Bellator Fighting Championships held its first event in the state of Michigan last night (Nov. 30) from the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant as the first season seven tournament winner was crowned when welterweights Andrey Koreshkov and former champion Lyman Good battled for supremacy.
And it went down to the wire.
The fight didn't seem like it would be close at first as Koreshkov put on a striking clinic against Good in the opening round. The Russian utilized incredible speed and proper use of distance to beat the former beltholder to the punch repeatedly. Koreshkov's lead uppercut was doing some serious damage and he proved it by briefly dropping Good with a huge uppercut on the inside which landed flush.
The Rusfighter slowed down a bit in the second round and gave Good a huge window of opportunity by being taken down and having his back taken for a considerable length of time.
With the fight up for grabs in the third round, Koreshkov continued to outstrike Good but he nearly gave away the bout during a scramble as Good was inches away from taking his back again but the Russian deftly escaped back to his feet and actually took Good down for the final 90 seconds of the bout. While Koreshkov didn't do anything with the position, Good couldn't put forth any offense from his back to counter the position.
When it came time to go to the judges' scorecards, it was a unanimous decision for Koreshkov, taking two out of the three rounds. The unbeaten Russian will next face the winner of Ben Askren vs. Karl Amoussou for a shot at the welterweight title.
Fischer proved hungry and talented early, taking the fight to Rickels and showcasing superior speed on the feet. Rickels was also content to be on bottom during occasional moments on the ground.
In rounds two and three, Rickels finally got back on track, taking Fischer down and nearly putting him away on multiple occasions and taking his back but Fischer kept escaping the position by rolling for leg locks. The third round was the closest as Fischer took top position but was on the receiving end of some big elbows from Rickels via bottom position to win a unanimous decision.
The shortest bout of the night was a 22 second frenzy between middleweights Kala Hose and Doug Marshall. Hose came out slugging but ate a left hand and then was put away by a vicious left hook counter as the referee dove in to save him from further punishment.
Marshall gave an impassioned post-fight speech about feeding off the crowd's energy and it is likely the former WEC champion will be in a future Bellator tournament.
The first main card bout of the night was a lightweight showcase fight for formerly unbeaten Russian phenom Alexander Sarnavskiy as he had his way with wily striker Tony Hervey. Despite having such a good performance on the feet in his last bout, he showcased his improved offensive wrestling in this bout, taking Hervey down at will.
Sarnavskiy threatened with an armbar early but when that didn't work, he played it safe and coasted to an easy decision victory.
So what was your impression last night, Maniacs?
Will Koreshkov have anything to offer for the Askren-Amoussou winner? Will anyone else who fought last night be a player in the 2013 Spike tournaments?