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Bellator MMA Middleweight Tournament Semifinals – Marshall Advances, Cooper Rallies To Win

VGFMMAHVCNQZMYJ.20130221200751Bellator 92 saw the Season 8 Middleweight Tournament Semifinals take place Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. After a pair of bouts playing the middle role on the main card ,  Doug Marshall and Brett Cooper now find themselves facing off in the finals.

When¬†Sultan Aliev and Doug Marshall met in the evening’s co-main event, the Russian held a very clear grappling advantage over the former WEC champion. The first round was a walk in the park for Aliev, who took down “The Rhino” at will.

The American had a much better second period, even hurting the tough Russian with a head kick, but he recovered quickly, making it a nip-tuck fight. The closing round saw more of the same as the Russian fighter continued to push the bout into the cage and finish takedown attempts while “The Rhino” struck from his back. After 15 minutes, judges rendered a shocking split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28) for Marshall.

Dan Cramer and Brett Cooper met in a grueling bout to kick off the middleweight semis. At the opening bell, a right hand from Cramer sent his opponent to the mat, where he spent much of the round playing defense. While Cooper was able to get a late sweep, it was all for naught. The second period largely took place in the clinch, where the Kings MMA product was able to bloody his opponent, but was still largely outstruck when at distance.

Arguably down two rounds, the Long Beach native came out looking for the finish in the third, and he got just that. A clobbering uppercut form Cooper cracked the jaw of “Cosmo”, “Fudoshin” blitzed his opponent with a barrage of punches, putting him out at 3:19 of the final period in an emotional come-from-behind victory.

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