Recap by Resolution Sports.
Stellar Stand-Up Battle Concludes with Unanimous Decision
Bellator 25 was highlighted tonight by a highly entertaining stand-up battle between welterweights Dan Hornbuckle (22-3) and Brad Blackburn (17-12), resulting in a tight unanimous decision victory for Hornbuckle. All three of the judges sitting cageside at the Chicago Theatre scored it 29-18 in favor of the proud Native American, who got the better of Blackburn in a non-stop exchange of fists.
It appeared as if this fight could spend a significant amount of time on the ground when Hornbuckle went for the shoot in the opening minute of the first round and scored a quick takedown. After a struggle for position on the floor, Blackburn shook loose and stood Hornbuckle up, immediately dropping his opponent with a hard right hand. Blackburn quickly sprung onto his opposition, but Hornbuckle was able to defend the ensuing strikes long enough to clear the cobwebs. Another battle for ground position again saw the two men get to their feet, and a series of combinations were quickly exchanged by both fighters. Working like a boxer, Blackburn threw some strong punches, but Hornbuckle was there to counter until an entertaining first round came to a close.
The next two frames in this bout were conducted almost entirely from the stand-up position. The duo went back-and-forth throughout the entire second round, with some awesome exchanges coming throughout the frame. A brief stoppage was made at the midway point when Blackburn hit Hornbuckle with an accidental groin kick, but the Illinois native was able to quickly recover. Hornbuckle seemingly secured the nod for the round in the dying seconds when he was able to drop his opponent with a straight kick.
The third round was more of the same, with Blackburn looking to use his boxing to gain the advantage. He tried to stay on top of his opposition by working his jab, but Hornbuckle did a great job of answering on the counter. These two fighters literally exchanged blows for the entirety of the round, but Hornbuckle again looked to seal the frame in the final minute when he delivered a series of hard knees to Blackburn.
When an entertaining 15 minutes had concluded, Hornbuckle saw his hand raised with three scores of 29-28.
In other action on the main card, Polish heavyweight Damian Grabowski (13-0) remained undefeated and advanced in the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament by defeating Scott Barrett (10-2) in a fight that was conducted mostly via the grappling game. Cole Conrad (5-1) also advanced in the heavyweight tournament by taking the decision over Rogent Lloret (9-2), while Zoila Frausto (8-1) moved on in the Bellator Women’s Tournament after scoring the decision victory over the previously unbeaten Jessica Pene (7-1).
Bellator returns to action next Thursday for Bellator 26, which will be broadcasted live on the FOX Sports Network from Kansas City.