Bellator middleweight contender Brian Rogers was an underdog, according to Vegas sports books, when he stepped into the cage against Wand Fight Team's Vitor Vianna last night at Bellator 61. However, Rogers didn't let that slow him down as he scored a spectacular knockout and yet another first-round victory.
Rogers (9-3) was showcasing his impressive takedown defense and the aggressive style that we have come to appreciate from the members of the StrongStyle gym out of Independence, Ohio. "The Predator" was overwhelming Vianna (12-3) in all aspects of the game before the highlight-reel finish that came at the 4:14 mark in Round 1.
A straight right staggered Vianna in the center of the cage, before Rogers took advantage of the opening and landed the fight-ending flying knee.
As soon as the knee connected, Vianna crumbled to the ground and Rogers raised his arms in victory. It was a scene that resembled a fatality finish in Mortal Kombat and gave Rogers the win he needed to advance to the next round of the Bellator middleweight tournament.
"There are only certain opportunities to gamble in a fight," Rogers said after the fight. "I knew there was probably less than 45 seconds left in the round—it was short on time. I was fortunate (the knee) landed."
Rogers now hopes to carry the momentum to another victory in the semifinal round, where he will face undefeated Brazilian Bruno Santos (12-0). The second semifinal will feature Russian Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and former UFC fighter Maiquel Falcao.