Determined Lightweight Moves onto Next Round of Tournament
Oregon native Dave Jansen (17-2) openly admits he has his eyes set on a title fight with Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler, and he took a step closer to that goal on Friday night at Bellator 77. Jansen battled a highly talented Magomed Saadulaev (14-2) of Russia at the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, earning a semifinals appearance in the Bellator Lightweight Tournament after submitting Saadulaev in the third round due to a guillotine choke.
Early in the first frame of this match, Saadulaev was circling Jansen while throwing kicks, soon securing a takedown attempt that put him in control on the canvas. Both fighters began to jock for position, with Jansen showing a non-stop motor that had him tapping into the reserve tank for energy. Despite the amount of exertion he displayed, at no point did he appear even slightly winded, and he did well to finally get back on his feet in the final minute of the opening round. Saadulaev tried to take it back to the ground with a late shoot, but Jansen was able to sprawl and maneuver into a guillotine attempt just before the bell.
In the second stanza, the action began with a standing exchange, and Saadulaev appeared to be gassing a bit. He also looked at his right hand very quickly at one point, and an apparent injury must have occurred because he was very reluctant to throw it the rest of the way. Jansen shot on Saadulaev midway through the frame, earning a takedown and quickly passing into top control. After looking to work his choke game, Jansen eventually opted to posture up and began to pepper his opposition with a series of swinging hooks and hammer fists that inflicted significant damage until the conclusion of the round.
Amid an early grapple on the fence in the third frame, Jansen was able to maneuver into a standing guillotine. Sensing the opportunity to finish, he jumped onto the back of Saadulaev before dropping to his own back on the canvas. The move enabled him to firmly lock in the choke, and he quickly forced the tap 41 seconds into the final round.
With the stoppage, Jansen advances to the semifinals of the Bellator Lightweight Tournament, which earns a $100,000 prize to go along with a shot at reigning champion Chandler.
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