Saturday, May 14, 2011
It's time for Falaniko Vitale and Hector Lombard to do their thang. Rounds 1 and 2 are pure suckage, as the two throw intermittent strikes and dance what can only be described as a waltz. But Lombard redeems himself in Round 3, land a short right hook that has Vitale doing the funky chicken at 54 seconds in. Nice KO, crappy fight. Now Patricky Freire and Mike Chandler are up for the lightweight tournament finals. Round 1 is pretty back and forth, and Chandler shows no fear of trading with the Brazilian. Round 2 is more of the same, but Chandler edges ahead when he catches Freire's kick, takes him down and pounds on him. Unfortunately, the American knees him in the junk in the second, and when he kicks him there again in the third, it costs Chandler a point. In the end, though, it doesn't matter, as he gets Freire down, beats on him, and takes the unanimous decision. Last bout of the evening and it's heavyweights Randy Smith vs. Jamall Johnson. Smith sports a 40-pound weight advantage and a jab that never stops. Johnson possesses head movement and enough wrestling to get Smith down and enough jiu-jitsu to tap him with a rear naked choke at 4:16 of Round 2. And that's it.
The live MTV2 broadcast is underway, and the first bout is Alexander Shlemenko against Brett Cooper. This is a qualifier bout for the next middleweight tournament - which sucks for Shlemenko, considering he won the last one. Why should he have to qualify? Anyway, it's a well-known fact that the Russian gets paid by the spinning technique, and in Round 1 he racks up about 1,800 bucks wobbling the American. Cooper wobbles him back, though, and bloodies him, too. Round 2 has Cooper trying to add some wrestling into the equation, but Shlemenko is nonplussed. The final round is a complete slobberknocker, with both men eating so much leather they're guaranteed to be crapping whole cows tomorrow. The crowd loves it - as they should - and the judges award the unanimous decision to Shlemenko. Next up: local hero Sammy Oropeza against Giedrius Karavackas. Oropeza's striking - his kicking, especially - is top notch, and he flexes that muscle early on. The round ends with him on top, dropping bombs. Karavackas isn't a pushover, and he comes back hard in the second round, judo-ing Oropeza and dishing some of that fistic love back. Round 3 is all Karavackas, as he throws Oropeza down, pins with a kasagatame, punches him unabashedly, and taps him at 3:59 of the round with a bent armlock (the kind where you use only your legs). It is the most epic of comebacks, and the Sammy Oropeza Fan Club is crushed.
First up is Gemiyale Adkins and Jay Silva in a middleweight pairing. Adkins is short and built like a fire hydrant that shoots fists instead of water. Silva, meanwhile, begins every day with a flying knee to his bathroom mirror. Round 1 sees Adkins realize quickly that he's too short to go toe-to-toe with his opponent, so he spends half the frame playing the huggy game. Silva, of course, just blasts him on the feet and knees him relentlessy against the cage. Adkins spends all of the second and third round desperately clinging to Silva's leg while Silva punishes him nonstop, and when time runs out the judges award Silva the unanimous decision. Next is Anthony Leone and Jeff Lentz. Leone's fought everywhere, and Lentz was on TUF, so, um, yeah. The bout opens with Lentz inexplicably letting Leone kick him in the leg about two dozen times. He warms up as he goes, however, finding his range and firing back with just about everything he knows. Round 2 has Leone slowing and Lentz continuing to find his groove (and by groove, I mean pounding on Leone against the cage). The third round has Lentz high-kicking Leone and planting his big toe right in Leone's eye - which saps the shorter fighter completely and enables Lentz to batter him until the final bell. The TUF vet takes the unanimous decision.
MMA Journalist is here in the majestic Caesar's in Atlantic City for Bellator 44. Headlining the card is Hector "Angry Cuban" Lombard vs. Falaniko "Hawaiian Punch" Vitale, and the undercard will see the lightweight tournament finals between Patricky Freire and Mike Chandler. Know who's not on the card? Anthony Morrison, who failed to make the bantamweight limit for his bout. Now I'm going to throw some facts at you, and you make your own jokes: Morrison was supposed to make 135 and he was 146.5, and his nickname is "Cheesesteak". Ok, go.
This week Blogger, the platform that this beloved blog is hosted on, suffered some serious outage issues. With that in mind, if those problems return tonight, my liveblog for Bellator 44 in Atlantic City might be non-existent. We'll see, though. And if worse comes to worse, you can still follow me on Twitter ("jim_genia" is my account). I'm always posting live results and stuff there.