Emanating from the Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island, Bellator 81 saw the Season 7 Lightweight Tournament semifinals take place as Marcin Held and Dave Jansen advanced in a night of action packed bouts.
The opening round of the evening’s main event saw lightweights Rich Clementi and Marcin Held battle for submissions almost non-stop, often dueling leglock attempts in hopes of making it to the Season 7 finals. Eventually, it was the Polish fighter who would get the upper hand in the second period. As Held was able to roll in defense of a D’arce choke and submit “No Love” at 3:04 of the second round via toe hold.
Dave Jansen and Ricardo Tirloni went to war in the evening’s first lightweight tournament semifinal. While Jansen was able to out-land the Brazilian in the first frame, Tirloni would rally back in the second round. The third period saw both men, already bloodied, throwing caution to the wind for five minutes. After a grueling fifteen-minute affair, the judges rendered a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) which saw “The Fugitive” have his hand raised.
Marlon Sandro blitzed Dustin Neace in their featherweight fight, as the heavy-handed Brazilian connected early on and shot for a takedown.Neace was able to scramble and try to regain position, but the TUF veteran was clearly outclassed. Neace refused to tap as the perennial featherweight took his back and secured a choke, flattening out his opponent, who would lose consciousness at 2:05 of the first round.
In the first bout of the evening’s main card, Perry FIlkins outlasted Jonas Billstein. After dominating the opening round, the Team Link middleweight was forced to battle back from adversity in the second as the German upped the pace in the middle period. By the third, Billstein was shot but would not die as the war continued until the final bell, but the offense of Filkins was too much to overcome.
On the evening’s preliminary card, Andrew Calandrelli submitted Eric Brown in the second stanza of their lightweight contest with an armbar from mount that forced the CSW product to tap at 3:10 into the second frame. Dan Cramer overwhelmed Joe Lamoureux in a middleweight tilt that saw the UFC veteran demolish the Massachusetts native at 3:26 of the first round. Murad Machaev grinded out Lorawnt-T Nelson for 15 minutes, scoring multiple takedowns and earning a unanimous 30-27 decision in their 167 lb. catchweight bout. It took Mike Mucitelli a mere 26 seconds to tap Matt Uhde with an armbar in a 210 lb. cacthweight bout, as “Crazy” caught his opponent from his back. Matt Bessette outworked Paul Barrow in the evening’s lightweight curtain jerker, earning a unanimous 30-27 decision.
- Bellator Season 7 Lightweight Tournament Semifinals: Marcin Held def. Rich Clementi via submission (toe hold) Round 2, 3:04
- Bellator Season 7 Lightweight Tournament Semifinals: Dave Jansen def. Ricardo Tirloni via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Marlon Sandro def. Dustin Neace via technical submission (rear-naked choke)- Round 1, 2:05
- Perry Filkins def. Jonas Billstein via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Andrew Calandrelli def. Eric Brown via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:10
- Dan Cramer def. Joe Lamoureux via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:26
- Murad Machaev def. Lorawnt-T Nelson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mike Mucitelli def. Matt Uhde via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 0:26
- Brennan Ward def. Sam McCoy via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 2:49
- Matt Bessette def. Paul Barrow via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ruben Rey def. Robbie LeRoux via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)