The Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament fighters put on an action-packed show at the Lucky Star Casino on Saturday night. Wilson Reis, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Kenny Foster, and Daniel Straus at Bellator 37 battled their way to the semifinals and one step closer to earning a title shot against Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren.
Kenny Foster pulled off the upset of the night, becoming the first featherweight to move on to the semifinals. Avoiding an early takedown, Foster landed a knee to Erik Larkin’s face, opening a cut above the four-time NCAA D1 All-American’s eye. Foster smelled blood and outwrestled Larkin on the ground to maintain the top position, where he locked in a guillotine choke, forcing an end to the fight at 3:15 in round one.
Bellator veteran Daniel Straus and undefeated Argentinean Nazareno Malegarie took to the cage next, putting on a gritty 15-minute display. Straus looked to be in trouble on the ground throughout the fight as Malegarie attempted several submissions. At the end of the three rounds, it was Straus’ dominating performance on his feet that caught the attention of the judges. Straus via a unanimous decision earned his way to the semifinals in a hard-fought battle.
Next up, Wilson Reis brought Zac George to the ground and forced him to give up his back early with a flurry of hammerfists. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Reis earned his third trip to the featherweight semifinals and ended George’s six-game win streak with a rear naked choke at 2:09 in round one.
All eyes were on Season 2 featherweight standouts Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Georgi Karakhanyan as they closed out the night’s fights. In round one action, Pitbull lifted Karakhanyan off his feet, but Georgi defended with a guillotine attempt. The fighters battled through round two mostly on their feet with Freire appearing to a have a slight edge in the momentum. It was all Freire in round three as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt dropped Karakhanyan to the mat with a left hook to the chin, paving the way for a relentless ground-and-pound assault that ended the fight with a TKO at 0:56 in round three.
Bellator 37 Official Main Card Results:
-Kenny Foster def. Eric Larkin by Submission (Guillotine) at 3:15, R1
-Daniel Straus def. Nazareno Malegarie by Unanimous Decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Wilson Reis def. Zac George by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:09, R1
-Patricio Freire def. Georgi Karakhanyan by TKO at 0:56, R3