Bryan Baker looked like he was dealt a possible death sentence back in April when he was diagnosed with chronic leukemia. The middleweight mixed martial artist kept the news a secret to almost everyone outside his inner circle. He's fought the disease galantly and showed similar moxie in taking out veteran fighter Jeremy Horn as part of Bellator 30 in Louisville, Ky. The leukemia is now in remission.
The Baker-Horn fight was part of a Bellator card televised on FoxSports Net and held in an interesting setting, 4th Street Live, an outdoor entertainment district in the same town as the Kentucky Derby. Baker (pictured on left) showed he was a thoroughbred in spite of the terrible disease he's fighting. The 24-year-old had a tough time dealing with Horn's grappling in the first round but was able to keep the fight standing for most of the final two rounds and bust up Horn's face. Baker got a unanimous decision victory, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Bellator also has its bantamweight tournament final set after Ed West and Zach Makovsky cruised to victories. The 5-foot-9 West was simply too long for Jose Vega. Vega, a good wrestler, got the fight to the ground in the first and second, but was in defensive mode the entire time that he had top control. West worked for triangle chokes, multiple armbars, a rear-naked choke and an even a kimura. He never got the finish but he did land a nasty shot to start the second that split open Vega's left eyebrow. West got a split decision win, 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29.
Makovsky was the shorter fighter in his battle against Bryan Goldsby but he had no such problems on the ground. He was active moving from position to position maintaining top control the majority of the time after landing one his nine takedowns. He rolled in the first two rounds and cruised to a unanimous decision win, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Makovsky (11-2) and West (15-4) will meet on Oct. 14 for the Bellator Season 3 Bantamweight tournament title fight in Kansas City at Bellator 32. Brit Jimmy Wallhead is scheduled to fight Ryan Thomas on that card.