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Diekmann wins by knockout on
Bellator 123 preliminary card
Bessette loses by decision

Perry Filkins, left, facing Dan Cramer on Sept. 5 at Bellator 123 in the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Photo by Erin Callnan
By Brian Woodman Jr.

    Josh Diekmann (15-5) earned his eleventh career knockout on Sept. 5 during the preliminary card at Bellator 123. Mohegan Sun in Uncasville hosted the event.
    Diekmann, a heavyweight who trains out of Groton, finished Mike Wessell (14-8) about 47 seconds into the first round of their heavyweight fight. The crowd shouted support for Diekmann, who landed a heavy-handed combination that ended the bout.
    It was the fourth bout on the prelimary card and one of several fights that evening to include competitors from Connecticut. Among them was local favorite Matt Bessette (13-6), who lost by unanimous decision to Scott Cleve (15-4) during a featherweight bout. Cleve, who favored grappling, kep the fight on the ground as much as possible and dominated most of the bout.
    The event opened with bantamweight Rico Disciullo (3-0) defeating Marvin Maldonado (2-2) by unanimous decision. 
    Bantamweight Steve Garcia (5-0) defeated Kin Moy (5-1) by split decision during the next bout, which left both fighters bleeding from the head. Both men attempted leg triangles during different rounds and engaged in heavy striking exchanges.
    The last fight before the main event started was a middleweight bout between Perry “filthy” Filkins (8-2) and Dan Cramer (11-4). Cramer defeated Filkins by unanimous decision after a particularly fast-moving third round punctuated by an exchange of punching combinations.
    After the main event, three preliminary bouts were held in front of a rapidly decreasing crowd. Those who left missed two quick finishes.
    Mike Mucitelli (7-1) submitted Mark Griffin (5-4-1) quickly in the first round of a light heavyweight bout. Pete Rogers Jr. (2-1) of Norwich knocked out Phillipe Martins (0-2) in 10 seconds during a featherweight bout. 
    Bantamweight Blair Tugman (6-5) of North Haven defeated Brandon Fleming (4-3) by decision in a largely one-sided fight. Tugman tried to keep the fight on the ground during all three rounds and attempted to take Fleming’s back a few times. Fleming attempted a few guillotine chokes on Tugman in front of a small but vocal crowd.