SAN JOSE — The stage is set for Bellator’s greatest venture at the SAP Center in the Bay Area.
Trending on Twitter in the United States a little over an hour before the show was scheduled to hit television screens on Spike TV, Bellator: Dynamite 1 proved itself to be as popular as it was marketable.
Headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between undefeated champion Liam McGeary and Tito Ortiz, Bellator Dynamite 1 features a four-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament to determine the next title contender at 205 pounds.
The main card also features the debut of two former UFC contenders, light heavyweight Phil Davis and lightweight Josh Thomson, as they both look to make their way up the Bellator ranks to secure a title shot in their respective divisions.
Results for the MMA bouts on the card are as follows:
- Francis Carmont def. Anthony Ruiz via unanimous decision
- Thomas Diagne vs. Mike Malott ruled a majority draw (29-28 Diagne, 28-28 x 2)
- Adam Piccolotti def. Salvador Becerra via submission (Round 2, 1:47)
- Gabriel Carrasco def. Joe Neal via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
- Matt Ramirez vs. Josh Paiva
- James Terry vs. Carlos Rocha
Semifinal No. 1: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Linton Vassell
Round 1: Both fighters came out somewhat timid in the early goings of the first round — which makes sense considering this was the first of two bouts for the victor. Lawal caught Vassell early with a right hand, dropping the English figther for a moment. He consistently found a home for that right hand, forcing Vassell to hit the mat several times toward the end of the round.
Round 2: Vassell looked to be the aggressor heading into Round 2. He stalked Lawal, landing several body kicks before “King Mo” began unleashing some more of those stiff punches we saw in the first. The two exchanged body slams before Lawal found himself clinching his opponent up against the cage in the final minute.
Result: Lawal def. Vassell via unanimous decision
NOTE: Lawal was injured during the bout, and would not be able to continue into the tournament’s final bout.
Semifinal No. 2: Phil Davis vs. Emmanuel Newton
Round 1: Newton opened up with some of his trademark spinning strikes, but Davis opened up with his trademark attack as well — taking the former Bellator champ down and keeping him on the canvas for a majority of the round. Newton managed to make his way back to his feet twice, but “Mr. Wonderful’s” power wrestling approach overwhelmed Newton. Davis grabbed a hold of one of his opponent’s arms, cranking the kimura submission back and forcing the tap.
Result: Davis def. Newton via submission (Round 1, 4:39)
Josh Thomson vs. Mike Bronzoulis
Round 1: Thomson started the round switching back and forth between a southpaw and orthodox stance, eventually using them to secure a trip takedown. Bronzoulis had no answers for Thomson’s top game, struggling to defend against a good portion of “The Real Punk’s” grappling advances.
Round 2: Bronzoulis managed to do OK on the feet, but he couldn’t sustain that success for long — Thomson eventually got this bout back to the ground and dominated the lesser grappler for a good portion of the middle round. It wasn’t until the final seconds of the round that Thomson began opening up with strikes from a high posture position.
Round 3: Thomson acted much quicker in the final round, securing the another easy takedown before finding the arm triangle submission.
Result: Thomson def. Bronzoulis via submission (Round 3, 0:39)
Francis Carmont vs. Phil Davis
Round 1: The fighters opened up timidly, showcasing the sort of approach you’d expect in their first bout, not their second. But just as the fans inside the SAP Center found themselves restless, Davis forced them to change their boos into cheers by knocking Carmont out with a vicious left hook.
Result: Davis def. Carmont via KO (Round 1, 2:15)
Liam McGeary vs. Tito Ortiz
Round 1: Ortiz went for a double-leg takedown early, finding himself in a dangerous position as McGeary looked to secure the guillotine choke. The champion eventually let go, allowing Ortiz to gain top position from the full guard. McGeary failed to do much to get back to his feet, tying Ortiz up several times. The champion nearly sunk in an armbar before being slammed to the canvas. Shortly after, McGeary locked in an inverted triangle choke from the bottom, forcing the elder fighter to tap for a breath of fresh air.
Result: McGeary def. Ortiz via submission (Round 1, 4:41)