Bellator 217: “Gallagher vs. Graham” airs TONIGHT (Feb. 23, 2019) from 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. Irish pride will be on the line as “Strabanimal” James Gallagher (7-1) headlines the main event against Steven “Golden” Graham (5-3) from the United States.
Bellator 217’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET on DAZN (watch it) and Paramount Network with “Prelims” undercard bouts streaming at 7 p.m. on the Bellator mobile app. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the Bellator 217 card below.
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 217) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 217 QUICK RESULTS:
James Gallagher vs. Steven Graham — Gallagher sub (RNC) 2:31 R1.
Peter Queally vs. Myles Price — Price SD 28-29, 29-28 X2.
Kiefer Crosbie vs. Daniel Olejniczak — Crosbie sub (RNC) 4:09 R1.
Richie Smullen vs. Adam Gustab — Smullen UD 30-27 X2, 30-26.
Charlie Ward vs. Jamie Stephenson — Ward KO 0:34 R1.
Ian Cleary vs. George Courtney — Courtney sub (guillotine) R1.
Ryan Curtis vs. Luis Gonzales — Curtis TKO 4:59 R1.
Will Fleury vs. Shaun Taylor — Fleury sub (RNC) R2.
Dylan Logan vs. Andrew Murphy — Logan sub (armbar) R1.
Leah McCourt vs. Hatice Ozyurt — McCourt TKO (doctor) 5:00 R1.
Richard Kiely vs. Mickael Bucher — Kiely TKO 4:21 R1.
Paul Redmond vs. Charlie Leary — Redmond UD 29-28 X3.
Samuel Slater vs. Christopher Duncan — Duncan TKO R1.
Walter Gahadza vs. Ruben Crawford — Gahadza TKO 1:59 R1.
Iony Razafiarison vs. Olga Rubin — Rubin UD 29-28 X3.
Alfie Davies vs. Daniele Scatizzi — Davies UD 30-27, 29-28 X2.
BELLATOR 217 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
James Gallagher vs. Steven Graham
Gallagher is 7-1 and Graham is 6-3 coming into our main event. Black trunks and blue gloves for “Golden” Graham. Gallagher comes out in a silver boxing hoodie with the Irish flag draped over his shoulders. He has the same colors on his trunks, and he’s wearing the red gloves for this bout. Graham fights out of Kansas City, Missouri. Gallagher is from Strabane, Ireland. Our referee in charge is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Gallagher has a takedown four seconds into the fight and wastes no time moving to side control then full mount at 46 seconds. Graham gives up his back and crawls toward the fence. He tries to stand up with Gallagher on his back but goes right back down. He rolls underneath Gallagher who wails on him with hands and elbows, and he gives up his back again. Gallagher forces him back to the ground again and is looking for that rear naked choke. Again Graham gets up with Gallagher on his back and now Gallagher has even more torque on the rear naked choke. It’s OVER.
Final result: James Gallagher wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:31 of round one.
Peter Queally vs. Myles Price
Our co-main event of the evening! SBG Ireland’s Queally is 11-4-1 with the red trunks and gloves, and his opponent Price is 10-7 in the black trunks and blue gloves. Price fights out of Kilkenny, Ireland and Queally out of Dublin. Our referee is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Price immediately shoves Queally into the fence after the bell. He lands a nice left uppercut from there as the fans sing Cranberries’ “Zombie,” which they’ve been doing since before the fight even began. Price keeps the left leg elevated for a bit so he can stand and deliver, but Queally opens a cut with an elbow, so now Price is considering dropping levels. He keeps working the left uppercuts and Queally doesn’t get free until 1:48. Price shoots for a single leg at 2:08. Queally tags him with the elbow again as the takedown is not there, gets the double underhooks, and turns Price around. Price breaks free at 3:03. Queally lands the overhand right. Price pushes Queally into the fence again. Queally turns him around again and stomps on his foot. Price reverses it and does the same. Left uppercuts and jump knee from Price. Even though Queally did draw blood with a couple of elbows Price actually controlled the cage and did good work in the clinch, winning a 10-9 round.
Round 2: Price has Queally against the fence 14 seconds in. Price throws a wild spinning backfist when they break that misses. Queally tags him with a combo and goes for a jump knee. They clinch and Queally pushes him to the fence. They break at 1:34. Price hurts Queally with a left to the body and presses him into the chain link. More dirty boxing from the clinch. He gives the impression he’d like a takedown but is content to work Queally over standing without it. Queally gets out of it at 3:20. Both men stand and trade for a bit until we’re back on the fence at 3:41. Queally reverses 25 seconds later. They break apart and Queally lands a good right before the end. I’m surprised to say this but 10-9 Price again.
Round 3: Price puts Queally on the fence 13 seconds in and quickly looks to take the back. He can’t get it but he comes back around for a single leg, then drops levels for a double. Queally turns him around at 1:08. Price reverses and they reset to the center. Price with a knee that hit and a backfist that missed leads to a scramble, with Price getting back up at 2:10. He shoots on Queally again to put him on the cage. Back to center at 2:46. Takedown at 3:02 for Price. Queally is up to one knee but back down again before long with Price having one hook in. The fighters are warned not to manipulate the inside of the glove with their fingers. Price nearly gets full mount with 20 seconds left then does with 10 seconds left. Queally gives up his back right before the bell. 10-9 Price. Somehow though I think Queally gets at least one round with the judges — probably R1 due to busting Price open.
Final result: Myles Price wins a split decision 28-29 and 29-28 X2.
Kiefer Crosbie vs. Daniel Olejniczak
Red gloves with black trunks for the 5-0 Crosbie. Blue gloves and black trunks for the 3-2-1 Olejniczak. Crosbie is 28 and his opponent is 31. Crosbie is two inches shorter at 5’11”. Both men are 170 pounds. Crosbie also gives up three inches of reach at 70”. Olejniczak fights out of Belfast, Northern Ireland. SBG Ireland’s Crosbie fights out of Dublin, Ireland. Our referee in charge is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Both men come quickly to the center after final instructions. Crosbie is content to work from the outer circle and let his opponent come to him, where he fails to get a takedown and Crosbie lets him back up. Crosbie starts to come forward using leg kicks. The crowd is loudly chanting KIE-FER in support. Olejniczak keeps his right hand high as he comes forward for a clinch. Crosbie willingly engages to put him on the fence and throw knees at his legs. He avoids an over the top elbow on the break then tags Olejniczak with a right hand. Crosbie gets a takedown and goes from side control to the back quickly with a rear naked choke. Olejniczak taps.
Final result: Kiefer Crosbie wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:09 of round one.
Richie Smullen vs. Adam Gustab
Gustab has orange trunks and blue gloves for this fight and fights out of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Smullen has solid blue trunks and red gloves for this fight and fights out of Arklow, Ireland. Gustab is 3-3 and Smullen is 3-1-1 as a pro. Our referee in charge is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: No glove tap. Gustab comes forward pumping the right. Smullen throws kicks and two nice left hooks before hitting a quick takedown to side control at 38 seconds. Smullen steps into guard to prevent Gustab from getting back up then transitions back to half with Gustab pinned to the fence. He jumps to the other side and then starts to take the back with the right hook in. Smullen lets the hook go and then puts it back in as Gustab tries and fails to stand up. 90 seconds left. He lets it go and Gustab gets back to his feet. Smullen throws Gustab back to the ground at 4:08 and gets side control again. 10-9 Smullen.
Round 2: Gustab is still trying to find the range to land his right hand as Smullen is backing him up. Smullen teases a knee and then clinches up on the cage looking for a leg trip. He keeps fighting for it and working Gustab over until he finally has it at 2:11. Left hangs to the face as Gustab tries to push off the fence with his left foot. Gustab keeps him in half guard but that’s about all he can do. Smullen moves to side control at 3:50 and quickly takes a full mount but Gustab bucks him off at 4:10. Smullen quickly gets back to side control. Another 10-9 round for Smullen.
Round 3: Gustab opens with a left hook. Smullen with a body kick. He walks backward with his hands down for a second like he’s taunting Gustab but quickly brings his hands back up. Gustab comes forward winging away at 48 seconds. Gustab tags him with a left jab as Smuller closes the distance and trips another takedown as we pass the one minute mark and quickly gets full mount. Gustab escapes at 1:38. Smullen gets back on and he’s got the back for a rear naked choke with over half the round left but he feels it’s not right and lets it go to get back into full mount. Smullen is going for an arm triangle choke now. Gustab pushes off the fence with his feet to escape it. Side control at 4:15 looking for a kimura. Gustab fends it off and gets up at 4:37. Smullen gets one more takedown for a 10-9.
Final result: Richie Smullen wins via unanimous decision 30-27 X2, 30-26.
Charlie Ward vs. Jamie Stephenson
Stephenson has black trunks with white trim and blue gloves with a 4-2 record. SBG Ireland’s Ward has black trunks and red gloves on with a 5-2 record. Stephenson fights out of Durham, England and Ward out of Dublin, Ireland. Our referee in charge of this contest is Bryan Miner.
Round 1: Ward takes the center and lets Stephenson circle on the outside then drops him with a left hook, and it’s waved off at 34 seconds.
Final result: Charlie Ward wins via knockout at 0:34 of round one.
Ian Cleary vs. George Courtney
Round 1: Unaired online.
Final result: Courtney wins via submission (guillotine choke) in round one.
Ryan Curtis vs. Luis Gonzales
Gonzales has on blue trunks with matching gloves for this bout and he fights out of London, England. Curtis has on black trunks and red gloves and is one of the 15 SBG Ireland fighters on tonight’s card, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland. Gonzales is 8-4 and Curtis is 4-1. Our referee for this fight is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: The preliminary stream buffers for a half minute and suddenly goes live to Gonzales trying to take Curtis down against the fence. Curtis widens his stance to block it and Gonzales lets go to reset. Curtis pushes him toward the fence and drops Gonzales with a big right hand, quickly taking full mount and then the back. Gonzales turns over to avoid the rear naked choke but Curtis is still on top in guard. Curtis tries to pass and Gonzales tries to trap a leg. Curtis gets back up throwing knees and lefts and drops Gonzales with a right. Gonzales can barely stand but somehow manages to get a takedown to save himself. Curtis gets back up at 3:19. Curtis stuffs the takedown and is on top throwing shots. Gonzales gets up at 4:03. Curtis is hunting for the right hand — it’s cocked and ready to fly. Instead he drops Gonzales with a knee and takes the back with short time left. Curtis tries to turn but he’s getting pounded on and Anderson waves it off at the LAST second.
Final result: Ryan Curtis wins by technical knockout at 4:59 of the first round.
Will Fleury vs. Shaun Taylor
Round 1: Unaired online.
Final result: Will Fleury wins via submission (rear naked choke) in round two.
Dylan Logan vs. Andrew Murphy
Round 1: Unaired online.
Final result: Dylan Logan wins via submission (armbar) in round one.
Leah McCourt vs. Hatice Ozyurt
Ozyurt is in the full black body suit with the blue gloves for this fight with a pro record of 2-6. McCourt is also in all black with the red gloves and a 1-1 record. Ozyurt missed weight for this fight at 148 pounds and fights out of Zwolle, Netherlands. McCourt fights out of Belfast, Northern Ireland and made weight at 146. Kerry Hatley is the referee.
Round 1: Glove tap. McCourt’s size advantage is as noticeable as her lackluster pro MMA record. Ozyurt quickly pushes her into the fence. McCourt pushes back and gets a takedown to half guard. Full mount at 1:14. McCourt is unloading heavy lefts and rights. Big right elbows are coming over the top as we pass the two minute mark. They stand back up at 2:20 and McCourt is looking to take her right back down. She gets it again with approximately 100 seconds left, quickly gets full mount, and Ozyurt’s head is pinned against the fence. Big left elbow over the top as Hatley takes a close look. Ozyurt’s face is getting mashed. If she survives it’s a 10-8 round for McCourt. McCourt tries and fails to get an armbar and Ozyurt tries and fails to take the back and McCourt is going for a heel hook at the end. Indeed — a 10-8 round for McCourt — AND a medical TKO as the doctors will not let Ozyurt continue.
Final result: Leah McCourt wins via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of round one.
Richard Kiely vs. Mickael Bucher
Bucher has black/white trunks and blue gloves on. SBG Ireland fighter Kiely has pink trunks and red gloves on. Bucher’s record is 3-4 and he fights out of Paris, France. Kiely’s record is 2-1 and he fights out of Dublin, Ireland. Our referee is Bryan Miner.
Round 1: Bucher takes the center and comes forward toward Kiely throwing haymakers before tying up against the fence. Kiely finally turns out free at 1:17. Kiely puts Bucher on his butt with a right hand and lets him back up. Kiely trips Bucher to the ground at 1:56. Bucher is back up at 2:28. Kiely has his hands down at his sides daring Bucher to come at him. Kiely hurts Bucher with a left hook and again with a right as he backs up to the cage. Bucher comes forward with wild shots, one gets through and Kiely has to reset. Kiely drops Bucher with a right, thinks about walking away, and Miner doesn’t immediately stop it so he keeps throwing lefts until he does. Miner nearly gets single legged by the dazed Bucher.
Final result: Richard Kiely by technical knockout at 4:21 of round one.
Paul Redmond vs. Charlie Leary
Blue gloves and purple trunks for Leary, 15-9-1 in his career. Red gloves and black trunks for Redmond, 14-8 in his career. Leary fights out of London, England. Redmond fights out of Dublin, Ireland. Our referee in charge is Bryan Miner.
Round 1: Leary is taken down to side control 30 seconds into the fight by Redmond. He quickly gets flipped over by Leary who is on top in guard. Leary can’t keep him grounded as Redmond is back up at 2:14 and looking for another takedown. He backs off at 2:38 then shoots 11 seconds later. Leary widens his stands but Redmond rolls him and then takes the back with one hook in. Redmond is trying very hard to get an arm under for the rear naked choke. Leary slips out before the bell. 10-9 Redmond.
Round 2: Redmond gets touched by a knee early but it wasn’t flush enough to rock him hard. Leary uses it to his advantage though to push Redmond into the fence. They jockey for position there until Redmond gets free at 1:00 then immediately goes for a takedown. They break at 1:44. Body kick for Redmond. He tries to tie up with Leary and Leary puts him on the cage with his head pushed into Redmond’s neck. Redmond gets free but Leary tags him with an uppercut. Redmond drops levels for a takedown and gets it at 3:14. Leary goes for a submission and Redmond backs out and lets him stand back up. Redmond shoots for a single and gets it at 4:10. Redmond goes for the back and doesn’t get it. Leary pushes him into the cage as he gets up then lets him back to center for striking before the round ends. 10-9 Leary.
Round 3: Redmond badly wants a takedown to open R3 and gets it at 33 seconds. He moves to half guard as Leary tries to defend his back. Redmond gets the mount with both hooks into the back at 1:35. All he’s doing now is trying to soften up Leary so he can sink in the rear naked choke for a finish. Leary spins his way on top at 3:58. Redmond ties him up and doesn’t take any damage. Both get up before the bell ends it. Redmond spent more of the round in a dominant position and came closer to finishing. I give it to Redmond 10-9.
Final result: Paul Redmond wins via 29-28 X3 unanimous decision.
Samuel Slater vs. Christopher Duncan
Round 1: Unaired online.
Final result: Duncan wins via technical knockout in round one.
Walter Gahadza vs. Ruben Crawford
Blue gloves with black trunks for 16-3 Crawford fighting out of Dublin, Ireland. Red gloves with black trunks for 17-3 Gahadza fighting out of Southend-on-Sea, England. Gahadza has a 1” reach advantage at 74” but “everything else is virtually identical.” The ref is Bryan Miner.
Round 1: Glove tap to start. Crawford throws a kick high early. Gahadza is trying to keep the center and not be pushed back toward the fence but he’s getting clinched up for knees. Gahadza catches a kick and pushes Crawford away. Crawford comes forward again and Gahadza tries to call time for a kick to the groin. Miner says no. Gahadza drops Crawford with a left head kick and goes to pound it out with hammers. Miner quickly waves him off.
Final result: Walter Gahadza wins via technical knockout at 1:59 in the first round.
Iony Razafiarison vs. Olga Rubin
Rubin has the red gloves and is 5-0 and fights out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Razafiarison is 6-1 in the blue gloves and full body suit and fights out of Paris, Francis. Our referee in charge of this contest is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Respectful glove tap to start. Razafiarison pushes Rubin toward the outside with leg kicks. Rubin searches for a left hook as she eats the kicks to her right leg. Rubin takes a kick up the middle toward her chin. She has a clear height and reach advantage and shows it by uncorking a nice left. Body kick by Rubin. Razafiarison aims a kick up that hits the armpit. She’s trying to duck under Rubin’s reach and throw shots up as she comes in then quickly step out. Rubin is catching her and opening up more with kicks of her own. Razafiarison continues to attack the lead leg and hits a nice takedown at 3:59. Rubin gets back up as Rubin is caught in a potential guillotine trying to take her back down. She drags Rubin back to the ground but Rubin is on top at the bell. 10-9 Razafiarison.
Round 2: Rubin shoots and puts Razafiarison on the fence immediately. Razafiarison throws knees and right hands but Rubin is unfazed. She finally gets go at 49 seconds and goes right back to a single leg. Razafiarison fights it off. Rubin throws left hands and knees. Things just stall out here against the fence. Razafiarison finally escapes at 2:50. Razafiarison shoots a double and gets side control quickly on the ground. She can’t keep Rubin down as she escapes at 4:11 with blood pouring out of Razafiarison’s nose. Rubin has her pinned up against the fence throwing lefts at said same nose. 10-9 Rubin.
Round 3: Rubin has Razafiarison pinned to the cage 12 seconds in. She tries to break free at 75 seconds and it turns into a little bit of a brawl until Rubin tries to pin her up and look for a takedown. The blood continues to stream out of Razafiarison’s nose as Rubin works knees and shots to the body. John McCarthy states the obvious when he says Razafiarison “needs to get off this cage to win this fight.” She’d like to... but she can’t. I’ve got Rubin winning this round 10-9, the fight 29-28, and she might even have won the first round as well.
Final result: The judges all score it 29-28 X3 for Rubin by unanimous decision.
Alfie Davies vs. Daniele Scatizzi
Round 1: Unaired online.
Final result: Alfie Davies wins via unanimous decision 30-27, 29-28 X2.