Bellator Fighting Championships returns TONIGHT (March 16, 2012) to The Horseshow Riverdome in Bossier City, La., with a new tournament.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of Bellator 61 below, beginning with the MTV2 telecast at 8 p.m. ET. In addition, we'll deliver up-to-the-minute quick results of all the undercard action much earlier in the evening.
While the original main event, a heavyweight tournament finals bout between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos had to be scratched at the last minute, there is still plenty of terrific action in store for the fans.
Also on the main card will be the remainder of the middleweight tournament which features a bout between season five standouts Brian Rogers and Vitor Vianna as well as some top prospects like former M-1 light heavyweight champion Vyacheslav Vasilevsky or Team Vision fighter Victory O'Donnell.
Lastly, opening up the main card will be a terrific stylistic match-up between top control specialist and undefeated Brazilian Bruno Santos against Brazilian jiu-jitsu master and armbar technician Giva Santana.
Complete Bellator 61 results and play-by-play are after the jump:
185 lbs.: Maiquel Falcao def. Norman Paraisy via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Vyacheslav Vasilevsky def. Victor O'Donnell via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Bruno Santos def. Giva Santana via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Brian Rogers def. Vitor Vianna via knockout at 4:14 of round 1
Preliminary Card (Spike.com)
165 lbs.: Josh Quayhagen def. Brent Taylor via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Derrick Krantz def. Eric Scallan via submission (D'Arce choke) at 3:01 of round 1
140 lbs.: Jason Sampson def. Jeremy Myers via submisison (rear naked choke) at 2:25 of round 3
185 lbs.: Trey Houston def. Jeremiah Riggs via submission (armbar) at 3:30 of round 1
Hemmi here! I'll be calling the action tonight.
185 lbs.: Maiquel Falcao vs. Norman Paraisy
Round one: Paraisy wades forward and Falcao scores a big takedown after catching a leg kick, passing to mount quickly but Paraisy shows active hips and escapes to his feet. Falcao presses Paraisy into the fence but Paraisy shrugs him off and they reset. Falcao backs off an both men are pretty passive here, especially Falcao. Both men trade outside kicks and Falcao pushes forward throwing a combination and dropping down for a takedown along the fence. Falcao lands a nice kick and he's working for a single leg takedown. Falcao pulls Paraisy away from the fence and then pushes him right back into it. Falcao throws a short knee to the thigh and scores a big takedown at the end of the round. Falcao throws a late strike and Paraisy fires back with one of his own. 10-9 Falcao
Round two: Paraisy throws a nice left hand and eats a leg kick. Paraisy attempts a jumping front kick and then wades in with a nice lead right hand. Falcao fires back with a huge outside leg kick which buries deep into Paraisy's thigh. Falcao swarms Paraisy with a nice flurry and finishes it off with a anothe rbig leg kick. Paraisy has had enough and he shoots in for a takedown but Falcao stuffs it and he pushes Paraisy into the fence, throwing a series of knees to the lead leg. They exchange inside strikes and Falcao connects with some nice short uppercuts. Savate kick is attempted by Paraisy but Falcao closes the distance and he's loosening up with some nice strikes before backing off. Another snapping leg kick connects for Falcao and Paraisy shakes his leg out. Huge leg kick from Falcao and then another. Falcao mixes up some punches and both men trade in the pocket. Falcao throws a nice push kick to the body and both men trade with Paraisy's back against the fence. Paraisy seems hurt and Falcao swarms him with strikes. Paraisy falls to the ground and Falcao almost kicks him in the head on the ground but it misses. Huge right hand from Falcao drops Paraisy and he taunts Paraisy instead of finishing him. Big body kick and right hand to the body from Falcao and he throws another strike at the bell, perhaps after it. 10-9 Falcao
Round three: Falcao is in control early and Paraisy throws a big looping lead left. Falcao fires back with a leg kick and a right hand. Falcao catches a kick and slams Paraisy to the ground with a beautiful trip. Falcao is in Paraisy's half guard and is very close to passing to mount if he can slip his right leg through. Falcao postures up and drops some big right hands but Paraisy grabs a single leg and pops back to his feet. Falcao connects an outside kick and Paraisy fires back with a right hand. Paraisy dives in with a telegraphed takedown and Falcao stuffs it, taking his back in the turtle and then muscling him to the ground. Falcao is in Paraisy's half guard and is working for mount as Paraisy is hanging on. Falcao drops some hammer fists and Paraisy again turns the corner trying to get a takedown and he gets it. Falcao attempts a guillotine but he doesn't have it and he gives up on it as Paraisy is now in his closed guard. Paraisy tries to throw some strikes but Falcao is showcasing some good defense. Falcao throws some nice hammer fists from bottom and the ref stands them up with 20 seconds left. Falcao taunts Paraisy and fires off a huge right hand. Both men slug it out until the final bell and even land another pair of shots after the bell. Surprisingly, they hug it out afterwards. 10-9 Falcao
Final Result: Maiquel Falcao defeats Norman Paraisy via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
185 lbs.: Vyacheslav Vasilevsky vs. Victor O'Donnell
Round one: O'Donnell connects with a lead left hook and a nice leg kick. O'Donnell is changing levels well. Vasilevsky lunges in with some punches and O'Donnell clutches at a leg but gets shrugged off. O'Donnell closes the distance and scores a nice takedown, slamming Vasilevsky to the canvas. Vasilevsky sits up trying to get to his feet along the fence but O'Donnell keeps the pressure on him and drops a nice left hand from above. Vasilevsky escapes back to his feet but O'Donnell again scores a takedown along the fence and Vasilevsky is stuckin O'Donnell's closed guard. O'Donnell throws a few strikes but isn't very active and they get stood up with just under a minute remaining. Now Vasilevsky closes the distance and scores a takedown with 30 seconds left but O'Donnell uses butterfly guard and gets back to his feet. O'Donnell throws a knee and Vasilevsky fires back with an uppercut as the round ends. 10-9 O'Donnell
Round two: O'Donnell opens with a series of short inside leg kicks. He's really throwing them in quick succession and Vasilevsky blasts him with a beautiful short left hand which sends O'Donnell crashing to the canvas. Vasilevsky swarms him looking for a finish but O'Donnell actively begins attacking off his back trying to clear out the cobwebs. O'Donnell hangs onto a leg looking for some sort of leg lock but Vasilevsky doesn't seem fazed one bit. It's a stalemate and Vasilevsky drops down with some big punches into O'Donnell's guard. Vasilevsky postures up with some very nice crisp strikes which smash into O'Donnell's face. O'Donnell closes his guard and tries to tie Vasilevsky up but the Russian is getting nice ground and pound shots through both to the body and head. Vasilevsky opens up with some big ground and pound and he'd unleashing a big flurry of strikes but O'Donnell is hanging on. Vasilevsky slows down briefly but brings back the pain in the final 10 seconds, nearly finishing the fight as O'Donnell turtles and covers up. 10-8 Vasilevsky
Round three: Vasilevsky opens strongly with a big takedown and he's in O'Donnell's closed guard, posturing up on his knees and throwing nice strikes to the body and head. Vasilevsky continues to drop punches and he passes to half guard. Vasilevsky is firing off unanswered strikes and O'Donnell is not fighting back. O'Donnell works his way back to his feet and he's just getting beat up here. Vasilevsky connects with a nice right hand and O'Donnell's face is a mess. Huge right hand and O'Donnell starts to turn away but fires back with a slow-motion hook. Vasilevsky still looks fresh and he lands a huge flush right hand. Vasilevsky drops down to the body and the ref is just waiting for O'Donnell to go down to stop the fight but O'Donnell is hanging in tough. Big lead left from Vasilevsky and he continues to throw until the final bell. 10-8 Vasilevsky
Final Result: Vasilevsky defeats Victor O'Donnell via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
185 lbs.: Giva Santana vs. Bruno Santos
Round one: Santana is creeping forward and throws a big looping right hand which backs Santos off. Leg kick from Santana and Santos closes the distance but Santana grabs onto a single leg takedown. He's working the leg along the fence and he drops to his back pulling Santos down but Santos pops back to his feet. Santana pulls the same move but again Santos pops to his feet and they clinch along the fence. Santana throws a knee and Santana fires back with a low blow. They reset in the same position and Santos reverses and forces a separation. Santana misses with a head kick and doubles up the jab as Santos is very passive. Santana presses forward with strikes and Santos initiates a clinch. Santos works short strikes inside and is working some knees to the thigh. Both men jockey for position and they separate. Santos lands a nice combination and a leg kick and then another. Santana lands a nice flurry right as the round ends. Very close round. 10-9 Santana
Round two: They open with some powerful exchanges and Santana lands a nice left hand and both men clinch. Santos has inside position and lands a right hand on the exit as they reset. Santana resumes stalking and Santos lands a leg kick. Santana tries to get inside with strikes and Santos again clinches and pushes him into the fence. Santos throws a knee to the thigh and then they reset once more. Santana swarms Santos with a big flurry and Santos lifts him up and throws him to the ground with authority. Santos is on his back and dives forward for a takedown and nearly catches Santos with an arm lock but Santos immediately backs off. They reset on the feet and Santos throws a nice left hand and lands a good leg kick. Santana fires back with a weaker leg kick but then throws a good combination which forces Santos to clinch. They reset and Santos head butts Santana accidentally but the ref doesn't see it. Santana throws a jumping front kick and connects with a nice right hand before the bell. 10-9 Santos.
Round three: Santos throws a right hand and Santana pushes forward but they clinch. Santos backs off and Santos connects with a big snapping leg kick. Santos lunges with a hook and Santana changes levels looking for a single leg takedown. Santana is working for the single leg against the fence and Santos fends it off. Nice left hand for Santos and then another. Santos connects with a leg kick and Santos seems to be taking over here. Santana throws a lazy leg kick and it appears he's fatigued. Santos ducks a hook and takes Santana down hard. Santana has two minutes to work and Santana is squirming around looking for something but Santos is not giving him much to work with. Santos passes to half guard and then backs off, standing over Santana. Santana lunges forward with a single leg but falls to his back when he can't get it. Santos lands a nice left hand and then another. Santos shoots in and scores a takedown with 45 seconds left but backs off, kicking at Santana's legs. Santana is hunting for a leg lock with 15 seconds left and he's working for it but Santos hangs tough. 10-9 Santos
Final Result: Bruno Santos defeats Giva Santana via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
185 lbs.: Vitor Vianna vs. Brian Rogers
Round one: Rogers opens with a nice outside leg kick as both men measure their distance. They exchange briefly and Vianna is on the defensive. Rogers misses with an outside leg kick and Vianna throws a front kick which connects. Rogers wades in heavily and Vianna changes levels looking for a takedown. Rogers fends him off and he's pressed against the fence as Vianna gives up on the takedown but they're still in the clinch. Vianna throws a short knee and they separate. Rogers is head hunting for some really big strikes here but he only lands one range-finding blow. Rogers drops a big right to the body and catches a leg kick as Vianna drops to his back. Rogers lunges forward looking for a big pair of hooks and Vianna again tries for a clinch but Rogers hip tosses him to the canvas. Rogers throws a hammer fist and pops back to his feet. Rogers lands an outside leg kick and then one to the inside. Another outside kick from Rogers and he stuns Vianna with a punch. Vianna staggers backwards and Rogers leaps forward with a MASSIVE flying knee which catches Vianna square on the chin. Vianna drops to his back and he's completely OUT COLD! Holy Hell that was one of the best knockouts of the year!
Final Result: Brian Rogers defeats Vitor Vianna via knockout at 4:14 of round one