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Bellator Lightweights Freire, Imada, Woodard, Chandler Advance

Patricky Freire, Toby Imada, Lloyd Woodard and Michael Chandler won on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight tournament, as MMA fans watching on MTV2 were treated to a sensational night of fights, with nothing but exciting contests and no fights going the distance.

In the main event, Freire beat former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Rob McCullough by third-round technical knockout. It was a great fight: The first round was an action-packed thriller, with Freire badly hurting McCullough with punches and then nearly finishing him with a rear-naked choke. But McCullough did a great job of surviving on the ground and getting back to his feet and actually getting the upper hand in the final seconds of the first round. The second was exciting, too, and Freire again had McCullough in trouble on the ground but ended up having McCullough take the upper hand at the end of the round. But in the third round Freire eliminated all doubt, landing a huge right hook that knocked McCullough to the ground, then a couple more punches to finish it.

Imada won a first-round submission victory over Josh Shockley under strange circumstances: He put Shockley in an arm bar only to have Shockley pick him up and slam him to the canvas. But just as Shockley slammed Imada down, he screamed in pain, and the referee decided to stop the fight, interpreting Shockley's scream as a verbal submission. It wasn't clear whether Shockley, who took the fight on just a day's notice, could have kept fighting or not. But the referee ruled that the fight was done, and Imada was the winner.

Woodard's second-round TKO win over Carey Vanier was an upset and a great showing: Woodard dropped Vanier with a hard punch early in the second round and finished him off with several more punches on the ground, improving his professional MMA record to 11-0. "This is the greatest moment of my life!" Woodard screamed in the cage afterward.

Chandler's first-round submission win over Marcin Held was a sensational fight. Held came close to submitting Chandler with a knee bar in the first minute of the first round, but Chandler held his own on the ground, worked his way into an advantageous position, hurt Held with ground and pound and eventually choked Held out with an arm triangle. Chandler improved his professional MMA record to 6-0, and he has finished all six opponents. He's an exciting prospect in the Bellator lightweight division.

It was a very entertaining show on MTV2 for Bellator, which becomes America's second-biggest MMA promotion now that the UFC has purchased Strikeforce. As long as Bellator can put on great fights like it did on Saturday night, there's room for a No. 2 promotion in American MMA.