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Bellator 188 ‘Lahat vs Labiano’ recap with results, .gifs and interviews

Bellator 188 'Lahat vs Labiano’ aired Thursday night (Nov. 16, 2017) from Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. MMA Mania brings you a post-fight recap, results, .gifs and interview highlights!

Bellator 188
Lahat vs Labiano
Bellator MMA

Bellator 188 “Lahat vs. Labiano" took place last night (Thurs., Nov. 16, 2017) at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. The main event featured a key battle featuring a local favorite in the Featherweight division.

After suffering his first Bellator defeat earlier this year against Henry Corrales, Israeli sensation Noad Lahat would look to win in front of his home country fans against Jeremiah Labiano.

The first frame was almost all Lahat as he forced Labiano to backpedal from the strikes and got on top when Labiano was off balance from a kick attempt. Labiano tied up the arms but Lahat slammed him to the canvas several times and got off a little ground and pound for a 10-9 round.

Lahat was his own worst enemy in the second round, dominating both standing and on the ground but committing two fouls while doing so, one via kick to the cup and one via illegal elbow to the back of the head. As a result he negated a round he won and left it 9-9, giving Labiano a chance to get a draw or perhaps even a win if he could have a 10-8 in the third.

Labiano never found his opening as he lost a clinch attempt and was taken down by Lahat, who was able to ride on top and throw ground and pound until they were stood up with 10 seconds left. Labiano threw desperation shots with the time remaining but didn’t land a home run shot.

The judges rendered a unanimous verdict of 29-27 X3 in favor of Noad Lahat. Lahat spoke to Jimmy Smith after the main event.

“Jiu-jitsu baby. I’m the best in the world at everything grappling so I feel comfortable there. It was a hell of a fight, tough dude, (he’s) hard to kill. I know him and his team for a while from North California. The crowd care about one thing — me doing this at the end. It was an educated crowd, they know what’s up, they know what fighting is. It’s not about size, it’s about who controlled the pace, I did. I took a few hits, probably a little trip to the ER, but it’s all fun.”

Bellator 188 also featured two Welterweights looking to make their name on Spike TV as Arsen Faitovich put his 4-1 record up against the 7-4 Haim Gozali.

Gozali did not need long to make quick work of Faitovich in front of his home country fans. He wrapped his legs around Faitovich’s neck after an ill-advised takedown against a fourth degree black belt, locking on the triangle choke and finishing Faitovich at 0:45 of Round 1.

Gozali’s entrance took longer than his fight, so there was still plenty of time left on the broadcast for him to speak with Jimmy Smith.

“This is my family here -- all of this. This is my family. I saw his fight, I knew he was going to take me to the ground, and he took me to the ground. On the ground I’m like a shark in the water. I didn’t care. I’m feeling good. For all of you it’s never too late to dream, ever! I’m feeling incredible you know? First time ever for my mom to see me fighting, right here.”

Middleweights met in Tel Aviv as the streaking John Salter looked to pick up his seventh victory in a row against hard hitting “Assassin” Jason Radcliffe.

Salter opted to play to his strengths and not Radcliffe’s, looking for a takedown before the first minute was up and not faltering when Radcliffe initially stuffed the attempt. Eventually he got Radcliffe to his knees, yanked out the legs, transitioned to the back and got one hook in. After forcing Radcliffe to defend the shots to his head, the neck opened up for a RNC at 1:55.

The quick victory left Salter plenty of time to speak to Jimmy Smith after the fight.

“Yeah you know my first fight in Bellator went to the second round, the stool was pretty uncomfortable, so I decided I’d keep finishing in the first round until I get that title shot. I work my stand up more than I work anything, but like you said I always want to make sure I’m the best grappler in this cage. Those guys are all studs but I’m finishing in the first round and I’m not making any mistakes so I think I’ve set myself up as the number one guy.”

Unsuccessful in MMA thus far, Bellator Kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz looked to turn things around and prove herself against Jessica “Million Hits” Middleton at Flyweight.

Kielholtz didn’t take long to finish Middleton off, hitting a judo throw and hunting for an armbar, and when Middleton could no longer fend her off the tap came lightning quick at 1:16.

An excited Denise Kielholtz spoke to Jimmy Smith after picking up her first MMA win.

“I know I know. Some people forgot I also got my black belt judo. It’s been a long time since I did it but here it was like a fish in water. I’m in a dream right now. Oh my God the first time that I came here I feel the audience it was so... the only thing I can say is amazing. Thank you everyone! You know my dream is now I have the blue belt but how amazing it will be if also I have the red belt.”

For complete Bellator 188 results and coverage click here.