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Waterford resident among winners in eight man middleweight tournament event featured during Bellator 98

Middleweight MMA fighters Mikkel Parlo, left, and Brian Rogers at Bellator 98
Mikkel Parlo, left, attempts to staff a takedown attempt by Brian Rogers during the last fight in the opening round of the opening round to Bellator's ninth season middleweight tournament. Parlo won by decision during the September 7, which was held at Mohegan Sun during Bellator 98.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
By Brian Woodman Jr.

   Eight men competed in the opening round of Bellator’s latest middleweight tournament, which was held on September 7 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville during Bellator 98. The tournament, which was part of the main card that evening, will be continued through Bellator’s ninth season this fall.
   Waterford native Brennan Ward (7-1), who was actually brought in as a replacement, was among the four winners who will progress into the next bracket of the tournament. Ward defeated Justin Torrey (7-1) of Springfield, Massachusetts during the second fight of the tournament. Referee Dan Miragliotta waved off the fight about three minutes into the second round after Ward mounted and volume-punched Torrey.
   Torrey was originally scheduled to fight Andreas Spang (8-3). 
   The tournament, which aired live on Spike TV, opened with a thrilling fight between Perry Filkins (8-1) of Hooksett, New Hampshire and Jeremy Kimball (10-4) of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The fight ended about four minutes into the third round when Filkins submitted Kimball with a rear naked choke. Kimball appeared dominant in the first round, scoring at least four takedowns against Filkins. During the second round, Filkins appeared to turn the tide, slamming Kimball and dropping bombs toward the end.
   Jason Butcher (7-0) of Cincinnati, Ohio grounded-and-pounded Giva Santana (18-3) of Irvine, California and ended their bout during the second round of the tournament’s third fight. Santana did well during the first round with his ground game
   The last fight, between Mikkel Parlo (10-1) of Copenhagen, Denmark and Brian Rogers (10-6) of Kent, Ohio, was the only fight in the tournament to go to a decision. Both fighters seemed to throw lots of knees, with Parlo attempting more takedowns and Rogers throwing in some “dirty boxing.” During the third round, Parlo pinned Rogers against the fence and struck him repeatedly, eventually knocking him to the ground and raining punches on him as the last round ended.
   The tournament semifinals are scheduled for Bellator 102 in October, according to news reports.
   For more information on the tournament, refer to our blog and the entries submitted live during the event.