Published January 18, 2013
It had been expected for years and last night it finally happened. Spike TV debuted Bellator’s brand of mixed martial arts on the network last night after losing its Ultimate Fighting Championship programming over a year ago.
Out with the old and in with the new, Spike TV had dubbed itself as the home of MMA on television and showed their dedication to sport by getting their parent company Viacom to purchase a controlling stake in Bellator Fighting Championships.
Thursday night’s debut opened up this season with not one but two title fights.
Pat Curran vs. Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Bellator Featherweight Championship
Curran has come a long way in Bellator and the sport MMA. He’s won two tournaments, lost one championship match up and just last year won his first Bellator championship.
Curran won just enough rounds in the five round affair to defend his championship with a decision win.
Light Heavyweight Tournament
The night also included two light heavyweight tournament match ups.
Mikhail Zayats finished veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral with a technical knockout in the first round.
The Russian hit Sobral with a spinning back fist and hammerfists to eliminate the Brazilian legend.
Emanuel Newton submitted Atana Djambazov in the second round of their bout with a rear naked choke.
Seth Petruzelli had an unimpressive performance losing by TKO Jacob Noe after getting pummeled in the first round.
Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn, Bellator Lightweight Championship
In the nights main event, Chandler looked impressive as he dominated Olympian Hawn and finished him in the second round with a rear naked choke submission.
Chandler who defeated Eddie Alvarez for the title last year is now 11-0.
Follow Victor Garcia on Twitter @MrVicGarcia.