Bellator 180: "Sonnen vs. Silva" takes place TONIGHT (Sat. June 24, 2017) from inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., featuring an historic and long-awaited showdown between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva airing LIVE on pay-per-view (PPV).
That big fight rubs shoulder-to-shoulder with a star studded line-up, including a co-main event originally set for earlier this year between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione. Douglas Lima defends his Welterweight title against former UFC star Lorenz Larkin, Michael Chandler defends his Lightweight belt versus Brent Primus, and there’s even a Phil Davis title fight on free television before the main card.
It’s a historic show for Bellator MMA in its MSG debut stacked from top to bottom.
Bellator 180 will start at 10 p.m. ET on PPV. MMAmania.com will be here to deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA broadcast card, including “Prelims” undercard bouts that start 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 180) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 180 QUICK RESULTS:
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva -- Sonnen UD 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione -- Mitrione KO 1:14 R1.
Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin -- Lima UD 50-45, 48-47 X2.
Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus -- Primus via TKO (doctor) 2:27 R1.
Aaron Pico vs. Zach Freeman -- Freeman via sub (d’arce) 0:24 R1.
Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader -- Bader via SD 49-46, 47-48, 49-46.
James Gallagher vs. Chinzo Machida -- Gallagher via sub (RNC) 2:22 R1.
Neiman Gracie vs. Dave Marfone -- Gracie via sub (RNC) 2:27 R2.
Heather Hardy vs. Alice Yauger -- Hardy TKO 4:47 R3.
Ryan Couture vs. Haim Gozali -- Couture UD (30-26, 30-27 X2).
Jerome Mickle vs. Anthony Giacchina -- Giacchina via sub (RNC) 3:40 R3.
John Salgado vs. Hugh McKenna -- McKenna via sub (kimura) 4:06 R1.
Matt Rizzo vs. Sergio da Silva -- Rizzo via sub (arm triangle) 3:48 R3.
Nate Grebb vs. Bradley Desir -- Desir via knockout 2:54 R1.
BELLATOR 180 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
Blue gloves and black trunks for “The American Gangster” Sonnen, sporting a career record of 29-15-1. Brazilian flag and trunks with red gloves for “The Axe Murderer” Silva, sporting a record of 35-12-1 (1 NC) before our main event. The Brazilian national anthem is played as the camera pans to shots of the fans singing along in the crowd. This is followed by the presentation of the colors from the New York City Fire Department, along with a performance of the national anthem from Dave Navarro. Sonnen hails from West Linn, Oregon. Silva hails from Curitiba, Brazil. Our referee in charge of this fight is John McCarthy. No gloves were touched during final instructions.
Round 1: Sonnen gets a takedown eight seconds into the fight. The Brazilian contingent immediately chants that Sonnen is going to die. Meanwhile Sonnen has Silva pinned up against the cage and is dropping heavy right hands on his head. Silva is blocking some by getting his arms up, but some of them are getting through as well. Silva is warned to watch fingers to the eyes. Sonnen scrapes his face with elbows then drops another big right hand. Sonnen lets Silva back up at 2:42 and the crowd comes alive again. Silva escapes a clinch as we pass the three minute mark and rocks Sonnen with a right hand. Silva jumps on top as Sonnen’s legs buckle. Sonnen gets up and gets a takedown at 3:48 then pops his head out of a guillotine attempt. Sonnen tries to go from half guard to full mount but gets cut off at the pass. Sonnen fires reverse right elbows into Silva’s head as he’s unable to pass. Both had their moments but Sonnen had more. 10-9 Sonnen.
Round 2: Sonnen runs in with a knee to open R2, both men trade haymakers, Sonnen gets hurt by a left and goes for a takedown, and Silva puts his head into a guillotine again. Sonnen doesn’t seem like he’s going to tap out and McCarthy calls for more action. He issues a second call for action at the one minute mark. This is a stalemate - Silva’s not giving up and Sonnen’s not tapping out. McCarthy calls for work again at 1:30. Sonnen gets his left hand free and starts throwing shots to the body, McCarthy finally stands them up, and Sonnen doubles Silva to the ground. Silva is trying hard to keep the fight chest to chest, but Sonnen is still able to box the ears even if he can’t posture up for a power shot. Some right hands to the body are also finding a home. Sonnen finally raises up for some shots as we approach 90 seconds left in R2. Silva ALMOST bucks his way free at 3:54 but Sonnen gets right back on as McCarthy takes a look to see if they should be stood up. He arguably could have gotten the stand up had he not allowed Sonnen to re-position on top. McCarthy calls for work at 4:36. Sonnen rides it out on top for another 10-9.
Round 3: In 19 seconds Sonnen has the fight right back where he wants it with yet another takedown. He nearly steps over to full mount but Silva is able to recover enough to put him back into guard. The Brazilian contingent gets loud as we near the one minute mark but their voices alone can’t shake Sonnen off. Sonnen tries to pull his way through to side control and continues to make Silva miserable on his back, almost locking up a kimura and forcing Silva to defend, which only lets Sonnen into a more dominant position on his side. Sonnen goes for the arm a second time. Two minutes remain in the fight. This is a completely different Sonnen than we saw in the Tito Ortiz fight. He has full mount with 85 seconds left. “Don’t just sit there Chael! Let’s work to a finish!” McCarthy implores him to stay busy. Another warning for activity comes at 4:15. Silva has some blood leaking across his forehead. 20 seconds left as McCarthy warns them again. Sonnen throws right hands to the body and Silva can’t shake him free. Score one for the bad guy.
Final result: 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Chael Sonnen by unanimous decision.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione
Mitrione enters first in the blue gloves and black trunks sporting a career record of 11-5 before tonight’s co-main event. Emelianenko enters with the red gloves and black trunks and a career record of 36-4 (1 NC). Mitrione hails from Springfield, Illinois and fights out of West Lafayette, Indiana. Emelianenko hails from and fights out of Stary Oskol, Russia. Our referee for the co-main event is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Both men are extremely cautious for the first 44 seconds until Emelianenko throws out a left leg kick. Mitrione paws with his right hand and Emelianenko backs up, and then they throw simultaneous punches that knock each other down at 1:07! Mitrione recovers faster and gets in some some right hand uppercuts under Emelianenko’s arm, then CLEANS FEDOR’S CLOCK with one more big right hand at 1:13 — Miragliotta stopping it a second later. Amazing fight.
Final result: Matt Mitrione wins via knockout at 1:14 of the first round.
Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin
Larkin enters first with the blue gloves and red trunks for his Bellator debut, sporting a career record of 18-5 (1 NC), fighting out of Riverside, California. The champion Lima has on black trunks and red gloves, sporting a career record of 28-6, fighting out of Atlanta, Georgia. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Both men tap gloves to open R1. Neither man seems anxious to rush in, cautiously feeling out the striking range with their hands, Lima testing Larkin with leg kicks and Larkin responding in kind. Lima aims a little higher with a body kick. Larkin keeps his low. Mauro Ranallo and Jimmy Smith have to fill time by talking about “respect between fighters” since not much is going on. Lima lands a right hand. Lima is working more on the outer circle the longer this round goes. “Not a lot of contact yet Jimmy” quips Ranallo. Larkin connects with a 1-2 combo. Lima responds with a couple of right hooks. Larkin switches his stance a couple of times. Lima backs Larkin up to the fence but can’t capitalize. Body kick by Larkin. Left hook by Lima and he pins Larkin against the fence to end round one.
Round 2: Lima is more aggressive to start R2, but Larkin pushes his way out of trouble after a half minute and shows a little of his hand speed in response. A pattern is emerging where Lima comes forward, then Larkin rushes forward with shots to back him off. Lima’s leaking a little blood from his nose, but Lima tags Larkin with a a hard left at 2:14 and then pours on elbows to his opponent on the ground. Larkin ties him up trying to recover. Lima goes for side control but Larkin is able to scramble back to his feet. Larkin throws a couple of kicks up the middle. Lima scores with a couple more left hooks. Larkin comes forward and fireworks fly for a few seconds with a half minute left. The near finish makes it a solid round for the champion.
Round 3: Lima opens R3 with a body kick and a push kick. He’s spinning away from a possible counter strike on some of his kicks. Larkin is changing up his stance again. Another body kick. Larkin is circling to his right which could leave him open to eating another Lima left like the one that dropped him. Spin kick by Lima misses. Jab by Larkin. The MSG crowd is getting restless. Champ and challenger trade body kicks. Another body kick by Lima. Right hand by Lima. McCarthy rules a punch below the equator was not flush and tells Larkin to continue. Larkin misses with his hands — Lima does not. Lima outpoints Larkin this round and finishes the round strong.
Round 4: Larkin continues to take punishment to his lead leg, negating his potential speed advantage and enabling Lima to close the distance to strike effectively. Lima continues to land the left hook when he closes that distance. Lima goes for a jump kick and falls on his butt, enabling Larkin to get off a couple potshots when he scrambles to get back up. Lima scores with the hook and the jab. Larkin throws a high kick that’s checked. Lima throws a couple of wild shots that don’t connect. The body kick does. Larkin throws a series of jabs but Lima throws him off and jumps on top on the ground when Larkin stumbles. Larkin gets up with 10 seconds left. After what happened between Bader and Davis this could be anybody’s fight.
Round 5: Larkin spends the first minute trying to back Lima up to the fence, but he spins out and gets back to center. Jumping back kick from Larkin connects. Right hook by Lima. Head kick by Larkin. Lima connects with a jab. Left hook connects twice for Larkin. Body kick for Lima. Left hook for Lima. Larkin pumps the jab again. 90 seconds left now for both men to not leave it to the judges. Body kick for Larkin. Body kick for Lima. Lima blocks the jab. Body kick by Lima with 10 seconds left. Lima throws left and right hooks to close the final seconds of R5.
Final result: 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47 for Douglas Lima by unanimous decision.
Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus
Lightweight champion Michael Chandler comes in tonight with a record of 16-3 and a four fight winning streak that includes Benson Henderson and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, fighting out of Lantana, Florida. The unheralded Brent Primus comes in 7-0 and fights out of Eugene, Oregon for this title fight. Primus enters with the red trunks and Chandler enters with the black trunks. Our referee in charge is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Chandler is stalking Primus from the opening bell, forcing him to the outside circle and popping him with a left to the chin. Primus responded with a kick that seemed to momentarily mess up Chandler’s footing. Chandler’s ankle may be shot. Primus is trying to swarm to take advantage. Chandler is very ginger on his left leg but he rocks Primus with a right hand. Todd Anderson stops the fight and the announcers are perplexed. Chandler says he can go all day but the doctor does not agree and this fight is over. We get multiple slow motion replays of Chandler’s leg wobbling like gelatin as he was unable to put any weight on it.
Final result: Brent Primus wins the Lightweight title via doctor’s stoppage at 2:27 of round one.
Aaron Pico vs. Zach Freeman
The 8-2 Freeman enters first with the blue gloves and white trunks on. The pro debut for Pico will come with white trunks and red gloves on. Freeman hails from St. Louis, Missouri and Pico hails from Whittier, California. Our referee in charge is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Freeman and Pico touch gloves. 10 seconds in Pico gets hurt by a right uppercut and Freeman immediately goes for the choke, tapping Pico out at 24 seconds. Whoa.
Final result: Zach Freeman wins via submission (d’arce) at 0:24 of round one.
Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader
The main event on Spike TV! It’s the first title match of Bellator 180, and it’s a rematch for these two men, with Bader getting the better of “Mr. Wonderful” via split decision last time. How will the reigning Bellator champion at 205 lbs. fare this time? Davis comes into the fight with a 17-3 (1 NC) record. Bader makes his Bellator debut with a record of 22-5. “Darth” Bader enters first with the black trunks and blue gloves, fighting out of Gilbert, Arizona. Davis has on the pink trunks and red gloves, fighting out of San Diego, California. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Bader and Davis touch gloves twice -- once during final instructions and again to open the first round. Bader takes the center and Davis moves side to side, dipping his shoulders and changing stances, until he finally shoots for a takedown and puts Vader against the fence. Bader breaks free at 1:03. Bader pops Davis with a left hand and throws a leg kick. Davis throws a left hook Bader easily avoids then connects with a leg kick. Bader connects with a left hand again. Hard leg kick by Davis. Bader stuffs another takedown attempt. Davis paws at the range with his left hand then throws a right kick. The crowd at MSG is getting a bit restless. Bader ducks under a right hook. Left body kick by Bader. Bader comes forward with a combo at 4:08. Davis tries to push Bader to the fence but he shifts sideways to avoid it. Bader 10-9.
Round 2: Davis starts R2 the same way he did R1 — trying to lure Bader into complacency to open up a takedown attempt. Davis tries to give Bader a haircut but he ducks the head kick. Davis lands a left hook as Bader gets closer. Bader circles on the outside then ducks under a right as Davis teases a takedown. Another left by Davis. Left front kick by Davis hits air as the crowd hits their boos. Hard left from Bader. Another high kick from Davis misses. He follows it with a takedown attempt that doesn’t work and eats a body kick for his trouble. Two leg kicks inside and outside from Davis. Bader misses with the right. Davis does not. Bader checks a kick and responds with a right hook. Left jab by Davis. I give a very slim 10-9 to the champ.
Round 3: Right now neither man can feel any confidence that they’re up two rounds on the scorecards. Davis scores with a superman punch and a left hook but Bader doesn’t seem fazed. Hard kick to the left leg by Davis. Davis with a clubbing left behind Bader’s ear. Left jab by Bader. Another left. Body kick by Davis. Crowd is displeased at the three minute mark. Davis snaps off a couple of lefts. One problem is emerging for Bader in this fight that could cost him dearly if it goes to the judges — he lands one shot and doesn’t follow up, while Davis sometimes gets two to three off in a row. If you’re looking for reasons to score for the champion that would edge rounds his way as this fight wears on. Right hook by Davis. Another superman punch misses. Knee to the body as Bader goes for a late takedown and gets it, but Davis reverses it and winds up on top in side control, which should be a favorable impression for the judges.
Round 4: Bader with a leg kick 48 seconds into R4. Miragliotta stops the fight seconds later and tells both men the judges need to see something to score, admonishing them to be more active. Davis with leg kicks, a right hook, drops levels and fails to get a takedown, a left hook, and he kicks the left leg. Davis misses with a looping right and gets popped with a counter uppercut. Davis faints and grazes Bader with a head kick. Right hook for Davis. Left to the body. Left to the chin. Bader jabs and throws a body kick. Three minutes gone. Bader circles on the outside as a vocal MSG crowd lets both men hear how they feel. Left hook for Davis. Jabs for Bader. Looping left for Davis misses. Right hook connects as does a left body kick. Dueling jabs at 4:15. Body kick for Davis. Another lands. Knee to the body. Right hook. Left jab for Bader. 10-9 Davis.
Round 5: Bader stuffs a takedown attempt 33 seconds into the final round. Bader throws a body kick. Davis with a body punch. Bader lands a leg kick but eats a right hook. Davis lands a looping left hand and goes for the spinning head kick again. Davis lands a couple of shots and teases a takedown. Bader with the left jab. Davis with one right back. Body kick by Davis. Left hook by Bader. Bader shoots but Davis is back up almost immediately. Bader has him pressed into the fence for a few seconds but lets Davis go at 3:05. Davis comes forward with a combo. Overhand right by Bader. Davis comes forward with shots. Bader lands a right hook. Bader shoots on a single leg at 4:30 and doesn’t get it. Bader may have won that round but lost the fight. It’s up to the judges to sort this out between the two — again.
Final result: The judges score it 49-46 Bader, 48-47 Davis and 49-46 for Bader by split decision.
James Gallagher vs. Chinzo Machida
Gallagher is undefeated at 6-0 and is a well known training partner of Conor McGregor. Chinzo Machida is brother to former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and has a pro record of 5-2, hailing from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Machida enters first wearing blue gloves and trunks. “Strabanimal” Gallagher has on black trunks and red gloves and hails from Strabane, Ireland. Our referee is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Gallagher eagerly runs forward toward Machida, but doesn’t run straight into a Machida Karate strike, pulling up short to feel out the range. Machida lands a body kick and Gallagher responds with a takedown. He moves to full mount at 1:04 and Machida squirms underneath until Gallagher transitions to the back. Machida has a cut on his left eye from the striking Gallagher has already done, and to make matters worse Gallagher sinks in the rear naked choke and finishes Machida with over half a round left. This is ALL OVER.
Final result: James Gallagher wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:22 of round one.
Neiman Gracie vs. Dave Marfone
Blue gloves for Marfone. Red gloves for Gracie. Gracie is 5-0, Marfone is 5-2. Marfone fights out of Utica, New York and Gracie fights out of New York, New York by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our referee in charge is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Marfone swings and misses and Gracie puts him on the ground just over 20 seconds into the first round. Marfone gets multiple warnings not to grab the cage from Anderson as Gracie tries to drag him back to the ground. Gracie misses on an outside trip. Marfone finally throws Gracie to the side at 1:28 but gets clocked with a right. He responds with a kick that knocks Gracie off his feet then lets Gracie back up. Gracie takes him down again at 1:55. Marfone inches backward to the cage. Gracie briefly gets full mount but Marfone gets half guard, then gets back up, and unloads with a knee to the gut as Gracie looks for another takedown. Gracie throws a few hands as they break apart. Gracie lands a right hand, gets thrown to his back on a missed takedown attempt, and Marfone lets Anderson stand him back up. Leg kick by Gracie. Marfone blocks a takedown attempt with a knee. Gracie puts him against the fence and eats another knee. Marfone pulls guard at the end of the round for a guillotine but Gracie waves a finger to the referee to say “No way I’m tapping to that.” The bell sounds. 10-9 Gracie.
Round 2: Both men open this round with jabs. Gracie unloads with a hard kick. Marfone paws his way forward with a jab. Gracie clinches looking for a takedown as the Brazilian contingent at MSG chants for Gracie. He gets behind Marfone who once again gets warned not to grab the cage. Gracie jumps on Marfone’s back and Marfone tries to spike him on his head by jumping to the ground. It doesn’t work and Gracie has the body triangle cinched up tight. Gracie goes for the rear naked choke and Marfone taps at 2:27.
Final result: Neiman Gracie wins via rear naked choke at 2:27 of round two.
Heather Hardy vs. Alice Yauger
Yauger has on a black top and trunks with blue gloves for the first Spike TV fight. This is her second Bellator bout (her pro record coming in is 4-5), while for pro boxer Hardy it’s her MMA debut. Hardy has on green trunks with a white top and red gloves. Yauger hails from Burleson, Texas and Hardy fights out of Brooklyn. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Yauger tries to rush Hardy into the fence early. Hardy is responding with knees as they clinch and then breaks free at 35 seconds. Yauger avoids a big looping right hand as she works on the outside. Hardy lands a hard right to the body. Hardy keeps winging out the hooks and one catches Yauger flush at 1:42. You can already see bruises and cuts on Yauger’s face. Yauger connects with a left jab. Hardy throws some left kicks. Yauger clinches looking for knees. Hardy breaks out at 2:49. Yauger clips Hardy with a knee. Hardy is letting her left hand hang down and loading up with her right. Hardy falls down when she throws a kick, Yauger tries to rush in, but Hardy is able to get back up. Hardy seems to nod at Yauger as she takes a shot to the chin. Hardy is bleeding now too.Left high kick from Hardy. Two clinch knees from Yauger. Solid first round for both women with a narrow edge to Hardy.
Round 2: Yauger clinches and rushes Hardy to the fence quickly to start R2. Hardy breaks away at 20 seconds. Hardy and Yauger land nearly simultaneous hooks. Hardy keeps wading into Yauger’s range, seemingly unafraid of any shot Yauger could land. She backs Yauger up at 1:30 and puts a right hand on her chin. Hardy bloodies her face with a punch at 1:56. A light chant for Hardy breaks out from the MSG crowd. Yauger misses with a spinning backfist. Hardy throws a few leg kicks but she still wants to land the big right hand — and does at 3:34. Two lefts connect at 3:47. Hardy takes a combo as she comes in and lands a powerful right. Knee to the body from Yauger. Left jab by Hardy. Another 10-9 to Hardy.
Round 3: Hardy knocks Yauger down 10 seconds into the third round. Yauger closes the distance to throw knees. Hardy keeps walking her down to land punches. Big right hook by Hardy at 1:37. Again at 2:06. Yauger is not beaten but she’s bruised, bloody and battered. Yauger lands a switch kick to the head but Hardy’s hand blocked it. Could have been lights out if she hadn’t. Left hook by Hardy. Jab by Yauger. McCarthy calls time at 3:59 as Hardy has a cut under her left eye from a head butt. The doctor clears Hardy to continue, McCarthy tells the judges it was accidental, and gives Yauger a warning. The fight continues and Hardy knocks Yauger down with a stiff right. Hardy lets her back up and pours it on, and McCarthy waves it off with seconds left in the third round. That was the right call — Hardy had turned her into a punching back.
Final result: Heather Hardy wins via technical knockout at 4:47 in the third round.
Ryan Couture vs. Haim Gozali
Blue trunks and gloves for Gozali, 7-3, fighting out of Bat Yam, Israel. Black trunks and red gloves for Couture, 10-5, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Our referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: A tap of gloves gets us underway before Couture lands the first kick. Couture is staying at range and throwing leg kicks, so Gozali is answering in kind. Couture throws Gozali to the ground at 57 seconds and lets him stand back up. Gozali lands a left hook. Couture throws a head kick and pushes Gozali to the cage. Couture tries to grab the head and land a jump knee. Miragliotta calls for more work at 2:10. Couture backs up and lets his hands go, then drives Gozali into the cage again. Knee to the body. A lot of grinding and head movement back and forth as Couture wears Gozali down. He backs up for more strikes at 3:09 then pushes his way back in. Miragliotta calls for work and Couture steps back at 3:45. Couture goes low and high with kicks, throws a couple of hands, then spins off as Gozali tries to push him into the cage. Gozali keeps eating damage to the body. Gozali throws a right hand right after the bell and gets a strong warning for it from Miragliotta. 10-9 Couture.
Round 2: Couture rushes to the center as R2 gets underway. Gozali tries to throw a front kick to the face but he's not in range. Couture quickly puts Gozali on the fence. Gozali pulls guard and lets Couture on top. Couture mushes elbows into Gozali's grill to reward him for that decision. Gozali goes for a kneebar but Couture gets out at 2:45. Gozali falls down at 3:08 at Couture is right back on top grinding. Gozali keeps fishing for submissions and Couture backs out and stands up at 4:12 forcing Gozali to stand as well. Couture pops him with a couple of hands and puts Gozali's back on the cage, where he finishes the rest of the round. 10-9 Couture.
Round 3: Gozali looks weary at the start of the round and is wobbled by a leg kick. He tries to charge forward and Couture easily avoids the shots. Gozali tries to come over the top with a right and push Couture to the cage but is easily turned around. Couture throws uppercuts with his right hand from close range. Gozali dives for a knee bar and Couture just backs off and forces Gozali to stand. Couture gets a clinch and a couple of knees, Gozali gives up and lets Couture on top, Couture backs off to force a stand-up. If Gozali keeps this up he gives up a blowout third round on the scorecards even if he survives. Big knee to the chin at 3:06 by Couture. Couture drops levels at 3:33 and gets the double leg takedown. Hard right hands to the body and head as Couture stands over Gozali. Lefts to the head when he drops down into closer range. Miragliotta warns Couture to keep his fingers out of the cage. You can hear the smack of leather with every shot Couture lands. He pours it on before the bell. 10-8 round for Couture for sure.
Final result: Ryan Couture wins via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 and 30-27).
Jerome Mickle vs. Anthony Giacchina
Mickle is 2-1 in the red trunks and blue gloves out of Bronx, New York. Giacchina is 1-1 in the red gloves and dark navy trunks out of Seldon, New York. Our referee is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Both men tap gloves and we get underway with Giacchina getting a takedown to side control 13 seconds in. Mickle gets up immediately and Giacchina drops levels trying to get him back down again. Mickle throws a few punches to the back of Giacchina's head and then lets a right hook go as Giacchina finally abandons the takedown. Mickle lands a leg kick and Giacchina responds in kind. Mickle is keeping his back to the fence as Giacchina keeps hunting for openings, but he has to duck a big right hand as Mickle forces him back to the center. Mickle hurts him with a right but Giacchina hurts him with a shot over the top in return. Mickle tags him with another and Giacchina puts him against the fence to clear his head. Mickle breaks free at 3:30. Mickle is getting a little wild with his right hand knowing he's connected with power, and Giacchina bulls him into the fence. Mickle backs him off with 40 seconds left in R1. Giacchina with a body kick. Mickle tags Giacchina twice but Giacchina gets a takedown to side control right as R1 ends. Mickle gets the 10-9 by virtue of coming closer to a finish with his shots.
Round 2: Mickle rocks Giacchina with a right hand 15 seconds into R2 and lets him get back to his feet. Hinds was close to stopping it if Mickle could have landed a few shots on the ground. He may anyway if Giacchina gets rocked again. Giacchina shoots at 1:10 and puts Mickle's back on the cage but doesn't keep him there. They start swinging wildly at each other until Giacchina gets a takedown at 1:50 into half guard. Giacchina is landing some nasty shots on top. He moves to side control landing hard lefts to the head and looking for a possible submission. Mickle escapes twice but gives up full mount in the process. Giacchina postures up at 3:55 but Mickle manages to tip the balance and scramble back to his feet. Giacchina shoots right back in for a takedown at 4:28 and immediate side control. He's North-South as the round ends. 10-9 Giacchina.
Round 3: Another tap of gloves to start our third and final round. Both men are throwing down although Giacchina is slowly backing Mickle up toward the fence. Nice body shots for both men. Giacchina briefly has a takedown at 1:10 and stays on Mickle's back as they get vertical. Hinds warns Mickle not to grab the cage. Giacchina takes him down at 1:47 and is right back in side control. Giacchina grinds an elbow into Mickle's face as he keeps hunting for a submission, while Mickle keeps trying to buck him off to get back up. Nothing doing as Giacchina blocks it and takes the back with both hooks in, flattening Mickle out and sinking in the rear naked choke. It is all over!
Final result: Anthony Giacchina wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:40 in the third round.
John Salgado vs. Hugh McKenna
Salgado is 4-7-1 and he fights out of Brooklyn in the black trunks and blue gloves. McKenna is 0-1 and fights out of New York in the red trunks and gloves. Our referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: McKenna takes the center of the Bellator cage and Salgado dances to the outer circle firing right hooks and right leg kicks. McKenna continues to push forward but Salgado is arguably scoring more. Both men slip at 1:11 and then McKenna grabs a head clinch to fire off a couple of knees. Salgado tries to get free sliding sideways on the fence as he eats more knees to the body and uppercuts. McKenna takes him down to side control at 1:58 and quickly moves to full mount. McKenna pops his head free at 2:24 from an ineffective guillotine attempt. Salgado is warned about linking his toes in the fence as he tries to push off with his feet. McKenna lands an elbow. McKenna goes for a kimura, Salgado is warned to let go of the cage, McKenna hops to side control and Salgado is warned if he screams again it'll be a tap. He taps moments later with under a minute left.
Final result: Hugh McKenna wins via submission (armbar) at 4:06 of the first round.
Matt Rizzo vs. Sergio da Silva
Both men are wearing red trunks for this fight, but Da Silva has the blue gloves and Rizzo has the red. Da Silva is 6-8 and Rizzo is 9-2. Da Silva fights out of Queens, New York by way of Brazil and Rizzo fights out of Levittown, PA. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Both men take the center for the first 20 seconds until Rizzo backs up Da Silva with a high kick and then looks for a takedown against the fence. Rizzo is driving knees to the body as he does so, although one camera shot also clearly shows him grabbing the fence, which McCarthy finally sees and gives him a warning for. Two minutes in Rizzo is still struggling for the leg trip takedown, Da Silva nearly overpowering him, then using underhooks to keep himself upright. Rizzo finally completes the takedown at 2:43 but can't keep his opponent down. Da Silva hits a knee that looks low but McCarthy says it was clean and they keep fighting. Da Silva gives up a takedown at 3:30 looking for a knee bar but Rizzo takes his back and gets one hook in. Da Silva escapes and Rizzo immediately drops levels again, but Da Silva sprawls to block and winds up on top in guard as time ticks away. 10-9 Rizzo but a judge could find reasons to go the other way.
Round 2: Both men start firing shots immediately to open R2. Da Silva takes Rizzo down 20 seconds into the round. Rizzo is trying to use butterfly guard to keep Da Silva from passing. Rizzo is warned not to link his toes in the cage as he tries to push free and/or set up a triangle or armbar. Da Silva tries to power his way free and the risk pays off as Rizzo loses the grip on the powerbomb, but Rizzo is going for a heel hook instead and Da Silva gives up top position defending. Rizzo gets full mount at 3:48. He transitions to the back with both hooks in but only a minute to work. Rizzo gets an arm under the chin but can't sink it in and winds up on top again in full mount. Rizzo as more active even when he was on the bottom so this was a 10-9 round for him.
Round 3: Rizzo lands a left hook, drops levels immediately and has a takedown at 9 seconds. Da Silva is trying to throw upkicks to no avail. Rizzo is trying to work his way to the back at the same time Da Silva tries to stand back up. Rizzo decides instead to get on top in side control and then jump to the back, sinking one hook in at 2:32. Da Silva squirms around but Rizzo looks for an arm triangle choke and McCarthy is taking a close look. McCarthy stops the fight with a little over a minute left.
Final result: Matt Rizzo wins by submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:48 of the third round.
Nate Grebb vs. Bradley Desir
This is our “VOW” fight of the night. Desir is 9-5 and a Marine in the white trunks and red gloves fighting out of Bronx, New York. Grebb is 3-1 and a Navy veteran in the black trunks and blue gloves who fights out of Baltimore, Maryland. Our referee in charge is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Desir takes the center throwing leg kicks and backing Grebb up. Grebb tries a spin kick and falls down. Desir lets him back up. Desir continues to throw both hands and feet. Grebb tries to spin again and eats a right hand. Grebb's face is getting marked up. There's blood trickling out of his nose. Desir keeps on pressuring forward and lands a hard left jab. Grebb knocks him off his feet with a leg kick but Desir gets up quick. His left hand continues to find the mark. They trade leg kicks. Grebb and Desir land simultaneous hands but Grebb looks wobbled for a second. Desir hits him one more time and Hinds waves it off with a little over two minutes left in the first round.
Final result: Bradley Desir wins via knockout at 2:54 of the first round.