(Rogers devastates Vianna)
From Bellator Fighting Championships:
CHICAGO, Ill. (March 16, 2012) — Thequarterfinals of the Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Tournament have wrapped upas four tournament participants have advanced to the semifinal round. MaiquelFalcao, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky, Bruno Santos and Brian Rogers all earneddominant victories at Bellator 61 from The Horseshoe Riverdome in Bossier City,Louisiana LIVE on MTV2 and in HD on EPIX.
The Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Semifinals will take place at Bellator 66from the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio on April 20. Ohio’s own Brian Rogerswill face Bruno Santos, while Maiquel Falcao will battle Vyacheslav Vasilevsky.
"I’ve been saying this for a long time, this is the strongest group ofmiddleweights we’ve ever had in any tournament and they’ve proved ittonight," Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. "I want tothank the great fight fans in Louisiana for coming out again and supportingBellator, and I want to thank our fighters for putting on another fantasticshow."
In the main event of the evening, knockout artist Maiquel Falcao was looking todisplay his dominance in his Bellator debut while Bellator veteran NormanParaisy was hoping to spoil the first fight for "Big Rig" in the U.S.since 2010. While Paraisy landed some significant shots over three rounds,Falcao appeared to land the more devastating strikes that had the Frenchmanhurt on several occasions. Content on keeping the fight standing, Falcaobattered Paraisy with strikes to the body and the head for the majority of thelast two rounds. When the final bell sounded, Maiquel Falcao earned a muchdeserved unanimous decision victory and a spot in the Bellator Season SixMiddleweight Tournament semifinals.
With the win, Maiquel Falcao improves his record to 29-4 and earns just hisfourth decision win in 33 fights. Norman Paraisy loses for just the second timein his professional career, both coming inside the Bellator cage.
"I was thinking about the knockout," Falcao said. "I was tryinghard. He’s a tough guy. I’ve always been a fan of Norman Paraisy. The importantthing is I got the win. I want to thank Bellator for giving me a chance to comeback."
Owning a 14-fight unbeaten streak, 23-year-old Russian phenom VyacheslavVasilevsky was aiming to make a statement in his U.S. debut; and Season 5Middleweight Tournament participant Victor O’Donnell was looking to erase thememory of his last fight against fellow tournament participant Brian Rogers.While the first round proved to be a competitive affair, "Slava"showed in the later rounds exactly why he is touted as one of the topmiddleweight prospects in the sport. Vasilevsky viciously attacked O’Donnellboth standing and on the ground. O’Donnell displayed an enormous amount ofresiliency as he tried to evade the surging Russian’s assault. However, thepower and precision proved to be too much for O’Donnell as all three judgesscored the fight unanimously for Vyacheslav Vasilevsky.
With the victory, the once-beaten Vyacheslav Vasilevsky earns his first winunder the Bellator banner and moves on to the semifinal round of the BellatorSeason 6 Tournament. O’Donnell, who loses for the second time in thequarterfinal round of a Bellator middleweight tournament, falls to 11-4 in hisprofessional career.
"I want to thank all the American fans who came out today,"Vasilevsky said. "I plan to keep it exciting and put on a great show foreveryone. Thanks to all my coaches for this victory."
Bellator Middleweight Tournament participants Giva Santana and Bruno Santosmade it well known what their game plans were heading into their quarterfinalfight. Nicknamed "The Arm Collector," the submission specialistSantana was looking to add another arm to his collection while Santos, 16 yearsthe junior of the 40-year-old Santana, was counting on keeping the fightstanding. Through the first two rounds, the majority of the action was spent onthe feet with both fighters landing hard shots. However, Santos turned it up inthe final frame as he landed the more damaging strikes, looking to leave alasting impression in the minds’ of the judges. When the judges rendered theirdecision, all three scored the fight as a unanimous decision for Bruno Santos.
With the unanimous decision victory, Bruno Santos moves on to the semifinalround of the Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Tournament and remains undefeatedat 13-0 in his professional career. Giva Santana loses for just the second timein 19 career fights as a professional fighter.
"I trained very hard for this fight," Santos said. "I was ableto follow my strategy and get the win tonight."
In the first quarterfinal fight of the Bellator Season Six MiddleweightTournament, excitement was in the air as Bellator veterans Vitor Vianna andBrian Rogers were expected to bring fireworks when they squared off. The fightstarted with both men exchanging on the feet, however, Vianna soon made itknown his intentions of bringing the fight to the ground. Rogers, showingexcellent takedown defense, preferred to keep the fight standing where he wasat a distinct advantage. Rogers rocked Vianna with a right cross and followedup with a highlight-reel flying knee that sent the Brazilian Vianna to thecanvas. Referee Jason Herzog stepped in to stop the fight at 4:14 of the firstround and give Brian Rogers the knockout victory.
Brian Rogers improves his record to 9-3 with all wins coming by stoppage andadvances to the semifinal round of the Bellator Season 6 MiddleweightTournament. Vianna, who drops his second fight in a row, falls to 12-3 in hisprofessional career.
"I’m a finisher," Rogers said. "That’s what I do. That’s mythird flying-knee knockout – Google it. I throw it and you’re not going to stopit."
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