Another big Bellator knockout and season finale recap after the jump.
Hollywood, Fla. – June 19, 2009 – Marking the conclusion of the first season of Bellator Fighting Championships, on Friday night warriors Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard captured the first ever Lightweight and Middleweight Bellator world championships. Both fighters collected their $175,000 three fight purse totals and raised the Bellator championship belt in front of the packed Hard Rock Live crowd. Beginning the co-main event at Bellator XII hosted by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., middleweight juggernaut Hector “Shango” Lombard took on undefeated Oklahoman and all-American wrestler Jared Hess. Both fighters took to the ground early with Hess trying to capitalize on his wrestling skills. But, throughout the 4 round fight, Lombard’s takedown defense was tremendous and his power in both hands was at times daunting against the All-American. While the majority of the rounds were one-sided, the courage, determination and toughness shown by Hess against one of the world’s top middleweights will earn the Oklahoman fans across the globe. With a badly swollen left eye, and a large and deep cut in the forehead, Hess resiliently charged into the second and third rounds consistently trying to push the action and look for the takedown. Unrelenting with his strikes, Lombard’s repeated strikes and a cut that would not close, caused the doctors to call the fight in the forth round. Lombard further enhanced his position as one of the most feared strikers in the Middleweight division with the victory while Hess proved that he is young, strong and courageous force in the division who will be back during Bellator’s second season. The Lightweight and Middleweight championship bouts can be seen on Saturday, June 20, 2009 exclusively on ESPN Deportes and on Bellator.com on Wednesday, June 24th in English.
When asked about whom Lombard would like to fight next, he commented, “Whoever CEO Bjorn Rebney puts in front of me next, that’s who I will fight and I will win, I want Bellator to bring me the best in the world.” A battered, but confident Jared Hess vowed to return for the second season after continuing to work on his training.
The evenings Co-Main event featured veteran submission artist Toby Imada taking on top world ranked lightweight Eddie Alvarez. The first round was even with both fighters sneaking in knees, kicks and strikes with Alvarez pushing the action, but Imada countering nicely. In what was a very even first round, Imada suffered a small cut over his right eye. Early in the 2nd round Alvarez landed a right hand that sent Imada to the canvas. Alvarez moved quickly to the ground and pound, before transitioning to Imada’s back and sinking in a fight ending rear naked less than one minute into the second.
Post fight Eddie Alvarez commented about why the tournament format works for him: “It’s all about passion. You must give up the other elements of your life to really do this. The tournament structure does not work for everyone, but it definitely works for me.”
“This has been a great first season for our fighters and for our organization. I am very proud of what Eddie, Hector, Lyman and Joe were able to accomplish in winning our world titles. And, while the measureable elements of our success have been very strong, it’s the fact that our tournament format where fighters control their own destiny has worked flawlessly that gives me a huge sense of pride.
In feature fight action Lightweight tournament Semi-finalists Jorge Masvidal and Eric Reynolds collided in a stand up battle that saw Masvidal prevail by way of a rear naked choke. In other feature action, World BJJ phenom Sergio Moraes took on Josh Martin in an impressive North American debut by dominating most of the action and ending the fight via triangle choke with just over 30 seconds left in the first. In other action, newcomer 19-year-old Stefanie Guimaraes stunned the packed Hard Rock Live with a right knee TKO with under a minute left in the first round, taking out Kung Fu fighter Yvonne Reis.
All of the Bellator XII action will air on ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 20. The full fight card results are below:
Bellator XII Lightweight Final Tournament bout:
155 lbs. – Toby Imada (22-13) vs. Eddie Alvarez (18-2) Alvarez by rear naked choke submission at 0:38 of the second round
Bellator XII Middleweight Final Tournament bout:
185 lbs. – Jared Hess (8-1-1) vs. Hector Lombard (20-2) Lombard by TKO (Doctor stoppage – cut) at 1:41 of the fourth round.
Bellator XII Non-tournament bouts:
145 lbs. – Fabio Mello (5-7) vs. Sami Aziz (6-0-1) Mello by submission arm bar at 1:58 of the third round.
160 lbs. – Eric Reynolds (11-3) vs. Jorge Masvidal (18-4) Masvidal by rear naked choke submission at 3:33 of the third round.
170 lbs. – Josh Martin (6-3-1) vs. Sergio Moraes (4-0) Moraes by triangle submission at 4:21
125 lbs. – Rosi Sexton (10-1) vs. Valerie Coolbaugh (2-2) Sexton by submission (arm bar) at 3:40
150 lbs. – Luis Palomino (11-5) vs. Troy Gerhart (5-1) Palomino by unanimous decision
145 lbs. – Stefanie Guimaraes (1-1) vs. Yvonne Reis (0-2) Guimaraes by TKO (knee) at 0:49
Bellator Fighting Championships’ premiere season consists of 12 two-hour events broadcast weekly in primetime on Saturday nights on ESPN Deportes. The English-language broadcast becomes available on www.Bellator.com each Wednesday. The nationally televised events feature a combination of tournament and non-tournament special feature bouts. There were four simultaneous tournaments taking place in season one over a three month period: one in each of the Featherweight (145 lb.), Lightweight (155 lb.), Welterweight (170 lb.) and Middleweight (185 lb.) divisions.
For more information, visit www.Bellator.com. Bellator’s Spanish website is available at www.Espanol.Bellator.com. Please contact your local cable provider to learn more about viewing Bellator Fighting Championships on ESPN Deportes.