Bellator kicked off its seventh season with the opening round of its welterweight tournament. The event, Bellator 74, took place from Caesars Atlantic City in Atlantic City, NJ.

Andrey Koreshkov, Marius Zaromskis, Mikhail Tsarev and Lyman Good all moved on in the tournament with opening round victories.

All four fighters looked good in their fights, but only Mikhail Tsarev was able to finish his opponent and keep the fight out of the hands of the judges.

The remaining four fighters will fight in the semifinals later this season.

Lyman Good takes decision over Jim Wallhead

The first round began with both fighters going back-and-forth for the first 30 seconds. After that though, Jim Wallhead couldn’t seem to find an answer for Lyman Good’s clinch and dirty boxing. The two were locked in the clinch for most, if not all, of the first round.

Round two began with the two fighters standing at range until Good had Wallhead backpedaling after a nice combo. After that Wallhead did continue to press forward but defend against Good’s striking.

In the final round the two began the round tentative and cautious, but after Good landed a kick to Wallhead’s groin, Good began to open up when the fight resumed. The two fighters let go a late exchange of a flurry of punches, but with only a second left, Good landed a shot to Wallhead’s groin again and was deducted one point.

Despite the point deduction, Good took home a unanimous decision.

Marius Zaromskis becomes semifinalist with decision over Nordine Taleb

Nordine Taleb looked good early, sticking and moving, but it didn’t take long for Marius Zaromskis to land something creative. One spinning backfist later and Taleb was hurt and on the ground. Taleb eventually recovered and got back to his feet. Zaromskis was throwing heat early on with each punch seemingly looking more and more powerful as the round progressed.

The second round began and both fighters continued their gameplan, Taleb moving and Zaromskis stalking. Zaromskis eventually clipped Taleb once more and while going to pounce on Taleb, Taleb almost pulled off a triangle choke. After a little bit on the ground the two fighters were stood up and Taleb came back strong. For the final couple minutes of the round, the two fought for position against the cage and were eventually separated with almost no time left in the round.

Outside of a suplex with a minute left in the round and a high headkick that hurt Taleb, the two seemed to even out in the third with Zaromskis working for a takedown most of the round. Zaromskis ended up taking the unanimous decision win, becoming the third Eastern European fighter in the semifinals of the tournament.

Mikhail Tsarev moves on with submission win over Tim Welch

Tim Welch looked for the takedown early in round one surprisingly, but Tsarev was able to keep it standing. Tsarev then got top position on Welch and nearly locked in a guillotine choke. Tsarev then threw an illegal upkick to a “downed” Welch. After Tsarev was explained the rules by his trainer/translator, Tsarev then was able to take further control of the round.

In the second, Tsarev continued to try to bring Welch to the ground, but Welch did not want to follow suit. Tsarev was eventually able to bring Welch to the ground and get his back. Tsarev then locked in the rear- naked choke causing Welch to tap in the second round.

Andrey Koreshkov wins decision against Jordan Smith

The fight began with the two fighters being tentative, but eventually Andrey Koreshkov opened up and was able to outpoint Jordan Smith for a couple of minutes. Koreshkov landed some good shots that connected with Smith’s chin including a couple of knees and head kicks. Smith then tried a spinning sidekick and grabbed the clinch as Koreshkov went to the ground. Smith then tried for a Peruvian necktie and guillotine, but Koreshkov avoided and ended the round with a handful of big ground-and-pound shots.

In round two, Smith began with a big right hand and got the takedown on Koreshkov eventually getting the back of Koreshkov. After a few minutes, Koreshkov was able to turn around and get into the guard of Smith. The round ended with only one serious rear-naked choke attempt and a few good upkicks by Smith.

Both fighters showed a lot of heart in the final round with both visibly tired. Once again though, Koreshkov was able to outstrike Smith. Koreshkov won the fight by unanimous decision 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards.


Lyman Good def. Jim Wallhead by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Marius Zaromskis def. Nordine Taleb by unanimous decision(30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Mikhail Tsarev def. Tim Welch by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 1:57
Andrey Koreshkov def. Jordan Smith by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Will Martinez def. Casey Johnson by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 2:27
Michelle Ould def. Munah Holland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Alexandre Bezerra def. Matt McCook by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 3:04
Phillipe Nover def. Derrick Kennington by technical submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:20
Brylan Van Artsdalen def. Jay Haas by submission (guillotine choke), Round 1, 1:03
Claudio Ledesma def. Kenny Foster by unanimous decision

Photo: Marius Zaromskis (Keith Mills/

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.