The Bellator Season 8 Middleweight Tournament kicked off as the promotion took to the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The night saw Dan Cramer, Brett Cooper, Doug Marshall, and Sultan Aliev advance to the tournament semifinals.
Brian Rogers and Dan Cramer put on a highly competitive show in hopes of advancing to the semifinals. While B-Rog opened things up with a beautiful lateral drop, an equally impressive sweep by Cramer saw both men on their feet relatively quickly. It was there that Cosmo showed off some new and improved boxing. The second stanza saw “The Predator” open up with ferocity, landing heavy blows and getting some time in the top position, but “Cosmo” would rally back to keep things competitive. The closer was an all out war, with both men trading blows, stunning one another, and taking dominant position throughout the duration. Unfortunately, the very nature of fighting is that one man must lose, and on this night, the judges felt that would be Brian Rogers, as Kramer would win a close unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) .
Brett Cooper came into the cage to impress, taking a dominant unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) victory over Norman Paraisy. While the Frenchman had his moments in the opening stanza, “Fudoshin” took it with a big slam and superior generalship. The middle period saw the Kings MMA product badly hurt at the start, from then on it was all Cooper, who smothered and beat his opponent for the remainder of the fight.
Doug Marshall made the most of his tournament debut with a knockout victory over Andreas Spang. While the “Sweet Swede” started well, the power of “The Rhino” proved to be too much, as Spang found himself backpedaling. In an exchange, the former WEC champion connected with a stiff right that sent his opponent to the mat, where Dan Miragliotta would call it a walk-off knockout at 3:03 of the opening round.
Sultan Aliev pulled back the curtain on the middleweight tournament with a victory over Mikkel Parlo. The Russian fighter stunned Parlo with a jab early on, but was content to stay back and pick his shots. Throughout 15 minutes, the Dane found himself at the end of a jab, with little in way of offense. While the Rumble Sports fighter showed improvement in the closing period, it proved to be too little, too late. The judges unanimously scored the bout 29-28 in favor of the Russian.
Tournament Quarterfinal Results:
- Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Dan Cramer def. Brian Rogers via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,29-28)
- Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Brett Cooper def. Norman Paraisy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Doug Marshall def. Andreas Spang via knockout (punch) at 3:03 of Round 1
- Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Sultan Aliev def. Mikkel Parlo via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)