Welterweight – Paul Bradley def. Josh Neer via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
A very disgruntled Josh Neer was unable to overcome Alliance MMA’s Paul Bradley in a very smothering performance. It was the NCAA Division I Bradley who utilised his wrestling to control Neer on the ground, and despite him constantly looking for the referee to stand the action up, that break never truly came.
The Welterweight division is one of Bellator’s deepest rosters, and I would truly love to see Bradley go up against someone can give him way more problems on the feet like Michael Page. The UK’s MVP and made a career of showing off his stand-up skills, but we’ve yet to see him face a legitimate threat. Stylistically they are each other’s kryptonite, and it would sure be an interesting match-up.
Catchweight (215 lbs) – Houston Alexander vs. Virgil Zwicker was ruled a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
Two head-butts by Houston Alexander on a grounded Virgil Zwicker saw him deducted a point, which lead to the fight being scored a majority draw. Despite being warned after the first illegal blow, the ex-UFC fighter proceeded to do it again.
It was a close fight between the two, and Team Quest’s Zwicker fought valiantly for three rounds, rocking Alexander on numerous occasions. However, it would be “The Assassin” who utilised his superior wrestling to grind out the ‘victory’, which was taken away from him by some very silly choices.
There are definite cases for a rematch, although unlikely that Bellator would match these two up again so soon. It is pretty obvious Alexander would have won the fight, but due to his inability to follow the rules he deserves a tough test next. A fight with UK light-heavyweight Liam McGeary would be great, and I think one of the toughest opponents available for Alexander, but it is unknown if the Brit awaits the winner of Emanuel Newton vs Linton Vassell, as he waits to cash in his tournament title shot.
The next hardest challenge arguably lies in Kelly Anundson, who is looking to rebound from his finale loss to McGeary back in September.
Welterweight – André Santos def. James Terry via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Having called for a fast track to a future Welterweight title shot, Andre Santos didn’t do himself much favours with a less than impressive win over James Terry. The Brazilian who has a 73% finish ratio seemed often frustrated by Terry’s grappling, but managed to drop former Strikeforce fighter with a strong left hook.
As mentioned, the deep 170lb division leaves plenty to strive for by “Chutuba.” He’s arguably one fight away from a title fight, so realistically the only opponent to match him with is, again Michael Page. I feel they would have an excellent striking war, but Santos may have the advantage in the grappling department.
Middleweight – Joe Vedepo def. Davin Clark via TKO (punches) [R3/2:27]
Another grappling clinic in Iowa as state native Joe Vedepo dominated AKA member Davin Clark, finishing him in the third round with some ground and pound. Vedepo who has a background in freestyle wrestling didn’t give Clark any space from the get go, and made sure he couldn’t use his greater stand-up to his gain.
Although there are numerous guys at Middleweight Vedepo could face, I feel it is a good time to rematch him with Kendal Grove, who is coming off a second round submission win against Christian M’Pumbu earlier this month.