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Bellator XI Running Diary

June 18, 2009

bellator-fighting_mediumIf you remember, I attended Bellator XI on Friday. The show premiered on ESPNDeportes on Saturday and it’s available online for free (Just sign up) starting Wednesday. So here is the running diary I kept during the show.

So of course the woman I spoke to at the Mohegan Sun information center knew nothing at all. Of course there was internet. Why wouldn’t there be internet? It’s 2009 after all. As soon as I got to press row I noticed that everyone’s laptop was online. Idiot.

Moments later I’m on, tweeting and note-taking. These are the events of Bellator XI as they unfolded in front of my eyes.

The soundtrack before the card was nice. It made me want to dance. Some of the production crew was. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a gray-haired Caucasian male bumpin’ to Lil Wayne. It was a nice.

Also pre-fight I saw the Bellator girls receive instructions on how to carry the round cards properly. Its the first time in a while I’ve seen a class that I wouldn’t mind sitting in on.

The fights took place in the home of the Connecticut Sun – Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Bill Simmons would have been envious. My friend Heather actually works at the arena and she was ushering the evening of the show. This doesn’t really add to the story, but she let me crash at her parents’ house last night. At least I hope she did. I’m writing this before the fight even began. You know how crazy things can get in Uncasville.

This was the first taping of an ESPN Deportes program I’ve ever attended. I’m glad ESPN actually has some sort of MMA programming. Even though it’s on a channel that I have no idea how to find.

Action started at promptly 8pm – in both English and Spanish. The fight recaps will be completely in English. Though they are available in Spanish if you hit the SAP button on your laptop.

The cage is circular. Hardly noticable, but worth noting. I think.

185: David Branch (3-0) vs. Dennis Olson (6-2)

Intros: One of the two Middleweight bouts of the evening.  We have our first Mohawk of the evening and it belongs to Dennis Olson. Branch wore about 5 layers of clothing today. The ring girl made it around the cage without any major trouble.

R1: A bit of a feeling out process to get started. Branch catches a kick and drops Olson with a right. Looked just like Silva-Ivrin, but Branch couldn’t finish. Branch took full mount, landed some good strikes to the head, took his back when Olson rolled and submitted him with a rear-naked choke. Dominating performance by Branch. Olson tapped at 2:22.

145: Jimmie Rivera (3-1) vs. Nick Garcia (1-2)

Intros: Nick Garcia comes in with a modified faux-hawk. Jimmie Rivera is sporting blue hair. And he tripped up the stairs. Luckily, he avoided injury. Yves Lavigne is our referee! I’m considering this a celebrity siting. Rivera is from New Jersey and he gets a huge reaction from the crowd. Could be the hair.Rivera looks to be the much bigger fighter.

R1: Both fighters were swinging freely to start. Rivera’s size seems to show in every exchange. He had some great transitions, but Yves eventually stood it up because no one was doing anything. Garcia had a nice flying knee, but Rivera just took it. Good first round. I’m giving it to Rivera. He looked to land the most strikes on top of having a take down and controlling the fight on the ground.

R2: Rivera continues to control. He’s got Garicia’s back again briefly. Then he kneed Garcia in the head while he was down. He didn’t lose a point, but Yves immediately stopped it and stood it up. Garcia seemed to catch Rivera, but he ended up on his back. Good work in the clinch to end the round. Rivera landed some good leg kicks earlier in the round. Looks like another 10-9 for Rivera. Good thing he got off with a warning after the pretty blatant illegal knee.

R3: Garcia has come out aggressively this round, but Rivera weathered every bit of it. Rivera had Garcia’s back for the last 2 or three minutes trying to secure a triangle. Most of that round was spent the same way. Another 10-9 for Rivera. Time for the judges…

Decision: Unanimous for Rivera 30-27

185: Uriah Hall (1-0) vs. Edwin Aguilar (20-13)

Intro: Aguilar comes out to House of Pain. Aguilar actually got booed.

R1: The crowd loves Urijah Hall who is pretty much dominating. Lots of kicks. Hey, look at that – he’s a Muay Thai kickboxer! Aguilar got a takedown near the end of the round, but it was all Hall before that.

R2: Some gamesmanship in the second. Both fighters taunting each other. Hall acted tired for a minute and then unleashed the kitchen sink. He ended up on the ground with Aguilar in full mount – after what I think was a straight kick to the groin… yup. Replay showed it. Hall escaped and finished strong… what a round.

R3: A lot less action. More of the same kicks from Hall, but you can tell he’s a bit tired. He just can’t finish Aguilar. As I type that he lets go another flurry of punches and knees. He tried a spinning back kick, but missed as Aguilar ducked. Aguilar took a poke in the eye and the ref had to stop the fight. If Hall catches his breath during the stopage we could have a big finish. Yup. Big kicks. Referee stoppage. Urijah Hall is a scary man.

155: Colin Tebo (2-0) vs. Nick Pace (1-0)

Intros: Nick Pace is from Staten Island. Wooo! I missed the intros as I was getting a cup of soda and some water at catering. Nice set up.

R1: Tebo looks like he’s wearing a diaper. Even Brandon Vera questions this wardrobe choice. Pace throws Tebo and eventually gets his back. Nevermind – SICK flying knee for the KO. Nice Pace with Bellator’s latest YouTube video. Yves Lavigne had to step in to save Tebo’s life. (As seen here)

170: Igor Gracie (1-1) vs. Vagner Rocha (1-0)

Intros: That wouldn’t be one of the Gracie’s, would it? Yup, his father was the nephew of Helio Gracie. And keeping with Gracie tradition, he came out to DMX.

R1: Lots of dancing to start this one. Eventually Irgor worked a take down which lead to nothing. The ref separated them and it was back to dancing. Rocha tagged Gracie once.  Big toss from Igor and he’s in a weird spot. We almost got an inverted triangle, but the bell rang. That’s a tough one to call. I’d probably lean towards Gracie because of the take downs. No real damage to either fighter in the round. 10-9 Gracie.

R2: Rocha gets Gracie to the ground, but can’t do anything. Igor keeps working for arm bars. Nothing gained for Rocha and the ref stands it up. Gracie gets another take down and was in too awkward a position to land any strikes or try and submissions. Odd. I guess Gracie takes this one too. This will probably end up 30-27 Rocha.

R3: The crowd is growing less and less impressed with Igor. I suppose they were expecting to see one of the architects of the sport. Again the ref separates the fighters. This is like a wrestling match without any take downs. The crowd, which had been spoiled thus far, finishes the fight with a lot of boos. Nobody should get this win and Igor should have to change his last name to “Hughes.” I’ll give this one to Vagner. It’s gotta be 29-28 somebody. I have no clue.

Result: It’s unanimous – 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in favor of Rocha.

170: Matt Makowski (5-1) vs. Justin Torrey (4-0)

Intros: We’re finishing with three straight welterweight fights. Torrey is fighting out of Sprinfield, Ma. Makowski is wearing a Mexican wrestling mask. how do the Uncasvillians choose a favorite?

R1: The Torrey chants started early and honestly, I can’t tell these two apart. Makowski got the early take down and works for a while until Torrey finally is able to pull guard. Back to their feet, they start exchanging kicks with a few punches. Big Take down for Torrey, but Makowski works the fight back to the feet and puts him against the cage. The round ends with a couple big kicks including one that put Torrey on the mat. I’m going to give it to the local, 10-9, Makowski.

R2: Lots of kicks. Makowski landing the majority. Finally, Torry grabs Makowski’s leg on a kick and gets a beautiful sweep for the take down. The fight goes back to the feet and Makowski seems to be lunging now. Another big sweep for Torrye puts Makowski on the mat again. This time Torrey takes advantage with some brutal ground and pound. Torrey definitely took that round 10-9.

R3: Makowski is getting tossed around like a doll. Torrey is all over Makowski, but Makowski keeps escaping at what seems like the last minute. Torrey is taking him dwon at will with sweeps. Good exchanges, but they all end with Makowski on his back. Give credit where its due, Makowski withstood a beating and never gave up. Torrey definitely took the last 2 rounds, maybe the first.

Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, Torrey.

170: Jake Ellenberger (20-4) vs. Marcelo Alfaia (10-5)

Intros: Ellenberger has one of the weirdest stretches I’ve ever seen.

R1: Alfaia just got knocked out freezing cold. The referee had to dive in and tackle Ellenberger. Just a straight right that knocked Alfaia out before he his the canvas.

170 tourney finale: Lyman Good (9-0) vs. Omar De La Cruz (5-1)

Intros: Time for the championship fight. Not much to add to that. A potential 5 rounder. The way this card has gone this one has to be a war. It’s for $100,000 and could potentially got 5 rounds.

R1: Early takedown for Good. He’s trying to work inside Omar’s guard and finally lands a couple punches. Kept sneaking some through and eventually started landing some bombs. After 20 seconds of that, De La Cruz went limp and Lyman Good became a hundred-thousand-aire. (Before taxes of course.) Not bad for a minute’s work. I guess that’s a decent finish to the night.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. BrianBridgePro permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:51 pm

    Nice account. Needed more Heather,though.

  2. June 18, 2009 7:08 pm

    good shit crm.

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