The Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT was the setting for Bellator 178, as Patricio Freire submitted Daniel Straus in the second round to reclaim his featherweight title. This puts Pitbull ahead 3-1 in the Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire saga. The co-main event of the evening saw Ilima-Lei Macfarlane make a statement in Bellator’s flyweight division, as she nearly ripped off the arm of Jessica Middleton, in just 2:15 of the first round. AJ McKee kicked off the main card, literally, with a spectacular head kick knockout of Dominic Mazzotta, in just 1:15 of the first round.
Patricio Freire def. Daniel Straus by Submission (Guillotine) at :37 of round 2: Featherweight Title
Pitbull would score early in the opening round, by leaping in with strikes, and moving out of range before his opponent could hit him back. Straus closed the distance around the 2 minute mark, and stalled Pitbull up against the cage. Pitbull would reverse the position, until the referee separated the fighters due to a lack of action.
Straus would shoot for a takedown to start the second frame, but Pitbull defended well, and sunk in a fight ending Guillotine. Patricio Freire is now the 2x Bellator featherweight champion.
Patricio Pitbull leads the series 3-1:
05/21/11- Pitbull takes unanimous decision to win tournament final at Bellator 45
1/16/15- Pitbull defends belt with round 4 submission (RNC) at Bellator 132
11/6/15- Straus takes unanimous decision to win belt at Bellator 145
04/21/17- Pitbull wins belt with round 2 submission (Guillotine) at Bellator 178
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Jessica Middleton by Submission (Armbar) at 2:15 of round 1: (W) Flyweight
Macfarlane closed the distance and pressed Middleton up against the cage, where she found a takedown. Macfarlane was able to transition from half guard to full mount, and wasted no time in grabbing ahold of Middleton’s arm. Middleton would hang tough, but Macfarlane stayed with the submission, and saw it through to the finish. With her 3rd submission inside of the Bellator cage, Macfarlane now moves to 6-0 in her professional career, and stands as the front runner for the promotion’s flyweight division.
Watch Ilima-Lei Macfarlane pull out the armbar finish on Jessica Middleton:
Saad Awad def. Ryan Quinn by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x 3): Lightweight
Saad Awad came firing right out of the gate, and was able to sting Quinn with punches. Awad would shift gears and work his grappling, looking to submit his opponent, but Quinn was savvy enough to remain safe. Quinn would rally back and score a massive knee to the head from the clinch, to which Awad wisely made himself a downed fighter. Quinn locked up a near anaconda, but Awad was able to scramble out of harms way, and find his way to his feet. The first round was pretty close, and it was Quinn who had back control when the bell sounded.
Quinn started the second stanza by obtaining back control almost right away, but Awad was able to reverse the situation to find himself with top control. Awad would surf on top of Quinn for the remainder of the round, dropping significant elbows at a descent clip.
Quinn secured a few takedowns to start the third frame, but was unable to much with it. Awad was able to reverse position, and held top control over the BJJ blackbelt. Quinn would try to regain control, but his opponent’s grappling prowess would prove to be too much, as Awad rode the top position to close out the round. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Saad Awad, as he picked up the unanimous decision and moves back into the win column.
Look at Saad Awad landing some leather on Ryan Quinn:
AJ McKee Jr. def. Dominic Mazzotta by KO (Head Kick) at 1:15 of round 1: Featherweight
Holy smokes! AJ McKee showed up big time in his 8th professional fight, as he head kicked Dominic Mazzotta into oblivion in just 1:15 of the first round. McKee landed the knockout blow from the southpaw stance, without any set up, and covered quite a bit of distance when he threw it. Even though Mazzotta blocked the bulk of the strike, enough of the kick penetrated the guard to shut out the lights. With the massive KO, McKee moves to 8-0 in his young career, and put Bellator’s entire featherweight roster on notice.
Watch AJ McKee channel his inner Mirko Cro Cop; right leg hospital, left leg cemetery:
Blair Tugman def. Thomas English by rd. 3 submission (RNC): Featherweight