Cole Konrad | Bellator
Two-time NCAA wrestling champion Cole Konrad submitted UFC veteran Neil Grove with a first-round keylock to win the Bellator Fighting Championships heavyweight title on Thursday in the Bellator 32 headliner at the Kansas City Power and Light District in Kansas City, Mo. Grove met his demise 4:45 into round one.
Konrad took down Grove twice in their brief encounter. He allowed him to stand after the first; Grove was not as fortunate the second time. Konrad grounded the South African near the cage, moved to full mount and softened him with his 265-pound frame, hammerfists and punches. Ultimately, he isolated an arm, cinched the keylock and waited for the tapout.
The unbeaten Konrad had gone the distance by relying on his wrestling and top control in each of his previous four appearances. He showed off his opportunistic side against Grove, who entered the match on the strength of a two-fight winning streak.
Meanwhile, EliteXC veteran Zach Makovsky survived a harrowing encounter with a first-round knee strike to earn a unanimous decision over Ed West, as he captured the Bellator bantamweight championship. Scores were 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46, all in Makovsky’s favor.
Makovsky scored with multiple takedowns in each of the first four rounds and put West on his back at will throughout their 25-minute duel. West -- who knocked down Makovsky with the aforementioned knee at the end of round one -- threatened with head kicks when he was upright and nearly caught his opponent in a third-round guillotine choke. Still, he spent far too much time fighting from the bottom, as Makovsky posted his sixth victory in as many fights.
Finally, lightweight prospect Michael Chandler dazzled in his promotional debut, as he needed less than a minute to put away Chris Page with a standing guillotine choke. Page surrendered 57 seconds into the first round.
The 24-year old Chandler -- who wrestled alongside current Strikeforce welterweight contender Tyron Woodley and 2008 Olympian Ben Askren at the University of Missouri -- shook off an armbar attempt from Page and battered him with strikes from the top. He then finished him in a scramble, as Page left his neck exposed for the guillotine.
“Judo” Jim Wallhead def. Ryan Thomas -- Unanimous Decision
Rudy Bears def. Chad Reiner -- KO (Punch) 1:29 R1
Jared Downing def. Danny Tims -- Split Decision
Brian Davidson def. Shane Hutchinson -- KO (Punches) 0:54 R1