There would be no controversy this time around.
Richard Hale advanced to the Season 7 heavyweight tournament finals with a first-round technical knockout victory over Thiago Santos. Referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the bout at the 3:31 mark of the opening frame.
Hale (21-4-1, 6-1 Bellator) hung tough during a furious opening salvo from Santos (11-2, 3-1, 1 NC, Bellator), who appeared to have his adversary reeling with a series of heavy punches in the opening moments. The Brazilian then attempted a standing guillotine before executing a takedown and moving to side control. Unable to earn a finish, Santos slowed considerably from there.
“He definitely rocked me. It’s nice to be back at heavyweight,” said Hale, who had previously competed at 205 pounds. “The big question before this fight is can I get hit by a heavyweight. I’m here to stay; I’m here for the belt.”
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Main Card (Broadcast live on MTV2, 8:00 PM ET)
Richard Hale defeated Thiago Santos by TKO (1st Round, 3:31)
Shahbulat Shamhalaev defeated Mike Richman by KO (1st Round, 1:45)
Douglas Lima defeated Jacob Ortiz by TKO (Round 3, 4:50)
Ryan Ford defeated Kyle Baker by Unanimous Decision
Preliminary Card (Broadcast live on Spike.com, 7:00 PM & 10:00 PM ET)
Josh Appelt defeated Ed Carpenter by Submission (1st Round)
Christ Franck defeated Marcus Aurelio by Split Decision
Vitaly Minakov defeated Vladimir Starcencov by TKO (Round 2, 0:27)
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev defeated Josh Pulsifer
Guillaume DeLorenzi defeated Jonny Carson by Submission (1st Round, 4:49)