100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (24 Total):
1. Emmanuel Sanchez - 93.4
2. Pat Curran - 92.0
3. Chance Rencountre - 91.9
4. Darrion Caldwell - 91.9
5. Westin Wilson - 91.8
6. Sean Holden - 91.7
7. Teagan Dooley - 90.9
8. Carrington Banks - 90.8
9. Eduardo Dantas - 90.8
10. Manny Muro - 90.4
Bellator 184: Dantas vs. Caldwell
Location: Thackerville, Oklahoma
Elevation: 866'
-Fight of the Night-
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Straus
Fighters & Matches 88.8
Top 10 Fighters 91.6
TOTAL 90.2
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      The first round started kind of slowly, with Wilson walking down Hermreck without either fighter really throwing much offense. Around the halfway mark, they both started throwing violent punches & kicks, while Wilson continued to chase Hermreck around the cage. That was a close round of striking, but I scored it slightly in favor of Wilson, based mostly on forward pressure.
      These guys clinched early in the second round, Wilson climbed onto Hermreck's back while standing, he pulled him to the ground, punched him in the face a few times, locked on the body triangle, followed by a rear-naked choke, and he finished the fight with the quick rear-naked choke early in the second round. That was a solid Bellator debut for Westin Wilson.
      Teagan Dooley started the first round by taking down Simmons almost immediately, and he landed in side control. He spent the rest of the round mostly smothering him, while sort of pounding on him with some basic ground & pound. The second round started the same way, with a quick takedown, and he eventually locked on an Americana for the submission victory around the halfway point of the second round. That was a decent one-sided performance by Teagan Dooley.
(D'Arce Choke)
      These guys traded strikes for a couple of minutes, and then Rencountre took down Patterson, landed in side control, he eventually locked on a D'Arce choke, and finished the fight by submission around the halfway point of the opening round. That was a solid win for Chance Rencountre, as he earns the first submission victory of his career.
      The first minute had absolutely no action, and then Banks slowly took Kozola to the ground, pinning him against the fence, where he basically just kept him pinned, while hanging out inside Kozola's guard. The second round started the same way, but this time, Banks landed in full mount, and he spent some time trying to setup an arm-triangle choke, while pinning Kozola against the fence. The final round was another round of Banks laying on top of Kozola, while digging for an arm-triangle choke which he never got. Carrington Banks wins via unanimous decision, and he gives Kozola the first loss of his career.
      These guys both wrestled the shit out of each other for the duration of the first round, with a lot of back & forth action, but McKillip had Holden in trouble for a few seconds with a Kimura, which Holden was able to escape, but that moment of adversity might have been enough to give the round to McKillip, so I scored the first round 10-9 for Shakir McKillip, but Holden spent more time on top, so that round really could have gone either way.
     The second round was 100% Holden, as he took McKillip down, and held him down for the duration of the round. With a minute left, he postured up from full mount, unloaded with some big punches, McKillip gave up his back, Holden continued to pound on him, and the referee stopped the fight with less than 30 seconds remaining in the second round. That was a really solid performance by Holden, and a good fight by both fighters.
      These guys started the first round by trading some snapping punches & leg kicks, and then Muro shot for a takedown 90 seconds into the round, pressing Rivera against the fence, while Rivera tried to stuff his shot. They eventually broke out of the clinch halfway through the round. Muro continued to dig for takedowns, while both guys traded some solid strikes. Muro took down Rivera with a minute left in the round, but Rivera pounded him with some elbows to the back of the head on the way down. Muro smothered Rivera until the end of the round, so I guess I would give that first round to Muro, based on forward pressure, and he landed a few decent punches on the ground before the bell sounded.
     The saecond round took place standing, with both guys trading punches & kicks at a decent pace, with Muro probably landing the better shots, so I have Muro ahead 20-18 going into the final round. The final round was another round of striking, with Muro picking Rivera apart for the most part. Rivera was still throwing back, but he just wasn't doing enough to make up for Muro's activity. In the end, I scored this fight 30-27 for Muro, and all 3 judges agreed, giving him the unanimous decision victory in his Bellator debut.
      Taimanglo started this fight by clinching and pressing Higo against the fence. They traded control of the clinch a few times, and then reset 2 minutes into the round. Higo took down Taimanglo with 90 seconds left in the round after cracking him with a clean punch. Higo mostly just laid on top of Taimanglo, until Taimanglo was able to slowly work his way back to his feet, and then they just stared at each other for the final 20 seconds. Round one goes to Higo.
     They spent most of the second round trading random strikes, they both landed a few solid punches, especially in the last half of the round, and then Higo tripped Taimanglo with a minute left in the round, and ended up back on top, where he was able to pound on Taimanglo with a few random punches on the ground. Taimanglo stood back up 30 seconds later, and then they traded a few more punches before the end of the round. Taimanglo shot for a desperate takedown in the final 10 seconds, but Higo was able to stuff his shot. Higo is ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     The final round had both guys trading strikes, with Higo using his reach to his advantage. He also kicked Taimanglo in the groin, which was the second time in the fight, but Taimanglo didn't really seem too concerned about it. Taimanglo kept shooting for takedowns, but he never really came close to finishing any of his takedowns. He finally took Higo's back from the clinch though, and started riding him from the backpack position, while sort of digging for a choke, but he wasn't high enough to get any sort of real leverage on it. Higo shook him off with 40 seconds left in the round, but Taimanglo continued to pressure Higo until the end of the round. Higo pulled guard with a guillotine choke with 20 seconds left in the round, and then he turned him over into almost a mounted guillotine choke. In the end, this fight should be a 30-27 decision for Higo, but the commentators seem to think the fight was closer than I thought. All 3 judges agreed, giving the unanimous decision victory to Higo, with only one judge giving a single round to Taimanglo.
      Conceicao appeared to be more aggressive in the first half of the opening round, but Curran was just being selective with his shots. Every time Curran landed with a punch, Conceicao would drop to a knee for a second. Curran had a small cut above his right eye early, but considering he sort of dropped Conceicao multiple times in that round, I scored the first round for Pat Curran, but Conceicao's pressure might have been enough to win the round, but he got dropped THREE TIMES with sniper style straight right hands, so I'm definitely scoring the round for Curran.
     Conceicao shot for a takedown early in the second round, but Curran was able to stuff his shot against the fence. They reset 90 seconds into the round. The spent the rest of the round trading random strikes, with Conceicao staying more active for the most part, but Curran took him down with 45 seconds left in the round, landed a few strikes, and then they stood back up with 20 seconds left in the round. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round, but the scorecards could be all over the place with this one.
     Curran blasted Conceicao with some clean punch combinations to start the final round, and they continued to battle it out at a decent pace for the rest of the round. This was a close fight, but in the end, I think Pat Curran should win with a 29-28 decision. The judges were all over the place, but in the end, they all agreed that the decision should go to Pat Curran. That was a really solid win, after I thought he retired recently.
(Triangle Choke)
      This fight immediately started as a wild scramble, with Straus ending up on top, pinning Sanchez awkwardly against the fence. A massive cut opened up above Sanchez's eye, Sanchez locked on a tight kneebar, cranked on it, and Straus was eventually able to escape. Straus went for a North-South choke, Sanchez escaped that and took his back, and went for a rear-naked choke. I scored that round for Sanchez for beating up Straus in the final seconds of the round, but that round was extremely close, and could be a 10-10 round.
     The second round immediately started with some more scrambling, with Sanchez on top, and then Straus, and then Sanchez was back on top again. Sanchez passed to full mount with 2 minutes left in the round, and he postured up, dropped some big elbows, and Straus just tried to cling to him from the bottom. Sanchez continued to pound on Straus with some big punches all the way up until the end of the round, and the referee really could have stopped that fight, but he let them continue, so we're going to a third round. The first round was awfully close, but the second round was a 10-8 round for Sanchez.
     The final round started with some more wild scrambling, with Sanchez in control again, he went for a kneebar, Straus scrambled his way into top control, and Sanchez immediately caught him in a triangle choke, and then finished the fight by submission. That was a fantastic submission victory for Emmanuel Sanchez, and this was probably the biggest win of his career. That was a fantastic fight, and it could be enough to get him a title shot, but I'm not sure where exactly he falls, with other fighters like Goiti Yamauchi & Derek Campos also in the division.
      These guys clashed early with some kicks, and then Caldwell drove Dantas into the fence, taking him down for a few seconds, but Dantas stood back up, so Caldwell clinched with his back and peppered him with knees to the back of his thighs, and then he suplexed the shit out of him, dropped him on his head, Dantas stood back up, and Caldwell continued to hit him with knees. The referee reset them with a minute left in the round. Caldwell hit Dantas with a punch, a head kick, they clashed again with an awkward exchange, and then the round ended. Round one clearly goes to Darrion Caldwell.
     Caldwell continued to work his takedowns in the second round, Dantas landed a few solid strikes, Caldwell dropped Dantas late in the round, and almost took his back, but they ended up resetting back on their feet a few seconds later. Dantas is keeping this competitive, but I have Caldwell ahead 20-18 going into the third round. Dantas is clearly controlling the standup for the most part, but Caldwell has had more highlight reel moments in both round so far. That second round could potentially go to Dantas, but not on my scorecard.
     Caldwell was winning the first 3 minutes of the third round I think, but Dantas eventually found himself on top, pinning Caldwell against the fence, where he worked some basic ground & pound, and he was able to grind on him enough to probably steal that round. I still have Caldwell ahead though, 29-28, going into the Championship rounds. Dantas finished the round in full mount, so yeah, I'm going to assume that round definitely goes to Dantas. BUT, Caldwell won MORE minutes of that round, so we'll have to see how the judges scored that one.
     They traded a few strikes to start the fourth round, and then Caldwell took down Dantas aggressively, trying to pin him against the fence, but Dantas popped back up to his feet immediately, so Caldwell continued to clinch with his back while peppering him with some more knees to the back of his thighs. Dantas almost scrambled to take Caldwell's back, Caldwell continued to spin, he took Dantas's back, and then Dantas continued to spin, and he took Caldwell's back, he tried to lock on a rear-naked choke, they rolled around for a few seconds, and then Caldwell squirmed out of the body triangle, ended up on top, and he dropped some big elbows, cutting Dantas's left eye. Dantas had blood squirting out of his eyebrow, he went for a Kimura, and Caldwell continued to grind the shit out of him, while keeping him pressed against the fence. The round ended with both guys kind of scrambling & brawling to try to win some last second points. I have Caldwell ahead 39-37 going into the final round, but this fight could potentially be all tied up. I have no idea how the judges are viewing this one so far.
     They traded a few random strikes to start the final round, and then Caldwell blasted Dantas with an explosive sounding flying knee, but it didn't seem to phase Dantas at all. They traded a few random strikes, Dantas poked Caldwell in the eye, the referee ignored it, so Dantas threw a spinning back fist, Caldwell tried to duck under it, and then he took down Dantas, Dantas stood up again, and Caldwell continued to clinch with his back. Caldwell tried to pull Dantas to the ground, Dantas just kind of sat on his face, and then Caldwell scrambled back to his feet. They continued to wrestle around randomly, and then Dantas took Caldwell's back with 10 seconds left in the fight. I'm giving that round, and the third round to Dantas, but I still think Caldwell should win this fight, 48-47. All 3 judges agreed, with one judge even giving all 5 rounds, to the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion, Darrion Caldwell.