The Bellator Season 7 Lightweight Semifinals are now set following the quarterfinal round of bouts at Friday night’s Bellator 77. The event took place at the Sovereign Center in Reading, Penn.
Rich Clementi, Dave Jansen, Marcin Held, and Ricardo Tirloni all moved a step closer to a shot at the lightweight title.
Clementi spoiled the American debut of highly touted Russian fighter Alexander Sarnavskiy, who was 20-0 coming in to the bout. It wasn’t, however, for a lack of trying on Sarnavskiy’s part.
The Russian fighter unleashed a varied arsenal of strikes from the get-go, but Clementi’s nearly 70 professional bouts worth of experience paid off. He was able to negate much of Sarnavskiy’s momentum and even nearly finished him off near the end of the opening round.
It was a close fight, but Clementi walked away with a split decision victory when all was said and done.
It took WEC veteran Dave Jansen a little time to get warmed up, but once he got the engine revved up, he took the fight to Magomed Saadulaev. Following a tough first round, Jansen softened Saadulaev up with some ground and pound late in round two.
Jansen finished quickly in round three, snaring an arm-in guillotine choke to submit Saadulaev just 41 seconds into the final stanza.
Marcin Held, looking to get into position for a shot at redemption against current Bellator champion Michael Chandler, got started in the right direction on Friday night.
Held opened with a strong first round, but he got rocked hard by a Murad Machaev left hand. Held stayed busier than his Russian counterpart to close out the fight and walk away with a unanimous decision and a trip to the semifinals of the tournament.
Ricardo Tirloni and Rene Nazare fought to a close first round and started off the second with fireworks. Each took his turn rocking the other, but Tirloni gained the upper hand with a hard right hand before a series of submissions closed out the fight with a D’Arce choke at the 1:14 mark.
Clementi is now paired up with Held, while Jansen faces Tirloni in the semifinal round of the lightweight tournament at Bellator 81 on Nov. 16 in Rhode Island.
Bellator 77 Results:
-Rich Clementi def. Alexander Sarnavskiy by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3
-Dave Jansen def. Magomed Saadulaev by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:41, R3
-Marcin Held def. Murad Machaev by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Ricardo Tirloni def. Rene Nazare by Submission (D’Arce Choke) at 1:14, R2
-Matthew Lozano def. Dave Morgan by Submission (Inverted Triangle Choke) at 2:28, R2
-Lew Polley def. Carmelo Marrero by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Darrell Horcher def. E.J. Brooks by KO (Punch) at 0:21, R1
-Cosmo Alexander def. Mike Bannon by TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage) at 5:00, R2
-Duane Bastress def. Ariel Sepulveda by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3
-Brett Martinez def. Eric Albright by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 3:28, R2
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