CLEVELAND — Bellator 66 takes place this evening at Cleveland’s I-X Center and features a highly anticipated lightweight rematch between Japanese submission god Shinya Aoki and former Bellator 155 pound champion Eddie Alvarez. The two first clashed on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Saitama, Japan, with Aoki winning via heel hook submission just 1:32 into the fight.
Alvarez has gone 7-1 since that fight, most recently losing his Bellator title to Michael Chandler this past November. Aoki has gone 11-2 since their first meeting and is currently riding a seven fight win-streak.
Bellator 66 also includes the season six lightweight tournament semifinals with Brent Weedman vs. Thiago Michel and Rick Hawn vs. Lloyd Woodard. And the season six middleweight tournament semifinals are also on this card, with Andreas Spang vs. Brian Rogers and Vyacheslav Vasilevsky vs. Maiquel Falcao.
A host of preliminary card action is also on this card, including a women’s 131 pound catchweight bout between Cleveland’s own Jessica Eye and Anita Rodriguez from Dallas. Preliminary card action kicks off at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) and will stream LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, and the main card starts at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) LIVE on MTV2.
ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary of all tonight’s action. While you are waiting for the fights to begin, or if you have a few minutes waiting between bouts, be sure to check out ProMMAnow.com reporter Dr. Rhadi Ferguson’s video interview with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney about the Aoki-Alvarez and Hawn-Woodard match-ups, Bellator moving to Spike next year and much more.
Bellator 66 quick results:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
- Eddie Alvarez def. Shinya Aoki by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (2:14)
- Middleweight Semifinal – Andreas Spang def. Brian Rogers by knockout (pounches) Rd 2 (3:34)
- Middleweight Semifinal – Maiquel Falcao def. Vasilevsky by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lightweight Semifinal: Rick Hawn def. Lloyd Woodard by TKO (punches) Rd 2 (:10)
- Lightweight Semifinal: Brent Weedman def. Thiago Michel by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
- Jessica Eye def. Anita Rodriguez by unanimous decision
- Julian Lane def. Joe Heiland by submission (guillotine choke) Rd 1 (2:49)
- John Hawk def. Marcus Vanttinen by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Attila Vegh def. Dan Spohn via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- (NAAFS 145 Title) Frank Carabello def. Donny Walker by knockout (flying knee) Rd 4 (2:25)
Bellator 66 play-by-play:
Dan Spohn vs. Attila Vegh
Round 1 – Feeling out period for 30 seconds now, side kick from Spohn. Vegh fires back with punches. Push kick from Spohn. Vegh clinches up and gives Spohn a head and arm throw to the ground. Inside Spohn’s full guard now. Ref warns them to get busy. Ref stands them up, they trade some punches. Jumping knee from Vegh misses. Leg kick from Spohn. Right counter from Spohn as Vegh misses an overhand left. Both guys are southpaw. Leg kick Spohn. Clinch from Vegh, Spohn shoves him off. Uppercut from Spohn misses. Right from Vegh just misses. High kick from Spohn. PMN scores the round 10-9 Vegh.
Round 2 – Vegh initiates the clinch, right counter from Spohn. Striaght right from Vegh, counter right from Spohn. Clinched up against the cage, knee from Vegh. Spohn turns him around with his back to the cage. Big knee from Vegh on the break to the head. Counter right from Spohn, push kick. Leg kick, left hand combo from Spohn. Counter right from Spohn, misses a knee from the clinch. Overhand right from Vegh. Right from Vegh misses. High kick from Spohn blocked, lands a leg kick inside. Side kick from Spohn. Clinch from Vegh, pushes Spohn to the cage and Spohn reverses him. Knee from Spohn, knee. He has underhooks. Another knee from Spohn and a right hand on the break, push kick. Left hand, right hook. PMN scores it 10-9 Spohn.
Round 3 – Coach Gurgel held nothing back with Spohn between rounds, really laid into him about picking up the action. Best corner advice I have ever heard. Right counter from Spohn. Right, body kick from Vegh. Double right hands from Vegh. Gurgel keeps saying, “Why are you waiting, why are you waiting?” Kick, right hand from Spohn. Body kick partially blocked. Four punch combo from Spohn, front kick. Front kick. Clinch, knee from Spohn to the head but no affect on Vegh. Veghn pushing against the cage. Knee from Vegh on the break. One two from Vegh. Spohn threw three counter punches and they all missed. His accuracy has been off. Clinch, knee from Spohn to the head. No damage done. Under a minute to go. Spohn leaning on Vegh against the cage, he backs out. He misses several punches, telling Vegh to come on. He keeps missing and wants Vegh to stand there and stop moving. Not gonna happen. I still give the round to Spohn though 10-9 and the fight 29-28 for Spohn.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Attila Vegh def. Andrew Spohn via split decision (29-28 Vegh, 29-28 Spohn, 30-27 Vegh)
John Hawk vs. Marcus Vanttinen
Round 1 – Leg kick from Hawk, counter punches from Vanttinen. Right from Vanttinen. Leg kick from Hawk. A few punch exchanges. Hawk lands a nice left, then a right. Counter right from Vanttinen. clinch, knees to the body from Hawk. Clinch against the cage, Hawk leaning on him, knee from Hawk. Front kick from Vanttinen. One two counter from Hawk. Under a minute to go. Body kick from Vanttinen.Again. Nice leg kick from Vanttinen, eats a counter right. Right from Vanttinen. Another one. Close round. PMN scores the round 10-9 Vantinnen.
Round 2 – Leg kick and a right from Hawk. Body shot from Vanttinen. Clinch from Hawk, Vanttinen drops levels and gets a nice double leg but Hawk jumps into a guillotine. Vanttinen gives a thumbs up. Hawk cranking it but Vanttinen escapes, stacks Hawk up, north-south, side control, knee to the body. Vanttinen gets a crucifix briefly but back to regular side control. Knee to belly but Hawk gets to his knees and ends up on top in half guard, now full guard, stacks him up. Vanttinen goes for an armbar. Hawk moves to side control punching his way out. Vanttinen gets to his feet, looking for the single. Hawk sprawls, scrambles, ends up on top in half guard. Elbows to the body from Hawk. PMN scores the round 10-9 Hawk.
Round 3 – One two from Vanttinen. These guys have slowed down like heavyweights. Couple of punch combos from Hawk. Leg kick from Vanttinen. Left hand from Vanttinen. One two from Vanttinen. Nice right from Hawk snaps Vanttinen’s head back. Body shot from Hawk, clinch against the cage. Thai plum from Hawk, misses a knee. Tie up, knees to the body from Hawk. He backs out. Lazy right from Hawk. They look exhausted. Vanttinen shoots, stuffed. Shoots again, sprawl from Hawk. Vanttinen looking for an arm but Hawk backs out. Body kick from Vanttinen. He lands a right hand. Vanttinen bleeding a little from his face. Under a minute to go. Lazy leg kick from Vanttinen and these punches are in slo-mo now. Clinch, knee from Vanttinen. PMN scores the round 10-9 Hawk and the fight 29-28 for Hawk.
OFFICIAL RESULT: John Hawk def. Marcus Vanttinen by split decision (30-27 Vanttinen, 29-28 Hawk, 29-28 Hawk)
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal
Thiago Michel vs. Brent Weedman
Round 1 – Leg kick Weedman. Again. Again. Head kick from Michel, blocked. Weedman checks a leg kick. Right counter hook from Michel. Body kick from Weedman. Front kick from Michel. Body clinch from Weedman, tries to throw Michel, ends up on the bottom. Scramble, right hands from Michel from top. Weedman sweeps, ends up in side mount. Michel locks up Weedman’s head with a scissors lock and has his arm straight in a type of modified armbar but Weedman pulls out. Weedman attempts a D’arce but Michel makes it to his feet and escapes. Big leg kick inside from Weedman. Push kick Michel. One two from Weedman, one two from Michel and front kick to the chin. Body kick from Weedman. Weedman gets a clinch and takedown before the bell, probably seizing the round if it wasn’t already clear he won. PMN scores it 10-9 Weedman.
Round 2 – After some exchanges Weedman slips to the ground. He gets up, shoots, Michel sprawls, locks on a modified guillotine choke, has legs wrapped around in half guard. Michel readjusts but Weedman pops out in side control. Couple of big knees from Weedman in side control. He tries to pass guard. Michel blocks it. Weedman with big knee strikes from side control. Weedman goes for a guillotine but Michel escapes quickly. Scramble and Weedman is back in side control with under a minute go to. Not much action the rest of the round. PMN scores it 10-9 Weedman.
Round 3 – Leg kick from Weedman. Side kick from Michel. Body kick from Weedman. Front kick from Michel scores. Weedman slips attempting a head kick and ends up on his back with Michel landing punches hovering over him. Weedmanis back up, lands a body kick. Spinning backfist by Michel. Outside trip by Weedman, lands in side control. They tie up briefly. Spinning back kick and front kick from Michel score. Weedman’s face marked up pretty significantly, one eye almost closed. Michel pouring on the attack. Weedman shoots, goes for a leg lock and time is up. PMN scores it 10-9 and 30-27 for Weedman.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Brent Weedman def. Thiago Michel by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal
Rick Hawn vs. Lloyd Woodard
Round 1 – Clinch. Hawn pushes him to the cage. Hawn backs out. Woodard pressing forward, clinch, knee from Woodard. Hawn turns him to the cage pressing, knee, and short punches to the body from Hawn. Hammerfists to the body from Woodard. Knee from Woodard. Knee from Woodard. Hawn leaning on Woodard against the cage. Low blow from Woodard but ref didn’t see it. REf separates them. Leg kick from Hawn. Woodard talking to him, telling him to come on. Woodard, jump knee attempt. Body clinch, outside trip from Hawn and Woodard is on his back. Hawn in side mount but Woodard gets up. Jab from Hawn. Woodard goes for the takedown, gets a body clinch from behind. Knee from Woodard. Hawn turns him to the cage leaning on him. Knee from Hawn. Less than a minute to go. Ref wants action. Knees from both. Ref separates. Woodard presses, clinch, Hawn presses to the cage. Knee to the thighs from Hawn. Woodard looks frustrated. PMN scores it 10-9 Hawn.
Round 2 – Woodard presses, gets dropped with a big right hand. Walked right into a big right gets dropped and this fight is over. Hawn followed up with a couple hammerfists. Woodard’s eyes were rolled back; he just got over-zealous and walked right into it. Hawn used a perfect gameplan to frustrate Woodard and it worked to a tee.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Rick Hawn def. Lloyd Woodard by TKO (punches) Rd 2 (:10)
Middleweight Tournament Semifinal
Maiquel Falcao vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
Round 1 – Vasilevsky drops Falcao with a punch. Falcao seems okay and throws up an armbar attempt. Vasilevsky escapes and is inside full guard. Falcao kicks Vasilevsky back and stands up but Vasilevsky immediately trips him back to the ground. Falcao bounces right up, clinched, knee from Falcao. Another trip, outside, from Vasilevsky, Faclao regains his balance. (Lost power here; play-by-play for this round incomplete) PMN scored this round 10 for Vasilevsky.
Round 2 – Leg kick Falcao. One two Vasilevsky. Straight left from Vasilevsky. It’s a boxing match for the first couple minutes, then a trip takedown from Vasilevsky, lands in side control. Falcao gets to his knees, feet, drives in for a takedown. Vasilevsky goes for a standing guillotine, lets it go. Clinch, knee from Vasilevsky, tries a trip. One two from Falcao. Underhooks from Vasilevsky. He goes for a trip but Falcao uses the fence for leverage and lands on top inside guard. Hammerfists from Falcao. Under a minute to go. Body and head shots from Falcao. PMN scores it 10-9 Vasilevsky.
Round 3 – Big right from Falcao, clinch, dirty boxing, a big left from Falcao. Knee from Falcao. Another knee, again. Leg kick from Falcao. Vasilevsky goes for the trip, can’t get it. Right hand from Falcao but Vasilevsky gets a takedown. Falcao sweeps Vasilevsky, ends up on top in half guard. He postures up with a right, hammer fist, body shots. One minute to go. More hammer fists from Falcao. Vasilevsky gets to his feet. Knee to the body from Falcao, another one from Falcao. Vasilevsky with a takedown. That’s it. PMN scores the round 10-9 Falcao, the fight 29-28 for Vasilevsky.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Maiquel Falcao def. Vasilevsky by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight Tournament Semifinal
Brian Rogers vs. Andreas Spang
Round 1 – Leg kick Rogers. Again. Leg kick Spang. Again. Time called for low blow by Rogers. Spang turns his back after a big shot from Rogers. Rogers slips on a kick and Spang jumps on his back with a standing rear naked choke. Rogers defending but carrying the full weight of his opponent. Rogers puts him down lands some shots. Spang tries to touch gloves, no dice. Spang pushed him at the weigh ins. Big right from Rogers rocks Spang. Flying knee by Rogers. Repeat. Spang seems okay. Throws a one two. Two minutes left. Leg kick Rogers. Rogers catches a kick misses a big punch. Spang goes for an ankle lock. Rogers escapes, takes Spang’s back, goes for the choke but is off to the side. Spang escapes and is on top inside full guard. Under a minute to go. Spang with a diving left and body shots. Rogers with closed guard. nice right hands by Spang. Rogers kicks him off for a moment but the round is over with Spang landing some ground and pound. PMN scores the round 10-9 for Rogers.
Round 2 – Rogers lands a combo to start the round, backs Spang up. Push kick from Spang. Rogers catches a low kick, counter right. Clinch, knee from Rogers. Nice left from Spang. Again. Big left to the body from Rogers. Leg kick Rogers. Spang with a left. Right from Rogers. Uppercut and a right from Rogers. Hurts Spang with a big left. Left from Spang. Spang was rocked badly. Jab from Rogers. Left from Rogers. Spang lands a counter left and Rogers goes down, Spang dives on with a follow up diving right hammer fist to finish it. Rogers let Spang off the hook when he had him hurt and this is what can happen. Tough loss from Brian Rogers. He complains about the stoppage but I think it was legit.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Andreas Spang def. Brian Rogers by knockout (pounches) Rd 2 (3:34)
Maiquel Falcao and Andreas Spang almost go at it after the fight in the cage. We’ll have to wait just a little longer for that middleweight tournament final!
Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez
Round 1 – Aoki tries a high kick, Alvarez pushes hiim back. Aoki flashing a jab. Aoki looks bigger. Right to the body from Alvarez. Aoki shoots and Alvarez gets out of the way. Push kick from Aoki. Right hand from Alvarez. Right hand from Aoki, and Alvarez back peddles. Right counter to the body by Alvarez. Aoki attempts a right elbow strike. Alvarez counters with a short right punch and Aoki goes down. He’s not hurt at this point but Alvarez jumps on him and follows up with a flurry of punches and Aoki is done. His corner throws in the towel but the ref never saw it, but he does end up stopping the fight. Aoki didn’t go out but he got bombarded. Now it’s 1-1. Aoki finished Alvarez with a submission in Japan in 2008 and now Alvarez finishes Aoki via TKO in the U.S.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Eddie Alvarez def. Shinya Aoki by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (2:14)