This week on Fight Master, Team Warren’s Evan Cutts’ win over Team Couture’s Cristiano Souza and Team Jackson’s Eric Bradley’s win over Team Couture’s AJ Matthews were recapped. While Cutts represented Warren’s last fighter in the tournament, Riggs and Bradley stood as the remaining representatives of Team Jackson, while Team Shamrock still had Nick Barnes, Chris Lozano and Joe Williams. Mike Bronzoulis joined Cole Williams in representing the last of Team Couture’s survivors.

Randy Couture called Cutts’ win over Souza lucky after Joe Warren suggested Cutts take the  No. 2-seed behind Team Jackson’s Joe Riggs, but after a bit of a discussion among the coaches, Couture organized a version of the seeding with which all the coaches approved. The seeding saw Riggs as the top seed,  Williams and Barnes as the respective second and third seeds, Cutts as fourth seed, and Lozano at the five seed in front of sixth-seeded Bradley, while Williams claimed the No. 7-seed and Bronzoulis rounded out the field of eight.

Williams took his turn to pick Barnes for the first fight of the quarterfinals. Couture stands in support of his fighter, believing that Barnes will find himself in a world of hurt. After a quick look at both fighters and their preparations for the bout, we head to the Bellator cage for Williams versus Barnes.

As a reminder to first-time viewers of the show, fights go down for two scheduled rounds. If, after two rounds, the cageside judges declare the bout a draw, a third overtime round will decide the winner of the fight.

Quarterfinal 1: Cole Williams vs. Nick Barnes

Williams struck first and quickly found a home for his hands, dropping Barnes only seconds into the bout. Barnes looked to recover and feverishly scrambled to his feet, despite Williams’ attempts to swarm in for the finish. The pressure proved too much for Barnes, though, and another well-timed shot from Williams forced the referee’s intervention, thus moving Williams through to the semifinals.

Cole Williams def. Nick Barnes via TKO (strikes), Round 1

Couture expressed elated emotion at the sight of his fighter’s victory, but Team Couture needs another win on its record, as Bronzoulis awaits Lozano. In the hopes of earning it, Couture focused on making sure Bronzoulis moved forward against Lozano. On paper, Lozano hits hard enough to force anyone to backpedal and fold, but he never needed to force Bronzoulis to fold.

Quarterfinal 2: Mike Bronzoulis vs. Chris Lozano

Both men touch gloves to start the round. Lozano struck first by getting a takedown and getting Bronzoulis’ back with both hooks in. Bronzoulis found himself controlled but eventually turned into Lozano and got back to his feet. Bronzoulis clinched with Lozano, pressing him into the fence. Bronzoulis landed a nice series of punches and Lozano ate a few more while backing up. Lozano countered with strikes of his own but could not capitalize on an attempt at a single leg takedown. Bronzoulis threw with intensity to close out the final minute of the opening frame.

Bronzoulis stuck to his plan of pushing forward, but Lozano greeted him with some short, yet effective strikes. Bronzoulis grabbed a reverse body lock and pinned Lozano back up against the fence. A few knees found their mark, but Lozano worked to separate himself from Bronzoulis. Lozano took a leg kick but a mean flurry of punches forced Bronzoulis to shift his gears in reverse. Lozano failed at another takedown, but he scored with heavy leather. The final minute saw a firefight with neither man going down despite some heavy shots and Lozano landed the takedown he wanted.  The round ended with both appearing fatigued. Bronzoulis sported a few nasty gashes before the judges declare the bout even after two, rightfully bringing this bout to the overtime round.

Lozano backpedaled to keep Bronzoulis from landing some the shots he wanted, though Bronzoulis does engage. Lozano spent a good portion of the round backpedaling away, until Bronzoulis dropped him with a vicious right hand. A solid tilt ended with a spirited exchange.

Mike Bronzoulis defeats Chris Lozano via unanimous decision

Next week, Joe Williams looks to keep Team Shamrock alive in the competition as he faces former collegiate rival Eric Bradley, and “The Butcher” looks to stall the durable “Diesel” as Joe Riggs faces Evans Cutts. We will decide the final four next week as one man looks to become Bellator MMA’s inaugural Fight Master!

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