Bellator 120: "Rampage vs. King Mo" is underway as the promotion makes its debut on pay-per-view (PPV) tonight.
Expectations are high and doubts have been raised higher than the heavens, yet the card has mustered up quite a bit of hype on numerous mixed martial arts (MMA) media outlets this week (including this one).
Before the attention turned to the PPV broadcast, the "prelims" saw a few prospects excel in their performances, alongside a string of major upsets.
In the featured main event, former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo defeated Eric Smith and earned a second-round stoppage.
Smith took the fight to Kongo in the first round, unfazed by his favored opponent. Smith rushed forward with no fear, while Kongo took a few minutes to adjust. The Boise-based heavyweight kept the pressure on, taking Kongo down and blasted him with punches. Unfortunately for him, he gassed out rather quickly and made Kongo look like a world-class kickboxer in the closing stages of round one.
Kongo trounced his adversary on the ground in the second round, without really doing much damage. As his opponent made his way back up, Kongo scored a TKO by simply not letting up on the pressure with his hands.
Marcin Held continued his submission streak after stopping Nate Jolly in the first round via armbar.
The Polish fighter staggered Jolly with a brutal knee in the first round, before smothering Jolly on the ground. The 22-year-old prospect transitioned from position to position looking to lock in a submission, however, "Ladies Love" stormed out and started to unleash punches.
And that was his downfall.
Jolly left his arm exposed for the submission ace to grab a hold of his arm and lock in the fight-ending armbar.
In a massive upset, former Bellator featherweight title challenger Shahbulat Shamhalaev lost to Fabricio Guerreiro in the first round of their "prelims" bout.
Shamhalaev looked pretty deadly on the feet when it came to his counterstriking, but as soon as he was tossed to the mat, Guerreiro found dominant positioning and locked in a kimura. It looked as if the Dagestani tapped seconds before referee Kevin McDonald recognized it and as a result, Shamhalaev's arm broke.
See the gruesome GIF here.
The featherweights kicked off the action on Spike TV, as Goiti Yamauchi won a super close fight against Mike Richman.
Yamauchi found success early on with kicks to the body, while Richman landed more power shots with head kicks. Richman was also setting up his boxing combinations better. At the end of round one, the Japanese-Brazilian combatant rocked the American with some stiff shots.
Yamauchi couldn't keep Richman on the mat once he sent him there, unable to utilize his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt skills. He was able to do more damage in the second round, primarily with his kicks.
Avoiding bad positions, Richman got the better of his opponent on the ground after storming out of the gate in round three. Yamauchi was active off his back, yet his counterpart worked with some ground-and-pound, but it was not enough to seal the deal.
The online "prelims" had a controversial outcome in one of the fights, as Austin Lyons was winning his rematch against Zach Underwood, until he decked him with an illegal knee while "Thunderwood" was down on the mat. As Underwood told referee John Dixon he couldn't continue, the fight went to the scorecards since it was an accidental foul in the third round.
The Memphis native took home the victory and won against Underwood for the second time.
Big winners fighting on the online portion were Mike Wessel, Ben Brewer, Codie Shuffield and Brian Hall.
Here are the full quick results for Bellator 120: "Rampage vs. King Mo":
265 lbs.: Cheick Kongo def. Eric Smith via TKO (strikes) at 4:35 of R2
145 lbs.: Fabricio Guerreiro def. Shahbulat Shamhalaev via submission (kimura) at 3:29 of R1
158 lbs.: Marcin Held def. Nate Jolly via submission (armbar) at 4:20 of R1
145 lbs.: Goiti Yamauchi def. Mike Richman via unanimous decision (29-28x3)
155 lbs.: Austin Lyons def. Zach Underwood via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27x2)
265 lbs.: Mike Wessel def. Justin Frazier via TKO (punches) at 4:28 of R1
170 lbs.: Ben Brewer def. Andy Uhrich via knockout (punches) at 2:40 of R2
170 lbs.: Codie Shuffield def. Anthony Lemon via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:15 of R2
135 lbs.: Brian Hall def. Cortez Phelia via TKO (punches) at 0:24 of R3
Make sure to follow our Bellator 120 play-by-play coverage of the main card RIGHT HERE.