Bellator held the finale to their fifth season last night at Bellator 59 at Caeser's in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This event was originally intended to crown the winners for this year's heavyweight and bantamweight tournaments. Plans fell somewhat short of that.
Finally, the heavyweight tournament final was underway: Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos. This was another short and bittersweet bout. Santos got a couple of takedowns, as was expected. But when Prindle was on his back, Santos stood up to land some leg kicks... and kicked Prindle square in the cup. Santos argued that it was accidental, and perhaps it might have been, but it's really hard to see how. At any rate, Prindle took his 5 minutes but was still obviously in pain. He was heard to say that he felt like he was going to throw up. It was determined that he couldn't continue, so the fight was declared a No Contest. So we will have to wait until a rematch can be scheduled to find out who will go on to face champ Cole Konrad.
In co-main event action, Brazilian Eduardo Dantas faced off against former Cuban Olympian Alexis Vila. Vila was able to control Dantas against the fence for much of the first round, but Dantas fought back strong in the second and third frames. He outstruck Vila and in the third round, was able to take Vila's back while hunting for a rear naked choke. Dantas was ultimately to earn a unanimous decision win.
UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino announced his retirement for the second time in his MMA career. After an early left from Friere sent Pellegrino crashing to the mat, Pellegrino attempted to briefly recover and even shot for a low single. But while eating hammerfists and obviously rocked, the fight was halted by the referee. The crowd booed their displeasure, but Pellegrino didn't seem to have any issues with the stoppage and announced his retirement from MMA.
In controversial action, grappling whiz Marcin Held took a split decision over 'The Ultimate Fighter' veteran and jiu-jitsu black belt Philipe Nover. Nover rocked Held early and despite repeated submission attempts throughout the course of the first and rest of the fight, Held never truly got that close to a finish. Nover was able to land heavy shots in dominant position for what was arguably a winning effort. The judges saw otherwise and awarded Held the decision.
Full Bellator 59 fight card results below:
Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos declared a no contest (unintentional foul) at 1:24 of round 1
Patricky Freire defeats Kurt Pellegrino via TKO (punches) at :50 of round 1
Eduardo Dantas defeats Alexis Vila via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Marcin Held defeats Phillipe Nover via split decision (29-28 Held, 29-28 Nover, 29-28 Held)
Preliminary card results:
Karl Amoussou defeats Jesus Martinez via TKO (strikes) at 2:20 of round 1
LeVon Maynard defeats Chris Wing via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Lucas Pimenta defeats Doug Gordon via knockout (elbows) at :40 of round 1
Scott Heckman defeats Brylan Van Artsdalen via submission (standing guillotine choke) at 1:38 of round 1
Gregory Milliard defeats Brandon Saling via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)