Bellator MMA tournament adds one more name to the list of champions for this season – Daniel Strauss was crowned Featherweight winner this past Friday in Atlantic City. It started as a pretty evenly matched fight but that didn’t last long as Marlon Sandro got nicked with a fulminating, albeit accidental, low blow during the first minute of the bout. Sandro took the full 5 minutes to recover. Later on he explained “I fight for the fans too and I didn’t want the show to end there. So I pushed to continue fighting”. During the press conference, still in pain, he was rethinking if that had been the wise decision to be made.
Even injured, Sandro didn’t make it easy for Strauss to take the title home. At the end of the third round Sandro was able to wrap a tight arm triangle on Strauss who later commented “Yes it was tight. If he took me down that would have been a wrap!”. But Strauss was able to finally escape the submission and ended up taking Sandro down and attempting a submission himself on Sandro’s back. He ended up winning on all the judges cards and taking home the gigantically sized $100,000 check and the title.
Two GMA members marked presence on this Bellator. The first GMA to enter the ring was George Sernack’s Claudio Ledesma. Even though he attempted some moves from the bottom Ledesma was eventually defeated by Anthony Leone on a Split Decision.
The bout before last, the Bantamweight semifinal, was won by GMA Marcos “Loro” Galvão who trains with Victor Shaolin in New York City. Both fighters entered the ring after having recently lost a close family member. Loro entered with a big banner and shirt portraying his mother whose birthday would have been this past Thursday. Even though this was a fight between an expert wrestler and a Jiu Jitsu champion, both fighters stayed up, with Loro defeating all of Marx’s take down attempts. The win was a unanimous decision for Galvão who dedicated the fight to his mother “This has been my dream since I was a kid”. To get the crown he will have to beat either Hiroshi Nakamura or Luis Nogueira, where the decision bout is yet to be scheduled.
A fight worthy of mentioning to Jiu Jitsu fans was the bout between Marcin Held and Derrick Kennington. Held was hit right in the beginning and decided to take the fight to the ground. First with a tight omoplata which he transitioned into an armbar. A minute later Held attempted a takedown. Derrick fought to stay on the top. Without flinching, Held just went for the leg and ended up sinking a beautiful heel hook. It was the only submission of the night but certainly a great showing for all BJJ fans. Held later apologized saying that he still didn’t have good hands to stand up and he is working to get them in better shape. From where I stood, it sounded like the entire crowd was with me, happy to have seen a great submission.
Exclusive Gracie Mag Gallery and full results below.
Francois Ambang def. Gregory Milliard via Split Decision
Anthony Leone def. Claudio Ledesma via Split Decision
Aung La N Sang def. Jesus Martinez via TKO at 0:36 of Round One
Don Carlo-Clauss def. Jacob Kirwan via Split Decision
Marius Zaromskis def. Waachiim Spiritwolf via TKO (Doctor Stoppage due to Facial Laceration) at 5:00 of Round Two
Marcin Held def. Derrick Kennington via Submission (Heel Hook) at 2:08 of Round One
Marcos Pereira Galvao def. Travis Marx via Unanimous Decision
Daniel Straus def. Marlon Sandro via Unanimous Decision