Bellator MMA returned to action tonight at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, IA for Bellator 104. Tonight’s Spike TV fight card saw welterweights Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar advance to the finals of the Season 9 welterweight tournament. In other action, Kendall Grove and Peter Graham picked up victories on tonight’s main card and set themselves up for a solid run in Bellator’s tenth season beginning in 2014.
Hawn Cruises Past Weedman
Olympic judoka Rick Hawn punched his ticket to the Season 9 welterweight finals by defeating Brent Weedman in tonight’s main event. Hawn utilized his ever-improving striking game and his trademark judo to give Weedman trouble throughout their fight. Hawn now faces Ron Keslar in the Season 9 tournament final in a bout that has a bit of added importance with welterweight champion Ben Askren’s contract currently in flux.
Keslar puts War Machine to Sleep
AKA’s Ron Keslar pulled off an upset tonight over War Machine in tonight’s co-main event. Keslar was in complete control of the bout as he took War Machine’s back early in the first and methodically worked to secure the finish. War Machine would manage to stand to his feet but Keslar utilized a body triangle to maintain position and secure an arm under the chin of his opponent. It was all academic at that point as War Machine went to sleep from the rear-naked choke. Keslar now advances to the welterweight final with the victory.
Grove Bests Vedepo
TUF 3 champion Kendall Grove marked a successful Bellator MMA debut by defeating hometown fighter Joe Vedepo. While Vedepo was able to use his wrestling skills at times, Grove’s vicious striking and submission skills kept him from mounting any meaningful offense. The win improves Grove to 2-0 and sets him up for a possible tournament birth in Season 10.
Graham Batters Prindle
Peter Graham made a statement in the Bellator MMA cage by dismantling former tournament champion Eric Prindle. Graham appeared close to a finish at the end of the first but Prindle managed to survive the round but the near-finish lingered over the rest of the fight as both were exhausted. While the two would labored through the final two rounds, Graham managed to inject some more excitement by landing a vicious teep kick to the chin of Prindle, literally, at the last second of the fight.
Bellator 104 Results:
Main Card (Spike TV 9PM ET)
- Bellator Welterweight Semifinal: Rick Hawn def. Brent Weedman via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)
- Bellator Welterweight Semifinal: Ron Keslar def. War Machine via technical submission at 3:31 of Round 1
- Kendall Grove def. Joe Vedepo via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,30-27)
- Peter Graham def. Eric Prindle via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-26)
Preliminary Card (Spike.com 7PM ET)
- Paul Bradley def. Karl Amoussou via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
- Paul Sass def. Rod Montoya via submission (toehold) at 2:01 of Round 1
- Rob Emerson def. Jared Downing via submission (heel hook) at 1:44 of Round 1
- Brandon Girtz def. Mike Estus via verbal submission (armbar) at 4:55 of Round 1
- Cliff Wright Jr. def. Derek Loffer via submission (armbar) at 4:28 of Round 2
- Andrew Tieva def. Chris Lane via TKO at 2:14 of Round 1