The GLORY Light Heavyweight title is vacant no longer.
Saulo Cavalari defeated Zack Mwekassa by majority decision at Bellator 142: "Dynamite 1" last night (Sat., Sept. 19, 2015) at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., in a rematch from the tournament final at GLORY 18 in Nov. 2014, which saw Cavalari win by knockout in the third round.
The three scores from the judges were 48-46, 48-46, 47-47.
The Brazilian seemed to be behind on the scorecards early, as Mwekassa came out aggressive and was finding a home for his jab and big punches to the body.
Cavalari also had to overcome getting a point deducted for holding in the second round, but he hung in against the Congolese power puncher, avoiding his big punches while landing well-placed low kicks through the contest to earn the decision.
Things got interesting in the second when Mwekassa slipped while blocking a high kick from the Brazilian, but it was ruled a slip and not a knockdown. Later on in the round, referee Marcos Rosales deducted a point from Cavalari for holding.
Cavalari and Mwekassa both began to fade in the last two rounds of the five-round affair and there were a few sloppy moments. Cavalari caught a Mwekassa kick and swept out his other leg to send him to the canvas, and "The Black Warrior" slipped on another occasion.
Both fighters were visibly tired in the last round, but Cavalari was able to land punches and tie up Mwekassa to avoid any trouble late and hang on for the victory.
Cavalari improves to 32-2. Mwekassa drops to 13-3 overall.
In a battle between two Bellator welterweights, Paul Daley defeated Ferando Gonzalez by unanimous decision in a 175-pound catchweight contest (Gonzalez missed weight). The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
The fight was a competitive one and neither fighter was put in any serious danger, but "Semtex" proved to be the more technical of the two ... and also the aggressor who attacked with more volume. Daley started out sharp and faded late, allowing Gonzalez to come on strong and connect with some good punches in the final minute of the third round.
But, it was too little, too late for the Californian. Daley improves to 21-3 as a kickboxer.
In the first kickboxing action on the main card, Keri Melendez dominated Hadley Griffith over the course of three rounds for a unanimous decision victory. The judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27, and 30-26. The fight was non-competitive for all three rounds with the more athletic Melendez landing pretty much whatever she wanted and badly battering Griffith’s lead leg repeatedly with low kicks throughout the contest.
Melendez improves to 3-1 and will make her Bellator MMA debut later this year.
In preliminary action, Serhiy Adamchuk defeated Anvar Boynazarov by unanimous decision in a featherweight title eliminator. The No. 3-ranked Featherweight will face the GLORY champion, Gabriel Varga, next.
In the other "Prelims" Featherweight contest, Jose Palacious edged out T.J. Arcangel by split decision.
For full Bellator 142: "Dynamite 1" results, including play-by-play results, click here.