Bellator’s final event of 2012 and season seven visited the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. The promotion’s 84th event featured the completion of the heavyweight tournament, but the lightweight tournament was postponed.

In the heavyweight main event, American Rich Hale battled towering Russian Alexander Volkov. The pair fought for not only the $100,000 tournament prize, but the promotion’s vacant heavyweight belt.

The co-main event was slated to feature submission ace Marcin Held against WEC veteran Dave Jansen, but due to Held only being 20 years old, he was not cleared by the commission.

A women’s bout between Felice Herrig and Patricia Vidonic highlighted the three additional that filled the remainder of the main card. The main card aired live on MTV2 at 8 p.m. ET, while the night’s undercard steamed live on Spike.com beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Volkov edges Hale in slow-paced affair

It wasn’t the fight that many expected, but Russia’s Alexander Volkov did enough to defeat American Rich Hale and take home the season seven tournament crown and the vacant heavyweight belt.

The fight started with a feeling out process on the feet, with both fighters searching for their range. Hale looked for a takedown, but Volkov reversed and scored with a trip. The lanky Russian refused to engage, which allowed Hale to stand and explode in the waning moments of the opening stanza.

Unfortunately for the American, that was the extent of his offense during the five-round affair. Volkov found his range with his jab in the second frame and mixed in occasional takedowns throughout to coast to a lopsided decision win. The Indiana crowd voiced their displeasure for the sluggish affair by showering the fighters with boos in the final frame.

All three judges scored the fight 49-46 for Volkov who walked away $100,000 richer and with Bellator gold around his waist.

Vizcaya spoils Hermansson’s unblemished record

In a battle of debuting middleweights, Chicago’s Daniel Vizcaya handed Norway’s Jack Hermansson his first defeat in a closely-contested bout.

Vizcaya proved that his collegiate wrestling base was stronger than Hermansson’s Greco-Roman experience. Hermansson scored with a throw early in the fight when Vizcaya attempted a takedown, but the American quickly reversed the position and ended the round on top.

The second round was all Vizcaya for the first four minutes, as he again scored with his wrestling and top control. Hermansson came on late, scoring with heavy strikes, but he appeared to drop the round.

Hermansson’s gas tank proved to be the strongest in the final round, but both fighters were visibly exhausted. The Norwegian clearly won the round, but it wasn’t enough for the fight as Vizcaya picked up the split decision win.

Herrig dominates Vidonic

Striking specialist Felice Herrig made opponent Patricia Vidonic pay for missing the strawweight limit with a dominant, well-rounded performance. The pair met for the second time this year, with Herrig again taking a decision victory.

Herrig scored early with her standup and kept the fight standing with strong takedown defense. Vidonic’s desperate takedown attempts worked against her as she started to fatigue and Herrig put her on her back. Herrig controlled the fight from half guard throughout much of the first two frames. In the final round, Herrig poured it on, moving to mount and looking for a finish. However, Vidonic would sweep and look for a leg lock, but it was too little, too late.

Herrig took a clean sweep on three scorecards.

Taylor stops Vedepo

Middleweight Louis Taylor made sure there would be no flashy choke this time for opponent Joe Vedepo, finishing Vedepo with ground and pound late in the opening round.

Taylor used his grappling to dominate the fight early and keep Vedepo on his back. Vedepo scrambled multiple times looking to get back to his feet, but Taylor’s control was too much. Late in the round, Taylor found a home for his right hand, turning out the lights on Vedepo.

FULL RESULTS
Alexander Volkov def. Rich Hale by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) – new heavyweight champion
Daniel Vizcaya def. Jack Hermansson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Felice Herrig def. Patricia Vidonic by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Louis Taylor def. Joe Vedepo by knockout (punch). Round 1, 4:12
Christian Uflacker def. Cliff Wright by technical decision (29-28 x3). Round 3, 2:26
Jerald Williams def. Joey Diehl by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Anthony Gomez def. Anton Talamantes by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:30
Robert White def. Kenny Booker by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Dave Sharp def. Eddie Castillo by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 2:35
Belal Muhammad def. Quinton McCottrell by unanimous decision (30-27 x3).

Photo: Alexander Volkov (Keith Mills/Sherdog)