Bellator 180 went down in The Big Apple as Ryan Bader bested Phil Davis to become Bellator’s new light heavyweight champion. The card also witnessed SBG Ireland featherweight prospect James Gallagher made quick work of Chinzo Machida, with a spectacular 1st round submission, and the Bellator audience has been introduced to boxing standout Heather Hardy, who won her pro debut with a standing TKO of Alice Yauger.
Spike TV Card:
Ryan Bader def. Phil Davis by split decision (49-46, 47-48, 49-46): Light Heavyweight Title
Bellator’s top light heavyweights kept it standing for the entirety of the opening round, thanks to Bader stuffing the attempts from Davis. Bader landed more punches, with Davis scoring with a few kicks.
The second frame witnessed more of the same sort of slow paced kickboxing bout from the 1st round, with Bader stuffing all of the takedowns attempts from Davis. Davis seemed to land more, with Bader landing the fewer yet harder strikes. The third round looked almost identical to the 1st and second, with the exception of Bader getting a brief takedown at the in final seconds just to get reversed.
The referee called a pause to the action early in the 4th to warn both competitors about timidity. The light heavyweights continued to throw strikes, but very few were actually landing, making judging the round rather difficult. The final frame saw Bader turn it up late, landing the better strikes down the stretch. When the dust settled, it was Bader who had the light heavyweight belt wrapped around his waist.
James Gallagher def. Chinzo Machida by submission (RNC) at 2:22 of round 1: Featherweight
James Gallagher wasted no time in putting Chinzo Machida on his back. Gallagher transitioned to the back, and landed some ground and pound that split the left eye of Machida. Gallagher used some more ground strikes to sink in a Rear-Naked Choke, and scored the 1st round submission in his first fight on U.S. soil.
Heather Hardy def. Alice Yauger by TKO at 4:37 of round 3: (W) Flyweight
To start the flyweight fight, Heather Hardy and Alice Yauger met each other in the center of the cage and proceeded to throw leather. Yauger seemed to be landing the heavier strikes, and also was finishing her combos with thudding knees to the body.
The second frame saw Hardy come alive with her own overhand right, to cause a cut beneath the left eye of Yauger. Hardy came out more confident than before to start the third round, connecting more regularly while slipping the punches of Yauger. Following an accidental clash of heads, the referee brought in the cage-side doctor to take a look, but the physician suggested that the fight could continue. Once the action resumed, Hardy landed a stiff cross that sent Yauger crashing to the canvas. Hardy wanted no part of the ground game, and allowed her opponent to return to her feet, just to blitz her with a barrage of punches. The referee had no choice to step in and call the fight, as yauger was not intelligently defending herself, awarding Heather Hardy a standing TKO win in the final seconds of her professional MMA debut.
Ryan Couture def. Haim Gozali by unanimous decision: Welterweight
Bradley Desir def. Nate Grebb by KO: Lightweight
Anthony Giacchina def. Jerome Mickle by submission (RNC): Lightweight
Matt Rizzo def. Sergio da Silva by submission (Arm Triangle): Catchweight 130 lbs.
Hugh McKenna def. John Salgado by submission (Kimora): Catchweight 168 lbs.