Bellator’s Fight Master reality series continued with the last two quarterfinals. The show is nearing its end, and top contenders are emerging from the four teams.

Last week, two men from Team Couture punched their tickets to the semifinals. First, Cole Williams made short work of Team Shamrock’s Nick Barnes, earning an early first-round knockout. Williams has now defeated Joe Williams, Mike DuBois and Barnes, all of whom are Shamrock teammates, to get where he is.

The other man to advance was Mike Bronzoulis. Bronzoulis put away Team Shamrock’s Chris Lozano via unanimous decision to make the final four. Previous to that, Bronzoulis defeated Garrett Joseph by decision and Team Warren’s Jason Norwood via knockout.

On this week’s episode, Bronzoulis and Williams learned the identity of the other two men who would join them in the semis.

The first fight of the episode saw Joe Williams of Team Shamrock take on Eric Bradley of Team Jackson. Williams was brought back after an injury to Andy Uhrich took Uhrich out of competition.

Bradley wanted to use explosiveness and quickness to beat Williams. Although Williams and Bradley are both wrestlers, Greg Jackson believed his man was the better striker and wrestler. It was revealed that Williams and Bradley wrestled each other in college three times, with Bradley winning every time.

Joe Williams vs. Eric Bradley

The first round began with some striking exchanges between the two, as they felt each other out. Bradley got the better of the exchanges, even cutting Williams open under two minutes in. The first takedown attempt came three minutes in, with Williams briefly snagging Bradley, but nothing came of it. Bradley landed a decent head kick that didn’t seem to faze Williams much, but he shot a takedown behind it. The Team Jackson member ended the round on top, likely taking it 10-9.

The second round resumed the fight with Bradley continuing to control the pace on the feet. It was obvious that Williams was not a comfortable striker. Shamrock was constantly yelling, “Jab! Jab!” It seemed that was one of the few things Williams had in his arsenal. Bradley attempted a takedown, which Williams shook off. After controlling some more on the feet, Bradley was again denied a takedown. It really didn’t matter, however, because Bradley was getting the better of the striking exchanges. To end the round, Williams earned a takedown, but Bradley attempted a quick guillotine before the bell rang.

Bradley took the round, 10-9, and the fight with an overall 20-18 win to earn his way into the semifinals with the unanimous decision.

Eric Bradley def. Joe Williams by unanimous decision (20-18 x3)

The next fight of the night put Team Warren’s Evan Cutts up against top seed and Team Jackson rep Joe Riggs. Cutts is young in his MMA career, whereas Riggs has fought everywhere from the UFC to Bellator. Riggs was able to choose his opponent and said he took Cutts because he wants to take the least amount of damage on the way to the finals.

A big focus for Riggs was his mental toughness and weight cut. He talked about wanting to leave to go home and see his family. A couple fighters and coaches noted that the weight cut is going to mess with his head, especially since he had to do it multiple times in a short span. Luckily, though, he made weight and was ready for fight day.

Joe Riggs vs. Evan Cutts

The fight began with Cutts gunning for a takedown, which led to clinching against the cage. Riggs pushed off and threw Cutts, landing in side control. Cutts was attentive off his back, using his liveliness to get back to full guard, where he looked for armbars and triangle chokes through ground-and-pound. Cutts worked back to his feet, before getting tripped back to side control again. It was short-lived, as Cutts got up and forced the clinch against the fence again. Once they broke, Riggs landed several nice strikes. The end of the round saw some clinch work and another takedown from “Diesel.”

The next round saw Riggs push off an aggressive Cutts, which led to more time in the clinch and a takedown. The carousel continued, as the cycle of clinch, takedown and get up dominated what happened in this fight. With around 90 seconds left, Cutts covered and moved backwards, but Riggs dropped him with a perfectly timed knee. Riggs followed up with punches, but Cutts hung in there. Busted open, Cutts ended the fight on his back, taking nasty strikes from a still-fresh Riggs. “Diesel” dominated and took a unanimous decision to move on to the semifinals.

Joe Riggs def. Evan Cutts by unanimous decision (20-18 x3)

Team Shamrock and Team Warren will be absent from the semifinals, with two Team Couture members and two Team Jackson reps having secured the four spots in the bracket. From the squad of “The Natural,” Cole Williams and Mike Bronzoulis remain. From Team Jackson, Joe Riggs and Eric Bradley will look to win the tournament.

Photo: Fight Master Logo (

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.