Bellator 38 took place earlier this evening at Harrah’s Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. The event kicked off Bellator’s season four light heavyweight tournament that includes notable light heavyweights Daniel Gracie, Nik Fekete and Christian M’Pumbu. Blagoi Ivanov, who famously beat Fedor Emelianenko at the 2008 World Combat Sambo Championships, made his Bellator debut on the undercard.

The highlight of the night came in the second light heavyweight quarterfinal. Before Chan Sung Jung pulled off the first twister submission in UFC history at UFC Fight Night 24, Richard Hale pulled off the second inverted triangle in Bellator history. Just like Toby Imada choked out Jorge Masvidal with the rare submission in Bellator’s first season, Hale found himself upside down on Fekete’s back and managed to lock his legs around Fekete’s arm and neck and choke him unconscious. The amazing video above.

Results and official recap after the jump.

Official Recap

TUNICA, MS (March 26, 2011) — Bellator Fighting Championships was LIVE on MTV2 tonight from Harrah’s Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica, MS with Bellator 38.  The Season 4 event brought action in the quarterfinal round of the first-ever Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament.

Kicking off the evening was former Marine Chris “The Professional” Davis and Christian “Tonton” M’Pumbu. Both fighters put their technical ability on display in the back and forth fight, but it was M’Pumbu who was able to turn it up late in the third round.  M’Pumbu trapped Davis between his knees, landing crushing unanswered hooks to Davis’ head, forcing the referee to step in and award M’Pumbu a TKO victory.

The second quarterfinal of the evening saw Richard Hale taking on Nik Fekete.  Fekete looked to rely on his wrestling skills early with a double leg takedown, but quickly found himself in a compromised position as the 6’4” Hale hung off his opponent’s back, locking in an inverted triangle choke with Fekete still standing.  In a déjà vu moment that would make Toby Imada proud, Fekete dropped to his stomach, losing consciousness from Hale’s Submission of the Year candidate inverted triangle choke.

D.J Linderman took on submission specialist Raphael Davis in quarterfinal action at Bellator 38.  In a fight that moved from both the feet to the ground, it was Linderman who won the stand up battle, frequently finding a home for his heavy left hand.  Late in the third round it was apparent that the damage to Davis had accumulated as Linderman forced him to his knees with a jarring left hook, the referee had seen enough, awarding Linderman an amazing third round TKO upset victory.

Jiu-Jitsu legend Daniel Gracie met an undefeated Tim Carpenter in the final Light Heavyweight quarterfinal fight of the evening.  Carpenter surprisingly dominated both the Jiu-Jitsu and standup battle throughout the fight.  Gracie found his legs late in the second round but his efforts were not enough as the fight went to the judge’s cards, whom ultimately awarded Carpenter a split decision victory and a spot in the Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament semifinals.

“I was hugely impressed with our Light Heavyweights tonight, I never would have imagined that we would see another inverted triangle, from a 6’4” Light Heavyweight,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “We’re on a roll – I’m proud to say that we’ve strung together three back to back world-class, spectacular events, I couldn’t be happier.”


  • Tim Carpenter defeats Daniel Gracie via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • D.J. Linderman defeats Raphael Davis via TKO (Strikes) at 2:44 Round 3
  • Richard Hale defeats Nik Fekete via Submission (Inverted-Triangle Choke) at 1:55 in Round 1
  • Christian M’Pumbu defeats Chris Davis via TKO (Strikes) at 3:34 in Round 3
  • Austin Lyons defeats Jimmy Van Horn via Submission (Armbar) at 2:10 in Round 1
  • Jake Underwood defeats Tim Galluzzi via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:04 in Round 1
  • Cody Donovan defeats Brian Albin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Blagoi Ivanov defeats William Penn via TKO (strikes) at 2:58 in Round 1
  • Amaechi Oselukwue defeats Abe Wilson via Unanimous Decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)