Bellator 154: "Davis vs. King Mo" takes place TONIGHT (Sat., May 14, 2016) from inside SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., featuring a huge Light Heavyweight match between "Dynamite 1" tournament winner Phil Davis and the man he should have faced in the final, Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal.
Lawal is riding a seven-fight win streak, including the Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix, but Davis has a point to prove and wants to stay active while he's waiting for champion Liam McGeary to heal up. We'll know soon enough if that decision pays off.
Also on the Spike TV-televised card, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos returns on short notice to face Saad Awad in the night's co-main event.
Bellator 154 will start tonight on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will be here all night long to deliver LIVE results and play-by-play for the televised fights, along with the "Prelims" undercard action airing on Spike.com at 6 p.m. ET.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 154) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 154 QUICK RESULTS:
Phil Davis vs. Muhammed Lawal -- Davis UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Saad Awad vs. Evangelista Santos -- Awad via TKO 4:31 R1.
Adam Piccolotti vs. Ray Wood -- Piccolotti via sub (RNC) 3:17 R1.
Andre Fialho vs. Rick Reger -- Fialho via KO 2:11 R1.
Joshua Hardwick vs. Jorge Acosta -- Hardwick via sub (guillotine) 1:21 R1.
Victor Jones vs. Anthony Taylor -- Taylor via KO 0:27 R1.
Danasabe Mohammed vs. Martin Sano -- Mohammed via TKO 1:18 R1.
Josh Paiva vs. Steven Gruber -- Paiva via sub (RNC) 2:14 R2.
Sam Spengler vs. Doyle Childs -- Spengler UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Josh San Diego vs. Jeremiah Labiano -- San Diego UD 29-28 X3.
Thomas Diagne vs. Mark Dickman -- Dickman via TKO 3:05 R3.
Stephanie Frausto vs. Jamielene Nievara -- Nievara via TKO 2:43 R3.
James Chapman vs. Sean Tucker -- Chapman via TKO 4:41 R2.
BELLATOR 154 PLAY-BY-PLAY UPDATES:
Phil Davis vs. Muhammed Lawal
Lawal is the first to enter, crown on and chain swinging, wearing the blue gloves and black trunks. He hails from Murfreesboro, Tennessee with a record of 19-4 (1 NC). Davis enters in his trademark pink trunks and sporting the red gloves. His career record is 15-3 (1 NC) and he hails from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: A "let's get it on" from "Big" John gets us underway. Lawal takes the center and pushes Davis toward the outside, clipping him with a right hand at 30 seconds. Davis tries a jumping punch and doesn't land, but his body kick finds a home. Leg kick by Davis. Another body kick from Davis as Lawal keeps trying to close the distance. Davis dances left to right to make it hard for Lawal to find a target. Lawal catches a kick and throws a nice hook. Three minutes gone by. Davis finds the range with a jab. Davis closes the distance at 4:13 but if he was looking for a takedown it's not there. A very close first round which may have seen Davis land more strikes overall, but Mo may have landed the harder shots and looked like the aggressor to the judges.
Round 2: Lawal catches a kick and gets a takedown at 35 seconds but Davis pops right back up. Davis tries a cartwheel kick but doesn't connect. Lawal is kicked in the cup at 1:38 and McCarthy calls time to let him recover. The essence of McCarthy's warning to Davis is "You didn't mean it but be careful." Davis keeps landing kicks and throwing combos, but it's the kicks that touch Lawal. He complains about another low blow but McCarthy asks him and he says he can continue. The crowd in San Jose is getting increasingly impatient. Right hand by Lawal. Davis misses with an overhand right. Lawal with a flurry of body shots. Davis looks for a shoot then breaks it off. Davis leans away from a big right by Lawal. More kicks by Davis to end R2. This is a super close fight.
Round 3: Lawal is still swinging for the fences in the first 20 seconds of this round. Jimmy Smith admits on commentary that the scorecards for the first two rounds and in particular R2 could go either way. Lawal pushes Davis into the fence at 1:40 but can't keep him there. Lawal and Davis are both drenched in sweat. The crowd is chanting FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT trying to will them to do something and Davis lands a right hand that WOBBLES Lawal and pounces on top with two minutes left. Lawal gets back to his knees but Davis drags him to the ground and he's going for the kimura. He's in side control and he steps over for the armbar. Lawal rolls out and he gets tagged as he gets back up. Davis falls down trying to rock Lawal with a spin kick. Lawal swings wildly and can't land. The judges will have to settle this.
Final result: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Phil Davis by unanimous decision.
Adam Piccolotti vs. Ray Wood
Round 1: Wood comes out in the black/white trunks and blue gloves. He hails from Bucksport, Maine and his record to date is 7-1. Piccolotti has on on gray/red trunks and red gloves. He hails from Half Moon Bay, California and his record to date is 7-0. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran. Both men rush to the center to touch gloves. Piccolotti gets a takedown at 45 seconds. Wood goes for an armbar he can't secure. Beltran warns both men to watch their fingers. Wood rolls and Piccolotti takes the back with hooks in looking for the RNC. Piccolotti flattens him out at 2:08, ends up back on top in full mount, and he's looking for a triangle choke. He lets it go and goes back to softening up Wood with strikes. Piccolotti takes the back again as Wood stands up, sinks in the RNC, and it's over at 3:17.
Final result: Adam Piccolotti wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:17 of R1.
Saad Awad vs. Evangelista Santos
Round 1: Awad is in the red trunks for tonight's co-main event, 18-7 overall, hailing from San Bernardino, California. Santos is in the black trunks, 21-16, hailing from Curitiba, Brazil. Our referee is Jason Herzog. Santos lands a hard leg kick but the fight has already gone longer than his battle with Brennan Ward. Both men trade knees against the fence. Santos gets a takedown at 57 seconds. The crowd is bored as Awad ties him up to avoid any damage or submissions then goes for an armbar of his own, but counters by going for a leg lock. Awad rolls his way free and starts landing big right hands and Santos is in big trouble. Santos is warned to move as he eats more lefts and hammers. Herzog is letting it go but Santos is eating a lot of unblocked shots. He's dropping right elbows to Santos' head that have opened him up with a minute left and Herzog has finally seen enough at 4:31.
Final result: Saad Awad wins via technical knockout at 4:31 of the first round.
Andre Fialho vs. Rick Reger
Round 1: Reger is in the blue gloves, 7-1, fighting out of North Concord, California. Fialho is in the red gloves, 7-0, hailing from Portugal. Our referee in charge is Ed Collantes. Reger has a tattoo on the right side of his face and Fialho is throwing big right hands AT his face. Fialho stuns him with a left hand jab which forced Reger to shoot for a single leg in an attempt to recover. Fialho peels him off and goes back to work. Fialho comes close with a jumping knee to ending the fight. Fialho decks him with a right and Reger is getting eaten alive. He flops to his back, gets back up, gets dropped again and one hammerfist on the ground ends it at 2:11.
Final result: Andre Fialho wins via knockout at 2:11 of the first round.
Joshua Hardwick vs. Jorge Acosta
Round 1: Hardwick is 0-0 out of Denver in the gray trunks. Acosta is 1-1 in the black trunks out of Salinas, California. Our referee in charge Ed Collantes. Both men are veteran servicemen. Hardwick has a muay thai clinch early and lands some big knees. His next move as Acosta goes for a desperation takedown is to get a power guillotine locked on tight. The undersized Acosta goes out cold without tapping at 1:21 - it's all over.
Final result: Joshua Hardwick wins via technical submission (guillotine) at 1:21 of the first round.
Victor Jones vs. Anthony Taylor
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Anthony Taylor wins via knockout at 0:27 of the first round.
Danasabe Mohammed vs. Martin Sano
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Danasabe Mohammed wins via TKO at 1:18 of the first round.
Josh Paiva vs. Steven Gruber
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Josh Paiva wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:14 of the second round.
Sam Spengler vs. Doyle Childs
Round 1: Childs is in the blue gloves, 2-1 out of San Diego. Spengler is in the red gloves, 8-5 out of San Jose. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog. Spengler has a takedown 36 seconds into R1. Somewhere in the process Spengler got cut open and it's his blood that's dripping onto the canvas and his opponent. Childs goes for an armbar but can't secure it. Childs keeps trying throw his legs up around Spengler's shoulders and neck. It doesn't work but it does force Spengler to react defensively instead of just posturing up to rain down punishment. Still he's on top for virtually the entire round and has a Peruvian necktie on late. Spengler thought he tapped Childs out to end the fight. Childs DID tap one second after the bell so it doesn't count. 10-9 possibly 10-8 given the near finish.
Round 2: We begin the second round with both fighters eager to get to the center and settle the matter after the confusion that ended the first. Childs throws a big right then goes low for the body shot. Spengler is having to back away and circle as Childs keeps on bombing. Spengler shoots for a single at 1:22 and pushes Childs into the fence. He's got it at 1:42. The Spike.com feed starts freezing and pixellating at this point but whenever it's live you can see that Spengler is still on top in full guard which gives him the advantage from a judging point of view. Childs tries to throw the legs up again at 3:49 to no avail, but since it worked the last time they fought you can understand why Childs keeps trying it over and over again. Another round goes to Spengler 10-9.
Round 3: Both men come to the center and trade hands to open R3. Childs lands a nice combination and Spengler responds by ducking a shot and getting a takedown at 1:08. Childs is in desperation mode now trying to get off his back and they're trading colorful language with each other as a result. Herzog stands them up with 90 seconds left. Unless Spengler makes a huge mental mistake now he should win the rematch. Childs just doesn't have enough energy left after wearing Spengler on top of him for 13 minutes to land the kill shot. Childs takes a kick to the cup right at the final bell and drops to his knees. We go to the judges.
Final result: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Sam Spengler by unanimous decision.
Josh San Diego vs. Jeremiah Labiano
Round 1: Gray trunks and blue gloves for the 9-3 Labiano fighting out of Hayward, California. Red trunks and red gloves for the 6-1 San Diego fighting out of Milpitas, California. Our referee is John McCarthy. San Diego quickly takes the center and makes Labiano backpedal. San Diego fires a lot of kicks and falls down going for one to the head. He's up before Labiano can pounce. San Diego gets a single leg at 2:18. San Diego backs away trying to find a post to drop a bomb and has to avoid upkicks. Labiano gets back up, gets caught with a right hand, and goes for a single leg against the fence. Labiano gets in some good offense late but I'd still give it to San Diego 10-9.
Round 2: Labiano seems to spend a lot of time waiting to see what San Diego will do instead of making a move of his own. San Diego keeps him dancing backward reacting to shots and checking kicks. He hasn't given up on the idea of a highlight reel kick to the head, but he hasn't landed a shot better than the one he did early in R1, and that didn't put Labiano out. The body and the leg kicks are slowing Labiano down though and leaving openings for San Diego to tag him with his hands. Spinning back kick from San Diego as time winds down in the final minute. A nice head kick forces Labiano to go for a takedown which he gets at 4:36. Once again too little too late. San Diego 10-9.
Round 3: Labiano is clearly aware he's down two rounds because he tries to start R3 aggressively, but ultimately falls back into his pattern of waiting to see what San Diego does and reacting to it. 2:30 into the third there's nothing to tell you we didn't already see in rounds one or two. Labiano goes for a single leg and pushes San Diego into the fence he finally gets the takedown at 3:09. If he had done that two minutes ago it might matter now. McCarthy stands them up with 32 seconds left because Labiano wasn't doing much. San Diego gets a full mount after Labiano initiates a brawl and it goes to the ground as he defensively shoots. San Diego seals it with the judges via a wild flurry before the bell.
Final result: 29-28 from all three judges for Josh San Diego by unanimous decision.
Thomas Diagne vs. Mark Dickman
Round 1: Dickman is 10-2 and fights out of Las Vegas in the blue gloves. Diagne is 5-5 and fights out of San Jose in the red gloves. Our ref is Jason Herzog. Dickman lands the first leg kick and Diagne throws jabs. Dickman shoots, Diagne sprawls. Both men do the same again but Dickman pushes Diagne into the fence and tries to trip the leg. It works at 1:16. Diagne props himself up on one hand looking to stand but Dickman jumps his back with one hook in. Diagne shakes him off at 2:07 and Dickman drops levels again. He drags Diagne to the ground and he's briefly on top but Dickman has the back scrambling briefly, then looks for another single leg. He drags Diagne to the ground again at 3:26 and Diagne has to tuck the chin to avoid the RNC when he gets the back again. Dickman is making his life miserable with left hands to the head. Diagne survives the pounding - but only just.
Round 2: Diagne comes forward and lands a few solid kicks including one that might have hit Dickman in a vulnerable spot - he froze up for a moment. He's able to recover and circle away. Diagne keeps targeting the body with hard left kicks. Diagne sprawls nicely at 1:50. Dickman shoots again at 2:28 and it takes until 3:16 but he gets Diagne off his feet and once again jumps to his back. Diagne tries to push off the fence with his feet but Dickman gets full mount with 70 seconds left. Diagne rolls to his side and Dickman punishes him with right hands and ponders an armbar. He doesn't take it but finishes another round in dominant fashion.
Round 3: Dickman is stuffed 19 seconds into R3. Diagne is headhunting and Dickman is leg hunting. Diagne sprawls at 48 seconds but gets so low Dickman spins behind him and takes his back. More unchecked right hands are making Jason Herzog take a close look. Diagne's head is painting the canvas. Herzog warns him to move multiple times. Dickman is warned about 12-to-6 elbows. Diagne looks whupped. Herzog finally waves it off with under two minutes left in the fight.
Final result: Mark Dickman wins via TKO at 3:05 in the third round.
Stephanie Frausto vs. Jamielene Nievara
Round 1: Frausto is 5-5 in the white trunks out of Cincinnati. Nievara is 3-1 in the black trunks out of San Francisco. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran. Frausto is throwing a lot of high kicks and leg kicks while Nievara sticks to the jab and the right hook. There's little that can be called "feeling out" about this fight - they're both attacking hard and not afraid to get into striking range. Nievara shoots and puts Frausto on the fence. She fires off knees from there as Frausto eventually turns her way out with 90 seconds left. Beltran warns them to work. Frausto gets a takedown as Nievara tries and fails to grab an armbar, and Beltran immediately tells them to improve their position. Frausto lands some left hands and hammers before she's kicked away. 10-9 round for Frausto.
Round 2: Frausto seems to be energized by the last minute of R1 because she's asserting cage control and forcing Nievara to move backward and counter. They stand and trade kicks at 1:42. Nievara is still trying to land the big right hook but it's hard to do when she's not moving forward. She finally catches Frausto with her hands down momentarily at 2:30. Nievara pushes Frausto into the fence but they tie up and Beltran calls for work. Frausto turns her around and throws some knees, Nievara goes for an inside trip and gets it with 80 seconds to go. Frausto tries and fails to sweep. Beltran wants more work with 37 seconds left. Nievara tries to posture up for some rights but Frausto ties her up to avoid significant damage. 10-9 round for Nievara.
Round 3: Frausto with a hard body kick 17 seconds into the round. She gets clipped a few times with the hands and goes for a double leg in response -- and the takedown leads straight to side control. Beltran wastes little time barking at them to "work for a finish." Nievara escapes and hits an outside trip for a takedown of her own right into half guard. The ever talkative Beltran keeps giving out advice without even giving the fighters time to set up submissions or pass to a more dominant position. Nievara gets full mount at 2:20 -- if Beltran had stood them up that never would have happened. Frausto is warned to fight back and Beltran pulls Nievara off at 2:43.
Final result: Jamielene Nievara wins via TKO at 2:43 of the third round.
James Chapman vs. Sean Tucker
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: James Chapman wins via TKO at 4:41 of the second round.