Press Release courtesy of Bellator FC
Between a first round knockout punch from Hector Lombard to an emotional victory for Army Ranger Damien Stelly, Oklahoma is still feeling the aftershock of Bellator’s visit. On Friday, April 17, Bellator Fighting Championships hosted their third and fourth tournament installments at the Lloyd Noble Center featuring all first round Middleweight bouts. With the $175,000 purse still achievable for all the Middleweight contenders, tensions were high to advance to the semi-final round. Bellator III and IV will air on ESPN Deportes during primetime on Saturday, April 18 and April 25 respectively.
Middleweight tournament action opened with Yosmany “The Spartan” Cabezas taking on veteran Edwin Aguilar. Tampa-native Cabezas began the action with a series of kicks before Aguilar returned the favor. Stepping back, Cabezas slipped on the matt giving Aguilar a window to land a flurry of uppercuts. Cabezas quickly recovered countering a high Aguilar kick with a takedown. The two swapped side control positions before Cabezas locked in a near arm bar. Returning to their feet, Aguilar began throwing power shots before Cabezas could counter with a textbook trip takedown. Aguilar passed to mount and attempted to lock in the guillotine. Aguilar escaped to the top and began dropping punches and elbows, but when he gave an inch, Cabezas managed to lock in the arm bar successfully for a submission and took the win with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first round.
Marking the headlining fight of Bellator III, Virgil “The Mexican Machine” Lozano took on Hector “Shango” Lombard. With five of his six victories coming via submission, Lozano discussed improving his striking game for the fight, but would soon be faced with the irony. Lombard began the match with stiff punches. Lozano blocked a high kick, and the pair clinched. Exchanging knees and uppercuts, Lozano made a costly duck to the right with Lombard connecting a bout-ending uppercut to the left side of the face. Lombard took the TKO victory at 1:10 of the first round.
Opening Bellator IV was the storied Alex “El Toro” Andrade taking on U.S. Army Ranger Damien Stelly. With many armed forces in attendance, Stelly showed off his Modern Army Combatives fighting style. He knew this would be a tough match against the veteran Andrade, especially with teammate, UFC and Pride Veteran Tra Telligman in his corner. A close first round, Stelly appeared to take the slight edge after tripping Andrade to the canvas and working some solid ground and pound from Andrade’s guard. The second round began with Andrade on the offensive, landing a big knee before Stelly got him down on the ground again. Though Andrade got back to his feet, he grabbed the cage as Stelly lifted him up for a monster slam. The referee deducted one point from Andrade for the penalty. Stelly got another big slam after the action restarted and the round ended with Stelly still holding a slight advantage. The third round commenced with Andrade coming out aggressively, and he took down Stelly and began ground and pound. Rebounding with fervor, Stelly regained control of the round and ended with swift knee kicks to the midsection. After a hard fought match by both competitors, Stelly won by unanimous decision with the support of his fellow military behind him.
Next up was Bellator Fighting Championships’ final first round Welterweight match-up. Former UFC Champion and veteran of over 60 matches, Dave Menne took on the relative newcomer, Norman Paraisy. The first round opened with Menne landing a body hit that echoed in the entire arena. The French powerhouse, Paraisy quickly recovered landing top-position and securing good ground and pound. Second round action continued with solid back and forth punches, but Paraisy still appeared to hold onto momentum. Menne’s veteran skills came into play with many submission attempts that appeared to be his tactics to slow down the fight and remain in control. The third round began with both fighters exchanging blows, but Menne’s patience and experience was beginning to show. After a shuttered guillotine attempt, Menne managed to get Paraisy’s back during a scramble and latched onto a rear naked choke ending the Parisian’s undefeated streak at 2:39 of the third round.
Quite possibly the most anticipated match of the night for the Oklahoma fans, local pride Jared Hess and Spaniard Daniel Tabera took to the cage as the headlining match of Bellator IV. Tabera, who specializes in Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu styles, admitted to knowing little about wrestler Hess entering the bout. Scoping each other out, the match began with an exchange of low kicks. Tabera clinched and took undefeated Hess down. Remaining in half guard, Hess secured a mount and jammed Tabera against the cage. Hess began dropping punches and Tabera could not escape. In trouble, Tabera gave up back while Hess continued the onslaught of punches before locking in the rear naked choke for submission. The crowd exploded as Hess walked off after 2:34 of fighting with $25,000 in his pocket and a spot in the Middleweight semi-finals.
Bellator III Tournament bouts:
185 lbs. – Yosmany Cabezas (8-1) vs. Edwin Aguilar (20-13) Cabezas by Arm bar at 4:31
185 lbs. – Virgil Lozano (6-2) vs. Hector Lombard (18-2) Lombard by TKO at 1:10
Bellator III Non-tournament bouts:
HW – Tyler East (1-0) vs. Amedio Viola (0-2) East by TKO at 2:40
205 lbs. – William Albrecht (3-1) vs. Mike Messina (5-7) Albrecht by TKO at 6:30
185 – lbs. Marcelo Alfaia (10-5) vs. Joey Gorcyznski 13-6) Alfaia by TKO at 1:32
Bellator IV Tournament bouts:
185 lbs. – Alex Andrade (7-5) vs. Damien Stelly (9-2) Stelly by Unanimous Decision
185 lbs. – Daniel Tabera (12-1-2) vs. Jared Hess (7-0-1) Hess by Rear Naked Choke at 2:34
170 lbs. – Norman Paraisy (5-1) vs. Dave Menne (46-15-2) Menne by Rear Naked Choke at 12:39
Bellator IV Non-tournament bouts:
205 lbs. – Rudy Lindsay (9-5) vs. Wayne Cole (13-10) Lindsay by TKO at 8:37
185 lbs. – Jason Norwood (6-1) vs. John Kirk (13-6) Norwood by Rear Naked Choke at 6:51