Bellator 85 Results: Michael Chandler remains champion with submission victory

Bellator MMA made their long awaited debut on Spike TV on Thursday night from the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California and Michael Chandler proved that he is one of the best lightweight fighters in the world. Bellator 85

Chandler (11-0) was making his first Bellator lightweight title defense as he was defending the title against season six tournament winner Rick Hawn and scored a submission victory in the second round.

He was able to use his wrestling in the opening round to keep Hawn on the ground and stay away from the striking power of his opponent. At the end of the first round, Hawn was able to land a right hand that had Chandler on his heels and the punch was the best offense that he could produce in the fight.

As the second round opened, Chandler immediately looked for a takedown, which was successful. Hawn attempted to get back to his feet. As he looked to get back to his feet, Chandler went straight to his back and looked for a submission against the fence. Hawn would attempt to get away from the fence, but Chandler took him back to the ground and once again had his back. Chandler would begin to look for the rear-naked choke, which he locked in and Hawn was forced to tap out.

This is the third straight fight that Chandler has won by stoppage and two of those wins have come by submission. Overall, it’s his fifth win by submission and this is the first time that Hawn (14-2) has been stopped in his career.

Chandler will now wait for his next opponent, which will be determined later on in this season of Bellator when Dave Jansen meets Marcin Held in the season seven lightweight tournament final. Hawn will have to go back into the Bellator tournament to get another shot at the Bellator lightweight title.

In the other title fight on the card, Pat Curran and Patricio Pitbull would go all five rounds and Curran won a split decision. The fight took part of the feet for essentially all 25 minutes as both fighters stood in front of each other and looked for combinations.

Pitbull was the aggressor earlier on in the fight and had successful with leg kicks. Curran was not checking most of the leg kicks, but Pitbull was having trouble getting past the boxing defense of the champion.

Pitbull did go for takedowns twice in the fight, but was unsuccessful on both attempts. As the fight went into the championship rounds, Curran began to connect with his jab and Pitbull’s right eye began to close. By the end of the fifth round, it appeared that Pitbull could not see out of the eye and Curran was attacking the right side of his face in the final minutes of the fight.

At the end of the fight, two of the three judges scored the fight 48-47 for Curran and the other judge scored it 48-47 for Pitbull. Curran (18-4) has now won five straight fights and Daniel Straus is now waiting for a title shot, unless Bellator decides to have an immediate rematch between Curran and Pitbull. For Pitbull (17-2), both of his career losses are by split decision with his previous lost coming against Joe Warren at Bellator 23.

Bellator 85 also saw the beginning of the season eight light heavyweight tournament and three of the four quarterfinal bouts took place on this card. Emanuel Newton, Mikhail Zayats and Jacob Noe all advance to the semifinals with stoppage victories.

Newton (19-7) stopped Atanas Djambazov in the second round with a rear-naked choke on the preliminary portion of the fight card. This is the second straight tournament that Newton has advanced to the semifinals and he will have to wait until next week to find out who his opponent will be as former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will face Przemyslaw Mysiala.

The other two quarterfinal bouts took place on the main card with Zayats (20-6) scoring a first round victory over MMA veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral with a TKO victory. The finish was set up by a spinning back fist and after knocking Babalu to the ground, he used his ground strikes to finish the fight.

Just like Zayats, Noe (11-1) was able to score a first round TKO victory when he defeated Seth Petruzelli. After an eye poke that the referee did not see, Petruzelli attempted a double leg takedown near the fence, but Noe was able to stop the attempt and ended up on top of his opponent. He began to rain down punches and the referee came in to stop the fight when Petruzelli was covering up and not trying to advance his position.

Zayats and Noe will now face each other in the semifinals of this light heavyweight tournament and that fight is expected to take place sometime in February.

The full results of Bellator 85 are below:

Main Card: (Spike TV)
Jacob Noe def. Seth Petruzelli via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:51
Michael Chandler def. Rick Hawn via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:07
Mikhail Zayats def. Renato Sobral via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:49
Pat Curran def. Patricio Pitbull via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

Preliminary Card: (
Aaron Miller def. Joe Camacho via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason Lambert def. Hector Ramirez via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:59
J.J. Ambrose def. Brian Warren via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, :50
Emanuel Newton def. Atanas Djambazov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:21
Savant Young def. Mike Guymon via KO (punch) – Round 2, :48
Joe Williams def. Jamie Yager via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:02
Cleber Luciano def. Mario Navarro via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)