Bellator 106 took place last night and produced some big upsets and one of the fights of the year.
In the main event Eddie Alvarez put his legal troubles with the promotion over the past year behind him by reclaiming his lightweight title from Michael Chandler in a five-round barn burner.
This was a very close fight, with both men gaining the upper hand at times. Chandler had good success with his wrestling in the first round and for much of the second, though Alvarez hurt him late in the round.
Alvarez definitely won the third though with his striking and had Chandler’s face covered with blood from a cut. Undeterred, Chandler got the fight to the mat and delivered big ground and pound to take the fourth round.
Both men clearly new how important the fifth round was going to be in a close fight like this and so they dug deep and gave it everything they had. It was Alvarez who ended up finishing the stronger, taking Chandler’s back and making several attempts at a rear-naked choke submission that he couldn’t manage to complete.
The fight could have gone either way, as reflected by the judges split decision verdict, but in the end it was Alvarez who did enough to win back the title (48-47 x2, 47-48).
It’s fair to say this wasn’t the only result that didn’t go according to plan for Bellator on the night.
For instance, in the co-main event Emanuel Newton produced another shock win over Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal.
It wasn’t as devastating as his first round KO win over ‘King Mo’ earlier this year, but it was a convincing display nonetheless. Lawal was unable to make effective use of his wrestling and so the fight eventually became a striking affair with Newton hurting him with a head kick in the second round and then producing the more significant firepower from then on.
So, Newton becomes the new interim 205lb champ while Bellator’s hopes of turning ‘King Mo’ into one of their biggest stars lie in tatters.
The upsets didn’t finish there though as another of the promotion’s biggest homegrown stars, featherweight champion, Pat Curran, also suffered a defeat against Daniel Straus.
Like Chandler, Curran had looked unstoppable during his reign as champion in Bellator recently, but he just wasn’t at his best last night, while Straus looked to be determined to make the most of his opportunity to get the belt.
A pivotal moment in the fight occured in the third round when Curran landed an illegal knee to his grounded opponent which resulted in him being deducted a point.
Truth be told, Straus looked capable of winning a decision even without that, but it certainly helped and seemed to take some of the wind out of Curran’s sails.
Curran never really looked like getting stoppage finish and Straus was able to outpoint him to earn the unanimous decision win (49-45, 48-46 x2) and claim the featherweight belt.
One fight that did go as expected was the ‘Fight Master’ final which Joe Riggs won by decisioning Mike Bronzoullis (30-27 x3), while Mike Richman claimed the only stoppage victory on the card with a TKO of Akop Stepanyan after dropping him with a big left late in the first round.
See all the Bellator 106 results from last night below.
Eddie Alvarez def. Michael Chandler via split decision (48-47,47-48,48-47)
Emanuel Newton def. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal via unanimous decision (49-46,49-46,49-46)
Daniel Straus def. Pat Curran via unanimous decision (49-45,48-46,48-46)
Joe Riggs def. Mike Bronzoullis via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)
Mike Richman def. Akop Stepanyan via TKO (strikes) at 4:05 of Round 1
Cristiano Souza def. Alejandro Garcia via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:06 of Round 3
Brandon Halsey def. Hector Ramirez via TKO (strikes) at 0:52 of Round 1
Mike Guymon def. Aaron Miller via submission (triangle choke) at 4:20 of Round 1
Cleber Luciano def. Joe Camacho via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Josh Smith def. Darren Smith via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)