Bellator continued their third season with an event in Chicago that featured three tournament bouts and a featured event.
Zoila Frausto kicked things off with a dominating decision over Jessica Pene, 30-27 on all three judges' cards. Frausto used takedown defense and punishing kicks to move on in the Bellator tournament. She seemed eager to take on whatever fighter Bellator put in front of her.
"Whoever's up next. I want that number one spot, and I'm gunning for it," Frausto said after the fight.
Frausto joins Jessica Aguilar and Megumi Fujii in the semifinals of Bellator's women's tournament, but the tournament may have hit a hitch. In the postfight press conference, Frausto said that she injured her foot. The severity of the injury will decide if she can continue.
After Brad Blackburn dominated the first round, Dan Hornbuckle came back with a vengeance. He controlled Blackburn throughout the second, and even knocked him down as the round ended. The third was more of the same, with Hornbuckle showing crisp striking until the bitter end of the bout. With that, he won the non-tournament match in a unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three cards.
Hornbuckle had lost fought in Bellator's season two welterweight final, dropping a decision to Ben Askren. Blackburn, a UFC vet, has now lost three fights in a row.
The event also featured two heavyweight tournament fights.
Damian Grabowski, a heavyweight out of Poland, won the first fight in a unanimous decision, 30-27 from all three judges. His opponent Scott Barrett kept the fight closer than the score would indicate. He used his wrestling to control Grabowski but inflicted little damage, while Grabowski continually threw strikes from the bottom. By the third round, Barrett looked exhausted, and Grabowski had no trouble throwing punch after punch.
Cole Konrad, a two-time NCAA champion at Minnesota, controlled Rogent Lloret on the way to a unanimous decision. Throughout the bout, Konrad took down Lloret time and time again. Lloret's vaunted jiu-jitsu did not factor in as Konrad -- who looked in much better shape than in his last Bellator bout -- kept Lloret on the ground with strikes and grappling.
Grabowski and Konrad now join Neil Grove in the semifinals of Bellator's inaugural heavyweight tournament.