Bellator Fight Champions kicked off their 7th Season and the first round of their Welterweight tournament, which will determine the next challenger for the Bellator Champion. Results for the entire Quarterfinal Round can be found right here on SBNation Tampa Bay.
Bellator 74 got started with a bang as Russian Andrey Koreshkov had a three round battle with American Jordan Smith. Koreshkov clearly won the stand up in the first round, hitting Smith hard repeatedly, but the American show great toughness as he was never wobbled by any of the strikes. In the second round Smith was able to get a takedown early and almost won the fight with a choke, but Koreshkov was just able to escape. The third round was a little more cautious but Koreshkov was clearly able to win as the majority of the round took place on the feet. Koreshkov moves on to the Semifinals of the tournament.
In the second bout of the evening another Russian, Michail Tsarev, punched his ticket to the semi finals. Tsarev had some issues with the language barrier in the first round as he was warned for two illegal kicks. Tsarev was clearly the better grappler and Welch started to actively avoid the ground game. But part way in the second round Tsarev shot for a double leg takedown and landed right in side control. When Welch tried to scramble to his feet Tsarev made an excellent transition to the back and locked in a choke, all in one movement. It was a beautiful display of grappling and makes Tsarev one to watch moving forward.
Marius Zaromskis won a match that was not as close as the two 29-28 scorecards suggest. Nordine Taleb was content to strike with the former Dream Welterweight Champion, and Zaromskis scored knockdowns in all three rounds. Taleb was able to stay on the outside early and use his range to land hard kicks on Zaromskis, but as he tired he was hit with harder and harder shots. Finally in the third round he was wobbled by a head kick and just barely survived an attack by Zaromskis. The Lithuanian born Zaromskis moves on to the semi-finals
In the main event Lyman Good won a dominat decision over "Judo" Jim Wallhead, who did not any answer for Good's length in striking or his ability to defend takedowns. The biggest bump for Good came in the third round when a pair of low blows caused him to lose a point. Good clearly looks like the favorite in this tournament and is the man to beat at this point.
Lyman Good defeats Jim Wallhead by Decision (29-27)
Marius Zaromskis defeats Nordine Taleb by Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Michail Tsarev defeats Tim Welch by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2, 1:57
Andrey Koreshkov defeats Jordan Smith by Decision (29-28)
Will Martinez Jr defeats Casey Johnson by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1
Alexandre "Popo" Bezerra defeats Matt McCook by Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1