Dayton, Ohio – May 1, 2009 – A shocked silence befell the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio Friday night when Toby Imada made MMA history. In a move that MMA insiders are calling “the submission of the decade,” and “shocking” underdog Toby Imada came out of nowhere to lock an inverted triangle choke to Jorge Masvidal in the third round, rendering him unconscious while Masvidal “was still standing”. As the favorite Masvidal collapsed to the ground, the arena exploded in shock and awe of what they saw. A move Imada claims to practice all the time yet has never been seen in a pro MMA event, ended what was a strong performance by Masvidal (Masvidal was ahead on 2 of the 3 cards) and secured Imada’s place in the Bellator cage for the chance to be the Bellator Lightweight World Champion. Imada will face Eddie Alvarez, the other tournament winner of the evening, to claim the belt, glory and $100,000 payout. Marking one of the most thrilling Bellator events to-date, Bellator V advances two Lightweight stars to the finals and showcased some of the best professional talent to the world for their shot at fame. Bellator V will air Saturday May 2, 2009 exclusively on ESPN Deportes.
“I still haven’t caught my breath after the fights tonight,” exclaimed Bjorn Rebney, Bellator CEO. “This was the type of event I hoped we would produce when we first created our tournament structure and started signing fighters from every corner of the globe.”
Toby Imada and Jorge Masvidal opened the tournament semi final action in the Lightweight division at Bellator V. The first two rounds were close, but Masvidal had the advantage, marked by strong punches landing from multiple angles with his impressive stand-up game landing numerous left hooks. In the second, Imada continued to battle on his feet with Masvidal even though his last eight victories were via submission. Just over a minute into the third it looked like Masvidal was working his way toward his next win, but had seriously underestimated Amada’s world class submission skills. A little over a minute into the third it looked like it was Imada who was in trouble as he hung upside down from a standing Masvidal. Not looking concerned, Masvidal walked forward as Imada locked his legs around Masvidal’s neck and synched it in with his hands around his legs, securing the inverted triangle choke and knocking Masvidal out cold while he was standing. Imada secured a shot at the title and the opportunity to raise his total earnings to $175,000 for his efforts.
In the main event, top world ranked Eddie Alvarez entered Bellator V with a game plan; advance to the finals as the most well rounded fighter, citing that he had been working on his ground game recently. Eric Reynolds had a plan to take advantage of his underdog status as inspiration to take out Alvarez. From the start of the fight, Alvarez took to the ground with Tampa native Eric Reynolds shooting at him whenever an opportunity opened. The first two rounds took place mostly on the mat with Alvarez vying for position while Muay Thai star Reynolds fought off fists and submissions while landing a few strong blows. Alvarez consistently was trying to lock position when ninety seconds into the third, Alvarez managed to lock on the rear naked choke to advance to the finals and his chance for the world championship.
Bellator V also contained phenomenal undercard action across the board. Justin Edwards defeated John Troyer via guillotine submission in one of the hardest fought matches of the evening. Both fighters were dropped multiple times as they exchanged blows before Edwards could lock on the finisher at 4:12 in the first. In the heavyweight category Joey Beltran defeated Sherman Pendergarst via brutal knockout while Pendergarst was still standing.
All of the Bellator V action can be seen on ESPN Deportes Saturday May 2. The full fight results are below:
Bellator V Lightweight Semi-Final Tournament bouts:
155 lbs. – Eric Reynolds (11-1) vs. Eddie Alvarez (16-3) Alvarez by submission (rear naked choke) at 12:1:30
155 lbs. – Toby Imada (22-12) vs. Jorge Masvidal (17-4) Imada by TKO (triangle choke) at 13:22
Bellator III Non-tournament bouts:
HW – Josh Barnes (4-1) vs. Dave Herman (14-1) Herman by TKO (strikes) at 4:46
HW – Sherman Pendergarst (11-12) vs. Joey Beltran (6-2) Beltran by TKO (strikes) at 2:24
HW – Dave Evensen (11-4) vs. Raoul Romero (3-2) Evensen by submission (strikes) at 6:44
145 lbs. – Pete Dominguez (9-4) vs. Matt Jaggers (11-5) Jaggers by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:03
117 lbs. – Tammy Schneider (3-7) vs. Jessica Pene (1-0) Pene by TKO (strikes) at 1:35
170 lbs. – Justin Edwards (2-0) vs. John Troyer (8-3) Edwards by submission (guillotine) at 4:12
155 lbs. – Frank Carabello (3-1) vs. Waylon Lowe (4-2) Lowe by unanimous decision
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 are 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.