Three new champions is the result of Bellator 106. A main card that was full of epic battles and wars of attrition is closed and the results are pretty surprising. Let’s take a look in review at Bellator 106, and compare what happened to my earlier predictions.
Mike Richman def. Akop Stepanyan via 1st Rd TKO
This fight went pretty much exactly as I predicted it to be. I knew Richman would have the power edge in his hands, but Akop was a strong fighter. Stepanyan threw down, punch for punch, with Richman and even hurt him earlier in the first round. However, Richman’s power became the deciding factor when he caught Stepanyan with a hard left hook, and finished the fight.
Joe Riggs def. Mike Bronzoulis via Unanimous Decision
I didn’t do a prediction on this fight, but it went pretty much according to planned for Joe Riggs. Bronzoulis showed his precise striking early in the bout when Riggs stood with him, but some hard kicks changed Riggs’ mind and forced the bout into Joe’s favor. Strong takedowns and a steady flow of ground and pound won all three rounds for Riggs who was just too strong and too relentless for Bronzoulis. Riggs became the first Fight Master champion with this decision victory.
Daniel Straus def. Pat Curran via Unanimous Decision
Wow! That’s all I can say after watching this fight. When comparing Curran and Straus’s fighting styles, I never thought Curran to be the guy who lets his opponent dictate the pace, but that’s what he did and he paid for it. I was expecting Curran to have some strong offense and aggressive grappling, but Straus’s clinchwork and overall control shut him down. I originally picked Curran to win by a second round submission, but Straus never gave him that chance. An excellent gameplan and execution by Straus as he won a decision to become the new featherweight Bellator champion.
Emanuel Newton def. Muhammed Lawal via Unanimous Decision
Another big upset here as Newton proves the first fight not a fluke by dispatching King Mo on the scorecards. It wasn’t the most eventful fight, but Lawal really seemed out of place here. Some strong takedowns and punishing blows to the head early in the bout led me to believe King was well on his way to smashing Newton for revenge, but he never quite pulled the trigger. Instead, he let Newton take back momentum with precise striking in a range that Mo was not comfortable with. I’m not sure what the strategy was for Lawal, but this has got to be quite an embarrassing loss. Newton wins on the scorecards, and becomes Bellator’s new interim light-heavyweight champ.
Eddie Alvarez def Michael Chandler via Split Decision
If you thought their first bout was epic, this one arguably surpasses it. It was back-and-forth just like I expected it to be, but man was Alvarez on point. I was predicting the long lay-off to hinder Alvarez slightly, but if anything it made him sharper. I originally picked Chandler to win a decision, as I thought his power and wrestling would be enough to overwhelm Eddie, but that was not the case. With that said, Chandler’s power did play a factor, which I knew it would, but Eddie’s movement and defense really cleaned up a lot and made it so Chandler would have a hard target to hit. Alvarez took advantage of Chandler’s habit of dropping his hands, tagged him several times, and ultimately did enough damage with his punches to edge Chandler on the scorecard. A near submission late in the fight would almost declare Chandler the winner, but Alvarez fought through it and went on to become Bellator’s new lightweight champion.
My picks weren’t really that great for this card. I went with smart picks and predicted all the favorites to win, but it was upset-central last night. It’s very hard to gauge upsets, especially when you have two (arguably three) in a row, so I’ll see if I can’t redeem myself with a strong record next card.