Bellator MMA live coverage & results: The Return Of Rampage Jackson



By Josh Nason

Yeah, we're a little late starting tonight. It happens.

Featherweight Tournament Final: Patricio "Pitbull" Freire def. Justin Wilcox by 1st round TKO (2:23)
Should You Watch rating: Sure!

Pitbull completely owned this fight, hurting Wilcox at multiple times with strikes, especially his left hand. When the fight went to the ground, Pitbull was relentless in his assault. The end came when Pitbull hit a right hand that staggered Wilcox, and Wilcox never recovered. Pitbull swarmed on a dazed Wilcox, landing shot after shot on his turtled opponent. The ref called the stoppage when Wilcox flattened out and had no answer. Wilcox looked anxious and never got into any rhythm.

This is Freire's second tournament win, and his second opportunity at the promotion's 145-pound title.

Marcos Galvao def. Tom McKenna (bantamweights) by 1st round TKO (4:29)
Should You Watch rating: Skip!

Galvao got McKenna's back less than a minute into the fight, the ideal spot the BJJ stud wanted to be in. McKenna did a good job fighting off Galvao, twisting and turning underneath him to avoid the submission. Galvao began finding a home for punches and elbows with around two minutes to go, hurting McKenna. The fight went to the feet late, but went right down again in seconds. The end came when Galvao started unloading some punches as he had McKenna's back in the round's last minute. McKenna was blocking most of them, but he wasn't doing much else. Good stoppage as McKenna was completely overmatched.

In the post-match promo, Galvao referenced competing in the next 'grand prix' and getting another shot at champ Eduardo Dantas.

Liam McGeary def. Najim Wali (light heavyweights) by 1st round submission (1:31)
Should You Watch rating: Sure!


These two have a combined 10 pro fights and McGeary is undefeated at 5-0. McGeary hits an elbow, opening up a cut on Wali's forehead. Fight gets to the ground and the 6'6" McGeary is showing some skills, locking up a tight triangle that Wali fights off. McGeary transitions to an armbar for the tap. Pretty easy win for McGeary, who could be the fighter to watch in the next 205-pound tourney.
 
Vitaly Minakov def. Alexander Volkov by 1st round TKO (2:57) to win the Bellator heavyweight title
Should You Watch rating: Sure!

Bellator is going old-school UFC putting the star of the show in the main event instead of the lone championship fight. Both are Russian, creating a bizarro-Rocky IV situation here. Volkov is only 235 pounds, but has a reach advantage over his heavier opponent.

Minakov went for a belly-to-belly suplex or takedown, but Volkov blocked it. Volkov easily got on top and the weight advantage (10+ pounds) is showing early. Fight got stood up and Minakov survived a light flurry to land a big right that dropped the champion. Minakov swarmed, landing a barrage of lefts and rights. Odd time for a stoppage as Minakov gave Volkov a second amidst the punches to recover and ref Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight. Volkov was blocking most of the shots, but after a left hand found its way through, he called it. 

Volkov didn't have a great showing here. Next up for the undefeated Minakov: Cheick Kongo.

Sam Oropeza def. Chip Moraza-Pollard by 1st round TKO (:37)
Should You Watch rating: Sure!

Oropeza is a huge welterweight and his power showed, landing a few left hooks that dropped Moraza-Pollard. A few punches to a grounded opponent later and Oropeza was declared the winner. One asterisk though: Oropeza came in at 173.8 pounds. Add the extra weight with the height advantage and that's a bad combination.

Rampage Jackson def. Joey Beltran (210-pound catchweight) by 1st round KO (4:59) 
Should You Watch rating: Sure, why not?

Jackson wanted a guy that would stand with him. He's got it in Beltran. 

R1: Beltran was moving a lot early, landing clean with a few shots. Jackson was aggressive, taking the center of the cage and finding a home for a few punches. Beltran was content to cage grapple, wearing Jackson down with knees to the legs and a few punches. Crowd wanted more rock 'em sock 'em and weren't getting it. Jackson definitely looks a bit slow, and given the cage grinding, we'll see how that conditioning holds up.

And in the round's closing seconds, Beltran made a fatal mistake that cost him. Rampage pushed him up against the cage, landing a knee, hit on a left hook that hurt Beltran, then a right that put Beltran on his knees. One more right hand and ref Dan Miragliotta called the fight just as the round was ending, even though Beltran was disputing it. Unfortunate timing for Beltran who arguably won the round had it gone to the judges.

In the post-fight promo, he said he still has it and gave Bjorn Rebney props for fixing his knees. He was quite amped up, as was the Bellator and Spike TV brass I'm sure. 

Tom DeBlass def. Jason Lambert by 1st round KO (1:45)
Should You Watch rating: Sure!

In this fight of UFC vets, DeBlass hit Lambert hard with a left hook that dropped him once. The second knockdown was a short right that put Lambert down and his head bounced off the mat, essentially knocking him loopy. DeBlass was one of the fighters featured in this must-read piece from last week.

For a free TV show, you couldn't get much better than this. All first round finished and wrapped up in two hours? Win-win for everyone! Season finale for Bellator coming up next week. 

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