We’re heading into the world of Bellator MMA for our next review as we take a look at the three tournament finals at their 107th show, shown this past Friday night on Viva here in Britain.
The show began with lightweight action as Martin Stapleton went up against Derek Campos.
This proved to be a solid opener. Stapleton got in a few good blows early on, but as soon as Campos scored with the takedown his confidence grew as he took control.
That control lasted for the remainder of the fight. He was always able to counter the Brit in the stand-up, and when the fight went to the ground he was always on the offence, either looking to improve his position so he could go for a submission or so he could unleash with the ground and pound. Stapleton was able to defend against this at times, but those times were few and far between.
As for the judges all of them gave everything to Campos.
The middleweight tournament final saw Brennan Ward taking on Mikkel Parlo.
This was a very interesting encounter. Parlo looked good early on with his striking, and he also showed some sound defensive skills when Ward went for a couple of throws. The Dane then instigated a clinch against the cage as he tried to grind down his opponent, and it was a tactic that not only frustrated Ward but Ward’s corner as well.
When the second round began Parlo continued with his sound striking, but this time around Ward began to work his way back into the fight. It wasn’t long before a straight left put Parlo on his backside, and even though Parlo managed to avoid the takedown again Ward began to connect with a series of rights to the body, followed by a series clubbing rights against the cage. Parlo looked out of it as the referee stepped in to give Ward the TKO win.
The bantamweight tournament final saw Travis Marx going up against Joe Warren.
I really enjoyed this one. It began with Marx getting off some good strikes, but as soon as Warren scored with the takedown that was it. He was all over Marx like the proverbial cheap suit, and although Marx managed to scramble back to his feet he soon found himself back on the mat after a slam that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a professional wrestling ring.
It was pretty much the same story in the second round, but after some more great wrestling from Warren he showed that he had some striking power as well. As Marx got back to his feet he turned to face Warren in the clinch. Warren connected with a knee to the chin. Marx dropped instantly, and after a few well-placed ground and pound shots the referee stepped in to give Warren the TKO win.
The heavyweight final saw Peter Graham facing Cheick Kongo.
As expected striking was the order of the day in this encounter. Graham looked good early on, but as the first round went on Kongo began to come into the fight. His striking in the Thai clinch looked brutal at times, and it came as no surprise when he opened up a cut near Graham’s left eye.
It was pretty much the same thing in the second round. Graham started to look exhausted as Kongo continued to beat him down. Then, surprisingly, the Frenchman scored with a takedown. There were no fancy dan submissions from him though, just some good old fashioned ground and pound.
More takedowns from Kongo followed in the third round, with an elbow opening up Graham’s cut a little more, and although the man from down under had a small iota of success he looked like a beaten man by the time the fight came to an end.
Which meant one final job for the judges. No surprises here as they gave everything to Kongo.
In conclusion – this was another solid show from the good folks at Bellator. All four fights delivered. They were pretty enjoyable, and rounded off the respective tournaments nicely.
As for my fight of the night no-prize this time around this prestigious award goes to Joe Warren’s defeat of Travis Marx in the bantamweight final.
So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing left to do, and that’s to give Bellator 107 the thumbs up.
By day I’m an unemployed retail worker, and at weekends I volunteer at a local museum, but by night I’m the author of The Two Sheds Review, Britain’s longest running professional wrestling and mixed martial arts blog. Visit my site at www.twoshedsreview.vze.com. It’s been online in one form or another since June 2000!