Cole Konrad file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Two-time NCAA national wrestling champion Cole Konrad defeated Rogent Lloret by unanimous decision in the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 3 heavyweight tournament quarter-finals at Bellator 25 on Thursday at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Konrad, who remained unbeaten in five professional appearances.
The 265-pound Konrad mounted an effective but pedestrian attack against Lloret, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt he outweighed by a wide margin. Takedowns, top control and sporadic ground-and-pound carried Konrad past the silenced Spaniard, who offered little response from the bottom.
Konrad, who trains with UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at the Death Clutch Gym in Alexandria, Minn., threatened Lloret with a tight guillotine choke in the first round but elected to go the conservative route in rounds two and three.
Meanwhile, undefeated Polish export Damian Grabowski joined Konrad in the tournament semi-finals, as he notched a unanimous decision against Scott Barrett in his stateside debut.
Grabowski spent much of the first two rounds on his back, though he stayed active from the bottom with punches, hammerfists and upkicks. Barrett scored liberally with takedowns but did almost no damage from top position. By round three, the Georgian was visibly winded, and Grabowski went to work standing.
The Pole landed three- and four-punch combinations at will, as Barrett kept coming forward, his hands held dangerously low. Barrett scored with his fourth takedown of the fight with 37 seconds remaining in round three. As the decision was read, a look of disbelief came over Barnett and his cornermen, most notably UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee.
In Bellator’s 115-pound women’s tournament, Zoila Frausto cruised to a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Jessica Pene, joining Megumi Fujii and Jessica Aguilar in the semi-finals. Scores were 30-27 across the board for Frausto, who has rattled off three straight wins since her March submission loss to Miesha Tate.
Fruasto controlled Pene in the clinch with physical strength and technique. She worked in some strikes, as well, including a beautiful leg kick-head kick combination in the first round. A ground fighter by trade, Pene failed to score a single takedown in the match.
Finally, Bellator Season 2 welterweight tournament finalist Dan Hornbuckle defeated UFC veteran Brad Blackburn by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Hornbuckle, who survived a first-round knockdown, courtesy of his encounter with one of Blackburn’s powerful right hands.
Based at American Top Team, Hornbuckle traded with Blackburn throughout the 15-minute duel, utilized kicks to the body and loaded up with combinations late, as he won for the 20th time in 22 fights. Blackburn has lost three in a row.
Torrance Taylor def. Shonie Carter -- Unanimous Decision
Kenny Robertson def. John Kolosci -- Submission (Keylock) 2:41 R2
Brian Gassaway def. Kevin Knabjian -- Unanimous Decision
Eric Kriegermeier def. Keoki Cypriano -- Submission (Triangle Choke) 3:16 R1