Last night Bellator held the opening round of the Season Eight Middleweight Tournament, as well as a bantamweight title fight between Nova Uniao training partners Eduardo Dantas and Marcos Galvao. The middleweight tournament had the usual field of veterans and newcomers, and who made it through may have surprised some people. The first fight took place between undefeated Russian Sultan Aliev and undefeated Denmark native Mikkel Parlo. Aliev was the busier of the two fighters and earned his way into the semi-finals, where he will face the only fighter who earned a stoppage in the opening round.
Former WEC light-heavyweight champion Doug Marshall is having a sort of career resurgence, as he scored his second straight knockout win under the Bellator banner. He had finished Kala Hose in 22 seconds to earn his way into the tournament, and it only took a little over three minutes for him to stop Andreas Spang. Now Marshall moves on to face Aliev in the next round.
On the other side of the bracket, UFC veteran Dan Cramer took on Bellator tournament veteran Brian Rodgers while Brett Cooper took on Norman Paraisy. Both bouts ended in decisions. Cooper took the fight to Paraisy by blending his striking and wrestling to earn a clear-cut unanimous decision, and he almost finished the fight in the beginning of the second round with an uppercut. He will take on Cramer, who moved to 7-1 in the promotion with his win over Rodgers.
Finally, the title fight between Dantas and Galvao most likely did not end up like the two fighters’ training sessions, because after a slow first round the champion connected and put Galvao out. It was a great win, but Dantas still has some work to do after being finished by Tyson Nam in August of last year. Plus, with no other 135-tournament winners, and no tournament currently going on, it may be a while before he steps back into the cage.