Bellator 96 Results: Play-by-Play & Updates

Jun 19, 2013

Sherdog.com reports from the Global Event Center at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., at approximately 5:10 p.m. ET with live Bellator 96 updates.

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Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

McNally used an old Bellator favorite,
the inverted triangle choke.

Steven Artoff vs. Justin McNally

Round 1
McNally shoots for a takedown, which Artoff defends initially, but McNally eventually gets his man to the canvas. Artoff hunts for a triangle while landing short punches to the head. McNally frees himself and moves into north-south position. McNally locks up an inverted triangle armbar from his back. Artoff struggles to defend, but it’s too tight, and referee Kerry Hatley calls it off. Justin McNally is your winner via verbal submission at 2:44 of round one.

Derek Campos vs. Brandon Girtz

Round 1
Campos lands a hard leg kick inside, takes a counter from Girtz and slugs back with a heavy right hand. Another leg kick inside backs Girtz off momentarily, then he comes forward to plow Campos down with a double-leg. Ninety seconds into the round and Girtz passes to half-guard on Campos’ right side, both men trying to stay busy with offense but neither landing anything big. Girtz grabs a headlock to improve his posture, then does so and postures up to drop a couple good elbows. Campos explodes out of the position and both are back on their feet midway through the round. Campos slugs Girtz with a nice counter right hook as Girtz comes in throwing a wide punch. With both fighters ducking into their punches, ref “Big” John McCarthy warns them to watch their heads. Campos backs Girtz away with a nice spinning back-kick to the gut. Campos continues to come forward in the final minute and slugs Girtz with a nice right hook in the closing seconds.

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Girtz
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Campos
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Campos

Round 2
Girtz gets Campos down to the ground again early in round two, but again it’s Campos staying busy off his back with punches. Girtz is stalling out in Campos’ closed guard rather than passing this time. The top man tries to posture and throw, but Campos is wrapping him up now and it prompts a stand-up order from referee McCarthy. Campos takes the center again, walking Girtz around the outside and sticking a jab in his face. A big right hand from Campos has Girtz looking to escape. Campos gives chase and blasts him with another right hand, and now Girtz is staggering backward across the cage. Campos grabs a guillotine and tries to get the finish with seconds left. He can’t, but instead rolls into mount and drops elbows on Girtz before the horn.

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Campos
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Campos
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Campos

Round 3
Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Campos outslugged Girtz for the W.
Girtz takes about 40 seconds to get Campos to the mat again, then sets up in half-guard on Campos’ right. A little more active on top now is Girtz, staying busy with short punches and elbows. Campos puts Girtz back in closed guard, so Girtz stands up and comes back down to the ground in half-guard. Elbows from Girtz have cut Campos open on the forehead, but Campos gets to his knees and then escapes to his feet when Girtz tries to pull guard with a guillotine. Two minutes left in the fight now and Campos is looking for a big right hand as he once again stalks Girtz around the perimeter.

Campos isn’t able to land anything much before he’s taken down again with 70 seconds remaining. Girtz works left hands to Campos’ body, then rights as he steps over to half-guard again. Campos rolls free and misses a flying knee as he gets to his feet, but then catches Girtz with a right hook as time runs out.

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Girtz (29-28 Girtz)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Girtz (29-28 Campos)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Girtz (29-28 Campos)

Official result: All three judges -- Dan Mathisen, David Sutherland and Don Turnage -- score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Derek Campos.

Brandon Halsey vs. Joe Yager

Round 1
Halsey struggles with Yager on the fence for a minute or so before wrestling Yager down to the ground. Halsey has to give up side control in order to escape from a guillotine, then stands up and comes back down in full mount. Yager slips out and puts Halsey in half-guard, where Halsey postures up to drop right hands which Yager is able to block. Two minutes left in the round now and some of Halsey’s right hands have begun to get through. Yager is still doing well to defend the strikes, and with one minute left, he gets to his knees and tries to hit a switch. Halsey grabs Yager’s leg to defend and closes out the round throwing lefts to Yager’s ribs.

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Halsey
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Halsey
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Halsey

Round 2
Yager tries to turn the tables and put Halsey on the fence early on, but gets turned around. Good takedown defense from Yager this time and he shoves Halsey off to reset on the feet. A low kick lands square on Halsey’s cup, and ref John McCarthy calls time to let the hurting Halsey recover. McCarthy deducts a point from Yager and the fight resumes with about 3:30 left in the round. Yager catches Halsey changing levels and puts a knee on his body, but Halsey keeps coming and muscles Yager onto the fence. Yager defends an outside trip, can’t defend the high single-leg after it which yields another Halsey takedown. The light heavyweights quickly stall out and are stood up. Halsey hits another takedown with 45 seconds left and finishes the round on top.

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Halsey
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Halsey
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-8 Halsey

Round 3
Yager backs Halsey away momentarily with a body kick, but Halsey comes right back to work for a single-leg against the cage, walking through a kick and punches from Yager in the process. Yager sprawls as Halsey switches to a double-leg and the action stalls out again. Halsey breaks loose of a headlock, stands and eats a big knee to the face.

Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Halsey was potent on top.
Yager tries to give chase and finish Halsey off, but he overcommits on a punch and winds up on the ground with Halsey on top. Two minutes left and it’s Halsey in north-south position, throwing punches to the ribs of Yager, who just clings to Halsey’s left leg as time ticks down. Halsey continues to control the action as Yager gets to his feet with 40 seconds left, pinned to the fence. One last takedown goes for Halsey, who ends the fight holding Yager on the cage.

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-10 (30-27 Halsey)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-10 (30-27 Halsey)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Yager (29-27 Halsey)

Official result: The result is announced as a split decision for Brandon Halsey with scores of 30-28, 28-30 and 30-28.

Richard Hale vs. Ryan Martinez

Round 1
Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Late notice was no problem for Martinez.
Hale takes the outside, circling and throwing leg kicks while Martinez stays in the center of the cage, looking for a big left hand from the southpaw stance. Martinez ducks in behind a punch to tie up and muscles Hale to the ground at the base of the fence. Hale immediately throws up his guard and then forces the shorter Martinez to dodge upkicks. Martinez shucks Hale’s legs and pops “Rare Breed” with a short left hand that appears to turn out Hale’s lights. A couple more punches from Martinez have ref John McCarthy diving in to rescue the dazed Hale.

Last-minute replacement Ryan Martinez advances to the Bellator 2013 Summer Series heavyweight tournament final with a knockout win at 2:19 of round one.

Jeremiah O'Neal vs. Raphael Butler

Round 1
Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Butler busted O'Neal quickly.
O’Neal shoots on a single-leg early, but Butler sprawls all over it and blasts his stocky opponent with right hands. O’Neal slips out the back door and climbs onto Butler’s back, then rolls over the former amateur boxer near the base of the fence. Butler rolls over in guard, lands a few punches and backs away to allow O’Neal to stand. One punch is all Butler can get off before O’Neal is again shooting for a takedown. Butler sneaks left hands underneath O’Neal’s armpits, then blasts away with rights as O’Neal tries to roll over and escape.

Ref John McCarthy warns Butler to mind the back of O’Neal’s head while Butler throws punches and elbows. O’Neal, meanwhile, is warned to defend himself; he doesn’t, and McCarthy steps in to call a halt to the bout. Raphael Butler picks up the win via TKO at 2:57 of round one.

Damon Jackson vs. Keith Miner

Round 1
Jackson ties up with Miner and immediately takes the action to the ground with an inside trip. Briefly taking mount, Jackson winds up leaning left to right in side control as Miner tries to cage-walk and escape. Miner is already cut open on the right side of his eyebrow less than one minute into the fight. Miner attempts to roll free or squirm around to take Jackson’s back, but he leaves himself open to some heavy right hands from Jackson. With Miner’s left arm trapped and Jackson landing unanswered shots, referee Kerry Hatley calls an end to the bout at 2:00 of the first round.

War Machine vs. Blas Avena

Round 1
War Machine closes in on Avena, who ducks under a punch and comes off the fence to take down the UFC veteran in the middle of the cage. War Machine scores with a right hook, answered by a kick to the body from Avena. Now it’s War Machine looking for a takedown on the fence and hitting a double-leg to land in Avena’s open guard. Avena gets to a knee and has to dodge right hands from War Machine, then gets pressed against the cage once he stands. Knees to the body score for Avena as he uses the Thai plum to get off the fence.
Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

War Machine was all business versus
Blas Avena.

Avena ducks another punch and grabs a single, but War Machine defends this time and gets pushed onto the fence midway through the round. War Machine hits a trip to put Avena on his back again and lands some left hands as he tries to pass half-guard on the right. Trapping Avena’s right arm, War Machine leans right to left and drops left hands on Avena’s unguarded face. Referee Kerry Hatley is hovering nearby, and he finally steps in to save Avena after another dozen left hands connect. War Machine wins via TKO at 3:55 of round one.

Ron Sparks vs. Vitaly Minakov

Round 1
Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Minakov decimated Sparks in 32 seconds.

Sparks throws a big right hand which misses, but succeeds in backing Minakov away momentarily. The Russian comes right back with an overhand right of his own which lands right on the chin of Sparks and puts “The Monster” on the floor. Half a dozen more right hands from the standing Minakov have referee John McCarthy stepping in to wave this one off. Vitaly Minakov wins via knockout after just 32 seconds and advances to face Ryan Martinez in the final of Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series heavyweight tournament.

Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs. Jacob Noe

Round 1
Noe throws first with combinations that have Sobral backing up into the fence. Babalu comes back with a right hand that’s blocked by Noe, then changes levels to put Noe on the fence. Noe turns it around right away and shoves Babalu off to resume striking. A low kick takes Noe’s lead leg out from under him, but he pops back up before Sobral can capitalize. Sobral lands a left over the top and eats two hooks in return that have the Strikeforce vet smiling. Noe counters an inside leg kick with a one-two and then denies another takedown attempt. Sobral tries again for a takedown against the fence, but again Noe turns him around. A knee in the clinch from Sobral lands low and referee Kerry Hatley calls time to give Noe a chance to recover. They resume with about one minute left and Noe counters a slow kick from Sobral with a nice right straight down the middle. Babalu has a couple high kicks blocked and Noe counters with a left hook.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Noe
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-10
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Noe

Round 2
Babalu throws and feints with front kicks to begin round two, then tries to walk Noe toward the cage with punches but appears hesitant to step into the pocket. Noe slips a punch to clinch up after landing a left hook, then holds Sobral on the cage with an underhook and works some knees to the Brazilian’s legs. Referee Hatley again pauses the action after Babalu lands a knee south of the border. Noe recovers quickly this time and they resume with 3:30 on the clock. Babalu lunges in to stick a long jab that opens up a cut between Noe’s eyes. Sobral is the aggressor now, coming forward and swinging punches but not landing much clean. A left hook catches Babalu ducking but Noe doesn’t follow up. Sobral tacks on a few more leg kicks and sticks another jab in Noe’s face. Noe is breathing heavy, standing still in the center of the cage while Sobral circles and picks his shots. A jab gets Noe’s attention, and now the American is charging on Sobral, landing hooks. Sobral tries to lure Noe toward the cage, but Noe backs away and raises his arms to Sobral before the horn sounds.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Noe
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Noe
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Sobral

Round 3
Noe holds Sobral on the cage early, but Babalu breaks free after a minute and goes back to sticking jabs and landing leg kicks. Ninety seconds in, Sobral changes levels and pushes Noe against the cage, looking for a double-leg. Noe widen’s his base and gets his arm inside to defend the takedown, and eventually Babalu lets go. A straight right and a left hook from Noe have Babalu in trouble, now bleeding from the inside corner of his left eye.

Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Noe's left hand battered ‘Babalu.’
Noe tries to finish off the hurt veteran, but Babalu keeps throwing punches even as he’s forced to circle out and escape. Noe sucks wind as he walks forward, pumping his jab on the damaged side of Sobral’s face. A combination from Noe has Sobral tilting and stumbling across the cage; despite Sobral maintaining his balance, referee Kerry Hatley has seen enough. Jacob Noe wins via TKO at 3:32 of round three and advances to the final of Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament.

Muhammed Lawal vs. Seth Petruzelli

Round 1
Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Lawal levelled Petruzelli from the top
Just seconds into the fight, Lawal fakes a shot and draws a response from Petruzelli which results in an accidental clash of heads. Petruzelli goes down at first, but he soon recovers and action resumes. Petruzelli lands a solid leg kick and a right hand before Lawal gets in on his legs and takes him to the floor. Lawal stands briefly, then comes back down to Petruzelli’s full guard after dodging upkicks. “King Mo” stands again; this time, he crashes back to the ground with a right hand that knocks Petruzelli cold. Referee John McCarthy waves it off at 1:35 of round one, and Muhammed Lawal will face Jacob Noe in the final of Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament.

Mike Maldonado vs. Chavous Smith

Round 1
Maldonado backs up Smith with a one-two combination and a leg kick. Maldonado continues to be the aggressor and opens up a cut near Smith’s eyebrow. Smith circles on the outside but is unable to find any offense. Maldonado gets a takedown and quickly moves to his opponent’s back. From there, Maldonado sinks in a rear-naked choke, and Smith asks out of the contest 2:27 into the opening frame.

Keith Berry vs. Cortez Coleman

Round 1
Berry moves forward and both fighters tee off in close quarters. Berry rocks Coleman and follows him to the mat and rains down punches. Somehow Coleman survives the assault, reverses the position and begins his own ground-and-pound attack in Berry’s full guard. Coleman working to pass guard now, briefly moves into half guard before Berry recovers full guard again. Berry is back to his feet and he continues attacking with wild punches to the body and knees to the gut. The action is frenetic but not especially technical. Coleman appears to be hurt but he turns Berry and pushes him into the fence. Berry attempts a standing guillotine and winds up on his back for his efforts. Moderate ground-and-pound comes from Coleman, who is alternating short punches and elbows. Coleman putting a little more power behind his strikes now, as Berry has been unable to return to his feet again. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Coleman.

Round 2
Berry moves forward, but it’s Cortez who lands the initial combination. Coleman is backing up and Berry is swinging wildly, but landing more than his share of punches. Coleman fires back with uppercuts and hooks of his own. Berry lands a couple solid knees in the clinch, and then Coleman returns the favor. Now, almost all the action is taking place in tight, with Coleman firing off uppercuts and Berry responding with knees. Both men appear to be exhausted, but both continue to stay busy with strikes. Berry changes levels and lands a takedown, quickly moving into full mount near the cage. The Strikeforce vet drops a couple of heavy elbows. Berry postures up and Coleman gives up his back. Berry takes advantage and attempts to cinch a rear-naked choke, but Coleman escapes and eventually reverses the position. Now, Coleman is in full guard and lands some right hands with about 30 seconds to go in the frame. The round ends with Coleman on top. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Berry.

Round 3
Coleman lands a solid uppercut and pushes Berry into the fence. Coleman unloads a series of nasty standing elbows. Berry covers up and manages to keep his feet. Coleman whiffs on a combination, and Berry turns him around and gets a takedown against the fence. Berry moves into side control, then takes Coleman’s back. Coleman rolls over, and now a fatigued Berry is in full mount. He throws a few shoulder strikes, then Coleman reverses position and moves into half guard. Berry’s face is bloody as Coleman lands elbows and punches to the body from top position. Berry attempts to buck Coleman off him, but Coleman maintains position. The period concludes with Coleman landing strikes in Berry’s guard. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Coleman, and the bout 29-28 Coleman.

Official result: One judge at cageside scores the bout 29-28 for Coleman, while the remaining two judges have it 29-28 for the winner by split decision, Keith Berry.

Jarrod Card vs. Chas Skelly

Round 1
Skelly takes Card’s back after Card slips, and Skelly hunts for a rear-naked choke with his back against the fence. Skelly has both hooks in and continues to try to slide his right arm underneath his foe’s chin. Now, Skelly has a body triangle, but he still can’t get the choke. Skelly elects to tee off with punches to the head. Card attempts to roll out of the hold, and Skelly looks for the choke once more. Card stands up momentarily, then falls back down and Skelly nearly has a kneebar. Now it’s back to hunting for the rear-naked choke for Skelly, who has his hooks in again. The round expires with Skelly attached to Card’s back. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Skelly.

Round 2
Both fighters exchange aggressively, and Card narrowly misses on a high kick. Card moves forward and Skelly ties him up and drives him against the cage. They quickly break free, and Skelly lands a combination. Card returns fire, then clinches with his opponent. Skelly drops down for a double-leg, then switches to a single, but Card is able to remain upright. Card balances on one leg until Skelly picks him up and slams him down. Skelly gets Card’s back again and he is again unsuccessful in securing the rear-naked choke. Skelly lands a few more punches, then appears to have the choke in tight with 10 seconds remaining in the period, but Card escapes before the end of the stanza. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Skelly.

Round 3
Card comes out firing left and right hooks. Skelly lands a two-punch combination. Skelly ties up Card and briefly drops him with a knee, but Card is back up. Card drops to the canvas for a guillotine. With Skelly in his full guard, Card positions his legs for an armbar, but Skelly takes his back in a scramble. Card stands up and sheds Skelly, turning the tables and taking his foe’s back on the floor. Now Card has his hooks in and is landing short punches to Skelly’s head. Less than a minute to go and Card continues to pepper away with punches. Card is looking for the choke, but Skelly stands and rolls to the canvas. Card gets up but the round ends before he can do any more damage. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Card, but the fight 29-28 Skelly.

Official result: All three judges score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Chas Skelly.

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