Fight Master continued this week with its tournament format in the welterweight division. After four episodes, two Team Couture and Team Shamrock fighters have moved to the next round, as Mike Bronzoulis, Cole Williams, Chris Lozano and Joe Williams have all earned their spots.

The first fight of the week featured Nick Barnes of Team Shamrock and Tim Welch of Team Jackson. Welch, a Bellator tournament veteran, carried experience over the 22-year-old Barnes. Welch was the one who picked Barnes for this bout, who he thinks is a good test and very tough.

Greg Jackson stated that he will not always be at the gym due to his other commitments, so he trusts Joey Villasenor and Damacio Page to hold down the fort. This is something Shamrock criticizes, saying he will always be there no matter what.

Barnes and Shamrock’s coaches look at the tape and notice some consistencies in Welch’s striking. They tried to develop a game plan for that, as they believed Welch was easy to read and counter.

Nick Barnes vs. Tim Welch

The fight began with a feeling out process that included leg kicks and some leaping punches. Welch was able to tag Barnes with some good shots, however an eyepoke halted the action. Upon the restart, the fighters continued to strike with both landing. A body shot from Welch looked wicked, but Barnes was able to get the Team Jackson fighter down and take his back. Barnes sunk in a rear-naked choke that was well-defended, but he switched grips to achieve the tapout.

Nick Barnes def. Tim Welch by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1

With the win, Team Shamrock picked up their third win in the opening round. Team Warren and Team Jackson remained winless as the episode moved to the second fight as Joe Riggs of Team Jackson met Eric Scallan of Team Warren.

Much of the focus was on Joe Riggs and his grueling weight cut. Riggs made the cut, but it came with a ton of hard work. He looked miserable at the weigh in.

Joe Riggs vs. Eric Scallan

Round one began with Riggs stalking and Scallon circling. They clinched for a while, with short shots being exchanged to the head and body. Eventually, Riggs secured a takedown, but Scallon eventually worked his way back to his feet. Scallon went for a takedown of his own, but Riggs shrugged him off, clinching against the cage. Riggs dropped Scallon and unleashed some nasty ground-and-pound to claim the opening frame.

Round two saw Scallan immediately shoot on Riggs, who battled it off and scored a takedown of his own. He slammed the Team Warren member with some ground-and-pound and smothered him from the top. Scallan eventually got back up and shot again. Riggs fought off the attempt and ended up on top. Riggs looked for an arm-triangle choke, but gave up partly because of Scallan’s defense. Riggs took his back at the end of the round to take home a unanimous decision victory.

Joe Riggs def. Eric Scallan by unanimous decision (20-18 x3)

Following the bout, six of the eight quarterfinalists are set as Cole Williams, Joe Williams, Mike Bronzoulis, Chris Lozano, Nick Barnes and Joe Riggs have picked up wins. Next week, the final two will join the fray as Cristiano Souza of Team Couture takes on Evan Cutts of Team Warren and Eric Bradley of Team Jackson meets A.J. Matthews of Team Couture.

Photo: Fight Master Logo (Spike.com)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.