Bellator vs Rizin 2 Results. Bellator LW GP Fighter Advances by TKO. Pivotal Matches Concluded

Bellator Lightweight Tournament 1st Round,

Patricky “Pitbull” Friere Defeated Roberto Satoshi De Souza by TKO (Calf Kick) R3, 0:49

Souza clearly wanted to play matador backing away as the round commenced. Pitbull inched forward but was hesitant to throw as both were waiting for a committed attack from the other. The stakes were high as a mistake could easily lead to a takedown or knockout. Souza initiated with leg kicks from a safe distance as “Pitbull” tried to time a 1-2 down the pipe. Lead jabs from “Satoshi” landed but Friere was happy to take one to throw back. Switching from southpaw to orthodox “Pitbull” was constantly hunting for an opening. Souza gingerly landed low kicks, careful not to over-commit he threw and faded away from return fire. An well timed entry by Souza as he cinched a leg and tried to take the fight to his world. “Pitbull” used a “limp-leg” defence to turn and slide out of the grip. A Souza kick clipped Friere’s leg as he was jumping, flipping him sideways out of the air. In the final moments of the round action heated up, “Pitbull” caught foe with a hook and Souza sat down on his punches and threw back with similar fight ending intentions.

After the rapid exchange to end the first round, both came out cautious  in the 2nd with “Pitbull” stalking. Satoshi worked his way into the clinch and opted to pull guard, something that has been remarkably effective for him in his career. Pitbull simply slipped out of any hold and returned to the feet, forcing his opponent to play his game. Staying active, Souza doubled up on the jab as “Pitbull” remained corked and ready to throw. The Rizin champion shot for a takedown with40 seconds left but it was thwarted by the savvy Friere. Against the cage a monstrous jumping right knee from the elder “Pitbull” brother collided with Souza’s chin and put him down. Souza opted to stay down and defend rather than stand and risk being knocked out. The strategy worked, just, and Souza survived until the final bell!

With the intensity high the 3rd round commenced with Souza once again relying on the low kicks. “Pitbull” returned in kind, with a low calf kick Souza collapsed to his back, clearly damaged by the blow. A few hammer-fists from “Pitbull” but a look at Souza’s body language and reaction, the referee knew the fight was over, 49 seconds into the round

Patricky “Pitbull” Friere progresses into the 2nd round of the Bellator lightweight GP. While the injury to the leg was due to a “Pitbull’s” kick, fortune played its part, as is common in an uncertain sport like MMA. Hopefully late notice fighter Roberto Satoshi De Souza has no lasting damage. The victory belonged to “Pitbull”, who looked in top form during the bout and will be a favourite for the GP title.


Kyoji Horiguchi vs Makoto Shinryu was Declared a No Contest (Accidental Eye Poke) 1R, 0:25

Southpaw Shinryu squared off against Horiguchi, who opted to engage out of the orthodox stance. Starting with a high kick, Horiguchi launched a 3 punch combination with his fists. Regretfully, Horiguchi’s extended finger caught Shinryu’s eye. As both were moving forward the damage was compounded. As Shinryu’s vision was compromised the Japanese doctor wasted little time in calling off the fight at just 25 seconds into the first round. The no contest was especially disappointing given that it was the very first exchange between the fighters. Expect a rematch to be scheduled!


Kana Watanabe Defeated Veta Arteaga by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Judo specialist Watanabe wasted little time getting into the clinch as soon as the fight started. With a strong left hand neck grip right hooks were thrown from Watanabe as Arteaga returned fire with her back against the cage. Able to take the back on multiple occasions, Watanabe wrapped her leg around her opponent’s leg for balance yet had a tough time securing position. Arteaga was adept at keeping her body pressed to the cage so her opponent could not progress and get her second “hook” in. Knees to body from Arteaga worked as a strategy to keep the Judo expert from hanging out in the clinch, searching for opportunities for reaps and throws. On the feet Arteaga stung her foe with 2 straight hands. Watanabe, however, found her own success striking with a check lead hook and lead hand. Both fighters traded back and forth on the feet before a final takedown from Watanabe succeeded, with the Judoka taking a commanding position. A heavy barrage of ground and pound from Watanabe got through as time died out.

In the following round Watanabe continued with the same attacks on her feet, the check hook especially was playing dividends. As Arteaga got aggressive the Japanese standout grappler found the clinch and drove to the cage. Again, Arteaga defended having her back taken extremely well, remaining cautious and safe. The Judo specialist sought multiple takedowns yet each time the striker got back to her feet. Remaining with her side pressed firmly against the fence, Arteaga blocked the back takes and, with a hand on the head, halted progression from the submission specialist. The intermittent striking exchanges flowed back and forth with the volume coming from the Judoka and the cleaner blows delivered by Arteaga.

With the rounds closely contested it was Watanabe who seemed the fresher fighter pushing the action. Using her speed and ever improving striking, Watanabe had found timing and rhythm on her straight hand and lead hook on the Southpaw. More takedown attempts but with the sweat and strength of her opponent the Judoka could not secure back or top. Arteaga rallied late as she doubled the straight hands to rock the head back in the round’s most significant exchange. A hard elbow found its target, while Arteaga was rendered somewhat gun-shy by the persistent attacks coming her way there was more impact on her strikes. As the final bell sounded the back and forth war went to the scorecards.

Given the controversy with her last split decision loss, a relieved Watanabe won a unanimous decision 29-28 over one of Bellator’s toughest. Putting the highly debatable loss to Ilama-Lei MacFarlane in her rear view mirror Watanabe restarts her climb to the top with a solid win. Arteaga suffered her second consecutive loss. Competitive in all her matches, Arteaga has only been stopped once, when MacFarlane cut her from bottom position in a title match she appeared to be ahead on. Both former title challengers are capable of a resurgence and future title contention.


Magomed “Tiger” Magomedov Defeated Danny “The Italian Gangster” Sabatello by Submission (Guillotine), 1R, 3:55

Sabatello and Magomedov opened the round with a tentative exchange of low kicks. Before long “the Italian Gangster” took the match to the ground with a perfectly timed shot on the Russian. “Tiger” did not allow his back to get flattened to the canvas and rolled, using the momentum to stand with Sabatello clinging to his back. Scooping Magmodov into the air, the American’s wrestling was on full display as he dumped him to the canvas. Magomedov defended the head and arm choke by rotating out, only to have be caught in a rear naked choke with no hooks.  The Russian stood and, remaining composed, grabbed a leg and shucked Sabatello off by throwing out his legs, reminiscent of the Gilbert Melendez “hula hoop” back mount escape. On the feet “Tiger” was systematically breaking through the guard and tagging his opponent. Under fire, Sabatello shot a takedown from too far out and was caught in a tight guillotine. Surrendering position and going to his back to ease the constriction he worked back to his feet. Magomedov reapplied the guillotine and angled his elbow high to keep his foe from slipping out. The lock was tight and Sabatello was forced to tap at 3.55 of the opening round. An impressive showing from “Tiger” as he became the first person to submit the top contender.


Andrey “Spartan” Koreshkov Defeated Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

As the first round kicked off Koreshikov kept the distance with a long jab. Larkin worked his way in behind feints and combinations to throw with ill intent but Koreshkov was slick, minimising damage and circling out of danger. A left body right high hand, right high kick combination from Koreshkov partially landed. Koreshkov kept pumping the jab, Larkin could not close the range but was persistent in attempts. A right hook, left straight prompted larking to come forward heavy, throwing huge combinations. Capitalising on the aggression “Spartan” scored a perfectly timed takedown. Locking a figure 4 on the legs of Larkin, the Russian kept him grounded. As the fighters struggled to improve position, Larkin kept pressure on the head to successfully shut down his opponent’s ground attack as the round closed.

Larkin came out fast, driving Koreshkov to the cage where he unloaded the heavy artillery. Head movement served Koreshkov well as the jab and slip and rip counters continued. A big flurry for “the Monsoon” against the cage, but just as he was making headway Koreshkov answered with a spinning elbow then escaped. Larkin was less active but was pushing the action and when the attacks got through they did damage. Good low kicks started to take their toll on Koreshkov’s calf. As both fighters threw simultaneously there was a clash of heads but luckily both were unfazed. Larkin unloaded a brutal elbow and overhand right, chasing down his hurt opponent. Koreshkov fought like a seasoned professional, stopping the forward pressure with a well timed jab before racking up some cage control time. Koreshkov tried to take him down but slipped off again. Both finished hard, with a Larkin right hand being met by Koreshkov’s left as action heated up.

In the final sanza, a low kick from Larkin got the round underway. Not to be outdone, the Russian striker found success with a low kick, jab, spinning backfist combination. Larkin came forward but got planted on his back against the cage once again. Koreshkov tried to climb the legs as Larkin defended, keeping his head high and pushing him down. Sucking the hips up Koreshkov advanced and tried to secure the back. Larkin attempted to hit a switch with his arm under opponents leg. Unable to get the reversal, the American managed to get the match back standing. Larkin got his best shots of the fight off with clubbing right hooks getting through. Looking wobbly, Korshkov fired back and then ducked for a takedown, barely missing a knee strike counter in the process. “Spartan” clutched a leg with 30 seconds left and made a final ditched effort to get the fight on the ground. Larkin slipped his body out the hold but was unable to get anything going before time expired.

Koreshkov took the split decision, likely due to his activity and advantage on the canvas. Larking loaded up his strikes and threw from the hip while “Spartan” was more economical and precise with a persistent jab. The Russian continues to be a riddle for many fighters, at a distance he controls with sniper jabs and crosses, in close he is adept at scoring the takedowns. A perennial top ranker, Koreshkov climbs one more step up the ladder in a stacked division

*All photography courtesy of Stefan Nilsson

About the Author

Peter Leghorn
Writer and photographer sharing my passion for Martial Arts. instagram: peter_mmajapan

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