Heavyweight fights are infamous in mixed martial arts (MMA) for ending quickly thanks to the larger size of the competitors and massive musculature they can put into a punch. Sometimes though you can get a quick end of an entirely different nature when jiu-jitsu skill meets force of will and the two collide inside a cage.
Bellator 125 took place Sept. 19, 2014, at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. It’s better remembered for the devastating knockout “No Mercy” Melvin Manhoef delivered to Doug Marshall in the main event, but that’s not even the most impressive performance from that night.
Raphael Butler was the man with all the hype coming into Bellator MMA. He was the 2004 National Golden Gloves Super Heavyweight Champion. Before his transition to MMA he had amassed 49 boxing fights with a record of 35-12 (2 NC). Butler earned a USBA Heavyweight Title match before being finished by Eddie Chambers in the sixth round in June 2008.
Standing 6’3” and sporting a 77-inch reach, the scientific pugilism of Butler seemed ready and willing to crash through the journeyman Javy Ayala. His first Bellator bout had been a disappointing draw, but that still left him undefeated in mixed martial arts at 8-0-1. His opponent Ayala was 7-3 in comparison, slightly more experienced in MMA but easily outmatched in striking experience compared to a professional boxer.
“Eye Candy” Javy Ayala has become known for his upset wins over more highly touted opponents though, and the 6’1” man with the 76-inch reach found a way to get the job done. He tagged Butler with a one-two combo at the opening bell and pressed him into the cage. Ayala got the takedown at 55 seconds, jumped to the back immediately, and eight seconds later Butler tapped to a rear naked choke out for his first MMA loss. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
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