Giedrius Karavackas (above) rallied to win at Bellator 44. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- All was not well on the Jersey shore at Bellator 44 inside Caesars AC, as local favorite Sam Oropeza was submitted by Giedrius Karavackas with a scarf hold armlock at 3:59 of the third round in a dominant display by the Lithuanian-bred judoka.
The welterweight bout began with a chorus of cheers for the Philadelphia Fight Factory's Oropeza and he did not disappoint his fans early. He landed a series of brutal left kicks. He effectively outworked his opponent and left Karavackas breathing heavily in between rounds.
The fight began to turn in Karavackas’ favor as the judo player was able to obtain scarf control repeatedly. He landed a series of hard punches to the face and attempted a neck crank but his opponent was able to scramble to his feet. Oropeza was able to drive him back to the floor and land a heavy elbow before the round ended.
The third round was absolute domination as Karavackas got scarf control and pounded Oropeza’s face. The New Jerseyian did enough to keep the bout from being stopped, but his opponent transitioned into a scarf hold armlock to secure his fifth career win.
"I'm a marathoner, not a sprinter," Karavackas told Sherdog.com of his triumph. "The position was from my judo background, not traditional jiu-jitsu. When his arm was tired, he extended it, we were playing the game and I was punching him so when he was tired. He gave me the arm."
"At the end of the day, I did what I did best and worked my judo," he added.
TUF alum Jeff Lentz was able to notch a unanimous decision 29-28 win over Anthony Leone, as judges by Jeff Blatnick, Will Mason, and Suzianne Sanidad all scored the bout in favor of the Lanoka Harbor, N.J., native.
Opening their featherweight bout with thunderous low kicks, the first round was completely controlled by the WEC veteran in Leone. In the second, the TUF alum Lentz attempted to implement a clinch game and work some big punches, but he was unable to land anything significant as Leone continued to punish his leg. Leone began to tire in the third as Lentz was able to land a kick to the face that dropped him to the floor.
In spite of the 29-28 sweep on all three scorecards for Lentz, Sherdog.com scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Leone, who fell to 8-4, while Lentz moved to 7-2, snapping a two-fight skid.
"It went OK. I started slow, and did what I had to do," Lentz told Sherdog.com after the bout. "The leg kicks didn't really hurt in the first, so I didn't check them.
"I kept my distance, used my clinch and size, and paced myself," said the Kurt Pellegrino pupil.
UFC veteran Jay Silva was able to use his kicks and scrambling ability to win a decisive unanimous decision against "Baby Hercules" Gemiyale Adkins in a middleweight affair. Adkins repeatedly attempted to take Silva down but was unsuccessful as his foes’ sprawl controlled the bout. He nearly ended the bout midway through the third with a flurry of knees to the body but “Baby Hercules” was able to make his way to his feet to survive the round.
Suzanne Sanidad scored the bout a dominant 30-26, while Jeff Blatnick and Will Mason saw it 30-27 for Silva, who moved to 7-4 with the win.
In the only heavyweight bout of the night, Jamall Johnson was able to survive a few big shots from Randy Smith to take down his prey down and sink in a rear-naked choke at 4:16 of the second round.