Bellator 111 Recap: Dantas retains title with second round submission

Bellator 111 took place this Friday night in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and in the night’s main event, Eduardo Dantas retained his Bellator Bantamweight Championship by submitting Anthony Leone in the second round with a rear-naked choke.Bellator 111 New

The champion had a tough first round, which played out with him being taken down and controlling from a position standpoint for the majority of the period. Dantas was able to latch on the rear-naked choke in the second frame when defended a lazy takedown attempt by Leone.

In seven of Dantas’ (16-3) career victories, he has finished the contest in the second round. Leone (13-7) was finished for the first time in two and a half years.

Johnson rallies back to score a knockout
Lavar Johnson secured the final spot in the heavyweight tournament semifinals by finishing Ryan Martinez late in the first frame with a powerful hook combination.

It was a tough loss for Martinez who was able to control Johnson in the early goings of the round by taking him down and spending a lot of time in a dominant position. Ultimately, Johnson was able to get back up and win the finish.

Johnson (18-8) scored the 16th KO/TKO victory of his career and was able to get back on the winning track after losing three straight. Martinez (10-4) has now lost two in a row for the first time in his career.

Mo submits Graham in the third
43-year-old Mighty Mo didn’t leave it in the hands of the judges in his heavyweight tournament opening round bout with Peter Graham. Following a successful takedown from the clinch in the third frame, Mo transitioned to side control, slapped on a head-and-arm choke, and elicited a tap from Graham.

Mo’s fight-ending submission was preceded by a first round that played out with Peter Graham out-striking Mighty Mo on the feet and a second frame where Mo turned the contest into a grappling match, taking down Graham a couple of times.

The win improves Mighty Mo’s record to 6-3, and he has now won three straight, tying his previous career high. After winning eight consecutive fights from July 31, 2010 to Oct. 18, 2013, Graham (9-7) has lost two in a row and has been submitted six times in his career.

Volkov puts Holata away with strikes
With his back against the cage in the first round, former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov rocked Mark Holata with a flurry of punches and polished him off with ground and pound until referee Jason Herzog called a halt to the action in the first.

Holata, who was giving up a significant reach advantage to the 6-foot-7-inch Volkov, closed the distance early and turned the fight into a battle inside the clinch. Unfortunately for Holata, that clinch position was where Volkov was able to finish him and advance to the semi-finals of the light heavyweight tournament.

AVolkov (20-4) rebounded from his most previous fight, a loss to Vitaly Minakov, by winning a fight with strikes for the fifteenth time in his career.

Ivanov advances to the next round of the judges’ scorecards
On the last fight of the preliminary card, undefeated Bulgarian heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov outpointed Rich Hale to win a unanimous decision and advance to the next round of the season ten tournament.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28, giving Ivanov the latter two rounds. In rounds two and three, Ivanov flaunted his power by rocking Hale with his combinations and even cutting him alongside his left eye.

With the victory, Ivanov’s (10-0, 1 NC) unblemished record remains intact, while Hale (21-7-1) has now suffered his third consecutive loss.

The complete Bellator 111 results are below.

Main Card (Spike TV)
Eduardo Dantas def. Anthony Leone via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:04
Lavar Johnson def. Ryan Martinez via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:22
Mighty Mo def. Peter Graham via submission (head-and-arm choke) – Round 3, 2:31
Alexander Volkov def. Mark Holata via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:21

Preliminary Card (
Stephen Banaszak def. Treston Thomison via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:56
Blagoi Ivanov def. Rich Hale via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cortez Coleman def. Daniel Miller via verbal submission (punches) – Round 2, 4:49
Javy Ayala def. Eric Prindle via Doctor Stoppage (eye)- Round 3, 2:05
Abdul Razak def. Matt Jones via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:23
Brent Primus def. Chris Jones via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:45
Chris Gutierrez def. Justin McNally via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:50