Douglas Lima earned another vicious KO win over Ben Saunders at Bellator 100. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Douglas Lima knocked out American Top Team stablemate Ben Saunders with a second-round head kick in the twice-postponed Bellator MMA Season 8 welterweight tournament final at Bellator 100 on Friday at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix. The surgical strike from the gifted Brazilian brought it to close 4:33 into round two.
The win, Lima’s fourth in a row, secured a $100,000 payday for the Atlanta-based 25-year-old and clinched a shot at the Bellator welterweight crown currently held by the undefeated Ben Askren.
“I feel good,” Lima said. “I think I broke my hand again in the first round. I’m pissed about that. Ben Saunders is a warrior. It happens, man. Somebody’s got to lose.”
Saunders (16-6-2, 7-3 Bellator) was outgunned, just as he was in their first encounter at Bellator 57 a little less than two years ago. Lima opened a cut below his right eyebrow in the opening round and then left him with grotesque damage to his left eye with a wicked uppercut in the second. Some ground-and-pound further weakened Saunders. After the two finalists stood, Lima (25-5, 7-1 Bellator) uncorked a perfectly placed head kick that dropped his foe where he stood.
Machine Choke Finishes Anderson
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 graduate War Machine rendered Vaughn Anderson unconscious with a second-round rear-naked choke in the Season 9 welterweight tournament quarterfinals. Anderson (16-2-1, 0-1 Bellator) blacked out 4:01 into round two, forcing referee Jason Herzog to intervene on his behalf.
Machine (14-4, 2-0 Bellator) established his superiority from the start. He scored with a trip takedown inside the first 30 seconds and had no issues bypassing his opponent’s guard. He again grounded Anderson in round two, delivered a brutal standing-to-ground right hand and eventually trapped the overmatched 35-year-old in a mounted crucifix. Machine then transitioned to the back, softened Anderson with punches and cinched the fight-ending choke.
“My game plan was to come in here and fight,” he said. “Vaughn talked a lot of crap. He was tougher than I thought he was going to be. He went to sleep like a man.”
Olympian Hawn Outpoints Terrado
Clinches, counters and consistent, effective aggression carried four-time national judo champion and 2004 Olympian Rick Hawn to a clear-cut unanimous decision against Herman Terrado in the Season 9 welterweight tournament quarterfinals. All three cageside judges scored it for Hawn: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Hawn (16-2, 8-2 Bellator) lured the Strikeforce veteran into close-quarters combat through the 15-minute encounter, popping Terrado (11-3, 0-1 Bellator) with sneaky right hands and occasional leg kicks, all while weathering short and unproductive punching bursts from the muscle-bound 23-year-old. The seasoned judoka delivered his lone takedown late in the second round, electing to draw the sting out of Terrado’s strikes with his trusted clinch game.
The 37-year-old Hawn has won five of his last six fights.
Split Decision Advances Keslar
American Kickboxing Academy representative Ron Keslar took a split decision from Sergio Melo in the Season 9 welterweight tournament quarterfinals. All three cageside judges arrived at 29-28 scores, two of them siding with Keslar (10-3, 1-0 Bellator), a short-notice replacement for “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum Matt Riddle.
Keslar set the tone with a series of frustrating clinches in the first round, floored the Brazilian with a crushing overhand right in the second and escaped an attempted guillotine choke in the third.
The Strikeforce veteran spent the final two minutes of the bout attached to the back of Melo (29-12-3, 1-1 Bellator), toying with a rear-naked choke and draining the clock of precious time.
Weedman Armbar Submits Baesman
Brent Weedman submitted Justin Baesman with a first-round armbar in the Season 9 welterweight tournament semifinals. Baesman (14-4, 0-1 Bellator) conceded defeat 3:20 into round one, his modest four-fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Weedman (22-8-1, 8-3 Bellator) struck for a trip takedown inside the first minute and went to work on the Californian. The 28-year-old Kentucky-based welterweight threatened Baesman with an inverted triangle choke, transitioned to a traditional armbar and, after a dogged struggle, went belly-down with the technique for the tapout.
“I knew he was going to be really hard to finish,” said Weedman, who has posted four wins in his last five appearances. “I was ready to go as far as I needed to go.”
Prelims: Undefeated Burley Stuns Prospect Jenkins
In preliminary action, Larue Burley turned away highly regarded American Top Team prospect and 2011 NCAA wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins with punches 3:40 into the third round of their lightweight tilt; “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero cruised to a unanimous decision over Zack Surdyka at 155 pounds, procuring 30-27 nods from all three judges; Travis Marx dispatched Brandon Bender with a knee to the body and follow-up punches 4:28 into the second round of their Season 9 bantamweight tournament semifinal; Arizona Combat Sports light heavyweight Clifford Starks captured a unanimous decision from Joe Yager, sweeping the scorecards by 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks; Siala-Mou Siliga stopped the previously unbeaten Dan Charles on punches 1:26 into round three of their heavyweight clash, recording his first win in more than six years; Liam McGeary knocked out Beau Tribolet with a searing right cross 27 seconds into their brief encounter at 205 pounds; and Adam McDonough put away Johnny Buck with a spinning back kick to the liver and follow-up punches 4:51 into the first round of their welterweight scrap.