Bellator headed to the "Garden State" TONIGHT (May 14, 2011) to host its forty-fourth event. The show was be held at the Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Bellator season four lightweight tournament finals were also being held on the card. Standout Missouri wrestler Michael Chandler squared off against massive knockout machine Patricky Freire with the winner taking home $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez's belt.
How did everyone fare?
Complete Bellator 44 results and play-by-play after the jump.
155 lbs.: Michael Chandler def Patricky Freire via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Hector Lombard def. Falaniko Vitale via KO at 0:54 Round 3
170 lbs.: Giedrius Karavackas def. Sam Oropeza via submission (arm lock) at 3:59 Round 3
185 lbs.: Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper via unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Jamall Johnson def. Randy Smith via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:16 Round 2
145 lbs.: Jeff Lentz def. Anthony Leone via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Jay Silva def. Gemiyale Adkins via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Patricky Freire (9-1) vs. Michael Chandler (7-0)
Round one: Chandler chooses to stand and trade early with Freire. He's definitely playing with fire early. Pitbull lunges forward and Chandler ducks his right hook with a nifty forward slip. Head kick by Pitbull misses and he slips but quickly pops back to his feet. Chandler still standing and trading and he lands a low blow unintentionally with a kick. They reset. Chandler is really working this lunging, ducking right hand but I fear Patricky will be able to time it if he keeps throwing. Chandler clinches but backs away again. Chandler really chasing down Pitbull with some aggressive striking and he shoots for a double leg but Freire denies him. Pitbull seems afraid to commit to his strikes because he fears the takedown. Chandler lunges forward with a left hand but misses as the round ends. Very close. Neither man really connected with anything solid. I'm scoring it 10-10
Round two: Both men exchange and Chandler connects solidly with a right hand. Chandler really looking to open up and bring the fight to Pitbull and he lands more flush shots. Freire responds with a giant flying knee but Chandler avoids it, clinches and knees Freire square in the nuts. Freire was hurting and this break will be exactly what he needs. Pitbull is bleeding from the mouth as they finally reset. Pitbull lands a solid right uppercut as Chandler ducks forward. Solid right hand lands from Chandler and Freire is starting to connect his lead left jab. Chandler shoots for a takedown but Freire backs away again. Left hand again connects for Freire and both men are trading left jabs. It's almost like they're crashing into each other, backing away, and crashing again. Both men bleeding from their faces. Big left hook land for Freire and Chandler responds with a left hook of his own. Right body kick from Pitbull is caught by Chandler and he pushes Freire forward into the fence and takes him down. Chandler throws a nice elbow from top position. Chandler pulls Freire's legs out from under him and throws big punches and elbows from top position as the round concludes. 10-9 Chandler
Round three: The round begins with a left kick directly to the groin from Chandler and the ref takes away a point. No protesting from Chandler as it was his third nut shot of the fight. He's got to be careful from now on if he doesn't want to get disqualified. They finally reset and Chandler looks a little hesitant. Freire pushes forward and Chandler lands a solid right hand. Both men trade left jabs and Freire connects with a left hook. Chandler shoots in deep and almost takes Freire down but Pitbull immediately pops back up and sprawls along the fence. Chandler lifts Patricky over his head and slams him onto the canvas. Patricky tries to crawl to the fence but Chandler lifts him up off to the ground and drags him away. Big right elbows from Chandler from top position. Pitbull looks for a sweep and kicks his Chandler away to get to his feet but Chandler grabs ahold of his hips and slams him back onto the ground. Chandler passes to half guard and starts dropping right hands. Chandler continues to throw from above and he's hurting Freire now. Freire tries to work some wrist control but Chandler breaks free and continues to drop big right hands and elbows onto Patricky's face. Pitbull is opened up and Chandler leaps to his feet as the final bell sounds and roars victoriously. 9-9 with the point deduction.
Final Result: Michael Chandler defeats Patricky Freire via unanimous decision (29-27 on all cards)
185 lbs.: Hector Lombard (28-2-1) 1 NC vs. Falaniko Vitale (29-9)
Round one: Lombard opens with a leg kick and throws a big looping right hand that misses. Lombard standing flat-footed in the center with his hands a little low as Vitale circles to his right. Lombard lunges forward with a big left hand but Vitale ducks it. Lombard throws a head kick but Vitale blocks it. Push kick from Vitale lands but Lombard was unfazed. Another head kick by Lombard is ducked and Vitale catches Lombard with a kick to the cup. Lombard drops down and Vitale almost hits him with a knee to the head of a grounded opponent. Lombard pins Vitale against the cage and throws heavily but nothing connects cleanly. Neither man is engaging very much and there are scattered boos from the crowd. The round ends and I guess 10-9 Lombard? Right before they go to commercial, the referee warns both men to be more active in the next round.
Round two: Lombard opens aggressively lunging forward with a combination of hooks. he's got Vitale pinned against the fence but Vitale circles away from danger. Right hook connects for Lombard and he follows it up with two left body kicks. Vitale looks like he's just fighting not to lose. Lombard scores a brief takedown but he lets Vitale back to his feet. Again, not much action. What little action there is, Lombard is scoring but this is definitely not the fight fans were expecting. 10-9 Lombard.
Round three: Vitale finally turns up the aggression, he probably knows he's down two rounds. Both men trade and Lombard lands a MONSTER right hand that puts Vitale down. Vitale stands back up and goes right back down again. That was fantastic! Great finish to an otherwise tepid fight.
Final Result: Hector Lombard defeats Falaniko Vitale via knockout at 0:54 of round 3
170 lbs.: Giedrius Karavackas vs. Sam Oropeza
Round one: Karavackas backing away a bit while Oropeza stalks him and throws big kicks early. The New Jersey crowd is by far in Oropeza's corner. Oropeza continues to chase down Karavackas as he backs away and he gets a little too reckless lunging in with strikes and Karavackas takes his back standing with a clinch. Karavackas attempts to get a hook in standing but Oropeza is defending. Karavackas briefly takes Oropeza down but the American gets right back to his feet. Oropeza finally gets taken down but he latches onto a Kimura and spins away from the back control into Karavackas's full guard. HUGE left hand from Oropeza stuns Karavackas and he follows it up with some massive ground and pound. Oropeza turns it on as the round ends and Karavackas is saved by the bell. 10-9 Oropeza
Round two: Karavackas bleeding out of his nose early and he's on his bicycle as Oropeza stalks him down looking to land his big kicks. Karavackas explodes forward with short hooks and he initiates a clinch along the fence. Karavackas throws some short knees from the clinch and then backs away. Nice defense from Oropeza. Karavackas closes the distance and puts Oropeza in a Muay Thai clinch, throwing some big knees to soften Oropeza up. Karavackas pushes Oropeza into the fence and drops him with a beautiful trip takedown into side control. Oropeza shows amazing cage awareness by walking his legs up the cage and somersaulting out o ftrouble to get back to his feet. Karavackas is not denied and he initiates another clinch along the fence. Big short elbow from Oropeza followed by a knee and it's Oropeza that scores the takedown with 30 second left. Nice ground and pound from Oropeza to close out the round and that was enough to steal the round on my card. Karavackas simply wasn't doing enough damage. 10-9 Oropeza
Round three: Karavackas immediately presses forward with a clinch and he scores a takedown early. Karavackas stands up and passes Oropeza's guard into side control. He puts Oropeza into a side headlock and he's looking for a submission. He's got an arm trapped! Karavackas is in a dominant position here, dropping left hands onto Oropeza's undefended face. There's not much zip on them but Oropeza is helpless. Oropeza trying to scramble but he can't escape. Karavackas slips his other leg over Oropeza's trapped arm and oh my god he's torquing the hell out of it. He puts his hips into the submission and Oropeza is forced to tap. That was fantastic!
Final Result: 170 lbs.: Giedrius Karavackas defeats Sam Oropeza via submission (arm lock) at 3:59 of round 3
185 lbs.: Alexander Shlemenko (38-7) vs. Brett Cooper (13-6)
Round one: Cooper chasing down Shlemenko early but Shlemenko catches a leg kick and lets go with his hands. He might have had an accidental eye poke because Cooper looks to have trouble seeing. Both men engage and Shlemenko throws some nice knees from the clinch. Cooper is on the defensive now and Shlemenko opens up big time. Cooper is getting overwhelmed. Cooper drops to his back but Shlemenko lets him back to his feet and he presses forward with lunging hooks but Shlemenko counters with a big right hand. Spinning back kick connects from Shlemenko and he throws his first backfirst f the night. Shlemenko corners Cooper and both men exchange heavily. Shlemenko lands with a spinning back kick and a big back first but when he lunges in, Cooper connects with a HUGE right hand that stuns him. Both men are throwing with reckless abandon! Shlemenko's eye is swollen and red now as well. Cooper drops to his back and this time Shlemenko goes down this time with some ground and pound. Cooper lunges forward with a single leg takedown attempt but Shlemenko fends it off. Both men trade big blows until the bell. 10-9 Shlemenko
Round two: The round begins with more spinning attacks from Shlemenko. Cooper isn't backing down though. Shlemenko cuts off Cooper against the cage and lands a solid spinning back kick to the mid-section. Left hook lands as well. Shlemenko leaps at Cooper, and eats an overhand right that drops him. Cooper clinches from behind and tries to slam his Shlemenko but is denied. Cooper knees the back of Shlemenko's legs and looks for another slam but is denied again. Takedown attempt from Cooper but Shlemenko sprawls. Shlemenko takes top position and lands some ground and pound but backs off and lands a nasty spinning back fist. Shlemenko closes the round with a big flurry of punches. Very close but I'll give it to Cooper 10-9.
Round three: Shlemenko backs Cooper up early with a plethora of aggressive spinning back kicks, back fists and flurries of punces. Cooper looks like he's moving in slow motion. Shlemenko again with spinning back fist and he follows it up with another. Cooper is fading. Takedown attempt from Cooper is stuffed. BIG right hand from Shlemenko and he follows it up with some solid knees. Shlemenko connects again with the spinning back fist. Cooper finishes strong with some big punches and both men trade until the final bell. Cooper lands a big right hand right before the fight ends. That fight was fantastic and the crowd lets them know it. 10-9 Shlemenko.
Final Result: Alexander Shlemenko defeats Brett Cooper via unanimous decision.