Tim Carpenter hammered Ryan Contaldi with a right uppercut at Bellator 54. | Photo: Keith Mills
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Philadelphia's Tim Carpenter swung a heavy hammer in his light heavyweight contest with Ryan Contaldi, getting back on the winning track with a brutal right uppercut in the most stirring moment of Bellator 54's undercard at the Boardwalk Hall Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J.
The bout began slowly with 6-foot-3 Carpenter pawing with his jab and firing off combinations from distance on the 5-foot-11 and noticeably soft-in-the-midsection Contaldi. After overcoming a glancing kick to the cup, Cortland, N.Y.'s Contaldi moved inside to fire a combination but was met instead with a thunderous right uppercut which sent him to the crashing to the canvas, flat on his back.
“I’m pretty well rounded, my standup is improving. I'm happy to finally have the knockout on my resume, since I’ve had only submissions and decisions before now,” Carpenter told Sherdog.com after the bout. “I knew he threw looping punches and thought I had an advantage no matter where the fight went.”
Referee Kevin McDonald immediately halted the bout, though Contaldi put his hands up to question whether or not he still had more fight left in him. The official end to the bout came at 2:16 of the very first round.
The victory over the Team Bombsquad fighter brings Carpenter's MMA record to 8-1, his first action since his TKO loss to current Bellator light heavyweight champion Chrstian M’Pumbu in the promotion's title tournament semifinals last April. With the loss, Contaldi falls to 8-5-1.
It remains that M'Pumbu rematch that motivates Carpenter.
“It wasn’t necessarily a problem with the game plan [against M'Pumbu], it was a problem with execution. I was sloppy. I was chasing him around the ring instead of cutting him off. I just didn’t execute,” explained Carpenter. “It will all be fixed when I get to face him again.”
A former Carpenter victim, Daniel Gracie, found no better success against Duane Bastress, as the Renzo Gracie protégé was halted in the middleweight contest on doctor's advice after the second round.
Bastress began the bout by emphatically slamming Gracie to the canvas and pounding on his face from top position. Gracie was at a severe strength disadvantage and Bastress had no problem throwing him around the cage and smashing him on the floor. Gracie rolled for a leglock as well as a kneebar in the second round but Bastress opened up a cut over the eye which ended the bout at the end of the round.
Gracie protested the ringside physician's call, repeatedly proclaiming “I’m OK!”. Nonetheless, the victory moves the two-time Division III wrestling champion from New Cumberland, Penn., to 4-1 in his career.
As a late replacement for Strikeforce veteran Karl Amoussou, Williamsport, Penn.'s Lewis Rumsey came in a pound overweight for his middleweight bout with Joey Kirwan. However, an extra pound was no matter, as Kirwan first looked to secure a tight brabo choke, but when his foe escaped, he transitioned to a guillotine. Kirwan transitioned to mount and finished the choke for the tap at just 1:40 of the first round.
The victory was the fourth straight win, all by guillotine choke, for the product of Rock Hall, Md., now 8-5 in his MMA campaign.
Behind a stiff jab and quick hands, Denville, N.J.'s Claudio Ledesma dominated most of his 140-pound contest with Team Bombsquad's Brian Kelleher, earning three 30-27 scorecards.
In the second and third rounds, Ledesma showed off his clinch game to set up his double-leg takedowns, showing both his boxing and wrestling, which stifled the offense of Kelleher, limited to just weak guillotines for 15 minutes.
In the opening bout of the night, female 145-pounder Andria Caplan ground out a unanimous decision victory, taking three scores of 29-28 over Adrienne Seiber in her debut professional bout. The Pennsylvanian was able take opponent down with an array of trip takedowns and utilize top control to pound on her opponent for the majority of the three rounds.