Vanier uses Bellator 28 victory over Rich Clementi to keep his world title hopes alive

Carey Vanier (left) lands a solid shot on Rich Clementi at Bellator 28.

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (September 9, 2010) – Bellator Fighting Championships took its unique brand of world class mixed martial arts action to the Big Easy as Bellator 28 saw a trio of Season 2 Semifinalists notch impressive victories over highly regarded opponents while a budding star delivered the most spectacular moment of the evening from the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans.

Headlining the card was former All-American wrestler and Bellator Season 2 veteran Carey Vanier squaring off against battle-tested UFC veteran Rich “No Love” Clementi for a spot in the upcoming Bellator Lightweight Tournament. It was an opportunity for the up-and-coming Vanier to redeem himself following Season 2 Tournament Semifinal defeat at the hands of “2009 Submission of the Year” winner Toby Imada and the former training partner of fellow Bellator lightweight Roger Huerta took full advantage of it. Vanier weathered the early storm from the seasoned Louisiana-based favorite, escaping several submission attempts, before taking the fight to Clementi in his own backyard, scoring multiple takedowns and landing several heavy knees that opened a nasty gash over the eye of the veteran of over fifty fights on his way to the split decision victory.

Rounding out the main card was four-time All-American and NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion Eric Larkin, who made his Bellator debut against fellow undefeated prospect Marcus Andrusia. The decorated wrestler made his debut with the promotion count, as the former Arizona State Sun Devil landed a devastating head kick just seconds into the first round before ultimately utilizing his extensive wrestling background to lock up an air-tight guillotine choke submission early in the opening round to pick up his third professional victory in impressive fashion.
In 145 lb action, Season 2 Featherweight Semifinalist Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan took on hard-hitting WEC veteran Anthony Leone. Karakhanyan was the aggressor from the opening bell, scoring with a variety of strikes and takedowns to out-hustle Leone in a closely contested fight on his way to the split decision victory.

Fellow Season 2 Semifinalist Eric Schambari returned to the Bellator cage to face off with eccentric Bellator and UFC veteran Matt Horwich in a grueling middleweight battle. The powerful Schambari took control of the fight early, punishing Horwich with heavy leather often during the first two rounds while the relentless “fan of the multi-universe” continued to march forward, answering with strikes of his own before a late takedown from Schambari left little doubt to the result. When the dust had a chance to settle following three hard-fought rounds from both men, Schambari left the cage with the victory on his record via split decision.

A full list of results from the event are listed below:

Main Card Results

  • Eric Larkin def. Marcus Andrusia via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:46
  • Carey Vanier def. Rich Clementi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Eric Schambari def. Matt Horwich via split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
  • Georgi Karakhanyan def. Anthony Leone via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30 27)

Local Feature Fights

  • Tony Roberts def. Kelvin Doss via submission (punches) – Round 1
  • Jonathan Mackles def. Brock Kerry via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Charlie Rader def. Josh Rafferty via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:14
  • Scott O’Shaughnessy def. Gabe Woods via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 2:11