The line-up at Bellator 80 offered a promising card with plenty of action for MMA fans. The main event featured Joe “The Baddest Man on the Planet” Warren against Owen “Country Boy” Evinger in a bout promising to make one career or break another.
Warren, the 2006 Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion, faced off against Evinger, a former high school wrestler. Warren was coming off of two consecutive KO losses, a loss this time could put his MMA career in jeopardy. The upside for Evinger was that a win could launch his career in a completely different direction.
Evinger and Warren had opposing strategies. Warren wanted a ground game, but Evinger wanted to keep the match standing. He said he worried that a ground fight with Warren could be disastrous and said he would do whatever he had to in order to get back to his feet.
Warren immediately tried to create a ground and pound situation. Evinger stopped this drive short, but only for a moment as Warren came right back, taking him down in his second attempt.
A bizarre moment for MMA fans occurred when Warren stood up, picking Evinger up, in an attempt to drop him in a full suplex. His attempt failed and Evinger gained footing for a moment before Warren ended back on top of him with a full mount.
Even though the entire match consisted of Warren’s dominant take down and grappling maneuvers Evinger’s talent in protecting himself and keeping his opponent tied up shined through. However, he just could not out-wrestle Warren for a decisive win. An unanimous decision for Warren sealed his victory.
Warren’s career record is at 8-3 and Evinger’s 7-4.
Alexander “Drago” Volkov faced challenger Vinicius “Spartan” Kappke de Quieroz for an exciting match. Both men stand at 6” 7″ with impressive reaches. Like Warren and Evinger, they had different approaches. Apparently so did the ref.
Volkov was determined to keep the match upright while Quieroz kept attempting to make it a ground game. Every time Volkov was dropped to the mat he would tie Quieroz up. Quieroz could not land any blows and wasted most of the time trying to free himself.
The ref intervened once to stand the two fighters up, warning Quieroz he was not allowed to use his head. MMA fans tuned in to Bellator know it that while it is illegal to headbutt the use of the head to grind in is not.
This interference put Volkov back in the position he favored, standing. As the match progressed Volkov was able to land blow after blow, Quieroz was a different story. He was able to land his less powerful front jabs but not able to follow through with his stronger rear hand punches.
Volkov is a master of cutting in and out at angles and used this to his advantage. As the match drew to a close Volkov delivered a strong left-right-left combo that stunned Quieroz, leaving his defenses down for a mere second. A right blow drops Quieroz to the mat, but Volkov opted to stand and strike rather than go for the ground game. True to his strategy, Volkov steps back and lets Quieroz stand to his feet.
Quieroz sees an opportunity to take Volkov down and follows through. The strategy is short lived because the ref again interfered, standing the two combatants up within mere seconds. Quieroz seemed to be clouded at this point. Volkov headed in for the kill, waylaying on him and winning with one second to go in the second round.
Volkov ended up 18-3 and Quieroz 6-3.
Rad Martinez and Wagnney “The Silencer” Fabiano went the full three rounds with an unanimous decision delivered in Martinez’s favor. Fabiano kept trying to tie up Martinez but simply could not. Each attempt to drop Martinez ended in a clench with Fabiano against the fence.
Martinez record now stands at 14-2 to Fabiano’s 15-4.
The match-up between Brett “Fudoshin” Cooper and Darryl “Devastating” Cobb also went the full three rounds with an unanimous decision in Cooper’s favor. The match was heavily dominated by Cooper and his ground game, Cobb being punished with nowhere to go.
Cooper finished with a record of 17-7 and Cobb 10-6.
Ryan “No Love” DeRocher and Taylor Krahl’s match was short-lived. “No Love” is an appropriate nickname for Ryan, because that is what he showed for Krahl.
In the first 20 seconds of the fight DeRocher dropped Krahl with a right hook. Krahl was stunned but seemed to wake up as he hit the mat. DeRocher wasted no time, rushing in to pound away on Krahl before the ref tackled him and the match was called due to KO.
DeRocher comes away 4-4 and Krahl 3-2.
Cosmo “Good Boy” Alexandre and Josh “Quay” Quayhagen faced off for three bloody rounds. Both of Quayhagen’s brows were cut from blows and kept reopening each round after being staunched. Alexandre kept the match off the ground, which worked to his advantage.
The fight ended leaving Alexandre 5-1 and Quayhagen 6-1.
Shannon “Heartbreak Kid” Slack met challenger Sky “El Chivo Loco” Moiseichik with anticipation. Moiseichik, a former cross country runner, believed his stamina and stand up game would win out over Slack’s wrestling skills.
Moiseichik’s world was turned upside-down, literally, as Slack almost performed a full-body slam on him. The entire first round was dominated by Slack’s ground game. Despite his manager’s advice to keep the fight upright, Moiseichik started round two attempting to take Slack to the ground.
Moiseichik’s belief that his stamina would last longer was misplaced because Slack’s training as a wrestler gives him the advantage to continue performing when on the ground. Once again, Slack owned the round.
In the third round Moiseichik tried to keep Slack at bay, but to no avail. Once again, Slack took the fight to the mat. When he finally got the chance to get up he shoot for a clench and was dropped by a double leg take down.
Moiseichik derided Slack, calling him “The Decisionator” for his ability to win by decision. It was time to eat crow as the match ended and was called in Slack’s favor.
The two opponents walked away with Slack 6-1 and Moiseichik 3-2.
Cristiano “Soldier Boy” Souza and Robert Otani faced off in a short, but powerful match. Otari accidentally delivered a kick that caught Souza’s cup. He stopped for a moment, allowing Souza to recoup. Souza received a warning because the ref did not notice the groin kick and had not called for a time-out when Souza asked for one.
Souza delivered a left hook, dropping Otani, and then followed through with more blows to his opponent as soon as the match restarted. The match was called at 2:46 with a KO from a left hook to the chin.
Souza remained undefeated with a new record of 5-0. Otani finished 3-3-1.
Joe “The Doctor” Vedepo and Mike “El Gringo Diablo” Bernhard was another unusual, but exciting match for MMA fans. Vedepo shot in to take down Bernhard, ending up in a triangle. Vedepo angled Bernhard against the fence to try and gain composure.
The result was an awkward triangle where neither men could truly defend or attack one another. Vedepo raised himself up to try escaping the triangle and to gain composure, forcing Bernhard to tap out.
The factor for the win was too much pressure on Bernhard’s neck from Vedepo’s left shin. The new move was coined as the Vedepo choke. It was a great moment for Vedepo’s Bellator debut.
Vedepo finished 14-5 and Bernhard 9-5.
Brandon Girtz and Michael “El Campo” Quinones both made their Bellator debut, opening the night’s line-up with their fight going the full three rounds. Girtz fought southpaw, making the attack factor harder for Quinones.
Girtz’s ground and pound techniques dominated Quinones, leaving him cut up from the blows. The match was called in Girtz’s favor.
Girtz walked away 9-3 and Quinones 3-1.
Here is the complete list of results from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sunrise Florida.
- Joe Warren def. Owen Evinger via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alexander Volkov def. Vinicius Queiroz via TKO (strikes) Round 2, 4:59 – heavyweight tourney semifinal
- Rad Martinez def. Wagnney Fabiano via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) – featherweight tourney semifinal
- Brett Cooper def. Darryl Cobb via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Cristiano Souza def. Robert Otani via KO (punches) – Round 1, 2:46
- Cosmo Alexandre def. Josh Quayhagen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Shanon Slack def. Sky Moiseichik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ryan DeRocher def. Taylor Krahl via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:20
- Joe Vedepo def. Mike Bernhard via submission (shin choke) – Round 1, 3:26