The second of Bellator’s run of shows in Milan, Italy went down on Saturday and featured James Gallagher, one of the promotions more interesting assets, getting another win under his belt. The card, which was filled with lesser known European talent, also saw former UFC fighter, and Gallagher’s SBG Ireland stablemate, Charlie Ward pick up another win inside the Bellator cage.
In the main event there was a brief feeling out process between Gallagher and his opponent Cal Ellenor, with both fighters trading leg kicks. But the ‘Strabanimal’ was the first to seize initiative in the fight, landing a double leg takedown in the centre of the cage. After a moment on the ground, Ellenor found the space to stand up. But as he did Gallagher pounced on his back, wriggled his way into back control and then slid in two hooks. Ellenor struggled to break free as Gallagher locked up a body triangle. From there Gallagher carefully, and intelligently, switched between light punches and choke attempts. Eventually he was able to slide his forearm under Ellenor’s throat and get the tap.
The win moved Gallagher’s record to 10-1 and gave him a four-fight winning streak dating back to 2019. It was in 2018 he suffered his sole loss to Ricky Bandejas.
The co-main event, Ward vs. Andy Manzolo, had a little bit of weirdness. In the first Ward landed heavy shots, one of which rocked Manzolo. In that round Manzolo was able to take the Dubliner down and attempt a rear naked choke. In between the first and second rounds, Ward taunted Manzolo, who appeared to be puking in a bucket. The pace slowed from that moment on with Ward securing an easy-to-make decision victory on the back of top control and ground and pound.
The third fight of the main card was Kiefer Crosbie vs. Charlie Leary in a 160 lb catchweight bout. The first round was all action with both men getting stunned from strikes. The round ended with Leary pounding Crosbie with elbow strikes and nearly getting the finish then and there. Between rounds a doctor assessed Crosbie and decided he had suffered too much damage to continue, giving Leary the TKO win.
The highlights of the prelim card included SBG Ireland getting another win, with Sinead kavanagh besting Katharina Lehner and TKO wins for Gokhan Saricam (over Joffie Houlton), Asael Adjoudj (over Nathan Jessimer) and Marek Jakimowicz (over Curtis Dodge).
Full results and highlights of the finishes below:
Bantamweight: James Gallagher def. Cal Ellenor by submission (read naked choke), round 1 (4:31).
GALLAGHER GETS THE TAP!— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) October 3, 2020
⁰ @StrabanimalMMA went to work on the rear-naked choke and after some great hand work secured the submission on Ellenor at the close of round 1️⃣.⁰⁰#BellatorMilan pic.twitter.com/Wq3Q5qTq3i
Middleweight: Charlie Ward def. Andy Manzolo by unanimous decision (29-28. 29-28, 29-28).
Catchweight (160 lbs): Charlie Leary def. Kiefer Crosbie by TKO (doctor stoppage), round 1 (5:00).
A sensational first round between Kiefer Crosbie and @Leary8mma!— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) October 3, 2020
The doctor, though, waves off the fight at the start of the second. #BellatorMilan
We are LIVE on Channel 5 & Virgin Media Two pic.twitter.com/K4Mx3zTO5F
Featherweight: Sinead Kavanagh def. Katharine Lehner by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Lightweight: Aymard Guih def. Chris Bungard by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
Welterweight: Acoidan Duque def. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Heavyweight: Gokhan Saricam def. Joffie Houlton by TKO (strikes), round 1 (2:52).
A FURIOUS FINISH— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) October 3, 2020
Gokhan Saricam unloads a flurry of strikes to earn the TKO victory over Joffie Houlton. #BellatorMilan Monster Energy Prelims ➡️ https://t.co/xkbFe7dZ4I pic.twitter.com/ADau9CRorV
Featherweight: Andrew Fisher def. Ashleigh Grimshaw by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Lightweight: Kane Mousah def. Alessandro Botti by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28).
Featherweight: Asael Adjoudj def. Nathan Jessimer by TKO (punches), round 2 (2:58).
Welterweight: Marek Jakimowicz def. Curtis Dodge by TKO (strikes), round 1 (4:45).