Bellator 172: "Thomson vs. Pitbull" takes place TONIGHT (Sat. Feb. 18, 2017) inside SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., featuring a re-worked Lightweight main event between Josh Thomson vs. Patricky Freire. Also set for the Spike TV-televised main card is a Heavyweight bout that pits the durable Cheick Kongo against Oli Thompson, and the return of Josh Koscheck after a nearly two-year absence from the sport to face Mauricio Alonso.
Note: The original main event between Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione was canceled just before showtime because of an illness. Read full details here.
Bellator 172 will start tonight at 9 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will be here all night long to deliver LIVE results and play-by-play starting with the "Prelims" undercard bouts tonight at 7 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 172) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 172 QUICK RESULTS:
Josh Thomson vs. Patricky Freire -- Freire KO 0:40 R2.
Cheick Kongo vs. Oli Thompson -- Kongo UD 30-26, 30-25 X2.
Veta Arteaga vs. Brooke Mayo -- Arteaga TKO 4:04 R3.
Josh Koscheck vs. Mauricio Alonso -- Alonso TKO 4:42 R1.
Anatoly Tokov vs. Francisco France -- Tokov TKO 2:24 R2.
James Terry vs. JC Llamas -- Terry 30-27 X3.
Nikko Jackson vs. Cesar Gonzalez -- Jackson UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
J.J. Okanaovich vs. Zach Andrews -- Okanovich via sub (RNC) 2:26 R2.
Justin Tenedora vs. Roque Reyes -- Tenedora via sub (face crank) 4:59 R2.
Martin Sano vs. Diego Herzog -- DRAW 28-27 Herzog, 28-28 X2.
Abner Perez vs. Gaston Bolanos -- Bolanos TKO 4:53 R1.
Dominic Sumner vs. Abraham Vaesau -- Vaesau KO R1.
Matt Ramirez vs. Jeremy Murphy -- Murphy TKO R3.
Juan Cardenas def. Luis Vargas
Bobby Escalante def. Anthony Do
BELLATOR 172 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Josh Thomson vs. Patricky Freire
Freire hails from Natal, Brazil with a record of 16-8 wearing the black trunks and blue gloves, high-fiving fans all the way to the cage. Thomson hails from San Jose, California with a record of 22-8, 1 NC. He too is slapping hands with anybody he can reach on his way down to the cage, wearing red gloves and gray trunks. John McCarthy is the ref.
Round 1: Both men circle for the first 30 seconds before Thomson lands a few leg kicks. Thomson is keeping his hands down low around his waist. He throws a head kick and another leg kick. Freire is looking for his opening to land a big shot but not finding it thus far. Freire lands a couple of hard leg kicks, and Thomson throws him to the side when he attempts a clinch. Clashing leg kicks. Freire fires off a combo at 2:20. Thomson keeps working the leg kicks both inside and outside until Freire clips him with a right hand at the three minute mark. He gets back up but that's a warning sign he could be in trouble if he gets tagged again. Thomson ducks under the next one that comes his way. McCarthy warns them to not clash heads. Thomson scores with a head kick and avoids a spinning backfist. 10-9 "Pitbull" on the basis of the knockdown.
Round 2: Thomson comes out throwing leg kicks immediately but Freire responds with two inside and outside to the left leg. Freire knocks Thomson down with a left hand at 32 seconds and he gets back up, but another right hand uppercut to the chin forces McCarthy to wave it off seven seconds later. There may have been an inadvertent headbutt in this round judging by the replays but the final blow was definitive.
Final result: Patricky "Pitbull" Freire wins by knockout at 0:40 of the second round.
Cheick Kongo vs. Oli Thompson
Oli Thompson hails from East Sussex, England with a professional record of 17-9, wearing the red trunks and blue gloves. Cheick Kongo hails from Paris, France with a professional record of 25-10-2, wearing the black trunks and red gloves. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Thompson charges to the center but dances back and forth carefully in front of Kongo, inching him toward the fence and landing one leg kick. Kongo shifts from side to side and misses with a spin kick, but puts a left on Thompson's chin. Thompson is staying just out of range of the left jab from Kongo, but a 1-2 combo finds a home at 1:35. Thompson lands a hard shot on Kongo in return and presses him into the cage. Beltran calls for work as the two muscular men move back and forth against the cage. Beltran calls for time when Kongo lands a right knee to the cup, but Thompson is quickly ready to resume with 2:46 gone. Kongo lands a hard right hand and doubles Thompson to the ground. Thompson tries to lock up a kimura to no avail and Kongo presses him down, grinding a left elbow into his face and right hands to the body. Thompson forces Kongo to defend a possible sweep. Thompson gets to one knee twice and finally stands up at 4:29. Kongo tries and fails to double him back to the ground. Kongo grabs clinch for multiple jump knees late in the round that could push a 10-9 closer to a bigger margin.
Round 2: Thompson seems to have recovered well with his one minute between rounds, but he doesn't want to eat a series of knees like that again. Thompson pushes Kongo the fence and tries a few foot stomps. Beltran grows impatient at 0:48 and wants more work. Thompson tries a leg trip but can't get it. Beltran calls for work again at 1:15. Kongo turns Thompson around at 1:40 and goes for a double leg, getting it ten seconds later. Kongo postures up briefly and throws a hard right, then pushes Thompson back down as he works to improve on the half guard position. Thompson is able to sit up against the fence at 3:15 but Kongo sees it and pushes him back down, pummeling him with right hands. Thompson tries to get a knee bar but it's not there. Kongo is in the driver's feet in front of his own corner with 40 seconds left in the round, and they get excited as Kongo throws a flurry trying to get the finish. This was a much more dominant round for Kongo than the first.
Round 3: Kongo is bruising Thompson with strikes for the first 20 seconds of the round, then clinches up for some even nastier knees to the body. Kongo drops levels and gets a takedown at 0:49. He's got full mount at 1:03 for a moment but Thompson recovers to half guard. Beltran calls for work at 1:36. Periodically Kongo sits up and throws a flurry, and Beltran is looking for the definitive blow where Thompson is no longer intelligently defending himself. Thompson keeps on surviving though despite the punishment, and Kongo even earns a warning for shots to the back of the head as a result. Kongo opts for a knee to the body instead. Sonnen is enjoying himself on commentary noting how wide the margin in effective striking has grown between the two men. Kongo has the full mount back at 4:11. He's blasting Thompson with right elbows but the crowd is booing because they want more. They won't get it. This one is going to the judges.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-26, 30-25 and 30-25 all for Cheick Kongo.
Veta Arteaga vs. Brooke Mayo
Veta Arteaga is 2-1 and fights out of Boise, Idaho in the green body suit and blue gloves. Brooke Mayo makes her pro debut tonight out of Concord, California in the black trunks and red gloves. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Mayo makes it to the center first and is throwing lots of kicks. The ones to the head aren't coming close but one to the legs connected. Arteaga hurts her with a right hand but Mayo springs right back up and pushes Arteaga into the fence. Mayo is trying to pull the head down and McCarthy warns her to watch the fingers. She gets around the waist for a takedown, gets the hooks in, takes Arteaga's back and is trying to sink in the rear naked choke. Arteaga turns her head to block it, tucks her chin, but she's got to defend this unless she breaks free. Arteaga is fighting for hand and wrist control to stay alive, and she spins out on top, then tries to stack Mayo up for some right hands down the pipe. Mayo pushes her away with both feet and stands up at 3:14. Arteaga pushes into range and Mayo responds by pushing her to the cage. Mayo is warned to let go of the fence. She tries to drop levels but Arteaga is defending well. McCarthy calls time at 4:25 because Arteaga has a cut over the left eye that's streaming down her face. McCarthy lets everybody know it was due to a headbutt, not a strike, and restarts the fight. Mayo throws a head kick. She pushes Arteaga into the fence again but gets dazed with strikes as the round ends. 10-9 Arteaga.
Round 2: Both women are looking for their opening in the middle of the Bellator cage. Mayo's height and reach advantage have not paid huge dividends standing because whenever she strikes Arteaga takes advantage and comes in close to crack the chin. Mayo has to stand back and throw kicks at range to stay safe, then push Arteaga into the fence to look for the takedown, which she does at 2:23. She gets it at 2:41 and transitions to the back mount but Arteaga spins on top. Mayo tries to get the legs up around Arteaga's head for a triangle. She finally pulls out at 4:08 and drops a right hand, then lets Mayo back up to her feet looking to stand and bang. Mayo pushes Arteaga into the cage at 4:50 and probably eked out a 10-9 round on points, but didn't dominate it in any sense.
Round 3: It's anybody's fight this round. Arteaga throws a spinning backfist, takes a front kick, and keeps coming forward with strikes. Mayo stomps on the mat then clinches up with Arteaga, and although she can't keep her on the fence she does get off a few knees when they clinch again. Mayo hunts for a takedown when they go to the fence again. Mayo steps back of her own accord at 2:32. Arteaga rocks her with a big right at 2:49 and she goes immediately for a takedown to recover. Mayo gets the hooks in and takes the back and she's looking for the rear naked again. Arteaga turns on top again at 3:25. Arteaga throws rights down the pipe and lets Mayo back up at 3:44. Mayo's left eye is swollen from the punches Arteaga landed, McCarthy stops it to take a look, and the doctor stops the fight. It's the right call as her left eye is ridiculously swollen shut. Mayo protests multiple times to no avail.
Final result: Veta Arteaga wins via doctor's stoppage (technical knockout) at 4:04 of the third round.
Josh Koscheck vs. Mauricio Alonso
Alonso is 12-7, 1 NC in the blue gloves from Curitiba, Brazil fighting out of Fillmore, California. Koscheck is1 7-10 in the red gloves and fights out of Fresno, California. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Koscheck comes forward immediately pawing with his left hand to find the range. Alonso responds with leg kicks, sliding sideways against the fence, while Koscheck tries to load up with the right hand. Alonso ducks under it when he finally lets it go. Alonso gets his back off the cage and starts trying to throw 1-2 combos, but so far only the left jab connects. Two minutes gone. McCarthy stops the fight and reminds both men to keep their hands closed. Alonso and Koscheck stand and trade briefly at 2:44. Alonso is backing up and letting Koscheck come toward him again. McCarthy calls time at 3:28 to cut tape off the gloves of Koscheck. He reminds them to watch the fingers as Alonso throws a leg kick. Koscheck is really trying hard to load up his combos. Jab and leg kick for Alonso. Alonso rocks Koscheck with a right hand that hurt the eye at 4:25. Koscheck is hurt again by an uppercut, turtles up, and McCarthy waves it off with less than 0:20 left.
Final result: Mauricio Alonso wins via technical knockout at 4:42 of the first round.
Anatoly Tokov vs. Francisco France
"Kiko" France is 13-4-1 and fights out of Fortaleza, Brazil in the black trunks with yellow trim and red gloves. Tokov is 24-3 and fights out of Tobolsk, Russia in the dark trunks and blue gloves. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: France tries to back Tokov back with a push kick. Tokov keeps coming forward so France tries to turn him into the fence, and Tokov turns him right back. France tries to get a leg trip or sneak out the side to no avail. Finally Tokov throws him to the ground two minutes into the round landing right in side control. France recovers and gets closed guard. Tokov squirms around for a while as France tries to lock up an arm, and France keeps cranking and puts on a triangle too, but Tokov powers his way out of it and stands up with under a minute to go. France keeps him pressed against the cage for the time remaining in R1.
Round 2: The camera shows us the Diaz brothers in the crowd as R2 gets underway. Tokov comes forward striking. France just misses with a big right hook and Tokov makes him pay with some close range shots, pushing France into the fence, where he gets turned around and pulled into guard. It backfires as Tokov pulls away and lands a right hand while he's on the ground. Herzog calls for time as France got kicked right in the cup while he's laying on the ground. France is given lots of time to walk it off and when he's ready both men tap gloves. 1:40 gone, 3:20 remaining. France comes forward swinging wildly but gets clipped too and Tokov winds up on top on the ground.Tokov lands a series of big rights on the ground and Herzog tells France to defend himself -- but it's clear he can't. This one is all over. The right hands look even more brutal in slow motion than they did when he threw them live.
Final result: Anatoly Tokov wins via technical knockout at 2:24 of the second round.
James Terry vs. JC Llamas
Round 1: JC Llamas is in the blue gloves, 8-5, fighting out of Bakersfield, CA. James Terry is in the red gloves, 18-9, fighting out of San Jose, CA. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran. Terry forces Llamas to the outside right away, dancing back and forth on his feet, and Terry keeps trying to back him up into the fence to unload. Terry keeps circling his hands and Llamas keeps getting warned to watch the fingers to the eyes. An accidental headbutt draws a warning to both men at 1:35. Llamas lands a left hand and then Terry takes a kick the cup and Beltran tries to stop it - Terry refuses. A cut has opened up on Llamas face. Terry throws a head kick and a leg kick. Llamas occasionally wings a left hand to keep Terry honest but Terry keeps stalking. Another headkick from Terry is blocked but the left over the top gets in. Terry takes a jab to the face but keeps coming forward. The blood is pouring down the center of Llamas' face now. Terry goes for a double but then has to let go of the takedown as Llamas briefly tried a submission. The round ends with blood spraying all over Llamas' face.
Round 2: Terry wastes no time coming right at Llamas. Llamas a wild barrage of punches at the one minute mark and lands a couple but they don't slow Terry down. Llamas tries a reverse head kick but it's not flush. The blood has started flowing down the bridge of Llamas' nose again as Terry plants a left on his chin. Terry tags him again at 2:54. Llamas almost leans all the way to one side when Terry comes in. Terry sails over Llamas with a head kick at 3:20. Llamas has opened up a cut over Terry's right eye so both men are bloody now. Strong left hook from Terry. Llamas nearly catches Terry off guard with a flurry but Terry nails him with a combo at 4:45. Two 10-9 rounds to Terry.
Round 3: Both men exchange a hug to open the third and final round. Terry throws a head kick that's checked and his corner immediately says to land it elsewhere, so he goes for the legs. Llamas covers his face like he got poked in the eyes and Beltran calls for time. Replay shows the left thumb went full into the right eye, though it doesn't look like he did it maliciously. They take a long time looking him over and the doctor waves the fight off when Llamas can't tell how many fingers he's holding up. We'll go to the scorecards.
Final result: The judges have scored this contest 30-27 X3 for James Terry by technical decision.
Nikko Jackson vs. Cesar Gonzalez
Round 1: Black trunks for Gonzalez, fighting out of King City, CA, 0-1 in his career so far. Red trunks for Jackson, fighting out of Palo Alto, CA, 1-1 in his career. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog. Gonzalez lands the first successful leg kick, and another, as Jackson moves cautiously back and forth feeling out the range. Gonzalez tries to push forward and eats a jab to the face. Gonzalez finally swarms and puts Jackson on the fence Jackson turns it around at 1:37 and throws an uppercut that misses on the exit. Jackson keeps his right hand up near his chin and paws at the range with his left. Gonzalez puts him on the fence again at 2:35. Herzog is moving to either side looking at their strikes to make sure they're clean. Jackson gets off the fence at 3:20 and throws a kick a right hand and a body kick, though Gonzalez sweeps the leg and puts him on his back. Gonzalez finally lets him back up with under a minute left after punishing the legs with a few kicks. Jackson comes forward swinging briefly then falls back into his pattern of letting Gonzalez pressure, and it pays dividends when he lands some nasty knees in clinch, one of which busts Gonzalez' head open before the round ends.
Round 2: We get our second bro hug of the card tonight to open round two. Jackson goes for a jump knee but it doesn't land flush, and he goes for the clinch but Gonzalez breaks free. Gonzalez throws a leg kick. Jackson is backing up and then coming forward with big rights when Gonzalez is off guard. He steps in for a combo at 1:51 and steps out. Spin kick to the body from Jackson. Jackson throws a leg kick and Gonzalez throws a hard hook. Gonzalez continues to stalk. Jackson throws two spinning heel kicks but it's a right hand flush that lands. Jackson goes for a takedown but Gonzalez keeps the arms tied up. Jackson won't give up on the attempt and winds up pulling Gonzalez on top with short time left. Herzog decides nothing is happening and restarts them at 4:24. Good right hand over the top by Gonzalez. This is a 10-9 for Gonzalez but it's one round for each overall.
Round 3: They hug it out one more time to open the third and final round, drawing the disdain of guest commentator Chael Sonnen. It's playing out just like the fist two rounds - Jackson keeps trying to find the muay thai clinch and Gonzalez keeps trying to score points by constantly coming forward. Jackson lands a hard right at 2:14 and follows it with a spin kick to the chest. He's looking to land big left hooks. A right hook touches the chin at 2:46. Gonzalez is no longer willing to charge in - he's staying at range and throwing kicks. Jackson may have hyperextended his knee and Gonzalez' corner is calling for him to take advantage, but Jackson keeps tagging him with shots. You can tell Jackson is a little tentative on his left leg in this last minute but he's still landing shots. They both stand and trade for the final 10 seconds and give each other a big hug afterward.
Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Nikko Jackson.
J.J. Okanaovich vs. Zach Andrews
Round 1: Blue gloves, 3-0 for Zach Andrews out of San Francisco, CA. Red gloves, 3-1 for Okanovich out of San Jose, CA. Our referee is Frank Trigg. Seconds into the first round the live stream cuts out. It comes back with 1:50 of the round gone. Andrews is going for a takedown but can't get it. Apparently we missed a submission attempt during the blackout. Andrews is like a dog with a bone and won't give up. Okanovich gets a warning for grabbing the cage and Andrews finally gets the takedown after he lets go. Okanovich stands up at 3:10, gets taken down again, but Andrews tags him with some nasty elbows to the head. Okanovich gets back up gain at 3:41, Andrews can't quite get him down again, and Okanovich briefly had a guillotine but that just lets Andrews on top. Okanovich sweeps on top at 4:25. He takes the back looking for a submission with short time left but can't get it.
Round 2: Andrews has a deep cut open in his forehead very early in R2. Okanovich tags him multiple times as Andrews keeps coming forward. Okanovich clocks him with a right and tries to grab a front choke as Andrews goes to his knees. He quickly lets that go and tries to spin to take the back but Andrews is able to block it, although Okanovich finally inexorably gets the side at 2 minutes and takes the back with one hook in and gets the rear naked choke on Andrews with near 2:30 left in the round.
Final result: J.J. Okanovich wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:26 in the second round.
Justin Tenedora vs. Roque Reyes
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Justin Tenedora wins via submission (face crank) at 4:59 of the second round.
Martin Sano vs. Diego Herzog
Round 1: Frank Trigg is our referee. Both fighters are 4-2. Herzog has the black AKA trunks and red gloves. Sano has the silver trunks and blue gloves. The fight quickly moves to the fence and 22 seconds in Trigg calls time as a knee comes square into the cup of Sano. Herzog gets a strong warning and we continue with the fight. Herzog single legs him to the ground and takes the back at 1:10. Sano tries to stand up carrying his weight and Herzog slips off the back. Both fighters get up at 1:40. Sano comes forward striking and Herzog takes him down again. Herzog keeps transitioning on the ground trying to either take the back or take a full mount, which he has briefly at 3:46, and again with a minute left in the round. Sano keeps giving up his back. Trigg gives Herzog a warning to watch shots to the back of the head. Sano is warned to keep moving by Trigg with short time left. 10-9 for Herzog bordering on 10-8.
Round 2: Sano comes forward again and Herzog takes him down at 27 seconds. Sano gets to his knees and is able to stand back up at 1:06 and finally pushes Herzog off a takedown attempt 12 seconds later. Herzog keeps his hands around the waist, Sano turns him into the fence to throw knees, and Trigg calls for improvement by both men. Both men jockey back and forth for position as Trigg stands there and watches the wall work. Herzog briefly slips away at 3:00 but Sano pushes him right back into the cage for more knees and punches to the body. One has to wonder how long Trigg can watch this before he's had enough. Credit to Sano though he's winning the second round after a disastrous first. Herzog slips away again at 4:32 and both men return to center. 10-9 for Sano.
Round 3: Sano is first to the center to open R3 and both men stand and wing shots at each other. Sano stuffs a takedown attempt by Herzog and then throws him aside, walking away instead of jumping on top. Herzog dives for a takedown and Sano sprawls it easily, then does it again seconds later. Sano seemingly has a punching bag in front of him now. Herzog falls down with barely a tap. He's trying to throw upkicks off his back. That's all he has left. Sano grabs the cage multiple times as Herzog tries to pull him down and Trigg takes away one point from Sano. Herzog gets back up but he can barely stand up. Inexplicably after he falls down again Herzog is able to sweep his way to the top. With 90 seconds left this fight is officially bowling shoe ugly and the scorecards are going to be even worse. Trigg warns both men they'll be stood up with a minute left and delivers on that promise 15 seconds later despite the announcers laughing at either man standing. This time Sano gets on top when they both immediately fall down. It goes to the bell when neither man has enough left to finish.
Final result: The judges score this contest 28-27 Herzog, 28-28 and 28-28 for a majority draw.
Abner Perez vs. Gaston Bolanos
Round 1: Black trunks and blue gloves for Abner Perez, making his pro debut tonight. Red trunks and red gloves for Gaston Bolanos, making his pro debut as well. Our referee is John McCarthy. Abner lands a big overhand early. Perez goes for a takedown and it's blocked. Bolanos lands a hard body kick. Perez tries to return in kind. Perez dances sideways on his feet. Bolanos is getting a little ticked off that his opponent won't engage. Bolanos lands an overhand right. Another body kick by Bolanos. Bolanos lands a combo as he keeps trying to push Perez agains the fence. Perez pulls guard and Bolanos pulls out and goes back to searching for the right hand. He just misses with a spinning back elbow which apparently is his YouTube highlight reel specialty. Bolanos lands a solid left hand and throws a head kick that's checked. Bolanos tags Perez at 4:37 and drops him with a right at 4:46, then backs off thinking McCarthy will stop it. He doesn't. Bolanos hits him with a few more and McCarthy finally waves it off.
Final result: Gaston Bolanos wins via technical knockout at 4:53 of the first round.
Juan Cardenas vs. Luis Vargas
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Juan Cardenas wins.
Bobby Escalante def. Anthony Do
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Bobby Escalante wins.
Dominic Sumner vs. Abraham Vaesau
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Abraham Vaesau wins via knockout in the first round.
Matt Ramirez vs. Jeremy Murphy
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Jeremy Murphy wins via technical knockout in the third round.