The Bellator Fighting Championships has a stacked card on tap for Bellator 39. Taking place from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, Bellator 39 features a lightweight title fight, two Season 4 Tournament semifinal bouts plus the Bellator debut for Ben “Killa B” Saunders.
Ben “Killa B” Saunders vs. Matt Lee
The Bellator debut for UFC veteran Ben Saunders takes place in a 175 lb. catch-weight bout against Matt Lee. The story of this fight was the aggression and clinch work for Saunders which was too much for Lee to overcome. Saunders employed an effective short game while working in the clinch as he battered Lee with knees to the body and head while also utilizing punishing short elbows. A battered and bloodied Lee showed a huge heart as he continued to press forward throughout the fight. It appeared that the fight might be called between the the second and third rounds but Lee is allowed to continue to the final frame. Saunders wastes no time with more clinch work and another elbow opens another cut above Lee’s left eye. The referee calls time to have the cageside physician check the cut and he immediately calls an end to the fight. Saunders takes the TKO victory at 1:24 in the third round.
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Toby Imada
This lightweight tournament semifinal fight began slow with an extended “feeling out” period but ended suddenly with a vicious knockout by The Pitbull. Imada, a submission specialist, showed good footwork early looking to avoid the power of Freire. After a stalemate on their feet, Freire launches into a flying knee just as Imada was ducking down. The impact rocks Imada’s head back and he is basically out on his feet. A flurry by Freire drops Imada who is down and out. The incredible knockout at 2:53 into the fight sends Freire into the lightweight tournament finals.
Lyman Good vs. Rick Hawn
A very close and tough to score fight for the first welterweight semifinal between undefeated Rick Hawn and one-defeated Lyman Good. The fight seemed to hinge on who could impose their gameplan with Good looking to keep it standing while Hawn with the edge on the ground. The fight appeared to be up for grabs heading into the final round as Lawn took as slight edge in the first round while Hawn controlled round two entirely on the ground. Good’s striking appeared to be more effective in the third as Hawn pushed forward looking for a takedown which he finally gets with just seconds left in the fight. A very, very close fight sees Rick Hawn win by a split decision with scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran
The Bellator lightweight championship fight turned out to be a five round, one-sided affair for champion Eddie Alvarez. By By utilizing superior speed and accuracy, Alvarez was able to pick apart Curran while also ripping him with blistering body shots. To Curran’s credit he demonstrated outstanding takedown defense throughout the fight but was unable to mount any type of prolonged offense. Curran was looking to counter-punch but had difficulty in timing Alvarez who was constantly moving and changing angles. Alvarez earns the unanimous decision with scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 to successfully defend his lightweight title for the first time.