Paul "Semtex" Daley made quick work of Andy Uhrich in the main event at Bellator 148 in Fresno, California, on Friday night. The powerful British welterweight stalked his overmatched opponent and ultimately landed a right uppercut on Uhrich's jaw.
The latter face planted, and referee John McCarthy stepped in to waive off the rest of the fight. This one wasn't competitive at all, and it topped off a night filled with knockouts at the Save Mart Center. Zombie Prophet has the KO:
Here's a look at all of the results from the card:
- Justin Smitley defeats Art Arciniega by unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
- Ilima MacFarlane defeats Amber Tackett by submission (armbar) in first round.
- Carl Seumanutafa defeats Javy Ayala by TKO (punches) in second round.
Main Card Results
- Tony Johnson defeats Raphael Butler by TKO (punches) in third round.
- Patricky Pitbull defeats Ryan Couture by KO (left hook) in first round.
- Paul Bradley defeats Chris Honeycutt by TKO (punches) in first round.
- Paul Daley defeats Andy Uhrich by KO (right uppercutt) in first round.
Daley and Uhrich weren't supposed to be the main event matchup. Daley's longtime rival Josh Koscheck was supposed to make his Bellator debut against Matt Secor, but the former had to bow out due to injury. He was on hand for Daley's win, and there were plenty of words exchanged between the two veteran welterweights.
MMA Fighting and Fox Sports' Ariel Helwani noted some of the trash talk from Daley's brief, but in-your-face post-fight interview:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Daley is now thanking the fans for coming to watch him KO Uhrich and says they would be sleeping if Koscheck fought tonight. Then walks off.1/30/2016, 3:57:30 AM
Back in 2010, when Daley and Koscheck were fighting in the UFC, the two faced off at UFC 113. Koscheck won a unanimous decision. Moments after the final bell, a frustrated Daley sucker-punched Koscheck. The infraction got him banned from the UFC and ignited a bitter feud between him and Koscheck.
Bellator's promotional team has been attempting to align the two men on a collision course for the ultimate grudge match. They were both supposed to fight on Friday's card to set up the rematch, but Koscheck's injury derailed the plans.
Chances are, the shouting match after Daley's win was enough to keep the flame burning and some fans interested in seeing the rematch.
Quite honestly, Koscheck looked like a shopworn and whooped fighter in his last four UFC fights. At this point, he may just be a recognizable name headed for a beatdown in Bellator. Only time will tell.
Bradley Smokes Honeycutt
The first meeting between Paul Bradley and Chris Honeycutt ended in a no-contest after an accidental headbutt back in July 2015. Bradley made sure the judges wouldn't be a factor in the rematch.
Early in the first round, Bradley landed a right hand that was more of a forearm, but it dazed Honeycutt. A follow-up right hand sent him falling backward. Sensing the finish, Bradley pounced and pumped right hands to the side of Honeycutt's head until the fight was stopped.
It was Honeycutt's first loss as a pro. To add insult to injury, the bout took place in his hometown. He still has a bright future, but he'll have to pick up the pieces after this one.
Johnson's Wrestling Is Too Much for Butler
Raphael Butler hoped to use his boxing prowess to pick Tony Johnson apart with jabs and power punches, but that didn't happen. Johnson used his wide body, low center of gravity and wrestling expertise to dominate Butler.
Every round looked like a carbon copy of the one before it. Johnson would shoot for the takedown, secure it on the first attempt and maintain top position. In the third round, referee Mike Beltran grew tired of the one-way traffic, and he stopped the bout due to unanswered strikes.
It was a questionable decision by Beltran, but Butler had no chance to win. There was only 30 seconds remaining in the fight, and Butler was making no moves to change the momentum. Here's a look at the finish from Zombie Prophet:
Bellator congratulated Johnson on his win:
Bellator MMA @BellatorMMA
Final minute, final round - that'll do it. Big win for @HulkJohnson! #Bellator1481/30/2016, 2:25:56 AM
With the victory, Johnson has positioned himself for a title shot whenever heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov returns to the cage. He hasn't fought in over two years, but somehow he's been allowed to remain champion. Johnson is applying the heat that figures to force Minakov's hand.
Ryan Couture tried to trade with Patricky Pitbull, and things didn't end well for the son of the MMA legend. A smashing left hook from the Brazilian sent Couture crashing to the mat just three minutes into the fight. It was sudden, nasty and devastating.
Zombie Prophet has the punch:
When it was over, the MMA community had immediate reaction. Sherdog.com tabbed it as an early candidate for KO of the Year:
#Bellator148: Left hand from Freire lands on the chin, and Couture falls face first to the canvas. KO of the year contender.1/30/2016, 2:44:13 AM
Thankfully, Bellator cutman Matt Marsden tweeted good news about Couture after the scary KO:
Matt Marsden @CutmanMatt
Ryan is ok. Was responsive and answering questions. CSAC just following SOP with the backboard. #Bellator1481/30/2016, 2:49:24 AM
You could see the wickedness on its way in the early seconds of the fight. Couture seemed to be trying to prove he could strike with Pitbull. That was a surprising strategy considering Couture is known for his grappling and submission skills, while Pitbull boasts explosive punching power.
Before he turned Couture's lights out with the left hook, he dazed him with a fierce straight right hand. It would have been smart for Couture to try and take the fight to the ground at that point, but he didn't. Unfortunately for him, Pitbull's left hand took him to the ground instead.
On February 19, two MMA fossils will battle for something, we're just not sure what it is. The legendary Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock will fight for the third time in their seemingly never-ending careers.
Also on the card is a matchup between Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000. Yeah, this one isn't exactly targeted for the MMA purists, but it's a fight that many people are likely going to be interested in seeing.
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