Bellator 178: "Straus vs. Pitbull 4" takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Apr. 21, 2017) from inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., featuring an epic fourth meeting between Featherweight champion Daniel Straus and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
The long history between the two men speaks for itself, and had this rematch been announced a little bit later, it might very well have ended up on a Bellator PPV. Tonight’s your lucky night though as the fight is live and free on Spike TV as the main event.
Fight fans who tune in for the broadcast will also get to see Ryan Quinn vs. Saad Awad at a catchweight and two undefeated Flyweights who would like to fight for a title soon as “The Iliminator” Ilima-Lei Macfarlane takes on Jessica Middleton.
Bellator 178 will start at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV. MMAmania.com will be here to deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA broadcast card including “Prelims” bouts 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 178) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 178 QUICK RESULTS:
Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire -- Freire sub (guillotine) 0:37 R2.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Jessica Middleton -- Macfarlane sub (armbar) 2:15 R1.
Ryan Quinn vs. Saad Awad -- Awad UD 30-27 X3.
A.J. McKee vs. Dominic Mazzotta -- McKee KO 1:15 R1.
Nick Alley vs. Kastroit Xhema -- Xhema KO 3:19 R1.
Don Shainis vs. Mak Kelleher -- Shainis UD (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Jason Perrin -- Carvalho sub (guillotine) 2:04 R3.
Kemran Lachinov vs. Sam Watford -- Lachinov SD (30-26 X2, 28-29).
John Lopez vs. Remo Cardarelli -- Cardarelli UD (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Chris Foster vs. Shane Manley -- Foster def. Manley (SD).
Thomas English vs. Blair Tugman -- Tugman sub (bar arm choke) 4:54 R3.
Jordan Young vs. Tim Caron -- Young sub (d’arce) 3:55 R1.
Ed Ruth vs. David Mundell -- Ruth TKO 3:13 R2.
Tyrell Fortune vs. Branko Busick -- Fortune UD 29-27 X3.
Billy Giovanella vs. Joshua Ricci -- Giovanella def. Ricci.
BELLATOR 178 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire
The champion Straus is 24-6 coming into tonight’s main event, hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio but fighting out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. The challenger “Pitbull” Freire is 25-4, hailing from and fighting out of Natal, Brazil. He has on the blue gloves and black trunks for this bout. The champ Straus sprints to the cage with red gloves and black trunks on. Freire’s young son and Straus’ daughter are both watching their dads fight at Mohegan Sun tonight. Our referee in charge of this bout is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Freire rushes to the center and opens with a hard strike in the first 10 seconds. Straus moves forward and connects with a leg kick. Straus throws a right and Freire steps out of range, but the kick to the body lands, as does the leg kick. Straus throws a high front kick and Freire backs away, also avoiding a haymaker of a left hook. Body kick from Freire. Freire connects with a counter shot as he continues to circle on the outside. Straus backs up and attempts to draw him in. Body kick by Freire. The first 150 seconds have been a lot of dancing. Straus clinches and ties his arms around Freire’s waist. Miragliotta calls for work. Freire spins him around, Straus spins him back, and the two trade knees all the while. Miragliotta gets impatient at 3:50, Straus tries to drop levels for a takedown, but it doesn’t emerge. Freire goes for foot stomps. Miragliotta finally separates them at 4:22. Freire with a hard body kick. Freire 10-9.
Round 2: Straus opens with a couple of hard shots and goes for a takedown but Freire jumps on him and turns it into a guillotine, TAPPING STRAUS OUT 37 seconds into the round.
Final result: Patricio “Pitbull” Freire wins via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:37 of round two.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Jessica Middleton
Macfarlane is 5-0 and Middleton is 2-0 for our co-main event tonight. Middleton has on the blue gloves and outfit for the co-main event. Macfarlane has on red gloves and trunks. Middleton fights out of Wichita, Kansas and Macfarlane fights out of Honolulu, Hawaii. Our referee in charge of this contest is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Macfarlane dances in and out of range from the center before charging forward and putting Middleton on the fence. She completes the takedown at 1:06 as Middleton draws a warning not to grab the fence. She gets a crucifix and hammers away with left hands until Middleton gets her back to half guard. That doesn’t last as Macfarlane takes full mount at 1:50 and immediately goes for an armbar. Middleton fights and fights but finally taps at 2:15.
Final result: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane wins via armbar at 2:15 of the first round.
Ryan Quinn vs. Saad Awad
Saad Awad is 19-9 in the red gloves and hails from/fights out of San Bernardino, California. Quinn is 13-6-1 in the blue gloves and fights out of Coconut Creek, Florida by way of Danbury, Connecticut. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Quinn gets hurt early by a short right hand, and Awad keeps on swinging when Quinn gets back up to his feet. Quinn shoots for a single leg but Awad spins to his back and starts unloading with hammerfists and elbows. McCarthy warns Awad about the back of the head. Awad lets Quinn back up and steps away at 1:37. McCarthy calls out a cut due to an elbow. Quinn shoots for a double and Awad scrambles back to his feet at 2:28, but he took a knee to the head that hurt him and Quinn immediately goes for the anaconda on the ground. Awad spins out at 2:55. Awad takes a kick to the shoulder as he stands up at 3:08. Quinn goes for a single leg but can’t get the takedown this time. They trade knees. Quinn drops levels for a single and takes more hammers. Quinn takes a body kick and a right hook as he stands up. Quinn comes forward swinging wild and drops levels again. This time he completes the takedown at 4:25. Quinn takes his back right as the round ends but it’s a 10-9 for Awad.
Round 2: Quinn goes for a body kick and a single leg immediately. Quinn jumps to Awad’s back 26 seconds into the round but can’t get the hooks in and hang on. Quinn tries a second time at 1:03 and this time get gets a hook in and sticks as he starts looking for a rear naked choke. Both hooks are in as we pass 90 seconds, but Awad spins his way on top immediately. He backs away at 2:04 looking to drop a powerful strike, but senses Quinn will try to pick the leg and gets back on top. Awad drops a right down the pipe as Quinn looks for an upkick. Quinn gets back up and gets another takedown at 3:00, quickly stepping over to half guard. Awad once again rolls his way on top and grinds the left elbow into Quinn’s face. He backs away at 3:43 then tries to get back on top in side control. He nearly goes from North-South to full mount but Quinn gets him back to side control. Awad rides it high and then turns it into full mount at 4:39. Quinn gives up his back, turns over again, and is eating ground and pound at the bell. 10-9 Awad.
Round 3: The crowd chants for Quinn to open R3 as he throws a couple of leg kicks then shoots for a single leg. Quinn goes for the back and looks for a choke but he doesn’t have the hooks in and Awad spins free and stands at 1:14. Awad throws a right hand and a kick and knees Quinn as he shoots for another single leg. Quinn doesn’t get it and Awad sweeps on top in guard. Quinn tries to cinch up an armbar/triangle combo but he doesn’t have it. Now it’s Awad who tries to take the back but only has one hook in and Quinn is on his feet at 3:06. They trade knees standing and work their way to the fence. Quinn shoots and Awad sprawls, ending up back on top in guard again. Quinn tries to get up at 4:01 but Awad puts him back down. Quinn weakly goes for a guillotine but was never close. Awad rolls to full mount with 18 seconds left and goes for a choke late but Quinn survives. Awad should pitch a shutout with the judges.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27 X3 all for Saad Awad by unanimous decision.
A.J. McKee vs. Dominic Mazzotta
Blue gloves and black trunks for Mazzotta, red gloves and white trunks for McKee. Mazzotta is 11-1 and fights out of Lowerboro, Pennsylvania. McKee is undefeated at 7-0 and fights out of Long Beach, California. Our referee is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: McKee quickly controls the center, Mazzotta throws a body kick from the outer ring, and Mazzotta spins his way toward him with a couple more kicks. McKee spins away from a kick aimed as his chin and throws a push kick. Another body kick from Mazzottta, he runs away from the right hands, but he can’t run away from the HUGE left kick that cracks him in the head. Anderson sprints across the cage but there’s only one small follow up left on the ground. By the time Anderson gets there McKee is already backflipping off the cage in celebration of his win.
Final result: A.J. McKee wins by knockout (head kick) at 1:15 of the first round.
Nick Alley vs. Kastroit Xhema
Round 1: Red trunks for Nick Alley, 1-0, fighting out of Hooksett, New Hampshire. Blue trunks for Kas Xhema, pro debut, fighting out of Greenwich, Connecticut. Our referee is Todd Anderson. Alley throws kicks and the right hand to open. Xhema has "No Mercy" tatted on his back and is showing it with his strikes, throwing a couple of head kicks and some big left hands that have rocked Alley. Alley pushes him across the cage but eats an elbow to the temple and he's wobbled. If Xhema can break free of the body lock Alley is in big trouble. Alley is just trying to keep him pinned against the fence to recover and so far it's working. He goes for a leg trip and Xhema slips out. Blood is dribbling onto the white canvas. Xhema spins free and the left hands start coming right away. Xhema lands two more huge lefts and Anderson jumps on top of Alley to prevent follow up on the ground. It's emphatically OVER by knockout.
Final result: Kas Xhema wins by knockout at 3:19 of the first round.
Don Shainis vs. Mak Kelleher
Round 1: Unaired before Spike.
Final result: Don Shainis wins via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Jason Perrin
Round 1: Unaired before Spike.
Final result: Regivaldo Carvalho wins via submission (guillotine) at 2:04 of round three.
Kemran Lachinov vs. Sam Watford
Round 1: Unaired before Spike.
Final result: Kemran Lachinov wins via split decision (30-26, 28-29, 30-26).
John Lopez vs. Remo Cardarelli
Round 1: Unaired before Spike.
Final result: Remo Cardarelli wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Chris Foster vs. Shane Manley
Round 1: Unaired on Spike.com.
Final result: Chris Foster beats Shane Manley by split decision.
Thomas English vs. Blair Tugman
Round 1: Blue gloves and black trunks with red trim, record of 6-7 for Tom English, hailing from Long Island, New York. Red trunks and red gloves, record of 9-6 for Blair Tugman, fighting out of North Haven, Connecticut. John McCarthy is our referee. No quarter is given nor taken for the first minute. Jimmy Smith refers to it as "both guys being bound up tight." English lands a nice left hook. Leg kicks are traded. Tugman keeps bobbing and weaving but not landing a lot of shots as he does. English tags him with a counter left. Tugman shoots and drops levels at 4:10, trying hard to get a single leg, finally getting both arms around the waist and throwing English down with 13 seconds to go. 10-9 Tugman.
Round 2: Tugman goes for the takedown again 55 seconds into this round and trips the leg as English tries to stay upright against the fence. Tugman tries to put the knee on belly and pass but the fence is actually helping English keep him in half guard. Tugman is still tagging him with right hands. They are right in front of Tugman's corner so his cornerman says "walk toward my voice." Tugman drags him away from the fence and his corner begs him to pass, and he does to side control then to North-South. English has his toes in the fence but McCarthy hasn't noticed. English signals thumbs up to say he's not being choked out. Tugman lets go of the choke, English tries to roll out, Tugman just winds up back on top and has full mount at 4:23. McCarthy warns Tugman to watch what he throws. Another 10-9 for Tugman.
Round 3: English charges forward with a flying knee 20 seconds in, Tugman looks at McCarthy like it was a shot to the cup, McCarthy says no dice. English comes in looking to throw hands and Tugman ducks under and takes him down at 43 seconds. He's in full guard but passes quickly to side control at 1:16 and may be looking for an arm triangle choke. He lets it go. Tugman works elbows to the body and head as he works his way up the body of English. McCarthy calls for more work with 2 minutes left and Tugman responds by taking full mount. Tugman gets another warning not to hit the back of the head. English is just hanging on trying to not let Tugman posture up and rock him. McCarthy says "let's get busy" and "watch your fingers." Tugman takes the back with both hooks in and goes for the rear naked choke, getting the tap with seconds left in the round.
Final result: Blair Tugman wins via submission (bar arm choke) 4:54 of the third round.
Jordan Young vs. Tim Caron
Round 1: Blue gloves, black trunks, 6-0 for Jordan Young out of Coconut Creek, Florida. Red gloves, black trunks for Tim Caron, also 6-0, fighting out of Manchester, New Hampshire. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald. A tap of the gloves gets us underway and Caron quickly throws two leg kicks. Young stays patient as the left leg gets stung several times, slowly inching Caron backward toward the cage. Caron pushes him back to the center briefly with a flurry. Young quickly has Caron on the outer circle again, using the left jab, sailing past the ear with a right. Caron may technically be scoring more points but it's weird to watch him constantly back up, kick, back up. Young hurts Caron with a big shot at 3:35 and goes for a d'arce as Caron goes to the ground, and he taps Caron out seconds later.
Final result: Jordan Young wins by submission (d’arce choke) at 3:55 of the first round.
Ed Ruth vs. David Mundell
Round 1: Blue gloves and black trunks for David Mundell, 6-2, fighting out of Clearwater, Florida. Red gloves and white trunks for Ed Ruth, 2-0, fighting out of Fresno, California. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald. Ruth gives chase from the bell and quickly has Mundell against the fence, looking to trip him to the ground and taking his back in the process, throwing him to the ground again at 49 seconds. Ruth gets one hook in but Mundell flips over and gives up half guard on top. Ruth works left hands to the body and head. Mundell keeps trying to lock his arms around Ruth and pull him in close chest to chest to avoid damage. Ruth jumps over at 2:48 and nearly has full mount but Mundell quickly gets half guard back. Mundell sits up and Ruth pushes him back down with an elbow under his chin. Ruth jumps to full mount again at 3:50 and starts wailing away. Mundell gives up his back and is able to get back to his feet, but Ruth trips him down and gets full mount again at 4:19. Mundell is eating a lot of left hands even as he stands back up. Ruth throws him down again and pours it on to the bell. 10-8 Ruth.
Round 2: Ruth pops Mundell with the left jab right away. He's backpedaling with nowhere to go. Ruth goes for a single leg and gets the takedown at 1:01, quickly going to a full mount, nearly taking the back but letting Mundell up in the process. Ruth gets another easy takedown at 1:40 and moves to side control then steps right back over to full mount. Mundell gets up his back again and MacDonald is taking a close look as to whether or not to stop it. Mundell gets a warning for grabbing the fence as he stands. Mundell unloads with a right knee to the body so hard that Mundell stops defending himself and MacDonald waves it off.
Final result: Ed Ruth wins via technical knockout at 3:13 of the second round.
Tyrell Fortune vs. Branko Busick
Round 1: Blue gloves, black trunks, pro debut for Branko Busick out of Steubenville, Ohio. Red gloves, black trunks, 2-0 out of Phoenix, Arizona is Tyrell Fortune. Our referee is Todd Anderson. Busick stands in the center and stretches out his arms, and both fighters are warned by Anderson to watch extending their fingers for possible eye pokes. Fortune lands a few jabs and Busick's face is quickly turning red. They tie up at 1:22 and Fortune leans all his weight on Busick and drives a couple of knees into his body. Busick spins free and they reset. Fortune lands a jab and Busick clinches again, and now he's trying to take advantage with some body shots to the gut. Anderson tells both men to improve their position. Fortune breaks off at 3:00 and throws a leg kick. Fortune lands the jab, comes forward trying to grab a muay thai clinch, and winds up pushing Busick into the fence. He's warned by Anderson to get his fingers out of the cage. Busick breaks free momentarily but Fortune pushes him back there with a series of hard knees to the body, and Busick looks mighty uncomfortable. 10-9 Fortune.
Round 2: Fortune ties up with Busick and immediately begins throwing the knees again. Busick takes one to the cup as he spins into the fence and Todd Anderson calls time and gives him a warning, saying it was a legal shot as it was to the liver but he still needs to target it carefully. After the restart Fortune lands another thudding knee to the body. Fortune briefly drops levels to look for a takedown but lets it go and ties up the arms to throw knees, and this time he really does land to the cup. Anderson signals a one point deduction to all of the judges and continues the action. Fortune eats a hard left jab and goes for a takedown, Busick tries to get on top for a submission, but Fortune gets back up and immediately starts unloading with knees again - being careful to bring them up high. Busick gets out with 92 seconds left this round. Fortune pops a left, waits, then throws a right hook. He's trying to load up the latter. Fortune shoots Busick into the fence but doesn't get the takedown. 9-9 round.
Round 3: Fortune is letting his hands do the talking early this round and Busick tries to slug with him at 40 seconds, driving Fortune to the fence for more shots to the body. Fortune breaks at 1:26. Left jab lands twice before he bull rushes Busick into the fence. Fortune gets a warning not to put fingers into the cage. He lets go of Busick briefly to throw a right hand which opens a cut on Busick's face, then goes back to throwing the knees. Busick tries to claim he got kneed in the groin, Anderson responds that it was clean and to fight out of the position if he doesn't want to be there. Fortune lands one at 4:10 that has Busick's corner screaming "LOW BLOW" but Anderson says no. 10-9 Fortune.
Final result: The judges score this contest 29-27 X3 for Tyrell Fortune.
Billy Giovanella vs. Joshua Ricci
Round 1: Unaired before Spike.
Final result: Giovanella defeats Ricci (courtesy Bellator press release).