Will Brooks got his revenge at Bellator 105 against Saad Awad. | Photo: Will Fox/Sherdog.com
The wait was well worth the reward for Will Brooks.
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and a steady diet of leg kicks carried the American Top Team export to a unanimous decision over Saad Awad in the Bellator MMA Season 9 lightweight tournament semifinals at Bellator 105 on Friday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict, as Brooks (12-1, 4-1 Bellator) swept the scorecards by matching 30-27 marks and avenged the only defeat of his career.
Awad (15-6, 3-2 Bellator) -- who knocked out Brooks in 43 seconds at Bellator 91 in February -- had his moments in the rematch, moving briefly to mount in the first and third rounds and threatening with a triangle choke near the end of the second. However, he spent far too much time on the bottom, victimized by repeated takedowns. Frustration grew for Awad in rounds two and three, where he attempted to talk and taunt his way into a brawl. Brooks stayed true to his game plan, pecking away with kicks and jabs on the perimeter and securing takedowns when the Millennia MMA representative moved into range.
“I’ve been through a lot to get to this point in my life,” Brooks said. “Me, my family, my friends -- we’ve all made extreme sacrifices just so I could chase one dream that every other fighter in here is chasing.”
Sarnavskiy Triangle Dismisses Tirloni
An exquisitely timed and perfectly placed spinning back fist from Sarnavskiy (25-1, 4-1 Bellator) floored the Brazilian during their initial exchange and left him unable to defend himself in a competent manner.
“Tiger” subdued a still-dazed Tirloni on the mat during a scramble, locked up the triangle and waited for the tap.
‘Mighty Mo’ Keylock Submits Sparks
Siliga (5-2, 2-0 Bellator) sprawled out of a takedown attempt from the 38-year-old Kentucky native, settled into side control and went to work. The methodical “Mighty Mo” later corralled Sparks with a mounted crucifix, secured the keylock and forced the tapout. A two-time K-1 grand prix winner, Siliga has posted back-to-back wins for the first time since 2007.
Fadiora Elbows Dispatch Berry
Berry (15-12, 2-2 Bellator) was never allowed to establish a foothold in the bout. Fadiora short-circuited the Reign MMA export with a series of clinches and trip takedowns. Once on the ground, the Englishman passed guard and unleashed short punches and elbows, one of which opened a cut near Berry’s left eye.
In the second round, Fadiora trapped the Californian in a mounted crucifix, uncorked more elbows and forced referee Rob Hinds to intervene.