BELLATOR 162 LIVE REPORT
OCTOBER 21, 2016
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE AT THE FEDEX FORUM
LIVE ON BELLATOR.COM AND SPIKE
Michael Grocke here with you to take you through Bellator 162. Alexander Shlemenko takes on Kendall Grove in tonight’s main event from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. The co-main event features Bobby Lashley as he goes up against Josh Appelt in the heavyweight division.
As always, I’ll have live round by round coverage of tonight’s main fights, with quick results and commentary on the prelims. Make sure to follow along right here all night, and follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog
Prelims – Bellator.com & Spike.com (6:00 pm CT)
(1) Steve Garcia (6-1) vs. Ronnie Lawrence (1-0) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Garcia comes out with a few front kicks. Garcia was off balance and catches a knee from Lawrence. Garcia is definitely the more active fighter as Lawrence follows him around the cage. Nice combination from Lawrence catches Garcia flush and he pushes him up against the cage. Nice side kick from Lawrence. The pace is picking up as both fighters trade shots. Lawrence catches Garcia low, but he continues. Garcia with an overhand right and takes Lawrence down. The round ends with Garcia in top position.
ROUND TWO: The fighters shake hands to begin the round. Lawrence lands a kick but can’t follow up. Both fighters trade kicks. Lawrence counters and lands two quick lefts. Garcia ties him up and pushes to the cage. Lawrence spins out. They trade punches. Garcia lands a kick to the head, although it was partially blocked. Garcia tries a head kick and falls off balance, but Lawrence can’t capitalize.
ROUND THREE: Both fighters come out swinging and Garcia lands first. Garcia gets a little sloppy and Lawrence is able to control him against the cage. Garcia is out quickly. Reset center octagon. They trade kicks. Lawrence tries for a takedown but Garcia is up. Nice elbow from Garcia and follows with a front kick. Big left lands for Garcia that hurts Lawrence. Garcia has top control and works ground and pound. Lawrence is holding up well for his second fight but Garcia was just the better fighter here.
Result: Garcia by UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Nice performance from Steve Garcia. He fought an inexperienced fighter and took some unnecessary chances but got away with them. Ronnie Lawrence hung in there and gave Garcia a good fight.
(2) Gilbert Smith (12-5) vs. Ricky Rainey (11-4) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Rainey comes out with multiple jabs. Smith takes down Rainey with an inside trip. Rainey looking for a triangle. Smith is out and has top position. He works the body, but Rainey is able to push Smith off and is up. Smith looks for another takedown but Rainey fights him off. Rainey finishes strong with a flurry of shots.
ROUND TWO: Rainey opens with confident and lands a few shots. He pins Smith against the cage but Gilbert spins out. Nice combo from Smith. Rainey goes for a knee, Smith catches it and scores a takedown. Smith tries to pass unsuccessfully. Rainey stands and Smith smothers him against the cage. Front kick from Rainey, follows with a straight left. Both fighters throwing wildly with not much landing. The pace slows as Smith has Rainney against the cage. Rainey is out. Rainey walks away seconds before the round ends.
ROUND THREE: The fighters touch gloves. Rainey comes out and lands a few shots that don’t look to bother Gilbert. Smith goes for a takedown and has Rainey on his back. Smith lands a few lefts to the side of Rainey’s head. Rainey looks for another triangle. Both fighters are up. Outside trip from Smith but Rainey ends up on top. Both fighters stand. Rainey has Smith up against the cage and lands a few knees to the body. Both fighters trade punches. Smith shoots but can’t finish. Both fighters look tired with one minute to go. Smith dives for a leg, Rainey looking to step over. The fight ends with no one doing much of anything.
Result: Rainey by UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Rainey was more active on the feet and did more damage standing. Smith did well when he scored takedowns, but he didn’t do much in the striking department. Gilbert Smith just didn’t do enough to deserve the decision.
(3) Julia Budd (8-2) vs. Arlene Blencowe (7-5) – Featherweight – 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both fighters come out trying to land kicks. Blencowe fighting from the center of the octagon. They trade right hands. Blencowe is more active and is the aggressor to start the fight. A very slow start for Juliaa Budd. The ref tells the fighters to work. Budd lands a takedown. Budd in top position landing short punches, but nothing doing any damage. The round ends with Budd in top position but not doing any damage.
ROUND TWO: Budd goes for a takedown, Blencowe tries to step over and Budd is in top control. Blencowe gets to her feet, but Budd has her pinned up against the fence. Julia is much more active this round. Budd looking for a crucifix. Budd has Blencowe’s back and is looking for a choke. Budd loses the choke, but in control. She works for a submission as the round ends. All Budd that round.
ROUND THREE: They trade head kicks. Blencowe fighting from the middle of the octagon, but not as active as the first round. Budd starts the round slowly looking to counter. Both fighters trade punches. Blencowe’s pace is picking up. Budd scores a takedown and in side control. Budd looks for an arm bar but is unsuccessful. Blencowe works to her feet and takes it to Budd. Blencowe gets taken down again as the round ends.
Result: Budd by majority decision (29-29, 30-27, 29-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Blencowe came to fight and wasn’t intimidated at all. I expected more from Julia in this fight. I know she’s a slow starter but it seemed like she never got into a rhythm. Blencowe was more active with her striking but just couldn’t defend the takedowns. Budd dominated on the ground which won her the fight.
(4) Dan Charles (10-3-1) vs. Virgil Zwicker (14-5-1) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both land kicks to start. Charles lands some leg kicks. Zwicker lands a nice left. Zwicker lands a jab. Zwicker blocks a head kick. Nice front kick from Charles just misses doing some serious damage. Both fighters throwing heavy shots. Zwicker is bleeding from the mouth. Charles scores a takedown. Charles is keeping Zwicker up against the fence. Zwicker is as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Nice right lands for Zwicker, but Charles responds with one of his own. Charles staying active with leg kicks. Big right hand misses for Charles. Zwicker lands a few jabs. Both fighters stand center octagon and trade shots. Charles is hurt by a nice right hand. Charles is gassed. He keeps turning away. Zwicker starting to unload on Charles. Zwicker lands a knee and Charles goes down. Zwicker landing big shots but Charles tries to stand. He stands and is dropped again. That’s it.
Result: Zwicker by TKO (4:31 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: The ref allowed Dan Charles to take more punishment than was necessary. It didn’t look like Zwicker was hurting Charles until the final minute, then it was all Zwicker. Nice showing from Zwicker.
(5) Chase Gormley (13-5, 1 NC) vs. Bobby Brents (17-5) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Brents scores a takedown after Gormley loses his balance. Big combo from Brents stuns Gormley. For some reason Brents doesn’t follow it up. Gormley looks to have shaken the shots off. Brents might have punched himself already as his pace has slowed. Gormley not doing much in this round though. Nice combo from Brents again. Surprisingly that round was all Brents.
ROUND TWO: Gormley comes out with a front kicks and lands one low. The fight resumes and Brents lands a few quick combo. Inside leg kick from Gormley. Gormley shoots but Brents stuffs it. Nice overhand right from Brents. Gormley lands a combo. Brents continues to move forward, throwing punches. Nice counter from Gormley. Another combo from Gormley. Both fighters trade punches. Brents gets a finger in the eye. The fight resumes and each fighter lands clean shots as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Brents comes out swinging. He lands two straight elbows clean. Gormley regroups. Brents seems to gas himself out after a flurry of punches which allows Gormley to score. Gormley scores a takedown and has Brents up against the fence. Brents looks to stand, and is up. They trade shots. Gormley landing more jabs. Neither fighter doing much damage. Brents is gassed but continues to throw punches. They trade shots as the fight ends.
Result: Gormley by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Not an exciting fight. I don’t agree with that decision. In a fight Gormley needed he just looked flat. Brents brought the fight to him for the entire fight. Chase Gormley should consider himself lucky to get the win tonight, because that was not an impressive showing.
Main Card – Spike (8:00 pm CT)
(6) Hisaki Kato (6-2) vs. A.J. Matthews (8-5) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Nice body kick from Kato. Matthews lands a solid leg kick. An overhand left lands clean on Matthews. Matthews returns with a clean shot of his own that hurts Kato. Matthews doesn’t keep the pressure on though and Kato recovers. Both fighters trade shots from the center of the octagon. Both fighters land quick left hands. Matthews suffers a finger in the eye and he is given time. The doctor checks AJ’s eye and says he can continue. Body kick and a straight left lands for Kato. Big head kick from Kato and Matthews is hurt. Kato moves in, lands big left hands. Matthews tries to recover but Kato is all over him and the fight is stopped.
Result: Kato by TKO (4;58 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: I thought the fight was pretty even up until the big head kick. Once Kato had Matthews hurt he didn’t let up; which is what Matthews did when he had Kato stunned. Another impressive finish from Hisaki Kato in a highly entertaining fight.
(7) Goiti Yamauchi (19-3) vs. Ryan Couture (10-4) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Yamauchi opens with a head kick that’s blocked. Couture pushes Yamauchi against the cage and gets the takedown. Yamauchi grabs Couture’s arm while on his back and has an armbar. Couture is in trouble here. That’s it, he taps to an armbar and isn’t happy about it.
Result: Yamauchi by submission (1:01 of Round 1 – Armbar)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Goiti Yamauchi had Couture right where he wanted him. That was a beautiful transition into the armbar from his back and Couture had no choice but to tap out. That was impressive!
(8) Bobby Lashley (14-2) vs. Josh Appelt (12-5) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Appelt opens with a leg kick. Big right hand lands for Lashley and he has Appelt against the fence. A knee lands for Lashley. Appelt pushes him off, but Lashley immediately takes him down. Lashley has Appelt’s back. Lashley landing shots to the side of Appelt’s head. Lashley is having his way with Appelt, landing big shots. Wow, Appelt survived some serious ground and pound for the last two minutes of the round. All Bobby Lashley.
ROUND TWO: Appelt opens with a leg kick again. Lashley scores a takedown and has Appelt’s back. With four minutes to go, Appelt’s in serious trouble. Lashley looking for a choke while on Appelt’s back. He has it in and it”s over.
Result: Bobby Lashley by submission (1:43 of Round 2 – RNC)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: All Bobby Lashley. While I’ll admit he looked good and that was an impressive performance, it’s time he steps up and fights an elite heavyweight. For those that read my Preview and Predictions column know my thoughts on Bobby Lashley and the competition he’s faced. Josh Appelt was just completely over-matched tonight. In his post-fight interview Lashley calls out Eddie Edwards, the TNA Heavyweight Champion. Interesting.
(9) Alexander Shlemenko (53-9, 1 NC) vs. Kendall Grove (23-15, 1 NC) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Shlemenko takes the center of the octagon. Spinning back fist misses for Shlemenko. They trade inside leg kicks. Grove pins Shlemenko up against the fence but Shlemenko turns him. Shlemenko lands a left as they break. Grove is hurt by a shot from Shlemenko and walks right into a guillotine but Shlemenko can’t hold it. Grove lands a big left and stuns Shlemenko but he can’t follow up and Shlemenko recovers. A spinning back fist lands for Shlemenko. They trade punches as the round ends. A good, competitive round.
ROUND TWO: Shlemenko tries for a spinning back fist and misses. Shlemenko continues to follow Grove around the cage. Both fighters trade punches. Shlemenko lands a huge body shot followed by a combination that hurts Grove and he goes down. Shlemenko pounces and reigns down huge hammer fists. Grove is covering up and the ref stops it.
Result: Shlemenko by TKO (1:43 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: The first round was pretty even. Shlemenko came out in round two more aggressively and landed a huge body shot and followed with a perfectly timed combination and that was it for Kendall Grove.
If you like finishes then this was the main card for you. Kato, Yamauchi, Lashley and Shlemenko were all dominate in their fights. Lashley deserves to fight better competition and Shlemenko proved he’s back and is a serious contender again.
Thanks for joining me tonight. Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.