The second straight Bellator card with a compromised main event took place in an empty Belfast arena on Friday, February 24th 2017. I can get used to these easy to consume quick 4 fight cards aired on tape delay.
Welterweight – Alex Lohore def. Colin Fletcher – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 2 – 2:42)
Lohore was knocked unconscious in the first round of his fight with Fletcher but was able to recover and win via a submission in the second round. In the first round Lohore scored a takedown and Fletcher showed off his ground fighting skills looking for a d’arce choke. Lohore slipped out of the choke and took the back of Fletcher who was able to scramble and get back to his feet in the clinch where Lohore attempted a guillotine choke. After the break, Fletcher caught two kicks from Lohore. On the second caught kick Fletcher charged forward and dropped Lohore with a power punch. Lohore dropped the ground unconscious and woke up after hitting his head against the fence. Fletcher jumped on top of Lohore and attempted several submission including an arm bar and a weird leg neck choke. Lohore recovered and escaped the submission attempts and landed some hammer fists and ground and pound.
In the second round the two fighters stayed on their feet trading strikes. Fletcher used his weird punching motion to confuse Lohore and connect on several strikes. The two fighters clinched up and Lohore brought the fight back to the ground. On the ground Lohore landed hammer fists and an elbow before taking the back of Fletcher. From there he got underneath Fletchers chin and completed the comeback with a rear-naked choke submission.
Women’s Catchweight (140 LB) – Iony Razafiarison def. Sinead Kavanagh – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
Kavanagh is an experienced boxer with very little ground fighting skills. Razafiarison (who I will call Raza) knew this and exploited Kavanagh’s weakness to earn a dominate victory.
In the first round Raza was dropped by the powerful punch of Kavanagh. From that moment on Raza knew she didn’t have much of a chance boxing with the much larger Kavanagh, so she took the fight to the ground. The ref stood the fighters up in the first round after inactivity, but Raza scored a second takedown shortly after and landed ground and pound to seal the first round victory.
The next two rounds were dominated by Raza. She scored 6 takedowns in total and had no issue with controlling the inexperienced ground fighter in Kavanagh. After being stood up a second time, Raza became more active in landing consistent and frequent strikes on the ground. After two straight rounds of ground and pound Kavanaghs face was filled with cuts, blood, and exhaustion. She had not answer to being taken to the ground. This was an impressive win and game plan by Raza.
Featherweight – James Gallagher def. Kirill Medvedovsky – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 1 – 2:53)
The young poor man’s Connor McGregor had another impressive fight in his quick finish of Medvedovsky. Gallagher had the “ole!” chanting crowd behind him in his first round finish of Medvedovsky. A flying knee attempt from Gallagher lead to a takedown. Gallagher then easily maneuvered to the back of Medvedovsky and god the rear-naked choke neck crank submission. After the fight Gallagher called out A.J. McKee setting up the promotion and hype for their match later this year.
Catchweight (217 LB) – Liam McGeary def. Brett McDermott – TKO doctor stoppage – (RD 2 – 1:06)
With just 72 hours’ notice, heavyweight fighter McDermott agreed to fight McGeary. He wasn’t able to cut down to 215 pounds on the short notice, but got down within a pound to keep the McGeary headlining appearance alive.
McDermott almost pulled off the upset in the first round after dropping McGeary with a heavy punch. McGeary survived and got back to his feet and began his quick destruction of McDermott’s face. McGeary connected with a knee, a left hook, an upper cut, and another hook which clipped McDermott. Trying to buy time to recover, McDermott brought McGeary to the ground. McGeary got back to his feet and dropped McDermott with another knee that broke his nose. McGeary jumped on him landing hammer fists and looked for several submission. McDermott formed a blood fountain on his face but survived to the second round.
In the second round McGeary landed jab after jab re-opening the cut above McDermott’s eye. The ref stopped the fight to call in the doctor who showed mercy and ended the match. McDermott’s face was in rough shape.
Bellator 174 takes place on Friday, March 3rd 2017 which features the inaugural women’s featherweight championship. I wonder why Bellator decided to set up this championship fight? Maybe they are riding the coat tails of another organization? Regardless of Bellators shameless attempt to copy the UFC, I will be tuning in.