Bellator Fighting Championships continued in its lightweight tournament on Friday, and determined who would move on to the finals for a title shot and a check for $100,000.

In the main event, veteran Rich Clementi took on Marcin Held to determine one half of the finals, while Dave Jansen fought Ricardo Tirloni in the second lightweight semifinal bout.

Also on the card was Marlon Sandro, who made his return to fight Dustin Neace, as well as Perry Filkins vs. Jonas Billstein.

Bellator 81 took place on Nov. 16 from the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I., with the main card being broadcast on MTV2 and prelims on Spike.com.

Held forces Clementi to tap

Bellator's Jade Bryce (Brian McKenna/The MMA Corner)

The main event featured the second lightweight semifinal, as Marcin Held took on veteran Rich Clementi.

The majority of the first round was a leg lock battle, with both trying to pull off a unique submission. Held then went for a knee bar, while Clementi countered looking for a guillotine as the grappling match opening round ended.

Clementi came out quickly in the second frame, working his hands. He then tripped Held for a takedown. As Clementi tried to work on top, Held slowly worked for a toe hold, and was finally able to force the veteran Clementi to tap out.

Held will now take on Dave Jansen in the finals to determine the next No. 1 contender.

Jansen edges out Tirloni

In the first lightweight tournament semifinal of the night, Dave Jansen and Ricardo Tirloni fought to a split decision, with Jansen edging out the Brazilian.

Jansen dropped Tirloni in the opening 30 seconds of the fight, but Tirloni bounced back up and looked to answer back. Jansen did well on his feet, but as the round progressed, Tirloni landed the harder shots, which forced Jansen to go for a takedown. Jansen ended the close round by suplexing his opponent twice.

Round two was very action packed, with both lightweights trying to steal the momentum from one another. As round three approached, both fighters knew the fight was close with another five minutes remaining to prove who wants it more.

Neither Jansen nor Tirloni was able to finish, but Tirloni worked his jab well, which kept Jansen at a distance. Jansen took Tirloni down at the end of the fight, but after the accurate striking by Tirloni, would it be enough?

In a split decision verdict, Jansen was able to win over two judges, giving him the victory that puts him in the finals of the lightweight tournament.

Sandro submits Neace in round one

Sandro (Brian McKenna/The MMA Corner)

Featherweight contender Marlon Sandro was back in action of Friday to get back on track after a loss to Daniel Straus in May. The Nova Uniao fighter would get back in the win column with a submission victory over Dustin Neace.

Neace came out hoping to pull the upset, and looked good early on by almost securing a heel hook. But the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Sandro escaped and attacked the neck of Neace. Sandro was able to get his arm under the chin of his opponent, transitioned, and forced the referee to stop the action in the opening round.

The official stoppage time was 2:05, as Sandro picked up a much needed win.

Filkins outworks Billstein

In the first fight of the main card, Perry Filkins made his Bellator debut against German striker Jonas Billstein.

The two young guns came out quickly looking to gain control. Billstein was able to press Filkins against cage, but Filkins answered by escaping and striking efficiently. As Billstein would come in, Filkins counter punched several times, giving him a slight edge after one round.

After accidental eye pokes from both men early in the second frame, the two went back to trading punches, with both doing their own fair share of damage. With 15 seconds remaining in the round, Billstein landed a big takedown that may have solidified round two in his favor.

Round three was a barn burner to say the least. Both men stood in the center of cage, with Filkins yelling at Billstein as they threw leather. They continued to battle evenly, but the final minute was owned by Filkins. Filkins was able to mount his opponent and worked his ground and pound as the crowd cheered loudly for the American.

One judge gave Filkins all three rounds, with the other two scoring it 29-28, giving Filkins the unanimous decision win.

FULL CARD RESULTS
Marcin Held def. Rich Clementi by submission (toe hold). Round 2, 2:04
Dave Jansen def. Ricardo Tirloni by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Marlon Sandro def. Dustin Neace by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:05
Perry Filkins def. Jonas Billstein by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Andrew Calandrelli def. Eric Brown by submission (armbar). Round 2, 3:10
Dan Cramer def. Joe Lamoureaux by knockout (strikes). Round 1, 3:26
Murad Machaev def. Lorawnt-T Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mike Mucitelli def. Matt Uhde by submission (armbar). Round 1, 0:26
Brennan Ward def. Sam McCoy by knockout (strikes). Round 1
Matt Bessette def. Phil Barrow by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Ruben Rey def. Robbie Leroux by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo: Marcin Held (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

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.