The Bellator Season 8 Welterweight Tournament kicked off live from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The evening’s quarterfinals saw Douglas Lima, Ben Saunders, Brent Weedman, and Raul Amaya to the next round.
Michail Tsarev couldn’t get much of anything going against Douglas Lima in the evening’s last quarterfinal. The Russian struggled to take Lima down and couldn’t put together any sustained offense in the striking department. It was a kick at the end of the opening period that would seal the fate of “The Lonely Wolf”, as the former title challenger dug his shin into his knee, Tsarev would collapse. At that point, he may as well have drawn a target on it. Lima chopped and chopped, repeatedly sending the Russian to the mat until it was clear that he could no longer stand. Referee Jason Herzog called the bout for Lima at 1:44 of the middle stanza.
Returning tournament veteran Ben Saunders proved to be undermatched when he met the debuting Koffi Adzitso. It was a classic “Killa B” performance. The ATT product was able to use his length at striking distance, dominate in the clinch using his muay Thai, and worked his dangerous submission game when he was put on his back. After 15 minutes, the judges’ table rendered a unanimous 30-27 in Saunders’ favor.
Brent Weedman outlasted former DREAM Champion Marius Zaromskis in their quarterfinal bout. The American used his superior grappling to control the first two rounds, yet the narrative of the fight cannot be told without “The Whitemare’s” failures. Once Zaromskis was able to earn dominant position of his own in the second round, he attempted the same standing moonsault he used on Seichi Ikemoto in DREAM, this of course ended with the Lithuanian on his back again, where he’d remain until the bell. To make matters worse for himself, the unorthodox kickboxer was actually able to control much of the third period, but it was all for naught after he received a point deduction for two illegal knees. In the end the judges would render a unanimous 29-27 for the Team Haycraft fighter.
In the evening’s first tournament bout, Raul Amaya stayed true to his “Smash Mode” moniker as he looked to beat Jose Gomes about the head for the duration of their bout. While both men threw caution to the wind, abandoning all defense, it was clearly the Floridian that held the power advantage. While “Zezao Trato” fought back gamely, entirely too any fists were flying at hi,. A hard uppercut put the Brazilian on the deck, where Amaya swarmed, mercilessly beating him for what seemed like ages, until referee Kerry Hatley finally showed some mercy at 3:12 of the first stanza.