HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard continued his run of dominance and passed his latest test with ease, as he knocked out former NFL running back turned mixed martial artist Herbert Goodman at Bellator 24 on Thursday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The end to the non-title bout came 38 seconds into round one, as Lombard posted his 15th consecutive victory.
Lombard swung for the fences to start the bout and attacked his opponent with strong hands. To his detriment, Goodman decided to exchange with the champion. His bid came up short, as Lombard caved in Goodman with a powerful combination that sent him stumbling into the cage. Lombard sealed it when he connected with a crushing right hand and follow-up ground strikes that left Goodman out cold.
In one of two women’s 115-pound tournament quarter-finals, American Top Team’s Jessica Aguilar submitted Lynn Alvarez with an arm-triangle choke 4:01 into the first round.
Aguilar worked for a takedown from the clinch early in the first round and ultimately succeeded, landing in side control. With the home crowd supporting the local favorite, Aguilar exerted top control, as she flowed effortlessly from half guard to side mount, all while working towards the arm-triangle. It appeared that Aguilar had cinched the choke, but Alvarez rolled her over and escaped. A short time later, Aguilar was back on top, improving her position and working for the choke yet again. This time, she successfully secured the arm-triangle and forced her opponent to tap out.
In another women’s quarter-final, pre-tournament favorite Megumi Fujii remained unbeaten, as she defeated last-minute replacement Carla Esparza with an armbar 57 seconds into the second round.
The two women traded blows to start the fight and engaged in a series of exchanges, with neither fighter gaining the upper hand. Throughout the exchanges, Fujii periodically shot for takedowns, though she enjoyed no early success. With a little more than a minute left in round one, Fujii succeeded in taking down Esparza. However, she failed to accomplish much, as Esparza kept her in closed guard and forced the referee to restart the fight as the round came to a close.
Fujii went for a takedown early in the second round, forced a scramble and threatened Esparza with a leg lock. As Esperza pushed out her leg, Fujii scrambled across her back and locked up the armbar for the tapout.
Meanwhile, Neil Grove annihilated fellow UFC veteran Eddie Sanchez in the first round of their heavyweight tournament quarter-final, finishing him 92 seconds into the first round.
Just a few seconds into the fight, Grove landed a strong left jab that floored Sanchez. Grove followed with vicious ground-and-pound, and the damage he exacted resulted in visible swelling under Sanchez’s left eye. Sanchez attempted a couple of submissions, to no avail. When Grove backed away and allowed Sanchez to return to an upright position, he slowly stood, and the fight was called.
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