MMAFrenzy’s live coverage of Bellator 97 continues with our recap of tonight’s bantamweight semifinal. Tonight’s bantamweight semis landed on the Bellator 97 preliminary card due to the stacked main card. In the second semi, Anthony Leone would find himself in danger early but still managed to get the submission victory. In a battle of Brazilians, Rafael Silva would pick up the submission victory over Rodrigo Lima to pick up his spot in the finals.
Leone Survives Early Scare to Submit Baca
Frank Baca would nearly pick up the biggest victory of his career tonight when he shocked ONE FC veteran Anthony Leone with a first round knockdown. Leone would recover by using better wrestling to survive the first and control the round. Leone would get it back to the canvas in the third, and from there it was all academic as he quickly tapped Baca with a rear-naked choke.
Silva Taps Lima
It would be a battle for Brazil in the first semifinal of the evening as Rafael Silva took on Rodrigo Lima. The fight did not see too much action early, as Silva scored takedowns but Lima’s guard gave him pause and kept him from attacking. The fight would appear to be heading that way for the full time after Silva landed another takedown in the third. Lima would try to give up his back as he tried to escape however, and Silva quickly pounced to secure the fight ending rear-naked choke.
Prospects Brooks and Jenkins pick up wins
Two Bellator MMA prospects would pick up victories tonight in New Mexico as Will Brooks and Bubba Jenkins picked up TKO wins. Brooks completely controlled his bout with Leyva with superior wrestling and endurance before picking up the win. Jenkins would show his youth in the sport tonight as he had to overcome some early mistakes to put away Mike Barreras. Jenkins would find himself caught in two deep chokes but worked out each time. The ASU product would then demolish his very game opponent in the second with strikes.
- Will Brooks def. Cris Leyva via TKO (strikes) at 2:20 of Round 3
- Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Rafael Silva def. Rodrigo Lima via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:03 of Round 3
- Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Anthony Leone def. Frank Baca via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:07 of Round 3
- Bubba Jenkins def. Mike Barreras via TKO (strikes) at 1:05 of Round 2