Bellator 34: Hector Lombard Retains Title; Zoila Frausto Upsets Megumi Fujii

October 29, 2010

Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard

Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard

Two reigning Bellator champions attempted to defend their belts during Season 3 prior to Thursday night’s Bellator 34 in Hollywood, Fla. Both those champions, Joe Soto at featherweight and Lyman Good at welterweight, now have former before their respective designations.

The same would not hold true for Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard.

Thursday’s main event featured Lombard defending his belt against Russian fighter Alexander Shlemenko, who won the shot by winning the promotion’s Season 2 middleweight tournament.

The opening round of their five-round bout was fast and furious. Lombard stormed Shlemenko, looking to finish early with his powerful physique unleashing his brutal striking attack. It nearly worked, but Shlemenko fought his way through the round. He even made a solid attempt at an armbar, but ended up surviving the round, unable to lock the hold.

The pace slowed for the remainder of the bout, both fighters battling to the bell, but it was Lombard that was able to control where the fight took place, taking his foe down at will. He continued to batter Shlemenko to the bell, save for a last minute salvo in the final round.

The judges all saw the bout the same way, scoring it 49-46 on all three cards in favor of Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard.

Lombard – currently ranked among the Top 10 middleweights in the world – challenged Strikeforce champion Renaldo “Jacare” Souza before exiting the cage.

Bellator also crowned its first women’s champion on Thursday night, although the belt wasn’t around the waist of the fighter that most expected it to be when all was said and done.

Megumi Fujii, undefeated coming into the fight and one of the top grapplers in mixed martial arts, took the surprising tack of going toe to toe with Zoila Frausto for the better part of their five-fight round.

Each fighter had her moments throughout the bout. Fujii put Frausto on her backside in the opening round, but Frausto reciprocated with a head kick, follow-up right hand, and several power punches before the bell ended the first five minutes of action.

The two continued the fight on the feet, Fujii massing more punches throughout the night, while Frausto swung for the fences using her superior size and strength to land numerous power shots. Frausto fought the earlier part of her career at 135 pounds.

When the scorecards were read, the first went Frausto’s way, 48-47. Fujii received the second judge’s nod, also 48-47. The final scorecard read 49-46 in Frausto’s favor, crowning her Bellator’s first 115-pound women’s champion.

Frausto, who had just defeated the woman that many considered the women’s top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, dropped to her knees, tears streaming down her face. Her left eye, like Fujii’s, was nearly swollen shut.

“This is the best feeling in the world. A lot of people said I couldn’t do it and I’ve been through so much. I deserve this. I worked so hard and I got the Lord to thank,” she declared.

Bellator 34 Results:

Main Bouts:
Hector Lombard def. Alexander Shlemenko by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46), R5
Zoila Frausto def. Megumi Fujii by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46), R5
Mike Bernhard def. Dragan Tesanovic by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), R3
Raphael Davis def. Tony Lopez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3

Local Feature Bouts:
J.P. Reese def. Bomnay Somchay by TKO at 3:32 R1
Raphael Davis def. Tony Lopez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
John Kelly def. William Kuhn by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
Ralph Acosta def. Tulio Quintanilla by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3
Frank Carrillo def. Moyses Gabin by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
Dan Cramer def. Igor Almeida by TKO (Doc Stoppage) at 2:36, R1