[ads1]Bellator MMA 97 will close out the promotion’s Summer Season this evening at Stage nightclub at the Santa Ana Star Casino in Rio Rancho, N.M. Headlining the card will be a Lightweight Title bout between undefeated champion Michael Chandler (11-0) and Bellator season eight lightweight tournament winner David Rickels (14-1).
Bellator MMA 97 also features a Welterweight Title Fight between champion Ben Askren (11-0) and challenger Andrey Koreshkov (13-0), both who are unbeaten in pro MMA competition. Bellator MMA 97 also includes the Summer Season’s Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight Tournament Finals.
The first fight kicks off at 3:30 p.m. MT (5:30 p.m. ET) and will live on Spike.com The televised portion of the night will begin at 5 p.m. MT (7 p.m. ET) and will air live on Spike TV. ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary of all the action.
Bellator MMA 97 quick results:
- Bellator Lightweight World Title Fight: Michael Chandler def. David Rickels by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (:44)
- Bellator Welterweight World Title Fight: Ben Askren def. Andrey Koreshkov by TKO (punches) Rd 4 (2:58)
- Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: King Mo def. Jacob Noe by TKO (verbal submission) Rd 3 (:51)
- Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final: Vitaly Minakov def. Ryan Martinez by TKO (punches) Rd 3 (4:02)
- Featherweight Feature Fight: Patricio Pitbull def. Jared Downing by TKO (punches) Rd 2 (:54)
- Catchweight Feature Fight (158 lbs.): Will Brooks def. Cris Leyva by TKO (punches) Rd 3 (2:20)
- Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Rafael Silva def. Rodrigo Lima by submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 3 (2:03)
- Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Anthony Leone def. Frank Baca by submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 3 (1:07)
- Lightweight Feature Fight: Bubba Jenkins def. Mike Barreras by TKO (punches) Rd 2 (1:05)
- Catchweight Feature Fight Jeremy Kimball def. Keith Berry by knockout (punches) Rd 2 (1:45)
- Bantamweight Feature Fight: Shawn Bunch def. Russell Wilson by split decision
- Bantamweight Catchweight Fight (150 lbs): Javier Palacios def. Richard Jacques by unanimous decision
- Bantamweight Feature Fight: Adrian Cruz def. Felipe Chavez by TKO (punches) Rd 2
- Featherweight Feature Fight: Cliff Wright Jr. (148.8) vs. Donald Sanchez (145.4)
Bellator MMA 97 play-by-play:
Mike Barreras vs. Bubba Jenkins
Round 1 – Jenkins runs to the center, gets a takedown but Barreras right back up. Jenkins goes for a single. Barreras jumps into a standing guillotine and they go down in full guard. Jenkins stands up with Barreras still hanging on. Barreras stands on his feet then gets slammed to the ground but Jenkins is caught in a guillotine once again. Jenkins escapes and has full mount. Scramble to the feet. Beautiful head kick from Jenkins. Barreras eats it, shoots in. Jenkins hits the switch and ends up on top in half guard. Jenkins lands a few big right hands, more punches to the jaw from Jenkins. Elbows from Jenkins. More punches to the head and body. That was a tight guillotine Barreras had earlier. Jenkins lets him up and gets stunned with a big left hook. Clinch, Jenkins turns him to the cage. Drops levels. Jenkins gets the takedown but gets caught in a guillotine inside full guard. He pops his head out, and gives Barreras some body shots for his trouble. Barreras face a bit busted up. PMN has it 10-9 Jenkins.
Round 2 – Barreras is a former teammate of King Mo. Jenkins lands a big right, puts Barreras on his back then unloads huge punches to the face and side of the head until the referee is forced to stop it. Great fight and great performance from the emerging lightweight who is now 4-0 in his young career.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Bubba Jenkins def. Mike Barreras by TKO (punches) Rd 2 (1:05)
Jared Downing vs. Patricio Pitbull
Round 1 – Right from Pitbull. Left jab. Head kick. Downing still pressing, eats a big right and gets dropped. Downing shoots in but gets caught in a guillotine, pops his head out and now has top control inside butterfly guard. Pitbull’s back to the cage, he stands up. Body lock from Downing, knees to thighs. Pitbull turns him around to the cage. Ref wants action, breaks them up. Left hook from Pitbull. Downing pressing. Body kick from Downing, eats a right. Side kick from Pitbull. Leg kick Downing. Right from Downing, eats a counter. Downing not afraid to get in the pocket and right back out. Brief clinch, leg kick from Downing. Right left from Downing. Slips a big right. Big left right counter from Pitbull drops Downing, he gets up but is rocked. Pitbull backs him to the cage with more combinations. Downing clinches up and turns Pitbull to the cage. Drops levels for a single. Knees to thigh from Downing. Takedown from Downing, inside full guard. PMN sees it 10-9 Pitbull.
Round 2 – Leg kick Downing. Head kick Pitbull scores. Downing still coming forward. Leg kick inside. Clinch, break. Big left right combo puts Downing down but he gets right up. One more time, back up and one more time the left right puts Downing down for the final time. His head bounces off the canvas and the ref has seen enough. Great stuff. Downing has balls though, he kept coming forward every time.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Patricio Pitbull def. Jared Downing by TKO (punches) Rd 2 (:54)
Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov
Round 1 – Minakov is taller but Martinez has the reach advantage. Touch gloves. Martinez uses a couple of counter punches and Minakov clinches up against the cage. Elbow and a knee from Minakov, looking for the trip. Martinez with body shots and uses the fence to stop the trip. Knee to body from Minakov but Martinez trips him to the ground. As Minakov gets up he’s caught in a guillotine. He gets free but eats a shot. Spinning backfist from Minakov. Jab from Minakov. Right hook counter from Martinez. Clinch, and inside trip from Minakov. On top in half guard. Martinez to his knees and feet, eats a knee. Huge left hand from Martinez stuns Minakov, he clinches against the cage. Knees from both, Minakov backs out. Clinch, nice right elbow on the break from Minakov. Martinez wings a couple hooks that miss. Nice straight right from Minakov. Clinch, knee from Martinez. Right hook off the break from Martinez. Couple right counters. Right from Minakov. Minakov shoots for a double, stuffed. Clinched against the cage. Interesting. Close round. PMN has it 10-9 Minakov.
Round 2 – Roy Nelson giving Martinez advice in his corner between rounds. Touch gloves. Right from Minakov. Right from Martinez. Big right left from Minakov. Right hand. Clinch and battle for the takedown. Martinez’s nose bleeding pretty good now. Dirty boxing from Minakov. He lands a low blow and time is called for Martinez to recover. Ref takes a point with no warning. Very strange. Right from Minakov, then a left. Another right. Martinez flat footed, fighting the counter game at this point. Jab from Minakov. Right from Martinez. Nice right from Minakov. Again. Nice jab from Minakov. Left hand from Martinez. Again. Minakov ducks into a left uppercut. Seems okay. Right hook from Martinez. Good pace from the big boys. Martinez sticks his chin out for him. No kicks being thrown. Minakov shoots, stuffed, presses Martinez to the cage, gives a knee. PMN sees it 9-9 after the point deduction.
Round 3 – Right counter from Martinez, again. Again. He slips a couple punches from Minakov. They trade rights. Nice left counter from Martinez, they trade in the pocket. Uppercut, left from Minakov, backs Martinez to the cage and takes him down hard, on top inside full guard, he stacks him with punches. Martinez tries to get up but gets put on his back with Minakov in full mount and landing punches and elbows. Martinez in very bad shape with only 2 minutes to go. Minakov laying on the punishment. Martinez tries to sit up but Minakov forces him back down and continues the beating with only one minute left. A series of right hands finish Martinez and the ref steps in. Minakov will move on to fight for the title. He is now 12–0 in MMA.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Vitaly Minakov def. Ryan Martinez by TKO (punches) Rd 3 (4:02)
King Mo vs. Jacob Noe
Round 1 – They do shake hands. Noe initiated it. Tension. Touch gloves. Big leg kick from Noe. Again. Real big. Easy takedown for Mo. In side control and lands two big left hands to the face. Noe gets to his knees and feet but Mo puts him right back down. Noe lands some hammerfists. Noe gets back to his knees. Noe working hard. Mo pressing him to the cage. Noe gets up but Mo holding the single. Mo gets him back down, knee to the body from Mo. He lets Noe up and backs up. Hands up. Mo blocks a kick. Big double leg takedown from Mo. Inside full guard. Mo working the ground and pound. Mo in half guard now. Noe punches from the bottom. A few boos from the crowd and Mo lays on some more damage, Noe eating several left hands. Noe recovers full guard but only for a moment. Noe sits up, breathing very hard. He had a hard weight cut. ONe more knee to the body from Mo before the bell.
Round 2 -Nice inside leg kick from Noe. Mo looking to counter, lands an overhand right and a takedown. Mo inside full guard. Noe landing strikes from the bottom. Body shots from Mo. Mo staying busy with hammerfists. Noe throws his legs up for an armbar. Mo stacks him and Noe lets it go. Mo continues the punishment, huge right hand and Noe is breathing very hard. Mo just smothering him, every time Noe tries to get up he gets put back down and continues to eat shots. 1:20 left in the round. Mo in half guard, drops some hammerfists. Under a minute to go. Mo finishes on top in half guard. PMN has it 10-9 for Mo.
Round 3 – Reebok commercial with Rampage just played. Pretty cool. Touch gloves. Mo shoots under punches for the takedown. Mo on top in half guard. Noe gets his back to the cage. Eats a couple shots. Noe bleeding badly under his left eye but he makes it to his feet. Great left jab from Mo, then a big right hand. Noe has some serious heart. Wings an overhand right. Mo gets one more takedown with half the round down. Blood all in the eyes of Noe as Mo lands more punches and the ref has seen enough. The King is $100,000 richer and will fight for the title next. Mo goes over to say hi to Roy Jones and Bjorn and Rampage at cageside. Mo calls out Emanuel Newton and Attila Vegh.
OFFICIAL RESULT: King Mo def. Jacob Noe by TKO (verbal submission) Rd 3 (:51)
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Rampage Jackson to fight…. — not Roy Jones Jr. but Tito Ortiz! Yes, Tito has joined the Bellator family!! CRAZINESS!! Let’s hear your thoughts on this…
Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov
Round 1 – Ben shoots, sprawl, knee from Ben, body lock from Ben and he muscles Andrey to the mat, now in full mount. Andrey sits up, Ben stays on top landing some small punches, now locks on a guillotine from full guard, thumbs up from Koreshkov. He lets the choke go. Askren all over Koreshkov. Back to the feet. Askren scoops him back to the ground. Askren on his back, lands some hammerfists. Koreshkov on his knees. Askren landing punches. Askren goes for the RNC, lets it go. Askren staying busy, gets both hooks in, looking for the choke again. Koreshkov gets to his knees. Askren softening him up. Elbows to the kidneys from Askren. Blind elbow from Koreshkov. PMN has it 10-9 Askren.
Round 2 – Askren shoots in, stuffed, Askren ends up on top anyway in side mount. Askren in full mount, Koreshkov gives up his back. Eats some hammerfists. Koreshkov to his feet, gets flattened out with Ben on his back. They roll, Askren looking for the choke. Koreshkov cut under his right eye. Boos from the crowd. Askren in side mount. Lands some hammerfists as Askren gets him in a modified crucifix. Now in full crucifix Askren lands several punches before the bell. PMN has it 10-9 Askren.
Round 3 – Askren shoots, eats a knee. He puts Koreshkov down again, landing body shots. Now in full mount. I hope to God this doesn’t last for five rounds. Askren landing some nice shots from the mount after a scramble. Askren landing controlled punches as the crowd boos at the measured pace. Koreshkov tries to roll but can’t get away from the “Funky” one. Askren poses for the crowd. How about a finish? PMN has it 10-9 Askren.
Round 4 – Koreshkov sprawls the shot but Askren still manages to get him down, gets full mount, hops over with a head-and-arm choke. Koreshkov probably ready to get this over with as much as we are. Somehow Askren just lets it go and goes back to the pitter patter punches. Askren gets a crucifix and lands some elbows and hammerfists. Askren now in full mount. Askren talking to the ref, he lands a few hard punches to the face and Koreshkov’s face is busted up pretty good. Askren flattens him out, lands some more and the ref finally gives us what we wanted. The end. And just in case you think I’m being too hard on the Funky one, I totally respect what he can do. I get it. I just don’t like to watch it. At least not tonight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ben Askren def. Andrey Koreshkov by TKO (punches) Rd 4 (2:58)
Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels
Round 1 – Inside leg kick from Rickels, outside leg kick. Left hook counter. Front kick. Leg kick. Chandler with a left hook. Body kick Rickels. Right from Chandler after catching a kick. Chandler catches Rickels as he tries to stand in the pocket. Chandler’s hand speed was just too much. Rickels is out cold. Two left jabs, a right hand that drops Rickels to his knees. Chandler finished him off with several more rights. Great performance. A complete 180 degrees from the co-headliner.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Michael Chandler def. David Rickels by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (:44)