Bellator continued to bring explosive highlights, as Season 5 continued Oct. 15 at Bellator 54 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the middleweight semi-finals heavy hitters Alexander Shlemenko and Brian Rogers clashed in one of the best fights of the season, with Shlemenko earning a second-round stoppage. Touted jiu-jitsu specialist Vitor Vianna shocked Bryan Baker with a flurry of punches to start off their fight, and secured his spot in the finals with an early TKO victory. Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky overwhelmed UFC-veteran Ryan Roberts in their non-title affair, relying on takedowns and slick passes to score a rare north/south choke submission in the first round. In preliminary action, light heavyweight Tim Carpenter earned a TKO win and returned to his winning ways thanks to a vicious uppercut early into the first round. In a fast-paced and short-lived grappling affair, Joey Kirwan locked up a tight guillotine choke and forced Lewis Rumsey to tap. Watch the best moments from Boardwalk Hall right here.
Season 5 continued on Oct. 8 at Bellator 53 in Miami, Oklahoma with the welterweight semi-finals. Noted striker Ben Saunders used his ever-improving jiu-jitsu game to submit Brazilian Luis Santos with a keylock in the third round to earn a spot in the finals. Douglas Lima needed one stout right hand to punch his ticket to the finals, as he knocked out the heavy handed Chris Lozano midway through their fight. In featherweight action, Ronnie Mann scored a first-round submission of Kenny Foster with a slick triangle choke. Brazilian heavyweight Thiago Santos wasted little time getting Josh Burns to the ground and slapping on a fight-ending rear-naked choke. On the prelims, Giva Santana validated his moniker of “The Arm Collector,” scoring another first-round armbar win. Light heavyweight Raphael Davis flattened previously unbeaten prospect Myron Dennis with a crisp hook to the jaw. Catch the best moments of the finish-filled night right here.
Tempers flare during a Team Bisping practice. As the pranks ramp up a nasty rivalry brews between Akira Corassani and Dustin Neace, while John Dodson forms an alliance with members of the blue team. Then, two bantamweights square off in the second quarterfinal fight.
Heavyweights collided in the Season 5 quarterfinals Oct. 1 at Bellator 52 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Eight entered the tournament, but only four remain. In a razor close fight, Mike Hayes scored an upset over previous tournament runner-up Neil Grove and walked away with a split decision win. Grappling specialist Blagoi Ivanov showed drastic improvement in his hands before using a beautiful guillotine choke to put TUF-veteran Zak Jensen to sleep for a second-round submission victory. In a dynamic heavyweight fight, Eric Prindle survived an early blitz from Abe Wagner and hung on to win an exciting three-round decision. Opening the tournament was Ron Sparks, who lived up to his nickname “The Monster” and knocked out Mark Holata less than a minute and a half into the fight. Catch the best of the heavyweight action right here.