BELLATOR 168 LIVE REPORT
DECEMBER 10, 2016 FLORENCE, ITALY AT THE NELSON MANDELA FORUM
LIVE ON SPIKE
Michael Grocke here with you to take you through Bellator 168. The original main event of Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef was scrapped due to an injury suffered by Carvalho. Now, Alessio Sakara vs. Joey Beltran moves up to the main event slot. The co-main stays in the light heavyweight division as Phillipe Lins takes on Kleber Raimundo Silva. The main card rounds out with John Salter taking on Claudio Annicchiarrico in a battle of middleweights, in the lightweight division Goiti Yamauchi goes up against Valeriu Mircea and Ed Ruth takes on Emanuele Palombi at 185.
As always, I’ll have live round by round coverage of tonight’s main fights, with quick results and commentary on the prelims. Make sure to follow along right here all night, and follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog
Main Card – Spike TV (3:00 p.m. CT)
(1) John Salter (12-3) vs. Claudio Annicchiarrico (1-4) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Salter takes center cage and shoots in. He scores a takedown and is in full mount. He’s landing punches and elbows. Annicchiarrico curls up and is not fighting back. Salter reigning down elbows and the fight is over.
Result: Salter by TKO (1:40 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: While I didn’t expect this fight to be competitive, I didn’t expect it to end that quickly. Annicchiarrico didn’t even land a punch. Credit to John Salter, he came here to do what he had to do, and he didn’t take an ounce of damage.
(2) Philipe Lins (10-1) vs. Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Lins comes out trying to establish his jab. Big right from Lins. Silva shoots with no success. Lins lands a hice hook. Silva counters with a right. Silva is holding his hands low. Both fighters miss. Lins lands another hook. Lins showing excellent defense. Kick to the body misses for Silva. Low kick for Silva. Leg kick for Silva. They both miss hooks. Lins goes to the body after taking a kick to the midsection. Leg kick for Silva. Silva just misses a spinning head kick. Lins lands a glancing right hand, follows with a combination as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Silva needs to mix it up more in this round. Lins comes out firing and lands a big combination. He chases Silva down but can’t capitalize. Silva with a right over the top. Silva trying to keep distance. A left hook lands flush for Lins. Silva needs to get busier. Lins beating him to the punch. Left jab for Silva. Left hook lands for Silva. Lins lands a hard combination as Silva gets inside. Silva needs to keep distance. Silva lands a big right hand that hurts Lins. Lins loses his balance and goes down. Silva lands an uppercut as Lins gets to his feet. Lins eats another straight right. Silva landing big shots as Lins tries to survive. He can’t, the ref stops it.
Result: Silva by TKO (3:42 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: I did not expect that! A huge win for Silva. Lins may have taken this fight lightly. It looked like he was landing at will every time he got inside. Silva’s speed was the difference, once he had Lins hurt he didn’t let him off the hook. This is a big loss for Lins who was looking to get himself in title contention with a win here.
(3) Ed Ruth (1-0) vs. Emanuele Palombi (5-2) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: They trade jabs. Ruth moves in and scores an easy takedown. Ruth in side control. Ruth now in full mount. Back to half guard. Ruth in full mount. Palombi just holding on. Ruth is reigning down massive right hands and the fight is stopped.
Result: Ruth by TKO (1:33 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Another dominating performance from Ruth. The middleweight division is on notice, Ruth is a future star!
(4) Goiti Yamauchi (31-9) vs. Valeriu Mircea (12-3) Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Yamauchi takes center cage. Front kick misses. Mircea lands a kick to the body. Big right hands lands for Mircea and Yama goes down. Mircea pounces and lands a few hammer punches. Yamauchi survives the onslaught and looks for a submission underneath. Yamauchi in full guard. Yamauchi sweeps and comes out the back door and is in top control. Moves into half mount and tries to pass. Now in full mount. Yamauchi landing big elbows. Mircea bumps and ends up in a triangle. Yamauchi has it locked in and gets the tap.
Result: Yamauchi by submission ( 3:33 of Round 1 – Triangle
Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was an impressive performance from Yamauchi. Mircea landed a big right hand that had Yamauchi hurt. He appeared to go out, but came back and was able to recover. After he recovered he took control of the fight and almost had the fight stopped after landing big elbows. Once he had the triangle Mircea tapped quickly.
(5) Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) vs. Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Beltran comes out swinging. He’s landing a few jabs, nothing big. Low kick for Beltran. Sakara lands a stiff right hand that rocks Beltran and follows up with a big combination. He lands two hard shots to the body as Beltran goes down. Another big right hand. Beltran is out of it as Sakara lands a few more shots as the ref steps in and stops the fight.
Result: Sakara by KO (1:20 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Quick work from Alessio Sakara. While I predicted a Sakara victory, I expected a more competitive fight. Beltran came out aggressively and threw a lot of punches to start. Sakara looked to get off to a slow start, turns out he was just getting the timing down. Sakara gave the hometown crows what they wanted so kudos to him.
Well, if you like finishes this was the show for you. Aside from the Lins loss, every fight went as expected. This was basically a fight card made of mismatches. Most of these guys had no business being in the cage, but it did make for a quick night.
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