Bellator 92 on Thursday night at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California featured the featherweight and middleweight tournament semifinals and the tournament finals are now set.
Frodo Khasbulaev (20-5) won his eight fight in a row with a TKO victory in the third round over Bellator tournament veteran Marlon Sandro to advance to the featherweight tournament final.
In the opening round, Sandro landed an illegal knee to the groin that nearly ended the fight. However, Khasbulaev would be able to continue and have two separate submission attempts but Sandro would be able to escape.
Sandro’s best round would come in the second round as he was able to lock in an arm triangle choke near the fence. Khasbulaev would eventually be able to escape and control the rest of the round. In the final round, Khasbulaev would take advantage early by getting the fight to the ground and landing 53 unanswered shots before referee John McCarthy came in to stop the fight.
In the other featherweight tournament semifinal, Mike Richman won a very close split decision victory over Alexandre Bezerra in the opening bout of the main card on Spike TV.
Bezerra was able to control the first round by taking the fight to the ground and having a 38-1 advantage in total strikes. The second round would end up being a different round as Richman was able to keep the fight on the feet, which is his type of fight. He would be able to work his strikes to take the second round.
The final round saw both fighters had their moments with Bezerra getting the fight to the ground and Richman being able to get off his back and score points on the feet. Bezerra did outland in the final round, but Richman landed more power strikes.
Two of the three judges scored the fight for Richman and he advances to the finals to take on Khasbulaev and that fight is scheduled to take place at Bellator 95 on April 4th.
Cooper and Marshall advance to middleweight final
Bellator 92 also saw the semifinals in the middleweight tournament as Brett Cooper had a come from behind victory over Dan Cramer and Doug Marshall won a controversial split decision over Sultan Aliev.
Cramer appeared to be working his way to a decision victory in the third round against Cooper as he was up two rounds on the scorecards. However, Cooper was able to land a right uppercut which started the beginning of the come from behind victory for Cooper. After landing the uppercut that rocked Cramer, Cooper (19-7) would land several more punches before the referee came in to stop the fight.
Marshall defeated Aliev in a controversial split decision, which most media members had Aliev winning the fight 29-28. However, two of the three judges scoring the fight for the California State Athletic Commission felt that Marshall won two of the three rounds.
Aliev was able to control a majority of the fight by taking Marshall down to the mat and working his ground game. He appeared to become tired in the third round and referee Herb Dean stood them up on more than one occasion in the final round.
Dean stood the fighters up with 10 seconds left in the fight and Marshall charged at Alieve with a flying knee, which did not land and Aliev fell to the mat. Marshall would land a couple of punches on the ground before the final bell sound.
Marshall would get the split decision victory with the scores being 27-30, 29-28 and 29-28. He will meet Cooper in the middleweight final, which is scheduled to take place at Bellator 95 on April 4th.
The complete Bellator 92 results are below:
Main Card: (Spike TV)
Frodo Khasbulaev def. Marlon Sandro via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:38
Doug Marshall def. Sultan Aliev via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Brett Cooper def. Dan Cramer via KO (strikes) Round 3, 3:19
Mike Richman def. Alexandre Bezerra via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Preliminary Card: (Spike.com)
Nick Piedmont def. Cleber Luciano via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, :55
Ricky Legere def. Sabah Homasi via submission (RNC) – Round 2, 2:52
Akop Stepanyan def. Chris Saunders via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:55
Keith Berry def. Richard Rigmaden via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 1:31
Josh Appelt def. Manny Lara via unanimous decision (30-24, 30-24, 30-24)
Aaron Miller def. Shad Smith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brandon Halsey def. Rocky Ramirez via technical submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 3, :50