Thiago Santos and Richard Hale will square off as planned in the first Season 7 heavyweight tournament semifinal, as both fighters were cleared at Thursday’s Bellator 79 weigh-ins.
“Big Monster” checked in at 265 pounds, while Hale tipped the scales at a much lighter 238.4. Bellator 79 takes place Friday evening at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, and will also see Mike Richman (145.2) do battle with Shabulat Shamhalaev (145.6) to determine who will punch the first ticket to the Season 7 featherweight tournament finals.
The evening’s main draw airs live on MTV2 and will also see Season 5 welterweight tournament finalist Douglas Lima (179.4) return to the cage after nearly seven months on the sideline to face Jacob Ortiz (179.8). Additionally, Canadian talent Ryan Ford (169.8) will toe the line against Kyle Baker (170.8) in a welterweight feature fight. The preliminary card immediately precedes the main draw broadcast and streams live on Spike.com.
Santos, 25, advanced to the heavyweight semifinals by default after taking an Eric Prindle axe kick directly to the cup one month ago at Bellator 75. That outcome was bizarrely similar to Santos’ first clash with the American in the Season 5 tournament finals last year, though in that bout it was the Brazilian who delivered the fight-ending low blow to a downed Prindle. The resulting no-contest stands as the lone blemish on Santos’ record in his last six fights.
Hale, 27, returned to the heavyweight division to join the Season 7 tournament after making it to the finals of the Season 4 light heavyweight draw. “Rare Breed” put forth a superior performance in his quarterfinal outing against Mike Wessel, assaulting his heavier foe with a barrage of punches that finished the fight in just 1:19.
Bellator 75 Weigh-In Results
Thiago Santos (265) vs. Richard Hale (238.4)
Mike Richman (145.2) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (145.6)
Douglas Lima (179.4) vs. Jacob Ortiz (179.8)
Ryan Ford (169.8) vs. Kyle Baker (170.8)
Ed Carpenter (236.6) vs. Josh Appelt (256.2)
Jonny Carson (155.6) vs. Guillaume DeLorenzi (155.6)
Christ Franck (172.2) vs. Marcus Aurelio (170.4)
Vladimir Starcencov (260.2) vs. Vitaly Minakov (245.8)
Josh Pulsifer (155.4) vs. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (155.4)