The Bellator MMA Season 9 Lightweight Tournament began tonight with Bellator 101 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. In the last quarterfinal, Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy dismantled former UFC fighter Marcus Davis. In other action, Ricardo Tirloni, Will Brooks, and Saad Awad all advanced to the Bellator MMA semifinals.
Sarnavskiy Destroys Davis
Russian import Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy is one of the more intriguing lightweight prospects around and tonight he took on UFC veteran Marcus Davis in one of his toughest fights to date. Tiger put the pressure on early by dropping “The Irish Hand Grenade” with a vicious strike before following up on the ground with strikes. Davis would fight valiantly but eventually succumbed to a tight rear-naked choke. Sarnavskiy will now face Ricardo Tirloni later this year.
Tirloni Out-Works Clementi
UFC veteran Rich Clementi never seemed to take Ricardo Tirloni tonight in Portland. The Ultimate Fighter 4 veteran would regret that decision, as Tirloni managed to out-point Clementi over three rounds. Tirloni has yet another tough fight ahead when he faces Sarnavskiy in the Bellator semis.
Brooks Opens Alessio
Will Brooks may have not looked very comfortable against John Alessio early, but he finished the fight strong in the third tonight at the Rose Garden. Brooks utilized his superior speed and athleticism to out-grapple the UFC veteran and avoided too much damage in the standup. Brooks turned the fight into a bloodbath in the third, as he busted a mouse under Alessio’s left eye with hard strikes. The unanimous decision victory will see Brooks look to avenge his only career loss against Saad Awad in the semifinals.
Awad Impresses Against Stapleton
TUF 16 veteran Saad Awad impressed tonight by ruining TUF 9 veteran Martin Stapleton’s tournament debut. Awad dropped Stapleton early and quickly looked to push the pace in an effort to finish. Awad would eventually secure a brutal rear-naked choke that forced the Englishman to tap. Awad will now face Brooks in a rematch of their Bellator 91 tournament contest.
Bellator 101 Lightweight Tournament Results:
- Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Tiger Sarnavskiy def. Marcus Davis via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:40 of Round One
- Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Ricardo Tirloni def. Rich Clementi via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Will Brooks def. John Alessio via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-25)
- Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Saad Awad def. Martin Stapleton via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:46 of Round 1