With the UFC off another week, the MMA world continued to stay busy in a fun weekend of fights.
Bellator continued its seventh season Friday with a couple tournament bouts and some other fun fights. The main event saw usual light heavyweight Rich Hale knockout Thiago Santos to make the heavyweight finals in that tournament. He will meet the winner of Vinicius Queiroz-Alexander Volkov next weekend.
In the featherweight tournament bout, Shahbulat Shamhalaev knocked out Mike Richman to continue his devastating run in that tournament. He will now meet the winner of Wagnney Fabiano-Rad Martinez in the finals of that tournament.
Also in action on that card were welterweight standouts Ryan Ford and Douglas Lima. Ford won a unanimous nod over Kyle Baker, while Lima scored a highlight-reel knockout of Jacob Ortiz. Both men are looking for a tournament nod in next season's welterweight tournament.
The undercard saw notables Vitaly Minakov and Guillaume DeLorenzi score victories of their own. Minakov knocked out Vladimir Starcencov, while DeLorenzi choked out Jonny Carson with a rear-naked choke.
World Series of Fighting had their first ever card, and it was a good one. UFC veterans aplenty graced the card and did not disappoint.
Winners by decision included Dave Branch (unanimous decision over Dustin Jacoby), Josh Burkman (unanimous decision over Gerald Harris), Brian Cobb (split decision over Ronys Torres) and Marlon Moraes (split decision over Miguel Torres).
Further than that, there were some snazzy submissions. Steve Carl opened the card with a rear-naked choke of Ramico Blackmon.
Later, Gesias Cavalcante secured a nasty heel hook that put away T.J. O'Brien. It looked like O'Brien would not be able to walk out of the cage, but he wound up being okay.
Some of the most jaw-rattling knockouts I have seen in a while came on the card as well. Tyson Steele beat down Gregor Gracie with some brutal striking, while Andrei Arlovski put away Devin Cole with strikes in the main event.
Tyrone Spong made his successful MMA debut with a brutal knockout of his own over Travis Bartlett. However, the knockout that stole the show was in the co-main event.
Anthony Johnson hit D.J. Linderman with a freight train of a punch that left Linderman face first on the mat. It was so brutal that it took Linderman quite a bit to get up and gather his head.
Meanwhile, at RFA 4, numerous up-and-comers joined some established veterans for a fun card.
The main event saw Tyson Griffin edge Efrain Escudero via decision. It was both fighters' first fight since leaving the UFC.
Brothers of UFC fighters Sergio Pettis (brother of Anthony Pettis) and Chidi Njokuani (brother of Anthony Njokuani) scored victories of their own on the card. Sergio earned a unanimous nod over Jimmy Jones, while Chidi knocked out Phil Dace late in the fight.
The Ultimate Fighter veterans Dakota Cochrane and James Krause fought on the card as well. Cochrane submitted Derrick Burnsed with a beautiful armbar, while Krause knocked out Guiherme Trindade in the first round.
UFC veteran Marcio Cruz scored the most spectacular submission of the night, as he tapped Joe Yager with an inverted triangle choke.
Lastly on the card, up-and-coming Team Alpha Male fighter Lance Palmer made an appearance on the card. It would be in the form of a split decision over UFC veteran Fredson Paixao.
Intriguing prospect and potential player Michael Page scored a flashy doctor stoppage victory at Super Fight League over Haitham Tantawy. He used devastating striking to open a nasty gash on Tantawy that ended the fight.
Travis Wiuff lost again this weekend, this time at Abu Dhabi Warriors. He dropped a split decision to Maro Perak.
Also on that card, Russian star Mikhail Zayats earned a tapout on Marcin Elsner via guillotine choke.
The Bruno brothers were unsuccessful on the Fight Time 12 card. Steve Bruno was knocked out by Keith Johnson, while Mike Bruno was tapped by a beautiful triangle choke at the hands of Vagner Rocha.
Lastly, AFC 12 took place in Canada and saw some good action, but a disappointing main event. Kendall Grove earned a knockout over Ariel Gandulla, but the main event between John Alessio and Dave Mazany ended in a no-contest due to an eye poke.