On Friday, May 2, Bellator MMA hosted its 118th event from the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.

In the night’s main event, the promotion’s interim bantamweight title was up for grabs, but only for one combatant, as a pair of tournament winners locked horns. Former featherweight champion and season nine tournament winner Joe Warren challenged for 135-pound gold as he faced off with Summer Series bantamweight tournament winner Rafael Silva. Warren was originally expected to face the promotion’s current champion, Brazilian Eduardo Dantas, but Dantas was forced out three weeks before the bout with a head injury. Silva was called upon for his countryman on short notice, but could not reach the bantamweight limit during weigh-ins.

Also on the card, the promotion held one half of the semifinals of the season 10 welterweight tournament. Former title challenger Andrey Koreshkov battled Justin Baesman for a spot in the finals. Koreshkov was originally slated to face Sam Oropeza, but like Silva, Oropeza did not make weight. As such, he was pulled from the bout and the tournament.

The promotion also kicked off the opening round of its Summer Series light heavyweight tournament as Liam McGeary faced Mike Mucitelli.

The night’s preliminary card kicked off at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com. The four-fight main card aired live on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m.

The self proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” did a lot to further that nickname on Friday night. Joe Warren became Bellator’s interim bantamweight champion with a decision win over Rafael Silva. Warren certainly had to overcome some adversity and he was likely down two to zero on the scorecards headed into round three. Silva took Warren’s back in the opening moments of the fight and looked to lock on a submission. In the second round Silva came close to earning a finish again. He rocked Warren with an uppercut and started to move forward with more punches. Warren was on rubber legs, but a desperation takedown likely saved him. The opening seconds of the third round was were the tide started to turn in Warren’s favor. He landed a huge right hand that wobbled Silva just seconds into the round. Instead of rushing in and taking a chance of getting hit Warren played it safe and took the fight to the ground. That punch clearly took something out of Silva. Warren had taken him down earlier in the fight, but he had had problems maintaining that top control. Warren’s top control and takedowns were top notch as they entered the championship rounds. He slammed the Brazilian and even came close to a submission when he had back control. Warren didn’t get the finish, but he did enough to win and become the first man in Bellator history to win titles in two different divisions.

Andrey Koreshkov made quick work of Justin Baesman to punch his ticket to the welterweight tournament finals. It looked like Baesman was just outmatched by the much larger Koreshkov from the beginning. Baesman, who was stepping in on less than 24-hours notice, fell victim to Koreshkov’s superior striking. Koreshkov through a crazy spinning kick that narrowly missed. Koreshkov kept with the pressure and hurt Baesman bad with a body shot. When Baesman started to defend the body Koreshkov saw his opening. He exploded forward with a flying knee and Baesman was out. Koreshkov will now look for his second welterweight tournament title when he faces Adam McDonough during Bellator’s Summer Series.

Marcos Galvao proved he is still a contender in Bellator’s bantamweight division with a dominant performance over Thomas Vasquez. The rounds were fairly wash, rinse, repeat in this one. Vasquez would drive in with spurts of aggressive offense to initiate a clinch. When he initiated those clinches Galvao took the fight to the ground. The most damaging takedown came in the first round when Galvao executed a textbook judo throw. Throughout the first two rounds Galvao seemed content to go with ground-and-pound, rather than go for a submission, but that changed when he was able to take Vasquez’ back in the final frame. Galvao continually looked for a rear-naked choke, but he could never fully get it under the chin. Galvao stayed on the back and rode out the final seconds for a decision win.

The card kicked off with an early start to Bellator’s Summer Series light heavyweight tournament. Liam McGeary and Mike Mucitelli did not waste any time in getting after it. Both men came out swinging and ended up having a quick scramble on the ground. When the two fighters returned to the feet McGeary nailed Mucitelli with a left hook. Mucitelli wobbled to the ground and McGeary walked off with the knockout.

FULL RESULTS
Joe Warren def. Rafael Silva by unanimous decision (48-47 x3) – for interim bantamweight title
Andrey Koreshkov def. Justin Baesman by knockout (flying knee). Round 1, 1:41 – welterweight tournament semifinal
Liam McGeary def. Mike Mucitelli by knockout (left hook). Round 1, 0:22- “Summer Series” light heavyweight tournament opening round
Marcos Galvao def. Thomas Vasquez by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Dante Rivera def. Gemiyale Adkins by majority decision (29-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Jesus Martinez def. Ryan Contaldi by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Tim Woods def. Eugene Fadiora by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Darrion Caldwell def. Joe Pingitore by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 1:32
Sidney Outlaw def. Mike Bannon by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Lester Caslow def. Jay Haas by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:29
Kevin Roddy def. Amran Aliyev by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.