Carey Vanier earned a spot in Bellator’s season four lightweight tournament on Thursday after scoring a controversial decision over UFC veteran Rich Clementi in the main event of Bellator 28 in New Orleans.
After a pair of close rounds, Vanier connected with several illegal knees in the third, but wasn’t deducted a point and went on to claim a split decision win.
Bellator 28 also saw four-time All-American wrestling champ Eric Larkin remain unbeaten with a first-round submission, while Eric Schambari and Georgi Karakhanyan earned decision wins.
The official Bellator 28 results were:
- Eric Larkin def. Marcus Andrusia via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:46
- Carey Vanier def. Rich Clementi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Eric Schambari def. Matt Horwich via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
- Georgi Karakhanyan def. Anthony Leone via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Pictured: Carey Vanier punches Rich Clementi