Bellator 97 Results: Play-by-Play & Updates

Jul 31, 2013

Sherdog.com reports from Albuquerque with live Bellator 97 updates.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below. Have a question for Sherdog.com's medical expert? Tweet The Fight Doctor via @FightMedicine.

Cris Leyva vs. Will Brooks

Round 1
Brooks changes levels immediately and drags the charging Leyva to the ground. The wrestler picks up Leyva and suplexes him back to the mat in order to secure top position, and now Brooks works from his opponent’s butterfly guard at the base of the cage. Brooks is doing well to control Leyva on the ground but not scoring with much offense through the middle of the round. With 90 seconds left, Leyva works up to his feet and is immediately slammed back down. Now, Brooks stands up and hits Leyva with punches and knees to the body. Leyva gives a couple body shots back but can’t get out from underneath Brooks before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Brooks

Round 2
Brooks takes 20 seconds to get in on a shot and bring Leyva down at the foot of the fence. Leyva gets to his feet but keeps his hand on the ground, so Brooks knees his opponent’s body with some rough strikes. Leyva gets up to score with a knee from the Thai plum and a leg kick as he exits. They’re back to striking now, and Brooks covers up as Leyva hurls combinations at his head. Brooks continues to walk forward with 90 seconds left in the frame, peppering Leyva’s legs and body with kicks before hitting another takedown at the 60-second mark. A knee lands close to the grounded Leyva’s head, prompting a warning from referee Robert Romero. Leyva gets up to finish the round with another punching combo, but again Brooks covers up to avoid damage.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Brooks
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Brooks

Round 3
Wilson Fox

Brooks suplexed Leyva immediately.
Brooks is again on the charge in the final round, this time hitting Leyva with a good right hand early. Leyva strikes back and clips Brooks with a left hook that slows the wrestler momentarily. After covering up under fire from another Leyva combo, Brooks hits three or four leg kicks and takes him down again. This time, Brooks moves quickly to full mount, then back-mount when Leyva rolls over. Brooks looks for a rear-naked choke at first, then changes to a steady stream of hard left hands. With Leyva just covering up, referee Romero calls this one off, giving Will Brooks the win via TKO at 2:20 of round three.

Rodrigo Lima vs. Rafael Silva

Round 1
Both bantamweights come out swinging, but neither lands anything big before Silva hits a double-leg and puts Lima on his back in the center of the cage. “Ratinho” instantly swings his hips to try for an armbar; Silva defends well and pushes forward in his opponent’s open guard, scooting Lima toward the fence. They work over to the base of the cage with Lima still hunting for a submission from the bottom. Silva pops him with a short left, stands up and drops a hard left hand, his best shot of the round so far. Silva gets a little separation and socks Lima with a pair of right-handed hammer fists. Silva stands up and dives back down to drop a big right hand on Lima’s chin. Now back working in Lima’s guard, Silva drop an elbow and is warned by referee Jason Herzog, as elbow strikes are illegal in Bellator tournament quarterfinals. The round ends with Lima tying up Silva’s left arm and effectively neutralizing any action.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-10
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-10
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Silva

W. Fox

Silva's heavy top game wore out Lima.
Round 2
Silva moves in quickly to clinch and gets Lima back on the ground at the base of the cage a few seconds later. Lima pushes Silva’s legs out with butterfly guard, tries to isolate an arm for an omoplata and eats a left hand in the mush. Now it’s a kneebar attempt from Lima, who loses the hold as he rolls underneath and Silva steps out. Silva comes crashing back to the ground with a hammer fist, but again the offense slows as Lima wraps him up underneath. Forty seconds left and Silva is picking up the pace a bit, swinging through Lima’s open guard with punches to the end of the round.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Silva
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Silva
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Silva

Round 3
Silva lands a spinning back-kick to the gut before once again double-legging Lima to the mat. Lima tries to post and stand against the cage, but Silva keeps control of the legs and holds his countryman down. Lima is still working for submissions, throwing up his legs to work for a triangle or armbar, but Silva is slipping out with more ease now. A right hand from Silva prompts Lima to stand, so Silva hits a belly-to-back suplex to keep the fight on the floor. Lima tries to grab a kimura on his way down, leaving his back exposed and allowing Silva to sink in his hooks. Silva immediately slaps on a rear-naked choke and Lima is forced to submit. Rafael Silva advances to the final of Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series bantamweight tournament with a submission win at 2:03 of round three.

Frank Baca vs. Anthony Leone

Round 1
Leone slaps at the taller Baca’s lead leg with kicks in the tentative opening minute. Baca sticks a couple jabs in the New Yorker’s face while Leone keeps the leg kicks coming from the outside. A trio of wide punches from Leone is dodged by Baca, who answers with a nice leg kick of his own. Midway through the round and the bantamweights continue to exchange mostly kicks. Baca slips a left and drops Leone with a pretty counter-right with just over 60 seconds on the clock. Leone regains his senses and drives forward on a high single-leg which Baca defends with the help of the fence and a wide sprawl. Leone keeps trying for the takedown but can’t complete it before round’s end.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Baca
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Baca
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Baca

Round 2
W. Fox

Leone came back from an early
knockdown to win by sub.
Leone gets back to rattling off leg kicks but still can’t land cleanly with his punches as Baca scoots backward to avoid the offense. Another single-leg attempt from Leone is sprawled on, and this time Baca looks to grab a headlock as he sprawls in a near-north-south position. Leone won’t relent on the single-leg even as Baca stands up and taps his body with short punches and elbows. With 90 seconds left, Leone finally completes the takedown and tries to go straight to back-mount. The cage blocks Leone from sinking in both hooks as Baca posts with his right arm. Leone keeps trying to soften him up with punches and runs out of time as he works for the RNC.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Leone
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Leone
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Leone

Round 3
Baca tries to keep Leone at bay with punches early in the round but quickly finds himself back on the floor with Leone picking up where he left off. Even though Leone still doesn’t have his hooks in, he gets his arm under Baca’s chin and squeezes to force the tap. With a submission win at 1:07 of round three, Anthony Leone moves on to face Rafael Silva in the final of Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series bantamweight tournament.

Bubba Jenkins vs. Mike Barreras

Round 1
Jenkins rushes across the cage to slam Barreras to the ground, slipping out of a loose headlock in the process. Barreras gets back to his feet and jumps guard, this time with a tighter guillotine in place. Jenkins slips out of his as well after slamming Barreras to the ground with force. They scramble up and Jenkins taps Barreras with a head kick before Barreras pulls guard with yet another guillotine attempt. Jenkins extracts his head and sets up in half-guard, and now bashes away with right hands that redden Barreras’ face. After being mounted, Barreras rolls over and escapes out the back door to stand. Barreras charges forward and staggers Jenkins with a left hook, causing the former NCAA Division I champion to cover up with his back to the cage. Jenkins gets his back off the cage and changes levels to take down Barreras again. Barreras tries one more guillotine but loses it with 40 seconds left in the round, allowing Jenkins to ride out the remainder of the round on top.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Jenkins
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Jenkins
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Jenkins
W. Fox

Jenkins seriously slammed Barreras around.

Round 2
A right straight from Jenkins puts Barreras on rubbery legs, and Bubba takes the opportunity to take his fellow wrestler to the floor. Barreras is hurt, just covering up as he rolls to his belly and eats right hand after right hand from Jenkins. Referee Joe Coca tells Barreras to fight back, and when Barreras doesn’t, Coca calls it off. Bubba Jenkins gets the win via TKO at 1:05 of round two.

Patricio Freire vs. Jared Downing

Round 1
Freire partially lands a left high kick before staggering Downing in the center of the cage with a right hand. Downing backpedals toward the cage, where Freire chases him down and jumps guard with a guillotine. It’s not tight and Downing is able to pop his head free, then works to control the Brazilian’s legs. Freire is able to wall-walk and they go back to striking. Now it’s Freire looking for a takedown, spinning around to Downing’s back and having his grip broken. Downing is bleeding from the mouth from the last series of punches from Freire, who keeps looking to land his left and step off. Freire catches Downing rushing in and drops him with a left hook counter. Downing is backed up to the fence as Freire keeps bombing, putting another left and a right on the American’s chin. Downing grabs a body lock and tries to trip Freire to the ground, finishing just before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Freire
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Freire
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Freire
W. Fox

Pitbull sent Downing to the mat five
times in under six minutes.


Round 2
Freire cracks “Demon Eyes” with a left-right combination, but Downing hops right back up. Freire escapes from a single-leg attempt, allows Downing back to his feet and drills him with another right hand that nearly drops Downing again. The next left hook-right straight from Freire sends Downing to the floor, and while he’s still conscious, referee Raul Porrata has seen enough. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire notches an impressive TKO victory 54 seconds into round two.

Vitaly Minakov vs. Ryan Martinez

Round 1
The big men touch gloves and Minakov pushes forward, jabbing at the southpaw before Martinez grabs hold of the Russian and pushes him against the cage. Minakov reverses and nearly trips Martinez to the ground, but Martinez saves himself by grabbing the fence. Martinez shoves Minakov to the ground and tries a guillotine, to no avail. Martinez gets backed against the fence and pushes Minakov away with a wide left hook. Minakov comes back and trips Martinez down, then allows him up and cracks the American with a knee on the way up. Martinez chugs forward and slugs Minakov with a wide left before Minakov clinches up again. Martinez stifles the bigger man’s offense with overhooks but takes a hard knee to the body as they split. They clinch again, away from the fence now, and Minakov hits another knee and a standing elbow. Minakov ducks in behind a lead uppercut and presses Martinez against the cage, then begins peppering with short punches. Martinez hits a right hook as they split, then another as Minakov comes forward. Minakov dives on a double-leg and Martinez sprawls against the fence to end the round.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Minakov
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Minakov
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Minakov

Round 2
Both heavyweights score with left hooks in the opening minute, and Martinez comes away from the exchange leaking blood from his nose. Minakov pushes his man against the cage and is warned to keep busy by referee Raul Porrata. Minakov tries to oblige with a knee which splits the wickets and lands square on Martinez’s cup. Surprisingly, Porrata deducts a point from Minakov and they get back to work after about a minute. Halfway through the bout now and Minakov is inching forward on Martinez, pushing in with jabs while Martinez keeps countering. Minakov steps right into a counter left from Martinez and answers with a hard hook of his own. They spend the final 30 seconds of the round trading knees in the clinch with Minakov on the outside.

Jordan Breen scores the round 9-9
Chris Nelson scores the round 9-9
Mike Whitman scores the round 9-9

Round 3
W. Fox

Minakov hit Martinez all night long.
Martinez trips up Minakov with a right-handed counter in the opening seconds, can’t score with wide follow-up punches. Minakov sticks a jab, followed by a pair of wide lefts from Martinez. They clinch on the fence and Minakov trips Martinez to the ground, quickly advancing to mount and slugging the American with heavy left hands. Minakov sits up and begins punching with both hands as an exhausted Martinez tries to defend. Martinez tries to post and escape but gets shoved back down, then punched with more lefts on the ear.

The punches keep coming and Martinez isn’t showing any sign of escaping, so referee Porrata steps in to rescue him from further damage. Vitaly Minakov wins Bellator’s 2013 Summer Series heavyweight tournament with a TKO stoppage at 4:02 of round three.

Muhammed Lawal vs. Jacob Noe

Round 1
Noe strikes first with a lead leg kick that has “King Mo” hopping backward, then another one on the knee. Lawal rushes him against the fence and easily brings Noe to the ground, where the former Strikeforce champ socks Noe with left hands. Noe gets his back against the fence and hits Lawal with a couple right hands before being warned by referee Jason Herzog not to punch the back of the head. Noe gets back up but Lawal keeps hold of one leg and drags him down to land a knee to the body. Lawal releases and the 205ers stand up, but it doesn’t last long as Lawal plows Noe down with a power double at the halfway mark. Lawal is swarming with punches, trying to advance past Noe’s half-guard. Noe is breathing hard, his face red from Lawal’s left hands as they enter the final minute of the round. Lawal keeps the lefts coming and Noe momentarily stuffs him back to half-guard. Lawal finishes the round with a hard knee to the chest of a kneeling Noe.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Lawal
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Lawal
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Lawal

Round 2
Noe begins the round attacking Lawal’s lead leg again, moving around the outside and trying to keep the wrestler away from his legs. Lawal changes levels behind a right hand and brings Noe down, running into a loose guillotine which Noe soon releases. King Mo has Noe’s left arm pinned behind his back, but Noe pulls it free and now tries to control Lawal’s left hand. Lawal responds by punching Noe’s body with his right arm, then uses both hands to try and finish. Noe throws up his legs for an armbar, gets stacked up and lets it go. Halfway through the bout, Lawal slugs Noe with a smashing right hand. Noe keeps leaning to his right, directly into the left hand of Lawal, and his swollen face bears the results. Left hammer fists come from Lawal now as ref Herzog looks on. Noe is offering sporadic punches from his back but has shown no sign of being able to escape from his grounded position. Lawal closes out a strong round with another pair of lefts.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Lawal
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Lawal
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Lawal

Round 3
W. Fox

Lawal battered Noe into submission.
Noe works to keep Lawal away with jabs and kicks which again prove fruitless, as Lawal puts the “Psycho” on his back about 30 seconds into the round. They’re right back where they were in the last frame, with Lawal trapping Noe on the ground and blasting away with left hands. A punch opens up a huge mouse under Noe’s left eye, and Lawal follows up with a knee to the body as he allows Noe back to his feet. Noe swings a wild overhand punch to back off Lawal, who walks right back in with his hands by his side and hits yet another double-leg. Lawal sits up to drop punches with both hands now.

Noe is not offering anything in return, referee Herzog puts an end to the beating. Muhammed Lawal wins the Bellator 2013 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament via TKO at 2:51 of round three.

Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov

Round 1
Referee Jason Herzog is the third man in the cage for tonight’s Bellator welterweight title fight. Koreshkov tries to touch gloves but Askren wants none of it and shoots a double-leg right away. The Russian sprawls on the takedown attempt and Askren works around to take his back. Koreshkov sits down and scoots backward as Askren grabs the cradle and pushes his challenger’s back against the fence. Askren sits up and grabs a guillotine, then falls backward and squeezes to finish. Koreshkov gives ref Herzog a thumbs-up and Askren releases soon after. Askren jumps on Koreshkov’s back again, but loses it as Koreshkov stands up and scrapes him off against the fence. Askren uses a single-leg to drag Koreshkov back down, then socks away with right hands from the seatbelt position. The champ jumps on Koreshkov’s back again, can’t get a rear-naked choke and instead throws sideways elbows to Koreshkov’s temple. Askren gets his hooks in and tries the RNC again with 1:45 remaining in the round. He still can’t get it, so Askren goes back to softening Koreshkov with punches. Askren goes to north-south position, grabs a headlock and uses it to control Koreshkov for the final 30 seconds of the round. Koreshkov nearly catches Askren sleeping with a no-look elbow just before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Askren
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Askren
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Askren

Round 2
Askren needs less than 30 seconds to take Koreshkov back down to the ground and set up in back-mount. The champion doesn’t seem as concerned with maintaining back control as he does with just remaining on top, transitioning as Koreshkov rolls over. Koreshkov gets to his knees with Askren on his back and “Funky” sits up to mug for the crowd and chant “U-S-A.” Askren is keeping control of Koreshkov’s back now, moving to the center of the cage with the Russian and keeping a smothering top control in between elbows and punches. Koreshkov gets his back to the mat and Askren goes to north-south position, then side control, possibly setting up a kimura as he leans right to left. Askren transitions to lean left-to-right and briefly has a mounted crucifix as he dings Koreshkov with short ground-and-pound. Koreshkov finishes the round in the crucifix, taking right hands to his unprotected face.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Askren
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Askren
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-8 Askren

Round 3
Koreshkov again finds himself on the ground less than half a minute into the round, and Askren steps into full mount soon after. The champ is having his way, not dropping particularly hard ground-and-pound but throwing it consistently nonetheless. Koreshkov gives up his back; Askren secures the position and continues his assault with short elbows and punches. Askren sits up and tries a neck crank, can’t get it. He pins Koreshkov’s left arm behind his back and drops left hands from mount as Koreshkov -- now banged up and bleeding around his eyes -- just tries to survive underneath. Koreshkov escapes to his knees, but that’s as far as he gets, as Askren just keeps his suffocating pressure on top. With a few seconds left, Askren just sits up and looks out at the crowd while Koreshkov cowers on his knees.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Askren
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Askren
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-8 Askren

Round 4
W. Fox

Askren seemed to enjoy embarrassing
the previously-unbeaten Koreshkov.

Koreshkov is able to stuff the first double-leg in the round, but Askren just keeps after it and muscles the Russian to the ground with brute strength. Askren sets up an arm-triangle and tries to finish on the right side, can’t get the tap and goes to full mount. Koreshkov looks like a beaten man; every time he gets anywhere close to escaping, Askren is immediately on top of him, shoving him back to the ground. Askren is back in mount, dropping right hands on Koreshkov’s face as referee Herzog tells the challenger to fight back.

Koreshkov rolls over, giving up his back, and Askren is finally able to force a stoppage with punches from the back-mount. Ben Askren retains his Bellator welterweight title and improves to 12-0 with a TKO stoppage at 2:58 of round four.

Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels

Round 1
W. Fox

Rickels was out before he knew
what hit him.
Rickels comes out landing outside leg kicks as Chandler moves him around the perimeter and tries to close the gap. Good jab lands for Chandler, he eats a left and lands another jab, followed by counter-right hand over the top that takes Rickels’ legs out from beneath him. The challenger pops back up, only to be blasted by an uppercut and follow-up punches on the ground that knock Rickels unconscious, forcing Jason Herzog into action. Michael Chandler scores a violent knockout after only 44 seconds and retains his Bellator lightweight title.



Jeremy Kimball def. Keith Berry via KO (Punches) R2 1:45



Shawn Bunch def. Russell Wilson via Decision (Split) R3 5:00



Javier Palacios def. Richard Jacques via Decision (Unanimous) R3 5:00



Adrian Cruz def. Felipe Chavez via TKO (Punches) R2



Donald Sanchez def. Cliff Wright via Decision (Split) R3 5:00


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