by Christopher Landeros (Courtesy of OnTheMat.com)
(Photos courtesy of Bellator FC)
ONTARIO, Calif. – Bellator Fighting Championships on Friday night crowned its first champion in featherweight Joe Soto. He submitted Tijuana native and fellow finalist Yahir Reyes in a dominating performance.
Soto walked into the cage riding on a high since his decision victory over tournament favorite Wilson Reis and his TKO stoppage of KOTC veteran Ben Greer. Reyes would suffer the same fate as his fellow featherweight contenders, as he too would fall victim to Soto’s attack.
From the sound of the bell, Soto would use punches to set up the takedown before posturing up and landing some brutal ground and pound from within the top position. Anytime Reyes would move, Soto would answer with punch after punch. After spending most of the first round and part of the second on his back, he would turn to belly before being choked out by Soto.
Soto after the fight would go on to comment he felt the ref let it go longer then it should, saying, “I though maybe the fight should have been stopped sooner, but maybe I just wanted the belt.”
In the co-main event, former EliteXC featherweight champion Wilson Reis won a close spit decision victory over Roberto Vargas.
For 15 minutes both fighters engaged in a grappling war, which included relentless takedowns, unorthodox submission attempts, and scrambles that would leave the audience at the edge of their seats. Reis, on the one hand, would use his jiu-jitsu sweeps to set up good positions before attempting chokes from the top position. Vargas, on the other hand, would use his scramble ability to set up his own submission attempts or ground and pound throughout the fight.
In the end, as the bell sounded, Reis’s technical ground skills would be enough to sway two of the judges to score the bout 29-28 in his favor, while the last judge gave Vargas the 29-28 decision.
Bellator FC X Official Results:
-Joe Soto def. Yahir Reyes by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:11, R2
-Wilson Reis def. Roberto Vargas by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
-Bryan Baker def. Matt Horwich by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
-Diego Garijo def. Saad Awad by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:45, R1
-Israel Giron def. Phil Brown by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:42, R1
-Travis Browne def. Mychal Clark by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Jesse Juarez def. Mike Gomez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Nick Moghaddam def. Lamar Jiles by Disqualification (Illegal Knee) at 4:14, R2