Bellator 162 wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst thing I have ever watched either (or was it?). It saw 9 fights, most of which were entertaining. Every fight in the main card ended in a quick TKO or submission. I am becoming less tolerant of the amateur promotional style of Bellator which was charming at first and now has transformed into peculiar and depressing. Most of down time of the night was spent promoting the Tito Ortiz/Chael Sonnen fight scheduled for Bellator 170. It’s bad enough that both of these guys are way past their primes but the “debate” style trash talk between the two during the card was probably the worst thing I have ever seen. Chael brought out his stale bad boy persona making fun of Ortiz being broke and getting this Bentley repossessed while Tito rhymed ass with gas and crushed a juice box. It was difficult to watch. I probably should have watched the Glory kick boxing card instead of this, but I endured and watched every fight during Bellator 162.

Preliminary Card (spike.com)

Bantamweight – Steve Garcia def. Ronnie Lawrence – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

For a bantamweight prelim that went the distance, this was a fast and exciting fight. Both fighters threw a flurry of kicks at each other in the first round with Garcia being the aggressor for most of the round. Garcia had a big height and reach advantage that made it difficult for Lawrence to get in close to him. The ref stopped the fight towards the end of the first round for a nut shot on Garcia. In the second round Garcia continued his active jazz hands fighting style and overcame the good defense played by Lawrence. After the fighters took each other to the mat in the third round, Garcia landed a heavy left jab with a little over hand motion to it which dropped Lawrence. Garcia attacked looking for the TKO but wasn’t able to get it. After the final bell Garcia helped Lawrence up and embraced him in a hug.

Lightweight – Ricky Rainey def. Gilbert Smith – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Rainey had a 5 inch reach advantage going into this fight. In the first round Smith caught a kick from Rainey and brought him to the ground. While on the ground Rainey attempted a triangle choke but Smith was able to get out of it. After getting back to his feet, Rainey landed a brutal combo with a jab, a heavy left knee, and then more jabs to finish the round off strong. Being the better ground fighter, Smith tried to take Rainey to the mat several times in the second round but wasn’t able to keep Rainey there for enough time to accomplish anything. Rainey had a swag in his presence, turning his back and walking towards his corner with a couple of seconds left in the first and second round. After more takedown attempts from Smith and another triangle attempt from Rainey in the third round, both fighters looked exhausted. Smith took Rainey to the mat with 30 seconds left in the fight to improve his score and too look for a submission. After this fight and the Garcia fight, the judges took forever to tally up their scores. In the uncomfortable time after the fight and waiting for the decision, Rainey was pacing around the ring shouting, “don’t take this from me!” Once the decision was announced, Rainey did a salsa dance in celebration and Smith fell to his knees in dismay.

Featherweight – Julia Budd def. Arlene Blencowe – Decision majority – (29-29, 30-27, 29-27)

The third decision in a row was overall a boring one. Budd defeated Blencowe in a majority decision but at times it appeared that Blencowe was controlling the match. I think Budd was most impressive in the third round when she got two late takedowns. The commentators took several jabs at the UFC mentioning that they are treating their women fighters unfairly by forcing them to cut weight like animals instead of creating a featherweight division. I agree with them, but it is another reason why Bellator is on a tier way lower than the UFC. I can’t envision UFC commentators taking shots at Bellator during a broadcast.

The judges took forever in getting the scores added up, and they looked very strange. All three judges scored the fight differently.

Heavyweight – Virgil Zwicker def. Dan Charles – TKO strikes – (RD 2 – 4:31)

Zwicker and Charles definitely looked like heavyweights and fought like heavyweights. Charles football tackled Zwicker in the first round which brought both of them down hard. In the second round Zwicker landed a left upper cut to the chin of Charles which essentially ended the fight. Charles staggered around after absorbing the punch and could barely stand up. Zwicker easily brought him to the ground and landed many blows looking for the TKO. Charles somehow survived and got back to his wobbly feet and then was shortly TKO’d afterwards. I have never seen a fighter take that long to get finished after a chin breaking blow. He lasted in a semi-conscious state for several minutes. I don’t think it helped that he was probably exhausted while being concussed.

Heavyweight – Chase Gormley def. Bobby Brents – Decision split – (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

From what I learned after listening to the commentators, this was Brents first major professional fight after years of fighting in amateur circuits, and Gormley is a highly regarded heavyweight in Bellator. If I watched this fight on mute I would have thought it was the other way around. Gormley is much bigger than Brent standing 6 inches taller but he looked flat and unaggressive most of the fight. Brent clipped Gormley in the first round with a heavy right but allowed Gormely to recover from the blow. In between the first and second round, the mic’d up trainers in Gormley’s corner were heard saying “that fat fuck shouldn’t even be in here with you!”

Time was stopped twice in the second round after Brent was kick in the nuts and poked in the eye. In the third round Brent clipped Gormley again and landed multiple brutal elbows to his face in the clinch. I thought Gormely was going to fall during this encounter but her survived. Gormley then took Brent to the ground who used a lot of energy in an explosion of effort to get up. This was a close fight and after Gormley received the win, the crowd booed loudly.

Main Card (Spike)

Middleweight – Hisaki Kato def. A.J. Matthews – TKO punches – (RD 1 – 4:58)

It’s fitting that all of the decisions took place during the untelevised commercial free preliminary stream, while the 4 fight 2 plus hour main card saw all early finishes. The Kato and Matthews fight went from 0 to 60 extremely fast. Both fighters traded blows early and Matthews clipped Kato. After a few wobbles Kato was able to recover. Time was stopped when a doctor came into the ring to look at Matthews poked eye. Shortly after the time stoppage Kato clipped Matthews which put him in a lot of trouble. Matthews attempted to punch his way out of the dire situation but after he fell down for the second time Kato took his back and landed many blows to his head which forced the ref to call it. The replay showed that a partially blocked kick is what clipped Matthews.

Lightweight – Goiti Yamauchi def. Ryan Couture – Submission armbar (RD 1 – 1:01)

The son of the famous Randy Couture did not last much longer than a minute in his match with Yamauchi. The two fighters clenched up early and Couture took Yamauchi to the ground. This is where Yamauchi got in position for the arm bar and after holding it for a few seconds Couture tapped.

Heavyweight – Bobby Lashley def. Josh Appelt – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 2 – 1:43)

Professional wrestler Booby Lashley is 40 years old but he is jacked. I was amazed on how ripped and muscular he is. In addition to his large muscles he had a 8 inch reach advantage over Appelt in this fight. After not getting the time stoppage he wanted after an eye poke, Appelt was taken to the mat by Lashley were he was abused. Lashley opened up Appelts face with several blows and landed a heavy knee to his body. Appelt was fighting back just enough to avoid the TKO. In his weakened state, Appelt was taken down again in the second round where Lashley wrapped his arms under his chin getting the rear-naked choke.

Middleweight – Alexander Shlemenko def. Kendall Grove – TKO punches – (RD 2 – 1:43)

By the time the headlining fight took place I was exhausted and mentally beat down from the corny Bellator promotions and the Dave and Buster ads. I didn’t even take notes for this fight. All that I remember is that Shlemenko is coming off from a loss and that his liver kick to Grove in the second round is what finished him. After absorbing the kick to his liver. Grove just hunched over in pain and fell to the ground. After that Shlemenko finished him off with punches.

There are a lot of Bellator events before the end of the year. Bellator 163 is November 4th and Bellator 164 is November 11th. I can’t really say that I am that excited for these events but I will watch them because I have an addictive personality and feel the need to watch every major MMA card. What does intrigue about Bellator is the vacant heavyweight belt and the tournament they keep teasing that might take place next year for the belt.

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