In a meeting between two of Bellator's more exciting fighters, it was David Rickels that got the better of Lloyd Woodard to the tune of an unanimous decision win in the main event of Bellator 87 on Thursday night.
The bout was one of four lightweight quarterfinal matches that crowd at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan witnessed.
Woodard did not go down without a fight, however. The Montana native took control early on with an early slam and a mix of ground and pound and submission attempts from top position. Woodard also hurt Rickels late in the final round and landed a pair of timely takedowns that ended up not being enough to sway the scorecards.
It was Rickels' striking that won him the nod, keeping Woodard on his bike for the majority of the fight courtesy of a barrage of punches, kicks and knees. With the win, Rickels will now face Alexander Sarnavskiy in the semifinals.
Sarnavskiy submitted Thiago Michel with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their quarterfinal meeting.
Brooks wins again on big stage
Fresh off of an upset of Satoru Kitaoka at DREAM's New Year's Eve event, undefeated prospect Will Brooks was victorious again, shutting out another tough test in experienced Bellator veteran Ricardo Tirloni over three rounds for a decision win.
Brooks beat Tirloni at every facet of the game during the course of their bout, picking the Brazilian apart on the feet and using superior wrestling to avoid submission attempts and established an effective top game on the ground.
The 26-year-old will now face Saad Awad, who served as a last-minute replacement for tournament favorite Patricky Friere and took advantage, needing just 31 seconds to record a surprising TKO of Canadian prospect Guillaume DeLorenzi.
Jason Fischer def. Sevak Magakian - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R1, 3:37
Karl Etherington def. Jason Fish - Submission (Strikes) 3:45, R1
Amir Khillah def. John Schulz - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 4:34, R1
JP Reese def. David Shepherd - Unanimous Decision
Samuel Quito def. Ben Lagman - Submission (Kneebar) R2, 3:54
Tony Zelinski def. Nick Kirk - Split Decision