Sherdog.com will report from the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Okla., with play-by-play and live results of Bellator 37, which is headlined by Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
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Brandon Shelton vs. Adam Snook
Both fighters meet in the center of the cage, with two right inside low kicks connecting for Snook. Shelton grabs a punch and then drops for a battle of ankle locks. Shelton is in guard, landing punches until he is pulled back in a deep closed guard. Shelton locks on a deep arm triangle and Snook submits at 2:45 of the first.
Kenny Foster vs. Eric Larkin
Referee Jason Herzog starts the first featherweight quarterfinal. The men touch gloves and begin circling. Foster tries a big overhand left but whiffs. Foster then cuts Larkin with a kick that Larkin ducks into. Foster controls with a front headlock. Larkin is bleeding badly, but he escapes. Foster barely dodges a head kick. Foster circles left and stuffs a Larkin takedown. Larkin stands and executes a beautiful outside trip, nearly securing Foster's back before Foster escapes back to his feet. Larkin lands a leg kick and looks much more comfortable now. Foster catches another leg kick and takes Larkin down. Quickly, Foster locks up a guillotine and pulls guard as Larkin tries to escape. After a brief struggle, Larkin taps out at 3:15 of the opening period.
Daniel Straus vs. Nazareno Malegarie
Jason Herzog kicks off this second featherweight quarterfinal. The men touch gloves, and Malegarie closes the distance. The Argentine takes him down, secures his back and locks up a body triangle. Straus is defending the rear-naked choke well and is trying hard to turn into Malegarie's guard. Malegarie's back control is suffocating, but he cannot cinch the choke. Now out of the body triangle, Straus explodes and ends up in top position. Malegarie immediately locks up a guillotine and switches to an anaconda choke, using it to sweep the American. Straus scrambles and picks Malegarie up, slamming him to the floor. Both men are now back on their feet, and Malegarie secures the Thai plum, landing some nice knees to the body. Sherdog.com sees it 10-9 Malegarie.
Round two begins, and Straus lands a nice inside leg kick before dropping Malegarie with a beautiful left straight. Straus pounces, but Malegarie immediately dives on a leg for a kneebar. Straus scoots out, but Malegarie crawls on top and looks for a kimura from north-south. Malegarie then tries an arm-in-guillotine as Straus tries to get to his feet. Straus pops his head out fairly easily, however. Malegarie stands and takes a couple of punches as he gathers his base. Malegarie lands an inside leg kick, and Straus drives for a takedown. The Argentine defends well, however, circling off the cage. Another inside leg kick from Malegarie. Straus answer with a head kick that is blocked. Straus throws Malegarie on his face from the clinch, but the jiu-jitsu fighter springs back to his feet and dives for a single from the clinch. Malegarie lands a nice right hand on the break. Straus pops Malegarie with a jab from the center of the cage and lands a nice straight left hand. Accidental low blow clips Malegarie, but he's OK. 10-9 Straus.
Both men are soaked with sweat as round three begins. Malegarie lands two more leg kicks to Straus' lead thigh. Straus retaliates with a straight left hand and then a body kick. Malegarie closes the distance and picks him up with a high-crotch. He can't finish the slam, but eventually gets the takedown. Malegarie passes to half guard, but Straus bucks as he passes and the American is back up and landing punches and knees. Malegarie isn't hurt, though. As Straus locks up a front headlock, Malegarie escapes and cracks him with a left hand. Straus lands a body kick, and they clinch. Straus controls his foe against the cage, but Malegarie pummels and reverses the position. Straus cracks him with a body kick and then eats a knee as he secures a double leg. Malegarie is back up, though, and both men are trying hard to steal the round. Malegarie digs for a takedown, but Straus defends and scores a small takedown of his own. Malegarie is back up, though. Both men swing, and the bell sounds. 10-9 Straus (29-28 Straus).
Official scores: 29-28 across the board for Straus, winner by unanimous decision.
Wilson Reis vs. Zac George
Herzog is once again in charge of the action. George leads with a left hook as he circles right. Reis comes out southpaw and wings a left hook that whiffs. He follows up with another left, and this one does not miss, landing squarely on George's chin and buckling his knees. Reis then dives for a single and scores the takedown. After some ground and pound, George gives his back and Reis takes advantage. Reis slips his forearm under George's chin and applies the required pressure. George signals the referee for help at 2:09 of the first round.
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire
Herzog starts the last bout of the evening. Georgi lands a tentative inside leg kick. Freire moves forward and throws a one-two. Karakhanyan leaps forward, but he gets caught in a body lock. Georgi escapes and lands a leg kick. Freire retaliates with a kick of his own. Pitbull drives forward and elevates Georgi, who defends by pulling guard and trying for a guillotine. Freire defends and slams him, but Georgi pops back up. Georgi lands a nice combination, but Freire shrugs him off and scores a takedown. Pitbull is landing shoulder butts from Georgi's guard. Karakhanyan stands and digs for a takedown of his own. Freire defends, and Karakhanyan lands a foot stomp. Pitbull lands a leg kick and tries for another takedown as the round expires. 10-9 Freire.
Freire opens round two with a nice left hook and then jumps wildly at Georgi. The two clinch, and Karakhanyan presses the Brazilian against the cage. They separate, and Freire checks a leg kick. After both men swing wildly, they clinch once again against the cage. Herzog warns the fighters to provide some action. Freire lands two nice knees to Georgi's torso. George tries for a takedown, but Freire's defense remains strong. The Brazilian slaps Georgi twice on the back and then escapes a hard single-leg attempt. Freire counters a Karakhanyan jump kick with a straight right hand and then sprawls beautifully before taking Georgi's back. Georgi defends well as the bell rings. 10-9 Freire.
Pitbull rushes ahead and clinches to start the final frame. Georgi whiffs on a big right hand, and Freire counters with a nice left hook. The Brazilian lands a straight right and then crumples his foe with another sweet left hook. Freire pounces, and Herzog pulls him off of a defenseless Karakhanyan at 56 seconds of the final frame.
Quick "Local Feature Fight" Results:
Roli Delgado Def. Jameel Massouh Decision (Unanimous) [29-28, 29-28, 30-27] R3 5:00
Jeremy Spoon Def. Jerrod Sanders Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R2 0:26
Jake Rosholt Def. John Bryant Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R1