By FCF Staff; photo courtesy Bellator FC
Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez sat cageside last night in Atlantic City, as Michael Chandler outscored Patricky Freire to entrench a future title fight with the highly regarded vet. (Pictured: Chandler carrying Freire)
Early on in the lightweight tourney final, Chandler faired rather well exchanging strikes with the noted KO artist Freire, who in turn defended the Xtreme Couture fighter’s initial takedown attempts. As the bout wore on, however, the former NCAA wrestling champ began absorbing punches from Freire, and elected to take the fight to the mat.
Working from the top position Chandler negated the black belt BJJ skills of Freire with good positioning and strikes, leaving little doubt that he would be awarded the unanimous decision win, despite losing a point for landing several low blows earlier in the bout.
In the card’s other feature attraction, middleweight champion Hector Lombard put away resilient veteran Falaniko Vitale in the third round of their non-title affair. Vitale kept Lombard at bay throughout much of the fight, threatening periodically with a hard right straight, but the powerful middleweight eventually sent Vitale crashing to the mat with a punishing right hook.
Former middleweight tourney winner Alexander Shlemenko once again thrilled fans with his highlight reel arsenal of strikes, outscoring an extremely game Brett Cooper for the UD win. Despite landing numerous spinning backfists, knees and punches, Shlemenko was unable to finish Cooper, who in turn appeared to stun Shlemenko on a couple of occasions with counter punches.
Here are the results from the main card of Bellator 44.
Michael Chandler def. Patricky Freire by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Hector Lombard def. Falaniko Vitale by KO (0:54, Round 3)
Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)