Come-from-behind victories were the theme at Bellator 92, as Brett Cooper and Mike Richman managed to persevere even though they struggled during their bouts.
Here are the results of the Bellator 92 fight card held on March 7, at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif.
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev def. Marlon Sandro (featherweight tournament semifinal)
Khasbulaev’s Sambo proved to be superior to Sandro’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu during the first round, with the Russian coming close to bringing the fight to an end with a few submissions. The grappling continued in the second round, but it was Sandro who ended up on top when the fight hit the ground. Khasbulaev eventually swept to top position, pounding away at Sandro until the round came to an end.
“Frodo” went back to work on the ground in the third round, punishing Marlon with punches until referee John McCarthy stopped the contest at the 2:38 mark.
Doug Marshall def. Sultan Aliev (middleweight tournament semifinal)
Aliev controlled the majority of their Bellator 92 encounter with his grappling, but Marshall had his moments during the second round, landing some nice shots. I personally scored the fight 29-28 in a favor of Aliev (even scoring the bout 30-27 would have been reasonable), but two of the cage-side judges disagreed, scoring the bout 29-28 in favor of Marshall — who looked just as surprised as most who watched the fight when the scorecards were announced.
Brett Cooper def. Dan Cramer (middleweight tournament semifinal)
Cramer got off to a solid start at Bellator 92, dropping Cooper with a right hand early in their encounter. He stayed glued to him for the majority of the first round, working in some hard shots until Cooper pulled off a sweep during the final minute.
Cramer continued to dominate during the second round, stuffing takedowns and landing hard shots in the clinch. It looked like Cramer was on his way to victory, but Cooper turned up the heat during the final round, hurting the former with a vicious uppercut. Brett sealed the deal with a right cross, sending Cramer to the canvas head first, prompting referee John McCarthy to stop the contest at the 3:19 mark.
Mike Richman def. Alexandre Bezerra (featherweight tournament semifinal)
Bezerra established himself as the better grappler early in their Bellator 92 encounter, taking Richman down early and controlling him on the ground the entire first round. For some reason, Bezerra decided to abandon what looked like a successful strategy during the second, instead, content to trade punches with Richman — who was clearly the better striker.
Alexandre managed to get the fight to the ground in the third round, but Richman fought his way back to his feet. “The Marine” continued to blast away for the remainder of the bout, landing several decent shots.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 with two giving Richman the nod.
Akop Stepanyan def. Chris Saunders (TKO, round three)
Keith Berry def. Richard Rigmaden (kimura, round one)
Josh Appelt def. Manny Lara (unanimous decision)
Aaron Miller def. Shad Smith (unanimous decision)
Brandon Halsey def. Rocky Ramirez (arm-triangle, round three)