The AllState arena in Rosemont, Illinois was the setting for Bellator 198, where Emmanuel Sanchez submitted Sam Sicilia in the opening round with a modified Arm triangle in the co-main event. At the Bellator 198 pre-fight presser, the company’s head honcho Scott Coker stated that if Sanchez won, then he would likely get the honor to compete for the promotion’s featherweight crown.
Also on the main card, BJJ guru Rafael Lovato Jr. wasted no time in submitting short notice opponent Gerald Harris, realizing a gorgeous Armbar in just over a minute into the first round. Lovato Jr. is still undefeated, climbing to 8-0 in his pro MMA career, so the question is, who will be next?
Neiman Gracie remained undefeated tonight with a second round submission of Javier Torres, to move to 8-0 overall and 6-0 under the Bellator banner. Opening up the main card, BJJ standout Dillon Danis made his pro MMA debut by submitting Kyle Walker in under two minutes into the opening round. Danis vs. Gracie sounds like it would be a dream matchup of grappling greats, despite Gracie having more MMA experience.
Emmanuel Sanchez def. Sam Sicilia by submission (arm-triangle) 3:52 of round 1: Featherweight
Both men met right in the center of the cage and started trading shots, until Sicilia forced Sanchez up against the cage in search of a takedown. Sanchez dropped down for a leg lock, but Sicilia was savvy enough to elude the hold to take top position. Just as Sicilia took the back in search of an RNC, Sanchez reversed the position and locked up a standing Arm Triangle. Sanchez dropped down to the mat, somewhat taking the back, leaving Sicilia with nowhere to go, which prompted the tap! What a cool submission!
Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Gerald Harris by submission (armbar) at 1:11 of round 1: 188 pounds
Lovato Jr. started out the fight with a jump knee, but fell in the process, giving Harris the top position. Do you think the jits master had an issue fighting off of his back? No way! Lovato Jr. quickly attacked the arm of his opponent, locking up the armbar before Harris even knew what hit him. Harris tapped out before he got his arm snapped in half.
Neiman Gracie def. Javier Torres by submission (arm-triangle) at 3:18 of round 2: Welterweight
Gracie came out looking to strike, until he got socked one good time and then resorted back to his bread and butter. Gracie got the fight down to the mat, and sat back for a leg lock, but the submission defense of Walker was sound enough to make it out of the opening round. The distance was closed within the first 30 seconds of the second frame, with Gracie picking up a trip takedown. Walker would look up to the referee for help to get back to his feet, but Gracie methodically improved his position, finding his way into full mount. Gracie locked up an airtight arm triangle, and shifted into side control for maximum leverage, and at that moment, Torres wisely tapped out.
Look at Gracie doing what it is that Gracie does:
Dillon Danis def. Kyle Walker by submission (Toe Hold) at 1:38 of round 1: 175 pounds
It was no surprise seeing Danis instantly shoot a takedown, but Walker was right there to maintain the distance and fire back with a heavy left hand. Danis was able to pull guard, and then it wasn’t long before the Marcelo Garcia black belt attacked a leg, and sunk a toe hold for the tap.
Danis wins by submission? Go figure:
Rmandel Cameron def. P.J. Cajigas by unanimous decision: Welterweight