Bellator 87 Results: Play-by-Play & Updates

By: Jordan Breen
Jan 31, 2013

Bellator 87 Fight Card


Sherdog.com will report from Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich., at approximately 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT with play-by-play and live results of Bellator 87, which is headlined by four lightweight tournament quarterfinal fights.

Nick Kirk vs. Tony Zelinski


Round 1
Jason Herzog is the referee for this 140-pound affair. Zelinski lands a low kick and a straight right hand. Kirk counters another leg kcik with a solid left hand. Kirk is attacking aggressively while Zelinski attempts to maintain distance with kicks, mixing up his attacks with both inside and outside leg kicks. Kirk is swinging wildly, while Zelinski appears content to counter . Zelinski connects with a solid right hand, Kirk slips and backs off, but his foe doesn't follow up. Kirk backs off Zelinksi with a combination, then lands an inside leg kick. Zelinksi with a kick to the body. Zelinski finds a home for a spinning-back fist, then moves forward with a body kick. Now the fighters tie up against the cage. Zelinski with a few foot stomps before the round expires.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Kirk
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-10
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Kirk

Round 2
Zelinski is pressing forward slowly with kicks but Kirk is landing successfully with counters, picking him off with left hands as he comes forward. This pattern plays out repeatedly, with Zelinski cracking a nice kick and the Minnesotan countering. Kirk finally comes back with a hard inside low kick, for which Zelinski cracks him to the body with a left roundhouse kick. Zelinski lands a nifty spinning-back kick to the bread basket. Kirk suddenly explodes with a punch rush, clipping his man and knocking him off balance. Kirk stays on top of him with punching before changing levels and shooting a double-leg takedown. He gets Zelinski down and chips away on top. Zelinski works a high guard but can't find success before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Kirk
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Kirk
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Kirk

Round 3
Keith Mills

Zelinski's bottom game earned him a W.
Kirk shoots in quickly and puts Zelinski back down to the canvas. The Michigan native gets his guard high again, but Kirk keeps his arms in tight and lands short blows. Zelinski opens up with hard elbows from his guard which slow Kirk's pace to a crawl from the top. Kirk is just holding Zelinski down, but the bottom man continues punching away far more actively than Kirk. Zelinski overhooks the right arm of Kirk and goes back to elbowing with his free arm. Zelinski's right eye is bleeding steadily but he has easily outworked his opponent in the final frame. With 10 seconds to go, Zelinski goes wild on the bottom, flailing with punches and elbows until the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Zelinski (29-28 Kirk)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Zelinski (29-29 Draw)
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Zelinski (29-28 Kirk)

Official result: Judge Eric Colon sees the bout 29-28 for Nick Kirk while Cardo Urso has it 29-28 for Zelinski. Deciding judge Todd Anderson sees it 30-27 for the winner by split decision, Tony Zelinski.

Ben Lagman vs. Sam Quito


Round 1
The lanky Lagman lazily jabs and kicks at Quito early. Quito doubles up on his leg kicks and shoots a weak double that Lagman easily steps away from. Quito is noticeably less polished in the striking department and Lagman takes advantage by cracking him with a spinning-back kick to the body. Quito desperately dives at his opponent, but Lagman shrugs him off and easily takes top position. Lagman postures up in half guard and lands hard punches and elbows that get the Brazilian streaming blood quickly. Quito locks into the deep half guard in an attempt to sweep, but just eats more punches and elbows. When Quito regains full guard, referee Dan Miragliotta halts the action to have the cageside physician examine the flowing cut which is on the scalp of Quito.

K. Mills

Quito had to get bloody before earning a
controversial kneebar submission.
The doctor OK's the cut and the bout is resumed halfway through the first with Quito having full guard. The Californian-based grappler shifts for a kneebar, but Lagman defends and continues to attack with massive punches. Quito turtles up, nearly giving his back to Lagman as he continues to bleed all over the mat. Quito rolls for another kneebar and goes belly down on Lagman. The Michigan native feels some pain and tries to free himself. He turns back and appears to tap Quito just once, while calling out in pain. Referee Dan Miragliotta instantly halts the bout, much to the chagrin of Lagman, who was dominating the bout. Samuel Quito is the winner by submission at 3:54 of the first round.

James Reese vs. David Shepherd


Round 1
The locally popular Shepherd stalks forward, jabbing and hitting Reese with outside low kicks. Reese pops a right-hand counter into Shepherd's face on a lazy low kick, then drives him back into the gene with over-unders. Reese and Shepherd trade knees to the body until Reese misses a whizzing left hand on the exit. The American Top Team rep seems married to overhand right haymakers, chasing Shepherd backwards with a bevy of windmilling punches before driving into the clinch and tripping him to the mat. Reese sets up in full guard along the cage. Reese rips from side-to-side with right and left hooks, posturing up in Shepherd's guard and landing hands. Reese looks to pass to half guard, but can't clear Shepherd's hips. Reese settles for going back to guard and punching away. Shepherd gets active with punches and elbows from the bottom, splitting the Rochester Hills, Mich., fighter open from the bottom. Reese's cut is streaming blood all over Shepherd's face and chest. Reese keeps pounding away, but Shepherd steps up his output from the bottom, clearly enticed by the blood.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Reese
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Reese
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Reese

Round 2
Shepherd goes upstairs for a right head kick, but Reese catches his leg, turns his hips and slams Shepherd back down to the mat. Shepherd tries to get wrist control on Reese's right arm, but can't control the top man. Reese reaches behind Shepherd's back and briefly hammerlocks him, but Reese can't re-enact Ryan Schultz-on-Chris Horodecki before his opponent gets free. Reese keeps chipping away on top, landing right hands and controlling Shepherd. Left elbows now score for Reese, who puts Shepherd on the fence and keeps wailing away until the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Reese
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Reese
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Reese

Round 3
K. Mills

Reese punished Shepherd from top position.
Both men swing and miss tired punches until a clinch. Reese swims to a collar tie and foot sweeps Shepherd down to the mat along the cage. Reese gets to half guard and gets control of his foe's head. Reese tries to get to side control but once again, Shepherd sneaks back to full guard. Shepherd swings for a desperate armbar and nearly get there, but Reese stands up, stacks his man and yanks his arm free. Reese dives right back into guard and gets busy knuckling the Grayling, Mich., native. Shepherd overhooks the left arm of Reese, but it doesn't stop more punches from landing before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Reese (30-27 Reese)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Reese (30-27 Reese)
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Reese (30-27 Reese)

Official result: Judges Robert Hinds and Cardo Urso score the bout 30-27, while Todd Anderson reckons the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, James Reese.

Amir Khillah vs. John Schulz


Round 1
Khillah throws two quick head kicks that are blocked, but when Schulz tries to answer, the Kalamazoo, Mich., fighter catches his leg and sweeps it out. Khillah throws his hands up over his fallen foe before diving down with punches and hammerfists. Schulz defends the heavy barrage before working his way back to the feet. The pair trade kicks which are largely blocked until a clinch and a surprising-if-slow uchimata throw from Khillah. He dives into full mount on Schulz quickly, taking his back. Khillah tries to sink the rear-naked choke, but can't clear the chin of his opponent.

K. Mills

Khillah quickly overwhelmed an injured
Schulz in the first round.
He releases and tries to take full mount back but succeeds only in letting Schulz escape back to his feet. They clinch for a moment before Khillah get his back off the fence. As they reset at distance, Schulz appears to somehow injure his left knee which is braced. Khillah sees his man ginger on his leg and pounces, rushing him with punches and throwing him to the mat. Khillah lands a major axe kick to the body of the seemingly injured Schulz before stepping over his legs into full mount. Khillah grabs a half-assed rear-naked choke and the compromised Schulz opts out. Schulz taps out officially at 4:34 of the first round.

Karl Etherington vs. Jason Fish


Round 1
Etherington lands two short hooks and tries to bull his way into a trip. However, he flings himself to the canvas, giving up top position to Fish. Fish quickly moves to full mount, but gets too eager in pursuit a sloppy rear-naked choke. Etherington gets on top and instantly gets into full mount too, only to go sliding off Fish as he pushes away. This isn't the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships, folks. Fish gets to half guard and crossfades Etherington, pressing into side control before the yoked Brit escapes to his feet. Etherington looks exhausted as Fish pushes him into the cage, landing short hooks inside.

K. Mills

England's Etherington remained unbeaten
in a sloppy affair.
Etherington explodes with three hooks of his own, but Fish presses forward, landing right hooks to the body and keeping him pinned to the fence with just a crossfire. Three of four punches from Fish crack Etherington in the face, nearly knocking his mouthguard out. The muscular Englishman gets a collar tie and pushes Fish to the canvas. The similarly-exhausted Fish tumbles over and the Brit dives into side control. As Fish lays on his back, aimlessly hooking Etherington's head, Etherington sits in some mutated scarf position, landing nearside hammerfists until Fish tells referee Dan Miragliotta he wants out. The verbal submission due to strikes mercifully ends this horrific bout at 3:45 of the first round.

Sevak Magakian vs. Jason Fischer


Round 1
Fischer is all jabs, feints and kicks early until Magakian ducks under a right hook and puts him on the mat. The Hayastan Studio product pushes the local fighter into the fence and punches away. Fischer rolls for an armbar, which Magakian escapes, but the Mash Fight Team rep swings into a near triangle armbar.
K. Mills

The hometown Fischer wowed the Michigan
crowd with his biggest career win.

Magakian just slips his head out, but Fischer's grappling is relentless as he looks for a kimura to potentially sweep. Magakian gets a front headlock on Fischer and tries to thread his arm through for a brabo choke. Fischer gets back to his feet but Magakian keeps a hold of him. From the collar tie, Magakian spins and turns for an ippon seoinage, but Fischer blocks it and dives onto his back with both hooks in. The Michigan native works the rear-naked choke, sinks it and forces Magakian belly down. The former "Ultimate Fighter" veteran is forced to tap out at 3:37 of the first round. Impressive grappling from Jason Fischer.

Bellator Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Thiago Michel Pereira Silva vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy


Round 1
Both men test each other early with low kicks, but Sarnavskiy brings his right hand over the top on occasion to crack Pereira in the face. Sarnavskiy sticks his jab out and nails Pereira with a roundhouse to the body. The Russian briefly shoots but Pereira escapes the lazy kneetap attempt. Both men miss with big lead left hooks. “Tiger” gets busier with his hands, but his two- and three-punch combinations can't break the Brazilian's guard. Solid overhand right for Sarnavskiy. Push kick from Sarnavskiy prompts a return from Pereira, but the Russian catches his leg and cracks him with a counter punch. Sarnavskiy getting more effective at picking his opponent off when he kicks. “Tiger” catches another kick from Pereira, landing two right-handed counters and driving him to the mat. The Brazilian recovers and grabs a guillotine in the ensuing scramble. While it looks tight, there is just seconds left in the round and Sarnavskiy waits until the bell tolls.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Sarnavskiy
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Sarnavskiy
Mike Whitman scores the the round 10-9 Sarnavskiy

Round 2
K. Mills

Sarnavskiy controlled every phase of
the game against Thiago Michel.
Both lightweights probing the distance with body kicks early. Sarnavskiy lands a left roundhouse kick to the body then shoots a double on Pereira. The Brazilian pushes away and slides up the fence with Sarnavskiy glued to his waist. Pereira breaks Sarnavskiy's double undercooks and fights for wrist control on his foe's right arm. Sarnavskiy drives back in and gets Pereira to the mat again. He can't hold him down as the Brazilian first looks for a switch, then tries to snake up the wall. As he shimmies, “Tiger” gets a rear waist lock and jumps onto his back. Pereira fights for hand control, then for a two-on-one but the Russian is relentless.

Sarnavskiy finally cinches up the rear-naked choke and bows his opponent's back, forcing him to tap at 3:43 of the second frame. Alexander Sarnavskiy is the first semifinalist in Bellator's Season 8 lightweight tournament.

Bellator Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Saad Awad vs. Guillaume DeLorenzi


Round 1
K. Mills

Saad Awad had short notice and a short victory.
The two lightweights clearly intend to throw strikes. After some feinting, DeLorenzi closes the distance. As he flurries, Awad throws back immediately and a glancing right from the Californian makes DeLorenzi slip. As he stands back up, he tries to fend off the aggressive Awad with a side kick, but ends up eating a hard left hook then a right hand behind the ear. DeLorenzi staggers into the fence and Awad is all over him in close, smashing him with heavy left hooks until he crumbles along the fence, forcing referee Jason Herzog into action.

The sudden, explosive end comes just 31 seconds into the bout. Saad Awad, who replaced Patricky Freire in the tournament on two days' notice, advances to the semifinals of Bellator's Season 8 155-pound bracket.

Bellator Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Will Brooks vs. Ricardo Tirloni


Round 1
Brooks snaps a head kick and a body kick at the Brazilian immediately, but Tirloni chases him back with punches. Brooks stays active with his legs, constantly throwing his lead left leg out at Tirloni. The Brazilian opts for wild punches, as usual, but can't quite find his target. Brooks tags Tirloni with a right hook to the chest. Another nice inside leg kick for Brooks. Tirloni gets in on a single-leg takedown, but Brooks hops around on his right leg, punching while defending. Tirloni runs Brooks to the other side of the cage and gets him to the mat, but the American slinks up the fence quickly, then gets a takedown of his own. Tirloni tries to turn for an armbar, but Brooks defends and punches him for it. Clean punches land for the Illinois native on top, but Tirloni throws up a triangle. Brooks stands up and shakes it off, but dives into another decent triangle attempt from Tirloni. Brooks finally settles into the guard and lands a solid stream of rights and lefts. Tirloni looks to play wrist control, but Brooks breaks free and pops him again for good measure. Brooks stands up again, landing a few punches and trying to hop Tirloni's legs into half guard. Tirloni defends, but eats more leather before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Brooks

Round 2
The inside low kick of Brooks shows up prominently again. He starts throwing the left leg to the body of Tirloni, getting him moving before setting up a power double-leg takedown into full guard. Left-right, left-right lands for Brooks from the top position. Tirloni tries to grab his legs and trip him up, but Brooks spins away. Tirloni gets back to his feet but Brooks cracks him with a left head kick. Brooks follows up with punches and shoots in on Tirloni again. Brooks powers him to the mat but Tirloni pulls guard on a tight guillotine. Brooks jams his fist up into Tirloni's choking arm, breaks his grip and sets up shop on top. Brooks stands up and tries to pound again, but Tirloni rolls for a kneebar. Brooks hits the deck, but Tirloni is too high on the leg and Brooks escapes to his feet. Tirloni bangs away with hooks to the body and shoulders of Brooks, but takes more kicks to the body. Brooks shoots, Tirloni defends and delivers a knee to the body as Brooks throws one of his own. The Brazilian's blow strays low and referee Jason Herzog gives Brooks his five-minute respite. Brooks comes out of the break snapping his left jab in Tirloni's face. Tirloni punches to the clinch and nearly gets a takedown with under 10 seconds, but Brooks rolls through to his feet at the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Brooks

Round 3
Brooks goes back to work with the inside leg kicks. Brooks now showing his boxing, circling to his right and peppering Tirloni with jabs and right hands. Tirloni gets restless, giving Brooks the chance to duck under and rush him to the canvas with a kneetap. “Ill Will” is just wearing the Brazilian out with his strength and pounding on top. Brooks finally gets to half guard on Tirloni, muscling him and landing right hands along the cage.

K. Mills

Unbeaten Will Brooks dominated the more
experienced Tirloni in every position.
Tirloni tries to hang on, so Brooks bangs him with lefts to the ribs. Tirloni tries to kick Brooks away, but the midwesterner is relentless, punching away and controlling Tirloni's legs. The Brazilian finally gets free and escapes to his feet, but Brooks runs him down to the cage immediately. Tirloni defends and lands some glancing knees from the clinch. Brooks shoots a single-leg takedown this time, swinging Tirloni down to the mat with just under a minute to fight. Tirloni throws up another triangle, but Brooks breaks his posture and escapes. Brooks punches away the last 10 seconds until the bell rings.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Brooks (30-27 Brooks)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Brooks (30-27 Brooks)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Brooks (30-27 Brooks)

Official result: All three judges -- Eric Colon, Robert Hinds and Cardo Urso -- score the bout 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Will Brooks. Brooks advances to face Saad Awad in the semifinals of the Bellator Season 8 lightweight tournament.

Bellator Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal
David Rickels vs. Lloyd Woodard


Round 1
As the pair trade kicks to the legs and body, Woodard slips and Rickels tries to pursue him. They wind up clinching and Woodard gets a rear waist lock. Woodard suplexes Rickels to the mat but can't keep him flat. Rickels gets to all fours, but “Cupcake” is on his back with both hooks in. Woodard ducks under Rickels' arm and gives up back position in pursuit of the low-percentage twister submission. Rickels escapes, but Woodard holds top position. Rickels swings for an armbar, then transitions to a triangle before getting slammed by Woodard. Rickels tries to kick Woodard away but can't get free from the sticky grappling of “Cupcake.” He tries to kick him away again, then swings inside on Woodard's leg for a heel hook. Woodard ably defends before countering an inverted heel hook attempt of his own. Rickels gets back to his feet, but the minute he approaches Woodard, Woodard isolates his leg and goes for a toe hold. Frenetic action in this contest. “Caveman” dives back to the mat with punches, bloodying Woodard's nose. Double Mongolian chop from Rickels. Rickels grabs Woodard by the ankles and tries to hit a pro-wrestling style giant swing, but Woodard blocks it. Bell. Awesome round.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Woodard
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Woodard
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Woodard

Round 2
The pair have tired a bit after their wild and woolly first round. Each feints in the standup before Rickels cracks Woodard with two good right hands and pushes him back into the fence. Hard knee to the bread basket absorbed by Woodard. Rickels getting more active with his strikes, flurrying to the body and landing body kicks. Rickels goes for another left roundhouse to the body, but Woodard cracks him with a straight right and drops him to the mat. Woodard dives on Rickels, but the Kansas native has an armbar immediately. It's deep, but Woodard extricates himself. Rickels tries to get wrist control and kick Woodard away but can't shake his opponent. Rickels finally uses the half guard to shrimp away from Woodard and get back to his feet. Rickels clinches briefly but can't find strikes. They separate and Rickels lands a right cross-left hook-right hook, followed by a hard knee to the chin. Woodard's head rocks back, but the Montana fighter pushes forward with a desperate takedown and gets Rickels to the floor. Rickels works butterfly guard but can't shake Woodard before the horn.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rickels
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Rickels
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Rickels

Round 3
“Caveman” goes back on the attack with low kicks on the fatigued Woodard. Rickels presses forward, making Woodard fight off of his back foot while landing kicks to the body. Woodard is starting to look ginger on his right leg. He then walks right into a powerful one-two from Rickels that stands him up. Rickels is bouncing on his feet, looking noticeably fresher than Woodard. Overhand right by Rickels, then an outside low kick stumbles Woodard. Woodard rips him with a left hook in retaliation, but “Caveman” goes back to the leg kicks. Two push kicks from Rickels, then an inside leg kick. Woodard wades forward and eats two counter hooks from Rickes. Left hooks landing for Rickels now, bashing Woodard to the chin and to the body. Hooks and uppercuts follow for Rickels. Woodard has been getting tagged repeatedly and he knows he's behind. Woodard rushes in for a desperate takedown and Rickels locks up a guillotine. Woodard escapes it quickly, but Rickels throws up a triangle attempt which controls him until the closing seconds.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rickels (29-28 Rickels)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Rickels (29-28 Rickels)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Rickels (29-28 Rickels)

Official result: All three judges -- Todd Anderson, Eric Colon and Cardo Urso -- score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, David Rickels. Rickels advances to the semifinals of the Bellator Season 8 lightweight tournament, where he will meet Alexander Sarnavskiy.

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