Bellator 56 takes place this evening at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., and features the semifinals of the Bellator Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament. The main event will feature a title bout between Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (8-0 MMA, 5-0 BFC) and challenger Jay Hieron (22-4 MMA, 3-0 BFC).
The main card will be broadcast LIVE on MTV2 at 9 p.m. ET. The preliminaries will begin at 7 p.m. ET and stream LIVE on Spike.com.
Bellator 56 quick results:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
- Ben Askren def. Jay Hieron via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
- Thiago Santos def. Neil Grove via submission (rear naked choke) Rd 1 (0:38)
- Jeremy Spoon def. Adam Schindler via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eric Prindle def. Ron Sparks via knockout (punch) Rd 1 (0:40)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
- Marcio Navarro def. Rudy Bears via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kelvin Tiller def. Dan Spohn via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Emanuel Brooks def. Willian de Souza via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)
- Jacob Aiken def. Jeimeson Saudino via submission (rear naked choke) Rd 1 (3:26)
- Aaron Ely def. Owen Evinger via submission (rear naked choke) Rd 1 (3:45)
Bellator 56 play-by-play:
Eric Prindle vs. Ron Sparks
Round 1 – These guys are huge, gigantic vanilla gorillas. Ron fires first as Eric circles out and away. Nice leg kick from Eric. He’s using his legs early. Ron comes back with a right hand after a kick. Ron steps in for a leg kick and Eric counters with a left hook that sends Ron crashing to the canvas counting sheep as he falls. Wow!!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Eric Prindle def. Ron Sparks via knockout (punch) Rd 1 (0:40)
Adam Schindler vs. Jeremy Spoon
Round 1 – Adam starts with a double jab, and Jeremy counters but doesn’t connect. Nice exchange in the center of the cage, but it’s Adam that connects cleaner. More combinations from Adam, he’s staying very busy so far. Jeremy with a nice counter right hand. Adam connects with a left hand that hurts Jeremy. He retreats and ducks in for a take down but it’s Adam that gets it with a bodylock/trip take down. Adam is in an almost full mount, but Jeremy stays on his side to prevent him from getting mount and taking his back. In the scramble, Jeremy transitions to take the back of Adam, but gets reversed and now has his opponent on his back. Jeremy scrambles and retains guard now. Adam looks to pass to the left, gets blocked, then tries the opposite side. Jeremy prevents him from getting to sidemount and retains his full guard. Adam is relentless in his attempts at passing the guard. He’s very active and is really pushing the pace. Jeremy scrambles to his feet and Adam is bloodied after a backfist on the break. Jeremy is now getting the better of stand up with straight jabs and right hands. Good first round. Round 1 goes to Adam Schindler, 10-9.
Round 2 – Jeremy looks to land his jab early, then fires an overhand right. Adam counters with a left hand then lands a leg kick. Another one. Jeremy lands a stiff right hand that snaps Adam’s head back. He looks much more comfortable on his feet in this round. Adam comes back with a nice right hand. Jab, Jab, body kick from Adam. Jeremy fires a lead left hook, and Adam shoots in and takes it to the floor. Adam stands over the guard and dodges a couple of leg kicks, then dives back in looking for side control. After a scramble, Jeremy gets back to his feet. Adam looks very tired. One-two combo from Jeremy. Another jab. Again Jeremy is throwing the straighter, cleaner punches. He’s winning the round so far despite the take down he gave up. Big lead left hook from Jeremy. Another, and he adds a glancing right hand as he steps away from Adam. Good exchange from both guys as the time is running out on the second round. Jeremy halfway shoots in and eats an uppercut. Round 2 goes to Jeremy Spoon.
Round 3 – Jeremy lands first with a clean jab. Adam fires one off as well. Very quick one-two combo from Jeremy. More jabs from Jeremy. Adam goes to a punch-kick combo but Jeremy backs out of range as Adam comes forward. Head kick is blocked by Jeremy. Another nice left hand from Jeremy. Adam lands a right hand but he’s getting beat to the punch mostly. Nice kick from Jeremy, but an even better right hand counter lands from Adam. Jeremy lands yet another jab, and Adam ducks in and gets the take down. He can’t keep it there however. Jeremy goes to the plum clinch and scores with a stiff knee and a right hand on the break. Adam is punching, but they are looping strikes that aren’t landing cleanly. Jab after jab from Jeremy. He then fires off a Lead left hook/kick combo. Again. Less than a minute to go. The jab is winning this fight for Spoon. Adam fires a right hand as Jeremy is kicking and he hits the mat. Looked like a slip. He’s back up and immediately goes back to the jab. Round 3 goes to Jeremy Spoon, and so does the fight, 29-28.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jeremy Spoon def. Adam Schindler via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Neil Grove vs. Thiago Santos
Round 1 – Neil refuses to touch gloves then throws a wild overhand punch. Santos stays calm then lands a monster right hand that floors Grove. Santos is landing a barrage of punches from the top. Very effective ground-and-pound. Grove rolls and gives up his back and Santos takes it. He applies the rear naked choke and Neil is in survival mode. It’s in deep– there is no way he survives this. He taps, and just like that, Santos punches his ticket to the Heavyweight finals.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Thiago Santos def. Neil Grove via submission (rear naked choke) Rd 1 (0:38)
Ben Askren vs. Jay Hieron
Round 1 – This one is for welterweight gold. Jay goes to his jab to start. He’s keeping his distance as Ben throws a right hand. The champion is leaning in and winging his punches so far. He tries to close and Jay lands an uppercut. Ben ends up on the ground with Jay on top. He turns into Jay and gets to his feet easily. Ben is coming forward and Jay is throwing and backing away. The champ shoots but Jay stays on his feet. Ben lands a right hand then goes for a single. Jay defends and rips his leg out and takes the center of the cage. Ben misses over the top then clinches and lands a knee. Good take down defense from Jay as he defends the relentless Askren. Jay comes forward and clinches. Ben pulls out then eats a big left hand from Jay. Ben shoots from way outside and is stuffed. The champion is having a tough time getting this one to the ground. Good start for Hieron. Good exchange, and Jay reaches for his eye. That’s the second time he’s done that, it may have gotten poked. Close round so far. Ben just misses with an uppercut then slips firing off a kick. I give Round 1 to the challenger.
Round 2 – Very nice left hand, then right uppercut from the challenger. He’s landing much cleaner. Stiff jab from Jay. Ben shoots and Jay sprawls but the champ keeps working and finally gets on top. He’s standing over the guard of Hieron and firing strikes from the top. He’s now landing short right hands as he applies a lot of shoulder pressure to the face of Jay. He’s in half guard now and isn’t really looking to pass. He seems content to stay where he is and do damage. More right hands now. Hieron is bleeding from his right eye. Ben isolates the left arm of the challenger and goes to work to the body. He’s grinding on Jay now from the top with short elbows. Very nice work from the champion. Jay is trying to create some space and does, then lands a nice upkick. Ben jumps back into the guard and closes the space. He passes to side mount with under 30 seconds to go. This round goes to Askren.
Round 3 – Good exchanges to start. Nice kicks from Jay. Ben shoots in but it’s not even close. Again. Jay misses upstairs with the kick. Jay is staying busier so far. Ben ducks a jab and drops to shoot but Jay immediately steps away. Ben throws a left, misses, then secures a body lock and gets the take down. Right hands from the champion now. Ben is putting a ton of pressure on Jay now, it’s starting to look like Round 2. Jay scrambles out and gets to his feet after engaging with the champ for a second on the ground. Very nice. Jay goes with the left hand to the body, then follows with a left hook. Body kick from the champion. Jay goes to the head kick but it’s blocked, then misses with a spinning back kick. Close round. Jay catches the body kick and fires off two right hands. Round 3 goes to the challenger, Jay Hieron.
Round 4 – Lead right hand scores for Askren. Jay comes back with a right hand of his own. Kick from the champ, and Jay counters with a right hand. Ben gets the take down and the challenger is turtled up and taking knee-after-knee to the body. More knees from the champ. He switches to his hands and lands to the head from the back of Jay. More knees now. He’s mixing up the knees with strikes to the head. Short right hands and hammer fists. Ben passes to the other side and lands more knees. Hieron has nowhere to go as he continues to eat knees to the body. Hieron is telling the referee that he’s getting hit in the back of the head. Jay rolls and explodes out of trouble, but Ben has a leg. He can’t get the take down and Jay immediately takes the center of the cage. The challenger jabs then fires off a shot to the body. Ben comes forward and eats a right hand. Hieron throws a looping left hand and gets poked in the eye. Back to the action. Round 4 goes to Ben Askren, and I have it all even after 4.
Round 5 – It may all come down to this Round. Short right hand from Ben, and Jay counters with a stinging right hook. The challenger looks energized. Ben shoots and gets a leg looking for the single but Jay pulls away. Short left hook from Jay. Switch kick from Jay and he comes forward with a right hand that misses. It’s anybody’s round right now. Jab-right from Ben. Leg kick from Jay. Another. The challenger lands with the left hand, and the champ counters with a short right hand. Ben with the right hand but he doesn’t step back in time and gets caught with a counter punch from Hieron. Nice exchange in the center of the cage. Jay is flashing his jab nicely. He fakes it then throws a left hook. Lead left hand from the challenger. He drops the champ with a spinning back kick. He raises his hands and is talking trash now. He doesn’t follow the champ to the mat and lets him stand back up. Less than a minute to go. Jay is showboating now, then lands a crisp left hook, and then a right. The champ scores with a jab, but Hieron is winning the round. It’s all over, and I score the final round for Jay Hieron, and the fight overall to the challenger 48-47.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ben Askren def. Jay Hieron via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)