Bellator 79 took place this evening live from the Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario. In the main event, Richard Hale rebounded from a shaky start to crush Thiago Santos to advance to the finals of the Season 7 heavyweight tournament. Shahbulat Shamhalaev advanced to the finals of the featherweight tournament by defeating Mike Richman via knockout.

Elsewhere on the MTV2 main card, Douglas Lima defeated Kobe Ortiz and Ryan Ford defeated Kyle Baker.

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Hale Bounces Back to Defeat Santos, Advances to Heavyweight Finals

Richard Hale survived an early barrage to defeat Thiago Santos via strikes in the evening’s main event. Santos caught Hale with an onslaught of hooks that sent the former light heavyweight reeling towards the cage, Santos tried to finish with a standing guillotine but then decided on a takedown rather than finishing. That mistake proved fatal as Hale recovered from the strikes along the cage. After a restart, Santos landed one more big hook before a massive counter strike from Hale found its mark. Santos was simply unable to recover after the punch, allowing Hale to advance to the finals of the the heavyweight tournament.

Shamhalaev Crushes Richman, Advances to the Featherweight Final

Dagestani fighter Shahbulat Shamhalaev wasted little time in putting away Mike Richman in the first Season 7 featherweight final. The two fighters dueled it out on their feet with Richman firing first and Shamhalaev countering accordingly. Eventually, Shamhalaev landed a brutal right that dropped Richman to the floor. Shamhalaev punched his ticket to the finals with a few followup strikes that lead to the bout ending.

Lima Dominates Ortiz

Former number one contender Douglas Lima absolutely dominated Kobe Ortiz before putting him away in the third round. Lima blasted the outmatched Ortiz but was unable to put away the fighter until the third round. Lima rocked Kobe with a nasty headkick before finishing Ortiz on the ground.

Ford Bests Baker

Ryan Ford was very nearly a victim of his own success as he pounded Kyle Baker to the point he wore himself out by the third frame. Baker did his best to steal the bout in the third but he was unable to bounce back despite taking Ford’s back after he was unable to secure control and Ford escaped. The win improved Ford to 2-0 in the promotion.

Main Card (MTV2)

  • Richard Hale def. Thiago Santos via TKO (strikes) at 3:31 of  Round 1
  • Shahbulat Shamhalaev def. Mike Richman via KO (punches) at 1:45 of Round 1
  • Douglas Lima def. Kobe Ortiz via TKO (strikes) at 4:50 of Round 3
  • Ryan Ford def. Kyle Baker via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Preliminary Card (

  • Vitaly Minakov def. Vladimir Starcencov via TKO at 0:27 of Round 2
  • Christ Franck def. Marcus Aurelio via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Magomedrasul Khasbulaev def. Josh Pulsifier via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:30 of Round 1
  • Guillaume DeLorenzi def. Jonny Carson via rear naked choke, Rd. 1 (4:49)*
  • Ed Carpenter def. Josh Appelt via submission, Rd. 1*

*- fights took place after the main card