Khasbulaev Batters Sandro
The main event bout between Magomedrasul Khasbulaev and Marlon Sandro almost came to a tragically short end when an errant knee from the clinch connected squarely on the groin of “Frodo,” who was left on the canvas, moaning loudly in pain. After recovering, Khasbulaev took control of the fight, nearly submitting the Nova Uniao black belt on not one, but two occasions.
The second stanza started off much better for “The Gladiator,” who seemed to find his range and lock in an arm-triangle of his own, but the Russian would once again regain control and lock in a straight armbar at the round’s close. “Frodo” posted yet another dominant third round, pounding on the Brazilian until referee Big John McCarthy called the action at 2:38 of the closing period.
Richman Edges Bezerra
Alexandre Bezerra and Mike Richman went to war in their featherweight semifinal curtain jerker. In the opening period, “Popo” dominated from bell to bell, taking down Richman and working for a finish for the entirety of the bout. “The Marine” was able to recuperate and rally back in the second round. Bezerra couldn’t close the distance on “The Marine” for a takedown and was taken to task for it, eating heavy leather for the duration.
The closing stanza saw both men employing their games. While Brazilian controlled the middle of the round with his superior grappling, the Minnesotan controlled the tempo at the beginning and end of the period. After 15 minutes, both fighters were clearly exhausted, awaiting the judges’ decision. It would be Richman who would advance, earning a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)