Bellator 83 Results: Jessica Eye Scores Eye Opening Win, Horcher Takes Advantage of Opportunity
By: William Holmes
Bellator returned to a familiar stomping ground at Caesars Casino in Atlantic City. Once again, the venue was packed once the opening fight started on this card that featured a main event between Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Rad Martinez in the featherweight tournament championship.
The opening bout of the televised card was between Jessica Eye (8-1) and Zoila Gurgel (12-1) for the Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship. Eye and Gurgel wasted little time in coming out to the center of the cage and exchanging combinations. Eye got the better of Gurgel and dropped her with with a right hook and followed it up with more punches. Gurgel got back to her feet but Jessica Eye quickly pounced on her and locked in a standing arm triangle. Gurgel refused to tap and eventually dropped to the floor losing consciousness. Jessica Eye wins at 0:58 of the first round by submission due to a standing arm triangle.
The second televised bout of the night was between Anthony Leone (11-5) and Zach Makovsky (14-3) in the bantamweight division. Makovsky is a former champion and was looking to bounce back from his defeat to Eduardo Dantas when he lost the bantamweight belt. Makovsky started off with a strong first round as he was loose with his hands and kicks and landed the cleaner punches when they exchanged. Rounds two and three however turned into a wrestling match, as Leone was able to take Makovsky to the ground and control position. Makovsky threatened with a few guillotine attempts, but he was consistently giving up superior positioning to Leone. It was a close fight, but the judges scored it as a split decision, with one judge scoring it 29-28 for Makovsky and the two others scoring it 29-28 for Leone.
The scheduled main event between Shahbulat Shamhalaev (11-1) and Rad Martinez (14-2) was cancelled due to symptoms Shamhalaev was experiencing from food poisoning.
But, when one door closes another one opens, and Darrell Horcher (6-0) and Chris Liguori (15-9) got bumped up to the televised card fought in the lightweight division. Liguori had trouble with Horcher’s southpaw style early on and was dropped to the ground from a straight left hand. Horcher followed up with more punches on the ground and Liguori was seconds away from having the fight stopped. He somehow was able to survive and scored a takedown late in the round. Another left hand in the second round by Horcher made Liguori wobbly on his feet. Horcher scored the slam of the night in the second round when he picked up Liguori and drove him to the mat. Liguori controlled the third round with superior wrestling, but it was not enough to win him the bout. The judges scored it 29-28 on all three scorecards for Darrell Horcher.
Brylan Van Artsdalen (7-4) and Terrell Hobbs (4-6) fought next in the featherweight division. Van Artsdalen shot in on an early low single leg and picked Hobbs up and slammed him to the mat. Hobbs was able to get back to his feet and slammed Van Artsdalen to the mat himself. Van Artsdalen is able to momentarily lock in a guillotine choke, but Hobbs gets out. Van Artsdalen goes for an arm triangle choke, but Hobbs is able to maneuver his hips into full mount position and eventually lock in the rear naked choke forcing Van Artsdalen to tap out at 3:07 of round 1.
The next bout of the night was not on the televised portion of the card and was in the flyweight division between Matt Lozano (3-0) and Tuan Pham (4-5). Lozano had a solid first round, but Pham hurt Lozano in the second round with a combination and clearly out grappled him in the second and third rounds. The judges scored it
The last bout of the night was between David ‘Bo’ Harris (7-4) and Claudio Ledesma (7-3) in the bantamweight division. This was the most uneventful bout of the night and neither Harris nor Ledesma made an effort to try and finish the fight. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Claudio Ledesma.