FIGHT! Facts & Rankings: Bellator XV

Ryan Thomas is back in the welterweight tourney with a win over Jacob McClintock and the semifinal fields for Bellator’s season two Welterweight and Featherweight tournaments are set after Bellator XV in Uncasville, Conn.

(Hornbuckle finishes Tyler Stinson. Photo by Joe Zuidema.)

FIGHT! Facts

Steve Carl def. Brett Cooper by split-decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) to advance in Welterweight Tournament.
Dan Hornbuckle def. Tyler Stinson by Submission (triangle choke) at 2:03 of Round 1 to advance in Welterweight Tournament.
Ryan Thomas def. Jacob McClintock by TKO at 4:11 of Round 1 to advance in Welterweight Tournament.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire def. Will Romero by Submission (heel hook) at 2:01 of Round 1 to advance in Featherweight Tournament.
Dave Branch def. Derrick Mehman by Submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:26 of Round 2.
Ryan Quinn def. Matt Lee by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)
Dan Cramer def. Dennis Olson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rich de los Reyes def. Brylan Van Artsdalen by Submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:03 of Round 2.

(Thomas lashes out at McClintock. Photo by Joe Zuidema.)

FIGHT! Rankings

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad of subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity.

Welterweights Dan Hornbuckle and Ryan Thomas were the only ranked fighters on the Bellator XV card at the beginning of the night and only one fighter joined them after notching his third qualifying fight. Hornbuckle moved up only one spot in our Welterweight Rankings, from #41 to #40 with his win over unranked Tyler Stinson. Hornbuckle may be more talented than his ranking suggests, but until he starts fighting welterweights ranked in our top 30 it will be hard for him to move up very far.

Ryan Thomans leapt from #89 to #71 with his win over unranked “Tick Tock” McClintock, and Ultimate Fighter vet Dan Cramer notched his third qualifying fight to enter our Middleweight Rankings at #70.

Odds & Ends

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney announces Ryan Thomas will once again face Ben Askren in the next round of the tournament on May 20 in Dallas, Texas, at the Verizon Wireless Theater. “Obviously, there’s a lot of meat on that bone, and a lot of words have gone back and forth between these two guys who respect each other a great deal and we can’t wait to have them get back in there,” Rebney says.

Dan Hornbuckle will face Steve Carl at the same event. “It will basically be who’s fighting in the finals for the welterweight title,” Rebney says.

While the post-fight press conference continued despite Carl’s tardiness, Brett Cooper wondered aloud where his former opponent might be. “He’s probably icing his face. I don’t know, I’m very disappointed. I thought I won. I think the crowd thought I won. Everybody that watched on TV thought I won…I thought I lost the first round, but I thought I won the second two. I don’t want to be a sore loser, but I guess I am.”

Ben Askren submitted a comment via Twitter to the press conference. “Ive never tweeted twice in the same night before but I feel this is necessary. Bjorn, thank you for making my road to the final so easy.”

In response Thomas said, “Yeah, I’m really getting a distaste for that man. He didn’t beat me the first time. He didn’t even hurt me. I wasn’t in danger that whole fight. I didn’t get punched, I didn’t get choked. He’s not gonna hurt me this time. That guy can’t beat me. He’s got nothing for me and I’m gonna smash his face.”

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