The night gave shape to the latest edition of the promotion’s light heavyweight tournament.
Philipe Lins kept his unbeaten streak intact by quickly submitting Austen Heidlage in the night’s main event, while Egidijus Valavicius edged out a split-decision victory over Carlos Eduardo earlier on the main card. Kelly Anundson also had to go to the judges for his unanimous-decision nod over Rodney Wallace.
The three quarterfinal bout winners on Friday’s card, in addition to Liam McGeary, make up the semifinal bouts. Lins will square off with Anundson on one side of the bracket, while Valavicius faces McGeary in the other semifinal fight.
Thompson scored an early takedown, worked his way into side control, and then unloaded with punches and knees until the referee stopped the fight just one minute and 55 seconds into the round.
“Everyone thought I was done,” said Thompson after the fight. “Bjorn took a chance on me, and it just so happens he took the right chance.”
Sokoudjou softened Terry Davinney up on the mat with a barrage of punches before moving to full mount and then transitioning to his back. Sokoudjou then sunk in a rear naked choke for the finish just past the four-minute mark.
Bellator 121 Results
Philipe Lins def. Austen Heidlage by Sub (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:45, R1
James Thompson def. Eric Prindle by TKO (Strikes) at 1:55, R1
Sokoudjou def. Terry Davinney by Sub (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:16, R1
Egidijus Valavicius def. Carlos Eduardo by Split Dec
Joe Vedepo def. Cortez Coleman by Majority Dec
Kelly Anundson def. Rodney Wallace by Unan Dec
Ray Sloan def. Jamelle Jones by Sub (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:48, R1
Bubba McDaniel def. Matt Jones by Unan Dec
Steve Garcia def. Cody Walker by KO at 0:39, R1
Will Florentino def. Guillermo Ayme by Split Dec