(12/1/2017)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (26 Total):
1. Gaston Bolanos - 91.3
2. Cris Lencioni - 91.2
3. Chidi Njokuani - 90.9
4. Juliana Velasquez - 90.8
5. Mandel Nallo - 90.8
6. Sam Sicilia - 90.7
7. David Rickels - 90.3
8. Brandon Phillips - 90.2
9. Rafael Lovato Jr. - 89.4
10. Adam Piccolotti - 89.0
Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2
Location: Thackerville, Oklahoma
Elevation: 866'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Sam Sicilia vs. Marcos Galvao
88.5
Fighters & Matches 87.4
Top 10 Fighters 90.5
TOTAL 89.0
87.7
KO
(Spinning Back Elbow)
1:12
     As soon as these guys touched gloves, Gutierrez started throwing really short punches at a fast pace, with the attack seeming a little bit like a cheap shot. With that being said, Bolanos quickly clinched, threw Gutierrez to the ground, punched him a few times, and then reset 45 seconds into the round. Gutierrez chased him, showing some of the most awkward standup I've seen in a while. Bolanos then pushed him to the ground, let him stand back up, kicked him in the head, and then knocked him the fuck out with a clean spinning elbow to Gutierrez's chin. That was a brutal knockout, in under 90 seconds. That was a slick finish for Gaston Bolanos.
85.2
KO
(Head Kick)
0:18
      These guys touched gloves, Williams threw a kick, Nallo fired back with a kick, and then Nallo blasted Williams with a clean head kick, knocking Williams on his ass. The referee jumped in to stop the fight immediately, but Williams seemed to think the stoppage was a bit early, as he was already on his way back to his feet. That was a pretty good finish though, and after watching the replay, I don't think it was a bad stoppage at all.
86.7
Decision
15:00
      These guys circled around each other for a couple of minutes, just trading some light sparring strikes, and then Phillips dropped Howard with a big right hand, threw a few punches on the ground, and then let him stand back up. From that point forward, Phillips was basically chasing Howard, picking him apart with punches, while Howard just tried to keep his distance. Round one goes to Brandon Phillips.
     The second round started with Phillips throwing an inside leg kick that clipped Howard's balls. There was a brief pause, and then the fight continued. When the fight started back up, Howard clinched and tried to take Phillips to the ground, but Phillips was able to stay on his feet, and then he spun out of the clinch and reset to continue with the striking. Phillips spent the rest of the round beating up Howard with his boxing. I have Phillips ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     The final round was more of the same, with Phillips beating up Howard with his boxing, and he even knocked out his mouthpiece halfway through the round. Howard's face was bloodied up, and Phillips was still bringing the fight to him by the end of the round. This was a clear cut 30-27 unanimous decision victory for Brandon Phillips.
87.1
Submission
(Armbar)
5:32
      Liang shot for a takedown almost immediately, and Velasquez stuffed her shot with ease, and then slapped on a standing guillotine choke. Liang continued to try to trip Velasquez from the clinch, but when they hit the ground, Velasquez was on top, so she just let Liang stand back up a few seconds later. Liang continued to shoot for takedowns, and Velasquez continued to display some solid takedown defense, almost always ending up on top when they'd hit the ground, even though she wasn't initiating the takedowns. Velasquez ended up pinning Liang near the fence in the final minute, and she pounded on her with some heavy punches, before standing up again, and then throwing kicks down at Liang's legs. Round one clearly goes to Velasquez.
     Liang shot for an early takedown to start the second round, Velasquez grabbed the fence to stay standing, the referee told her to stop, so she ended up going to the ground, but sort of grabbed Liang's arm on the way down, and finished the fight with a brutal looking armbar. That was a really strong Bellator debut for Juliana Velasquez.
86.8
Submission
(Triangle Choke)
1:39
      These guys traded a few strikes, Williams slapped on a standing guillotine choke, he pulled guard with it, switched to a triangle choke, locked it on quickly, and finished the fight by submission in just over 90 seconds of the opening round. That was a solid Bellator debut for Cris Williams.
88.5
Decision
15:00
      The first round started with a quick clinch, resulting in Galvao taking down Sicilia in the first 30 seconds. Sicilia just pulled guard, and from there, Galvao peppered him with short punches for a couple of minutes, before Sicilia finally kicked back up to his feet. Sicilia came forward, threw some punches & kicks, and chased Galvao around the cage, but neither fighter was really landing much of anything significant. That was a close round, with Galvao controlling the first half on the ground, and Sicilia controlling the last half on the feet.
     Sicilia came out swinging in the second round, and blasted Galvao with some big combinations, while still chasing him around the cage. Galvao tried to work his counters, but Sicilia's offense was a bit too much for him, as Sicilia beat him up for most of the round with his boxing & forward pressure. The first round was close, but the second round clearly goes to Sicilia.
     Galvao scored a quick takedown as soon as the final round started, and he landed back inside Sicilia's guard. Sicilia kicked his way back to his feet a minute into the round, only to get thrown down again by Galvao. Galvao was throwing a lot of short strikes on the ground, but he wasn't doing much damage. Sicilia popped back up to his feet with 90 seconds left in the fight. He spent the final 90 seconds beating up Galvao with his boxing. I scored this fight 30-28 for Sicilia, with the first round being a draw, but the last two rounds I gave to Sicilia. All 3 judges basically agreed, giving Sicilia the unanimous decision victory in his Bellator debut.
88.1
Decision
15:00
      The first round had both guys trading punches at a similar pace, Piccolotti shot for a takedown halfway through the round, but Rickels stuffed the shot, so they reset, and went back to boxing with each other. That was a fairly even round of boxing, and I don't think either fighter necessarily pulled away with a clear lead after that round, but I would probably give the round slightly to Rickels if I had to pick a winner.
     Piccolotti scored an early takedown to start the second round, but couldn't hold Rickels down for more than a few seconds. They continued to box for a while, at a fairly even pace, and then Piccolotti scored another takedown with a body lock halfway through the round. Rickels worked his way back up to his feet with 90 seconds left in the round, and then Piccolotti took him down again. I'm assuming that round goes to Piccolotti based on his wrestling.
     Piccolotti scored another quick takedown to start the final round, landing inside the guard of Rickels, where he beat him up with some basic ground & pound. I thought Piccolotti was well on his way to walking away with the decision, but Rickels slapped on a triangle choke in the final minute of the fight, and that might have been enough to sway the judges to a 29-28 decision in favor of Rickels. Yup, Rickels wins via unanimous decision, and all 3 judges gave him all 3 rounds. I honestly thought the scores would be a bit closer than that, but congrats to Rickels for a solid win against a tough opponent.
88.2
Decision
15:00
      These guys started this fight by trading some decent leg kicks, and then Kato plowed forward looking for a takedown, but he wasn't able to hold Njokuani down for more than a few seconds. They spent the rest of the round in a basic kickboxing match, with Njokuani probably landing the cleaner strikes for the most part.
     The second round was another round of kickboxing, with Njokuani walking down Kato for the most part, while picking him apart with punches & kicks. Kato just wasn't throwing enough offense to really stay in this fight at all. I have Njokuani ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     The final round was more of the same, but Kato started a little more aggressive, as he tried to bring the fight to Njokuani, but in the end, Njokuani just seemed more comfortable in most of the exchanges, so when Kato would throw a strike or two, Njokuani would fire back with 3 or 4. Kato shot for a deep takedown with 2 minutes left in the round, but Njokuani did a good job stuffing the shot, but he also grabbed the fence, which caused the referee to give him a stern warning. When the fight continued, they both basically just danced around, until the end of the fight. I'm giving this fight to Njokuani, 30-27, and all 3 judges agreed, giving him the unanimous decision victory.
88.2
Decision
15:00
      Honeycutt caught a kick early and pushed Lovato to the ground, but let him stand back up. Honeycutt then spent the next few minutes stalking Lovato, while throwing punches at him, while Lovato fired back with front kicks. Honeycutt clinched late in the round, pressing Lovato against the fence, but Lovato held him back with a standing guillotine choke, which was going nowhere, so they split up and traded a few more strikes in the final seconds of the round. I'm giving that first round to Honeycutt.
     Honeycutt clinched and pressed Lovato against the fence early in the second round, and eventually took him down halfway through the round, only to get tied up in Lovato's guard. They traded some strikes on the ground, with Honeycutt dropping punches, and Lovato throwing up elbows from his back. They eventually stood back up, traded a few more strikes, and then the round ended with Honeycutt clinching and pressing Lovato against the fence. This fight has been close so far, and could be going either way, but I have the fight scored 20-18 for Honeycutt going into the final round.
     The final round had Honeycutt clinching and stalling a lot, and he sort of tried to take Lovato off his feet, but Lovato did a good job avoiding the takedowns. Lovato was also picking apart Honeycutt a little bit with his striking. In the end, this really was a close fight, but I would personally score it 29-28 for Chris Honeycutt, based mostly on forward pressure, and a few takedowns, but to be fair, Honeycutt wasn't doing much on the ground, other than holding down Lovato, so... All 3 judges ended up giving the unanimous decision victory to Rafael Lovato Jr.
87.3
Decision
(Split)
25:00
      These girls traded a few strikes, and then Budd clinched and pressed Blencowe against the fence, looking for a takedown while working knees to her body, but Blencowe did a good job staying on her feet. Round one still probably goes to Budd based on pressure I guess. The second round had both girls bouncing around, trading single punches, with Blencowe pressuring Budd a little more, so I guess I have this fight all tied up going into the third round. Budd scored a takedown in the final seconds of the round, but she didn't have time to do anything with it.
      The third round was a repeat of the second, with Blencowe pressuring Budd a little more with her striking, while Budd was way too comfortable hanging out around the outside edge of the cage. I have Blencowe ahead, 29-28, going into the fourth round. The fourth round started with a tight clinch battle, where they battled for control while pressing each other against the fence. They reset 2 minutes into the round, and went back to the striking exchanges where Blencowe was slightly pressuring Budd. I have Blencowe ahead, 39-37 going into the final round.
      The final round was a repeat of the 2nd & 3rd rounds, with Blencowe pressuring Budd, keeping her with her back close to the fence, while Blencowe pumped jabs at her. This wasn't a great fight overall, but it should be a pretty clear 49-46 decision for Blencowe in my opinion, with Budd only winning the first round. Two judges disagreed with me though for some reason, giving the lackluster split-decision victory to Bellator's Women's Featherweight Champion, Julia Budd. I'm not really sure how she won that fight to be honest, especially with two judges giving her 4 of the rounds.
N/A
Decision
15:00
(Unaired)
N/A
Submission
(Triangle Choke)
0:39
(Unaired)
N/A
Submission
(Triangle Choke)
3:03
(Unaired)
OVERALL 89.0
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