Bellator 206 Prelims: Arlene Blencowe Slam, Hammerfists Dispatch Amber Leibrock

By Mike Sloan Sep 29, 2018
Bellator MMA women’s featherweight contender Arlene Blencowe traveled all the way from Australia to get back on the winning track, but she nearly had her plans derailed in a featured Bellator 206 prelim on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

The taller Amber Leibrock picked her apart from the outside with solid low kicks and punches to the head. Blencowe struggled early, but she changed things in the blink of an eye in the third round. Leibrock (3-2) locked in an armbar from the bottom after missing on a takedown, but “Angerfist” was having none of it. Blencowe scooped up Leibrock and slammed her down hard onto her side, causing Leibrock’s head to bounce off the canvas. The “Rampage”-esque knockout came at 1:23 of Round 3, allowing the former title challenger to rise to 11-7.

Fast-rising lightweight contender Adam Piccolotti was impressive yet again, as he dominated longtime veteran James Terry over three rounds. Piccolotti, normally a power wrestler with a solid submission game, used outstanding footwork to pick apart Terry (20-10) with precise striking. Terry never stopped trying to make the fight a dirty brawl, but Piccolotti (11-2) was relentless with his low kicks and punches to the head. In the end, all three judges favored the Half Moon Bay, California, resident and Piccolotti won a unanimous verdict with scores of 29-28 and 30-27 (twice).

Young bantamweight prospect Cass Bell remained unbeaten as a pro by submitting Ty Costa in the second round. After dealing with Costa’s relentless pressure and takedown attempts in the first, Bell (2-0) remained calm when he was taken down again in the following stanza. Sporting bright green hair, Bell smoothly locked in an armbar off of his back, waded through a pair of slams and then eventually completed the submission. Costa (4-4) verbally bowed out at the 3:06 mark.

Jeremiah Labiano got back in the win column by destroying Justin Smitley in the opening frame. “The Kid” landed a knee to Smitley’s guts before taking him down. From there, Labiano never looked back. Smitley (10-8-1) missed a few submission attempts off his back and was eventually pounded into oblivion. Labiano (12-6) rained down punches from on top in an endless torrent until referee Mike Beltran intervened, ending the mugging at the 3:28 mark.

In desperate need of a win after having lost three straight, Josh San Diego was dominant against fellow Californian Joe Neal. The two met in a 140-pound catchweight affair, but the lankier San Diego (8-4) utilized solid leg kicks and a plethora of takedowns to secure the win. Neal (6-4) came on strongly in the third round with timely punching, but his late surge was not enough to win over all the judges. In the end, two judges favored San Diego with tallies of 29-28 and 30-27; a the third official had it 29-28 for Neal.
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