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I am covering Bellator 27 as it happens live at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. This season three event features three bantamweight Tournament bouts, and a Featherweight Championship fight between season one winner and champ Joe Soto and season two tournament winner Joe Warren. This is the first ever title defense in Bellator history.
Fight 1: Ed West (13-4) vs. Bryan Goldsby (15-7)
Note *** Bellator is having “technical difficulties” so I am hearing a radio quality audio broadcast while a static background image announcing the technical troubles is displayed on the screen. The picture was getting choppy right before this bout, but I did not think they would cut out.
Starts with 2:20 in Round 3:
Goldsby is in a guillotine (I missed a lot) and he gets out. He tries to pass to side control, but he ends back up in West’s guard. They stand up in a clinch and West lands a right hand. They clinch again, and Goldsby gets a heavy takedown after getting a shot to the body. West is up quickly, and they clinch again and Goldsby misses an arm drag takedown, and the round ends with West getting ready to pound Goldsby from side control.
Ed West def. Bryan Goldsby by Unanimous Decision
Post Fight - West breaks down his game plan and gives credit to Goldsby’s stand up. He says he though Goldsby was going to be one of the tougher guys in the tournament so he took the fight seriously, and he hopes he matches up better with his next opponent.
Fight Rating - I only saw the late 2:20 so I cannot rate this one.
Fight 2: Zach Makovsky (9-2) vs. Nick Mamalis (10-4)
They touch gloves and Makovsky throws a great high kick. Mamalis lands a kick to then Makovsky shoots and Mamalis sprawls. Makovsky shoots a single leg and has to work hard for it. Mamalis uses has great balance, but eventually he is takendown. Makovsky gets an arm triangle and tries to move to side control, but ends up in half guard. Makovsky gets mount and keeps ready for that arm triangle. Makovsky goes for an arm, and Mamalis rolls, but Makovsky holds on. The roll again, but Makovsky is still working for that arm. The action is not moving, so Makovsky gives up the armbar and stands up. Mamalis goes for a takedown against but no luck. The bell rings to end the round.
Mamalis shots for a single leg and struggles. Makovsky spins out and rolls back to the ground and gets up quickly. Makovsky with a body kick, and some good faint and foot work. Makovsky lands a head kick. They clench and Makovsky lands a knee in the clinch and then tries a hip toss, but Mamalis steams through with a takedown. Makovsky with an X guard sweep. Makovsky is on top in north south. As they stand up he takes Mamalis' back. Then Mamalis shoots for a single leg and struggles. Makovsky spins out and rolls back to the ground and gets up quickly. Makovsky with a body kick, and some good faint and foot work. Makovsky lands a head kick. They clench and Makovsky lands a knee in the clinch and then tries a hip toss, but Mamalis' guard and starts to posture and pound. The bell rings.
Mamalis gets taken down early. Mamalis reverses and is now on Makovsky’s back going for a rear naked choke. Makovsky defends well, and gets back to guard. Makovsky works to where he is going for a single leg. Mamalis turns the takedown attempt into a guillatine. Makovsky tries to roll out. Mamalis lets go, and Makovsky gets up. Mamalis with a takedown, but Makovsky gets his back. He flattens him momentarily, but Mamalis stands up and explodes backward and slams his way out. he then gets on top, and ends up in half guard. Mamalis goes for an arm and Makovsky picks him up and slams him down hard. Makovsky is on top as the bell rings.
Makovsky def. Mamalis by Unanimous Decision
Post Fight: Makovsky expected an all out war on the feet and on the ground. He got a lot more tired than he thought he would. He tried for a number of submissions, and he said that Mamalis is strong.
Fight Rating: **+/***- That was a solid fight if you enjoy grappling. The fight was not incredibly exciting if you wanted to see fireworks, but the ground work made the fight interesting. Plus the submission stopping slams in the third round were fun to say the least.
Fight 3: Bellator Featherweight Title Fight
Joe Soto (9-0) (c) vs. Joe Warren (5-1)
They dance and feel each other out. Warren fakes a shot and throws a combination that misses. Warren lands a left, and then Soto lands a right and raises his hand. Soto landing a couple of good rights and Warn lands a back. Warren is taking shots. Soto is landing uppercuts at will. Soto reaches for a leg, but he cannot do anything. Soto with a big left. Soto is controlling this fight. Warren clinches, but they break. Warren comes in, and gets caught. Warren is caught again as he runs in. Warren goes for a single leg, and Soto stuffs. Warren misses big with an overall right. Spinning back kick by Warren, and he slips. Soto is rubbing in his superior boxing skills and the bell rings.
Warren lands a great right hand that rocks Soto. Warren rushes in and lands some big right hammer fists and Soto rolls over. Warren fires right hands and tries to take Soto’s back. Then Warren lands a right hand to the ear as they stand up. Warren lands a huge knee that has Soto out! Warren follows with a another shot to the grounded Soto for good measure, and the ref stops it.
Warren def. Soto by Knockout - R2 :33
Post Fight: Soto says that he had to refocus and get ready. He says that he cannot be stopped because he is the baddest man on the planet. Warren thanks Bjorn and Bellator for giving him a shot, and he said it is the first time you have seen him knock someone out, and it will happen again. Bjorn says that Warren is a big testament to heart.
Fight Rating ***+/**** This was a great fight. Soto dominated that first round to what was probably a 10-8 round, but he was a little to cocky as he got shut down in the second. Warren took advantage of Soto’s low hands and rocked him. Then he delivered an awesome knee to end it. After all of the taunting Soto did during the fight, all you heard him say after he woke up is, “What happened?” This is a memorable first title fight for Bellator.
Fight 4: Travis Reddinger (14-2) vs. Ulysses Gomez (6-1)
There is a long feel out period with Reddinger feeling out his range. Gomez is throwing leg kicks. Both are throwing phantom combos, but nothing is connecting. Gomez lands a good inside kick, and dances some more. Gomez shoots and gets the takedown. Gomez is in guard, and stands up and tries to pass to side control. Reddinger keeps Gomez in guard and gets some space to get up. Gomez has a standing guillotine and jumps guard. Reddinger goes down, but he is not out. Gomez loses the guillotine and Reddinger is on top with Gomez on the cage. Gomez gets up and puts Reddinger on the cage. They dirty box in the clinch and exchange knees. Gomez gets a takedown and hops up right as the bell rings.
Gomez with a takedown. Reddinger goes for a triangle, but Gomez defends. Gomez is standing, but Reddinger is n his back. Gomez is kicking Reddinger’s legs, and Reddinger is upkicking. Reddinger kicks Gomez in the cup, and the ref says, “That was in the cup bro; that was in the cup.” Reddinger stands up. They clinch to the cage and Gomez with an outside trip. Reddinger is on his back upkicking again, and Gomez lets him up. They exchange, and Gomez lands a big right hand. Gomez with an outside kick. Reddinger is walking down Gomez, but he is not trowing with power or accuracy. Gomez gets a big take down and the bell rings.
Reddinger comes out with a little more zest. Gomez goes for a takedown, and nothing. Gomez again with a takedown attempt, and no luck. Reddinger is back to throwing with no intent and Gomez goes for a single leg again. Gomez lands a right hand, Reddinger lands a knee, and they go to the ground. Gomez scoops the legs up high, and Reddinger keeps him in guard.
Reddinger with a knee and Gomez takes him down with a single leg. Reddinger gets and armbar triangle attempt. Gomez gives a thumbs up. Reddinger sinks in the triangle and pulls the arm. Reddinger lets go of the arm, and goes for the triangle. Reddinger rolls around to keep the triangle. Gomez rolls to try to get out of it. Reddinger pulls the arm again and lets go of the choke. He is not lined up right for the armbar. Gomez gets out and stands up. The bell rings, and this goes to the judges score cards.
Gomez def. Reddinger by Split Decision
Fight Rating ** This fight was light on meaningful strikes. Reddinger was not really using his height and length to keep Gomez away.
Well that is it for Bellator 27. Joe Warren's knee KO of Joe Soto was spectacular, and the grappling during the Makovsky vs. Mamalis fight was pretty good. Minus the technical difficulties this was a solid night of fights as we saw the Bantamweight semifinals shape up, and the first ever title fight in Bellator history.
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