Welterweight Ben Askren has stepped inside the cage ten times since his run as an Olympic wrestler and come out with his hand raised in every outing including the 27-year old’s title-defense last night against Douglas Lima at Bellator 64. Askren’s success was the product of his seemingly unstoppable grappling attack relying heavily on takedowns and top control. While his approach agitated some fans in the arena, the ultimate result couldn’t be argued against with “Funky” spending nearly all five rounds on top of Lima to earn the Unanimous Decision nod, snapping a nine-fight winning streak for Lima in the process as well.
“Ben put on a display of complete dominance tonight, and will be a force in this division for a long time,” said Bellator head-honcho Bjorn Rebney after the event.
In other action, featherweight Marlon Sandro moved on to the final of his division’s Season 6 tournament with a Split Decision victory over fellow Brazilian Alexandre Bezerra in a bout appearing to be more of a sparring match at times than actual heated effort. The hesitance from both likely had to do with the personal respect/friendship each shares with one another outside of the ring. Also pertaining to tournaments, 135-pounders Travis Marx and Hiroshi Nakamura advanced to the semis of the bantamweight draw with decisions over Masakatsu Ueda and Rodrigo Lima respectively.
Check out highlights from Bellator 64 below followed by a complete rundown of results:
Jason Fischer def. Taylor Solomon via Technical Submission Round 3 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Kyle Prepolec def. Lance Snow via Submission Round 1 (Armbar)
Elias Theodorou def. Rich Lictawa via Verbal Submission Round 1 (Eye Injury)
Nordine Taleb def. Matt Secor via Unanimous Decision
Mike Richman def. Chris Horodecki via Knockout Round 1 (Strikes)
Chad Laprise def. Josh Taveirne via Submission Round 1 (Triangle Choke)
Hiroshi Nakamura def. Rodrigo Lima via Unanimous Decision
Travis Marx def. Masakatsu Ueda via Unanimous Decision
Marlon Sandro def. Alexandre Bezerra via Split Decision
Ben Asken def. Douglas Lima via Unanimous Decision
MMATraining Take: The event was definitely not one of Bellator’s better shows this year. Beyond all four featured fights involving decisions, Askren’s approach to victory is boring as it is successful. He’s superb at what he does, and it’s not as though he should be pressured to change his style simply because fans don’t necessarily appreciate it, but MMA is as much entertainment as it is athletic contest and he’s simply not a fun fighter to watch for 25 minutes.