Bellator 47 Prelims: Bezerra, Romero, Ricci Victorious

By Brian Knapp Jul 23, 2011
Alexandre Bezerra choked Jesse Gross out cold at Bellator 47. | Photo: Al Quintero

Once-beaten Brazilian prospect Alexandre Bezerra needed less than a minute and a half to put away Jesse Gross on Saturday at the Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada, as he rendered the 23-year-old Canadian unconscious with a rear-naked choke 1:28 into round one in a Bellator 47 preliminary duel.

Bezerra (10-1, 2-0 BFC) paired a right hand with a double-leg takedown and transitioned almost immediately to his opponent’s back. He cinched the choke underneath the chin, tightened his grip and waited for Gross (6-2, 0-1 BFC) to black out. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Bezerra has rattled off five consecutive victories.

A. Quintero

Romero (left) outpointed Langbeen.
Romero Outpoints Langbeen, Ends Skid

William Romero halted a three-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision victory over King of the Cage veteran Daniel Langbeen in a lightweight dark match. Two of the three judges, Jason Rodgers and Frank Jackson, scored it 30-27 for Romero; a third, Pasquale Procopio, saw it 29-28 for the Canadian.

Romero (6-3, 1-1 BFC), who had not won in nearly two years, set the tone from the start. The 28-year-old scored with two first-round takedowns and landed the cleaner strikes over the course of the 15-minute encounter. He attacked the grounded Langbeen’s legs from a standing position with regularity, racking up points with his defenseless opponent on his back.

With two rounds in his pocket, Romero followed a beautiful three-punch combination with another takedown, transitioned to Langbeen’s back and threatened briefly with a choke. Langbeen (3-4, 0-1 BFC) reversed into Romero’s guard and landed a few elbows from top position. They represented his only significant offense of the fight.

Al Quintero

Ricci (top) stopped Matewa.
Ricci Ousts Matewa in Debut

Canadian muay Thai practitioner Alex Ricci stopped Alka Matewa on second-round punches in a preliminary matchup between Bellator newcomers. Matewa met his end on the end of Ricci’s fists 2:40 into round two.

Ricci (3-0, 1-0 BFC) mounted the Belgian import briefly in the first round, as the two men traded takedowns, and survived a significant scare in the second. The unbeaten 29-year-old recovered from a stout left hook and a knee up the middle that put him on the mat. Ricci pressed the clinch, mounted Matewa (1-2, 0-1 BFC) again when the action hit the ground and dropped a series of punches that forced referee Josh
Rosenthal to intervene.

Bellator 47's local undercard was a thin one, as two slated bouts were canceled at the 11th hour.

A bantamweight bout between Stratford, Ontario's Syd Barnier and "The Bosnian Menace" Denis Puric was nixed after Barnier did not appear at Friday's weigh-in. Bellator officials confirmed to that Puric, who showed up and made the 135-pound limit, would be paid his purse anyhow.

Also, a welterweight contest between Michigan native Daron Cruickshank and Toronto-based Lithuanian Sergej Juskevic was also canceled. Sources close to the situation informed that Juskevic had failed an electroencephalogram as part of his pre-fight medical examination, and was pulled from the bout by the Ontario Athletics Commission.

Like Puric, Cruickshank will also receive his contracted show money despite not fighting on the evening.
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