The seventh season of the Bellator Fighting Championships continued on Friday night at Casino Rama in Canada for Bellator 79 and Richard Hale and Shahbulat Shamhalaev both scored first round victories to advance to the finals of their divisions tournament.
Hale (21-4-1) got rocked earlier in the first round against Thiago Santos but was able to weather the storm and survive the strikes and submission attempts of his opponent.
After referee Dan Miragliotta separated the fighters for a lack of action, Santos (11-2, 1NC) appeared to be gassed out and Hale was able to take advantage. Hale was able to drop Santos and he landed multiple strikes before Miragliotta came in to stop the fight.
Hale now advances to the final and will wait to see what happens next week in the other semifinal bout which will see Vinicius Queiroz take on Alexander Volkov.
In the other semifinal tournament fight tonight, Shamhalaev (11-1-1) defeated Mike Richman by knockout in the first round and only needed 1:45 to get the victory. Shamhalaev landed a counter right hand that dropped Richman (13-2) and landed multiple strikes on the ground before referee Yves Lavigne came in to stop the fight.
This is the sixth career victory by knockout for Shamhalaev and he will wait to see what happens next week at Bellator 80 when Rad Martinez takes on Wagnney Fabiano in the other featherweight tournament semifinal.
The main card also saw season five welterweight tournament winner Douglas Lima score a victory against Kobe Ortiz, which he won in the third round by TKO. Lima controlled the entire fight and he will be a participant in the season eight welterweight tournament, which will begin in January.
The full Bellator 79 results are below:
Main Card: (MTV2/EPIX2)
Richard Hale def. Thiago Santos via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:31
Shahbulat Shamhalaev def. Mike Richman via KO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:45
Douglas Lima def. Kobe Ortiz via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 4:50
Ryan Ford def. Kyle Baker via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary Card: (Spike.com)
Josh Appelt def. Ed Carpenter via KO – Round 1
Guillaume De Lorenzi def. Johnny Carson via submission – Round 1, 4:49
Christ Franck def. Marcus Aurelio via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Vitaly Minakov def. Vladimir Starcencov via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, :27
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev def. Josh Pulsifer by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:30