(All photos are courtesy of tomhillphotos.com)
Minnesota was a perfect 2-0 on Thursday night during Bellator 13 in Hollywood, Fla.
Both Roger Huerta and Carey Vanier were in action as part of Bellator's Season 2 lightweight tournament.
First up was Huerta. The UFC veteran and former Augsburg wrestling standout made his Bellator debut against Chad Hinton (6-1).
Hinton did a good job of controlling the pace in the opening round, and he scored big points by slamming Huerta. The Sherdog writer cage-side gave the opening round to Hinton, 10-9.
Huerta rallied in the second round. After Hinton landed an early head kick, Huerta took the fight to the mat and controlled the rest of the round from there. He landed a flurry of rights and hammerfists from a dominant top position.
Sherdog gave Huerta the second round, 10-9, though there was some debate as to whether it could have been 10-8.
Huerta opened the third round throwing big punches, landing a good right and then a left. After Hinton shot for a takedown, the fighters went to the ground.
From there, Huerta (21-3-1) was able to lock in a kneebar and force Hinton to submit just :56 into the third round.
The second Minnesotan in the cage was Vanier. He stepped in against "The Ultimate Fighter" veteran Joe Duarte (5-2).
Vanier, who is a former Ridgewater Community College All-American wrestler, opened the fight by quickly closing the distance and pushing Duarte up against the cage. After he landed a kick to the body, Vanier put Duarte on the mat with a nice takedown.
After a little ground work, the fighters made their way back to their feet. But it didn't take long for Vanier to