ATLANTIC CITY — Tonight, Bellator 44 takes place from Caesars Atlantic City and MTV2 will broadcast the main card live at 9 p.m. ET. In the main event, middleweight champion Hector Lombard will take on Falaniko Vitale in a non-title fight. The event also features the finals of the season-four lightweight tournament between Michael Chandler and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.
**Breaking News: The Sam Oropeza vs. Giedrius Karavackas fight has been moved to the televised main card after Anthony Morrison failed to make weight for his bantamweight fight.
MAIN CARD (Televised on MTV 2)
- Middleweight bout: Hector Lombard def. Falaniko Vitale by knockout
- Lightweight Tournament Final: Michael Chandler def. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire by unanimous decision
- Middleweight bout: Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper by unanimous decision
- Welterweight bout: Giedrius Karavackas def. Sam Oropeza by submission (scarf hold)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Local Feature Fights)
- Heavyweight bout: Jamall Johnson def. Randy Smith by submission (rear-naked choke)
- Middleweight bout: Jay Silva def. Gemiyale Adkins by unanimous decision
- Featherweight bout: Jeff Lentz def. Anthony Leone by unanimous decision
Bellator 44 play-by-play:
Jay Silva vs. Gemiyale Adkins
Round 1 – Both fighters circle early. Silva starts things off with a few leg kicks. Nothing is landing clean for Silva. He rushes in and Adkins tries to counter with a takedown, but Silva defends. He sprawls hard and puts his weight on his opponent. Adkins does not give up, and he is eventually able to finish the takedown against the cage. He works for a guillotine choke, but then lands the best punch of the fight. He tries to finish a double-leg takedown against the cage. Silva defends and takes the back without the hooks. He lands some hard knees to his opponents body while standing. The referee stops the action, after a knee catches Adkins in the head while he is down. The doctor clears Adkins and the action starts again. Silva lands a head kick and then a body kick. He seems to be opening up on the feet at the clapper. ProMMANow score 10-9 Silva.
Round 2 – Silva goes back to the kicks, but then eats one to the lead leg. He stuffs a takedown and gets double under hooks against the cage. Silva than drags Adkins down and takes half guard. He works into the back mount position. Adkins escapes the hooks and is able to take the top position. As Silva stands, Adkins lands his best strikes of the fight. Silva gets free and lands a flying knee, but Adkins uses it to score another takedown. Silva gets back to his feet, but Adkins presses him against the cage with a double leg. In an awkward position, Silva lands a series of hammer fists to the head. ProMMANow score 10-9 Silva.
Round 3 – Front kick from Silva starts the action. He snaps a hard body kick off next. Adkins shoots a high crotch and finishes it easily away from the cage. Silva explodes to his feet and gets top position against the cage. He seems to have given up trying to take the back. He stands over his grounded opponent and knees the body. Adkins is totally defensive and taking punishment to the body. He reaches for a desperation single-leg takedown and holds the position. Silva spins and takes the back, once again he refuses to try for the hooks and choke. Adkins gets to his feet and eats a knee to the head. He works hard for a takedown and gets it at the clapper. ProMMANow score 10-9 Silva.
OFFICIAL RESULT – Jay Silva defeats Gemiyale Adkins by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
This is an important win for Silva. He still struggled to defend takedowns, but he was able to get the victory. In the past, he has been stuck on his back. There is still a lot of room for improvement.
Jeff Lentz vs. Anthony Leone
The crowd loves Lentz from Lanoka Harbor, N.J.
Round 1 – Leone, the shorter fighter, comes forward with some wild punches that do not land. He does get through with a few leg kicks. The leg kicks are easily becoming the story of the round. He then pushes forward for a takedown against the cage. (The “COME ON JEFF” count is currently at 12) Lentz reverses the position against the cage. The fighters break and start to fight at range again. Leone goes back to the kicks and lands a hook to the body. Lentz throws a kick to the body, and Leone catches it, but he can’t finish the takedown. Leone has done a great job staying out of range and landing his leg kicks. Lentz goes for a hip toss with less than ten seconds left in the round, but does not finish. ProMMANow score 10-9 Leone
Round 2 – Leone catches a head kick and finishes with a double leg. Lentz scoots his back against the cage. He gets back to his feet and presses Leone against the cage. (The “COME ON JEFF” count now stands at 23) Leone eventually escapes the position. Head kick looks to get through for Lentz. He is uses his height better, but the leg kick from Leone is still finding a home. The shorter fighter looks to catch another high kick, but get stuck against the cage for his trouble. Lentz lands some uppercuts and knees in the clinch, but not many. Lentz lands a knee to the chest that is his best strike of the fight. Leone gets a high crotch, and Lentz lands a Faber jumping knee. Leone goes for a leg lock after a failed takedown, but it is not close. (“COME ON JEFF” has change to “POINTS JEFF!) ProMMANow 10-9 Lentz
In between rounds, Lentz stands on the stool and calls for cheers from the crowd. The crowd loves the Lentz.
Round 3 – Lentz lands a kick that stuns Leone and then rushes in for the finish. Leone tries for a takedown, but Lentz easily stuffs it. Lentz punishes his opponent with a 1/4 Nelson and ends up on top in half guard. He transitions to a guillotine choke from the top. Leone escapes but looks spent. Lentz holds a front head lock and tries to transition to the back. Leone tries to scramble, but Lentz is able to keep his position and land short shots to the head. Leone goes to a series of leg locks, but none come close. (“FINISH HIM!” is the new thing, Mortal Kombat style) Lentz lets his opponent back to his feet, and the referee stops the action for a mouthguard reset. ProMMANow score 10-9 Lentz.
OFFICIAL RESULT – Jeff Lentz defeats Anthony Leone by unanimous decision (29-28 X3)
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper
Round 1 – Shlemenko catches a kick and cashes Cooper to the ground. Double hook lands for Shlemenko after they stand again. Cooper tries to change levels. He eats a knee and a few hooks for his trouble. It is becoming clear early that Shlemenko is the better striker. Cooper shoots again, but Shlemenko stones him. The Russians takedown defense seems to have improved. He ducks a shot and counters with a two-punch combination. A spinning back kick forces Cooper back. Shlemenko comes forward with a ton of shots after a landed spinning back fist, but Cooper backs him up with a tough hook. Shlemenko ends up on top after a hard knee to the body. He stands over his opponent in De La Riva position. Cooper sits up and works to finish a single, but Shlemenko defends well. He gets back to his feet. Cooper blocks a head kick to end an exciting round. ProMMANow score 10-9 Shlemenko
Round 2 – Coopers shoots from far away, and Shlemenko stuffs it with ease. Cooper continues to push forward, but he can only land the leg kicks. Shlemenko lands a sweet elbow against the cage and comes back with a spinning back kick. The Russian pushes his opponent into the cage. Shlemenko tries to jump in, and Cooper swats him from the air with a hook and takes the back standing. He works a single that drops Shlemenko to his knees. However, he gets right back up. Cooper is trying everything, but he can’t keep Shlemenko from popping back up. He finally drags him down and takes one hook, but Shlemenko reverses and ends up on top. He lands a nice elbow to the body. Cooper comes back with a upkick and stands. Shlemenko lands a loud and powerful back fist. He goes back to the move again and gets dragged down. However, he still refuses to give up position on the ground. They exchange at the bell and Shlemenko lands a pair late. Tough round to call. ProMMANow score 10-9 Cooper
Round 3 – A one-two is mostly blocked by Cooper. Shlemenko goes for a spinning back fist that lands. He doesn’t forget to work the body as he comes forward with a right and left to the gut. Yet another back fist lands for Shlemenko, and he presses Cooper into the cage. They break and another back fist comes in. Cooper shoots, but Shlemenko backs away. A hard right hook lands for Shlemenko in a combination. He is clearly winded, but still scoring in the striking game. He lands a jumping knee as Cooper changes level. Cooper lands a clinch knee but then falls to his back. He gets up and goes to an upper cut series. With less than a minute left, this is a close fight. Both fighters swing for the fences to end the round. ProMMANow score 10-9 Shlemenko
OFFICIAL RESULT – Alexander Shlemenko defeats Brett Cooper by unanimous decision(30-27, 30-28, 29-28) (You know it was Jeff Blatnick that came with the 10-10 scorecard. He is a real man, or at least more of a man than me)
Sam Oropeza vs. Giedrius Karavackas
If the crowd loved Jeff Lentz, than they want to have Sam Oropeza’s children. There are orange “Sammy O” t-shirts everywhere in the arena, including on Eddie Alvarez, and the place goes crazy as he walks to cage. The “Sammy O” chant totally owns to the “Come On Jeff” from earlier.
Round 1 – The fighters exchange early, but nothing lands clean. A jumping knee from Oropeza backs up his opponent. A right hand comes down the pipe. Karavackas is blocking the head kicks, but they are still doing damage. He eats one more and takes the back standing in a scramble. Oropeza works for a Kimura, but gives it up after he falls to his knees. Karavackas tries to take his back, but Oropeza gets back up. He goes back to the Kimura and keeps it as he gets slammed. He eventually uses to hold to get on top. He fakes reaching back for the leg and lands a nasty right hand from the top. He comes forward with a huge bunch of punches that almost forces Dan Mirgliotta to stop the fight. However, the bell beats him to it. ProMMANow score 10-9 Oropeza
Round 2 – The action is slow to start in the second. Karavackas comes forward and presses Oropeza into the cage. He gets a body lock with double under hooks, but he does not seem able to score the takedown. The fighters break. Karavackas gets a neck clinch and lands some nice knees. He then gets a takedown into side control. He tries to work a head lock position, but Oropeza is able to roll out and escape to his feet. However, his opponent keeps him stuck to the cage. This has been a much better round for Karavackas. Oropeza creates some space and lands a nice elbow. He then lands an outside trip takedown from the clinch. Like in the first round, Oropeza does his best work from the top position. ProMMANow score 10-9 Oropeza. However, this round was very close.
Round 3 – Karavackas rushes in with punches and gets a clinch position. It does not take him long to score a takedown into half guard. Oropeza tries to work for a kneebar, but gives it up for guard. Karavackas throws the legs and comes down with his best shot of the fight. He returns to the headlock position to he tries in round 2 and traps an arm between his legs. Oropeza is trapped and taking punishment. Karavackas is only throwing short punches like Roy Nelson vs. Kimbo. He is not doing enough to stop the fight, but Oropeza seems legitimately stuck. The referee really looks like he wants to stop it. Karavackas traps the arm again, but this time cranks on the head. Oropeza taps soon after. Karavackas’ fan section explodes.
OFFICIAL RESULT – Giedrius Karavackas defeats Sam Oropeza by submission (scarf hold) 3:59 Round 3
It takes some serious strength to hold someone in a headlock position like that for most of a round, and Karavackas did it with one arm. He put on a very impressive performance. He might steal some of the hype that was brewing for Oropeza.
Hector Lombard vs. Falaniko Vitale
Round 1 – Lombard tries a high kick that is blocked. Niko ducks a huge hook from Lombard and lands a knee in the clinch. Straight lands for Niko. Both fighters are throwing single shots that do not land. It is certainly a feeling out process. Niko then unleashes a vicious kick that lands in the groin on Lombard. The referee gives the champion time to recover and reset and the action is back. Niko jumps in with a hook and avoids the counters. Lombard catches Niko against the cage and lands a quick combination. The crowd is getting restless. Lombard lands a leg kick after the clapper. The crowd is unhappy. ProMMANow score 10-10
Round 2 – Lombard came out ready to throw in this round. He backs Niko up with a series of hooks to the body. He gets a neck clinch and throws a knee. These two fighters do not seem to want to exchange. Lombard lands a jab followed by a leg kick. Body hook and straight lands for Lombard. He is looking to counter and Niko is not throwing. The fighters try head and body kicks, but nothing lands clean. Niko changes levels for a takedown, but Lombard stuffs it. The Judoka eats a knee, but gets a takedown. Niko gets back to his feet almost immediately. Lombard stings a two-punch combination, but Niko defends well. The boos get extremely loud as the round ends. This was almost another 10-10, but Lombard is at least throwing. ProMMANow score 10-9 Lombard
Round 3 – Lombard tries to change levels, but Niko stuffs it. Lombard catches Niko with a hook and he goes down. Lombard knows it is over, but Niko gets back to his feet…only to fall down again. The referee stops the fight.
OFFICIAL RESULT – Hector Lombard defeats Falaniko Vitale by knockout (punch) :54 Round 3
Michael Chandler vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire
Round 1 – Chandler is trying to jab enough to set up a takedown, but Pitbull is keeping his distance well and looking to counter. He lands a nice counter straight after Chandler rushes in. Both fighters a feinting, or throwing and not landing. Patricky tries a high round house and almost falls to the ground. Chandler lands a low shot on Pitbull, and he gets time to recover. Chandler throws a nice jab down the pipe after the restart. He sneaks in another right hand. Impressively effective striking game from Chandler. He gets a body lock, but Pitbull escapes easily. He tries to shoot and it is stuffed as well. Chandler chases his opponent around the cage and lands a body kick. ProMMANow score 10-9 Chandler
Round 2 – Pitbull jumps in with a jab. Chandler lands a hard hook that is the best punch of the fight. Pitbull bests him with a jumping knee. Chandler comes forward again and tries a flying strike on his own. Pitbull throws another flying knee and eats a low blow after he lands. The referee gives him time and the crowd does not like it, but it was a clear low shot. Pitbull throws a leg kick after the restart. Pitbull seems to be getting into a rhythm on the feet, but he is still having trouble dealing with Chandler’s lunging jab. The American shoots, but Pitbull slips right out. He starts to throw his own jab and lands a pair. Both fighters land straights and Chandler follows up with another. Chandler catches a kick and gets to the takedown against the cage. From side control, he rains down a series of elbows. Pitbull eventually gets guard, but Chandler did plenty of damage. He gets up to his knees, but Chandler drags him right back to his back. Good work from the top as the round ends. ProMMANow score 10-9 Chandler
Round 3 – Chandler throws an inside leg kick that catches the groin. Pitbull immediately folds like a chair. The referee takes a point after the third low blow. After a long delay, the action starts again. Pitbull seems to know he is behind. Het lands a nice counter hook that backs up Chandler. Chandler goes for a takedown. Pitbull defends well at first. Chandler sets his hands up against the cage and then picks up his opponent for a slam. Chandler is not extremely active from the top, but he lands hard with elbows when he does throw. Pitbull pushes away with his feet and reaches the standing position. Chandler drags him back down and then slams him back down. Piston like right hands come down from the top. Another strong round from Chandler. ProMMANow score 9-9.
OFFICIAL RESULT – Michael Chandel defeats Patricky “Pitbull” Freire by unanimous decision (29-27 X3)
Jamall Johnson vs. Randy Smith
Round 1 – Both fighters feint. Johnson lands a nice right over the top. He changes levels for a takedown and gets it after pushing his opponent into the cage. Smith fights back to his feet, but eats a knee on the way up. Johnson stays out of range and then jumps in with a right hand. Smith throws a series of jabs and finally lands a nice right cross. He then stuffs a takedown attempt from Johnson. Smith comes forward late in the round and lands a nice combination. Johnson gets a takedown into half guard and lands some nice strikes. He goes for a guillotine, but gives it up as the round ends. ProMMANow score 10-9 Johnson
Round 2 – Feints are still the entree of choice. Smith throws a huge looping punch that does not come close. A step in lead hook lands for Johnson. Smith triples up on the jab and then lands a hard right cross. He tries to jump in with more strikes, but in the process he hits Johnson low and the referee stops the action for recovery time. Johnson closes the distance, but eats nothing but shots. Smith is starting to show he is the better striker. Johnson lands his best punch of the fight and gets a takedown into side control. He takes the back without hooks and lands some nice punches under the arm. Johnson locks in the rear-naked choke without any hooks. He hooks one leg in on the way down and gets the tap.
OFFICIAL RESULT – Jamall Johnson defeats Randy Smith by submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2