Jackson concluded a run of six straight 1st round stoppages on the night (Photo courtesy of Bellator.com).
On Friday night, Bellator MMA returned to Ovation Hall at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, with the highly anticipated promotional debut of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event. The show certainly did not disappoint, with all six of the final fights ending in a first round knockout.
Rampage Jackson (33-11) vs. Joey Beltran (14-10)
With two good knees for the first time in years, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made his promotional debut for Bellator MMA in the main event of the evening, facing gritty UFC veteran Joey “Mexicutioner” Beltran. Rampage did appear to be moving much more fluently after the opening bell got the action underway, keeping Beltran on his heels as he tried to walk him down. Beltran was eventually able to close the gap until he worked Jackson onto the cage, leaning on him until the Memphis native shook loose with just seconds remaining in the opening frame. The two men then began exchanging hooks, with Jackson aggressively coming forward until landing a flush left hook, right hook combination that crumbled Beltran just before the round concluded. With literally one second remaining in the stanza, referee Dan Miragliotta then jumped in between the two combatants to halt the bout, giving Jackson a first round TKO victory in his Bellator MMA debut.
Vitaly Minakov (13-0) vs. Alexander Volkov (19-4)
In a battle for the Bellator Heavyweight Championship, titleholder Volkov welcomed fellow Russian banger Minakov into the cage, a man who was also holding an undefeated professional record. Once the action got started, Minakov worked Volkov to the cage, where a clinch battle ensued. Minakov then went for a takedown, but Volkov countered with a slam before being reversed into top control. After a ground scrap for the upper hand slowed, Miragliotta then stood up the two big heavyweights, where Minakov quickly stepped into a swinging right uppercut that collapsed the champion. He then jumped on top him and began unloading a barrage of hooks from both hands until Miragliotta was forced to step in and stop the fight. Needing just 2:57 of the first round, Minakov was knighted the new Bellator Heavyweight Champion.
Tom McKenna (7-4) vs. Marcos Galvao (14-6-1)
After Galvao earned an early takedown in the opening frame, he took the back of McKenna and maintained a stronghold of the ground control. He then started tossing a heavy dose of punches before he saw an opportunity for an armbar. The attempt came up short as McKenna was able to counter his way out of the dangerous situation, quickly jumping back to his feet before the chance was no longer there. Galvao did not allow the action to stay there long, however, immediately shooting on his opponent before slamming him on the canvas once again. He then maneuvered himself into a back clinch before bombing hooks on a covered-up McKenna, forcing referee Keith Peterson to end the attack at the 4:29 mark.
Justin Wilcox (13-6-1) vs. Patricio Pitbull (21-2)
Wilcox caught a straight right hand early in the first frame from the hard-hitting Pitbull, signaling that the power of the Brazilian featherweight was definitely going to be a factor in this match. Wilcox attempted to keep an aggressive nature and apply pressure, but that only led to his being dropped by a crisp left hand that Pitbull used to gain back control of his opposition. Wilcox did recover and soon return to his feet, this time using a bit more cautious approach from the stand-up. With a little over two minutes left in the opening stanza, Pitbull landed a flush left-right combination that buckled Wilcox back to the floor, and he would not allow him to regarner his wits this time. In his third tournament final, Pitbull made it a second competition championship soon after by taking the back of Wilcox and bombing some swinging hooks until referee Gasper Oliver ended the onslaught at the 2:23 mark of the first round.
- Sam Oropeza def. Chip Moraza-Pollard via KO (punches) – 0:37 (1st Round)
- Tom DeBlass def. Jason Lambert via KO (punches) – 1:45 (1)
- Nah’Shon Burrell def. Jesus Martinez via Unanimous Decision
- Anthony Morrison def. Kenny Foster via Majority Decision
- Liam McGeary def. Najim Wali via Submission (Armbar) – 1:31 (1st Round)
- Will Martinez def. Kevin Roddy via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – 3:50 (1)
- Dan Matala def. Ryan Cafaro via TKO (punches) – 3:52 (2)
- Robert Sullivan def. Sergio da Silva by Unanimous Decision