosa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Cosmo Alexander def. Avery McPhatter via TKO (knees) – Round 1, 0:20
- Herbert “Whisper” Goodman def. Jonas Billstein via DQ (illegal soccer kick) – Round 2, 3:21
- Fabio Mello def. Farkhad Sharipov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)