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Bellator 75 Heavyweight Tournament Recap – History Repeats Itself; Santos, Volkov, Hale, and Queiroz Advance

In a shocking, yet ironic, turn of events, history repeated itself as Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle finally met in the cage for a second time at The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana for Bellator 75. This time, however, the shoe, or cup in this case, was on the other foot.

When the two first met, Santos would kick “The Super Soldier” in the groin, bringing the bout to a no contest.  The second attempt to make the fight happen saw ATT product egregiously miss weight, cancelling the bout in its entirety. This time it would be Santos who would taste the pain.

After keeping dominant position for much of the opening round, Santos lost control of Prindle, who managed to get to his feet as “Big Monster” laid on his back, inviting the American into his guard. The Arizona native then launched a stiff ax kick, which connected squarely on the nether regions of the Brazilian. Santos stayed face down on the ground, writhing in pain for minutes, until the bout was called at 4:51 of the opening round. This time, however, the groin strike was considered so flagrant that Prindle was handed a disqualification loss, advancing Santos to the semifinals of the heavyweight tournament in the worst way possible.

Alexander Volkov made the most of his Bellator debut, beating the tar out of former Strikeforce title challenger Brett Rogers for 15 minutes. “Da Grim” had nothing for the rangy Russian, spending most of the bout back-pedaling while the fists of “Drago” were tethered to his face.  By the closing frame, Rogers was exhausted, barely able to throw a strike. At the final bell, the judges rendered a unanimous 30-27 in favor of the Russian.

Rich Hale came out looking to make a statement in the heavyweight tournament. The former light heavyweight peppered Mike Wessel with strikes, leaving the “The Juggernaut” no choice but to turn tail and get away from a salvo of punches. The Tempe, Arizona native gave chase. Wessel then shot for a lazy double-leg takedown, but immediately had his back taken and found himself flattened out, eating more punches. The referee had seen enough and stepped in to stop the bout at the 79-second mark.

Mark Holata opened up well against Vinicius “Spartan”, dropping the Brazilian with a big left hand, smothering the guard of the promotional debutant. Queiroz proved to be down, but not out. The bjj brown belt grabbed an armbar, turned, and went belly down. The American had no choice but to tap at 3:26 of the opening period.

Bellator 75 Results:

  •  Thiago Santos defeated Eric Prindle via disqualification (flagrant groin strike) at 4:51 of rd. 1.
  • Alexander Volkov defeated Brett Rogers by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Rich Hale defeated Mike Wessel via TKO (strikes) at 1:19 of rd. 1.
  • Vinicius Queiroz defeated Mark Holata via submission (armbar) at 3:26 of rd. 1.


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