Bellator 68 Live Report: Daniel Straus Impresses in Featherweight Final


By: William Holmes, Ringside

Bellator does well in Atlantic City, and it is obvious by the number of times that they have come to Atlantic City in the past two years that they appreciate the pro MMA crowd in the area.

Tonight’s card featured quality local talent, a former Dream Welterweight Champion, and the featherweight tournament final. A live Bellator event always has the feel of a small intimate show, but the fans get treated to high level talent.

As the second biggest promotion in MMA in the United States and an upcoming contract with Spke that is set to begin in 2013, these are fighters that are set to for some big time exposure very, very, soon.

The results of tonight follows below.

Undercard Results:

Francois Ambang (1-3-1) vs. Greg Milliard (2-2); Middleweight

This was a close bout between two competitors who had the build of body builders, but did not have the killer instinct required of high level professional MMA fighters. Neither attacked with crisp combinations nor were able to mount a steady, consistent, offense. The official scores were 29-28 Milliard, 29-28 Ambang, and 29-28 for Ambang, giving Francois Ambang a split decision victory.

Claudio Ledesma (6-2) vs. Anthony Leone (10-5); Bantamweight

The second bout of the night was another closely contested bout between Denville, NJ native Claudio Ledesma and Anthony Leone. Ledesma landed more strikes when he was able to keep the fight standing, but often gave up positioning when the bout went to the ground and could not shake Leone off of him when they were pressed against the cage. The judges favored the superior grappling of Leone over the striking of Ledesma, and the official scores were 29-28 Ledesma, 30-27 Leone, and 30-27 for Anthony Leone by.

Aung La Nsang (8-7) vs. Jesus Martinez (6-2); Catchweight (175lbs)

The first two fights on the undercard were closely contested bouts that ended in split decision, the third fight however ended quickly. Martinez dropped Nsang early with a straight right hand and went in for the finish, but Nsang quickly recovered and got back to his feet, only to drop Martinez with a right knee to tis head, and he quickly jumped on top of Martinez and finished him off with a heavy dose of ground and pound. The referee waived off the fight at 0:36 of the first round.

Don Carlo-Clauss (8-6) vs. Jacob Kirwan (9-3); Lightweight

The last bout on the televised undercard was between the former Ring of Combat featherweight champion Jacob Kirwan and Don Carlo-Clauss. Neither fighter seemed intent on taking the fight to the ground, and they exchanged 1-2 combinations for the majority of the fight, with Kirwan landing more often than Carlo-Clauss, but Carlos Clauss landed the harder shots. Kirwan also briefly took the back of Kirwan in the second round with one hook in. By the end of the bout Carlo-Clauss had blood streaming down from his left eye and Kirwan had some blood around his nose. Don Carlo Clauss took the bout with scores of 29-28 for Carlo-Clauss, 29-28 for Kirwan, and 29-28 for Don Carlos Clauss.

Main Card Results:

Waachiim Spiritwolf (9-9) vs. Marius Zaromskis (16-6); Welterweight

The former Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis made his Bellator debut and was the first on the televised card. He was originally scheduled to fight on the undercard, but his fight got bumped when Seth Petruzelli came down with the flu and had his fight canceled.

Zaromskis had the crowd oohing and aahing early in the fight, and was able to land a back elbow from a strange and unexpecting angle while they were on their feet. Spiritwolf went for the takedowns and landed one in the middle of the first, but Zaromskis was able to pop back to his feet and fight off the takedown attempt.

Zaromskis kept the crowd entertained in the second round, as he threw spinning back fists and high kicks with reckless abandon. He hurt Spiritwolf badly in the middle of the second with several knees to the body and head, but got caught with a stiff counter from Spiritwolf while he was going for the kill and wound up on his back fighting to stay alive. Both men were bloody messes at the end of the second round.

Spiritwolf was badly cut over his right eye and was being attended to by his corner. The cut however was bad enough for the doctor to stop the fight. Spiritwolf was making a valiant comeback at the end of the second round, and received an ovation from the crowd as they begged the commission to allow the fight to continue.

Marius Zaromskis won by TKO at 5:00 of round 2.

Marcin Held (12-2) vs. Derrick Kennington (6-2); Lightweight

Kennington dropped Held early in the first round with a stiff right hand, but Held was able to avoid any further damage while on the ground. Held later took the fight back to the ground in the first round, and applied a vicious heel hook which forced Kennington to tap.

Marcin Held won by submission by way of heel hook at 2:08 of round 1.

Travis Marx (19-3) vs. Marcos Galvao (11-5); Bantamweight

The jiu-jitsu phenom Marcos Galvao took on Travis Marx in a bout in the featherweight tournament in the second to last fight of the night. Galvao had a large following in the crowd, and they erupted every time he landed a strike, whether it was clean or not. Marx did a good job in the first round avoiding any submission attempts and held his own on his feet.

Galvao landed an eary kick to the private area of Marx in the second round that caused a quick stoppage in the bout. When they restarted Marx applied pressure on Galvao against the fence and landed several short knees to the thighs of Galvao. Most of the second round featured quick exchanged on their feet, with Galvao getting the better of Marx on most of the exchanges.

Galvao continued to take it to Marx in the third round and had him backing up from his leg kicks and surprisingly accurate punches. Marx finally landed a takedown in the third round, but Galvao popped right up back to his feet and continued to apply pressure with a steady diet of leg kicks.

There really was no doubt who the winner was when the official scores read of 29-28 on all three score cards for Marcos Galvao.

Daniel Straus (19-4) vs. Marion Sandro (22-3); Featherweight Tournament Final

Straus landed a vicious left leg kick to the private area of Sandro early in the first round that left Sandro on the ground wincing in pain. Sandro nearly took the whole five minutes to recover. When the fight restarted Straus continued with his leg attack, and took Sandro down with a body lock takedown. Sandro got back to his feet and landed a hip toss takedown, but Straus avoided any threat of ground and pound or submission. Straus tagged Sandro with a lightning quick right hand, and then shot in on a single leg takedown that Sandro was able to avoid.

Straus came out for the second round and looked very confident. He landed quick jabs and briefly had Sandro pressed against the cage. Straus had a high left leg kick partially blocked, and he was able to easily avoid the counter takedown attempt of Sandro. Straus also briefly had the back of Sandro, and controlled the pace and distance for a majority of the second round.

Sandro came out in the third round needing a knockout to win the featherweight tournament. He came out firing but an early knee to the chin by Straus quickly halted Sandro from throwing combinations. Straus slipped a two punch combination form Sandro and landed an overhand right. A high left leg kick landed for Straus to the side of Sandro’s face. Sandro threatened Straus with a standing head and arm choke by the cage, but he did not have the leverage required to finish off the choke. Straus fought off the choke, and finished the round by picking Sandro up and slamming him to the ground hard.

Daniel Straus wins the featherweight tournament final with scores of 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27.

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