Baker landed some well-plotted strikes on Horn tonight (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Entertaining Main Event Highlights Evening of MMA in Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Thursday, September 23, 2010) – Bellator 30 invaded Fourth Street Live! in Louisville tonight, with the main card being headlined by a middleweight pairing of MMA veteran Jeremy Horn (86-20-5) and Bellator Season 2 Finalist Bryan Baker (14-2). After 15 strategic and entertaining minutes, it was Baker who emerged as the victor over Horn by taking a unanimous decision win.
“I definitely knew I had to take the last two rounds. That was my game plan,” Baker said after the match. “My conditioning I knew would be above his, and I came out and I dominated my game plan.”
This bout was a little slow to start at the opening of the first round before Horn went for the takedown about a minute into the frame. Baker blocked the attempt at first, but Horn then completed the move by dropping his opponent with a leg sweep. He then rolled into the half guard on top before maneuvering into side control. After a bit of chess match on the ground, this fight returned to the stand-up position about midway through the frame where Horn attempted a standing guillotine. Baker was then quickly able to shake the advance and dropped his opposition off his back and onto the floor. Horn remained in the crab position with Baker on his feet, but both competitors then returned to their feet to exchange from the stand-up game. In the dying seconds of the stanza, Baker scored a takedown of Horn and then finished the round on top in ground control.
The second frame remained in the standing position for a bit longer than its predecessor, with sporadic exchanges coming from both ends. Around the 3:40 mark, the fight returned to the floor where Horn rolled into the full mount, and it stayed in that position with both fighters careful to not give up any loose positioning. Working from the bottom, Baker tried to work a triangle and then an arm bar, but Horn was able to withstand his attempts. Baker then began to strike from the floor and quickly sprawled into back control. Both competitors continued to be strategic in their maneuvering, and the second stanza eventually ended with strikes by Baker onto his opposition.
There was a much quicker start to the third and final round in this battle, with both fighters teeing off on one another. More stalking was being done by the aggressor Horn, but Baker was doing a nice job of reacting and countering his punches. The back-and-forth action continued from the standing position, and the duo eventually locked up on the side of the cage with just two minutes remaining. The match then moved onto the ground where Baker spun into back control, but it eventually moved back to a standing exchange. Horn continued to press the action, but Baker was able to keep reacting well with a series of strikes and kicks. Baker then rode out the final seconds with a flying knee and a pair of big kicks.
When the 15 minutes of action were in the books, this bout then went to the judges’ score cards, where Baker took the unanimous decision victory with scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
In other action at Bellator 30, Ed West (14-4) and Zack Makovsky (10-2) advanced to the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament Finals by scoring wins over Jose Vega (8-4) and Bryan Goldsby (15-8), respectively. Brent Weedman (17-5-1) also TKOed Jacob McClintock (6-2) in the first frame to round out the main card, while Ron Sparks (6-0) knocked out Greg Maynard (2-1) in a battle of undefeated heavyweights on the undercard.