The Bellator 238 main card has been heavy on the finishes, including one from Darrion Caldwell that will see him move one step closer to the Bellator featherweight grand prix final. Caldwell handed Adam Borics his first professional defeat, which means he’ll be taking on AJ McKee in the semifinals of this $1 million tournament.
Other main card action from The Forum in Inglewood, CA saw Juan Archuleta get past Henry Corrales in a lackluster decision win, former UFC contender Sergio Pettis quickly beat Alfred Khashkyan (arguably by TKO and submission), Raymond Daniels easily defeat Jason King, while Emilee King upset gave former boxing champion Ava Knight her first MMA loss. Here’s how the fights played out.
Darrion Caldwell def. Adam Borics by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:20 of round 1
Caldwell had the wrestling advantage against Borics as expected, and “The Wolf” didn’t waste a lot of time taking down the Hungarian. Borics tried to scramble to his feet, but instead the former Bellator bantamweight champion was able to take the back and get the left arm underneath Borics’ chin for the fight-ending rear-naked choke. A very impressive victory for Caldwell, while Borics’ tournament time is over and he loses for the first time in his career.
Juan Archuleta def. Henry Corrales by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Certainly not a classic. Archuleta and Corrales were way too content to feint, stare at each other, and throw single power strikes. There wasn’t much to separate the two through rounds one and two. Neither of them threw many shots, and if Archuleta had any success it was off the counter. Corrales had a late takedown in the second frame, but ideally that didn’t persuade the judges in any way since it was just before the horn sounded.
Action slightly opened up in the final round. Corrales cracked Archuleta with a good right hand that had Juan stumbling momentarily. The two featherweight contenders were more willing to trade in the closing minutes, although these haymakers were far from accurate or particularly devastating. The unanimous decision for Archuleta was surprising, but Corrales will be kicking himself for not being more aggressive. I don’t think anyone will care too much either way since the final round was the only clear one for Corrales.
Sergio Pettis def. Alfred Khashakyan by technical submission (guillotine choke) at 3:00 of round 1
After going his entire UFC career without a stoppage win, Sergio’s Bellator debut arguably produced two finishes in one fight. A big right hand put Kashakyan on the canvas, and Pettis unleashed several punches for what probably should’ve been a TKO win. Frank Trigg let the fight continue, Pettis dropped down for a guillotine and had to tell Trigg that Khashakyan was unconscious. Not Frank’s finest hour as a referee, to say the least.
Raymond Daniels def. Jason King by TKO (strikes) at 3:07 of round 1
The flashy kickboxer showed off the fancy spinning kicks and anything else he felt like throwing against the overmatched King (the husband of Emilee). A right hand dropped King, then a right hand-left elbow combo put King on his back yet again. In a desperate attempt to turn things around, King tried to leglock Daniels and instead got beaten up with ground-and-pound to force Mike Beltran to stop the contest. The 39-year-old is now 2-1 in his MMA career, having just gotten back into the sport after losing his debut in 2008.
Emilee King def. Ava Knight by technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:18 of round 1
Showcase fight? Not so fast. The former world boxing champion got a dose of reality in the form of Emilee King getting her to the ground seconds into the fight. King sunk in a rear-naked choke and Knight went to sleep momentarily, which is enough to make it a technical submission. King improves to 4-3 in her career, while Knight drops to 1-1.