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Bellator 220 results: Rory MacDonald advances in WW tournament despite draw vs. Jon Fitch

Check out the full results and highlights from Bellator 220: MacDonald vs. Fitch.

MMA: Bellator 220-Macdonald vs Fitch Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator 220 is in the books, and the fans were displeased with both championship bouts but for separate reasons. Rory MacDonald and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defended their respective titles, but MacDonald fought Jon Fitch to a draw, and Macfarlane’s win over Veta Arteaga ended in anti-climactic fashion after a brutal cut opened up Arteaga’s forehead. Here’s how the whole night of fights played out.

Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch ends in majority draw (48-46 Fitch, 47-47, 47-47), but MacDonald advances by virtue of defending his title successfully

It was a lackluster showing from reigning Bellator MMA welterweight champion Rory MacDonald, but it was enough to get him to the next round of the promotion’s eight-man tournament.

The Canadian won none of the scorecards against fellow ex-UFC title challenger Jon Fitch, but a majority draw meant that it was technically a successful title defense for MacDonald. Therefore, under Bellator tournament rules, MacDonald advances to face Neiman Gracie. If we’re being honest, the post-fight interview from MacDonald where he said the lord was talking to him and that he was unsure he had the desire to hurt people should produce enough doubt that he should continue his MMA career.

As for the fight itself, Fitch imposed his gameplan in vintage fashion. It wasn’t pretty to watch, but it worked. The normally iron-clad takedown defense of MacDonald was repeatedly compromised by Fitch, even with MacDonald hurting Jon in the fourth round. Fitch even cut MacDonald open in the third round with an elbow, and Rory consistently found it difficult to get back up. On the feet, MacDonald did land the majority of the better strikes, including a standing elbow in the aforementioned fourth that had Fitch wobbly and desperate. Still, Fitch showed his toughness and persisted with forward pressure, doggedly level changing and dropping for takedowns and angling for top control. He also thwarted MacDonald’s armbar and triangle choke attempts during the bout.

In terms of damage, MacDonald did more, but he was largely outgrappled by Fitch — Rory repeatedly was warned for grabbing the fence and having his toes in the cage — and it was not a crowd-pleasing performance. So the technicality means MacDonald moves on, but the post-fight interview suggests that at a minimum, he cannot fight Gracie on June 14th. He may never compete again.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Veta Arteaga by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 1:50 of round 3to defend Bellator women’s flyweight title

This was no easy win for the champion. The Hawaiian unsurprisingly aggressively pursued the takedown and to get the fight to the ground against Arteaga. She attacked with an armbar and then an inverted heel hook in the first round, but Arteaga showed good submission defense and fought out of both of them.

The challenger was taken down again in round two and found herself on the bottom for a few minutes, but she stifled Macfarlane’s offense and cut open Macfarlane with elbows. It was certainly a round that favored Arteaga, as she also caught Macfarlane with some good shots on the feet.

Macfarlane again took Arteaga down in the third round, but this time her elbow was the one that made a big splash, by opening up a huge gash on Veta’s forehead. Blood was pouring out and it was enough to make referee Jason Herzog call in the doctor. He ruled that the fight could not continue, sending Arteaga to tears and Macfarlane to another win. Arteaga was ahead on one scorecard and level on the other two. A disappointing but understandable way for the fight to end, as that cut was nasty.

Benson Henderson by Adam Piccolotti by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) - Lightweights

If you missed this fight live, I highly recommend giving this a watch. Piccolotti dominated Henderson in the opening round of an exciting grappling-heavy thriller, and nearly submitted the former UFC champion on multiple occasions. Of course, Henderson is almost impossible to submit, and not only did he escape them all, he closed round one strongly with big strikes to perhaps save himself from being on the wrong end of a 10-8.

Henderson took round two by outgrappling Piccolotti and having the more effective strikes, including an elbow that cut Adam open on the nose. Bendo’s attempts to get Piccolotti to tap out also proved futile.

Round three was razor-thin, as there were plenty of back-and-forth scrambles and battles for dominant position on the ground. Henderson tried a flying knee that saw him fall to his back, and Piccolotti had top position. Bendo maneuvered his way into a choke opportunity, but it only led to Piccolotti gaining side control. Piccolotti eventually took Henderson’s back and again went for a standing rear-naked choke, as he did in round one. When he dropped down, Henderson escaped and actually reversed position while in a body triangle, which is insane. Bendo spent the final minute on top and landing short shots but nothing overly damaging. It was a razor-thin decision that, as they’ve been known to do, went Henderson’s way. Bendo has won three straight, while Piccolotti’s two-fight win streak ends.

Phil Davis def. Liam McGeary by TKO (jaw injury) at 4:11 of round 3 - Light heavyweights

It was a five-round unanimous decision win for Phil Davis the last time he fought Liam McGeary. This time around, Davis dominated McGeary but was able to get the finish.

Davis’ striking looked as good as it’s ever been, particularly the use of his leg kicks that were consistently unchecked by the Englishman. McGeary’s offensive success was sporadic and it was even more discouraging that it was exclusively a striking battle for the first two rounds.

“Mr. Wonderful” did use his wrestling in round three and continued to control proceedings, fending off McGeary’s aggressive submissions from the bottom. A big left hand by Davis had McGeary hurt in the final stages of the fight, and Davis smelled blood. After taking McGeary down, he went to the back and landed huge ground-and-pound shots, and then McGeary tapped out before Davis could even sink in the rear-naked choke. It appears as if a busted jaw, presumably because of the Davis strikes, is why McGeary wanted no more. So Davis is 2-0 against his fellow former Bellator LHW champ, and this was a complete performance.

Gaston Bolanos def. Nathan Stolen by TKO (strikes) at 2:21 of round 1 - Featherweights

It was another violent finish for Bolanos, who remains undefeated at 5-0. He engaged in a high-paced, entertaining bout with the heavy underdog Stolen. The fight-finishing blow was a lethal left hook that planted Stolen on his back. Bolanos moved in with a couple more strikes before referee Frank Trigg called things off. They both threw lefts at the same time, but Bolanos’ got there first and was way more powerful.

Preliminary Card

Aviv Gozali def. Travis Crain via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:25 of round 1

Brandon Faumui def. Chris Avila via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Matt Perez def. Justin Tenedora via KO (punches) at 4:52 of round 1

Cass Bell def. Peter Ishiguro via KO (strikes) Round 2, 2:59

Chuck Campbell def. Bruno Casillas via KO (knee) at 1:45 of round 1

Hyder Amil def. Paradise Vaovasa via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:34 of round 1

Josh San Diego def. Brandon Laroco by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Jordan Williams def. Diego Herzog via TKO (punches) at 1:21 of round 3

Abraham Vaesau def. Justin Roswell via TKO (punches) at 1:59 of round 1

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