Bellator traveled to the Caesars Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J., for a stacked night of fights featuring a bout for the Bellator heavyweight and bantamweight tournament finals, as well as former UFC competitor Kurt Pellegrino making his promotional debut against Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. The event was televised live on MTV2.

Santos vs. Prindle ends in no-contest

In the main event of the evening, Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle fought to a no-contest due to an accidental strike by Santos.

Santos took the fight to the ground early in round one to exploit the the advantage on the ground he had over Prindle. The events that occured next were disappointing for the fans in attendance in N.J.

Santos landed an illegal kick to Prindle in the first round that caused a five-minute delay in the action. However, Prindle could no longer compete and the judges ruled the fight a no-contest. A rematch will be made between Prindle and Santos in the near future.

Pitbull” stops Pellegrino

In a lightweight superfight, the power of Patricky Freire proved to be too much for the veteran Kurt Pellegrino.

Both men started off slowly to feel each other out, but “Pitbull” landed a big right hand that dropped Pellegrino. From there, the Brazilian did not let up and continued the onslaught with ground-and-pound shots that forced the referee to end the bout.

The finish came at just 0:50 of the first round with the winner by TKO, Patricky Freire.

At the end of the fight, Pellegrino announced that he is retiring from fighting.

 Dantas decisions Vila, meets Makovsky next

In the Bellator bantamweight tournament finals, Brazilian Eduardo Dantas used his jiu-jitsu background to his advantage to earn a unanimous decision over Alexis Vila.

Vila immediately went for a takedown as the bell sounded, in an attempt to cancel out the reach advantage Dantas had over him. But an edge Vila did have over Dantas is being a stronger fighter, allowing him to hold his opponent against the cage for the majority of the round.

Once again, Vila looked to shoot from the start and attacked the legs of the taller Dantas. But Dantas did look a bit more relaxed and landed a few shots of his own to make round two a close one to call.

In the final round, Dantas appeared to be the fresher fighter. His striking led to Vila trying to land a takedown, but Dantas reversed it and end up taking the back of Vila and remained there the entire rest of the way, seeking a rear-naked choke to no avail.

The judges scored the fight 29-28 all for the winner by unanimous decision, Eduardo Dantas.

 Held pulls out decision over Nover

In the opening fight of the main card, 19-year-old Marcin Held was able to pull out a close split decision over former UFC fighter Phillipe Nover with controversy surrounding it.

The first round went to Held, clearly, as he was able to attempt many submission maneuvers on the ground and score more points.

In the middle frame, Held pulled guard, forcing Nover to fight on the mat. Held took control of the round, but in the final 10 seconds, Nover displayed brutal ground-and-pound.

The final round went the same way as the second: Held took the fight to the ground and controlled the pace, except for the final seconds, as Nover landed numerous hammerfists to his opponent.

One could either judge this fight by damage done, in which case it went to Nover, or who took control of the fight, which would be Held. In the end, two of the three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Held, giving him the split decision victory.

Main Card Results

Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle fight to no contest (accidental strike). Round 1, 1:24

Patricky Freire def. Kurt Pellegrino by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:50

Eduardo Dantas def. Alexis Vila by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Marcin Held def. Phillipe Nover by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Undercard Results

Karl Amoussou def. Jesus Martinez by TKO (punches). Round 1, 2:20

LeVon Maynard def. Chris Wing by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Lucas Pimenta Borges def. Doug Gordon by knockout (strikes). Round 1, 0:40

Scott Heckman def. Brylan Van Artsdalen by submission (guillotine). Round 1, 1:38

Gregory Milliard def. Brandon Saling by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Photo: Patricky Pitbull Freire (L) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (MMAWeekly)