Bellator 61 took place on March 16 from the Horseshoe Riverdome in Bossier City, La., and was expected to feature a rematch between Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle in the heavyweight division. However, that bout was cancelled due to Prindle being sick. That fight will now take place next week, but Bellator 61 featured some great bouts as it hosted the season-six middleweight tournament. In the headlining bout, Brazilian Maiquel Falcao took on Frenchman Norman Paraisy.

The main card was shown live on MTV2, while the preliminary fights streamed on Spike.com.

Falcao cruises past Paraisy

In the main event of the evening, Maiquel Falcao earned his spot in the middleweight semifinals by earning a unanimous decision over Norman Paraisy.

The opening 20 seconds saw Falcao land a takedown, but after several transitions, he couldn’t do anything with it. Falcao didn’t look like the early finisher he is known for being, but did just enough to win the round.

Falcao really opened up with his leg kicks in the second round, which allowed him to follow with his hands on several occasions. Paraisy just couldn’t seem to match and counter what Falcao was throwing at him. With no counter punches by Paraisy, Falcao continued to press forward with his punches, even dropping his hands and urging his opponent to come forward.

To kick off the final round, the Brazilian tripped Paraisy to take him to the ground. Falcao stayed in top position for about a minute until Paraisy found a way to get to his feet. But Paraisy continued to be out-matched in all areas, and found himself on his back once again. Once the French fighter did get on top of Falcao, he was too frustrated to do anything with the position. The last 10 seconds were the highlight of the fight, with both men throwing haymakers until the fight had ended.

All three judges awarded Falcao the winner by taking all three rounds.

Vasilevsky dominates O’Donnell

The middleweight match-up between Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Victor O’Donnell ended up being a dominant performance for the Russian, as Vasilevsky took home a unanimous decision victory.

The opening stanza got fans to see the striking of both men, as Vasilevsky and O’Donnell looked to get their hands on point. At the midway point, O’Donnell earned a takedown, and then after an escape by his opponent, landed another to Vasilevsky. Vasilevsky came back to put some pressure on towards the end, but would it be enough to cancel the two takedowns by O’Donnell to win the round?

In the second round, Vasilevsky landed a straight punch to O’Donnell, clipping him just enough to bring him down. From there, Vasilevsky landed punches, then transitioned to the back of the American. O’Donnell tried to lock up a submission, but that allowed the Russian to end up in his guard. Vasilevsky kept the pressure on the remaining time in the round and landed solid shots as the horn was blown.

Vasilevsky picked up where he left off and landed another punch in the final round that dropped O’Donnell. This allowed the Russian to get back to the position he was in earlier, and he kept the punches flying to the face of O’Donnell. The fight went back to the feet, with Vasilevsky still overwhelming O’Donnell. Nevertheless, credit has to be given to O’Donnell as he was able to survive the punishment he took in the fight.

In a dominant performance, Vasilevsky moves on in the middleweight tourney with a unanimous decision win.

Santos advances to semifinals with unanimous decision win over Santana

Another middleweight advanced to the semifinals as Bruno Santos defeated Giva Santana.

In the opening round, Santana looked to take control of the fight early by clinching with his opponent. Santos didn’t back down, however, and didn’t allow Santana to take him down. After a break-up, Santana continued to stalk, but Santos couldn’t seem to pull the trigger until the last 30 seconds. Both men slugged it out until the horn sounded.

Round two was the closest of the three, as both men competed evenly throughout. But the edge was given slightly to Santos, who earned a takedown and earned more points to win the round.

In the third and final round, Santos took over the fight. The only offense that Santana had was at the end of the fight when he almost tapped Santos by leg lock.

However, Santos controlled the fight just enough to earn a unanimous decision over Santana (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Rogers moves on with flying knee KO of Vianna

In the opening bout of the MTV2 broadcast, Brian Rogers gave the fans a show as he knocked out Vitor Vianna in the first round by flying knee.

After a minute of feeling each other out, Rogers got his confidence going and used his striking to control the fight. Vianna is more of a jiu-jitsu based fighter, but he couldn’t take the fight to the ground, leaving Rogers the opportunity to pick his shots. Rogers chose correctly at 4:14 of the round and landed a brutal knee to Vianna, knocking him out instantly.

Rogers became the first middleweight of the evening to move on to the final four.

Main Card Results

Maiquel Falcao def. Norman Paraisy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Vyacheslav Vasilevsky def. Victor O’Donnell by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Bruno Santos def. Giva Santana by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Brian Rogers def. Vitor Vianna by knockout (flying knee). Round 1, 4:14

Preliminary Card Results

Josh Quayhagen def. Brent Taylor by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Derrick Krantz def. Eric Scallan by submission (brabo choke). Round 1, 3:01

Jason Sampson def. Jeremy Myers by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 2:25

Trey Houston def. Jeremiah Riggs by submission (armbar). Round 1, 3:30

Photo: Maiquel Falcao (L) squares off with Norman Paraisy (Bellator)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.