by MMAWeekly.com Staff (photos courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships) Carey Vanier picked up an impressive with, albeit with some controversy, over former UFC lightweight Rich Clementi to move forward with his hope of getting a slot in the next Bellator Fighting Championships 155lb tournament kicking off in season 4.
Varnier did well to escape some early submission attempts from a wily veteran in Clementi, and eventually got the upper hand in the 2nd and 3rd rounds respectively. The controversy stemmed when Varnier launched a knee strike to Clementi, who was still clearly on the ground. The fight was paused and Clementi had to deal with a nasty cut, but the referee didn’t deduct a point for the illegal strike
In the end the point may have cost Clementi a win or at least a draw as he came up short, losing by split decision to Vanier who will look to make another run in the Bellator lightweight division.
Former Arizona State All-American Erik Larkin made more than a few heads turn with his Bellator debut on Thursday night, as he launched a head kick that rattled opponent Marcus Andrusia early before finishing the fight with a guillotine choke just 2:46 into the first round.
Expected to be a contender in the next Bellator featherweight tournament, Larkin let his presence be known to Joe Warren and anyone else watching his debut that he’s for real.
Eric Schambari halted the momentum Matt Horwich gained after a win over Thales Leites in his last fight, as he defeated the former Team Quest fighter by split decision in their middleweight bout. It was a back and forth battle, but Schambari did enough in the judges’ eyes to get the nod for the win.
FULL RESULTS FOR BELLATOR 28:
Erik Larkin def. Marcus Andrusia by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:46, R1
Carey Vanier def. Rich Clementi by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Eric Schambari def. Matt Horwich by split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
Georgi Karakhanyan def. Anthony Leone by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Tony Roberts def. Kelvin Doss by submission (punches) R1
Jonathan Mackles def. Brock Kerry by split decision
Charlie Rader def. Josh Rafferty by TKO (strikes) R1
Scott O’Shaughnessy def. Gabe Woods by submission (armbar), R3