After his originally scheduled Bellator debut fight against Tito Ortiz was scrapped due to an Ortiz injury, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson finally made his promotional debut at Friday night’s Bellator 108 at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J.
Facing Joey Beltran, a fellow UFC veteran and another fighter known for liking to stand and bang, Rampage got frustrated early in the fight when Beltran used a lot of movement to stay out of Rampage’s striking range, looking to employ his jab.
Beltran caught a kick midway through the opening round and then pressed Rampage to the cage. He did a good job keeping Rampage on the fence and working the body with punches, but Rampage eventually separated and took the fight away from Beltran.
Rampage moved in, forcing Beltran back to the fence, landed a knee to the body, and followed with a flurry of punches that included a left hook that sent Beltran face down on the mat. The referee stopped the fight with one second left on the clock.
Rampage could hardly contain himself after the fight, trying to take control of the microphone, yelling, “I’m back! Bjorn Rebney fixed my knees. Y’all gonna see more knockouts. Everybody in my weight class better be shaking in their boots!
“I proved I still got it.”
Alexander Volkov looked to defend his heavyweight belt from countryman Vitaly Minakov, both men entering the fight undefeated in their Bellator tenures, but it wasn’t to be.
He ate a couple early kicks from Volkov, but did some serious damage, softening Volkov up with some stern knees to the midsection. Minakov failed on his belly-to-belly suplex attempt, but turned it to his advantage, immediately reversing into Volkov’s guard and grounding and pounding him until the referee eventually stood them up.
Upon standing, Minakov sent Volkov floating to the mat with a right uppercut, and then unloaded with a brutal series of punches until the referee waved the fight off.
Minakov remained undefeated and captured the Bellator heavyweight championship in the process. He will now move on to defend the belt from Season 9 tournament winner, UFC veteran Cheick Kongo.
Marcos Galvao stormed back into the Bellator cage for the first time since losing to friend, teammate, and bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 89 last year.
He quickly took Tom McKenna down, mounted him, and began working him over with punches alternating between top mount and back mount. Galvao gave up position to attempt an armbar. McKenna escaped to his feet, but Galvao immediately brought him back to the mat, secured back mount, and finished in a flurry.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire earned a second shot at the Bellator featherweight championship with his stunning performance in the Season 9 Final against Justin Wilcox.
Freire had the pedal to the floor from the opening bell, quickly overcoming Wilcox with strikes. Freire sent Wilcox to the canvas a final time little more than two minutes into the bout, swarming him with punches before the referee stepped in.
Freire has been to the featherweight tournament final three times. He lost in the Season 2 Final to Joe Warren; won in Season 4, but lost in his challenge to dethrone Pat Curran; and will now move on to face Daniel Straus.
Straus and Freire fought once before, in the Season 4 Final, where Freire won a unanimous decision.
Bellator 108 Results
-Rampage Jackson def. Joey Beltran via KO (strikes) – R1, 4:59
-Vitaly Minakov def. Alexander Volkov via TKO (punches) –R1, 2:57
-Marcos Galvao def. Tom McKenna via TKO (punches) – R1, 4:29
-Patricio Freire def. Justin Wilcox via TKO (punches) – R1, 2:23
-Robert Sullivan def. Sergio da Silva by Unan Dec (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – R3, 5:00
-Dan Matala def. Ryan Cafaro via TKO (punches) – R2, 3:52
-Will Martinez defeated Kevin Roddy via Sub (rear-naked choke)– R1, 3:50
-Liam McGeary def. Najim Wali via Sub (armbar) – R1, 1:31
-Anthony Morrison def. Kenny Foster by Maj Dec (28-28, 29-27, 30-26)
-Nah’Shon Burrell def. Jesus Martinez by Unan Dec (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
-Tom DeBlass def. Jason Lambert via KO (punches) – R1, 1:45
-Sam Oropeza def. Chip Moraza-Pollard via KO (punches) – R1, 0:37