Bellator 158 "Lima vs. Daley" came to O2 Arena in London, England last night (Sat., July 16, 2016) with a card aired on Spike TV. Every fight scheduled for the broadcast featured at least one fighter who would be the clear hometown favorite.
The main event saw Paul "Semtex" Daley take on Douglas "The Phenom" Lima, the latter stepping in to replace Josh Koscheck when he withdrew from this card. Who emerged victorious in this crucial Welterweight fight?
Even though Daley is known as a knockout artist in two different sports, it was Lima who dropped him with a shot in the first ten seconds of the fight, setting the tone for the next nine minutes and change. Lima would cover up when Daley threw his power shots, then answer with lefts that wobbled "Semtex."
.@phenomlima really bringing championship level striking to this fight! pic.twitter.com/KBRgM55MIU— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 17, 2016
You knew things weren't going Daley's way in Round 2 when he actually attempted a takedown which Lima easily blocked and wound up on top. Perhaps sensing that was his method to ice the fight he got a single leg in Round 3, and despite all the urging of his corner Daley just couldn't get back up.
All three judges scored it 30-27 for Lima, who spoke with Jimmy Smith after the fight.
"I just want to thank God for finally being here healthy again. Hat's off to Paul, that guy hits like a truck man, I've never been hit so hard. Thank you to London fans. I know I wasn't the favorite here but I'm proud to be here fighting in front of all of y'all. Thank you."
Daley spoke to Smith as well.
"I respected him from the beginning of the fight. We said a lot of things to sell the fight, Douglas is a great fighter and I can see why he's a champion. I'll be back and I'll challenge him again, I'm sure he's going to be the champion again. We've had a drink (together) he's a genuine nice guy and I'll work my way to a rematch."
In a bout that could only happen once "Meathead" was medically cleared to fight again after Bellator 157, Matt Mitrione took on hometown hero Oli Thompson.
The first round wasn't a technical masterpiece by any means -- but if you enjoy two behemoths slugging it out to see who falls first it was five minutes of fun. Both men seemed exhausted by the pace they set in Round 1, but Mitrione had a little more gas in the tank and found the range with his right hand. Eight seconds later at 4:21 of the second round Thompson went face down.
All-American Heavyweight @mattmitrione shakes up @theo2 with massive KO tonight! #Bellator158 pic.twitter.com/IlMZCx5LXw— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 17, 2016
Mitrione was joined by his son as he spoke to Smith after improving to 11-5 overall.
"Good God I hit that guy with some blocks and he just stood there right in the hole. That dude surprised the hell out of me, he's incredibly tough. It was a change. We figured he'd pretty aggressive on the wall, so we looked a lot of reversals, a lot of positioning, a lot of head control. We're going to Scotland, Ireland and Iceland baby -- let's go Europe!"
Michael "Venom" Page put his undefeated 10-0 record on the line against the experienced and dangerous Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos in another Welterweight bout.
The first round didn't amount to much. Even though Page was striking effectively Santos got a takedown off a kick and controlled him on the ground for several minutes. Once Page was able to reset in Round 2, he hurt Santos badly with a liver kick and finished with a jumping knee for the knockout at 4:31.
Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings. #Bellator158 @Michaelpage247https://t.co/RZVZcMKmpP— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 17, 2016
Page spoke to Smith afterward.
"London!! The one and only MVP is BACK! Firstly much respect to Cyborg, he's an absolute champ. He took me to where I haven't been so far. He pushed me. Much respect to Cyborg, he's a tough man, tough tough man. But -- for all the Pokemon Go lovers, I think I just caught me a Cyborg!"
At Light Heavyweight, promotional newcomer Lukasz Klinger took on the once "Limitless" Francis Carmont. Carmont looked to rebound from a knockout loss to Phil Davis while Klinger looked to impress as a late replacement.
Carmont turned in a textbook performance against his short notice foe. Klinger was able to defend with his butterfly guard for a little while after Carmont's takedown, but once he got side control and wrapped up the D'Arce choke Klinger tapped for the first time ever at 3:54 of Round 1.
.@franciscarmont wins BIG for his country, France! What a submission! #Bellator158https://t.co/SHfQalmtG4— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 17, 2016
Michael Chandler spoke to Sean Grande during the broadcast about recapturing the Lightweight title back at Bellator 157.
"When you're fighting a guy as dangerous as Patricky Pitbull, these fights and these four once gloves (it) can happen so quickly. You can be the guy who was supposed to win by a thousand percent but there's still a chance you can get knocked out. When that final bit of weight gets lifted off your shoulder you feel like a million bucks."
Grande announced that Benson Henderson will face Patricio "Pitbull" Freire at Bellator 160 on August 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, as the Brazilian moves up to 155 for the first time. The winner of that main event bout will be next in line to face Chandler.
Promotional newcomer James Gallagher was only 3-0 but carried a lot of hype with him as Conor McGregor's training partner. Mike Cutting didn't look like a big threat at 6-5 but he did have three times more experience going in.
This fight wasn't good. When Gallagher and Cutting engaged, Gallagher would get takedowns with ease and fish for submissions. Cutting was aware of this and spent most of Rounds 2 and 3 backpedaling, earning several warnings from referee John McCarthy that he'd take a point for running away.
Cutting didn't fool the judges as all three unanimously gave a 30-27 score in favor of Gallagher.
4-0! @strabanimalmma looked solid in his debut tonight! #Bellator158 pic.twitter.com/E13ieifC7G— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 17, 2016
Smith spoke to Gallagher after his Bellator debut.
"This is all I've ever dreamed of. I can't put this into words. This is just unbelievable. I broke through, I pushed through, I put in the work and now I'm here. It was very tough, he was a tough opponent, and I reckon my next time I'll be a lot better than this. I'm lost for words here. Tonight wasn't the statement I wanted to make. Next time when my head is clear I'll fuck shit up."
The televised bouts were paired with exciting "Prelims" action that aired exclusively on Spike.com.
Check out our live streaming Bellator 158 results RIGHT HERE to see who else made a name for themselves inside the cage last night in London.