Surprises & Disappointments From Bellator 120

Maiquel-Falcao Surprises and Disappointments is a column featured on after every UFC event and certain Bellator events, highlighting three fighters who had surprising performances and three fighters who disappointed. Here are the three surprises and the three disappointments from Bellator 120. Surprises Will Brooks — The co-main event of Bellator 120 saw a massive upset take place as Will Brooks edged out Michael Chandler via split decision to take home the interim Bellator lightweight title. Although it’s arguable if Brooks should have earned the judges’ nod, what’s not arguable is that he fought way better than expected and looks like an extremely intriguing fighter at 155lbs. Tito Ortiz — Despite being a big underdog, Tito Ortiz returned from a two-year layoff with a bang as he submitted Alexander Shlemenko in the first round with an arm triangle. It was Ortiz’ best performance in years and the win over Shlemenko should earn him some respect back from the fans. In his next fight, look for Ortiz to take on another big-name Bellator light heavyweight. Fabricio Guerreiro — In a featherweight fight that took place on the prelims, Fabricio Guerreiro had his best performance in Bellator yet as he took out Shahbulat Shamhalaev via first-round kimura. It was a tremendous performance by the underdog and he makes for a very interesting competitor in Bellator’s deep 145lb field. Disappointments Alexander Shlemenko — As mentioned above, Alex Shlemenko lost via first-round submission to Tito Ortiz. Sure, Shlemenko was a lot smaller and it was pretty obvious to tell that, but the fact of the matter is he lost his 13 fight win streak and he didn’t look good at all against a 39 year old fighter. Shlemenko will likely take some time off after this fight and defend his middleweight strap later in the year. Shahbulat Shamhalaev — Let’s face it, Bellator 120 wasn’t kind to Shahbulat Shamhalaev. He returned from a 13-month layoff only to lose via submission to Fabricio Guerreiro and get injured in the process. Shamhalaev is a talented fighter for sure, but he has a long road back to the cage and it’s no sure thing he’ll ever be the same. Mike Richman — And in a featherweight tilt that kicked off the Spike TV prelims, Mike Richman lost a close, but clear decision to Goiti Yamauchi. Despite being the betting favorite, Richman lost his second-straight fight in the Bellator cage and third of his last four overall. He is dropping down to 135lbs for his next fight, and hopefully the move works out for him because it’s clear he’s lost his confidence as a 145lb fighter.

Written by Adam Martin.

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