Bellator 53 Results and Play-by-Play

Oct 8, 2011
Sherdog.com will report from the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla., at approximately 7:00 p.m. ET with play-by-play and live results of Bellator 53, which features the semifinals of Bellator's Season 5 welterweight tournament.

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Luis Alberto Nogueira vs. Zak Laird

Round 1
Nogueira quickly looks for a single-leg takedown, but he can't get it. Instead, he elevates Laird and slams him to the mat. Laird quickly looks for a triangle, but Nogueira passes his legs, forcing a scramble. In the scramble, Nogueira locks up a guillotine, pulls guard, and grabs his wrist to finish. Laird can't extricate himself, and he's forced to tap out just 51 seconds into the first round.

David Rickels vs. Levi Avera

Round 1
Avera flashes his hands early, bulling into a clinch and pushing Rickels against the fence. Rickels shuts down his attempts at a takedown, which prompts the Marine to pull guard, giving Rickels top position. Avera continues to look for an armbar, but Rickels continuously breaks his posture and elbows him to the face. Referee Jasog Herzog stands the pair up from full guard with under two minutes to go in the round. Avera shoots again immediately, pushing Rickels into the cage. A cut in the hairline of Avera is pouring blood onto Rickels' chest. Avera can't get the double, and Rickels gets double underhooks, flipping him over and taking top position again. Another elbow from Rickels cuts Avera open across the forehead this time. Rickels continues grinding away from half guard until Jason Herzog stands the bout up for a doctor check. The physician cleans the cut over Avera's left eye, and as the bout restarts, Avera dives for another takedown. Rickels easily defends.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rickels
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Rickels
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Rickels

Round 2
Avera immediately shoots on Rickels, and again, the Kansas native defends. Rickels spins out the backdoor, and as Avera turns to grab his legs again, he eats an illegal knee which prompts a pause in the action. Avera walks it off, and Jason Herzog calmly tells Rickels that he has to take a point, and Rickels seems to agree with the ref's assessment. On the restart, Avera finally gets his takedown, but Rickels immediately elbows him and locks up a loose triangle. Rickels switches to an armbar, the blood from Avera spilling onto his chest. Avera freezes up, which allows Rickels to smoothly switch back to a much tighter triangle that ends the fight at 1:06 of the second round.

Raphael Davis vs. Myron Dennis

Keith Mills

Davis knocked Dennis out cold.
Round 1
After a feeling out process, Davis closes the distance and looks for a double-leg takedown along the fence. Dennis continues to use a wide base to defend it, showing great balance. Dennis breaks his foe's grip and unloads with a volley of punches, but Davis dives right back in on his legs, and finally wrestles him to the ground with two minutes to go in the first round. Davis chips away with some short right hands from guard. Davis switches to hammerfists, and then elbows before the round ends.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Davis
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-10
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Davis

Round 2
Dennis and Davis exchange hooks on the feet, but neither can make gain a major advantage on the feet. Davis ducks his shoulder and comes up with a lunging left hook that instantly knocks Davis silly, unconscious before he even hits the mat. Davis follows with a hammerfist to punctuate the bout just 29 seconds into the second round.

A.J. Matthews vs. Rudy Bears

Round 1
Matthews rushes with punches, pushing Bears into the cage, and getting a takedown with double underhooks. Bears escapes back to his feet, and looks for his own takedown. Matthews looks for an outside switch to defend, but Bears shuts it down. Matthews breaks Bears off of his leg, and they clinch along the fence again. Matthews digs low and elevates Bears, but Bears breaks his fall and looks to scoot up the cage. Matthews lands two hard knees to the chest, but Bears does regain his feet with just under two minutes to fight in the first frame. Matthews is the aggressor standing, winging with hooks that just glance Bears. Bears attempts a jumping switch kick that misses, and Matthews tags him with a right hand. Hard low kick and a jumping knee for Matthews land before the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Matthews
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Matthews
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Matthews

K. Mills

Matthews outpointed Bears.
Round 2
Matthews' jumping knee continues to be effective. Finally, he clinches and delivers a different knee attack to Bears, who covers up, taking the knees to the arms and body. Matthews is stalking Bears more aggressively now, and he walks into a left uppercut and right hook from Bears. Matthews is rocked and on his heels, but he lands a big knee as Bears rushes him, gaining control of the bout again. Matthews takes Bears down, and Bears looks for a kimura from his back, but is shut down. Bears throws his legs up in pursuit of an armbar, but Matthews escapes, and deftly moves to mount for a moment before Bears regains guard.

Bears explodes back to his feet, but Matthews smacks him with punches and another jump knee before completing another takedown. With just seven seconds to go, referee Kevin Nix stands them up, but there's too little time left for any real offense.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Matthews
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Matthews
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Bears

Round 3
Sensing he might be behind, Bears is the aggressor early, stepping forward and attacking Matthews with heavy kicking offense. Bears sitting down on punch combinations now, but can't land clean on Matthews. Matthews swings two hooks, but Bears smacks him with a left-handed counter. A left head kick by Bears is blocked, but he drills Matthews with a right kick to the body just after. Bears lands a trio of inside low kicks on a stationary Matthews. Matthews looks for another takedown along the cage, but Bears shrugs him off this time. A Matthews head kick is blocked, and neither man can land with their late punches.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Bears (29-28 Matthews)
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Matthews (30-28 Matthews)
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Matthews (29-28 Matthews)

Official result: All three judges -- Jim Lambert, David Sutherland and Gary Ritter -- score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, A.J. Matthews.

K. Mills

Santana armbarred Cobb.
Giva Santana vs. Darryl Cobb

Round 1
Santana begins with a stiff outside low kick. Santana drops for a low single which makes Cobb stumble, but "The Arm Collector" can't complete the takedown. Another heavy outside low kick by Santana. The Brazilian shoots a double-leg and gets it easily, before moving to side control. Cobb gives up his back, and Santana dives over it, looking for his trademark armbar. Cobb tries to yank his arm out, but he ends up falling belly down and tapping out at two minutes of the first round.

Greg Scott vs. Emanuel Brooks

K. Mills

Brooks beat Scott down.
Round 1
After feeling one another out, Brooks gets a rear waistlock, elevates Scott and gets a powerful slam takedown. He quickly gets knee and belly, and begins raining down punishment on Scott. nd slams him to the mat. he moves to knee on belly and begins raining down heavy shots. Scott gives up the back and Brooks attempts a rear naked choke. Scott rolls over, giving Brooks mount. Scott exposes his back, and Scott threatens with the rear-naked choke, punching away until the bell to end a dominant frame for the former Mizzou Tiger.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Brooks
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-8 Brooks
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-8 Brooks

Round 2
Brooks and Scott exchange punches without much heavy content. Brooks stops toying around, and bulls Scott into the fence with double underhooks. He throws his foe to the ground and takes mount for a moment, but Scott manages to reclaim half guard. Scott is inert on the bottom, turning away as Brooks punches. Brooks postures up and begins to punch with more force, stepping into full mount and finishing the fight at 2:40 of the second round.

K. Mills

Santos stopped Burns in round one.
Thiago Santos vs. Josh Burns

Burns walks Santos down with slow punches, and the two large heavyweights clinch along the cage. Santos lands some tough punches inside and gets a waistlock on Burns, dragging him to the mat. Burns is on his knees, and looks exhausted already, just two minutes into the fight. Santos isn't putting his hooks in, but Burns looks helpless. Burns reaches behind himself inexplicably and grabs Santos' leg, and the Brazilian casually sinks in a rear-naked choke that earns him the W at just 2:23 of the first round.

Ronnie Mann vs. Kenny Foster

K. Mills

Mann caught Foster with a triangle.
Round 1
A Mann head kick is blocked by Foster to begin the featherweight affair. Foster sets up a rugged body kick, and Mann responds in kind, glancing with another head kick. Foster gets Mann to the floor, and sets up in half guard. Mann looks for a triangle,but Foster shuts it down. He tries to sweep from half, but Foster gets a front headlock to control his efforts. After stagnating in the position, referee Kevin Nix orders the 145-pounders back to their feet. Mann is aggressive on the restart, attacking with punches and a jumping knee to the body. Mann cracks Foster with a right hook as he barrels in on a double-leg. The punch snaps the New Yorker's head to the side, but he still completes the takedown.

Mann climbs for another triangle, and this one is on in a hurry and cinched up. Foster is trapped and taps out at 3:51 of the first round.

Bellator Welterweight Tournament Semifinal
Chris Lozano vs. Douglas Lima


Round 1
Lima is aggressive from the outset, walking down the heavy-hitting Lozano. Both men lob punches and low kicks to now effect. The first heavy shot is a low kick form Lozano that lands low on Lima, and the Brazilian walks it off without an official pause in action. The two now trade stiff outside low kicks. Lima closes in and Lozano cracks him with a right hand that wobbles him, but the Brazilian roars back, landing uppercuts and low kicks. Tense moments halfway through the first round. Jabs land for both fighters. Lima sticks Lozano with a few more stiff ones that have his nose and mouth bloodied. Lima gets to his legs and sucks him to the floor. The Cleveland native tries to jump to his feet, but Lima gets his back standing with one hook in, threatening until the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Lima
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Lima
Joe Ortiz scores the round 10-9 Lima

Round 2
K. Mills

Lima Dropped Lozano.
Dueling leg kicks are again the name of the game to start round two. Lima's lead left hook keeps getting to Lozano's eye. The Brazilian comes back with more heavy low kicks. One-two for Lozano misses, but he lands a hard body kick to end his combo. Lozano's face is starting to really reflect the dominance of Lima's punching. Lozano now staying further away from Lima to avoid his jab, but is now struggling to score. A hook from Lima sends Lozano's sweat flying. The Brazilian fakes upstairs, and stabs a right cross to Lozano's body. Lima throws a left hook which misses, but he comes back with a rocket right hand that crashes into Lozano's face. The Ohioan hits the mat post-haste, out cold at 3:14 of the second round.

Sensational knockout win for Douglas Lima, who advances to the Bellator Season 5 welterweight tournament final.

Bellator Welterweight Tournament Semifinal
Ben Saunders vs. Luis Santos


Round 1
Saunders is all over Santos quick with a body kick and a head kick. Santos gets in a double-leg, but Saunders stands up along the cage. Santos tries to lift the taller Saunders off the ground, but the UFC veteran maintains his balance on his tiptoes in impressive fashion. Santos lifts him up again, and this time, Saunders defends it illegally, grabbing the top of the fence and getting warned by referee Jason Herzog. The Brazilian finally sucks Saunders to the floor, and Saunders instantly moves to rubber guard. Saunders locks up a triangle from mission control position, but Santos gets his head out. However, he gets stuck in an omoplata, and he's forced to work out while Saunders punches him in the mouth from the bottom. Santos is trying to hide his chin, as Saunder is throwing legitimate straight punches form his back and cracking him in the chin. Santos looks totally stuck in the omoplata, despite not being in immediate peril. Saunders shifts off the fence and tries to sit up to finish the omoplata, but the Brazilian won't let him. Saunders turns his hips and tries to transition into a triangle, but Santos blocks it. Santos escapes and gets back into full guard, but he's ensnared in Saunders' rubber guard again. With 30 seconds to go, Saunders throws up a tighter triangle, and grips behind his knee to finish it. Santos gets his head free again, and Saunders punches away on the Brazilian until the bell. Total dominance by Saunders despite being on his back for almost the whole round.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Saunders
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Saunders
Joe Ortiz scores the round 10-9 Saunders

Round 2
A quick Santos counter puts Saunders on the ground, but it's just a flash knockdown as Saunders instantly has his wits back. Santos dives on him, but ends up in the exact same rubber guard triangle set-up again. He gets his head out, and again, ends up in an omoplata. Saunders tries to turn it into a kimura and he rolls Santos, who escapes, but the Brazilian ends up fighting another triangle. Santos has had almost zero offense in the fight, simply because he's stuck in a variety of grappling attacks from Saunders for prolonged periods of time. Saunders sits up on the omoplata this time, and he has it in deep, pushing his hips forward and punching Santos with his free arm. Santos tries to roll forward, but Saunders traps him halfway and tries to crank his arm down. Santos finally escapes, but he gives up top position with a minute to go in the second. He overhooks Saunders' arms to slow his attack. Saunders chips away with short punches until the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Saunders
Jesse Denis scores the round 10-9 Saunders
Joe Ortiz scores the round 10-9 Saunders

K. Mills

Saunders tapped out Santos.
Round 3
Perhaps desperate, Santos quickly rolls for a leglock, but Saunders thwarts him and sets up shop from half guard on top. Saunders looks for a keylock from half guard, and incredibly, actually gets the rudimentary hold quite deep from the unlikely position. Santos' elbow is badly torqued, and Saunders uses his considerable leverage to crank it even deeper from half guard, forcing the tap at 1:45 of the third round.
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