BELLATOR 173 REPORT
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND AT THE SSE ARENA
ON SPIKE TV
Bellator MMA travels overseas to the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland for Bellator 173. Former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary takes on Brett McDermott in the main event. McGeary was originally scheduled to face Ireland’s own Chris Fields, but an injury forced him to have to pull out of the fight. Then, due to VISA issues Vladimir Filipovic was pulled, forcing Bellator to book their third opponent in Brett McDermott. The co-main event features Ireland native James Gallagher as he goes up against Kirill Medvedovsky.
The four fight Bellator main card continues with another Ireland based fighter in Sinead Kavanah. She puts her undefeated record on the line when she steps into the cage opposite Iony Razafiarison. In the welterweight division Colin Fletcher takes on Alex Lohore.
I’ll have round by round coverage of tonight’s main card. Make sure to follow along right here all night, and follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog
Main Card – Spike TV (8:00 p.m. CT)
(1) Colin Fletcher (13-7) vs. Alex Lohore (10-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: They come out and trade early. Nice right hand from Fletcher. Lohore shoots and scores a takedown. Flethcher rolls through and looks for a d’arc. Lohore gets out. Fletcher gives up his back and Lohore looks for a RNC. Fletcher slips out and both fighters to their feet. Back to center. Lohore with a jab. Fletcher misses a knee. Low kick for Lohore. Flethcher lands a big right and Lohore goes down. Fletcher can’t follow up and Lohore is with it again. Lohore lands a takedown and lands short right hands to Fletcher’s head.
ROUND TWO: Lohore misses with a combination. Nice combination from Fletcher. They each land big shots in an exchange. Left lands for Fletcher. Lohore runs Fletcher tot the fence and scores a takedown. Lohore in top control. He lands some nice elbows. Lohore tries to take the back. He gets it and looks for a RNC. He has it. Fletcher taps.
Result: Lohore by submission (2:42 of Round 2 – RNC)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Nice comeback win for Alex Lohore in his Bellator debut. He was definitely down either 10-9 or 10-8 going into the second. He was rocked in the first round, but was able to recover due to Fletcher’s inability to get the finish. The second round he was more aggressive. Once he took Fletcher’s back he was able to sink in the RNC rather quickly forcing Fletcher to tap. Lohore is a nice young prospect worrth keeping an eye on.
Grande and Smith review the main event between McGeary and McDermott. They discuss McGeary possibly over training for his fight against Phil Davis and how he’s made changes to his regiment. After that they briefly talk about James Gallagher fighting in front of his fellow countrymen.
(2) Iony Razafiarison (1-1) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (4-0) – Catchweight 140 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Raza misses with a right. Kavanagh is much bigger than Raza. Leg kick for Raza. Kavanagh lands a right as Raza lands a kick to the body. Jab finds the mark for Kavanagh. They trade lefts. Big right hand puts Raza down, but she springs back up as Kavanagh rushes in and takes her down. Great recovery from Raza there. Kavanagh doing a great job holding on and not allowing Raza any space. Kavanagh now in full guard. The ref stands them up. Back to center. Raza misses with a kick. Raza goes for a takedown but Kavanagh defends it well. Raza has Kavanagh pinned against the fence and drags her down scoring a takedown. The rounds with Raza trying to better her position.
ROUND TWO: Raza comes out to start the second round and clinches against the fence. She scores a takedown 30 seconds in. Kavanagh defends well from bottom. Raza has spent a lot of time in top position but she’s not doing any damage. As soon as I sat that Raza starts to and ground and pound. The ref finally stands them up with 1:34 to go. Kavanagh with a combination. Raza shoots but Kavanagh defends it. They stand and Raza lands a big knee. Raza scores another takedown. Raza lands some big right hands and finishes the round in top control.
ROUND THREE: The y both miss with right hands. Raza with another takedown and has side control. Kavanagh in full guard. She tries to land elbows. Raza landing hammer fists. Big right hand for Raza. It looks like Kavanagh is just waiting to stood up. She isn’t doing anything to try and get out. Raza landing left handed hammer fists from on top. She passes Kavanagh’s guard and is in full mount with 30 seconds left. The round ends with Raza in top position landing hammer fists.
Result: Razafiarison by UD (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: I couldn’t be more surprised by the way that fight played out. I expected Sinead Kavanagh to use her size and strength to dominate the fight on the feet. It turns out she can’t defend the takedown. Iony did a fantastic job at getting the fight to the ground and doing just enough to spend the majority of the second and third round in top position. Great win for Iony Razafiarison.
Jimmy Smith interviews Paul Daley and Rory MacDonald in the middle of the cage. Daley say he’s going to knock Rory out. MacDonald says he was happy Daley called him out because he got the feeling the rest of the division was afraid of him.
(3) Kirill Medvedovsky (7-3) vs. James Gallagher (5-0) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Gallagher takes center cage. Leg kick for Gallagher. Nice combination for Gallagher. Gallagher the much busier fighter to start. Medvedovsky not showing much offense. Gallagher scores a takedown. Looked like Gallagher was going for a crucifix. Medvedovsky turns and gives up his back. Gallagher has both hooks in, postures up and starts landing big shots while on the back. Medvedovsky turtles. Gallagher rolls him over, sinks in the RNC and the fight is over.
Result: Gallagher by submission (2:53 of Round 1 – RNC)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: So much for Medvedovsky giving Gallagher a fight early like I predicted in my preview and predictions column. That was a complete white wash. Gallagher calls out AJ McKee, calls him a p—- and says he’s going to choke him out. Nice call out! McKee vs. Gallagher is definitely a big fight for both fighters, and a fight I would love to see.
Brett McDermott (7-4) vs. Liam McGeary (11-1) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: MeGeary comes out with jabs a front kick. McDermott lands a leg kick. They trade jabs. Big left hand from McDermott drops McGeary. McDermott can’t capitalize and McGeary is back up with 30 seconds gone by. McGeary throwing shots to the body and head. Both are trying to establish the jab. Both fighters landing big shots. Not mush movement from either fighter as each are landing at will. Big head head kick lands flush for McGeary after a nice exchange with both fighters landing. This fight is like rock ’em sock ’em robots! McGeary goes for another kick but McDermott catches it and scores a takedown. McDermott can’t capitalize and McGeary is up. A huge knee to the head drops McDermott and McGeaery swarms. He goes for a d’arc but lets go quickly. He goes for an arm bar as he lands big left hands. McDermott is out and now has top control. He lands a nice elbow that does damage. McGeary landing elbows from bottom as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: The doctor checked McDermott in between rounds and let the fight continue. They trade jabs to start the second. McGeary landing stiff jabs snapping McDermott’s head back. McGeary is picking McDermott apart. The ref calls time for the doctor to check on McDermott. McDermott has a gash above his right eye that looks bad. That’s it, the fight is waived off.
Liam McGeary showing great respect to McDermott by going to his corner to make sure he’s all right.
Result: McGeary by TKO (1:06 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Brett McDermott took the fight with only days notice and came to bang with McGeary. Nothing but respect for him. McGeary thanks him for taking the fight with 72 hours notice and asks the crowd to give him a round of applause. It’s announced that McGeary’s next fight will be against fellow countryman and good friend Linton Vassell on May 19. While McDermott came to fight, this was nothing more than a tune up for McGeary and a way to get him back in the win column. As expected we saw a lot of finishes. James Gallagher looked very impressive and I can’t wait to see him get matched up with AJ McKee next.
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