Bellator XIV Results - Ben Askren Wins BFC Debut In Controversial Fashion

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Bellator XIV Results - Ben Askren Wins BFC Debut In Controversial Fashion

Week two of Bellator's second season provided a fair amount of memorable moments, and not all for the good.

The show opened with a lightweight tournament bout between Pat Curran and Georges St. Pierre protege Mike Ricci.  Ricci came into the bout highly touted and undefeated in six bouts while Curran was being talked about as little more than a nice regional prospect who was also the cousin of Jeff Curran.  As the action started Ricci looked completely unsure of what he should be doing and was taking several push kicks to the body from Curran.  Finally Ricci made and awkward forward movement with his hands too low and ate a right hand flush to the jaw that knocked him out.  Six more punches were landed by Curran before the ref could stop the bout and the tournament had it's first big highlight upset.

Here's the video courtesy of Bellator MMA:

Wilson Reis was able to positionally dominate Shad Lierley for the majority of three rounds before finally sinking in the rear naked choke for the submission.  In the bout Reis displayed wild, but improved striking that allowed him to close distance more effectively than in his loss to Joe Soto in last year's tournament.  Whenever Reis was able to get inside he found a way to get the fight to the ground.  Both men showed good ability on the ground but Reis is a world champion in jiu jitsu and as such he was able to get to dominant positions and do work very effectively.

In the most anticipated bout of the evening former Olympian Ben Askren faced the toughest test of his young career as he battled UFC veteran Ryan Thomas.  Thomas was able to connect on Askren early with a jab-straight combination.  Following getting tagged Askren shot in and worked the fight to the floor.  Thomas locked up a tight looking triangle choke which put Askren in danger but Ben was able to free his head and start working from top position.  After a few submission attempts from Ben he locked up a version of the "Japanese necktie" but didn't have the position correct to cut off blood flow to the brain turning it into a neck crank instead.  As Thomas was trying to fight the hold the referee jumped in and called the bout off due to "submission."  It was a horrible job of refereeing but does seem to be par for the course for the joke that is MMA in Illinois.  Here's a .gif of the stoppage:

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After the stoppage Thomas was furious.  He clearly had not tapped out and he was resisting the choke and his body language did not give any indication that he was in trouble of going unconscious. Both Thomas and Askren gave post fight interviews about the situation:

 

In the final bout of the event Toby Imada was able to survive a close round against late replacement James Krause. Krause took the fight on a week's notice and had to cut from 190 pounds to 155.  The first round was very competitive with each man having their moments in grappling exchanges, but in the second round Imada was able to lock in an armbar that forced the submission.

With the win the participants of the semi-finals of the lightweight tournament are in place with Toby Imada and Pat Curran joining week one winners Corey Vanier and Roger Huerta.

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