Ah, Bellator. You and your welterweights. Every tournament has been completely awesome and this one is no different. Like the smile of Fedor when he bites into a double -dipped cone of mint chocolate chip, you are always satisfying. Tonight, Bellator 78 would decide the finals of the season 7 welterweight tournament, give Brian Rogers a new head to punch and fill some time for featherweight tournament champ and number one contender Daniel Straus. Here’s the breakdown.
Our buddy from Ohio, Brian Rogers, returned to the Bellator cage to take on Dominique Steele, a name that sounds like the alter ego for a superhero…or perhaps the superhero himself (?) in a middleweight fight that was a brutal beatdown by Rogers that somehow turned us into a fan of Steele. There are humans out there that can take beatings in a really entertaining way, and Dominique Steele is one of those dudes. Steele didn’t have anything for Rogers’ ridiculously quick hands and power, that much was evident right from the start. Every time Steele closed the gap he was met with a flurry of fists that would throttle his head nearly off his shoulders, but damn if he didn’t stay standing. You could even say his chin was made of…Steele? Yes, yes you could. Even though the fight looked like it was going to be stopped in the first twenty seconds, it went for the full fifteen minutes. Brian Rogers is covered in the gore of his opponent and Steele is disappointed, beat up and still has a pretty cool name. I hope and pray to the maker that Dominique Steele becomes a huge star in the sport so we can make a top ten vocations for a dude named Dominique Steele. #6: TV knife pitch man. #4: Romance novelist.
Next up; featherweight tournament winner and the man waiting for the winner of Pat Curran Vs. Patricio Freire, Daniel Straus, took on Alvin Robinson to keep himself busy for a little bit. Straus is quickly becoming quite the force in the featherweight division, you might even say he’s the explosive, less political, featherweight version of Jacob Volkmann. There is little anyone can do if you are under the smothering frame of Daniel Straus, and despite multiple guillotine attempts and some slick (also risky) grappling from Alvin Robinson, he would be taken apart like a fully-built Lego man. Eventually, Straus takes Mr. Robinson’s back, slowly sinks in the rear naked choke then yanks back and it’s over. Straus finishes. Curran/Freire Vs. Straus will be really, really, really good. We are pulling out our special-ordered oversized MiddleEasy Monster™ stamp and slamming it on that fight. We approve
Then it was time for Marius Zaromskis and Alexander Shlemenko protege Andrey Koreshkov to step in the cage. Let me just say that I expected a knockout in this fight, you expected a knockout in this fight – we all expected to see a knockout in this fight. What we didn’t expect to see was an excerpt from ‘Too Hot for World Star Hip Hop.’ We can’t confirm if that was Kim Winslow dressed as a male ref for Halloween, but when Koreshkov knocked down Zaromskis and proceeded to beat him like he snuck onto Koreshkov’s Minecraft server and systematically destroyed his months of hard work, our mouths were agape. Seriously, that will go down as one of the worst ref stoppages of all time. I was able to get up, go to the fridge, come back and still catch three late punches. As it went down Jimmy Smith freaked out cageside and the Twitterverse shook it’s head and held up this sign.
Bellator 78 finally climaxed with first and former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good taking on the second Shlemenko beast of the night; Michail Tsarev. Not wanting to deal with any stand up whatsoever, Good bull-rushes Tsarev and brings him to the mat. Good works his best Ben Askren impression for the next 4 and a half minutes by laying on top of the Russian, advancing position, and punching him in the head a bunch of times. When the second round starts both fighters are a little slippery, so the fight stays on the feet for a while. This bodes well for Tsarev, who works a few unorthodox strikes in on Good’s face. About halfway through the round, strikes are exchanged and it looks like Tsarev very slightly gets poked in the eye. He turns to the ref to protest, the ref responds with a blank stare, and when Tsarev focuses back on Good, the former champ is already cocked back with a punch to Tsarev’s dome that sends Tsarev sprawling to the mat, ready to be TKO’d.
Now it’s Lyman Good taking on Koreshkov for the right to be beat up by Frate Trane Ben Askren.
Click ‘read more’ to see Zaromskis getting brutally knocked out.
Speaking of welterweight, this is a 170 pound dog.
Thanks to Zprophet for the .gif.