By: Eric Ellison
Another solid night for Bellator since stepping away from it’s tournament style format. Tonight we were privy to a rather interesting card that was dotted with former UFC fighters, upcoming names, and capped off by one of the most exciting and interesting Featherweights around. As the night came to a close, there can be no doubt that fans were treated to another excellent night of fights, and what’s possible around the corner even more.
The main card tonight kicked off with a solid pairing of MMA journeyman Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove and former Bellator champ Christian M’Pumbu. This fight took was decided inside the clinch and grappling, as Kendall Grove once again showcased his excellent inside striking and ground game. M’Pumbu had some solid success in the stand up, even shuttering Grove with a stiff right. However, after a wearing out with knees and tight strikes, Grove took a single leg and led it all the way to a beautiful rear-naked choke with only a single hook in.
Kendall Grove defeats Christian M’Pumbu via RNC at 4:14 of the 2nd Rnd
Good ol’ Rob Emerson returned tonight as well, taking on Rafael Silva in a fun back-and-forth brawl. There are few guys as relentless after a takedown like Rafael Silva, and he was in full force tonight. Silva stayed aggressive, heavy, and never let off the pressure for even a moment. Emerson did a good job of trading on the feet, and even found surprising success with the kicks and body strikes. However, there was just no stopping the Silva takedown train tonight, and Rafael owned this match from end to end on the mat, earning him a well deserved unanimous decision.
Rafael Silva defeats Rob Emerson via Unanimous Decision
Next up, former top UFC welterweight contender Karo “The Heat” Parisyan took on Ferdinando Gonzales in what was marked as an exciting clash of styles. Gonzales rose to the occasion in huge fashion, winning the biggest fight of his career in devastating fashion. Early in the fight Parisyan reached for the clinch and Gonzales uncorked a shovel punch that floored Karo. From here Ferdinando went into beastmode, and ripped a volly of strikes to Parisyans head until the ref had no choice but to step in and save the former contender.
Ferdinando Gonzales defeats Karo Parisyan via TKO at 1:43 of the 1st Rnd
Finally, former Bellator Featherweight champ Daniel Straus returned after almost defending his title to take on Justin Wilcox in a highly anticipated match. With both guys being all star wrestlers, this fight had all the makings of a thrilling five rounder. Instead what we saw was a very nervous Wilcox take alot of risks with big, slow and dangerous moves, and he paid for it. After attempting to rebalance himself from a very wild half hearted flying knee attempt, Daniel Straus landed one solid left hand that ended this one early. There was a little ground and pound, but this one was ended quick with a Daniel Straus left hand that no doubt skyrocketed him right back into the top of the title contenders.
Daniel Straus defeats Justin Wilcox via KO at 0:57 of the 1st Rnd
Afterwards, strong words from Straus. “I told you I was going to get that finish, that’s what I did. Now I want that belt, and that’s what i’m gonna do.”
As far as his thoughts about taking on the champ next.. ”let’s dance..” answered Straus before exiting to enjoy another stunning win.