Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader
June 24, 2017
New York City, New York
Airing on Spike TV
The NYC PPV card play by play is at this link: http://mmatorch.com/2017/06/24/bellator-nyc-624-live-results-sonnen-vs-silva-mitrione-vs-fedor-msg/
Bellator is having their second ever pay-per-view tonight and it is bringing its own unique brand to Madison Square Garden. The preliminary portion on Spike TV is known as Bellator 180 while the PPV will be known as Bellator NYC. Matt Ecochard here with live coverage of the televised portion of the night while the PPV will be covered at a different link.
EARLY PRELIM QUICK RESULTS
Hugh McKenna def. John Salgado via Submission Round 1 (4:06)
Matt Rizzo def. Sergio da Silva via Submission Round 3 (3:48)
Anthony Giacchina def. Jerome Mickle via Submission Round 3 (3:40)
Bradley Desir def. Nate Grebb via KO Round 1 (2:54)
Ryan Couture def. Haim Gozali via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)
SPIKE TV CARD (8 PM ET / 5 PM PT)
Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo joined Jimmy Smith to talk about broadcasting duties. Goldberg is joining Jimmy Smith on commentary for the Spike TV card. These two veteran commentators make the night feel bigger and just upped my hype for the night.
Josh Thomson and Brendan Schaub join Mauro Ranallo on a preview desk discussing the title fight between Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. Alice Yauger (4-5) opens up the card, taking on Heather Hardy (undefeated boxer) making her MMA debut in an interesting bout.
(1) Alice Yauger vs. Heather Hardy (Flyweight 125 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Yauger comes out and takes the center of the octagon, Hardy lands a nice 1-2 combination, but Yauger swings in and clinches. Hardy breaks the clinch and pushes forward. A couple overhand rights land for Hardy, then a right hook to the body. Yauger clinches again halfway through the round and does a little damage with knees and uppercuts. The left hand of Hardy is sitting real low Jimmy Smith notes. Hardy is throwing some left kicks to the body, nice to see the leg and body kicks. A slip from Hardy and Yauger looks to jump on her but couldn’t get complete control. Fun opening round with solid action from both sides, Hardy looking a little more damaged, but likely won the round.
ROUND TWO: Coming out with kicks to the leg and punches, Hardy pushes the pace. Yauger is coming forward now, but is getting tagged now. Hardy looks to be getting more comfortable here and cuts the cheek of Yauger. A takedown attempt from Yaugher gets stuffed by Hardy. Right high kick for Yauger lands partially, Hardy checks a kick and comes forward. Two good right hands and in a row for Hardy, then she gets clinched up. It just seems like Hardy is controlling the pace and doing more on the feet, Yauger needs a stoppage if she wants to win this fight.
ROUND THREE: A big right hand drops Yauger to start the round, but it was partially due to a slip. Yauger’s back is constantly close to the fence and isn’t pushing forward at all, letting Hardy just get settled into a rhythm. A good left hook lands for Yauger but as she comes forward she countered. A big switch kick from Yauger, blocked from Hardy. Long reach from Yauger countered with two wild hooks from Hardy. Big cut on the side of the face from Hardy, from a headbutt, so the ref wants the doctors to look at it. The cut is above the eye from an accidental headbutt so no points taken and the fight continues for the last minute. Yauger is coming forward quickly, but Hardy hurts Yauger! Drops her! and lets her back up, but keeps coming forward now. Yauger is barely surviving. Hardy pouring it on and Big John stops the fight! Wow!!!
Result: Heather Hardy via TKO Round 3 (4:47)
Ecochard’s Analysis: That ending sequence was a lot of fun and some hard crisps shots from Hardy. Yauger needed to try to do something so hats off to her for going for the finish, but she just left herself wide open to get stopped. Hardy has a long way to go if she wants to become a champion, but tonight was a good start and she went for the finish even though she would have certainly won the decision. The ground game of Hardy has yet to be seen minus a couple of stuffed takedowns, but her striking cannot be questioned.
(2) James Gallagher vs. Chinzo Machida (Featherweight 145 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Gallagher takes the center very quickly, but didn’t throw any strikes yet. Machida stuffed a takedown early. Both men are throwing jabs. Machida throws a kick, but Gallagher gets a takedown off of it. Machida just starts to turn over, and is completely mounted. Gallagher takes the back of Machida and gets the body triangle. Machida’s eye is messed up from strikes. Gallagher gets the rear naked choke in and it’s locked. Wow that was fast.
Result: James Gallagher via Submission Round 1 (2:22)
Ecochard’s Analysis: That was just complete domination. Machida had nothing to offer when he got taken down. On the feet Gallagher looked good enough, but was smart to just go to the ground as soon as possible. Intelligent fight for the 20 year Gallagher here and he continues to impress.
(3) Dave Marfone vs. Neiman Gracie (Welterweight 170 lbs)
Ecochard’s Analysis: It appears this fight will take place later tonight maybe? Not enough time on the broadcast, so it appears to be a case of a postliminary fight.
(4) Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader (Light Heavyweight Title Fight 205 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Ryan Bader takes the center to start and tries to work his jab. Davis drives in for a body lock and attempts a takedown, but it gets stuffed. The two separate and Bader lands a nice left hand. Big leg kick from Davis, he drives in and gets denied again by Bader. Not a whole lot of action so far in this fight and the broadcasters bring up how painfully boring their last fight was. Bader switches to southpaw, but only lands one punch. A nice 1-2 from Bader lands, but he is pedaling backwards and not throwing enough. A nice body kick from Bader and its returned by Davis. The round ends with I guess Davis getting the round for being slightly more active.
ROUND TWO: Nice jabs to start from Bader and another leg kick to follow it up. Bader picking it up a little bit here with some combinations. Davis swings and misses with a big left hook and then tries a right high kick. Davis attempts another takedown, but once again gets blocked. Another kick from Bader lands to the body. They alternate pushing forward, but both men need to turn up the pace. As I type that, Bader fakes a shot and lands a hard punch. This round was close, I’d say one round a piece so far.
ROUND THREE: Bader switches his stance which might be throwing off Davis here. A big superman punch and a left hand followed up for Davis! Wow, surprised Bader just ate it and is coming forward now. Big right leg kick from Davis as both men reset. Bader lands a nice hook, then a jab to follow. A flurry from both men, then Bader goes back to the jab. Crowd is booing, and I can’t really blame them. Not a terrible fight so far, just not a whole lot of action. First takedown of the fight comes from Bader with a guillotine attempt and Davis ends up on top.
ROUND FOUR: The referee tells them they need to do something and give the judges something to judge. Davis goes for a head kick again and just barely misses. Left hand from Davis, Bader keeps landing jabs to push back Davis. Two kicks to the body from Bader, good exchange from both. Couple more jabs from Bader, Davis swings and misses with a big right. Body kick from Davis lands and Bader circles out. Thirty seconds left in this round and this one seems like a clear Davis round, but both fighters could get a win and neither should be upset with the loss because they aren’t really doing much to make a statement.
ROUND FIVE: Both men go for strikes and Bader tosses Davis off of him. Big left kick from Bader gets through but he doesn’t follow up. Davis lands a nice left hand that sends Bader stepping back. Davis misses again with the high kick. Nice combination slightly hurt Davis but again no follow up. Takedown from Bader lands and Davis gets back up to his feet. Bader clinching against the cage now and Davis breaks from it. Less than two minutes left in this fight now and nothing occurring. Takedown stuffed this time by Davis. The fight ends with nothing happening and Bader shakes his head in disappointment.
Result: Ryan Bader via Split Decision (49-46 x2, 47-48)
Ecochard’s Analysis: That fight was really not at all enjoyable to watch. I’ve seen much worse fights, but both men just respected each other way too much. Neither man did enough to make it clear and this makes it incredibly disappointing for both because they both wanted to do more. I’m surprised it was four rounds to one for Bader, but I guess people saw him landing more accurately and the harder shots.
That’s all for the Bellator 180 card. The main card takes place on PPV and is stacked with some fun fights. Aaron Pico is making his debut, two title fights, Fedor Emelianko and a grudge match between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. What a tentpole event if there ever was one, but it should be a fun night of fights. Enjoy them and thanks for following along with me tonight.