Fujii Submits Ward, Advances to Bellator Final

By Joe Myers Sep 30, 2010
Zoila Frausto vs. Jessica Aguilar: Bellator

Megumi Fujii is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world by many mixed martial arts fans, and she did nothing on Thursday to dispel that notion.

Fujii advanced to the Season 3 Bellator Fighting Championships 115-pound women’s tournament final, as she submitted Lisa Ward in the Bellator 31 main event at the L’Auberge du Lac Casino and Resort in Lake Charles, La. Fujii, who remains unbeaten through 22 professional mixed martial arts bouts, earned her 18th submission victory and recorded the 11th armbar tapout of her career.

She will face Zoila Frausto in the final at Bellator 34 on Oct. 28 in Hollywood, Fla. Frausto advanced by earning a contentious split-decision victory over Jessica Aguilar in the other semifinal.

The Fujii-Ward bout, a rematch of a 2007 fight that Fujii also won by first-round armbar, started out as a kickboxing match before the fighters clinched against the fence. Fujii took down Ward and immediately transitioned to full mount. After loosening Ward’s guard with some ground-and-pound, Fujii took hold of Ward’s arm and straightened it out for the armbar submission at the 1:39 mark of the first round.

“I knew coming into the fight [Ward] was a tough fighter, but I didn’t expect to get a win so quickly,” Fujii said through a translator. “I gave my best effort, and this was the result that happened. I went for a triangle choke first, but she left her arm out there, so I changed to an armbar.”

Meanwhile, Frausto and Aguilar kept their fight standing for all 15 minutes, with Aguilar coming forward and Frausto circling away to her right. Aguilar did try for a takedown when the two clinched against the fence in the first round, but Frausto used her strength to avoid being taken down. Frausto landed the cleaner shots during the first round, but as the fight went along, Aguilar's punches began to find the mark more often and might have won a tight second round.

Aguilar bloodied Frausto’s nose and busted her lip in the third round, but two judges gave Frausto the fight by 30-27 scores; the other judge saw Aguilar a 30-27 winner. The crowd, which favored Aguilar -- a member of the Florida-based American Top Team -- booed the decision.

“It was tough,” said Frausto, who won her fourth straight fight. “She hit me a lot more than I thought I’d get hit, but I got some good ones in there and it helped me win this fight.”

Aguilar, who had six submissions among her nine wins coming into the fight, said she stuck to her game plan when she kept the fight standing.

“I was ready for everything, and I was ready to stand and bang,” said Aguilar, who saw a four-fight winning streak come to an end. “I wanted to stand up and do things a little differently. I thought I did well.”

The final main card bout saw undefeated prospect Chris Lozano punch his ticket for Bellator’s Season 4 welterweight tournament by stopping UFC and Shooto veteran Yoshiyuki Yoshida at the end of the second round.

Lozano -- a Strong Style Fight Team member who has finished all six of his opponents -- was taken down in the first round, but he quickly returned to his feet and used a pair of spinning elbows and a left-right combination to knock down Yoshida and take the first frame. Lozano continued to use his jiu-jitsu to control the positioning of the fight and land more ground-and-pound in the second round, eventually closing Yoshida’s right eye with a big right hand. After the second round, Yoshida’s corner stopped the fight.

“I worked on stopping [Yoshida’s] takedowns, but he’s a world-class fighter,” said Lozano. “I was able to use my jiu-jitsu training to get back to my feet and start landing some hard punches. I saw that I hurt him and went for it. I’m like a shark. I smelled blood in the water and went in for the kill.”

Other Bouts
Michael Chandler def. Scott Stapp -- TKO (Punches) 1:57 R1
Dave Herman def. Michal Kita -- Submission (Omoplata) 3:16 R1
Mark Holata def. Shawn Jordan -- KO (Punch) 1:13 R1
Tim Ruberg def. Aaron Davis -- Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1:44 R1
John Harris def. Kyle Miers -- Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 0:49 R2
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