Bellator 199 “Bader vs. King Mo” took place last night (Sat., May 12, 2018) at SAP Center in San Jose, California. Another bracket of the Heavyweight Grand Prix took center stage for the evening as current Light Heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (24-5) faced down “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal (21-6, 1 NC).
You’ll spend more time reading this paragraph than Bader did fighting this bout. He clipped Lawal with a hard left hand that dropped him on his butt, jumped on his back for unchecked rights to the head, and referee Mike Beltran saved Lawal from further punishment at 15 seconds.
Check out the finish above courtesy of Fancy Combat.
The victorious “Darth” Bader had plenty of time for a post-fight interview after that quick finish.
“It’s one of those sweet spots. I knew he was gonna duck his head, I was going to land a left hand or kick, left hand rocked him and then I finished him with the right. I’ve got a great team around me and the perfect storm is coming for the Heavyweight Grand Prix. (Mitrione) is my buddy but he better get his ass to wrestling practice.”
Second from the top was the debut of former UFC Welterweight star Jon Fitch (30-7-1, 1 NC) getting a very tough test in his first Bellator fight against the relentless Paul “Semtex” Daley (40-15-2).
Fitch slowly and methodically wrestled Daley to the ground minute after minute in the first round. Daley got up, Fitch went for another single leg, and referee Jason Herzog was as tired of it as the “Shark Tank” and reset them to center at 4:10. Daley immediately went on an offensive flurry and rocked Fitch with an uppercut and a knee, stealing back the first round.
In the second round Fitch never gave Daley the chance to get back up, getting a takedown 18 seconds into the round, then taking a side mount to pound away and the back with one hook in looking to put an arm under his chin. Daley turned and got his back to the canvas to protect himself but Fitch stayed busy enough on top to never get stood up and win the round. Round three, rinse and repeat, with the only difference being Daley mouthing off to a nearby cameraman and getting censored several times.
The judges returned a unanimous verdict of 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26 in favor of Jon Fitch before he spoke to John McCarthy.
“I feel great! You’ve got a great athlete, he’s very strong, I got sick last week so I’m a little below where I should have been. I knew he was dangerous so I had to keep him on the ground. He didn’t catch me with anything clean. I was moving with everything so he didn’t catch me hard — he came pretty close though.”
Non-tournament Heavyweights originally pegged as tournament alternates would have their chance to show why they should have been included as Cheick Kongo (27-10-2) took on Javy Ayala (10-6).
Kongo clipped Ayala on the ear with a devastating right hand at the exact moment Mauro Ranallo and John McCarthy were debating whether or not he should have been in the Heavyweight Grand Prix. He may not have gotten a shot at the vacant world title, but his knockout got him an interview with “Big” John five days before his 43rd birthday.
“I had a chance to train with my partner here, thai boxing class, and if I forgot some names sorry. Antonio McKee and everybody. I get the time to train properly and that’s what I like. It’s not a last minute call to fight and make a poor performance for the people who came to support me. Thank you to the people of San Jose. It’s a pleasure to be here. Next week I return 43 years old and I hope to keep performing in that way. Thank you.”
Undefeated “Jetsetter” Carrington Banks (7-0) brought his perfect record to a Lightweight contest with Adam Piccolotti (9-2) as the latter looked to rebound off two-straight losses.
Banks executed a relentless strategy of takedowns in Round 1, but it was his cracking right hand that made Piccolotti back up and drop levels for a takedown of his own. Even though he got a full mount he wasn’t able to do anything with it other than take the back and miss on an armbar Banks escaped from.
You could find a reason to score the first round either way you want, but the second was all one way traffic the moment Piccolotti got a takedown, going for multiple neck cranks and mercilessly pounding lefts and rights into Banks until the referee warned him to fight back. Piccolotti had the momentum going into Round 3.
Although Banks appeared to have his momentum to turn things around when he charged forward to connect with a takedown, Piccolotti was slicker on the ground in the scramble and suddenly had Banks’ back with a body triangle and plenty of time to soften up his opponent. With just 19 seconds left Piccolotti had finally worn Banks down to the point he gave up his neck and tapped to the rear-naked choke.
“Big” John McCarthy hit the cage to talk to Piccolotti after snapping a two fight losing streak.
“Carrington’s a tough dude, coming in here undefeated too, so to get a submission after a rough year feels great. I try my best to not think about those past losses but it’s something that weighs on you. You come in here, try to perform your best, and great things will happen.”
Things never seem to get any easier for the brash upstart Aaron Pico (2-1) and the Featherweight was once again destined to meet a vastly more experienced fighter in Lee Morrison (19-8).
This one didn’t last long. Pico clipped him early and often, finally sending Morrison flying backward off a hard body shot that looked like an uppercut, leaving his opponent down for the TKO at 1:10 of Round 1.
Here’s what Pico had to say about his performance after the quick fight.
“I’m just having so much fun out here. I’m enjoying everything about the sport. That’s just a vicious left hook. I told my dad and my girlfriend I was gonna knock him out with a body shot. I want to take on those A guys. I want to get closer to the world title. I’m getting better every day. I’m one step closer to being the champion of the world.”
For complete Bellator 199 results and coverage click here.