Bellator 88 rolled into Gwinnett Arena in Atlanta on Thursday and while the main event was the Middleweight World Championship there was plenty of other action on the card as Bellator's Featherweight Championship tournament got underway and the undercard provided some of the best local fighters showcasing their skills in front of the local Atlanta crowd and a national Bellator audience.
Only one of the four featherweight elimination fights went the distance as Bellator proved, once again that it provides some of the most explosive mixed martial arts action in the United States.
In the first fight Khasbulaev defeated Fabricio Guerreiro via submission in the opening round with an arm triangle choke proving that his greater ground skills were more effective against the Jiu Jitsu that Guerreiro favored.
Mike Richman made sure that Mitch Jackson’s Bellator debut was a night he’d prefer to forget as he caught Jackson with a kick and followed him to the ground before the referee had to step in and stop the fight at 4.57 of the first round due to strikes.
In the only fight to go the distance Marlon Sandro defeated Akop Stepanyan in a majority decision. By the looks on Akop Stepanyan’s face as the result was announced you could tell he didn’t believe it and by the sound of the crowd you could tell they agreed with him. It was a very close fight as Stepanyan seemed to be more aggressive and he scored with some great kicks. Sandro controlled the third round though and that seemed to be enough for the win.
In the opening match of the featherweight tournament Alexandre Bezerra defeated Genair Da Silva via submission (armbar).