The broadcast began in the middleweight division as Keith Berry went up against Eugene Fadiora.
To say that my fellow Brit put in an impressive performance on his promotional debut would not be underestimating things. Even though Berry was the one to come forward when the fight began Fadiora soon put his back against the cage before taking the fight to the ground. Berry managed to get back to his feet briefly, but when Fadiora took the fight down again he re-asserted his dominance, opening up a nasty cut near Berry’s left eye with his ground and pound.
Berry had slightly more success in the second with a couple of combinations, but when Fadiora scored with another takedown it was more of the same from the Brit. Berry just had no answer to the Brit’s attack, and as the round entered it’s final minute and Berry failed to respond to a series of elbows the referee stepped in to give Fadiora the TKO win.
Heavyweight action followed as Mighty Mo faced Ron Sparks.
The old saying that appearances can be deceptive was never more true than in this fight. When I first saw these two behemoths I expected them to start slugging away as soon as the fight began, so you can imagine my surprise when Sparks went for an early takedown.
It didn’t do him much good though. Mo quickly reversed the positions and began to dominate, locking Sparks’ left arm up in a crucifix while he went after his right with a key lock. When he finally applied the hold Sparks cried out in pain and fought it for as long as he could before finally succumbing and tapping out to give Mo the submission win.
Then it was on to the next round of the lightweight tournament. Semi-final #1 saw Ricardo Tirloni taking on Tiger Sarnavskiy.
The quickest fight on the show saw Sarnavskiy dropping his man early on with a spinning back fist, but when he followed him down looking for the finish Tirloni quickly regained his senses and managed to reverse the positions.
That didn’t stop the Russian though. Almost as soon as he was on his back he went looking for a triangle choke, and although Tirloni tried to posture his way out of danger it didn’t do him any good, and just a few seconds later he tapped out to give Sarnavskiy the submission win after just 68 seconds.
As there was some time to spare it was on to filler material and the featherweight encounter between Des Green and Angelo Sanchez.
This certainly proved to be an interesting one. Green looked good early on with his grappling, but as the first round went on Sanchez connected with a series of kicks which Green failed to check, although for his part Green connected with a series of combinations. He eventually caught one of Sanchez’s kicks though, and scored with an impressive takedown off it.
It looked like we were going to get more of the same in the second round, but when Green connected with a standing elbow on the inside it opened up a nasty gash on Sanchez’s forehead. A brief moment of ground and pound followed before the referee stopped the fight and called in the medical man. The look on the doctor’s face said it all, and it wasn’t long before the fight was called and Green took the TKO win.
Normal service resumed with semi-final #2 of the lightweight tournament between Will Brooks and Saad Awad.
The only fight of the show to go the distance proved to be one of those very interesting affairs, and an example of how to basically shut a striker down.
For three rounds Brooks put on a good display on the ground. While it looked like Awad wanted to turn this into a striking battle Brooks took the fight to the ground with some impressive looking takedowns as he looked to grind down his opponent. It proved to be a very sound tactic, and one that was clearly frustrating Awad, judging by the way he kept calling Brooks onto him during the stand-up portions of the fight.
The only thing was that Brooks wasn’t looking for a brawl because he knew how to beat his man, and although he fell prey to guillotine and triangle attempts he hardly ever looked in any trouble.
As for the judges, they were in complete agreement as they gave everything to Brooks, booking his spot in the tournament final.
In conclusion – this proved to be another solid night of action for the boys at Bellator. All of the fights shown delivered to varying degrees, and once again it was great to see the progression of the tournament format.
As for my fight of the night no-prize I have to admit that this was the most difficult choice I’ve had to make in a while, mainly because the majority of the performances here were solid if not outstanding. So this time around I’m going to show a bit of home country bias and give this prestigious award to Eugene Fadiora’s TKO win over Keith Berry.
So with all of that out of the way there’s just one thing left to do, and that’s to give Bellator 105 the thumbs up.